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12-18/07/2021 internationals without match threads

Umaga's Witness

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A place To discuss this weeks tests that dont have match threads. Probably that means all those that dont involve england, wales, ireland, scotland, lions, or SA teams.
But im not trying to stop people posting match threads, just too often i come to say or read something and there is no match thread for the lesser teams like tonga, samoa, fiji, wallabies, france, all blacks.
 

Umaga's Witness

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First game of the week is wallabies france.

i fell asleep during the second half so cant say too much but…
I like a lot if what the wallabies are trying to do and you have to expect given their level of ambition that their style will take time and they wont be overly effective at the start if the season. So despite their loss id have to say there are encouraging signs. Tom wright was awful though. I remember thinking early on that he was having a horrific game and then, before i fell asleep, i counted at least 5 more f ups. One of the worst individual performances ive seen.

interesting to see the contrast in styles with france taking little risk, clearly highly professional players playing a simple but effective game and taking opportunities from turnovers. They could probably field three or four competitive teams like that.
 

Kiwiwomble

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i enjoyed the game, not sure the aussies can be too happy losing to France B team (maybe C team)

cant help but think something creative like mini tournament Fiji/Aussie/france/North Island/South Island wouldnt have been more use and given some closer competitions
 

Umaga's Witness

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i enjoyed the game, not sure the aussies can be too happy losing to France B team (maybe C team)

cant help but think something creative like mini tournament Fiji/Aussie/france/North Island/South Island wouldnt have been more use and given some closer competitions
I dont reckon rennie will be too upset about losing. Despite not being full strenght france have a lot of depth, they were a pretty good team. There was some promise in what the aussies were doing, and the style of play they are attempting cant be expected to come off right away, requires time.
 

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In answer to the opening question, part of the influence might be a lack of coverage over here. There would be plenty of people interested if we didn't have to pay over and above what we already do to watch all rugby. I would've loved to have seen NZ v Fiji and Samoa v Tonga but there wasn't coverage available to my knowledge and if there was, it's probably would've cost extra to paying for BT and Sky Sports.

I really hope that Fiji can kick on from last week and this week, I think the Tonga Samoa game will be tighter than last week but Samoa will still win
 

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Yeah I think Australia will be a very good side in a couple of years. I’ve enjoyed both games. Koroibete appears to be their best player in both games (or at least best back) Tupou was very good and I do like the look of Valentini. Set up nicely for the decider next week.
 

Umaga's Witness

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Yeah I think Australia will be a very good side in a couple of years. I’ve enjoyed both games. Koroibete appears to be their best player in both games (or at least best back) Tupou was very good and I do like the look of Valentini. Set up nicely for the decider next week.
tupou is hit and miss. He has games where he is one of the best players in thw world, then hell have a gAme where he knocks the ball on five times. If he can get consistent hell be world class. And thats what the wallabies are missing, compared to what they usually have (although you could say its been a gradual decline), world class players. Typically theyve had a few world class players, a few close to world class, and the rest are smart and accurate toilers. At the moment they have koroibete, tupou who is sometimes workd class, and a lot middling players who are up and down. If they gain some experience and confidence (thats the hard bit, it seems as a collective their confidence is low, so will take some great coaching and leadership) they should be able to get more consistent, wilson has the ability to become world class, the likes of paisami, perese, petaia have the ability to come close.
you do wonder whether they should pick skelton, arnold, arnold, coleman, or rodda in the locks
 

Welsh Exile

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tupou is hit and miss. He has games where he is one of the best players in thw world, then hell have a gAme where he knocks the ball on five times. If he can get consistent hell be world class. And thats what the wallabies are missing, compared to what they usually have (although you could say its been a gradual decline), world class players. Typically theyve had a few world class players, a few close to world class, and the rest are smart and accurate toilers. At the moment they have koroibete, tupou who is sometimes workd class, and a lot middling players who are up and down. If they gain some experience and confidence (thats the hard bit, it seems as a collective their confidence is low, so will take some great coaching and leadership) they should be able to get more consistent, wilson has the ability to become world class, the likes of paisami, perese, petaia have the ability to come close.
you do wonder whether they should pick skelton, arnold, arnold, coleman, or rodda in the locks
He wasn’t pulling up trees but I thought that lock Philips looks like he’s got potential and the little bits of Oz club rugby I’ve watched there’s been a couple of young locks that look decent but they might benefit from going for some more experience in that area perhaps. I rate Rennie as a coach and I’ve always liked the way they try and play. Not looking forward to playing them in the group in the next WC.
 

Umaga's Witness

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He wasn’t pulling up trees but I thought that lock Philips looks like he’s got potential and the little bits of Oz club rugby I’ve watched there’s been a couple of young locks that look decent but they might benefit from going for some more experience in that area perhaps. I rate Rennie as a coach and I’ve always liked the way they try and play. Not looking forward to playing them in the group in the next WC.
The wallabies locks arent bad, and i actually really like swain. But they just have a lot of quality overseas, skelton in particular who seems to have improved hugely since going to europe and is now a bit of a superstar, in fact three of the four starting locks in the euro final were australian.
 

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I'm keen to hear your opinion on this: i think the whole 'France are amazing and have infinite depth' is bullshit. Sure, they have a lot of players but where are the results? Even when they wern't playing their supposed 'C' (or are we down to D now?) team, they didn't get results in the 6 nations. They didn't get results last World Cup. When was the last time they even won the 6 nations?

I think beating Australia at home would be a huge achievement but flipping the narrative, they are essentially beating the worst Wallaby team of the last 30 years completely gutted of all it's talent by international poachers. The starting 9-10-12 combination for the decider have 16 caps between them, none of which were together.

Are the French players just being made to look good by the Top14, where they don't get tested against Bokke or All Blacks? (the actual favourites for RWC23).

(having made this comment i fully expect them to win the next RWC)
 
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Geordiefalcon

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The African WC Qualifying rounds are producing some interesting results.....

Ivory Coast beating Nambia (adimittedly shy of most of the first choice players)
Senegal Beating Kenya...

Could we see the possibility of new Countries starting to over take the old guard...? That Senegal side had some massive lads (some could do with some conditioning work to be fair)

 

Umaga's Witness

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I'm keen to hear your opinion on this: i think the whole 'France are amazing and have infinite depth' is bullshit. Sure, they have a lot of players but where are the results? Even when they wern't playing their supposed 'C' (or are we down to D now?) team, they didn't get results in the 6 nations. They didn't get results last World Cup. When was the last time they even won the 6 nations?

I think beating Australia at home would be a huge achievement but flipping the narrative, they are essentially beating the worst Wallaby team of the last 30 years completely gutted of all it's talent by international poachers. The starting 9-10-12 combination for the decider have 16 caps between them, none of which were together.

Are the French players just being made to look good by the Top14, where they don't get tested against Bokke or All Blacks? (the actual favourites for RWC23).

(having made this comment i fully expect them to win the next RWC)
They werent far off winning the six nations, would have if they didnt choke in their last game against scotland. And their b team almost beat england. They have a strong top 14 comp and tou can see that in this side that is playing the wallabies - they are relarively professional and diaciplined players with pretty good skills and fitness.

clearly australian rugby isnt in a good place. My mention of the french having depth and this b/c/d whatwver team being pretty good was only made in The context that the wallabies dont have good players and are trying a lot, therefore shouldnt be too disappointed about a narrow loss to this french team.
 

Umaga's Witness

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The African WC Qualifying rounds are producing some interesting results.....

Ivory Coast beating Nambia (adimittedly shy of most of the first choice players)
Senegal Beating Kenya...

Could we see the possibility of new Countries starting to over take the old guard...? That Senegal side had some massive lads (some could do with some conditioning work to be fair)

Interesting, but Realistically only namibia will go through i think, and i dont think any of the other african sides will conpete with a full strength namibia?

on the all blacks side, some interesting selections. For the most part i think theyve picked on recent form, except taylor is probably given another go given his super rugby, rather than test, form, beauden and retallick given another chance off the bench because they are coming back from japan, akira and frizell given more opportunities due to low game time.
 

Geordiefalcon

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Interesting, but Realistically only namibia will go through i think, and i dont think any of the other african sides will conpete with a full strength namibia?
At the moment yes, a full strength Namibia will be too much for them...but these countries have big populations and some huge individuals...if a few of them start getting experience elsewhere,...Europe or SA for example...things can start to change.

It'll be interesting to watch over the next 10 years or so.
 

BPM

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I'm keen to hear your opinion on this: i think the whole 'France are amazing and have infinite depth' is bullshit. Sure, they have a lot of players but where are the results? Even when they wern't playing their supposed 'C' (or are we down to D now?) team, they didn't get results in the 6 nations. They didn't get results last World Cup. When was the last time they even won the 6 nations?

I think beating Australia at home would be a huge achievement but flipping the narrative, they are essentially beating the worst Wallaby team of the last 30 years completely gutted of all it's talent by international poachers. The starting 9-10-12 combination for the decider have 16 caps between them, none of which were together.

Are the French players just being made to look good by the Top14, where they don't get tested against Bokke or All Blacks? (the actual favourites for RWC23).

(having made this comment i fully expect them to win the next RWC)
I still think it’s pretty early in French ‘re-boot’ and while the big results might not be there yet. I think it would be very dangerous to dismiss them as you seem to be doing.

They’ve done consistently well at age grade in recent years and a lot of that talent is following the likes of Dupont and Ntamack in to their first team. In 2yrs some of those will have established themselves in the side for a home World Cup.

They still lack a bit of the killer instinct to see out tight games and still have the propensity to implode. However, as Umaga’s Witness said, they were very close to winning the Six Nations and probably would have won the Autumn Nations Cup if they had played their first choice XV in the final. I can easily see them winning at least one Six Nations between now and the World Cup.

Rennie is attempting a similar re-boot with Australia, but is doing so against the backdrop of years of mismanagement from the Aussie rugby administration which has (at least partly) led to a rugby’s relative lack of popularity and comparatively very poor Australian franchises. Along with massive competition for talent from League and AFL, it’s a very tough set of circumstances to contend with. Australia has some very good emerging talent, but Rennie is having to blood them very early because of a real lack of quality senior players. For example, Lolesio is having to find his way as a test 10 with very little experience either side of him. I don’t have the numbers, but Rennie must have handed out a massive amount of new caps during his short tenure. He really did have to rip it up and start again and deserves a huge amount of credit for having the bravery to actually do it.

I’d also question whether the lack of Aussie resources are down to ‘poaching’ or down to players actively seeking better opportunities.

Ultimately, a series win could be really important for both sides. A win for France with a depleted squad makes a statement and gives them a more tangible victory to point to. A win for Australia gives a very young squad a much needed confidence boost.
 

BPM

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The African WC Qualifying rounds are producing some interesting results.....

Ivory Coast beating Nambia (adimittedly shy of most of the first choice players)
Senegal Beating Kenya...

Could we see the possibility of new Countries starting to over take the old guard...? That Senegal side had some massive lads (some could do with some conditioning work to be fair)

Given the success of players from Nigerian backgrounds (currently and historically), I’m surprised Nigeria don’t seem to be participating a great deal in rugby.
 

Welsh Exile

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They still lack a bit of the killer instinct to see out tight games and still have the propensity to implode.
This, for me, is the only thing they have to sort out leading up to the WC. Luckily for us, it’s so ingrained in their culture I’m not sure it is something that can be coached out of them.

Mind you, we can’t speak seeing as we dominated France for 70mins and had a GS in the bag only to implode and blow it so maybe just forget what I just said above.
 

Welsh Exile

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Given the success of players from Nigerian backgrounds (currently and historically), I’m surprised Nigeria don’t seem to be participating a great deal in rugby.
I saw Itoje talking about the very same thing on a pod. Was interesting and I was unaware just how many great players have come from Nigeria or west Africa.
 

Geordiefalcon

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Given the success of players from Nigerian backgrounds (currently and historically), I’m surprised Nigeria don’t seem to be participating a great deal in rugby.
Exactly...that is a surprise. i think it'll be a matter of time.

I really wont be surprised to see a few of these big populated African Countries start to make some big gains on the African Continent, and Namibia might find itself struggling to keep up...
 

Umaga's Witness

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Interesting stuff. Who are some great players from nigeria or west africa?
 
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