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[2020 Autumn Nations Cup] Ireland vs Wales (13/11/20)

TRF_Olyy

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An okayish team at home to a poor one. Fairly confident we'll get the win but can't imagine anyone enjoying it all that much. We need a win or the tournament is a failure for us, unless we can turn our recent form against England around (unlikely).
 

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This will be Ireland scraping a win. Then being delighted without realising Wales are in transition also.
With the way the world is and how Covid has taken away something. Mixed with Irish approach of not really trying new things this is not an exciting time.
 

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I genuinely don't care about this fixture unless we're playing young players, which we won't so....
 

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Having thought more about it bringing in McCloskey is the worst decision in this squad, Burns included. McCloskey has been tried and proven not to be to standard again and again meanwhile we have young 13s showing seriously potential in Hume and Jimmy O'Brien. We've also replaced our only ball playing centre with another crash ball, just appears to be no thought going into anything.
 

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This will be Ireland scraping a win. Then being delighted without realising Wales are in transition also.
With the way the world is and how Covid has taken away something. Mixed with Irish approach of not really trying new things this is not an exciting time.
I don't think I'm alone in not really feeling excited for this. I love the November internationals normally but this is really just a poor substitute. We'll beat Wales and Georgia at home, take a beating at Twickenham, probably play and beat Scotland in the last game, all while missing an opportunity to pick youth.
Having thought more about it bringing in McCloskey is the worst decision in this squad, Burns included. McCloskey has been tried and proven not to be to standard again and again meanwhile we have young 13s showing seriously potential in Hume and Jimmy O'Brien. We've also replaced our only ball playing centre with another crash ball, just appears to be no thought going into anything.
Hume should really be in the squad with Ringrose out. Not calling up a replacement is just a poor decision, sure we didn't need one but we've just got crash ball options now. Don't understand why there are only 2 looseheads, it's a year away from becoming a huge problem for us but we seem desperate to pick as few as possible, when really we should be assessing multiple options. O'Sullivan should be called up, it's not clear whether he's up to it or not but we won't find out without having a look.

Got a horrible feeling Stockdale will start at 15 as well, and that we'll drop Keenan to accomodate both him and Lowe.
 

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I don't think I'm alone in not really feeling excited for this. I love the November internationals normally but this is really just a poor substitute. We'll beat Wales and Georgia at home, take a beating at Twickenham, probably play and beat Scotland in the last game, all while missing an opportunity to pick youth.

Hume should really be in the squad with Ringrose out. Not calling up a replacement is just a poor decision, sure we didn't need one but we've just got crash ball options now. Don't understand why there are only 2 looseheads, it's a year away from becoming a huge problem for us but we seem desperate to pick as few as possible, when really we should be assessing multiple options. O'Sullivan should be called up, it's not clear whether he's up to it or not but we won't find out without having a look.

Got a horrible feeling Stockdale will start at 15 as well, and that we'll drop Keenan to accomodate both him and Lowe.
But the November tests are usually against a different style. Here it is like a RWC warm up with strong feel. But no attempt to see if there is a change in how we go about business.
Like this is when we should be building depth. But for some reason in Ireland we refuse to mix and match then come a RWC can't understand why we fail.

Eddie, Kidney, Schmidt and now Farrell all fall in to that trap and all have a big fail on their card at World Cups.
 

dullonien

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Not expecting much from Wales to be honest. We've been very poor thus far.

Pivac needs to make changes, I'd go for:

01 Wyn Jones
02 Elliot Dee
03 Tomas Francis
04 AWJ
05 Jake Ball
06 Shane Lewis-Hughes
07 Justin Tipuric
08 Ross Moriarty

09 Gareth Davies
10 Callum Sheedy
11 Lewis Rees Zammit
12 Owen Watkin
13 Nick Tompkins
14 Josh Adams
15 Liam Williams

16 Sam Parry
17 Rhys Carre
18 Samson Lee
19 Will Rowlands
20 Taulupe Faletau
21 Kieran Hardy
22 Rhys Patchell
23 Leigh Halfpenny

Need our strongest scrummaging props to ensure clean ball, then I've gone for Ball to offer a little go forward. SLH was one of our better performing players, so give him another shot. Faletau still looking off the pace, so Moriarty in. If Navidi is fit I'd start him at 8, but think this is a game too soon.

JD2 has been poor so far, and even though I'm a little apprehensive about Topkins' defence, I'd give him a shot at 13 which suits him better than 12. Was tempted by Johnny Williams at 12, but went with the greater experience of Watkin.

Imo it's time to move on from Biggar. Give Sheedy a chance with Patchell on the bench. Or the other way round, not fussed. Liam showed enough last week to get the nod at fullback with LRZ unleashed (hopedully) on the wing.
 

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Rumoured Irish team:

Stockdale
Keenan
Farrell
Henshaw
Lowe
Sexton
Gibson-Park

Healy
Kelleher
Porter
Henderson
Ryan
O'Mahony
Van Der Flier
Dorris

Herring
E Byrne
Bealham
Beirne
Stander
Murray
R Byrne
Earls

Now not sure what to make of that. VDF deserves start. But Connors needs to learn too and should be in 23 as VDF can cover 6 too,
Back 3 looks like we are going down stubborn route with Stockdale. I 100% this will cost us in time.

Earls with no gametime is going to be thrown in off bench. A bit narrow minded with looking forward.
JGP is starting. Not sure if he is good enough to start at this level but fair enough with him starting but will Murray inject off bench or will we learn something?
Cian Healy has not been poor but are we relying 100% on him now.
 

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Positives and negatives, although a few things are probably wrong.

Kelleher starting is very good.

O'Mahony not so much, if we want to give CJ a break fair enough but its still a backwards step. The fact that there isn't another option at 6 excluding Doris/Stander is precisely why POM shouldn't be there, we badly need a new 6 (Doris isn't a long term option there). Out of the squad Beirne is probably the best option, I think he's potentially better suited there for international anyway. Ruddock is probably the best current option but there are valid reasons not to pick him given age. I'd much prefer Jack O'Donoghue or Wycherly (I know they're not in the squad).

Nice to see someone else start at 9 but we should really take it a step further and make a switch at 10 as well. JGP and Byrne have played together enough that it shouldn't be a huge worry. Not sure what the deal is at centre (Aki injured?) but I don't hate it. Unsurprisingly we're going to stick with Stockdale. I'm glad we're not ditching Keenan though. Conway doesn't deserve to be dropped either, it's not his fault no one passes to him, but dropping Keenan and keeping Stockdale after the last 2 games would have been awful. Earls on the bench makes absolutely no sense.

Probably worth taking with a grain of salt though, like I said these haven't been right since Farrell took over.
 

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Positives and negatives, although a few things are probably wrong.

Kelleher starting is very good.

O'Mahony not so much, if we want to give CJ a break fair enough but its still a backwards step. The fact that there isn't another option at 6 excluding Doris/Stander is precisely why POM shouldn't be there, we badly need a new 6 (Doris isn't a long term option there). Out of the squad Beirne is probably the best option, I think he's potentially better suited there for international anyway. Ruddock is probably the best current option but there are valid reasons not to pick him given age. I'd much prefer Jack O'Donoghue or Wycherly (I know they're not in the squad).

Nice to see someone else start at 9 but we should really take it a step further and make a switch at 10 as well. JGP and Byrne have played together enough that it shouldn't be a huge worry. Not sure what the deal is at centre (Aki injured?) but I don't hate it. Unsurprisingly we're going to stick with Stockdale. I'm glad we're not ditching Keenan though. Conway doesn't deserve to be dropped either, it's not his fault no one passes to him, but dropping Keenan and keeping Stockdale after the last 2 games would have been awful. Earls on the bench makes absolutely no sense.

Probably worth taking with a grain of salt though, like I said these haven't been right since Farrell took over.
The issue here with Keenan or Conway is if Stockdale has a howler then we have no other lad with decent experience at 15.
POM is there for lineout alone. Not saying it right but I do worry about a lot on balance of that backrow.

9. I have no issue with JGP starting but realistically at this level he will be shot from bench. Murray should have been left out. Sexton too as this is perfect game to test another 10. Bring Sexton back for England if you wish.
Will be very interesting but again we are not building depth.
 

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15. Jacob Stockdale
14. Hugo Keenan
13. Chris Farrell
12. Robbie Henshaw
11. James Lowe
10. Johnny Sexton (captain)
9. Jamison Gibson-Park

1. Cian Healy
2. Ronan Kelleher
3. Andrew Porter
4. Iain Henderson
5. James Ryan
6. Peter O’Mahony
7. Josh van der Flier
8. Caelan Doris

Replacements:



16. Dave Heffernan
17. Ed Byrne
18. Finlay Bealham
19. Quinn Roux
20. Will Connors
21. Conor Murray
22. Billy Burns
23. Keith Earls

Referee: Mathieu Raynal [FFR].

Mostly right by Thornley, except for Roux, Connors and Burns on the bench.

The team will get a load of criticism and there's a decent amount warranted but there are some positives. Also there are 7 personnel changes, not sure how many more changes could be made without being in a position where we couldn't learn anything.

Kelleher getting his first start. He hasn't played for a while so not sure what to expect for this game but in the longrun he brings the dynamism we've been crying out for at hooker.

Having Henderson back as well, Beirne was really good against France but in the secondrow he just doesn't bring the same physicality as Henderson can. I agree with LF that I'd really love to see him get a go at 6.

JGP at 9 is a good step as well. He's obviously not a long term solution but we need to try something different. There was an article on the 42 which mentioned something I'd been thinking about since the France game and that is that we don't really see Murray snipe anymore. Obviously you don't want your 9 buried at the bottom of the ruck but it's something that can slow down a defence's linespeed, which considering how we've fared against blitz defences would be really useful.

Lowe making his debut as well is good to see. He lacks the top end pace but he does offer a completely different dynamic at his best.

Those are my main positives.

I'm indifferent about Sexton and Stockdale, they're not positives but I don't think they are blatant negatives either. We've a 9 making his first international start and I can't remember if Henshaw and Farrell have much together at all. Again I also don't think the other outhalfs are the standard required. Byrne unfortunately lacks the athleticism, and even though Burns has put in some good performances for Ulster he lacks consistency and seems to struggle under pressure. WIth Stockdale at 15 I think he has the traits to eventually be a top 15 and people keep saying Wales are bad or this is a development competition, so why not use this as an opportunity to keep developing him there? He's had two names there for Ireland and they were not the calamitous experience people are painting. They certainly weren't amazing but overall they were just mixed really.

I have a few negatives not sure how fair they are given the players who are unavailable.

Healy is a borderline negative, his play is fine but I wouldn't mind giving him the rest that even being a sub provides. I don't think Ed Byrne is a long term option at this level.

POM starting is as MM says presumably because of the lineout with a rookie hooker but I think it's pretty unnecessary. The Welsh lineout isn't exactly a standout and I don't think having Beirne at 6 or even Conan would make such a substantial difference that we'd be in trouble. My main reason for seeing it as a negative is the strong rumours that he's off at the end of the year. It just seems a bit pointless. I am quite happy to see Stander get a well deserved rest though.

Farrell at 13 is a bit meh as well. He's had some excellent games for Ireland including winning MotM against Wales before. However, he hasn't consistently hit those heights. I'd rather we'd tried someone with a higher skill level or playmaking nous. Interesting that the 42 article expressly says Stander is rested it just says Aki is dropped.

On the bench, most of it is a bit meh. Connors and Murray are the only players I'd be ok with starting a game of any import. Maybe Roux even though I think Beirne should be in ahead of him.
 
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Positives and negatives, although a few things are probably wrong.

Kelleher starting is very good.

O'Mahony not so much, if we want to give CJ a break fair enough but its still a backwards step. The fact that there isn't another option at 6 excluding Doris/Stander is precisely why POM shouldn't be there, we badly need a new 6 (Doris isn't a long term option there). Out of the squad Beirne is probably the best option, I think he's potentially better suited there for international anyway. Ruddock is probably the best current option but there are valid reasons not to pick him given age. I'd much prefer Jack O'Donoghue or Wycherly (I know they're not in the squad).

Nice to see someone else start at 9 but we should really take it a step further and make a switch at 10 as well. JGP and Byrne have played together enough that it shouldn't be a huge worry. Not sure what the deal is at centre (Aki injured?) but I don't hate it. Unsurprisingly we're going to stick with Stockdale. I'm glad we're not ditching Keenan though. Conway doesn't deserve to be dropped either, it's not his fault no one passes to him, but dropping Keenan and keeping Stockdale after the last 2 games would have been awful. Earls on the bench makes absolutely no sense.

Probably worth taking with a grain of salt though, like I said these haven't been right since Farrell took over.
Leavy’s obviously at a very early stage in his comeback, but he could be a good option at 6. Beirne is the obvious option at this stage.

It’s a shame Baird is injured because I think he and Ryan have the potential to be a great combination.

Stockdale has been in poor form for quite a while now, but I can see why Farrell wants to persist. He has the talent and the physical attributes to be a good fullback and with Larmour injured, I’d argue that there’s possibly more to be gained by persevering than switching to Keenan or Conway.
 

The Alpha Bro

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Kelleher, JGP, Keenan and Lowe big positives.

Strange rotation otherwise:
- Henderson probably being given a generous chance to get ahead of Beirne but I don't think change is needed here.
- POM is just an incredible call, he's clearly not a starter, and an entirely known entity, I'm fine with picking our best available players but old guys who aren't starters fall outside that for me, would prefer a handful of others.
- Farrell is good to see but I would like Hume in there, looks a baller.
- Sexton is fine considering the other 10s in the squad, I think Harry Byrne is ready though.
- Stockdale, we'll see, I think he has potential there but I'm not convinced rn.

I'm still lacking faith.
 

TRF_Olyy

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'mon the Billy

Starting Lions 10
 

The Alpha Bro

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I like Billy Burns, seems like a decent lad. But I hate everything about him being in our squad.
 

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Feel like pure ****, just want Joey Carbery back.
I do believe the entirely baseless assumption that we would have won the world cup if Joey stayed at 15. It corresponded with happy times.
 

big ginger 8

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The team will get a load of criticism and there's a decent amount warranted but there are some positives. Also there are 7 personnel changes, not sure how many more changes could be made without being in a position where we couldn't learn anything.

Kelleher getting his first start. He hasn't played for a while so not sure what to expect for this game but in the longrun he brings the dynamism we've been crying out for at hooker.

Having Henderson back as well, Beirne was really good against France but in the secondrow he just doesn't bring the same physicality as Henderson can. I agree with LF that I'd really love to see him get a go at 6.

JGP at 9 is a good step as well. He's obviously not a long term solution but we need to try something different. There was an article on the 42 which mentioned something I'd been thinking about since the France game and that is that we don't really see Murray snipe anymore. Obviously you don't want your 9 buried at the bottom of the ruck but it's something that can slow down a defence's linespeed, which considering how we've fared against blitz defences would be really useful.

Lowe making his debut as well is good to see. He lacks the top end pace but he does offer a completely different dynamic at his best.

Those are my main positives.

I'm indifferent about Sexton and Stockdale, they're not positives but I don't think they are blatant negatives either. We've a 9 making his first international start and I can't remember if Henshaw and Farrell have much together at all. Again I also don't think the other outhalfs are the standard required. Byrne unfortunately lacks the athleticism, and even though Burns has put in some good performances for Ulster he lacks consistency and seems to struggle under pressure. WIth Stockdale at 15 I think he has the traits to eventually be a top 15 and people keep saying Wales are bad or this is a development competition, so why not use this as an opportunity to keep developing him there? He's had two names there for Ireland and they were not the calamitous experience people are painting. They certainly weren't amazing but overall they were just mixed really.

I have a few negatives not sure how fair they are given the players who are unavailable.

Healy is a borderline negative, his play is fine but I wouldn't mind giving him the rest that even being a sub provides. I don't think Ed Byrne is a long term option at this level.

POM starting is as MM says presumably because of the lineout with a rookie hooker but I think it's pretty unnecessary. The Welsh lineout isn't exactly a standout and I don't think having Beirne at 6 or even Conan would make such a substantial difference that we'd be in trouble. My main reason for seeing it as a negative is the strong rumours that he's off at the end of the year. It just seems a bit pointless. I am quite happy to see Stander get a well deserved rest though.

Farrell at 13 is a bit meh as well. He's had some excellent games for Ireland including winning MotM against Wales before. However, he hasn't consistently hit those heights. I'd rather we'd tried someone with a higher skill level or playmaking nous. Interesting that the 42 article expressly says Stander is rested it just says Aki is dropped.

On the bench, most of it is a bit meh. Connors and Murray are the only players I'd be ok with starting a game of any import. Maybe Roux even though I think Beirne should be in ahead of him.

*originally part of my post of the team selection
 

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