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Post Week2 Review - France and Wales

Discussion in '2018 NatWest Six Nations' started by shazbooger, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. shazbooger

    shazbooger Guest

    France: Hmmm can we start by dispelling the myth that this is a team being rebuilt from the ground up. Its not. This is still the same core team that has dominated the 6 nations for the past 5 years or so. Elisade, Skrela, Traille, Marty, Heymans, Rougerie, Clerc, Dusatior, Nallet, Swars....., Bonaire all familiar names to any fan of the 6 nations. They have been forced to replace a few aging forwards with younger 'pretenders' but the core still remains. The main problem as I see it is in the pack. They have a front five that looks capable, but not necessarily dominant. At the same time their 'impact' subs dont look capable of playing at the same level which will eventually cause them problems.

    The one thing they have changed, and to great effect, is their licence to run with the ball. For the first time in years were seeing a hugely talented French back three with a licence to run from deep and play with their heads up. While Ireland were on the receiving end of it last weekend, you had to say they were worth their tries. Even the bounce went their way, but you couldnt begrudge them that try either, I suppose fortune does favour the brave.

    Wales: Hmmm a revolution or a false dawn. I think 99% of Wales believes its the former, while the rest of us are wondering if there will be a crash. They have momentum, confidence and an experienced core that could pull through in a tight situation.

    Before the tournament I was amazed at the optimism, I believe I said "a new coach cant compensate for not having a pack". Half way through week 1 and I was proved correct as England ripped them to shreds. 40 mins later and it was all up in the air again. I'm still not sure if they won or England lost (you know what I mean), and as for last week I'm asking if Wales were good, or Scotland were just really really bad. Its unfair to keep asking those questions though, they beat the two teams put in front of them.

    Wales will beat Italy so all you need to ask is can they beat Ireland away? Of course they can. Depending on which Ireland turns up, they could be walking into a home match with France with a chance at the title, and possibly a grand slam. It couldnt happen though could it?
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  3. Stillknox

    Stillknox Guest

    5 years...

    Mmmh Skrela is picked regularly since last year only, he had a cap in 2001 but then none till 2007. Plus he's not clearly the main choice at 10, he already has 29 years old and Trinh-Duc is well liked by the staff. When Beauxis will return from his injury, or when Michalak will return in France, not sure he will be there anymore...

    Elissalde has been in the shadows of Yachvili and Mignoni, same thing for Nallet with Pelous. Dusautoir was not even in the World Cup squad before Vermeulen's injury... Clerc & Heymans are well known since a few years but Rougerie & Dominici were most often prefered to them. Heymans is also a newbie at fullback.

    Many key players were 'thrown': Mignoni, Thion, Chabal, Papé, Poitrenaud, Harinordoquy, Nyanga, Martin and many of them are still competitive. Without injuries, Marty & Mas wouldn't be there too. About the retired players, I don't think any of them would have been picked by the staff... rumor has it that Ibanez wanted to continue but Lievremont called to tell him he was not interested.

    To me this is not a team being rebuilt from the ground up, this is the 'backtone' formed after the famous defeat in the opening game versus Argentina, with some new kids (8 new players + Ouedraogo and Jacquet who had only two caps before the tournament) to prepare the future.
    That's not 100% new but there has been more changes than any other 6Nations team... I think that Lievremont, N'Tamack and Retieres are pretty audacious anyway.

    Aside that, I agree with you on everything, also for Wales. Good analysis.
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