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Thread: Six Nations - Its that time again

  1. #1
    Grand Master Andyg's Avatar
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    Six Nations - Its that time again

    It feels a bit odd this year to be honest. I had the highs and lows of the World Cup and the lows of the Saracens scandal - resulting in them being relegated. Not great, but it shouldnt distract from what Saracens achieved on the pitch. Anyhoo, onwards and upwards to the Six Nations and there are a lot of changes.

    Eddie has cleaned house with lots of players getting replaced, plus has to deal with the uncertainly around the Saracens players.

    Ireland has a new coach, so the players will be keen to impress.

    Wales, as above.

    France has a new coaching team (including Shaun Edwards), French team's are going well in the European Champs, but we must not under estimate how much of this is down to imported players.

    Scotland has a new captain, although personally I'm not convinced.

    No idea what is happening with Italy, but whatever has happened will most likely see them finish last again.

    I think it will be close, but England's GS campaign might end on Sunday in Paris, just as Scotland might end in Dublin. Wales should roll over Italy, but their GS campaign might end in Ireland the following week.

    Looking at the feature list, I have a feeling that the winner of Le Crunch, might become the eventual winners of the tournament. England have a difficult start - France then Scotland away, followed by 2 home games against Ireland and Wales, before a trip to Rome. If they can get through the first 2 games then just maybe.
    Last edited by Andyg; 1st February 2020 at 22:10.

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  2. #2
    Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    Should be a competitive one. Will be interesting to see if England have gotten over the WC Final disappointment, plus there is the ongoing issue with the Sarries players.

    I do believe if Engand win in France (and they will be favourites to do so) then a Slam is on as their supposedly 2 toughest opponents have to come to Twickenham

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  3. #3
    Master sweets's Avatar
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    Of them all, England put in the best shift at the WC, and remain the least changed in the interim, so it is hard to look past them for the championship.
    But a GS? They used to be rarer, but with Grand Slams won in 16, 18 and 19, they seem to be getting more common.
    I fancy them for it, but as we saw in the WC final, England are still mentally fragile, and can lose the plot entirely when they shouldn't.
    No other team in the championship has such a huge disparity between them on a good and bad day.
    D

  4. #4
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    I think itíll be a close one this season. From a Scottish perspective, the Finn Russell incident has made things more difficult and Hogg as captain isnít the best of decisions IMO. I still think Macinally is a better leader.
    We have some really exciting players coming through, like Marcus Bradbury, Scott Cummings. Itís just a shame Darcy Graham seems prone to niggling injuries.

  5. #5
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    You canít ever rely on the French to turn up and I somehow doubt that will change this year!

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    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweets View Post
    Of them all, England put in the best shift at the WC, and remain the least changed in the interim, so it is hard to look past them for the championship.
    But a GS? They used to be rarer, but with Grand Slams won in 16, 18 and 19, they seem to be getting more common.
    I fancy them for it, but as we saw in the WC final, England are still mentally fragile, and can lose the plot entirely when they shouldn't.
    No other team in the championship has such a huge disparity between them on a good and bad day.
    D
    I disagree. First because France is the country where no one is sure of which of its team will turn up. Second because, while England lost the final to a team on a mission, they showed during the WC that they were a cut above the rest. Scotland will be a walk in the park, unfortunately, even at Murrayfield. And France is fielding the youngest, most uncapped team. The new coaching team has just started and they are building for the next WC. They are having their first game at that level, and while I hope they will show something good, I also expect them to measure the gulf between them and a world-cup-winning class team.
    'Against stupidity, the gods themselves struggle in vain' - Schiller.

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    I know this is going to sound like a stupid comment but Irelands first two games at home are pivotal to their championship.

    I'm pretty happy that Finn Russell isn't in the Scotland squad, I fully expect it to be a tight game anyway but he would have made the difference I think. Also happy that Hogg is captain from an Irish perspective.

    Farrell going with the same old tried and trusted loosers from the RWC, Sexton I dont believe is 100% fit but he has to play as there is no heir apparent, Carberry injured also and having watched him a lot at Ulster I just dont think Billy Burns is international calibre. Ireland normally start slow and I could see wins for both Scotland and Wales at the greenhouse. Combine that with away matches to England and France I think Farrell is in for a baptism of fire. I think our only "certainty" for a win is at home to Italy

    Predictions - 1st England, 2nd Wales, 3rd Scotland, 4th France, 5th Ireland, 6th Italy

  8. #8
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    For all you England rugby fans I hope you win it. The WC Final was obviously a huge disappointment but a Six Nations win will ease the pain somewhat.

    I must be honest I don't get rugby at all. I've really tried. I have friends and colleagues who live for their sport and, for their sake, I've watched it in the hope that I can begin to enjoy it. It hasn't worked.

    Good luck, whoever you support in this competition!

  9. #9
    I'm off to Paris this weekend to watch the opener. Looking forward to visiting the stadium, but very apprehensive about the game

    Seems every day another England player drops out through injury and with just two OAP scrum halfs I honestly don't how we will do?!?!

    John

  10. #10
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnboy9876 View Post
    I'm off to Paris this weekend to watch the opener. Looking forward to visiting the stadium, but very apprehensive about the game

    Seems every day another England player drops out through injury and with just two OAP scrum halfs I honestly don't how we will do?!?!

    John
    Rest assured we have the same issues regarding injuries, especially our hooker. We have 2 0-cap players, a prop (Haouas) and Bouthier at 15. Against England!
    'Against stupidity, the gods themselves struggle in vain' - Schiller.

  11. #11
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    I think this will be the closest championship for a while
    I canít see anyone getting the GS
    England have a tough start which could work in their favour (at least I hope so) the French team is being built for the World Cup so I think the management will encourage the team to go out an play, show what the young guys can do.
    Wales I think are past their best as are Ireland but experience is vital in test match rugby and counts for a lot.
    Scotland are not the same team without Russel so it will be interesting to see how they get on.
    Lastly Mike Catt has been working with the Italian back line for a while now I expect to see some great running from them, their tight 5 are always up for a scrap as well, their mauling game can compete with the best in the world.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Sinnlover View Post
    I think this will be the closest championship for a while
    I canít see anyone getting the GS
    England have a tough start which could work in their favour (at least I hope so) the French team is being built for the World Cup so I think the management will encourage the team to go out an play, show what the young guys can do.
    Wales I think are past their best as are Ireland but experience is vital in test match rugby and counts for a lot.
    Scotland are not the same team without Russel so it will be interesting to see how they get on.
    Lastly Mike Catt has been working with the Italian back line for a while now I expect to see some great running from them, their tight 5 are always up for a scrap as well, their mauling game can compete with the best in the world.
    Mike Catt is now with Ireland - he left Italy after the RWC (along with Conor O'Shea)........

  13. #13
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    To be honest , always best policy , what ever happens will feel like a disappointment as the world cup is really their goal , and England aside a fair bit if under achieving from the others went on .

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  14. #14
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul360m View Post
    Mike Catt is now with Ireland - he left Italy after the RWC (along with Conor O'Shea)........
    Ha!
    Shows you how much I follow the shifting about!

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    As long as we donít get the wooden spoon, although to hold on to the Calcutta cup would be better, I will get through another year, Edinburgh in the Pro 14 is my main concern.

  16. #16
    Master theoriginaldigger's Avatar
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    Dan Biggar

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    Itís time to revert back to a 5 Nations Tournament.

  18. #18
    Master theoriginaldigger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mylofitz View Post
    Itís time to revert back to a 5 Nations Tournament.
    Bit harsh on the Scots

  19. #19
    Grand Master Andyg's Avatar
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    Wales Vs Italy - pointless in more than on sense of the word.

    The 6 nations deserves better. Especially if bonus points and point differences have a say in the final outcome.

    Shockingly poor.

    Whoever does not know how to hit the nail on the head should be asked not to hit it at all.
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  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Nev View Post
    and having watched him a lot at Ulster I just dont think Billy Burns is international calibre.
    Having watched him a lot at Glaws I can tell you he definitely isn't - top lad, never gives less than 100%, rarely takes a backwards step, but for all that on an average performance is probably a decent Prem/Pro 14 10 and on a top performance is probably a playoff level 10, but those top performances are mixed in with a lot games where he doesn't control the game as you would like*

    Caveat - not seen uch since he left us for Ulster, so he may be a different player now.

    From an England perspective, my main concern is around the back row and at 9. Heinz has shown how well he can manage a game, both at club and WC level (and he even made a break or 2 during the WC before getting crocked), but both he and Youngs are unlikely to be around for the next WC, so Robson should have been in there for me (now that hes back playing after the bloodclot issue). As for the back row, I don't think that Eddie has foud the right balance yet, especially with Billy V not being available. Curry is not an 8 (but is a very good 6), and Lawes is an ok fill in at 6 , albeit I can see why he is in there for lineout calling purposes. Surprised with how well he has been playing this season that Hughes hasn't been recalled, but I've a feeling that EJ thinks he is a bit dull.
    Last edited by Ashtennisguru; 1st February 2020 at 19:34.

  21. #21
    Grand Master Andyg's Avatar
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    Good effort by Scotland, but, and it's a big but.

    Rugby is about strength, skill, intelligence and teamwork. Having 3 out of 4 will not win anything. They had the strength (as demonstrated in the scrum), they have the team work, they certainly have the skills, but the intelligence was missing. Even if we discount Hoggs blunder, time and time again we saw Scottish players doing a solo pick and go. Why hasn't the coaching team taught a simple pod system, something my son was able to grasp when he was about 12.

    It was painful to watch, wave upon wave of single Scots throwing themselves at the line with the same result. Frustrating to watch even for a Netural. I think Ireland just enough to deserve a win simply because they were a bit smarter.

    Hopefully will learn, but not before next weekend

    Not a great start to the championship, hopefully France and England can serve up better faire.

    Whoever does not know how to hit the nail on the head should be asked not to hit it at all.
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  22. #22
    Master theoriginaldigger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andyg View Post
    Not a great start to the championship, hopefully France and England can serve up better faire.
    What didnít you get that you were expecting ? an easy win for Wales and an Ireland-Scotland arm wrestle

  23. #23
    As an Irishman I thoroughly enjoyed that game. Genuinely thought Scotland would pull one back at the end but their discipline was their downfall. That and the fact that they just weren't good enough even though they created some really good space at times.

    As an Englishman who has has a second home in France I'm looking forward to tomorrow too!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by TaketheCannoli View Post

    I must be honest I don't get rugby at all. I've really tried. I have friends and colleagues who live for their sport and, for their sake, I've watched it in the hope that I can begin to enjoy it. It hasn't worked.
    Wrong code of rugby, try watching a good Rugby League match and you might change your views.

    I can watch Rugby Union, I find the club matches more entertaining than the internationals, but I still find League a much better game to watch.

    The sport I find boring is football, liked it as a kid but lost interest as an adult. Also dislike the culture and the aggravation between rival supporters. Non- league football’s a more enjoyable experience IMO.

    I’ll watch some of the 6 nations matches, but I could never take it too seriously.
    Last edited by walkerwek1958; 1st February 2020 at 21:18.

  25. #25
    Grand Master Andyg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theoriginaldigger View Post
    What didn’t you get that you were expecting ? an easy win for Wales and an Ireland-Scotland arm wrestle

    Very true, but I sort of hoped that with lots of new talent on display, new management, for something a bit different. In the end I watched the same games I had seen for the past 5 years.

    Hopefully England/France will serve up some running rugby, rather than a War of attrition. A replay of 2015 would be nice

    Whoever does not know how to hit the nail on the head should be asked not to hit it at all.
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  26. #26
    Master KavKav's Avatar
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    I very rarely have a bet but I thought that odds of even money for Ďno grand slamí seemed to be particularly good value this year.

  27. #27
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    England Brexiting from the Six Nations lol

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    Which England is this thatís turned up? The one that stole a draw in their last 6N game and the same one that turned up in the WC final.
    Mercurial indeed

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanb741 View Post
    England Brexiting from the Six Nations lol

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    Lolz, but still quite surprised. Inept doesn't cover it so far.

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    Last edited by Ruggertech; 2nd February 2020 at 16:57.

  30. #30
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    Oh dear, England look so rusty and with no match sharpness or the usual strength / energy. My thoughts anyway

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    Stunning!

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    Master RustyBin5's Avatar
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    Comeback is real

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmcb View Post
    Which England is this thatís turned up? The one that stole a draw in their last 6N game and the same one that turned up in the WC final.
    Mercurial indeed
    It does look they have come straight from the World Cup final. What have they been ip to over the last few months?

    Well done to France.

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  34. #34
    Grand Master Andyg's Avatar
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    Well that was disappointing. First half was really poor, second half was just poor.

    I think we might have seen the end of a few players (subject to injury) including Ben Youngs, who missed tackles cost England 14 points. Not a good day in the office for him and a few others.

    I think Paul McConnel, summed it up, when it's not your day, it's not your day. The one shining light was Jonny Mays tries. Wonderful things indeed.

    Edwards has certainly put his mark of Frances defence. I especially the use of the pod system.

    Based on the first 3 matches, France and Wales look favourites to win, however I cannot see either doing a GS, which means that England are still in with a shout for the Championship.

    Whoever does not know how to hit the nail on the head should be asked not to hit it at all.
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andyg View Post
    Well that was disappointing. First half was really poor, second half was just poor.

    I think we might have seen the end of a few players (subject to injury) including Ben Youngs, who missed tackles cost England 14 points. Not a good day in the office for him and a few others.

    I think Paul McConnel, summed it up, when it's not your day, it's not your day. The one shining light was Jonny Mays tries. Wonderful things indeed.

    Edwards has certainly put his mark of Frances defence. I especially the use of the pod system.

    Based on the first 3 matches, France and Wales look favourites to win, however I cannot see either doing a GS, which means that England are still in with a shout for the Championship.
    I donít think many thought Wales would do the Grand Slam last year but it happened. Rugby is a funny old game like that. I genuinely had England down for the easy win in the WC final, but we all know how that went.

  36. #36
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    Eng v Fra highlighted the importance of a specialist number 8.

    Very poor England performance with Jonny Mays solo efforts making the scorline flatter England.

  37. #37
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    Letís not forget France were there today and played a game that England just didnít compete with and who also seemed to lack any leadership on the pitch to change the plan. France were well schooled, knew where to hit and countered the counters. They were 3 phases beyond England hence the unbeatable HT lead they amassed. French mentality kicked in with the second half as they looked as tho the job was done, eh no. Brilliant tries from the England winger as individual as youíll get.

    In summary, a tremendous change to French rugby with Edwards. Itíll only get better. Great to see.
    Once again though we see Jonesí huge weakness with regard to tactics that counter the opponentís game plan and England lacking a real captain and pitch leaders who are able to change things when itís going Pete Tong - just like the WC Final. Farrell is a good player but no leader in the shape of those before him.

    Next week looms large.

    Jim

  38. #38
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    I just can't see Farrell as a leader, individual skills yes, obviously and in rude abundance, but see the look in his eyes when things dont go his way. A petulant man child ready to explode and perhaps one day lose a vital game for England.

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  39. #39
    Master theoriginaldigger's Avatar
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    Big mistake from Jones not playing Daly at 15 imo - France 9 10 4 & 8 were especially good but pretty much a team effort that England couldnít match. Farrellís face at the restart said it all and May made England look better than they were.

  40. #40
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    I disagree with a lot of this Jimmy. First, HT was 17-0. Last year against Wales it was 16-0 and France lost.
    Instead, in the second half they scored another try.
    Keep in mind that England were WC finalists, after a fantastic game against NZ, and give them some credit for the second half rather than play on stereotypes.
    Itís a young team, and they will improve. 9/10 are proving very good indeed, Ollivon proved that being captain did not stifle his game.
    I agree though that Farrell is a fantastic player but not a leader.
    'Against stupidity, the gods themselves struggle in vain' - Schiller.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saint-Just View Post
    Keep in mind that England were WC finalists, after a fantastic game against NZ, and give them some credit for the second half rather than play on stereotypes.
    Things change very quickly in Rugby, Ireland and Wales are going to give England a real fight this year...

  42. #42
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    Well... with the Vunipulas and Tuilagi back in the fray, weíll see. But playing them today was really a lucky break for France, and that will instil confidence. Which is good both for France and the 6 nations.
    'Against stupidity, the gods themselves struggle in vain' - Schiller.

  43. #43
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    Iím a huge admirer of Tom Curry but heís not a No8. England were fatally underpowered as a result. That needs addressing before next week.

  44. #44
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    Six Nations - Its that time again

    Quote Originally Posted by theoriginaldigger View Post
    Bit harsh on the Scots
    Even harsher on the English

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by xellos99 View Post
    Things change very quickly in Rugby, Ireland and Wales are going to give England a real fight this year...
    You may find Wales did last year also.

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  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald Genta View Post
    Eng v Fra highlighted the importance of a specialist number 8.

    Very poor England performance with Jonny Mays solo efforts making the scorline flatter England.
    Agree, we looked slow and devoid of ideas. How many times did we drop the bloody ball? Missed Billy & Mako Vunipola massively!

  47. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtennisguru View Post
    From an England perspective, my main concern is around the back row and at 9. Curry is not an 8 (but is a very good 6), and Lawes is an ok fill in at 6 , albeit I can see why he is in there for lineout calling purposes.
    Well sadly this turned out to be a rather accurate pre-match analysis :(

  48. #48
    Grand Master Andyg's Avatar
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    Firstly, Ireland were very impressive or Wales were a bit clueless. Personally I will go with the former and thought they looked like the real deal, with a great chance of a Grand Slam.

    As for the England/Scotland match. Much improvement by England given the comedy weather conditions. Lots a good performances, and the scum looked very well drilled. The backs however less so. May was again outstanding, however I am still not convinced we have the right combination of players. But at least progress was made. Let's see if it continues against Ireland and Wales.
    Last edited by Andyg; 9th February 2020 at 09:29.

    Whoever does not know how to hit the nail on the head should be asked not to hit it at all.
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  49. #49
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    Mixed emotions today. Would love Italy to win, back the underdog etc. But I have a tenner on the total points being over 43.5 at 5/6, so getting excited every time France look like doing something.

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  50. #50
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    Thank you Italy.

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