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Entretaintment value of pool B

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leicester

Guest
Caucau ain't going! Crying shame really but he seems to have difficulty putting country before self. Good news for Wales, bad news for Fiji. Still, I'd not bet against the Fijians producing some quality rugby at some stage in the tournament. It isn't just Caucau who can entertain for the Islanders. I remember Naevo (second row) from 2003... and then there was that awesome Ligari try against Japan!
 
D

DC

Guest
Ok, i'll make a deal, play Jones at 10 but please - PLEASE - don't choose Parker...especially along side Shanklin. Terrible centre partnership. [/b]

Sonny Parker is ****.
 
S

shtove

Guest
i honestly feel that australia will come in second in this group behind wales.

now before i start getting berated for that comment heres my ramification for believing that way.

Wales will be playing at home, the millenium stadium. Obviously that has to be worth some points Wales way. Now i know im going to get some bullshit response from an aussie saying "but we like beat wales at home in the internationals!!11." That is very true, but unlike the autumn internationals where wales could hardly give two shits about it, they will come to play. Its the RWC its the hope of the entire nation on their shoulders and i know theyll be bringing it, especially since they will be jacked up by their own crowd behind them.[/b]

Aus tend to lose the head in attack - in the mid-field early on + off the base of a weak scrum - and that leads to cheap points. This summer it happened against Wales, and in the 2nd SA match and both AB matches.

Wales can't do much in the scrum, so midfield is where they can best harry the Wallabies. But do they use the twinkle-toes of Hook/Henderson at centre, or the meathead Shanklin? Hmmm.

And Larkham doesn't look too clever. People say he's deceptively slow, but I think he's just slow. Could get a bit panicky with Popham, Charvis and Williams snorting down his neck. And Gregan isn't captain, so they're still banking on a shakey Giteau at #9.

Milennium will be red hot for this match. But I expect Aus to take it, with Latham slicing through.

And stick with Jones at 10 - all that experience + you have to have faith.
 
D

darwin_23

Guest
And Gregan isn't captain, so they're still banking on a shakey Giteau at #9.

[/b]

Despite not being captain Gregan will be at 9 for the big games. I think this could be a close game, based on the performances (or lack of) of the Australian team on their recent end of year tours...
 
D

dullonien

Guest
I don't quite understand why Hook is regarded as too young or too inexperienced. If he's good enough, he's old enough in my opinion. There's too much of the 'slowly introducing players to the international scene' nowerdays. He is the best no 10 we have at the moment, he deserves his spot in that position in the crunch matches come september. It's Stephen Jones who has to win back the right to the shirt imo, he's gotta show what he's made of in the warm up matches.

Hook is at 10 or on the bench for me. He isn't an international 12, that spot is reserved for Henson IF he shows he deserves it in the warm-up's. He's got the talent Wales need if they want to progress past the quarters. If not, then for me Gareth Thomas steps into the role better than Hook.

Shanks is by far the best 13 we have, it will make a huge difference having him back, he's a deffinate starter, and I desagree DC, he's deffinately still got it (+ Henson isn't a 13). I will agree with you on the Parker issue though.
 
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DC

Guest
I don't quite understand why Hook is regarded as too young or too inexperienced. If he's good enough, he's old enough in my opinion. There's too much of the 'slowly introducing players to the international scene' nowerdays. He is the best no 10 we have at the moment, he deserves his spot in that position in the crunch matches come september. It's Stephen Jones who has to win back the right to the shirt imo, he's gotta show what he's made of in the warm up matches.

Hook is at 10 or on the bench for me. He isn't an international 12, that spot is reserved for Henson IF he shows he deserves it in the warm-up's. He's got the talent Wales need if they want to progress past the quarters. If not, then for me Gareth Thomas steps into the role better than Hook.

Shanks is by far the best 13 we have, it will make a huge difference having him back, he's a deffinate starter, and I desagree DC, he's deffinately still got it (+ Henson isn't a 13). I will agree with you on the Parker issue though. [/b]

I'd agree to oust Jones if it were say a 6N match but the world cup is a whole new set of pressure, and if i remember from 03 Jones really turned it on, of course Hook is the future but i look at him right now in the same light as Toby Flood headed into the world cup.. they will either:

a.) Perform immensly for their nations.
or
b.) Fold like a lawn chair under the pressure.

If he gets some game time in the warm ups and is in absolute perfect form and Jones is till plotting along by all means i'd give Hook the nod.

Im not 100% convinced with shanklin at the moment though, i mean i loved the guy back in the grand slam year, he was immense! If he finds that form again i'd slot him in at 13 outside of Henson at 12.

Honestly, absolutely God honestly, i feel wales are losing who could have possibly been the best center in the world in Gavin Henson. The way they have misused him these past few years is just so ridiculous, ive thought of it like this, with Gav in the squad look at what they acheived (Grand Slam in 2005) and without him in the squad look what theyve accomplished... **** all.
 
R

RC

Guest
Yeah, they've abused Gav in the past few years and he's a player that relies heavily on his confidence.. So what do they go and do? Keep him on the bench...bring him on at fly half...bring him on at full back.
The only time they showed faith in him was against Oz when we drew - and he fronted up when needed, he played well.
Granted his suspensions and injuries haven't helped in the slightest, but the Welsh management have done **** all to help him.
Plus Lyn Jones was an absolute cock at the start of the season by playing either gave or shaun connor at fly half and bringing on James Hook only occasionally for the Ospreys.
At least he's learnt from his mistakes:

Ospreys have got the future half back pairing as far as i'm concerned.
One day it will come down to:

9. Phillips
10. Hook
12. Henson (?)
 
B

BigTen

Guest
I don't get to see a lot of Welsh rugby living in Australia and therefore I don't have all of the information that I would like but as I see it they should play:



9. D Peel

10. J Hook

12. G Henson

13. T Shanklin



But it isn't in these positions that the pivotal game against Australia will be won and lost.
 
R

RC

Guest
Big Ten, in your opinion which positions do you believe the contest will be to determin the winner?
 
J

Juggernaut

Guest
it has to be in the tight 5 i think, where this game will be won and lost [/b]
Not really. The Welsh have got a powerful tight five but will be matched by the Aussies. They have also a good defence around the ruck areas.



Where the game will be won is through the kickers. Both will try to play in the opposition half to draw a penalty...and in Mortlock & S.Jones are two very good kickers who will punish you.
 
K

kbourke88

Guest
I think the game against Wales will be won by Australia at 13.. Mortlock is in golden form, and i just dont see the Welsh midfield having the hardness to stop him steamrolling.. Latham's boot will allow us to play the game downfield.. and with the pressure off Larkham to make clearances, his kicking game will improve, cuz he is one of those guys who is a massive confidence player.. i think the forwards will be evenly matched, but George Smith will will be key to us to shut out the Welsh backrow..

We just have to play tight and shut Wales out of the game.. Wales relish the underdog opportunity, and we need to play smart and dont let them get a sniff.. Esp in Cardiff.. We also need to be very physical, and i think that a flaw with the Welsh is that they dont stand up well to very physical tight defence..
 
F

Fushitsusha

Guest
Key factors in the last two tests Australia played in Wales -

1. Mat Rogers playing flyhalf

2. NO Stirling Mortlock

3. NO Dan Vickerman

4. Lote Tuqiri playing outside centre

Although Australia have had some poor form overseas in recent years, this is a World Cup and at the moment they're looking too good for Wales.
 
L

leicester

Guest
Very fair points, Fushitsusha. I still think that Wales could put up a good fight but Mortlock at 13 will make a big difference, plus Mat Rogers at 10. Why? Never really worked did it? Still, gotta hope that Wales pull it off. Much as I'd like to see England beat the Springboks, its likely we'll finish second in our pool. With that in mind, I'd rather we face Wales if the QFs than Australia.
 
A

arxlupus

Guest
Anyone got a reasoned assesment of Canada's form?

Asside from wanting Wales through, I would really like to see Canada doing some damage to the others in the Pool.
 
O

ospreys1987

Guest
In my mind, it has to be:

10: Hook

12: Henson

13: Shanklin

The centre partnership between Henson and Shanklin is full of great chemistry, they both compliment each others style of play. And the Hook-Henson partnership works amazingly well as the Ospreys form showed
 
G

gjohn85

Guest
In my mind, it has to be:

10: Hook

12: Henson

13: Shanklin

The centre partnership between Henson and Shanklin is full of great chemistry, they both compliment each others style of play. And the Hook-Henson partnership works amazingly well as the Ospreys form showed
[/b]
If Henson starts playing well, then I agree with what you said.
 
T

teamplayer

Guest
Wales have every chance of beating Australia PROVIDED that they have their top team.. they can't really afford to lose anymore players for that match already with Ryan Jones out
 
R

RC

Guest
I agree with you there mate. I think given all our first team players we can beat Australia, but if we lose too many players - even though we have strength in depth, i don't think that we'd have the quality at international to overcome the aussies. They are quite a formidable team and i think the only thing we could then rely on is that fact that we're playing the game infront of 70,000+ welsh fans.
 

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