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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)
    (Anyone else really hate it when players celebrate before actually scoring the try a la Chris Ashton?!)
    One day, this will happen to Chris Ashton, and oh, how I will laugh:
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    (Original post by BlazingApostle)
    One day, this will happen to Chris Ashton, and oh, how I will laugh:
    I will join you in laughing!
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    (Original post by Biggillystyle)
    So here we are again penguin, one year on whats your thoughts on Ireland? Thought they were pretty dire at the weekend especially the backs, drico and o darcy were pretty shocking. Trust rog to come on and be the hero, bet he gets the nod for france. Tbf id prefer him to start over sexton, not really impreesed with johnny at the mo and rog is obv mailes ahead in exp in terms of game play and kicking...shame about the tackling! Heaslip is meant to be back for france, would love ferris to be fit aswell he is a key player.
    We weren't very good at all. Mistakes everywhere in perfect conditions - the three quarters squandered about 3/4 sure fire try scoring opportunities, which isn't good enough.

    I hope we can expose what I thought was a relatively weak French defence, but I don't hold out toooo much hope. I'm clinging to the fact that we are normally pretty awful against Italy anyway. I'm not trying to take anything away from a well-organised Italy performance btw..

    What I was impressed with is that we didn't get utterly mushed against the Italian scrum. O'Connell appears to make a hell of a lot of difference come scrum time, and the lineout operated pretty well too.

    Not sure about the O'Gara/Sexton debate. The French defence, I think, looks sub-par so Sexton is the one to open up the gaps, but if we want to control the pace of the game (which we will have to vs. France), then O'Gara is the one for it. I think Scotland saw too that you can't aimlessly kick against them because they'll punish you for it.

    I'd probably stick with Sexton for the first half, but bring ROG on if it isn't working. Ferris/Heaslip/Bowe/Kearney or any combination of those 4 coming back would be a huge bonus too..
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    (Original post by pinkpenguin)
    We weren't very good at all. Mistakes everywhere in perfect conditions - the three quarters squandered about 3/4 sure fire try scoring opportunities, which isn't good enough.

    I hope we can expose what I thought was a relatively weak French defence, but I don't hold out toooo much hope. I'm clinging to the fact that we are normally pretty awful against Italy anyway. I'm not trying to take anything away from a well-organised Italy performance btw..

    What I was impressed with is that we didn't get utterly mushed against the Italian scrum. O'Connell appears to make a hell of a lot of difference come scrum time, and the lineout operated pretty well too.

    Not sure about the O'Gara/Sexton debate. The French defence, I think, looks sub-par so Sexton is the one to open up the gaps, but if we want to control the pace of the game (which we will have to vs. France), then O'Gara is the one for it. I think Scotland saw too that you can't aimlessly kick against them because they'll punish you for it.

    I'd probably stick with Sexton for the first half, but bring ROG on if it isn't working. Ferris/Heaslip/Bowe/Kearney or any combination of those 4 coming back would be a huge bonus too..
    As much as am on the fence with rog (i think he can be a great player but he needs to learn to tackle) i think he should def start. We need his tactical kicking exp and ability to control the game to hold back a french onslaught. They were very clinical against scotland, first touch of the ball BOOM trytime. You cant give france easy turnover with an exposed defence, they will ping you everytime. I think its just one of those games the irish guys find hard to get charged up and eager for because it is an almost certain win (full credit to italy thats the best 6n match theyve ever played and they fully deserved to win) so they obv dont perform as well. Whereas france at home will be massive and i think who wins that will go onto win the tourney if not the slam.

    My selection would be DEF start rog, and only put on sexton if things arent going well or ogara gets injured. Would love a ferris, heaslip wallace back row and a sexy thomas bowe on the wing. Drico had a mare, worst ive seen him play in years, but its drico, when it comes to the big occasion he always steps up and leads by example. Cant wait for this weekend sooo excited!! Where do you live btw where you watching it?! ps. did you see frances bench at the weekend :/ they had like poitrenaud, clerc, chabal and another world class player..some bench to be able to put out especially ontop of a solid XV!!
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    (Original post by pinkpenguin)
    Interesting match indeed. Wales were farrrrr too lateral, which was a shame because they set themselves up in some good situations at times.

    England look pretty good, although I still think there is more to come from them.
    Lots of people are getting at Wales, but actually I think they were pretty good, especially considering injury issues. Any one of a few simple mistakes fixed and they'd have drawn or won the game - not putting props to defend a chunk of the pitch, kicking their goals, being able to catch, etc. They showed some really good moments, and while they let themselves down at times, I think overall there's a lot to be happy about.

    I could actually see Wales getting 3 wins, though Scotland away will be an interesting game.

    I'm actually a little worried about England, as the defense was poor in places and the scrum should have been dominant after Wales' injury issues. I think who wins the 6 Nations will come down to whether France's domination of the Scottish scrum was a poor Scotland or a rampant France. That and whether Ireland pick up from their performance against Italy (and get back some of their injured players) to be able to challenge England when they host them.

    (Original post by jaheen22)
    I can't see a grand slam happening this year. I think the teams are too well matched and I find it hard to pick one who'll dominate all the others.
    I'm not sure, the Autumn Internationals and first matches suggested to me that France especially and England to an extent are far more in form than the other teams. England's draw means that France at home and Ireland away become the big tests, but I can see us winning both (after Ireland's performance against Italy) and taking the grand slam. I can't see anyone else winning it, and with England at home to Scotland and France at home to Wales, I can't see anyone but Ireland spoiling a French or English grand slam. On which of them do it, I think it'll come down to how dominant France's scrum are against England, how dominant our wings, full back and Flood's kicking turn out to be, and whether home advantage lifts England.

    I'm so hoping Ansbro decides to switch allegiences to England. He's lived here for long enough and he'd go a long way to solving the issue of our relatively-weak (esp. offensively) centre.
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    Who was everyone's player of the first round?

    The three stand out performances for me were Flood, Ansbro and the entire French front row, though quite a few had some great moments. Also, am I the only one who thinks Trinh-Duc is the player Cipriani should have become - attacking flair and creativity but needing the support of a 'general' at scrum half? I wonder how good Trinh-Duc would be without Parra or Yachvili controlling things, or how good Cipriani would be if he had that?
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    Unfortunately I has an extremely hectic weekend and only caught half the England game and the 1st five minutes of the France game. All the teams looked pretty much like I expected.
    England weren't as good as in the autumn as they were missing a few of their impact players and looked a bit directionless at times, but were still too good for a mediocre Wales.
    Ireland looked over-rated and lacking in momentum up front. In the best game of the weekend, Scotland played really well, but were beaten by a better team, France went from vintage brilliance to complacent and back again in the blink of an eye.
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    [QUOTE=Drogue;29767829]Who was everyone's player of the first round?[QUOTE]

    Richie Gray. He was immense. Two try saving tackles and did well going forward too. Agree with all your choices as well.
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    (Original post by Biggillystyle)
    As much as am on the fence with rog (i think he can be a great player but he needs to learn to tackle) i think he should def start. We need his tactical kicking exp and ability to control the game to hold back a french onslaught. They were very clinical against scotland, first touch of the ball BOOM trytime. You cant give france easy turnover with an exposed defence, they will ping you everytime. I think its just one of those games the irish guys find hard to get charged up and eager for because it is an almost certain win (full credit to italy thats the best 6n match theyve ever played and they fully deserved to win) so they obv dont perform as well. Whereas france at home will be massive and i think who wins that will go onto win the tourney if not the slam.
    MORE important is the selection of scrum half, imo. O'Leary's service is dire at best. It's loopy and he does that Harry Ellis meerkat-ing thing now :facepalm2:

    If you're gonna go with the tactical kicking game, it's gotta be a Stringer and ROG pairing, although Kidney will get slated for looking backwards.

    Hate to say it, but nobody has the pass Stringer has. And I would argue he probably gives the best service on the Isles at least.

    My selection would be DEF start rog, and only put on sexton if things arent going well or ogara gets injured. Would love a ferris, heaslip wallace back row and a sexy thomas bowe on the wing. Drico had a mare, worst ive seen him play in years, but its drico, when it comes to the big occasion he always steps up and leads by example. Cant wait for this weekend sooo excited!! Where do you live btw where you watching it?! ps. did you see frances bench at the weekend :/ they had like poitrenaud, clerc, chabal and another world class player..some bench to be able to put out especially ontop of a solid XV!!
    I'm at Oxford Uni, so I watch it here. Paddy-wise, my dad is from West Cork :awesome:

    BOD will be fine. Remember:

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    Am a massive Ireland fan.. authough i do want england to well too.

    I think that they need to bring back O'Gara... but keep Saxton on as well if that makes sense. They are both good players but i prefer O'Gara.

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    Did anyone get to see this game?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugb...sh/9389190.stm

    Matthew Morgan looks like a great prospect (for Wales). Hopefully the next great fly half from the production line ;D
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    Here's my predictions for the weekend:

    England will beat Italy.
    France will beat Ireland
    Scotland will scrape a win against Wales.
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    Looks like Richie Gray is gonna be out for Scotland. Bummer. He was immense last weekend.

    Predictions:

    Scotland to beat Wales (although it will be very close)
    France to beat Ireland
    England to beat Italy
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    (Original post by pinkpenguin)
    MORE important is the selection of scrum half, imo. O'Leary's service is dire at best. It's loopy and he does that Harry Ellis meerkat-ing thing now :facepalm2:

    If you're gonna go with the tactical kicking game, it's gotta be a Stringer and ROG pairing, although Kidney will get slated for looking backwards.

    Hate to say it, but nobody has the pass Stringer has. And I would argue he probably gives the best service on the Isles at least.
    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.
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    Glad Richie Grey is possibly out for tomorrow; he was excellent in Paris last weekend, and he's one we would have had to keep a close eye on. I have the inevitable pre-match day pessimism, and I do currently think Scotland could run away with this game. Put simply, I feel if Scotland win, it will be by quite a large margin, and if we win, it will be by 2-3 points. Im also not happy with Hook playing fly half. Ive never liked him in that position even with good service from 9 (which he wont get from Phillips), and people seem to forget about 18 months ago that people were clamouring for Stephen Jones to be reinstated and for Hook to be dropped at fly half.
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    SO excited for tomorrow. I'm off to Twickers for my first England match :grin:
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    If we don't beat Wales, a team at their lowest ebb, I wonder if Scotland will ever kick on!
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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.
    I agree with you, although I think Sexton can have good days. It's the tactical kicking problem - if he's not accurate we saw from last week the French will punish us. But then the French back row would run over O'Gara, we just can't win :sad:

    I think the new rules around the tackle area mean that teams want to get the ball away faster, imo making scrum halves like TOL and Phillips a little bit irrelevant. Old school whip-the-ball-out scrum halves like Stringer are required again as there is no space round the fringes (as nobody is counter rucking anymore because there's pretty much no chance they'll win the ball - they just fan out round the fringes). And actually, I rate Stringer's defensive skills quite highly, he just doesn't make a huge amount of ground if he has to pick and go - but with one of the best backrows in the world (:awesome:), I think we could deal with it.

    That being said, TOL is doubtful for the game tomorrow as he's got a back injury. Can't see Stringer starting though..
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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.
    This. 100% agree mate. Spot on!
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    John Inverdale (and the general 6N coverage so far) is annoying the **** out of me already.

    'Is this the second step to an England GS?' 'England should win quite comfortably' 'Team to beat' and all this other BS is totally irritating to the non-English fan.

    England weren't that good last week. A frankly rather stop start Wales came very close to winning. And Italy were great. So STFU and give the Italians a fighting chance, or at least stop irritating the hell out of the rest of the UK.

    Rant over.
 
 
 
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