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FunBus

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Joined December 2016

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Yep, let’s move on.

The tier system is holding back international rugby

I know precisely who John Pilger is. He is not a historian, but an ideologically motivated journalist. As an aside I make my living as an academic specializing in international politics and history, and in particular the history and contemporary conduct of warfare. But, let’s not play the ‘mine’s bigger than yours’ game. After all, it’s supposed to be a rugby blog where people come to discuss the game.

The tier system is holding back international rugby

Can I ‘recommend’, IW, that if you’re taken with the bizarre desire to pontificate about history on a rugby blog, that you read a little more widely than a far-left web site and add a bit of depth to your historical musings?

The tier system is holding back international rugby

No, Cheika seems to have made it clear he’s not in his plans. Otherwise, surely, he would have made overtures to him to return to a SR team as he has done with a number of others.

Samoan selection Sudoku for Michael Cheika ahead of the Rugby World Cup

Eh? Who’s ‘stolen’ a WB 6?

Samoan selection Sudoku for Michael Cheika ahead of the Rugby World Cup

The NH teams will not misjudge the weather. I first heard Eddie Jones talk about it 2 years ago. He was Japan’s coach after all and Borthwick, his forwards coach for Japan us his forwards coach for England.

Rugby World Cup 2019 preview series: Ireland

I know, you could have a cracking RWC out of squads of players who haven’t been selected.

Rugby World Cup 2019 preview series: Australia

You forgot to add his dignity and sense of perspective in defeat.

Rugby World Cup 2019 preview series: Australia

Go on then, I’ll give it a go for the poms

15. Brown
14. Ashton
13. Marchant
12. Te’o
11. Thorley
10. Cipriani
9. Care
8. Kvesic
7. Robshaw
6. Shields
5. Ewels
4. Iziekwe
3. Williams
2. Hartley
1. Moon
16. Obano
17. Webber
18. Collier
19 Hill
20 Dombrandt
21 Spencer
22 Lozowski
23. Goode

Rugby World Cup 2019 preview series: Australia

Nah, you can keep those three. :happy:

Samoan selection Sudoku for Michael Cheika ahead of the Rugby World Cup

None of which I dispute. My problem is the implication that somehow all this innovation is beyond the NH teams. I’m told that Eddie Jones knows a little bit about conditions in Japan. England were training for the Ireland game by taking high balls smothered in soap. They’ve had 6 weeks warm weather/humidity training in Treviso (average temp 28-30 with 80% humidity) and have picked a base camp in Japan specifically for the heightened levels of humidity there. The other main NH challengers have done something similar.
I will also make the claim, that England and Wales for sure, and Ireland probably, are fitter than the WBs. England and Wales may well go in with two ‘7s’ and I’d be happy to put up the mobility of England’s tight five against anyone, including the ABs.
I read the Stuff article. It consisted of a Kiwi professor saying some fairly obvious things about playing in humidity and the ABs saying how well prepared they are. Not entirely sure what this is evidence of. In fact, as much of the AB preparation appears to have involved spending a lot of time in saunas (the RC will have dictated this), I reckon England and the others will not feel disadvantaged by preparations given they’ve had many weeks actually training in a similar environment.

The Wrap: Final World Cup tune-ups. So who’s roadworthy?

‘Baker recorded a 10.34 for the 40.’
I can do the 40 in 10.31. I’m going to get my boots out of the attic. :happy:

Samoan selection Sudoku for Michael Cheika ahead of the Rugby World Cup

Am I the only person on here who thinks Hooper is an excellent, world-class player? I think he’s got an English dad, hasn’t he? Can we have him?

Samoan selection Sudoku for Michael Cheika ahead of the Rugby World Cup

I would seriously fancy Vunipola, Curry and Underhill against Naisarani, Pocock (the 2019 version) and LSL, Peter.
That looks to me like 2015 in reverse.

Samoan selection Sudoku for Michael Cheika ahead of the Rugby World Cup

‘He just hasn’t spent enough time at the position to be a Test player there, and doesn’t realize the urgency of the need to remain connected to Koroibete as the scrum turns.’

I presume the assumption is that he can learn ‘on the job’ at a RWC. I mean, what could go wrong?

Samoan selection Sudoku for Michael Cheika ahead of the Rugby World Cup

It was the lack of awareness of the unfolding problem that would worry me most. Whatever he tried, try something.

Samoan selection Sudoku for Michael Cheika ahead of the Rugby World Cup

Again, I just don’t understand the thinking. Who thinks about ‘long-term’ project players when deciding on a RWC squad, and the balance of your team. Are there more important games coming up later that I don’t know about?

Samoan selection Sudoku for Michael Cheika ahead of the Rugby World Cup

Do you think, NB, that coaches are thinking a lot about the balance of the pack as a whole, now, not just units within it? Yes, you want a balanced backrow, but if playing 2 ‘7s’, it’s no good just having a ball carrier at 8 if your tight five can’t contribute in this area. I think it’s why Franks didn’t make the trip. Mobile, dynamic props seem to be at a premium.

Samoan selection Sudoku for Michael Cheika ahead of the Rugby World Cup

One of the great mysteries. It’s not like the WBs are over-burdened with great ‘6s’.

Samoan selection Sudoku for Michael Cheika ahead of the Rugby World Cup

England are taking two opensides, as are Wales. Both have additional players who can fill in there in an emergency, but not pure ‘7s’. There’s so much flexibility now with modern backrows, the player who can only play ‘7’ is at a selection disadvantage.

Samoan selection Sudoku for Michael Cheika ahead of the Rugby World Cup

But, you weren’t just talking about whether Smith is or isn’t the best scrum-half in the world. For what it’s worth, I don’t think he’s been that good in a number of tests over the last 18 months, but he certainly was the best scrum half in the last RWC.
Your point seems to be that the NH teams won’t be able to live with the speed and tempo of the SH teams (not just the ABs). This obviously goes way beyond Smith or the ABs. I have not noticed any of the main NH sides struggle, for example, with the ‘searing pace’ of recycling of the WBs for years. It’s a stereotype pretending to be an analysis.

The Wrap: Final World Cup tune-ups. So who’s roadworthy?

This is also a problem for England, Geoff. There isn’t another Tuilagi or Billy Vunipola on the bench.

Samoan selection Sudoku for Michael Cheika ahead of the Rugby World Cup

Well, the Ireland scrum half was Murphy who didn’t seem to be notably slower than Aaron Smith during the Lions series, and the SA ‘9’ is Faf de Klerk who plays most of his rugby in England, as indeed does White who may well be the WB scrum-half.
Maybe when I’m watching these players play in the English Premier, they must be moving so fast that it seems like a blur and I miss it.

The Wrap: Final World Cup tune-ups. So who’s roadworthy?

‘If the humidity is high Ire, Eng and Wales will struggle in that order.’
Absolute nonsense. In fact, given that there’s much more flexibility in the scheduling of RWC warm-up matches than the RC, I would bet that the three teams you mention have done a significant amount more warm weather/humidity training in the run-up to the RWC than Australia or NZ. For example, England have had about 4-6 weeks on and off in Treviso where the average temp this time of year is 28-30 with 80% humidity, training at the hottest and most humid times of the day.

The Wrap: Final World Cup tune-ups. So who’s roadworthy?

I’m sorry, the idea that Kiwis have an in-built genetic superiority to play in conditions of high humidity over, say, England is something I would need some convincing about. It was 32c and humid at pitch-side when England played Ireland at Twickenham the other week. Anyway, high humidity is only likely to be a factor in the pool stages.
Wales are certainly one of the fittest sides in the world, and if the WBs (who I think are noticeably less fit than Wales) think they’re going to ‘run them off their feet’ they’re in for a shock, and I say that as someone who would dearly like to see Wales crash and burn.
There are a number of reasons why the ball might be moved slower at rucks in, for example, the Ireland-Wales game, not least of which is the spoiling abilities of the respective backrows, something the Aussie backrow couldn’t replicate at Eden Park.
I thought I watched most of the RC games, but I must have missed the ones played in Borneo rain forest conditions.
You’d think given all this light-speed recycling that the WBs would have blown England and Ireland away in the two home series.

The Wrap: Final World Cup tune-ups. So who’s roadworthy?