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Old 24-08-19, 06:19 PM   #3721
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To be fair Nev that was England's 3rd warm up game and there was a bit more intensity in their head to heads v Wales than in your mob's gentle opener against the Italians.

Also how many Irishmen thrive in 30 degree heat

So I don't think you need to press the panic button just yet.

From England's point of view, it shows what's possible with a fit Manu. All other things being equal, how far we progress in the WC is going to be closely linked to his fitness (or otherwise) IMO.
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Old 24-08-19, 07:45 PM   #3722
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To be fair Nev that was England's 3rd warm up game and there was a bit more intensity in their head to heads v Wales than in your mob's gentle opener against the Italians.

Also how many Irishmen thrive in 30 degree heat


So I don't think you need to press the panic button just yet.

From England's point of view, it shows what's possible with a fit Manu. All other things being equal, how far we progress in the WC is going to be closely linked to his fitness (or otherwise) IMO.
I was getting concerned for a few of them on the pitch. Several looked like their heads were going to explode. None of that trademark intensity of recent years.
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Old 27-08-19, 07:18 AM   #3723
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I was getting concerned for a few of them on the pitch. Several looked like their heads were going to explode. None of that trademark intensity of recent years.
Itís not going to be cold in Japan come Sept - a number of our senior players are struggling

Best is 37 ffs - he needs binning
CJ looks way off
It hurts to say this but even POM is playing poorly
Massive reliance of Sexton and Murray who arenít in great form
No creativity in the back line

We should get out of the pool - probably as winners but Scotland, Japan and Samoa will fancy their chances. NZ or ZA will wipe the floor with us
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Old 31-08-19, 07:36 PM   #3724
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Bit of a B team put out by Wales, but still good to get an away win after last week Nev
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Old 31-08-19, 10:21 PM   #3725
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Apparently Wales down to 4th but a draw next week even if England win by 15+ points will see England drop to 4th and Wales move ahead of them. These rugby Rankings are madder than the FIFA ones!
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Old 01-09-19, 07:23 PM   #3726
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As with cricket, the rankings, they make no sense whatsoever, never have. Everyone's making a big deal out of the Wales, NZ and England... The Boks just won the Rugby Championship and went from 4th to 5th somehow. No one says anything, but god forbid NZ fall off top spot, there's a mutiny haha.

Pretty bleak about the Aphiwe Dyantyi doping scandal. 4 year suspension unless he can prove something drastic. Great player, but his career is almost done now. Oh well, he was injured for the WC anyway and there are other good wings in the country.

Damian Willemse, a very promising young fly half who can play at fullback too seems to be going to Saracens on a short term deal, I think it'll be a really good move for him and he'll return to the Stormers a stronger player. Think they'll love his expansive game and his stepping.
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Old 01-09-19, 08:23 PM   #3727
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This try from Jake Polledri

Dream try for a flanker.

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Old 01-09-19, 08:35 PM   #3728
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Bit of a B team put out by Wales, but still good to get an away win after last week Nev
Bit of a B team put out by Ireland also - I think England will win the WC btw
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Old 01-09-19, 10:44 PM   #3729
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This try from Jake Polledri

Dream try for a flanker.

https://twitter.com/ymurugby/status/1167744026122104832

Polledri is handy. I don't want to sound like some entitled English twat but really why on earth would he go and play for Italy when he would have walked into the England team if he'd waited a couple of seasons.
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Old 01-09-19, 10:46 PM   #3730
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Bit of a B team put out by Ireland also - I think England will win the WC btw
Irony?

I'm equally sure they won't
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Old 02-09-19, 08:40 PM   #3731
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Irony?

I'm equally sure they won't
NO - if they keep their main players fit theyíll overpower any team
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Old 02-09-19, 08:44 PM   #3732
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NO - if they keep their main players fit they’ll overpower any team
I know what you are doing Nev

I'd have England to win against everyone but the All Blacks and South Africa.

If it came to a final I suspect both would have too much for England and the issues that have plagued them over the last few years will come home to roost (namely throwing away leading positions due to a lack of ability to manage in game).

I think if England progress, Eddie Jones will inadvertently eventually torpedo the entire campaign.
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Old 02-09-19, 09:35 PM   #3733
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NO - if they keep their main players fit they’ll overpower any team
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I know what you are doing Nev

I'd have England to win against everyone but the All Blacks and South Africa.

If it came to a final I suspect both would have too much for England and the issues that have plagued them over the last few years will come home to roost (namely throwing away leading positions due to a lack of ability to manage in game).

I think if England progress, Eddie Jones will inadvertently eventually torpedo the entire campaign.

Ok fair enough I'll take you at your word Nev

Do I think England have the players and potential to win the WC? Yes absolutely.

But as Buzzo said their game management needs to go up a notch - or a couple of notches. Actually I don't think it's necessarily game management, it seems more like complacency.

Anyway there's that issue but the bigger one for me is rampant indiscipline. And I think they've given themselves a problem over the past couple of years because they were so bad at giving away penalties for a while that when I watched a couple of games more recently (where generally their discipline was better) they lost the 50:50 calls because they seemed to have created a perception amongst referees that had them viewed as perennial transgressors.

One other thing - pretty much everyone wants to beat England more than any other team - either because they're oppressed Celts or traditional Antipodean rivals, Gallic types holding grudges or because England are "arrogant" etc etc

If key players like BV and MT stay fit then anything's possible but don't forget we didn't even make it out of the group last time with a seemingly more settled side - although the Burgess thing didn't help.

Actually I'd disagree with Buzzo about a final being too much. I'm doubtful we'd get there but in 2003 we won it in the Aussies back yard and in 2007 we performed brilliantly v the Saffers and were on the end of a couple of bad calls in a tight game even though they had hammered us in the pool.

And it's not as if the All Blacks haven't bottled WC games a few times when the going gets tough.

Yes of course I hope England do well but actually I think the teams are evenly matched and it's going to be a brilliant tournament so whatever the outcome of their matches I'm just hoping to enjoy the thing in its' entirety.
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Old 03-09-19, 01:58 PM   #3734
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Realistically the WC belongs to the All Blacks and it's their tournament to lose. Everyone else is horribly flawed. If Ireland play to potential they'll be second favourites but they've gone a bit off the boil. I'd give Wales, England and SA about even chances. All can beat any team on their day and have really good game breakers but can lose to anyone too. Don't expect Australia to win despite having a good squad on paper as always, semis would be good for them. France are also good on paper and could be a wildcard, they have been pretty awful lately, but they often rise to the occasion.

Not losing to Japan this WC would represent an improvement

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One other thing - pretty much everyone wants to beat England more than any other team - either because they're oppressed Celts or traditional Antipodean rivals, Gallic types holding grudges or because England are "arrogant" etc etc
I wish this were still true in the colonies, but I don't think it is as prevalent to the current generations. I think this would be the breakdown of perceived biggest rivals

New Zealand: Australia and South Africa (particularly the former)
Australia: New Zealand
South Africa: Australia, although New Zealand for the younger generations - the older Afrikaans and black people definitely have a distaste for England although generally it's becoming irrelevant considering the Boer War ended around 120 years ago.

Aside from stealing our players, the latter point you bring up is probably why I hate England in every sport - the arrogance and entitlement. I'm not sure if it has anything to do with the players themselves. It's just that each time England win even one game they're world beaters in the media and we hear about it for the next 10 years. It becomes very tiring, very quickly. I acknowledge that they're vilified too, but I can't handle it either way.
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Old 03-09-19, 02:49 PM   #3735
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You forgot to mention Scotland mate

The shear fear of us obviously to much to contemplate. On our day a match for anyone, that day tends to not happen away from Murrayfield which is a bit of an issue.

We had a great tournament 4 years ago so we shall see. I think we will be underestimated.

The squad has just been announced and there have been some big calls. Hard to believe Huw Jones hasn’t made it, though weaknesses in his defence and a drop off in his form have done for him. He’s class though so I hope he responds in the future. Duncan Taylor could be a huge game changer for us and it is great to see him back and I expect he and Sam Johnson to be our starting Centres.

Our starting centres 4 years ago (Matt Scott and Mark Bennett) are now at Edinburgh and we’re bever on consideration so amazing to see the strength and depth we now possess.
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Old 03-09-19, 05:29 PM   #3736
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You forgot to mention Scotland mate
No one cares about Scotland, you're shit at every sport


In all seriousness, that's madness about Huw Jones. Don't know much about Scottish rugby, but not even in the squad! Would have loved to have seen him play for the Boks and apparently there were talks about converting him like the Beast. Wonder if he'd have reconsidered in hindsight. Just Googled and I'm a bit relieved to see Kyle Steyn didn't take his place, that would have been a travesty.
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Old 03-09-19, 05:57 PM   #3737
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His form had been sensational until this season and he’s done nothing of note at Glasgow and has been plagued by injury. His international form has plateaued since 2018 also.

Though a dynamic runner and off-loader he is suspect defensively and teams had been successfully targeting that. I’m still surprised that Chris Harris got in ahead of him though I’d imagine that is down to the two games against France. We got ripped open in Paris when Huw played and kept it tight at Murrayfield with Harris.
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Old 07-09-19, 12:00 AM   #3738
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Just back from the Scotland match to hear the news about Chester Williams. The 4th member of the 95 team to pass after Roben Kruger, Van der Westhuizen and James Small.

Jeez, 49 FFS....

RIP

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Old 07-09-19, 05:14 PM   #3739
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Another comfortable (ish) win over Wales.....decent momentum heading into the WC. Assuming no injuries then my order is:

England
New Zealand


ZA, Australia
Ireland, Wales, Arg
France, Scotland


The rest although Japan will be dangerous
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Old 07-09-19, 06:20 PM   #3740
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Another comfortable (ish) win over Wales.....decent momentum heading into the WC. Assuming no injuries then my order is:

England
New Zealand


ZA, Australia
Ireland, Wales, Arg
France, Scotland


The rest although Japan will be dangerous

You’d have the Argies ahead of us? We beat their first XV in Argentina with our second string last summer. We always beat them at home, they give away too many pens and tire last 20.

NZ clear favourites for me.

Then SA and England.

Then Ireland/Wales/Aus

Then Scotland/France

Then Argies

Then rest.
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Old 07-09-19, 07:44 PM   #3741
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I would definitely put Argentina ahead of Scotland. When they're good, they're good and have decent world cup pedigree. From memory they've been semis (3rd), quarters and semis in the last 3 tournaments. I always believe them and the French have a good chance in World Cups.

As I said though, I truly believe it's the All Blacks to lose. No one else is that good. Huge flaws and the difference between the 2nd best team and the 8th or 9th is minimal.

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Just back from the Scotland match to hear the news about Chester Williams. The 4th member of the 95 team to pass after Roben Kruger, Van der Westhuizen and James Small.

Jeez, 49 FFS....

RIP

https://twitter.com/worldrugby/statu...27459535888384
Sad news, apparently he as a great guy. My aunt, who I often stay with when I'm in Cape Town lives in the same suburb as he did. I saw him running a couple of times when I was walking outside.

Unlike Joost and Small who had pretty checkered pasts, Williams reputation has been intact. MND actually repaired van der Westhuizen's reputation after his affairs and cat use. Naka Drotske is also fortunate not to be on that list having been shot last year.

I know Percy Montgomery only came along a couple of years later but wouldn't be surprised if he goes sooner or later too given the way he parties and trains. Must be on a staple diet of steroids, booze and coke.

Not sure if it was discussed internationally, but Small experienced his heart attack whilst we was in a brothel, so not a great look. I've been there before, it's basically a nice house in an affluent suburb. Unless you know about it, you wouldn't be there, the closest pub is probably at least 1km away.
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Old 07-09-19, 09:22 PM   #3742
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Youíd have the Argies ahead of us? We beat their first XV in Argentina with our second string last summer. We always beat them at home, they give away too many pens and tire last 20.

NZ clear favourites for me.

Then SA and England.

Then Ireland/Wales/Aus

Then Scotland/France

Then Argies

Then rest.
The Argies are geared for tournament rugby and I think their pack is better than yours. World cups are won up front

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I would definitely put Argentina ahead of Scotland. When they're good, they're good and have decent world cup pedigree. From memory they've been semis (3rd), quarters and semis in the last 3 tournaments. I always believe them and the French have a good chance in World Cups.

As I said though, I truly believe it's the All Blacks to lose. No one else is that good. .


Englands pack is the best in the world and they have massive men in the backs also. I donít rate the NZ as pack as highly as before and if Retallick isnít fit then theyíll struggle
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Old 07-09-19, 11:42 PM   #3743
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Nah, we’d take the Argies. Not sure when we last lost to them.

Think the only way we play them is on the final though
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Old 08-09-19, 12:04 PM   #3744
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One thing the ABs have is ridiculous depth and man can they put poor sides to the sword

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Old 15-09-19, 07:18 PM   #3745
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Cricket is over so the count down to the WC begins. Looks like Henshaw is a big doubt for the Scotland game but Richie is also out.

Not sure what to expect from Samoa and Japan......they’ll fancy a cut off us and Scotland
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Old 16-09-19, 11:39 AM   #3746
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Yeah Jamie Ritchie definitely out, but we have strong options on the back row. I expect to see 6,7,8 Barclay-Watson-Thomson, with Ryan Wilson on the bench. Real shame Sam Skinner is injured he offered a lot with ability on the second row and back row.

Just read that David Denton has been forced to retire due to concussion (has been out for about a year), he was a big part of our 2015 World Cup campaign and at his best the dynamic, ball carrying number 8 we had been looking for.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/49712831
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Old 16-09-19, 04:57 PM   #3747
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Rob Kearney a doubt also, same as Earls....might be a rookie full back - Conway or Larmour.
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Old Yesterday, 06:19 PM   #3748
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https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/49733089

Wales backs coach Rob Howley has been sent home from the World Cup for an alleged breach of World Rugby's laws covering betting and anti-corruption.

The 48-year-old's departure is a huge blow just six days before Wales' opening game in Japan against Pool D opponents Georgia.

A Welsh Rugby Union statement said Howley had "returned to Wales to assist with an investigation".

The WRU confirmed it was in relation to a potential breach of betting on rugby.

World Rugby's regulation 6.3.1 reads: "No connected person shall, directly or indirectly, bet and/or attempt to bet on the outcome or any aspect of any connected event and/or receive and/or attempt to receive part or all of the proceeds of any such bet and/or any other benefit in relation to a bet."

Wales have sent for Stephen Jones to fill the gap left by Howley's sudden departure and Jones is expected to arrive "imminently" at the squad's Kitakyushu base.

Former Wales and British and Irish Lions fly-half Jones has already been confirmed as the next Wales backs coach under Wayne Pivac, who will take the reins from Gatland after the tournament.

The WRU statement said: "Rob Howley has returned to Wales to assist with an investigation in relation to a potential breach of World Rugby Regulation 6, specifically betting on rugby union.

"The decision was taken to act immediately in light of recent information passed to the WRU. No further details can be provided at this stage as this would prejudice the investigation.

"If required an independent panel will be appointed to hear the case. Rob has co-operated fully with our initial discussions.

"Warren Gatland has consulted with senior players and Stephen Jones will be arriving in Japan imminently to link up with the squad as attack coach.

Howley has been an integral part of boss Warren Gatland's backroom team since the New Zealander took charge.

The ex-Wales and Lions scrum-half was already set to leave his role after the World Cup.

Howley had been linked with the Italy head coach job with current incumbent Conor O'Shea expected to depart next year, but that now looks unlikely.

The former Wales scrum-half has been part of Gatland's backroom staff since being appointed in January 2008 and was one of the first backroom recruits, and also played under him at Wasps.

Since he became part of the coaching set-up, Wales have won four Six Nations titles, including three Grand Slams.

Howley was in charge of Wales' 2013 Six Nations success when Gatland was away on a British and Irish Lions head coach sabbatical.

He was also part of Gatland's winning Lions coaching team in Australia in 2013 and the drawn series in New Zealand four years lat
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