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France vs Wales - 24/10/2020

ALJ

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Not gonna argue with the ratings but in terms of changes needed - is there anyone in that starting XV who isn’t considered first choice at the moment?

Would be a brave move to do too much with the starters I think.
 

dullonien

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Could easily replace the following:

Rhys Carre -> Wyn Jones/Nicky Smith
Ryan Elias -> Elliot Dee
Samson Lee -> Dillon Lewis (I'd have WillGriff John though)
Cory Hill -> Will Rowlands
Aaron Wainwright -> Josh Navidi (not sure on fitness though)

Rhys Webb -> Gareth Davies
Dan Biggar -> Callum Sheedy
George North -> LRZ.

Also Liam Williams somewhere in that back three once fit.
 

Bristol Exile

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With the current coaching setup, it is all rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic. As things stand I can only see a Scotland win next week with Calamity Wayne and his gang at the helm.
 

dullonien

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I'm going to give Pivac and co a little longer to settle in personally. They need to sort some of the basics at the breakdown and in defense though.

Very little opportunity yesterday to see if Stephen Jones has had an impact in attack when our ruck ball was either disrupted or turned over all the time!

A lot has been said about our new formation in attack with pods of forwards spread across the field. Worried that this in impacting our ability to efficiently clean-out rucks? Effectively if the first forward struggles then there's not much cavalry to call on.
 

noah_jo

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With the current coaching setup, it is all rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic. As things stand I can only see a Scotland win next week with Calamity Wayne and his gang at the helm.
Very extreme - Wales haven't been fantastic, but this is a VERY good France team that also beat us. Don't throw the toys out just yet
 

Bristol Exile

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Very extreme - Wales haven't been fantastic, but this is a VERY good France team that also beat us. Don't throw the toys out just yet
Not sure it is extreme. I think Pivac and Hayward are way out of their depth. Gatland got the very best out of the players but I don't think the current lot can. This was a peremptory appointment to say the least, based on one fleeting season at Scarlets. At the start, even I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt but I have no faith that things will improve. This set up is going nowhere.

Yes, a good French team but the performance was **** poor and when put alongside say the Ireland one in Feb it does not look good.

Wales may scrape a win next week but that would be papering over the cracks
 

BPM

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I’d say it was more a case of France being very good as it was Wales being notably bad.

The Welsh team could do with some new faces in some areas, but you can’t criticise Pivac for not picking Liam Williams, Will Rowlands and Josh when they weren’t available.

No-one’s mentioned Sheedy, but if Biggar is injured, it could open the door for him and I think having a better alternative at 10 could make a real difference. I was never fully convinced by Anscombe, but I think Sheedy is developing in to a quality player and I’d rate him ahead of Rhys Patchell or Jarrod Evans.

The other changes mooted are much of a muchness really. Is Wyn Jones replacing Carre going to make that much difference for example?

On the other hand, North has been on borrowed time for a long time. He’s still a good player, but he’s a shadow of what he was and I think it makes sense to give Rees-Zammit an opportunity.
 

ragerancher

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I don't think Scotland have the ability to play the game that tore Wales apart like France did. Finn Russell can be rattled and Scotland relies almost entirely on him for their magic moments.
 

stentona

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It might not be inconceivable, but I really don’t see that happening ... Italy were poor today and faded badly in the final quarter. They’d need to improve a hell of a lot.

England have beaten Italy by a 30+ margin in every game since 2013 home or away. There’s a possibility that we might be undercooked without a warm up, but I still expect a BP win.

France vs. Ireland has the potential to be a cracker, but based upon today’s games, I’d back France for the win. I thought Ireland were OK, but Italy were very poor. France blew a good Welsh team away,
Sorry to burst your bubble but that was not a good Welsh team.
Where do I start?
1) Defensively Wales have gone backwards (literally!) ... giving up way too much yardage. Not enough aggression in the tackle. Did you see the difference Shaun Edwards has made to the French defence?
2) KIcking the ball back to a very good counter attacking French team. How many high balls did Wales agressively chase and recover?
3) Too many players living off past glory and it hurts to say because they were world class on their day (Faletau, Tipuric, Webb, Halfpenny) and Biggar should have taken himself off after the first injury as he was a liability after that. Pivac didn't have the balls to do it because I don't think he has the respect that Gatland had with these boys.
4) Wales have top wings in North and Adams. How many times did they get ball in hand? They were forced to kick after fkn kick.
5) Gatland encouraged Wales to go through the phases at times, putting the defence under pressure. Wales were clueless with ball in hand.
6) A good team is moulded by a good coach. Pivac is not that IMO. He could still make a difference if he was prepared to make proper changes instead of putting a sticking plaster on a deep wound.
RANT OVER!
 

noah_jo

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Sorry to burst your bubble but that was not a good Welsh team.
Where do I start?
1) Defensively Wales have gone backwards (literally!) ... giving up way too much yardage. Not enough aggression in the tackle. Did you see the difference Shaun Edwards has made to the French defence?
2) KIcking the ball back to a very good counter attacking French team. How many high balls did Wales agressively chase and recover?
3) Too many players living off past glory and it hurts to say because they were world class on their day (Faletau, Tipuric, Webb, Halfpenny) and Biggar should have taken himself off after the first injury as he was a liability after that. Pivac didn't have the balls to do it because I don't think he has the respect that Gatland had with these boys.
4) Wales have top wings in North and Adams. How many times did they get ball in hand? They were forced to kick after fkn kick.
5) Gatland encouraged Wales to go through the phases at times, putting the defence under pressure. Wales were clueless with ball in hand.
6) A good team is moulded by a good coach. Pivac is not that IMO. He could still make a difference if he was prepared to make proper changes instead of putting a sticking plaster on a deep wound.
RANT OVER!
I think he means that it was a good team in terms of the players on the pitch, obviously not the performance...

A few of those boys may have been better in the past but are all still good players nevertheless
 

stentona

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Could easily replace the following:

Rhys Carre -> Wyn Jones/Nicky Smith
Ryan Elias -> Elliot Dee
Samson Lee -> Dillon Lewis (I'd have WillGriff John though)
Cory Hill -> Will Rowlands
Aaron Wainwright -> Josh Navidi (not sure on fitness though)

Rhys Webb -> Gareth Davies
Dan Biggar -> Callum Sheedy
George North -> LRZ.

Also Liam Williams somewhere in that back three once fit.
The back row were conspicuous by their absence too. Please don't exempt them from such a poor performance. I think a back row of Moriarty, Navidi & Ellis Jenkins would be much more effective. Agree on the half backs too. Pivac should make these changes and build for the future before it's too late. Liam Williams, AWJ & Jonathan Davies still give us some 'old heads' for the continuity needed.
 

stentona

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I think he means that it was a good team in terms of the players on the pitch, obviously not the performance...

A few of those boys may have been better in the past but are all still good players nevertheless
I guess I was hoping he would use the friendly to blood a few good youngsters we have coming through. The six nations has 'gone' for Wales and the upcoming tournament is a great chance to build for the future. My view is that Pivac is not sure of his priorities
 

BPM

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I think he means that it was a good team in terms of the players on the pitch, obviously not the performance...

A few of those boys may have been better in the past but are all still good players nevertheless
Yes. That’s exactly what I meant. It wasn’t a good performance, but it was a ‘good side’ in the sense that it wasn’t a reserve team or cobbled together side. You can make some debates on who first choice props are, but to my mind, it was probably a 3-4 players off a first choice side (Owens, Navidi, Moriarty and Liam Williams) and I’d have said more like 3 than 4 as you’re probably looking at an ‘either/or’ with Navidi and Moriarty.

Pivac may well be out of his depth, but I think it’s a bit harsh to be so damning so soon.

I guess I was hoping he would use the friendly to blood a few good youngsters we have coming through. The six nations has 'gone' for Wales and the upcoming tournament is a great chance to build for the future. My view is that Pivac is not sure of his priorities

If he’d blooded the youngsters, there’s a good chance it would have been a far heavier and potentially more damaging defeat.

The trouble is, a number of the more promising youngsters like Basham or Lewis-Hughes are typically in positions where you’re already strong.

Apart from Rees-Zammit, who is really putting their hand up? I don’t watch much Pro14, but I don’t get the sense that there’s a plethora of talented players who Pivac’s left out. Arguably, he’s brought players like Ioan Lloyd in to the squad before they really deserve it.
 

dullonien

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The back row were conspicuous by their absence too. Please don't exempt them from such a poor performance. I think a back row of Moriarty, Navidi & Ellis Jenkins would be much more effective. Agree on the half backs too. Pivac should make these changes and build for the future before it's too late. Liam Williams, AWJ & Jonathan Davies still give us some 'old heads' for the continuity needed.

Agree on Wainwright and Faletau (as much as it pains me to say it). But it's not fair to lump Tipuric in there as well, guy was everywhere from first whistle to last. He was aggressive in defense and played his part in the little attack Wales managed to produce.

He was part of the issue at the breakdown though, where he struggled to physically match the French pack. The balance needs to be addressed there because Wainwright isn't known for his work in those areas.

You've mentioned a player in Ellis Jenkins that has been out for 2 years and may struggle to return (let's hope he does). There are other options of course, but a few are injured (Griffiths, McLeod, Navidi, Jenkins), one is unavailable (Young) and a couple have similar attributes to Tips in that they're on the smaller side (Basham, Cubby).
 

stentona

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Fair point on Tips. I guess I was looking at how poor we were at the breakdown (how we miss Warbs!).
What are your thoughts on a) front three options going forward & b) half backs
I've got to be honest, I don't know too much about our front three options barring missing TF. Surely it's time for Biggar to be left out. I know he's (usually!) a reliable kicker/chaser/defender but IMO gives so little going forward and holds back our creative backs. Let's get Callum Sheedy in now.
 

Bristol Exile

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For me, the most worrying aspects remain: poor defence (15 tries conceded in last 4 games), lack of incisive attack (largely due to poor platform, due to lack of carriers) and the fact that these weaknesses ARE persisting. It suggests that the coaching staff are either unwilling or unable to correct them.
 

BPM

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Fair point on Tips. I guess I was looking at how poor we were at the breakdown (how we miss Warbs!).
What are your thoughts on a) front three options going forward & b) half backs
I've got to be honest, I don't know too much about our front three options barring missing TF. Surely it's time for Biggar to be left out. I know he's (usually!) a reliable kicker/chaser/defender but IMO gives so little going forward and holds back our creative backs. Let's get Callum Sheedy in now.
100% agree on Sheedy. I think he could quickly become a very viable alternative to Biggar.

As for the front row, Dewi Lake is the big hope at Hooker, but he needs more game time in the Pro14 to be a serious contender. Sam Parry might not be an exciting choice, but I think he’s a good ‘nuts and bolts’ type of hooker who doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses.

Rob Evans is a bit forgotten, but is only 28 and if he can rediscover the form that made him a regular, he’s probably a better player than Carre or Wyn Jones at loosehead IMO. Tighthead you have Dillon Lewis, Leon Brown and WillGriff John. All three are OK, but they all have strengths and weaknesses. For example, John is a good scrummaging prop, who’ll hit rucks and defend reliably, but won’t offer much of anything in the loose, whereas Brown is good in the loose, but not as good in the scrum.

I don’t think Pivac is picking the wrong players and he’s aggressively trying to grow your playing pool. He inherited an ageing team and I think you have to give him some time, even if it hurts in the short term.
 

Oliver Madden

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40 points is a big margin. I’m not sure about that, although it would be very satisfying.

I’d definitely expect bigger than than the 15 point margin Oliver Madden is suggesting.
My own expectation is an England win by at least 25 points. This is not one of Italy’s best sides at the moment. i had a look at the head to head and we’ve won by 41 points and 31 points (x2) on our last 3 visits to Rome. I’m sure there was a time at the end of the 2000s when Italy nearly turned us over in Rome a couple of times. I seem to recall a couple of low-scoring England wins around the 2008-10 period. That was a different Italy side though and a much poorer England side than we have now. France will be hoping that Italy can contain us but up against an England team who are chasing loads of points i think that could be beyond them.
 

BPM

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Yeah. We flirted with defeat a couple of times in Rome a while back, but for the past 7 years or so, we’ve been a lot better then Italy to the extent that we should expect to win and win well.

If we do rack up a load of points, France vs. Ireland could be a cracker as they’ll both know what they’re chasing.
 

ragerancher

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Anyone want to whip out the book of laws and see if there is some obscure interpretation that may be utilised?
 

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