FAREWELL ROAR: Bickering a symptom of troubled times

We used to have something like that in a previous version of this forum - not sure it helped a lot. The best way to moderate a forum is the people who write and post on it - if someone steps out of line with the comments they are making - and I mean personal, denigratory or potentially defamatory remarks, not straightforward banter - then they should be called on it. I've seen that work on other forums that I post on and it seems to work quite well. I've moderated forums in the past, and it is often a thankless task. It's pity that Scott Allen has felt it necessary to make this decision - I've enjoyed his analysis and articulate writing. If I thought that it would go any good, I'd happily start a petition now in this article asking him to stay and see how many other Roarers are of the same view.

5 Dec 2014
To improve the Wallabies, Cheika first needs to beat them

Agreed. He pops his head up far too often when he should be pushing.

2 Dec 2014
All rugby teams have an Achilles heel

Nice article, Harry - thank you. On Ireland's Achilles heel or missing something, I don't think I'd agree with "Ireland cannot live outside Dublin. Maybe they can win in New Zealand against Australia. But for the most part, they are a home team. When they leave Dublin, they are shorter, slower and less clever." Sure they don't win on the road down South (but then who does on a consistent basis from the NH teams - no one.). Since the RWC2011: NZ have had 3 x three match series against Ireland, France and England - and they've won all nine. Australia have had 2 series - Wales and France - and they won all 6. South Africa have had Welsh and English series and games against Scotland and Italy. They've won all of those. (As an aside I think the 3-match series has been a complete waste of time and has only served to put longer gaps between various teams playing each other. Ireland won't play in NZ for another 9 years, for example. Ireland haven't played in SA for ten years and won't for another 2 years.) I reckon Ireland has two types of Achilles Heel - mental and physical. The mental derives from harbouring the classic underdog status - Ireland revel in being underdog and gives them a psychological boost against the greater opposition - a chance to go all out with nothing to lose. I'd also offer a bit of heresy and say that Brian O'Driscoll was potentially their Achilles Heel for the last decade. He was so good at times that he seemed to drag the whole team over the line (2009 being his perfect year), but in his absence, Ireland were half the team without him. These kind of totemic figures are a blessing and a burden sometimes. Schmidt has managed in a very short space of time to overcome those weaknesses - Ireland winning the 6N, and beating France in Paris (who rank alongside NZ as their bogey team). And they won a series in Argentina for the first time. Leaving those two mental elements aside, on the physical side, the biggest drawback is in the forwards. If Ireland can't get at least parity in a game at scrum time or at the breakdown, they're bunched. They don't have sufficient skill or finesse in their backs to win them a game. If I was to narrow it down to one player, then I'd pick tight-head. If Ireland are deficient there, they're there for anyone to take.

2 Dec 2014
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