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Thread: USA vs NZ

  1. #1

    USA vs NZ

    3 minutes into the match, and:

    - car crash national anthem
    - Sky have decided to run this with the original American commentary. It is confusing as fuch.

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  3. #2
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    2 questions (since we now have a rugby thread)

    1) How do you see the autumn internationals going? Personally I've written off England on account of the injury list but think the other home nations could do ok.
    2) Have you seen that there's a really interesting interview with BOD on the BBC rugby page - would be interesting to hear more from him since he obviously studies the game a lot.
    To infirmity and beyond

  4. #3
    You may well be right about England. The front five in particular doesn't look strong, and the blend from 11 - 14 looks a little odd - inexperienced wingers I don't mind, but there doesn't appear to be a 13 in the squad which really isn't going to help them.

    Wales are in a bit of a funny place at the moment. They still look strong on paper, but haven't really been firing. I'm starting to think that the root of that is the props again - Adam Jones isn't the force he was with the scrummaging laws changing (hence his omission), yet they persevere with Gethin Jenkins even though he hasn't been any good since spending a year sitting on the bench at Toulon. They also need a decent 10.

    Ireland I think will struggle a bit having lost you know who, though O'Connell seems to have found a second wind (maybe third or fourth wind) this year. O'Brien is another big loss though; they really need Heaslip to stand up, and Sexton to start firing again. Actually, a lot of British players seem to have gone off the boil in France (Roberts, Lydiate and Halfpenny also spring to mind)... yet the one Englishman who plays a stormer out there is continually overlooked.

    Scotland... I'll be honest, I don't know a great deal about the Scottish team.

    So all in all, I'd expect NZ to go unbeaten, probably the same for SA, the Aussies are the big game for everyone as they look horribly fragile at the moment. The home nations really ought to win any other matches (Samoa, Fiji etc). Order of matches could be important - get a bit of momentum and who knows?

    I did see that BOD article. I'm guessing you don't have BT Sport; they've recruited him for the European games. He looks a little awkward, but the knowledge is clearly there and I think he'll be up to speed by the end of the season.

    More importantly: did you see the Adam Jones drop-goal attempt?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/rugby-union/29871648

  5. #4
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    I don't have BT sport - which is a shame since I see nearly all the rugby except the prem! Did see Adam Jones though - maybe if he gives it a bit more welly next time??!!

    Interesting point about players going off the boil in France - I discussed this with a mate the other day - if everyone goes the way of the French clubs and recruit loads of foreign imports then will rugby end up the way of football where the clubs are more powerful and internationals become just an annoying sideshow? It's a long way off but the seeds are there.

    I keep expecting Scotland to do something - Glasgow are certainly a decent team and there's enough Scots playing for them to make the national side half decent. The only question is will half decent be good enough?

    I take the point about the Welsh scrum though - it has been one of their strengths in recent years and it's one area they can exert some pressure on most of the SH teams. Without it functioning well they could struggle to control games and we all know what happens when they have to protect a lead against SH teams!

    One of the points from the BOD article which I took slight issue with was his comment about it not being important to beat the SH teams in the lead up to a World Cup - he cited Ireland's wins as examples. I think the difference was those were upsets (well pretty much) whereas if you can prove superiority over them then obviously you have a psychological edge if nothing else. I swear this was part of the reason England won in 2003 - they knew they could beat the Aussies easily enough even if the ref was being a little generous to the hosts.
    To infirmity and beyond

  6. #5
    Scotland seem to really suffer from a lack of strength in depth. They have enough players to make a half-decent 15, but beyond that have nothing. I sometimes wonder what happened to them - it's almost as if no Scots wanted to play after the game went professional. When I was growing up they had the Hastings brothers, Sole, Jefferies, Weir, Calder, Stanger... they were a really good side. I have no idea what the domestic setup was at the time, but if you told your kids that you witnessed Scotland winning the Grand Slam, I'm not sure they'd believe you!

    This weekend, I pick:

    NZ to beat England
    Wales to finally get one over on the Aussies
    SA beat Ireland
    Argentina beat Scotland

    My biggest annoyance is that I only have one feed on my Sky box, which means if I watch the England game I can't record Wales. I could watch Wales (via Freeview) whilst recording England, but I don't trust them to keep quiet about the score. So I think I'll be choosing England and Ireland to view, with Wales on some highlights. This could be a bad choice, because I have a suspicion that Wales and Australia could be the most entertaining game.

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Dogs View Post
    This weekend, I pick:

    NZ to beat England
    Wales to finally get one over on the Aussies
    SA beat Ireland
    Argentina beat Scotland

  8. #7
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    Interesting watching the ref in the Wales match - gave a penalty advantage on the 10 metre line and then after half a dozen phases of going backwards said advantage over! Next time maybe they should give it to a prop to go for a drop goal!

    Will be interesting with this NZ team - they seem very loyal to the old guard which could come back to haunt them, the way May scooted past Conrad Smith must be a worry although they do have plenty of other pace options in the backs. Even McCaw seems to have lost his cloak of invisibility - although he did score today so maybe there is method in the madness.
    To infirmity and beyond

  9. #8
    Yeah.. I'm not sure I share your concerns about the NZ team.

    Conrad Smith is one of those players who you sometimes wonder what's so special about him, but he has this ability to let others play. Make no mistake - Jonny May has gas. There aren't many wingers who could skin Dagg on the outside. McCaw isn't what he was, but he's still not a bad player. And Sam Cane doesn't look like a bad replacement... reminds me a bit of Pocock and Hooper. The biggest fragility was the kicking, but of course they still have DC to return.

    I think there will be quite a few retirements after the world cup, but I think this team has more than enough to keep going for another year.

  10. #9
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    I think the strength in depth is incredible - most nations would kill for a outside half like Barrett and yet he's third choice behind Cruden and Carter. Same goes for positions 7 & 13 which is why I agree there may be some retirements but no drop in overall quality.

    One of Smith's big strengths was his ability to get on the shoulder of the likes of Sonny Bill or Nonu after they half crashed through for an offload - he also fixes the line well to set his winger away. I agree that ball in hand he's still a threat but how is he going to like the likes of George North bearing down on him? Possibly a silly question - I don't think anyone would like that!

    McCaw like Pocock and Hooper always plays on the edge - maybe it's the effects of his injury but he seems slower and that is likely to leave him getting caught more often. Then again I would imagine he could retire when he likes such is his status in All Black rugby.
    To infirmity and beyond

  11. #10
    Senior Member Llanlad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogs View Post
    This weekend, I pick:

    Wales to finally get one over on the Aussies.
    Well done mate ... i thought you knew your rugby and therefore i decided to take my son to watch this game and let him see Wales finally beat someone like Australia.

    7 hours of driving and a big Pizza Hut bill thrown in for good measure was as good as it got.
    There is a big misunderstanding between the concept of talent and skill, talent you have naturally but skill is only developed by hours and hours of beating on your craft... nobody got to where they were without hard work.

  12. #11
    So this weekend...

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