[2018 November Tests] Wales vs Tonga (17/11/18)

Discussion in 'International Test Matches' started by TRF_heineken, Nov 12, 2018.

  1. ragerancher

    ragerancher Senior Member

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    Whilst Wales deserve their ranking now I think part of the reason for not saying they are world beaters is due to how Wales acted in the early 2010s. I remember seeing player rankings that put Wales only 1 point behind the all Black's, saying Wales were world beaters despite repeatedly losing to SH sides, saying no English players would get into the Welsh side, that the lions tour of Australia was a Wales win and the other countries contributions didn't really matter. That sort of stuff grates and stank of Welsh fans thinking they were better than they were. Now Wales get to a high ranking again and those same comments are beginning to pop up, especially as they coincide with an English downturn. That probably plays a part in why people don't give Wales so much credit, we've been here before not that long ago.
     
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  3. The5thOfficial

    The5thOfficial Senior Member

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    Not at all. You've got me all wrong! I watched all the games. Anyone would admit that England had a howler of a first half. I even didn't pay Sky to watch the game because of the build up and expectation that England would 'smash' Japan - why pay NowTV for that? But now I realise that that was England arrogance rubbing off on Eddie Jones. Loved the Irish game - and the Scottish game was also good. Wales started well, and their second half was immense. No obsession here.
     
  4. bushytop

    bushytop Senior Member

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    Fair enough... good to know why this is a ‘thing’.

    With regards to the ‘... no English players would get into the Welsh side’ I would have to imagine that was more of a trolling technique to get a reaction, which it seems it has.

    People from all countries get carried away with some good performances, no offence to my fellow celts the Scots... but it seemed at the start of every 6 nations for the last 10 years or more their expectations were well ahead of their performances (that has changed now of course and they are a serious test side).

    All I would say is if you’re Welsh, rugby constitutes so much of the fabric of your being that after many (MANY) years of pain and suffering (the 80’s apart from 88, the 90’s apart from 93 and the noughties apart from 05) that maybe we (as a nation of fans not wanting to be drubbed into the dirt on the regular) got a little carried away. Saying that, they (the team of 2011, 2012 and 2013ish) were a damn good team regardless of the Warrenball criticism broadly hurled around, though as you say, just fell short against the then big 3.

    Thanks for your reply as it is something that has tickled my curiosity, all I would say is there are bad apples everywhere (in every country) and the type of comments attributed to Wales and by Welsh fans/media (that you have mentioned) could be made by fans/media of any country when their country has a period of success that follows abject failure (remember, the rest of Britain are force fed the English media as their own).
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
  5. Bruce_ma_goose

    Bruce_ma_goose Senior Member

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    Several times hardly makes him a regular does it? I doubt he is considered a nailed on starter on the wing. My point is simply that improving Welsh depth means that fringe players are slotting in and Wales maintain a high level.

    As for your fullback in the "biggest" league. Maybe if more Welsh fans like yourself (and your union) focussed on making the excellent Pro14 the top grossing league rather than forever casting covetous glances across your eastern border, then the Welsh club game would be in a healthier place?

    Not sure why I'd want to watch your English fullback in the Gallagher league when I can watch Hogg, Minozzi, Kearney, Lamour and Halfpenny (j/k) in the Pro14.
     
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  6. oj121

    oj121 Senior Member

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    Sorry when did he become my english fullback? With the money and attendances involved its hard to argue (unless you just look at salaries) that the English league is currently more popular that any others. Just because there are good players in the pro 14 thst doesnt negate that there are some in England or vice versa.

    You cant force people to watch and there doesnt seem to be the fan base, especially in the small countries like Wales and Scotland to get to the same levels financially so I am really not sure what you are suggesting.
     
  7. oj121

    oj121 Senior Member

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    Just for a laugh I have read the player ratings in the daily mail.

    Owen Watkin was given a 5/10! Wow just wow!
     
  8. bushytop

    bushytop Senior Member

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    Says it all really doesn’t it... turning over the ball on multiple occasions, missing no tackles (that I can recall) and claiming multiple restarts and recycling is clearly worth mediocre marks around them parts.
     
  9. Dai Yorkshire

    Dai Yorkshire Senior Member

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    I don't believe any welsh player would deserve a 5, Watkins like the rest did their part well, cant see many of this team getting in against SA if any. I like Ellis Jenkins but he needs more game time .But Tipric Moriarty and Lidiate will be hard too move. but one to watch me thinks.
     
  10. bushytop

    bushytop Senior Member

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    A lot of ones to watch moving forward I reckon. Obvs the first XV are pretty much the first XV atm but the younglings are pushing their claims at just the right time. Think it ‘should’ push the incumbents to higher levels of performance and (while never ideal) we can be a little less wary of injuries to big names.

    Could be some international retirements after the RWC, so we can rest easier knowing the cupboards are stocked.
     
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  11. dullonien

    dullonien Senior Member

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    If I were Gats I'd be seriously considering a number of those that played v Tonga to be involved v SA:

    - Liam Williams. Deserves to start, and imo that should be at the expense of Halfpenny.

    -Owen Watkin. I'd be very tempted to start Watkin (who was excellent I thought), instead of Parkes who's having a bit of a lull.

    - Rhys Patchell. I'd have Patchell in the 23, not fussed which of him or Anscombe starts.

    - Tomos Williams/Aled Davies. Both put their hands up. I'd maybe start Aled Davies v SA with Williams or Gareth Davies on the bench.

    - Ellis Jenkins. Maybe wasn't exceptional v Tonga, but I'd like to see him and Tipuric played together, again test the dual 7 approach. Don't think Lydiate has been all that tbh, although I understand why he may suit SA's physical game.

    - Jake Ball. Thought he was excellent v Tonga ( my MOTM) and I'd start him v SA with Hill on the bench.

    - Dee/Elias. Was really impressed with Elias off the bench. Dee was good as well. I've thought for a while that Dee especially is good enough to get a start in one of the big games. Ken is still first choice, but it'd be good to test Dee or Elias from the start.
     
  12. Dai Yorkshire

    Dai Yorkshire Senior Member

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    well said, I liked the 6 never seen him or heard of him before.
     
  13. bushytop

    bushytop Senior Member

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    Just picked my XV for SA on the beeb...

    1. Nicky Smith
    2. Ken Owens
    3. Tomas Francis
    4. Jake Ball
    5. Alan Wyn Jones
    6. Dan Lydiate
    7. Justin Tipuric
    8. Ross Moriarty
    9.Aled Davies
    10. Gareth Anscombe
    11. George North
    12. Hadleigh Parkes
    13. Jonathan Davies
    14. Josh Adams
    15. Liam Williams

    May as well include my bench while I’m here...

    16. Elliot Dee
    17. Rob Evans
    18. Dillon Lewis
    19. Cory Hill
    20. Ellis Jenkins
    21. Gareth Davies
    22. Dan Biggar
    23. Rhys Patchell

    Not really reinventing the wheel but some of the tight calls were:

    splitting jackaling props Nicky Smith and Dillon Lewis so that there would always be one of them on the pitch (assuming that Gats changes the front row as a unit). 2nd row Ball just looked great yesterday and Beard could do with a breather. Wainwright was awesome yesterday and a Jenkins-Tips axis is interesting but Lyds is taylor made for the Boks imo.

    Aled Davies is a ‘typical’ scrum half with no flash but does the basics impeccably well, I reckon that might serve us better from the start and then Gareth Davies screams finisher (to quote Eddie) to me. Anscombe has done nothing wrong and while Patch would be my choice if 100%, I reckon he is still to reach his peak fitness having just returned.

    Hadleigh over Watkin was quite a tricky call but the familiarity with Fox swung it.

    Liam at 15 as a) I think that back 3 could be terrifying if all play well and b) I’ve heard Halfpenny hasn’t recovered fully.
     
  14. oj121

    oj121 Senior Member

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    Tomos Williams does everything Aled Davies does with extra pace and xfactor. I just dont get the obsession with Aled Davies. Play him and teams will line up the 10 as they know what is coming. He run a decent support line for his try but I would expect that of any 9.

    If Wales need a nuts and bolts 9 then use Lloyd Williams but with Aled there is always a better 9 in any area you can name. He is mr average and thats fine to have in the squad but not what you need to win games.

    If we want to play flat with an attacking 10 then the defence needs to be punished if they push up. Aled Davies suits Biggar as he offers no running threat and stands deep but not for Patchell/Anscombe.
     
  15. oj121

    oj121 Senior Member

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    Bighar and Patchell on the bench? That will never happen. Need a 12/13/14 cover there.
     
  16. bushytop

    bushytop Senior Member

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    Assuming you go with a 5-3 split (& 2 of those three are obvs gonna be scrum half and outside half) you're never going to be able to cover every back position fully (unless you have an Elliot Daly who can play centre, wing and 15).

    Therefore you can never cover every eventuality... 'but' Patchell would clearly be my FB cover but also 12 depending on needs and musts. North could be brought inside for Fox if required (though I would clearly hope not). If a wing were forced off (or inside as I've suggested above) Sanjay could be moved out with Patchell (or Anscombe in fairness) would step on to full back.

    Additionally, if Lloyd Williams could fill in on the wing under exceptional circumstances during the world cup, I would assume that Anscombe would be able to at least 'do a job' there too depending on how the cards fell.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
  17. MikeTheNative

    MikeTheNative Senior Member

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    That went a lot better than expected. Other than that poor 20 minutes, where Wales made a number of errors to keep giving Tonga field position, they seemed to have finally found their attack. (albeit against a poor Tonga team). I'm sure I saw that Biggar was man of the match, obviously he played well, kicked at goal well. But his kicking from hand was poor, wasted a few good opportunities and gave Tonga field position with a few poorly executed kicks. You can quite clearly see the difference when Patchell came on, he was taking the ball a lot flatter to the gain line and offers a running threat. That's the problem with Biggar playing that game, he doesn't offer any threat with the ball in hand so you know what is going to happen.
    Very impressed with Jake Ball, Beard was ok again but the difference between the two locks was high. Seb Davies had a good game at 8, just wish he had a game a lock. Decent performances all round but I still fear the keep the ball in play tactic, I don't think it is going to work against SA.
     
  18. oj121

    oj121 Senior Member

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    Haha Lloyd Williams is pretty damn quick though
     
  19. bushytop

    bushytop Senior Member

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    So is Anscombe.
     
  20. The Alpha Bro

    The Alpha Bro Fat Boi

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    The Top 14 is the bigger league, marginally by average attendance this year, clearly by total attendance due to the extra two teams, and astronomically by TV viewers. Most Top 14 clubs turn a profit too, it's arguably the best run sports League in the world after America's big ones.

    I understand Bruce not knowing Adams, I remember seeing him playing for Wales and not knowing who he was when he debuted and I hadn't come across him since, unless he's playing Exeter or Sarries or playing against an Irish team regularly in the Heino few enough people over here will know who he is. It's probably similar in Scotland too while Wales seem to have more of a connection with English clubs.

    As for Wales, I was going to wait until after SA to comment but you guys look like you really need some compliments. I think you're in a great position, and deserving of your third in the world spot at this moment, obviously SA is the pivotal game to keep this though. I think Wales are fantastic at turning guys who are seemingly bang average club players into very good internationals (that might just be an outsider's perception though, I don't know how you rate our club guys, it might be the same story) and even at their very worst Wales are hard to beat. Right now they're pretty formidable, I fancy them as favourites when we go to Cardiff next year and they should top their pool and make the semis given their route next year. The biggest weakness I see in the squad is the 10/12 axis, because of the limited talent there, in comparison to guys like Sexton, Henshaw, Barrett, Farrell, Pollard, Crotty, Manu, Aki, ALB etc... I think SA and England have more potential going into the RWC but it's up to them to realise that, right now Wales are in the driving seat to be the leading dark horse.
     
  21. Dai Yorkshire

    Dai Yorkshire Senior Member

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    I watched this game again because a few here have voiced reasons for Seb Davies's inclusion in the welsh team, well I cant see that he is in front of Hill, Beard, nor Ball in the second row, as for his prowess at 8 when every one is fit he would be third choice at best.
     
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