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Official 2011 Six Nations Thread Watch

  • View Poll Results: Winner of 2011 Nations
    Ireland Title
    3
    2.54%
    Ireland Grand Slam
    9
    7.63%
    England Title
    32
    27.12%
    England Grand Slam
    31
    26.27%
    Wales Title
    6
    5.08%
    Wales Grand Slam
    5
    4.24%
    Scotland Title
    8
    6.78%
    Scotland Grand Slam
    2
    1.69%
    France Title
    11
    9.32%
    France Grand Slam
    4
    3.39%
    Italy Title
    2
    1.69%
    Italy Grand Slam
    5
    4.24%

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    (Original post by dreamyeyed)
    Player of the tournament, anyone?
    All my nominees screwed it up in the last round :P
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    I'm struggling to think of a stand out player this tournament tbh.
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    Morgan Parra, Vincent Clerk. Andrea Masi. Brian O'Driscoll, Tommy Bowe, Cian Healy, Sam Warburton. Richie Gray, Joe Ansbro.

    but:
    Chris Ashton was pretty good in all the games.
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    (Original post by dreamyeyed)
    Player of the tournament, anyone?
    Flood or Ashton in the early games, Brian O'Driscoll or Tommy Bowe in the later ones. Overally I'd probably go for Flood or BOD, as Bowe wasn't involved early on and Ashton managed to be largely anonymous later on, though I'm not sure which of these two I'd go for. BOD set up and scored some brilliant tries, was easily the best player in the final match and has been great throughout, but Flood played his midfield general role tremendously match after match, kicking well, setting up moves and never being the weak link in defence.
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    (Original post by Drogue)
    Flood or Ashton in the early games, Brian O'Driscoll or Tommy Bowe in the later ones. Overally I'd probably go for Flood or BOD, as Bowe wasn't involved early on and Ashton managed to be largely anonymous later on, though I'm not sure which of these two I'd go for. BOD set up and scored some brilliant tries, was easily the best player in the final match and has been great throughout, but Flood played his midfield general role tremendously match after match, kicking well, setting up moves and never being the weak link in defence.
    Flood is a good shout, can't believe I missed him off my list of honourable mentions.

    I just think Ireland were so disappointing for the first 4 games. Barely scraping past Scotland and Italy, losing to Wales and France.

    Other than Italy, do you think there are any sides that will be pleased with their performance in the 6 nations? France were patchy to say the least, Wales were unconvincing, and Scotland barely avoided the wooden spoon. England started strong but accelerated backwards.
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    (Original post by py0alb)
    Flood is a good shout, can't believe I missed him off my list of honourable mentions.

    I just think Ireland were so disappointing for the first 4 games. Barely scraping past Scotland and Italy, losing to Wales and France.

    Other than Italy, do you think there are any sides that will be pleased with their performance in the 6 nations? France were patchy to say the least, Wales were unconvincing, and Scotland barely avoided the wooden spoon. England started strong but accelerated backwards.
    New Zealand, South Africa and Australia
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    (Original post by py0alb)
    Morgan Parra, Vincent Clerk. Andrea Masi. Brian O'Driscoll, Tommy Bowe, Cian Healy, Sam Warburton. Richie Gray, Joe Ansbro.

    but:
    Chris Ashton was pretty good in all the games.
    Chris Ashton was quiet in the last two games! he is only known now for his try celebration and tries. But he did play well in the first 3.
    I would have to choose Andrea Masi, What a tournament he had! He's developed loads since last year.
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    (Original post by py0alb)
    Flood is a good shout, can't believe I missed him off my list of honourable mentions.

    I just think Ireland were so disappointing for the first 4 games. Barely scraping past Scotland and Italy, losing to Wales and France.

    Other than Italy, do you think there are any sides that will be pleased with their performance in the 6 nations? France were patchy to say the least, Wales were unconvincing, and Scotland barely avoided the wooden spoon. England started strong but accelerated backwards.
    Actually yes, I don't think any team will be too displeased overall. England showed moments of the creativity that they'd been lacking for a long time. Johnson knows now that if they work on the little mistakes they'll be a force to be reckoned with. Similarly with France, though with Lievremont as coach I can't see this getting much better for the World Cup and their defence was almost universally lacking. Scotland showed they could score tries in their match against France, though I appreciate the rest of their play left a lot to be desired. Ireland have ended on a high showing that can put it all together. Wales are still bedding down with a new fly half and never seemed to get their full team out, but I wouldn't be too critical as they didn't fall apart.

    No team played universally well, but all teams have something to be happy about. I think Johnson and Mallet have more positives to take away than the other coaches, and seem to be in a good position to move towards the World Cup, but I can't see any coach doing any huge changes of direction (except Lievremont because he's a bit crazy).

    Take England for example. Every player in the starting 15, bar possibly Hape, has really shown what they're capable of. When you add Moody, Lawes and Sheridan back in you've got both a great team and subs that can make a real impact coming on. Man for man, we're in a great place, and some of the matches showed this starting to gel as a team. Compare this to last year, when Ashton and Foden we either not in the team or not yet gelled and linking up, when there was little competition for places in the pack, when Youngs was still very green and when neither Flood nor Wilkinson seemed truly world class. We've come on a huge way. One bad match at the end doesn't change this for me. It shows we've got stuff to work on, especially against a team that's very adapt at killing the ball and especially in pressure games, but I think Johnson will be able to do this.
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    (Original post by LJ.)
    Chris Ashton was quiet in the last two games! he is only known now for his try celebration and tries. But he did play well in the first 3.
    I would have to choose Andrea Masi, What a tournament he had! He's developed loads since last year.
    He made at least one line break in each game, and continued to look like our most dangerous runner. It was our forwards that were most at fault for the drop in quality in the last two games; they seemed unable to maintain possession on their own rucks. Both Scotland and Ireland had clearly targetted this area. Need to sort it out before the world cup.
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    (Original post by Drogue)
    Actually yes, I don't think any team will be too displeased overall. England showed moments of the creativity that they'd been lacking for a long time. Johnson knows now that if they work on the little mistakes they'll be a force to be reckoned with. Similarly with France, though with Lievremont as coach I can't see this getting much better for the World Cup and their defence was almost universally lacking. Scotland showed they could score tries in their match against France, though I appreciate the rest of their play left a lot to be desired. Ireland have ended on a high showing that can put it all together. Wales are still bedding down with a new fly half and never seemed to get their full team out, but I wouldn't be too critical as they didn't fall apart.

    No team played universally well, but all teams have something to be happy about. I think Johnson and Mallet have more positives to take away than the other coaches, and seem to be in a good position to move towards the World Cup, but I can't see any coach doing any huge changes of direction (except Lievremont because he's a bit crazy).

    Take England for example. Every player in the starting 15, bar possibly Hape, has really shown what they're capable of. When you add Moody, Lawes and Sheridan back in you've got both a great team and subs that can make a real impact coming on. Man for man, we're in a great place, and some of the matches showed this starting to gel as a team. Compare this to last year, when Ashton and Foden we either not in the team or not yet gelled and linking up, when there was little competition for places in the pack, when Youngs was still very green and when neither Flood nor Wilkinson seemed truly world class. We've come on a huge way. One bad match at the end doesn't change this for me. It shows we've got stuff to work on, especially against a team that's very adapt at killing the ball and especially in pressure games, but I think Johnson will be able to do this.


    I think the backs look alright, its the forwards that I'm worried about. A big aggressive set of forwards seems to be able to disrupt our set pieces and our basic ability to recycle ball, and deny us the ability to make yards around the fringes and get the backs playing off the front foot: see the games against South Africa and Ireland. This is why we have done better against Australia in recent years - because they don't have the muscle power up front to throw us off our game. But South Africa (and NZ now they will have seen our issues) will be all over us.

    If we're able to maintain possession and momentum we have the dynamic runners in the backline to score tries - but thats a big if. We seem to be constantly scrabbling backwards as the ball comes flying out of the back of our rucks/scrums.

    Having said that, I can't think of a single forward I would single out as being particularly poor. But our problems are symptomatic of a poorly organised and inexperienced and outmuscled pack. Just need a little more savvy and leadership up front and we'll put together a good world cup campaign.
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    (Original post by py0alb)
    I think the backs look alright, its the forwards that I'm worried about. A big aggressive set of forwards seems to be able to disrupt our set pieces and our basic ability to recycle ball, and deny us the ability to make yards around the fringes and get the backs playing off the front foot: see the games against South Africa and Ireland. This is why we have done better against Australia in recent years - because they don't have the muscle power up front to throw us off our game. But South Africa (and NZ now they will have seen our issues) will be all over us.

    If we're able to maintain possession and momentum we have the dynamic runners in the backline to score tries - but thats a big if. We seem to be constantly scrabbling backwards as the ball comes flying out of the back of our rucks/scrums.

    Having said that, I can't think of a single forward I would single out as being particularly poor. But our problems are symptomatic of a poorly organised and inexperienced and outmuscled pack. Just need a little more savvy and leadership up front and we'll put together a good world cup campaign.
    I agree with this entirely, but I think with Moody coming back and with Johnson as coach, we should be able to get that leadership and have the pack play better as a co-ordinated unit. There's not a single forward position where we're weak, and the competition for places at flanker and second row mean we'll have world class players not making the 22.
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    Thought Tom Wood was very good and extremely consistent for England, especially when you consider it was his International debut. Not that my club allegiance has anything to do with that choice of course...

    Best player of the tournament has to be the Italian fullback though, the one who scored against France and Scotland. It's not often you see one player make or break a team - but I think had he not gone off against Scotland then our Northern friends could well be sat at home nursing their wooden spoon right now.
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    (Original post by QwentyJ)
    At least you don't support Scotland. It's like being poked in the eye all year round.
    Having family from Glasgow I'm afraid to say I do Except when they play Wales of course
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    http://www.espnscrum.com/sixnations2...ml?CMP=OTC-RSS
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    (Original post by Drogue)
    Wales are still bedding down with a new fly half and never seemed to get their full team out, but I wouldn't be too critical as they didn't fall apart.
    We may not have fallen apart but the back-line is unable to break any defenses. It seems to have been coached out of them, when Roberts ran straight and fast against France we actually looked like we might be able to score but we lacked that finishing instinct.
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    (Original post by Hylean)
    Have to say, Sexton really annoys me. As kickers go, he is decent enough, but he's nowhere near O'Gara's ability. Problem with O'Gara is that he is a huge gaping hole in our back line and every team knows it. Once he goes on the field, France will be all over him. Kidney knows this. It's a gamble starting with Sexton, but it might work. I'd rather have O'Gara on, but hopefully Kidney will put him on if France start breaking away from us.

    It hurts me every time I see Stringer on the bench in favour of O'Leary, or not even on the squad. Stringer is a far better scrum-half and every time he comes on he proves that. He plays better, keeps the game flowing and working well. O'Leary spends far too much time slowing the game down and letting the teams line up to attack and defend. We need faster play and he doesn't provide that; can't give the French time to arrange their defence.
    Sorry, had to bring this up. Sexton, bar Quade Cooper is the best fly half in the world. I argue there joint top. ROG's ability to move a backline and produce magic is lacking and has been on and off for the past few years. However, he is the best tactical kicker in the world - bar none. ROG is probably the best tactical kicker ever to take to the rugby pitch.

    However, Leinster's dominance in the Heineken cup and the maneovers their backline has pulled off means that Sexton simply has to be in that starting XV. Not only has he won games single handedly this year (Two of Leinsters most important games, Saracens away and the Northampton final - both were won almost individually by sexton) but he, BOD and D'arcy provide one of the most solid centre partnerships over the past few years. I liken them to Barca's Messi, Iniesta and Xavi. There all great passers and for the team to function they have to play together.

    Leinster wouldnt of scored half the tries this season, nor lifted that trophy, if it wasnt for Sexton. ROG should be on the bench as he is a fantastic impact player. We're going to need both of these 5/8ths and both the gameplans they bring if were going to topple the wallabies in the world cup.
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    (Original post by TheDubs)
    Sexton, bar Quade Cooper is the best fly half in the world.
    Carter? James? Contepomi? Best in the NH yes, but that's just because the other 6N fly-halves are woeful. On a world stage, not even close to the best.
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    (Original post by nacho_libre)
    Carter? James? Contepomi? Best in the NH yes, but that's just because the other 6N fly-halves are woeful. On a world stage, not even close to the best.
    I wouldn't say woeful, most of the home nations fly-halves are pretty decent. There are weaker points in all home nations team than their fly-halves. I'd still probably consider Sexton the best of them, but as you say, not up with some of his Southern Hemisphere counterparts.
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    (Original post by Drogue)
    I wouldn't say woeful, most of the home nations fly-halves are pretty decent. There are weaker points in all home nations team than their fly-halves. I'd still probably consider Sexton the best of them, but as you say, not up with some of his Southern Hemisphere counterparts.
    Fact is though that the majority of Super 15 teams have fly-halves that are better than the Home Nations starting 10s. Stephen Jones is way past his best (and Hook is a 12 not a 10), Dan Parkes is average (the best Scotland will get) and Toby Flood is far too inconsistent to be a top 10. So yes, Sexton is the best, but hardly an achievement to sing about.

    Mind, at least we aren't as bad off as the Italians. HAH.
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    (Original post by nacho_libre)
    Fact is though that the majority of Super 15 teams have fly-halves that are better than the Home Nations starting 10s. Stephen Jones is way past his best (and Hook is a 12 not a 10), Dan Parkes is average (the best Scotland will get) and Toby Flood is far too inconsistent to be a top 10. So yes, Sexton is the best, but hardly an achievement to sing about.

    Mind, at least we aren't as bad off as the Italians. HAH.
    Um, no. Ruraidh Jackson and Greg Laidlaw. Parks fits a certain gameplan, so he's best for that one gameplan.
 
 
 
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