1. 2016 RBS Six Nations Rugby Table - The Rugby Forum
    Table updated after last fixture of the weekend

Where do teams stand ahead of the WC?

Discussion in '2019 Guinness Six Nations' started by Reiser99, Mar 17, 2019 at 11:28 AM.

  1. Reiser99

    Reiser99 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2015
    Messages:
    1,314
    Country Flag:

    England

    Club or Nation:

    Leicester

    Ok so I just wanted to do a little summary on all the teams now that the Six Nations is over.

    Wales: Deserved the title and have shown fantastic defence, but only really showed their attacking potential against Ireland and even then only scored one try. Also I think France and England should have beaten them, and possibly Scotland. Yes that was due to Welsh defensive pressure, but I don't see the likes of NZ making those mistakes and I don't think NZ will be afraid of Wales going into the WC. I can see them getting to the Semi's, but not sure if they have the all round game to win the WC.

    England: Talk about a game of two halves. Apart from Ireland, they just can't put an 80 minute or even 60 minute performance together. This is a concern from last year that hasn't been rectified. I think if you defend well then Farrell panics and reverts to his kick tactics which becomes predictable. Another issue is Jones refusing to brings subs on when the starters are clearly struggling. If they play like they did against Ireland then they can go all the way, if they play like they did against Wales and Scotland in the second half then quarters might be a bonus. Personally at the moment I can see semi's.

    Ireland: Honestly they have some issues to sort out. Murray has lost almost all his form and Sexton hasn't been great. I think England and Wales showed that you need to start with pace and don't let them settle. As soon as Ireland control the tempo they are comfortable. Their only really good performance was against France and tbh France were dire, so it's not saying too much. Ireland need to have a long look and make some tough calls. Question is have Ireland peaked or have teams found them out. If they play like they did then another quarter final exit could be on the cards.

    France: May have won 2 games but look absolutely all over the place. If they play the same then I can see England and Argentina making the quarters and France out in the group stages.

    Scotland: They have had so many injuries, but they also don't change some issues, which is they are great offensively, but weaker defensively. Russell can lose you a match just as easily as he can win you one. I think quarters, though they have the potential to beat anyone if it all clicks. However they are just too inconsistent to go all the way.

    Italy: I felt they actually showed an improvement this year and apart from the England game, looked a lot better. Still massive defensive issues, but I think O'Shea has then going in the right direction. However with S.A and N.Z they won't get out of the group stages.
     
  2. Forum Ad Advertisement

  3. Jashay

    Jashay Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2018
    Messages:
    66
    Country Flag:

    England

    I wouldn't like to call it. I think NZ are the clear favourites, but Ireland, England and South Africa have all made them look vulnerable. This is Wales' best chance for a long time, but I'm still not convinced by their attack. If England can get their heads on straight I'd put them as second favourites, but that's by no means a given. We seem... brittle. Ireland need some functioning half-backs and they're good to go.

    I'd expect Scotland, England, Ireland, Wales, France to all make the quarters. I don't think Scotland will get any further than that due to the draw, and France will probably implode at that point. But any of the other three could go all the way. Going by the 6N I wouldn't expect England to get past the NZ semi, though.

    But it can be really hard to predict. Wouldn't want to write off Japan at home. Wales should beat Australia, Georgia and Fiji, but it's not a given by a long shot. England have to play some very unpredictable teams and have shown limited adaptability. France are France.
     
  4. The Alpha Bro

    The Alpha Bro Fat Boi

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    Messages:
    10,548
    Location:
    DubWIN
    Country Flag:

    Ireland

    Club or Nation:

    Leinster

    I reckon the World Rankings have it about right for the 6n sides going into the RWC, South Africa would probably work their way up to least third if they had a full RC this year. So in order of best positioned for the RWC to worst, in my esteemed and ultimately correct opinion, with more emphasis on Ireland than anyone else:

    Wales

    Maybe they'd want to add to their attack to beat NZ but after the Kiwis they're setting the standard right now, as long as they don't regress Ireland and England will have to pull out levels of performance that they haven't reached in 12 or 24+ months respectively to have a chance of beating them in a knockout game, SA are a bit of an unknown quantity, nobody else should really beat them. The final is well within their reach given their draw, and NZ are beatable this time around. Very exciting times to be Welsh.

    Ireland

    Fairly shite six nations for Ireland and almost wholly negative, a lot of players were unfit, and some of the most influential players were out of form dragging everyone else down. Its not all doom and gloom though, we fairly regularly have bad six nations and bounce back:
    2011 (3 wins, home loss to France) - depressingly, we had our best RWC ever after that with a great win against Australia.
    2016 (2 wins, draw at home) - We had a competitive tour in SA, lost 2-1, with an injury depleted team and players who'd never wear green again involved, beat NZ and Aus in the Autumn too.
    2017 (3 wins, none away from home) - Start of the unbeaten streak that would include the grand slam.

    That said, and a lot of this has been discussed in the Ireland thread, we need to trust our backs who aren't regular starters. It was clear after Italy that Murray was unfit and void of form, his mechanics were off and he wasn't playing his way back. Meanwhile Sexton wasn't playing great but he was at least having positive influences when not clearly hamstrung by his 9*, another 9 really could have changed our fortunes, Carty was working with far more time than Sexton ever got. Fortunately Murray has 7 months to get himself right, Munster have a good 9 in Mathewson so that means he doesn't have to play if not right and if he gets his mobility and strength back in his arm you'd expect him to come back firing. Sexton will be fine, he'll tear Ulster apart in a fortnight and finish the season strong with Leinster. Problem with this was that even if the half backs were on last year's form they weren't going to be able to show it, the pack looked good in Edinburgh and for 70 minutes against France, clueless for the rest of the competition. Best seesawed between marginally better than what Niall Scannell has shown in his scant opportunities in green and atrocious, if Schmidt values his presence so much bring him to the RWC as third choice hooker but the world cup is going to be all about attrition and Best hasn't proven he can play back to back internationals to a high level since the last 6n.

    The few positives were Jordan Larmour, he looked more adept than he had all season with Ster and bolting into the 15 shirt isn't beyond him; Carty is another 10 option behind Sexton and Carbery; Conan finally looked very good at international level; and we have Henshaw, Leavy and Toner to come back who were all fairly vital to success at times last year.

    A semi final, final, or even winning the thing hasn't all of a sudden become an unrealistic target though, they'll be going into the competition having won 23 of their previous 26 matches, (Schmidt line from yesterday) Cardiff was the only fixture they played and failed to win in the world cup cycle and the one fixture they didn't play was NZ away and a few of the guys won there with the Lions. That SA or NZ QF is looking far more daunting than it was before though, and it has never been taken for granted.

    England

    Before the second half yesterday I'd have had them in a comfortably better position than Ireland going into it but I'm not so sure. There's something wrong with their psyche, they were ultra pumped for Ireland and looked like the best team in the world but they looked flat in what was essentially a grand slam decider against Wales when they had worked hard for a lead and their attitude stank in the second half of a home international against their oldest rivals who'd spanked them last year. I think they've got the toughest challenge mentally to overcome (Ireland's challenge is more functional**) and any big successes the squad can draw upon will be more than two years old. There's also Ben Te'o....

    I think England are the most well rounded team when it comes to skills but the brains are lacking in more ways than one. They really should be able to beat teams in a number of ways given their big pack and mix of explosive and quick backs but beyond bullying teams into making mistakes and smart kicking they haven't shown much. It's odd.

    Scotland

    They're not going to win the world cup, they probably won't reach a semi but they'll know that with a fit team they can take Ireland and SA if either fail to properly impose themselves on the game. Yesterday might prove to be huge for them.

    France

    Brunel isn't smart enough to get France out of that group unless England or, more likely, Argentina gift it to him. Any team capable of playing with a tiny bit of structure with the ability to convert territory and possession into points will beat France comfortably.

    Italy

    2019 won't reap any positive and groundbreaking final scores for Italy, they'd be best focusing on not ******* up v Namibia and Canada before trying to overturn the two pool b giants.




    *I read someone saying yesterday that blaming Sexton's form on Murray was cheap, to blame it totally on Murray is but to suggest Sexton wasn't handicapped at all by slow and erratic service is ludicrous, look at the amount of times yesterday he was forced to rush his kicks despite being deep in the pocket. Coming from a scrum half, the 10 is absolutely entitled to blame you for things when you're providing him with substandard ball and making mistakes elsewhere, it works both ways if the 10 is shirking his responsibilities but that wasn't the case here.

    ** Some people are going to argue that with things like Sexton swearing and throwing the ball and POM's most memorable line of the 6 nations but I've literally seen both of them do things like that while 20 points up in relatively unimportant Ster and Munster games. The physicality was there yesterday after lacking v England we just never seemed to have any discernible plan the entire tournament, unprecedented from a Schmidt outfit. An eye-test though so anyone is entitled to rebut and disagree with me but to argue it further than that would be pointless.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019 at 1:11 PM
  5. truthteller

    truthteller Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2018
    Messages:
    353
    Italy stagnated theyre about 14th in the world...theyre trying bless them, conor has them sort of organized but they miss so many tackles. may win 1 game at rwc
    scotland. too weak up front in tight and at breakdown, need barclay fit and that blade thompson fit too....they will hopefully take confidence from twickers comeback. underachieved again.
    england. at times brilliant in attack, at times brilliant kicking , but overkicked. not good on the back foot, defensively exposed in the backs especially. also not as fit as the welsh
    wales. best defence in world. best scrum too, best fitness levels. possibly best breakdown specialists when all are fit. Playing a limited gameplan, they need to offload more in the pack and create quicker ball and they need faletau back to carry the ball.. their fly half seems more settled now so maybe they can unleash a great backline. get rhys webb available from toulon and there is a team organized enough passionate enough and talented enough to win a rwc
    ireland. gone backwards. best is retiring. the halfbacks were good on front foot, but awful in reverse. some backs are weak defensively and attacking wise theyre ok but earls and kearney need replacing and the centres im not convinced are quick or smart enough. their pack is still very strong but selection is key
     
  6. bushytop

    bushytop Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,475
    Location:
    Here be dragons!
    Country Flag:

    Wales

    Club or Nation:

    London Welsh

    I feel that before yesterday all three of England, Ireland and Wales were much of a muchness and maybe still are. The only reason that I see things a little differently now is that second half in Twickers exposed (in my eyes at least) a ‘weakess’ of character in some of the English guaranteed starters... and the Irish performance in Cardiff will probably instil even more demons in the Irish psyche, to add to the demons that have not been fully exorcised since their loss to England.

    I think that the current rankings probably have it right in the probability for success in Japan. NZ are firm (firmer than they’ve been for a while actually) favourites and then Wales, Ireland, England and South Africa have a chance.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Bruce_ma_goose

    Bruce_ma_goose Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2016
    Messages:
    3,352
    Country Flag:

    Scotland

    Club or Nation:

    Italy

    Italy: will dismantle Canada and Namibia. Zanon was a massive positive from the France game as was Ruzza for the whole tournament, both great youth who look mentally capable of playing in the RWC. Cannot beat NZ or SA if the Boks are picking Euro based players. If Ghiraldini doesn't recover we are struggling (although I dont like Gega). Allan had the best fly half performance ever across a tournament by an Italian for me, until his bottle crashed against France. There is no reason Italy cant put together a XV to contest with France and Argentina for the "worst Tier1 of the tournament". I'm less negative about CoS than I was pre-tournament, but he is still underachieving I think.
    3rd in group.

    Scotland: God knows. According to Finn, the second half performance followed him having an argument with Toonie at half time. These are not solid foundations for making consistent performances. High tempo game might not translate well if it is still humid in Japan, but the youth of the side will help with that. Desperately need Huw & Seymour to rediscover form and for their great injured centre options to get fit. If they do that and dont pick Laidlaw, I can see Scotland beating anyone bar ABs or England as I feel their pack is gradually improving to an extent that only the Boks, Ireland, France and England can starve them of ball. They should have been in the semis last time until a ref intervened and they have more depth now than they did then. Beating Ireland and making the semis should be the target. On the flip side, if they have injuries like at this 6N then I can see Japan running them close and it ending in comedic disaster. Real issues with the mental side of the game, as underlined with the last minutes at Twickenham. I can see them losing a QF against the Boks that they would have won with Vern, purely because of the mental side of things.
    QF


    England: my pick for RWC champs if they build the team around Slade and go for a bit of finesse and passing in the backs rather than bludgeoning and sprinting Jones was so obsessed about in recent years. Eddie's Japanese experience has to be a positive and for all the debate around Ford or Farrell, both are good enough, so it's not a big deal. My only concern is if Eddie alienates the dressing room beyond repair as the "group of death" is becoming more like a "group of deadbeats" with each passing game.
    Champions

    France: their first half against Wales was genuinely high quality, but they are all over the place. They have the worst performing French pack I've seen since professionalism. I personally have real doubts about the Pumas pack but can France even take advantage of that now? I think they can, if it isn't too hot.
    QF

    Wales: Anscombe did well in the 6N, but I really think to have a chance of winning it all Wales need Patchell, but I can't see Gatland putting him on the plane. Their scoring rate will not be enough to beat top teams with any sort of consistency and Patchell is the man to create those opportunities to raise the average points total for the side. The weakness of the SH still gives Wales a great shot at getting to a semi, minimum - and if you can get in the last 4 then anything is possible. Be very, very scared if Kerevi manages to integrate into the Wallabies though as they will be a different side if they get sorted out at centre.
    SF

    Ireland: 7 months is not a long time and there were all sports felt was wrong with Ireland with selection, tactics and mentality. I predicted they'd be flat at Murrayfield, but I didn't think that flatness would linger for the rest of the tournament- that is concerning. They only showed the required intensity against France and their cutting edge seems utterly blunted if Stockdale doesn't get opportunities. I think that their inability to chase a lead is a real thing and I'm remaining unconvinced at them at centre (when Sexton isn't on top form, who is going to step up creatively?). Baffled by the lack of tactical kicking in Cardiff, the selection of Henshaw at fullback and the relegation of Larmour.

    I hate the combination of humidity and age, with issues with ageing at hooker, fullback and to a lesser extent lock not being addressed (even going backwards). Utterly failed to use the 6N as a development opportunity after any realistic chance of the title was gone, despite having a strong second 23 to experiment with. This will seriously bite them on the backside if they pick up injuries before the RWC. Their pack should mean that (unlike against Scotland), Japan have no realistic chance, even if Ireland stink out the joint, so utter catastrophe can be averted. Like Scotland, unfortunate to be meeting Pool B in the QFs.
    QF

    In short, a weaker SH quartet, ripe for the picking, but i think infuriatingly that only England will take full advantage. I can even see 3x SH sides in the semis.
     
  8. big ginger 8

    big ginger 8 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2011
    Messages:
    8,337
    Country Flag:

    Ireland

    Club or Nation:

    Leinster

    Just wondering what you meant instead of humidity? (Or at least I presume you don't hate our teams humidity)

    We used 36 players throughout the tournament which was second most behind Scotland with 37 so I'd say we did get a good look at a lot of players. I believe at least three players got some gametime at every position. The 6N is the main moneymaker for the IRFU and we were never going to be allowed go mental.

    Definitely issues with aging at hooker though there isn't really any young hookers make compelling cases to be called up. We did try Cronin for one game but given how quickly he was dropped completely I'm not sure how much Schmidt wanted to really give him a go. Scannell looks like the best all rounder going forward but has had a lot of injury problems. Still in fairness he's gotten 14 caps in two years including two starts against Australia. It's also very hard to drop your captain in their last 6N.
    I'd argue trying Henshaw was definitely an attempt to address our options if Kearney is out and Larmour did get a full 80 at fullback, although it was admittedly injury enforced but 13 caps at the age of 21 isn't really holding him back.
    Not sure what issues you see with age at lock? The oldest one we used was 28 which isn't particularly old for the position.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. truthteller

    truthteller Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2018
    Messages:
    353
    england have definitely made some steps forward i agree...offensively theyve been dynamite a lot of the time....slade looks classy may is a man reborn tuilagi is back though way off his best and defensively ropey....wingers well watson can come back big joe maybe , not sures the next lomu though lol...daly as usualy dangerous in attack....the pack is quick powerful mobile.....offensively they look like world beaters....but as we saw they can crumble....they can get sloppy...farrell loses his head ....id also question their fitness, they have power and size but they fade away....for me apart from nz....the only other winners i see possible are england wales australia and s africa ireland outside bet...no one else has a hope in hell
    out of these 6...i see abs , then england wales australia as the most likely to win it....irish falling away...s africa too far behind
    no one will ever back wales as theyre so small a nation and theyve only made a few semi finals...kiwis have won it 3 times, aussie and boks twice each, england once
     
  10. Bruce_ma_goose

    Bruce_ma_goose Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2016
    Messages:
    3,352
    Country Flag:

    Scotland

    Club or Nation:

    Italy

    Sorry for being negative about Ireland (I feel I'm always ragging on them this year). I'm a bit frustrated because I want to see more sides throwing their hats into the ring for contention and Scotland, France, Ireland and Argentina have all had really tough months where they seem to have regressed rather than stepped up.

    - I meant humidity. September is meant to be the warmest month for parts of Japan. It does apparently calm down in October which might give the 'Celts' half a chance. You could scrape the Scots off the park after one of their recent tests in Japan in June. Japan should have one that fixture but for Laidlaw expertly coaching the ref.
    - Toner will be on the plane at lock I'm sure and will be 33 (like Kearney). Earls will be 32. They'll be blowing out their backsides if the warm season extends into early October - at least you'll be playing Siberians! I dont think any of the other 6N sides have stalwarts at those sort of ages (barring Italy due to depth issues)
    - Really surprising stat about players used, so maybe I am being unfair. It didn't feel like that, certainly among the starting XV it felt very conservative to me from Ireland (which is fine if you are winning and competing for the title). You have good options at wing and scrum half that never got much game time. For example, compare the Welsh and Irish selections in Rome.

    If I flip it round. Is there a player for Ireland who wasn't featuring in the 23 in 2017 or 2018 OR was in the 23 in those years and might be looking to step up as a starter who:

    a) got sizeable playing opportunities at this 6N?
    b) took that chance?
    c) is probably now a good shout for going to Japan?

    Beirne maybe, but only due to Toner's injury. A wee cameo from Cooney (and Marmion?) - have we learnt about the pecking order there. Are we further forward in learning if Carty or Carbery should stand in if Sexton goes down? Or if Kearney goes down?

    Italy, France and Scotland had bad tournaments but at least their coaches have the silver lining of having a few options for consideration for the RWC squad. Obviously I'd rather be Ireland than any of those circuses, but I feel you've missed a real opportunity to identify your strongest 23 or 31 to increase your chances of success.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. truthteller

    truthteller Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2018
    Messages:
    353
    beirne is a hell of a player given more experience at test level he may have a good world cup
    its a weird state as wales need to expand their attack, england need to tighten defence
    i wonder which of these is easier or harder to achieve
     
  12. FrenchFan

    FrenchFan Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2013
    Messages:
    2,111
    Location:
    Ville rose
    Country Flag:

    France

    Club or Nation:

    Toulouse

    I agree but then so would the current Toulouse Clermont Racing Leinster and Saracens.

    The great thing for the French players is now they can rediscover the joy of playing rugby again until June. Some might need a healthy dose of club therapy given the standard of coaching that was inflicted on them for 6 weeks.
     
  13. The Alpha Bro

    The Alpha Bro Fat Boi

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    Messages:
    10,548
    Location:
    DubWIN
    Country Flag:

    Ireland

    Club or Nation:

    Leinster

    Current bookies odds:
    NZ - 11/10
    England - 5/1
    Ireland - 6/1
    Wales - 7/1
    South Africa - 7/1
    Australia - 14/1
    France & Scotland - 33/1
    Argentina - 40/1

    I don't know what Wales were prior to the tournament but they've cut their odds considerably, Ireland and England have swapped from pre tournament odds. Interesting that the math nerds haven't put as much weight on the tournament than us self identified experts are though! :p
     
  14. truthteller

    truthteller Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2018
    Messages:
    353
    i can why they have those odds but i really think ireland should be lower at about 10 to 1....english odds will be sorter as millions of english fans will take a punt..australia at 14 is interesting
     
  15. The Alpha Bro

    The Alpha Bro Fat Boi

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    Messages:
    10,548
    Location:
    DubWIN
    Country Flag:

    Ireland

    Club or Nation:

    Leinster

    This tournament and the 2016 one is the only international window where Wales have been better than Ireland in the world cup cycle, Ireland have had the best cycle worldwide, it'd be mad to have them at longer odds than Wales on the back of one lackluster window.
    Wales are in a better position insofar as they don't have to turn their form around but the bookies are obviously putting weight in the fact Ireland have shown more quality in the not so recent past.

    Australia have been fairly tragic, no surprise there really.
     
  16. big ginger 8

    big ginger 8 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2011
    Messages:
    8,337
    Country Flag:

    Ireland

    Club or Nation:

    Leinster

    Don't have to apologise for being negative about Ireland, if you did that would mean a lot of people would have to. There is also a good bit to be negative I just feel a lot of people are being overly so.

    OK I get what you mean about the humidity. To be honest I don't think fitness is something that's massively effected by age. Ironman competitors are meant to peak between 30-36. Toner, Kearney and Earls aren't guys I'd really have worries about regarding cardiovascular fitness anyway. Maybe if one of them is coming off a lower body injury but not really otherwise. Even if there were worries about Toner he'd be beside Ryan who doesn't have any fitness issues and there's about 4 guys who won't be starting that I have no problem coming on or starting pool games. Best is actually someone who I would be a bit worried about, especially given how long he tends to leave him on for. One obvious stalwart of other 6N teams AWJ who's 33, Ken Owens is also 32, Picamoles is 33 and Aaron Shingler will be 32.

    Agree our scrumhalves weren't rotated enough. Schmidt was trying too hard to let Murray play himself into form. At the same time our second choice was injured until the last two rounds and third choice was injured for the whole tournament. We've also beaten NZ and England with Marmion starting within the last year, so it's not like he hasn't been used in difficult situations. There is problems at 9 but I don't think the lack of rotation there this 6N hurts us going to the WC say if Murray gets injured. What hurts is whether Schmidt is willing to make a change if necessary. If he is willing I don't think there's any worry about performance or cohesion.
    On the wings there wasn't rotation but I don't think there's any realistic challengers there apart from Larmour, who did get a full half there against England and was also getting gametime at fullback. Realistically if they're fit Stockdale and Earls will start every game of importance. Conway and whoever else gets picked are more than good enough to play the games against lower ranked teams. Conway is the closest replacement to Earls probably and also isn't exactly new to the squad. If Stockdale is injured, we're kind of ****** anyway. There's very few wingers who could replace him.

    I don't know the exact standing of the players in the Welsh selection vs Italy but we had:
    1. 2nd choice
    2. Seemingly now 3rd choice
    3. 1st choice
    4. 5th choice
    5. 6th choice
    6. 1st choice (c)
    7. Hard to tell could be anywhere 1-3rd choice but I think 3rd choice at this stage
    8. 3rd choice
    9. 1st choice
    10. 1st choice
    11. 1st choice
    12. Either 1st or 2nd, I hope 2nd but impossible to tell at this stage
    13. 3rd choice
    14. 1st choice
    15. 1st choice

    So fairly first choice backline until, Aki got injured incredibly early but mostly experimental pack.

    Beirne got his shot due to injury but he also nearly lost it out due to injury he probably would have had at least another start and a gotten a good bit of time of the bench if he'd been available the first 4 rounds.

    Dillane and Conan are two guys who probably weren't on the plane and got chances and stood up. Conan is probably on the plane now and if Dillane isn't on it it won't be through any fault of his own. Dave Kilcoyne has also forced his way into the 23. Carty wasn't in an Ireland squad before this 6N so establishing himself as 3rd choice gives him a really good chance of being on the plane which seemed very unlikely in November.

    We might be a tiny bit further along towards knowing if Carberry can replace Sexton due to the Scotland game but definitely not hugely. However, he was injured for the last 3 games so there's nothing that could be done there. Carty can't replace Sexton and it would be unfair to really expect him to. With regards Kearney I think we learned Henshaw isn't the best option :p and Larmour has gotten exposure there.

    Also it's the 2019 6N and if you don't know 28 of the 31 players you're bringing to Japan then you're probably in trouble. Schmidt does know this and so too do any Irish fans who've been paying attention. Schmidt has been exposed to and capped a massive amount of players in this WC cycle. While we may disagree about the choices he ultimately makes I don't think you can suggest that he hasn't given any viable options at least a cursory glance. I'd argue any Irish fan on this board could pick Schmidt's 23 apart from maybe one of the locks, 7 and 12 and there wouldn't be huge complaint over whoever was selected in those positions.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  17. Leinster Fan

    Leinster Fan Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2017
    Messages:
    1,152
    Country Flag:

    Ireland

    Club or Nation:

    Leinster

    I can't agree with the idea that we failed to sufficiently develop depth during this tournament.

    If you go through the team
    1: Kilcoyne got loads of exposure, has broken into the 23 where a few years ago he wasn't near the squad. Major success.
    2: Best was poor generally, we need to try other options, we gave Cronin a start against Italy and it didn't go well, but to be fair we didn't have Best on the Australia tour and that really helped depth there for Herring and Scannell
    3: Porter and Ryan both got decent exposure
    4/5: Can't see how anyone could criticise us here, Dillanne and Roux both got loads of time. I'd have liked to see more Beirne but he was injured to be fair. Toner's age is hardly a problem, he's playing the best rugby of his life and he's had barely any injuries in his life.
    Backrow: We're sorted here, the problems are more about form than personnel, Conan actually looked really good in green as well which was great to see. It's not like there are players in the country who are better than the 8 guys we have

    9: Schmidt might have shown to much faith in Murray, but he deserved a chance to show show better form. Like Australia with Best, we went through November without him so maybe Schmidt felt we didn't need to experiment too much. And to be fair as has been pointed out our 2/3rd choices were injured for some or all of it.
    10: Carbery got most of the game against Scotland, Carty had a few chancesnans they both looked good.
    Centre: Farrell got a few games. Not great though, I want Henshaw back. We're really overreliant on Ringrose.
    Back three: Larmour looked good. Other than that we can't realistically replace Stockdale but that's never been on the cards. Larmour established himself as a viable alternative to Earls/Kearney and there's an off chance he might replace one of them. Henshaw was an obvious mistake here.

    Ringrose I suppose but he's been injured a lot. Maybe when he's out we need to look at Carbery playing 15. It won't matter if like against Wales our backs don't get any meaningful opportunity to attack because we're getting destroyed up front and 9/10 are having career-worst performances.
     
  18. TobyBeastTeague

    TobyBeastTeague Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2015
    Messages:
    3,504
    Location:
    Tavistock, Devon
    Country Flag:

    England

    Club or Nation:

    Exeter

    I may be an idiot for thinking this, and I’m sure some of the Welsh posters will be very unhappy with me but I still think that England and Ireland fare a better of winning the Cup than Wales.

    Of the 3, Wales have clearly been the most consistent in recent times but I’m yet to see them put in a single performance that you can look at and say that they would’ve beaten the All Blacks on that day. Ireland have had a number of those performances, particularly the one in which they actually did beat the ABs, and I believe that the way England played against Ireland, they would’ve beaten anyone in the world. For me, Wales just haven’t had a performance like that; they’ve been consistently very good but never great.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Leinster Fan

    Leinster Fan Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2017
    Messages:
    1,152
    Country Flag:

    Ireland

    Club or Nation:

    Leinster

    To be fair, that's sometimes what you need in a world cup. One great performance doesn't make a difference if you can't back it up in the next game. (I'm looking at you 2011 Ireland team)
     
    • Like Like x 3
  20. The_Blindside

    The_Blindside Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Messages:
    3,616
    Country Flag:

    England

    Club or Nation:

    British Irish Lions

    All the RWC winning teams so far have had a great captain to lead them to victory. England don’t have one in Farrell yet ( Hartley is a better captain, but will he be fit for the RWC?) and I just don’t see Best as a RWC winning captain. SA’s Kolisi is still green as an international captain. Hooper - no chance.

    The only real stand outs as captains for me are AWJ and Read.
     
  21. Old Hooker

    Old Hooker Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2015
    Messages:
    2,276
    Country Flag:

    England

    Not only that, but they’ve invariably had experience and continuity too. Injuries haven’t helped, but some Jones chickens also came home to roost on Saturday.

    I level most of the criticism at the backs, the half backs in particular. None are youngsters and all bar Slade have 30 caps or more. They should have been able to work it out. Not having played often as a unit can’t have helped though. In Japan I could easily see us switching back to Ford Faz with Watson, Joe and Brown all back in the equation. Whatever our backline looks like it won’t have the instinctive trust, particularly defensively, that comes with long term familiarity.

    If ever there was a misleading stat it’s George’s 36 caps. The amount of time he’s spent on the bench means it’s really about 12. Kind of likewise for Sinckler’s 22, Curry has 10, Wilson 13. Hand was forced at LH, but Moon and Genge have less than 20 between them. Good players all, but they haven’t been there, seen it, done it, learned from it and got the T shirt. As the 2 senior guys in the pack you’d hope that Launch and Binny would have really shown the way, but both are too quiet and in Binny’s case some way off form.

    It’s easy to look world beaters when the sun’s on your back and the ball’s bouncing your way. You often learn more about people in adversity and maybe Jones’ thinking about one or two players will have either changed or been crystallised.
     
    • Like Like x 1
Enjoyed this thread? Register to post your reply - click here!

Share This Page