The Rugby Thread

tototoner

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So, early predictions. Where do England and Ireland finish in their groups and how far do they get?
Ireland will out in QF again.

Only 4 teams can win it IMHO. NZ, England, South Africa and Wales

I fancy South Africa
 

E17yid

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Ireland will out in QF again.

Only 4 teams can win it IMHO. NZ, England, South Africa and Wales

I fancy South Africa
I disagree but see where you’re coming from. Crazy to think that a year ago you had a lot of people rightly tipping Ireland to be big contenders off the back of a GS an victory against NZ. Shit can change quickly I guess but I would 100% put you in the “can win” category. You do under perform at WC though
 

E17yid

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All NH teams tend to underperform at world cups generally speaking.
True. I think it’ll be different this year though I really do.

I actually think England have a really good chance. You’ll either win it or crash out the group. One or the other.
 

mpickard2087

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England have got to be looking to top the group. France and Argentina are two dangerous teams capable of beating us if it clicks, but over the last few years we usually beat France and seem to always beat Argentina (even with circumstances like having a man sent off after 5 mins, or sending a B/C/D squad over there during a Lions summer against their first XV) so would be disappointing if we didn't all of a sudden.

The ghost of 2015 lingers though.........

Beyond that I think we deserve to be in the conversation about winning it, but who knows. I think keeping Billy fit (and to a lesser extent Manu) is going to be a key factor, but mainly it will come down to consistency of performance, and within the 80 minutes at that. In some areas, like initial phase/set play strike moves over the last couple of years I'd say we've looked razor sharp and up there with traditional NZ standards to score some brilliant tries, we've also seen spells of the game where we've played with such a ferocity and pace to our play - strong carries, quick ball, great hands, lightening out wide - that it would smash any team off the park. However within the same game we can completely lose it, start booting it away etc and stop playing rugby, and switch off and gift the other team a way back into the game. Someone like Ben Youngs will be important, he can go from decent to dismal in the blink of an eye and we'll need him to find a consistent level marshalling it from 9.

I also worry in a tight game some of our defence will get shown up, particularly if it becomes a kickfest and lots of aerial ping pong.

We shall see though, some cracking match-ups to be had.
 

E17yid

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England have got to be looking to top the group. France and Argentina are two dangerous teams capable of beating us if it clicks, but over the last few years we usually beat France and seem to always beat Argentina (even with circumstances like having a man sent off after 5 mins, or sending a B/C/D squad over there during a Lions summer against their first XV) so would be disappointing if we didn't all of a sudden.

The ghost of 2015 lingers though.........

Beyond that I think we deserve to be in the conversation about winning it, but who knows. I think keeping Billy fit (and to a lesser extent Manu) is going to be a key factor, but mainly it will come down to consistency of performance, and within the 80 minutes at that. In some areas, like initial phase/set play strike moves over the last couple of years I'd say we've looked razor sharp and up there with traditional NZ standards to score some brilliant tries, we've also seen spells of the game where we've played with such a ferocity and pace to our play - strong carries, quick ball, great hands, lightening out wide - that it would smash any team off the park. However within the same game we can completely lose it, start booting it away etc and stop playing rugby, and switch off and gift the other team a way back into the game. Someone like Ben Youngs will be important, he can go from decent to dismal in the blink of an eye and we'll need him to find a consistent level marshalling it from 9.

I also worry in a tight game some of our defence will get shown up, particularly if it becomes a kickfest and lots of aerial ping pong.

We shall see though, some cracking match-ups to be had.
The worry I’d have about Youngs is the same one I have about Gareth Davies. Game management.

At international level because defences are so good you’re opportunities to make runs as a 9 are massively limited compared to club level which means your game management has to be spot on.

Gareth Davies is a really good player and has done really well, generally. But he’s not as good as Rhys Webb in any respect (except being a bit faster) and he’s definitely not as good a game manager either.

I think we deserve to be in the conversation too but I can’t see us winning. If we do well in the group we should get to a semi but you never know, I suppose. Ultimately, though, you need all your world class players on the plane (and Wales only have a handful of truly world class players imo) and we’re missing 2 of ours in Faletau and Webb, shooting ourselves in the foot with the latter obviously. If we had both of them, and got a bit of luck, I’d put us second/joint second favourites and baring in mind the draw that would probably mean we get to a final with either England or NZ. But we are missing those players and while Moriarty and Davies are extremely good players they’re not as good as Faletau and Webb.
 

mpickard2087

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The worry I’d have about Youngs is the same one I have about Gareth Davies. Game management.

At international level because defences are so good you’re opportunities to make runs as a 9 are massively limited compared to club level which means your game management has to be spot on.

Gareth Davies is a really good player and has done really well, generally. But he’s not as good as Rhys Webb in any respect (except being a bit faster) and he’s definitely not as good a game manager either.

I think we deserve to be in the conversation too but I can’t see us winning. If we do well in the group we should get to a semi but you never know, I suppose. Ultimately, though, you need all your world class players on the plane (and Wales only have a handful of truly world class players imo) and we’re missing 2 of ours in Faletau and Webb, shooting ourselves in the foot with the latter obviously. If we had both of them, and got a bit of luck, I’d put us second/joint second favourites and baring in mind the draw that would probably mean we get to a final with either England or NZ. But we are missing those players and while Moriarty and Davies are extremely good players they’re not as good as Faletau and Webb.
I think you should have confidence. Wales are one of the fitter teams and will go for 80 mins, and possibly have the best defence. They've had the management team in place for so long that its such a well oiled well drilled machine and everyone knows what they're doing (and, if I dare say, this helps compensate for a lack of quality in some areas). That can take you far in tournament rugby.
 

E17yid

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Just looking at the first full day of fixtures on the Saturday (you got Japan v Russia on the Friday)

Australia v Fiji
France v Argentina
NZ v SA

As @mpickard2087 said, some cracking match ups to be had.
 

Japhet

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These studs look crazy.

They look bloody lethal. Back when I was playing at school a player called Chris Ralston at Richmond (I think) had his head opened up by a stud. Absolutely horrendous injury that needed something like 70 stitches, and as a result we had our studs checked for any sort of edges or damage before every game.
 

E17yid

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They look bloody lethal. Back when I was playing at school a player called Chris Ralston at Richmond (I think) had his head opened up by a stud. Absolutely horrendous injury that needed something like 70 stitches, and as a result we had our studs checked for any sort of edges or damage before every game.
I’ve had my ear almost come off before, hanging on by a bit of skin. That was from a stud. I swear that number 8 sharpened his studs.
 

Japhet

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I’ve had my ear almost come off before, hanging on by a bit of skin. That was from a stud. I swear that number 8 sharpened his studs.
I suppose it was all back in the day when if you were on the wrong side of a ruck you could expect to get a hefty helping of 'boot pie'.
 

teok

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SA team for their warm up vs Japan. This is basically their strongest side right?

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Francois Louw, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Frans Steyn, 23 Jesse Kriel
 

E17yid

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I suppose it was all back in the day when if you were on the wrong side of a ruck you could expect to get a hefty helping of 'boot pie'.
Especially if like me you were a scrum half who dished it out. I never stamped on anyone though but gave the odd forward a raking every now and then. I played my rugby in the 90s and naughties but funnily enough my ear injury just cane from a tackle and not from a ruck.
 

E17yid

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SA team for their warm up vs Japan. This is basically their strongest side right?

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Francois Louw, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Frans Steyn, 23 Jesse Kriel
More or less. I’d have Kriel in there personally and I pretty sure Kitshoff has overtaken the beast at loosehead so seems about right.

Should be a good game that.
 

E17yid

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SA team for their warm up vs Japan. This is basically their strongest side right?

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Francois Louw, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Frans Steyn, 23 Jesse Kriel
Is this on TV?
 

Japhet

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Especially if like me you were a scrum half who dished it out. I never stamped on anyone though but gave the odd forward a raking every now and then. I played my rugby in the 90s and naughties but funnily enough my ear injury just cane from a tackle and not from a ruck.
I got plenty of treatment when I played at 7. Depressed cheecbone and lost 3 teeth in the worst 'shoeing' incident. Played at 13 sometimes and my 'career' came to an abrupt halt with a pretty catastrophic knee injury from a double tackle. Players today should think themselves lucky the rules have evolved so much. Saw some pretty horrible stuff.
 

Japhet

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SA team for their warm up vs Japan. This is basically their strongest side right?

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Francois Louw, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Frans Steyn, 23 Jesse Kriel
Looks pretty impressive on paper.
 
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