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Riccardo

Roar Rookie

Joined April 2014

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Work in Credit in Finance. Father of 2. Former player, now social. Armchair opinionator. Love what I learn from the Roar. one of the best Sports sites I have ever seen.

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Impressive post Sheek.

Thanks

The Roar’s 50 greatest players in Rugby World Cup history: 5-1

Good post mate…

Rugby World Cup 2019 preview series: New Zealand

Some great names there too Targa.

A 2nd list?

The Roar’s 50 greatest players in Rugby World Cup history: 5-1

This is largely subjective and Jonah is more than a sentimental favourite.

McCaw will be remembered as the GOAT in time and I would also argue he is the #1 here.

What a fantastic, if controversial, exercise. My only quibble would be the number of players there on reputation or occasion but there’s an argument for them too.

Many thanks gentlemen…

The Roar’s 50 greatest players in Rugby World Cup history: 5-1

Awesome.

Thanks team.

Stop copying me Digger!

Go Japan!

Go the All Blacks.

Delirious…

Rugby World Cup tipping Week 1: unprepared

Morning Daniel.

I’m pleased you referenced the three-peat odds as this is a long-shot by sporting standards and would make success that much sweeter.

It is a good squad despite some essential personnel carrying niggles; I would have liked to see Squire on the plane, with respect to Shannon. He would add some height and mongrel in the back row which may be required against the Boks and Roses in particular.

You mention the line-outs which have been average recently and. Hansen has gone for mobility. At set-piece and they will need to be at their best against the afore-mentioned packs considering the wobbles against the Wallabies.

I can see pollard peppering our back three, especially if Bridge and Reece are picked as expected. How will they cope aerially in such an important exchange?

The flip-side of those selections and the dual-playmakers is that they can get behind rush defenses and draw in wide defenders to create space on the edges. And there is no better counter-attacking unit in the game.

Still, I confess to being nervous.

Sam is an integral cog and a senior leader but for me the most important player will be Aaron Smith followed closely by big Brodie. If Aaron can give Mo’unga and Barrett front foot ball they will be hard to stop. His speed and pass will be vital methinks whereas Brodie is simply one of the best players in the game and adds so much in all his core roles.

We’re going to know a lot more come Saturday evening.

Good read thanks.

Rugby World Cup 2019 preview series: New Zealand

“Tournament play is something else, and the experience of navigating it successfully is very valuable”

Spot on as usual Neil.

Knock-out footy is a different beast. Anything can happen no matter how good you are.

The All Blacks went 24 years, 6 tournaments, favourites in all (arguably not so 1999 and 2003) but there or there abouts.

Fans had to endure the choking tag gleefully bandied about by those that lose regularly outside the big dance.

I feel the three-peat is certainly possible but the odds are long and both England and South Africa will be hard to beat, let alone Wales and Ireland.

Nevertheless, grinding your way through this thing and winning it must make the All Blacks, England or South Africa logical favourites.

Saturday will be one of the fiercest 1st round clashes in RWC history.

Rugby World Cup 2019 preview series: New Zealand

“Nonu was certainly not the best 12 in the world for most of his career and even in
2015 he was job sharing with SBW.”

You’ve got to be kidding.

I’m a massive Horan fan and he was the benchmark at the time no doubt; his and Little’s battles with Bunce/Little from the All Blacks at the time was worth the price of entry alone.

But that last statement does you little credit. Nonu was head and shoulders the best inside centre on the planet at the time and was brilliant in 2015. I would argue he should have got the best player gong that year.

If you look at the musical chairs within the centres since his departure you may get an idea how keenly his prowess has been missed by the All Blacks…

The Roar’s 50 greatest players in Rugby World Cup history: 10-6

:laughing:

The Roar’s 50 greatest players in Rugby World Cup history: 10-6

Valid point Geoff; how good would he have been without that injury in 2011?

But 2015 mate?

Just sublime. Probably the best three match stretch I have seen from anyone, let alone a fly-half.

We wouldn’t have played that final without him.

The Roar’s 50 greatest players in Rugby World Cup history: 10-6

Good God Brett!

5 worthy champions.

What’s there to argue about?

The Roar’s 50 greatest players in Rugby World Cup history: 10-6

Best I have ever seen Harry.

He could do everything.

What a loss…

The Roar’s 50 greatest players in Rugby World Cup history: 10-6

I was going to say the same thing mate.

Pollard, and the halves in general, are vital to the Bokke campaign.

It must be a relief for you and Harry to see your team hitting their straps again.

They are a real chance IMO…

Rugby World Cup 2019 preview series: South Africa

Outstanding Harry.

Appropriate you got a couple of great Springboks to wax lyrically about.

Smit was a true champion, a real leader, the hooker that became a prop.

And what can you say about Horan; he was a nemesis for one of the great All Black sides. Feared and respected by them probably says it all.

Thanks…

The Roar's 50 greatest players in Rugby World Cup history: 15-11

Nice read Daniel.

I have them as genuine contenders this time around.

A nice blend of power and mobility, set-piece accuracy and break-down prowess, and with Tuilagi added to the mix, a potent back-line.

England know how to win despite their early exit in London and will be hard to beat.

A tough draw but who knows?

Rugby World Cup 2019 preview series: England

I’m all for being wrong Jokerman,

But my head is talking different to my heart.

Hope you’ve got some mystic devilry on the case…

:happy:

My fearless prediction says the All Blacks will win the 2019 World Cup

Those are my thoughts too Nobes.

Great piece Geoff.

Injuries and depth will be significant in Japan.

Neil and Funbus could see Jones repay the faith right up to the final but I think The Bokke are too strong and their halves pairing a point-of-difference this time around.

The Wrap: The seven factors that will decide the World Cup

Food for thought.

All Blacks have won 3 and 2 back-to-back Bills. What are the odds of a three-peat at this level of professional sports? I’m pretty sure they would be long.

This is not the same side as 2015, one of the better All Black sides. Their “form” leading in remains demanding but one might argue there are chinks in their armour. Frankly, I’m not sure they are led as well, either by Kieran or the leadership group.

Japan will see the closest proximity, as far as ranking is concerned, in Bill’s history. There really are multiple contenders. I tend to agree that the winner is likely to come from the group of previous winners though.

Nevertheless, both Ireland and Wales could surprise, provided they can cope with the attrition. Wales have already lost Anscombe and Faletau.

We haven’t seen how the refereeing group are going to gel yet. There remain vagaries around the interpretation and policing of set-piece, break-down and reckless contact. And this does not allow for the anomaly that is the TMO.

Keep your powder dry: my sitting-on-the-proverbial-fence prediction

My fearless prediction says the All Blacks will win the 2019 World Cup

Anything could happen but…

Wales’ depth will be tested without Faletau and Anscombe.

Wales records at these quaddrennieal events isn’t exactly encouraging.

Defense is the platform but you gotta score points and they just don’t.

Caveat: Gatland knows more than me, a lot more, and he’s confident this will be a successful swan-song…

Rugby World Cup 2019 preview series: Wales

Ireland is a great team, having had considerable success in the last couple of years.

However, without Toner and Sexton they got toweled by a good England side, in most facets of the game but particularly at the breakdown and on their edges.

And, like Wales, they haven’t delivered on this stage.

While this edition of Bill should be compulsory viewing for the increased proximity of the bigger sides alone, it is for this very reason that of those top sides a former champion surely has the stronger likelihood of success.

7 Sleeps!

Rugby World Cup 2019 preview series: Ireland

A possible reason may be Toner’s scrummaging.

Toner is/was a premiere line-out lock but probably didn’t lend enough to his tight-head at scrum -time.

Something Feek may feel Kleyn does technically better…

Rugby World Cup 2019 preview series: Ireland

Schalk was immense Biltong.

And as Harry says, such great hands for a big man.

His linking with Habana a standout…

The Roar’s 50 greatest players in Rugby World Cup history: 35-31

5 brilliant footballers.

Well penned Nobes.

Loved watching all these guys but the stand-out for me is Snakey. Conrad is one of the most under-rated players to play the game.

A real mid-field general; it was amazing to watch him pop up in the right place at the right time. His reading of the game was more like Fox actually.

Often coming out of the line to spot-tackle he rarely missed. He wasn’t a speedster but was quick out of the blocks, a good distributor and had a handy chip.

Forming the best mid-field the All Blacks have had with Ma’a, it was the latter who garnered most of the headlines with his flying predator-locks and gain-line breaks but I doubt Nonu would have turned into the best inside centre in the game without Snakey on his outside.

Loving this series…

The Roar’s 50 greatest players in Rugby World Cup history: 35-31

Same Jez.

Ma’a was out all on his own for the whole season and was immense in London too…

The Roar’s 50 greatest players in Rugby World Cup history: 40-36

Thanks Charles.

I don’t see the Bokke as a surprise either. Well coached. Excellent forwards and back row. Youth and speed in the mid-field and probably their best halves in a long time. And I also agree that they and England are best suited, or equipped, to beat the All Blacks.

Wales have not won this thing and are simply not the same team away from home. They also have some depth issues on top of injuries and they appear to be carrying a couple of forwards past their use-by. But they have an excellent defensive screen and knock-out wins are built on those.

I think Fiji could surprise too and would suggest neither Wales, nor the Wallabies will take them lightly.

Five potential upsets at the 2019 RWC