The Rugby Thread

mpickard2087

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/41927597

England team named to play Argentina in the first of the Autumn Internationals.

No Farrell, no Itoje, no Billy, but still looks like a strong team.

Big game for Slade at 12, and very exciting that we now get to see Underhill at the top level. All sorts of over-hyped media about him being the next Richie McCaw, but it will be nice to see an England team with an actual open-side playing.

A couple of exciting youngsters off the bench as well in Curry and Lozowski.

Having said that, Wales v Australia is still the most intriguing looking of the fixtures on Saturday. Going to be a long afternoon in the pub!
Underhill is more of a young Haskell-type. He hits tackles and rucks very hard, probably a bit better over the ball, needs to develop a bit more of a rounded game - can be a little one dimensional at times.
 

talkshowhost86

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Underhill is more of a young Haskell-type. He hits tackles and rucks very hard, probably a bit better over the ball, needs to develop a bit more of a rounded game - can be a little one dimensional at times.
I think he's shown a lot more over the ball than anyone who's played 7 for England in recent years, not that that's exactly hard.

But unlike the previously vaunted Kvesic, he can actually play a bit as well.

And one-dimensional is fine at 7 as long as you do your job. I think he and Robshaw will provide a very good platform for everyone else, and if Underhill does start to show that he's fine at that level, we can consider bringing in a more exciting ball carrying 6, although personally I think with our locks and Billy, plus the likes of Marler, Sinkler and Mako (plus Genge) in the front row, we've got more than enough bosh to allow our 6 and 7 to spend their time doing the dirty work.
 

talkshowhost86

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Some interesting selections in the Wales team. Williams at centre is exciting. I think many people have been calling for something a bit different in that Wales back-line, and this line-up certainly can't be accused of being 'Gatland-esque'.

Without Tipuric and the unsurprisingly injured Warburton that back row looks a bit weak but I have to say that's more from lack of knowledge than any informed view of Shingler/Navidi. I don't really know why Thomas Young never gets a look in though?
 

E17yid

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Shingler has been outstanding the last year or so. Absolutely demolished O’Mahoney when the Scarlets destroyed Munster to win the Pro 12 last season (think he was MOTM but not sure) Navidi is decent but obviously is an unknown quantity at this level. Shame Tips is out as a back row of Shingler, Tips and Faletau has a nice blend to it.

Not overly optimistic what with Sam, Tips, Webb and North out but, tbf, Steff Evans deserves his shot and has a lot of talent but I have no doubt the Ozzie’s will be targeting him and Owen Williams. Cheka will tell Kurundrani to run at Williams all day and will keep targeting that 10/12 channel.

Looking at our bench is a bit depressing and highlights how light in some areas we are but we’ve got a lot of guys out so understandable.
 

E17yid

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Looking forward to seeing Underhill. He played at blindside for Ospreys quite a lot and @mpickard2087 makes some fair points in the post above re his skill set. He’s a monster in defence and great over the ball more in the mould of Warburton than say having the hands and footwork of say a Tipuric or Hooper who are like having another outside center on the pitch.

Mind you, the way the game is going your 6’s these days not only have to be as big as second rows they have to be as fast as centres and have to have the ball handling skills of one as well (that Squires guy for NZ and that other 6 Beast who played for NZ against the Ba Ba’s the other day-his name escapes me) demonstrate this so there’s lots of things for Underhill to work on to fulfill his potential but he’s a young, humble, hardworking kid and I have little doubt that he can develop that more all round game that @mpickard2087 speaks of but like @talkshowhost86 says, having a Warburton type 7 who’s smashes every tackle, wins a turnover or 2 at the breakdown and generally does a lot of nitty gritty is not exactly a bad thing. Especially seeing as he’s 21 or whatever.
 

talkshowhost86

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Looking forward to seeing Underhill. He played at blindside for Ospreys quite a lot and @mpickard2087 makes some fair points in the post above re his skill set. He’s a monster in defence and great over the ball more in the mould of Warburton than say having the hands and footwork of say a Tipuric or Hooper who are like having another outside center on the pitch.

Mind you, the way the game is going your 6’s these days not only have to be as big as second rows they have to be as fast as centres and have to have the ball handling skills of one as well (that Squires guy for NZ and that other 6 Beast who played for NZ against the Ba Ba’s the other day-his name escapes me) demonstrate this so there’s lots of things for Underhill to work on to fulfill his potential but he’s a young, humble, hardworking kid and I have little doubt that he can develop that more all round game that @mpickard2087 speaks of but like @talkshowhost86 says, having a Warburton type 7 who’s smashes every tackle, wins a turnover or 2 at the breakdown and generally does a lot of nitty gritty is not exactly a bad thing. Especially seeing as he’s 21 or whatever.
I know you talked very highly of Underhill quite a while ago so will certainly be interesting to see how he steps up to this level.

It's certainly an area of weakness for England, so if the likes of Underhill and the Curry brothers can come through in the next 12 months, that puts us in a very good position for the World Cup.

I'd say England's weakest positions, with the World Cup in mind, are at tight-head prop (Cole has been on the wane for a while and Sinckler/Williams need more game time against top level scum opponents), number 7 and in the centres (plenty of creative 12s, but not a lot of biff if needed, and not a lot of experienced options outside of JJ at 13).

Looking at the World Cup, full-back may be an issue as Brown will be 33 by then, and whilst he's been better this season, does generally seem to be winding down. Having said that, both Watson and Daly (or Nowell) could do a very good job there, but none of them play there regularly for their club so I'm assuming that's why Brown currently keeps the shirt.
 

E17yid

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I know you talked very highly of Underhill quite a while ago so will certainly be interesting to see how he steps up to this level.

It's certainly an area of weakness for England, so if the likes of Underhill and the Curry brothers can come through in the next 12 months, that puts us in a very good position for the World Cup.

I'd say England's weakest positions, with the World Cup in mind, are at tight-head prop (Cole has been on the wane for a while and Sinckler/Williams need more game time against top level scum opponents), number 7 and in the centres (plenty of creative 12s, but not a lot of biff if needed, and not a lot of experienced options outside of JJ at 13).

Looking at the World Cup, full-back may be an issue as Brown will be 33 by then, and whilst he's been better this season, does generally seem to be winding down. Having said that, both Watson and Daly (or Nowell) could do a very good job there, but none of them play there regularly for their club so I'm assuming that's why Brown currently keeps the shirt.
Yeah, the back row is one of the few areas (or only area) where we actually have more depth than England perhaps 9 as well where we’re alright. It’s the one position where we can take a few injuries and still be alright. Totally forgot that we’re missing Moriarty too which is a shame but like I say if we’re going to get injuries anywhere on the park I’d choose the back row which is odd seeing as Sam and Tips are 2 of our best players.

Now I’ve talked Underhill up I’m sure he’ll have some god awful game but hope he does well (not against wales of course)
 

talkshowhost86

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Yeah, the back row is one of the few areas (or only area) where we actually have more depth than England perhaps 9 as well where we’re alright. It’s the one position where we can take a few injuries and still be alright. Totally forgot that we’re missing Moriarty too which is a shame but like I say if we’re going to get injuries anywhere on the park I’d choose the back row which is odd seeing as Sam and Tips are 2 of our best players.

Now I’ve talked Underhill up I’m sure he’ll have some god awful game but hope he does well (not against wales of course)
Who's your third choice 9 at the moment? Presumably they will become second choice now that the WRU have effectively jettisoned Rhys Webb.

I'll be interested to see how Moriarty gets on when he's back from injury. I think he got a lot of press for one brilliant performance against England, but he'll need to back that up with some consistency if he's going to dislodge any of Warburton, Tipuric or Faletau.

What do you reckon against the Aussies then? Got to be going for a win surely, although it will be interesting to see how they get on with what looks like a more expansive game plan.

I think it's almost too early for Wales as they need some time to gel into what looks like a new style before playing a top team, but it'll certainly be interesting to watch.
 

E17yid

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Who's your third choice 9 at the moment? Presumably they will become second choice now that the WRU have effectively jettisoned Rhys Webb.

I'll be interested to see how Moriarty gets on when he's back from injury. I think he got a lot of press for one brilliant performance against England, but he'll need to back that up with some consistency if he's going to dislodge any of Warburton, Tipuric or Faletau.

What do you reckon against the Aussies then? Got to be going for a win surely, although it will be interesting to see how they get on with what looks like a more expansive game plan.

I think it's almost too early for Wales as they need some time to gel into what looks like a new style before playing a top team, but it'll certainly be interesting to watch.
Aled Davies is our 3rd choice SH. He’s 2nd choice at Scarlets behind Gareth Davies. He’s not as good as Gareth but his service is actually better and he has a good eye for a gap. Very orthodox type of SH but decent for a 3rd choice (not so good as a 2nd choice which is what he’ll effectively be, like you say)

Yeah, I watched Moriarty’‘s first game back for Gloucester in the Anglo Welsh cup the other day. Looked ok for a bit but faded out after a while but understandable.

It’s a shame James Davies (Jon Davies’ bro) is also injured as that’s another option at 7 that we could do with having seeing as Tips and Warbs are out and he must be gutted as he had a good chance of playing if he was fit. Staying with the back row I couldn’t agree with you more about Thomas Young, with all the injuries I can believe he wasn’t called up, he went on tour with Wales in the summer and did ok from what I can remember but he must be thinking if I can’t get into this team with Tips, Warbs, Davies and Moriarty our then I’m never getting in.

I’m not expecting a win at all mate, tbh. History suggests it’ll be another 3-5 point loss and that win against NZ shows they’re still a top team on their day. If you asked me a month or so ago (before they beat NZ and before I knew about our injuries) perhaps I’d be more bullish but I’m not overly optimistic. Expect it to be a close game though so who knows.
 

E17yid

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Actually fuck James Davies. I was just reading the bbc football gossip thing and James Davies dressed up as Eric Cantona so he can do one as far as I’m concerned.
 

talkshowhost86

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Aled Davies is our 3rd choice SH. He’s 2nd choice at Scarlets behind Gareth Davies. He’s not as good as Gareth but his service is actually better and he has a good eye for a gap. Very orthodox type of SH but decent for a 3rd choice (not so good as a 2nd choice which is what he’ll effectively be, like you say)

Yeah, I watched Moriarty’‘s first game back for Gloucester in the Anglo Welsh cup the other day. Looked ok for a bit but faded out after a while but understandable.

It’s a shame James Davies (Jon Davies’ bro) is also injured as that’s another option at 7 that we could do with having seeing as Tips and Warbs are out and he must be gutted as he had a good chance of playing if he was fit. Staying with the back row I couldn’t agree with you more about Thomas Young, with all the injuries I can believe he wasn’t called up, he went on tour with Wales in the summer and did ok from what I can remember but he must be thinking if I can’t get into this team with Tips, Warbs, Davies and Moriarty our then I’m never getting in.

I’m not expecting a win at all mate, tbh. History suggests it’ll be another 3-5 point loss and that win against NZ shows they’re still a top team on their day. If you asked me a month or so ago (before they beat NZ and before I knew about our injuries) perhaps I’d be more bullish but I’m not overly optimistic. Expect it to be a close game though so who knows.
On the Eggchaser's podcast they were discussing what each team should be looking for from the AIs, considering that we are now effectively into the build up for the World Cup.

They made a good point that Gatland has previously said he is aiming to win the World Cup with Wales in 2019, so surely they have to be aiming to win at least one of these games if that's a realistic prospect.

Obviously the injuries don't help, but I think if Wales come away having lost all three (not including Georgia) then I'm not quite sure where they go from there in their World Cup prep. Mind you Wales are the sort of team that will do that sort of thing and then go and win the Grand Slam, but they HAVE to start beating Southern Hemisphere teams at some point.

They said the same about Scotland as well. These heroic defeats need to stop and be turned into actual wins. But the Welsh guy on the podcast shared your pessimism.
 

E17yid

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On the Eggchaser's podcast they were discussing what each team should be looking for from the AIs, considering that we are now effectively into the build up for the World Cup.

They made a good point that Gatland has previously said he is aiming to win the World Cup with Wales in 2019, so surely they have to be aiming to win at least one of these games if that's a realistic prospect.

Obviously the injuries don't help, but I think if Wales come away having lost all three (not including Georgia) then I'm not quite sure where they go from there in their World Cup prep. Mind you Wales are the sort of team that will do that sort of thing and then go and win the Grand Slam, but they HAVE to start beating Southern Hemisphere teams at some point.

They said the same about Scotland as well. These heroic defeats need to stop and be turned into actual wins. But the Welsh guy on the podcast shared your pessimism.
If we beat one of Australia or SA then it’s been dent(ish) considering the injuries. Beat both Australia and SA then it’s been a great series. Lose both those games and, yeah, it’ll be pretty depressing even with the injuries.

Tipuric will be back for the NZ and SA games, though.
 
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Looking forward to the rugby tomorrow. England game should be exciting! Not sure how the new look (?) Wales side will fare but I'd reckon on a 15 point win for Australia. We should smash Argentina (won't be easy but they are not in form).
 
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