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  • Scrum Down - Rugby Union Thread

    What's left of the season? Well, there's all the major domestic silverware to give out. Interesting looking playoffs in the Premiership. Decent European finals. I think people are generally expecting Leinster to run riot in the Pro14, but they've been expected to and tripped before especially when they have European distractions.

    We're also coming up close on a bunch of Southern Hemisphere games. England go to South Africa for three tests looking to try and right the ship after a poor six nations. Wales have a game in South Africa before travelling to Argentina. Ireland go to Australia for their trip. Scotland tour the Americas, and France have drawn the toughest assignment and are going to New Zealand.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  • #2
    Not to speak out of turn but it's a crucial squad selection for Eddie Jones.

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    • #3
      Cardiff won something!!!

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      • #4
        It's one hell of a turn around from earlier in the season, when frankly winning games looked beyond them.

        James Haskell joining Northampton Saints in the off-season. I wonder if one last world cup might not be beyond him....

        "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

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        • #5
          Saracens tie up another trophy. And Leinster win the pro 14. That's it for domestic rugby for the time being.

          Lot more focus on those Southern hemisphere tours now. Huge pressure on England after being downed by the Barbarians too. While you couldn't call it a first-choice XV, it's hardly a bad one either:

          Daly, May, Trinder, Francis, Brown, Ford, Youngs, Marler, Singleton, Sinckler, Stooke, Launchbury, Robshaw, Curry, Mercer.

          So I think you've got to see the South Africa games as what is always the first step in rebuilding confidence - ending the losing streak.

          "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

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          • #6
            Long term England will obviously be fine, the game is going from strength to strength. But the question now is how good will they be at the 2019 World Cup. Sad truth is the two titles and the Grand Slam won't count for much if the Jones era finishes on a sour note.

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            • #7
              Wallabies have a tough kick off to the international season against the Six Nations champs Ireland however most NH teams seem to lose a step this late in the season and heading down south. That said the weather is doing us no favours with cloud and light rain expected to make Ireland feel right at home when they take the field.

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              • #8
                Interesting game for England. Huge start, good finish, ropey middle that cost them the game. It's been suggested in some quarters that they didn't play the altitude very well and got overwhelmed. There's enough in there to find some positives after a poor six nations but it's still far from ideal and obviously there are some solutions, particularly in defence and in the pack, that need to be found sharpish.

                Can't win the World Cup without a good Six Nations. Can't have a good six nations without fixing some of these problems before hand. And the whole point of bringing Jones in, really, was to build towards either winning the world cup or looking heroic in the attempt.

                "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

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                • #9
                  Wallabies had a very promising game against Ireland. David Pocock and Kurtley Beale were the pick of the team. Great to see Pocock back in action after his year off, if there was one guy we need to be a force in world rugby it is him. Beale did a great job with tactical kicking and it was nice to see the team embrace the less attractive side of rugby at least a little. It is well known that the Aussie way is to attack with ball in hand but you can't argue that rugby is a game of territory, I don't want us to become a 10 man team but attacking is certainly a lot better when you are in the opponent's half.

                  Eddie Jones is an interesting choice for a coach I must say. The guy has always had a different way of looking at rugby and has always been an innovator, sometimes not for the best but he seems to have done a pretty good job with England so far.

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                  • #10
                    Pocock is a great player. Beale too. Australia has a top class first fifteen but I'm not sure the depth is there beyond that. But get everyone in and they are a match for anyone.

                    England seems to have lost any ability to manage a game. The talent is still there but the winning mentality has evaporated.

                    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SirSam View Post
                      Eddie Jones is an interesting choice for a coach I must say. The guy has always had a different way of looking at rugby and has always been an innovator, sometimes not for the best but he seems to have done a pretty good job with England so far.
                      From a Welsh perspective, he's doing a grand job!!

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                      • #12
                        I know the rugby chatter only really flourishes here during the international Windows, but I for one am enjoying having the leagues back.

                        Even though I can't get much of the Pro14 anymore.

                        "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

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                        • #13
                          Great season so far. That Bath winger they've called up for England looks pretty tasty.

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                          • #14
                            Yeah, I'm enjoying it too.

                            Anyone see that freak Harlequins try against Sarries? That was insane.

                            "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

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                            • #15
                              Well Wales just beat the Wallabies for the first time in 12 years.

                              I know they are good right now but that is the icing on the truly crap cake this year.

                              Beaten 3-0 in Bledisloe Cup
                              Beaten by Argentina and only just escaped the second match with a miracle comeback
                              Now ranked 7th in the world
                              Beaten 2-1 by Ireland at home

                              The sad thing is that I actually don't think there is much that can be done about it, we simply don't have the troops to match. Australian Rugby is reaping the harvest is sewed when it failed to capitalise on the popularity of the game in the country during the late 90s and early 00s. It is now a completely niche game with AFL & Rugby League taking the majority of the most gifted athletes at a young age, leaving Union a very small pool.

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