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Rugby 2021

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1377904.  Sat Mar 27, 2021 8:46 am Reply with quote

tetsabb wrote:
Part of me wanted France to win by 21 or whatever, just to deny Wales the title.

Blackadder wrote:
Why thank you, Darling; and I hope your mother dies in a freak yachting accident.

1377919.  Sat Mar 27, 2021 12:49 pm Reply with quote

So... what's the opposite of a post mortem?

Is it an ante vitum? I await the answer with a keenness of interest beyond common imagining. Aaaaaaanyway after this year's unusual tournament I think some sort of 'critique' is appropriate for those of us who think we have, or want to have, an understanding of wtf went on.

I appreciate that this is of limited interest 'board-wide' but it's been such a controversial season that those of us who are interested should give vent to our feelings - if only for the sake of emotional honesty.

1377933.  Sat Mar 27, 2021 4:25 pm Reply with quote

I confess to an almost irrational desire to see Wales beaten at Rugby. My best friend as a kid was keen on Wales, and I opposed them to wind him up.
It just has evolved from there.
But where would supporting a sports team be without irrational prejudice?

1377937.  Sat Mar 27, 2021 5:42 pm Reply with quote

Unlike most of the people round here, I am utterly indifferent to the matter, but having said that, I have seen no particular evidence of celebration anywhere.

1377941.  Sat Mar 27, 2021 6:09 pm Reply with quote

Celebaelin wrote:
I appreciate that this is of limited interest 'board-wide' but it's been such a controversial season that those of us who are interested should give vent to our feelings - if only for the sake of emotional honesty.

OK, so an unconsidered and uninformed view of the championship as I saw it.

Italy just aren't much good.
England probably are some good, but couldn't be arsed. The players don't like the manager, maybe?
Ireland are a middling team and performed middlingly.
Scotland are a middling team too, but gained confidence by beating England who couldn't be arsed and performed better than they actually are.
Wales are a decent team, but not as good as France.
France were actually the best team, but the match which was ultimately played last night should really have been forfeited against them. (Had Italy done the same thing, I have little doubt that it would have been.) Accordingly, I'm glad they didn't win it.

1377969.  Sun Mar 28, 2021 6:49 am Reply with quote

I was briefly in danger of trotting out some of my long-standing criticisms of English rugby - or more accurately the RFU - but I've decided to let that be for the moment in favour of a more specific assertion; England did not play as a team - and further to that they displayed no 'organic flexibility', no adaptability.

England and France, bearing in mind tradition and population, should dominate the Six Nations and Italy shouldn't be far behind by now but Rugby, more than most sports, is a game where individual talent can be countered by raw physicality within an increasingly sensible rules framework (except at the scrum but let's not get into that). Since one player cannot easily change the course of a game by individual ability it follows that playing as a team is essential - a lesson Warren Gatland must impress upon those chosen to wear the Lions jersey later this year (probably). The English approach (here we go again) of treating players as interchangeable modules who must perform predetermined functions in identical ways with no discernible difference between them is both predictable and unrealistic. As was said more than once during the course of the television coverage of the matches the levels of player skill and fitness at international level are very similar ergo what distinguishes one player from another must be style and manner of play and it is precisely those individual characteristics which will increasingly determine the pattern of games. Changing personnel without changing tactics is a stale and outmoded option - teams must be prepared, must be pre-prepared in fact, to switch from one style or method to another when players from the bench enter the game.

Now France...

France, France, France...

The French have retained what is often referred to as 'Gallic flair' as well as becoming physically ever more impressive while their centre choices continue to be an attacking threat. Dupont was certainly impressive at Scrum Half and we should note that this is in a team for whom, historically, it tends to be the number 9 rather than the number 10 who's calling the shots. Clearly with their defeats by England and Scotland they are not the unstoppable force they have been built up to be however - they were, I think, over-rated because of their defeat of what turned out to be an under-performing Irish side. I'm still none the wiser about the France-Wales game and my personal bias makes me reluctant to offer an opinion. The whole business of the cardings was unfortunate but the result did make the final postponed game between France and Scotland a matter of some interest for casual fans rather than the tame curiosity for purists only that it might otherwise have been.

Ireland I've already touched on and I have no real insights into their tournament with which to amaze and astound but this year's Scotland were so close to a winning season I bet they can practically taste it. Perhaps next year they will go the extra yard, foot or inch necessary and win their first ever Six Nations. Their 2021 had its share of positives and I can only wish them well; particularly so after their win in Paris decided the Championship.

Wales won. Unexpectedly. Wayne Pivac's contribution to that is not something I feel I can comment on but I suspect the pressure on him has eased somewhat as a result. The careless and overly aggressive play of other teams overshadowed their achievement to no small extent and the pre-match tension occasioned by Eddie Jones seeming to offer instruction to the referee might have been instrumental in costing England margin and making that match too the subject of some speculation regarding what the 'real' result might have been. The points margin and the published headlines tell us a different story regarding the victors however so the trophy will reside in Cardiff for the moment.

1378376.  Sat Apr 03, 2021 7:26 am Reply with quote

I'm currently watching Wasps vs Clermont from the Ricoh - it's kind of a ripsnorter.

Half-time currently; two (allowed) tries a piece but Wasps took the lead 17-14 with a penalty just before the end of the first 40.

There was another penalty before the half ended (42 mins) to make it 20-14!

Wasps 25 Claremont 27

Three tries each with Claremont's final and decisive 7 points coming after the 80 minutes when Wasps were recently down to 14 men. That seems to be something of a theme this year.

1382026.  Sat May 22, 2021 11:49 am Reply with quote

Watching the Heineken Final between La Rochelle and Toulouse.
The La Rochelle hooker* is named Bougarit. 'Tis a shame there are no players named Millenium, Hand or Shrimp.

*Stop that tittering at the back

1382029.  Sat May 22, 2021 12:54 pm Reply with quote

Goodness, that was a frantic last 10 minutes! La Richrlle down a man since 30 mins into the game. Tgey conceded a very well-taken try, but their scrum half scrambled over to get within 5 points. All a bit mad at the end, but terrific drama!

1383947.  Sat Jun 26, 2021 10:23 am Reply with quote

As an added bonus before the football we have a Lions match being played on British soil (in Edinburgh to be precise) ahead of the test series against South Africa.

Since this game is against the Japanese it doesn't have full test status AIUI and it is no great surprise that with 49 minutes played the Lions lead 28-0 but it is always a joy to watch the very best of British and Irish rugby at work.

Rather worryingly early injuries to Alun Wynn Jones and Justin Tipuric may threaten their places in the squad to face the Springboks - let's hope not.

1384010.  Sun Jun 27, 2021 5:31 am Reply with quote

I understand that Messrs Wyn Jones and Tipuric willl not now travel, due to injuries sustained yesterday. Two big losses to the team.
Is Mr Jones Alun Wyn, or Alun Wyn-Jones? I have long been confusticated as to whether the Wyn is a Christian name or part of his surname.

1384026.  Sun Jun 27, 2021 6:53 am Reply with quote

His late father, who was a solicitor and also a club level rugbyist, was Tim Jones. Accordingly he is Jones, Alun Wyn.

Contrast with Delia Smith's husband, who is Wynn-Jones, Michael.

1384035.  Sun Jun 27, 2021 10:15 am Reply with quote

Now that could just be confusing....😉

1384406.  Fri Jul 02, 2021 10:08 am Reply with quote

2021 British & Irish Lions squad to tour South Africa


Josh Adams (Wales)
Bundee Aki (Ireland)
Dan Biggar (Wales)
Elliot Daly (England)
Gareth Davies (Wales)
Owen Farrell (England)
Chris Harris (Scotland)
Robbie Henshaw (Ireland)
Stuart Hogg (Scotland)
Conor Murray (Ireland) captain
Ali Price (Scotland)
Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales)
Finn Russell (Scotland)
Duhan van der Merwe (Scotland)
Anthony Watson (England)
Liam Williams (Wales)


Adam Beard (Wales)
Tadhg Beirne (Ireland)
Jack Conan (Ireland)
Luke Cowan-Dickie (England)
Tom Curry (England)
Zander Fagerson (Scotland)
Taulupe Faletau (Wales)
Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)
Jamie George (England)
Iain Henderson (Ireland)
Jonny Hill (England)
Maro Itoje (England)
Wyn Jones (Wales)
Courtney Lawes (England)
Josh Navidi (Wales)
Ken Owens (Wales)
Sam Simmonds (England)
Kyle Sinckler (England)
Rory Sutherland (Scotland)
Mako Vunipola (England)
Hamish Watson (Scotland)

England 12 (3B 9F)
Wales 10 (5B 5F)
Scotland 8 (5B 3F)
Ireland 7 (3B 4F)

1384420.  Fri Jul 02, 2021 2:20 pm Reply with quote

I think having Murray as skipper is an interesting choice. Strikes me as a fellow with a very sharp rugby brain.


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