Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby Deebank » 27 May 2017, 17:02

Yes!
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby Copehead » 28 May 2017, 00:45

As a purist I would have liked to have seen the team who topped the table and scored the highest number of tries in Premiership history win the final.
But Exeter's is a nice story of sustainable growth and team work over many tears finally reaching the pinnacle of the game.

So well done Exeter, bad luck Wasps, but nice to see teh top two teams duke it out.

Even better; in the Pro12 Llanelli won the Pro 12 final playing sparkling rugby and putting the generally more dour Munster to the sword scoring 7 tries.
Absolutely delighted. When Llanelli reach peak performance they are a joy to watch and almost irresistible, bit like a better version of Wasps :)
I am amazed they managed to reach those peaks 2 weeks on the trot in the hostile atmosphere of the Dublin Aviva stadium against the might of Leinster and Munster.

Absolutely amazing performances because both were completely dominant against atypically subdued Irish provinces, perhaps Llanelli just didn't let them get on the front foot, I don't care anyway.

Northampton beat Stade in a bad tempered scrappy game at Franklin's Gardens for the last place in next years European Cup, so Saints got something out of a year where they were massively less than the sum of their parts, had Wood sent off but a massive performance by Lawes dragged them over the line with a late try convert nervelessly by Mallinder Jnr from the touchline for the win.

The Super 14 reaches its climax next week but the runaway league leaders La Rochelle were dumped out by Toulon, let's hope Clermont dump Toulon out in the final.

Then it will straight on to the Lions tour, phew!
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby The Write Profile » 31 May 2017, 04:17

A superb piece from NZ journalist Russell Brown on the state of rugby in the country, and what has changed since Professionalism.

One of the big changes has been the increasing focus of schools, rather than clubs or unions, as the incubators for future players and stars: rather than working your way through club rugby and onto provincial rugby and then onto (say) Super Rugby and then All Blacks, much of the selection these days starts at schools, much in the same way that College Basketball is such a big thing in the US (Sky NZ gets bigger ratings for First XV rugby than Provincial Rugby these days).

It also means that there is ridiculous competition for new players at first XV level, with big schools frequently poaching players from smaller schools. Anyway, the whole piece is worth a read.
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby Copehead » 31 May 2017, 07:17

The Write Profile wrote:A superb piece from NZ journalist Russell Brown on the state of rugby in the country, and what has changed since Professionalism. One of the big changes has been the increasing focus of schools, rather than clubs or unions, as the incubators for future players and stars: rather than working your way through club rugby and onto provincial rugby and then onto (say) Super Rugby and then All Blacks, much of the selection these days starts at schools, much in the same way that College Basketball is such a big thing in the US (Sky NZ gets bigger ratings for First XV rugby than Provincial Rugby these days). It also means that there is ridiculous competition for new players at first XV level, with big schools frequently poaching players from smaller schools. Anyway, the whole piece is worth a read.


Sounds interesting I will give it a read later when I am off shift.

It is much different in the UK, school rugby outside fee paying schools is pretty moribund but it thrives at mini & youth level at amateur clubs. My club - Ampthill - has a massive Mini & Youth set up, the largest children's activity group in the East Midland's! They train players up to 17 when the cream will go into club academies at the professional clubs. We have 2 current alumni playing at the top level - Lewis Ludlow at Gloucester and Josh Bassett at Wasps, and others further down the ladder at Bedford Blues ( tier 2 ).
But go along to pretty much any club in the country and on a Sunday morning you will find dozens to hundreds of kids playing rugby from 6-7 upwards, girls and boys.

It appears to be a system that is bearing fruit at the top level, England are starting to dominate at U20 and the fruits of that team are now being fast tracked into the England set up, all you have to do is look at the team sheet from last weekend's England BaaBaas game, you'll recognise a handful of names, many of the others have played a handful of top flight games, Nick Isiekwe was playing for Ampthill ( third tier ) on loan from Saracens academy for the first part of the year, now he is heading for an England cap in Argentina, he is only 19 and could still play for the U20 side.

These guys are being scouted and fast tracked through the England set up now, whereas before you had to be an established player before you got a look in now they know who they will probably be playing in certain positions far into the future, if they continue to develop.

Two entirely different ways of bring through talent both highly selective at a young age and both looking to be very successful, with England's greater numbers being ranged against New Zealand's more rugby orientated culture and, arguably, more skills based training.

England have to fight against football being a dominant sport, but football is still a useless game for many athletic people, requiring foot skills, so Rugby gets enough kids of a good enough athletic standard playing to match New Zealand in numbers despite football being the overwhelmingly dominant game for children.
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby Copehead » 03 Jun 2017, 08:32

Here we go

Isn't it lovely that Warren's son is playing 10 for the opposition today.

Apparently he told him to be prepared to make a few tackles as he would be sending some big units down his channel.

Dads!
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby never/ever » 03 Jun 2017, 11:15

That article you posted TWP should be forwarded to the ARU. ..been hearing that the problem with the Australian sides is an abandonment of the grassroots game and devaluation of the local competition.

Aside of that- how about that drop goal from Hunt in that Crusaders-game?
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby Copehead » 04 Jun 2017, 01:26

Sounded like a crap opening game to open the Lions tour, which is almost a tradition in itself, well played the Provincial Barbarians.

I think the game showed that defense is the first thing to come together with scratch teams, neither team giving too much, although the Lions were held up over the line 4 times and butchered another couple of gold plated chances - Hogg and Laidlaw. In the end it was about lack of accuracy rather than lack of creation once eeh Baabaas had blown themselves out. But Bryn Gatland looked far better than Sexton as a kicking FH.

The bench eased them over the line by upping the intensity and they closed the game out comfortably, but really they should have been 40 points to the good by then with the number of try opportunities they missed.

Laidlaw, Sexton and Hogg all had shocking games and 2 of them were in most peoples starting 15. I know Hogg can try and take too much on himself sometimes, Sexton only seems to fire one game in 3 or 4 these days he is pretty crocked and Laidlaw missed a free invitation to the try line that Webb and Murray, not to mention Youngs, would have strolled through.

I know a thing or two about Jetlag and scheduling the game in the evening for the UK/Eire audience would have done them no favours whatsoever.

Another 4 days should sort out the jetlag for most of them, I am not sure if the attacking game plan won't take rather longer and a bit more thought about who plays in key positions. Here it was the half backs that were a major problem, they'd never played together and it looked like it.

Murray will come in and so should Farrell for the next game and that is looking like the starting test pair unless Sexton seriously improves. The pack was underpowered without their English players. Hogg is a worry at fullback if he plays like that again.

Otherwise first tick on the fixture list.
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby The Write Profile » 05 Jun 2017, 08:39

never/ever wrote:That article you posted TWP should be forwarded to the ARU. ..been hearing that the problem with the Australian sides is an abandonment of the grassroots game and devaluation of the local competition.

Aside of that- how about that drop goal from Hunt in that Crusaders-game?


Oh man, don't remind me about that dropped goal :(

It was probably one of the games of the tournament, both sides were really gunning for it, and a draw would've probably been the fairer result. Lots of skill and resilience displayed by both sides. But gosh the end to that match brought up bad memories of past, last-minute defeats to the Crusaders or Canterbury. Meanwhile, the number of players getting concussed must be causing headaches (no pun intended) for the All Black selectors. You'll wonder whether they'll be able to field a full-strength squad against the Lions if they're not careful.
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby Nikki Gradual » 05 Jun 2017, 21:21

Well played Clermont.
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby Copehead » 05 Jun 2017, 22:50

Nikki Gradual wrote:Well played Clermont.


Indeed nice to see the nearly men finally getting there regularly. Nice for the English guys there too, Abendanon and??? isn't there someone else? Winger ex bath and sarries
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby Nikki Gradual » 06 Jun 2017, 22:39

Copehead wrote:
Nikki Gradual wrote:Well played Clermont.


Indeed nice to see the nearly men finally getting there regularly. Nice for the English guys there too, Abendanon and??? isn't there someone else? Winger ex bath and sarries


Strettle (Quins and Sarries) or "that one Henson mullered" as he will forever be known despite the fact that that was actually Matthew Tait.
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby Copehead » 06 Jun 2017, 23:13

Nikki Gradual wrote:
Copehead wrote:
Nikki Gradual wrote:Well played Clermont.


Indeed nice to see the nearly men finally getting there regularly. Nice for the English guys there too, Abendanon and??? isn't there someone else? Winger ex bath and sarries


Strettle (Quins and Sarries) or "that one Henson mullered" as he will forever be known despite the fact that that was actually Matthew Tait.


Really? I don't see how you get those two muddled

Strettle, of course, another nearly man.
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby Nikki Gradual » 06 Jun 2017, 23:22

Copehead wrote:Really? I don't see how you get those two muddled


I don't, everyone else does.
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby Copehead » 06 Jun 2017, 23:27

Nikki Gradual wrote:
Copehead wrote:Really? I don't see how you get those two muddled


I don't, everyone else does.


Not everyone, everyone apart from us. :)

Anyway allez Les lions tonight

Hopefully the jet lag is gone now

Playing every player in the first 3 matches is certainly brave as it means that the strongest side won't be put out until a week on Saturday just a couple of weeks and 2 matches before the first test

I think the itinery will screw them here

Needs a rethink but that has been said for years now
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby The Great Defector » 06 Jun 2017, 23:29

Any scrapping yet? Otherwise, meh.
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby The Write Profile » 08 Jun 2017, 00:06

Well, the Blues defeated the Lions 22-16 in an absorbing match at Eden Park. Despite the result, the Lions can come out of that game with quite a few positives. First of all, their defence was largely solid- all three of the Blues tries occurred in freakish circumstances--while they were adept in line-outs, scrumming and putting together phases. What they lacked was a greater vision and the ability to grab opportunities to turn possession into points at crucial moments. For most of the match, they had the wood over the Blues, as evidenced by their dominance of possession and territory. There were times when their setpieces were rusty and clearly under-prepared.

That will come, but hopefully the coaching staff has now realised that attempting to beat the Blues (or the Crusaders, Highlanders and All Blacks for that matter) at their own game is rather futile. The Super Rugby sides have had plenty of time to work out their best combinations, whereas the Lions are a mass of players from different sides mashed together and made to perform in a relatively short time frame. They looked good in the structured play last night, which could serve them well against the All Blacks, but in order to beat them, they will need that something extra in broken play. As an aside, SBW's performance last night should lead to being first choice in his position in the Lions test series. He scored a try, set up another and generally looked very game indeed.
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby Copehead » 08 Jun 2017, 01:29

The Write Profile wrote:Well, the Blues defeated the Lions 22-16 in an absorbing match at Eden Park. Despite the result, the Lions can come out of that game with quite a few positives. First of all, their defence was largely solid- all three of the Blues tries occurred in freakish circumstances--while they were adept in line-outs, scrumming and putting together phases. What they lacked was a greater vision and the ability to grab opportunities to turn possession into points at crucial moments. For most of the match, they had the wood over the Blues, as evidenced by their dominance of possession and territory. There were times when their setpieces were rusty and clearly under-prepared.

That will come, but hopefully the coaching staff has now realised that attempting to beat the Blues (or the Crusaders, Highlanders and All Blacks for that matter) at their own game is rather futile. The Super Rugby sides have had plenty of time to work out their best combinations, whereas the Lions are a mass of players from different sides mashed together and made to perform in a relatively short time frame. They looked good in the structured play last night, which could serve them well against the All Blacks, but in order to beat them, they will need that something extra in broken play. As an aside, SBW's performance last night should lead to being first choice in his position in the Lions test series. He scored a try, set up another and generally looked very game indeed.


Defence is the easiest thing to set up in a scratch team.
Second Blues try looked debatable and the yellow card for Liam Williams was a crock.
But the Lions better be able to get some finishing together over the next couple of weeks as they are getting into a position to score and not grounding with monotonous regularity at the moment.
Saturday looks to be pretty close to the A team with Vunipola, George, Furlong, Kruis, SOB, Murray, Farrell coming into the starting mix for the first time, we better start to see some attacking cohesion come in or things will look bleak.

What you can't anticipate is the changes in the game over 4 years.

I think defences are now far tighter at the top level and you have to do something special to break them when you have quality players on the field on both sides.

I think both first 2 games showed that and, as you say, the Blues tries all had an element of fluke along the way, except perhaps the first.

You can't go out and hope that tries come, and planning attacking moves in a scratch team is time consuming and the Lions don't have time.

I question whether the Lions can tour in this fashion again, it could well be a waste of everyone's time bar the money in the NZRFU coffers.

We will see
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby The Write Profile » 08 Jun 2017, 06:47

Outside backs
Jordie Barrett, Israel Dagg, Rieko Ioane, Waisake Naholo, Julian Savea, Ben Smith.
Midfielders
Ryan Crotty, Ngani Laumape, Anton Lienert-Brown, Sonny Bill Williams (Jack Goodhue injury cover).
First five-eighths
Beauden Barrett, Aaron Cruden, Lima Sopoaga.
Halfbacks
Tawera Kerr-Barlow, TJ Perenara, Aaron Smith.
Loose forwards
Sam Cane, Jerome Kaino, Kieran Read (captain), Ardie Savea, Liam Squire.
Locks
Scott Barrett, Brodie Retallick, Luke Romano, Sam Whitelock.
Props
Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Owen Franks, Joe Moody, Ofa Tu'ungafasi.
Hookers
Dane Coles, Codie Taylor, Nathan Harris.


No real surprises to the ABs squad for the Lions series, although it seems odd they picked Coles given his recent concussion problems. The selection of all three Barrett brothers is deserved, while Matt Todd can consider himself unlucky not to be among the loose forwards.
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby Copehead » 08 Jun 2017, 07:04

hmmmm

42/43:35/36

anyone else want a guess?
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby The Write Profile » 10 Jun 2017, 10:30

Well, it was dour and occasionally turgid, but the Lions deserved their 12-3 win over the Crusaders tonight. The gameplan seemed to be based around rushing defence and ensuring the Crusaders had no gaps to work with. The Crusaders didn't seem to read the tempo of the game at all tonight, far too often they were left stranded midfield and resorting to box kicks that went nowhere in particular. It will be interesting to see whether this is how the Lions will play against the ABs, certainly, there were moments where they almost showed flair, but the sheer desire to win trumped creativity tonight.
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