- Mar 10, 2017
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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.
Another thing to keep in mind is that there is no Millenium stadium in Japan. Wales more than any other nation have made their home stadium a fortress and playing at home seems to give them an extra 30%. Wales three away performances in this year's 6N were far from convincing. France's second half capitulation gifted them a win, unconvincing against Italy and very fortunate not to receive multiple yellow cards against Scotland in the second half which could have led to a different result.
For me, the three crucial factors to Wales's success are 1. Gatland (& Edwards), 2. Millenium stadium and 3. AWJ as captain.