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RWC Thoughts on Pool Winners/Qualifiers

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GPR - Rochester View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GPR - Rochester Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 August 2019 at 8:26am
Well some things are clearer for me having seen the Rugby Championship over the past few weeks. At the top of the draw I don't see NZ or South Africa worrying overly who finishes 1st or 2nd. Either way they will be confident of beating Scotland or Ireland so for me NZ & South Africa in the semis. 

In the lower half of the draw it gets really interesting. England, France, Wales & Australia to qualify for me. Don't see France making the semis but choosing 2 from the remaining 3 is tough. I repeat my points above about the Welsh back row selection. No longer is it a selection dilemma area for Gatland. With no Faletau he lacks a genuine carrier; his resources are full of natural 6/7's but no genuine 8 which is going to be a worry. 

Some questions posed above have been answered - does Eddie know what he is doing with selection - a resounding yes if Sunday's game is anything to go by; how improved are South Africa - massively from the teams beaten recently by Wales; does Gatland have a selection dilemma in the back row - most definitely as he doesn't have a real No 8 to call on. The final question regarding Ireland is no clearer. Schmidt is facing a real problem at 10 - Carbery, the natural successor to Sexton, is injured again and Sexton is continually surrounded by fitness concerns. Having a 10 to see them through their pool games will be their main concern. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr_martinov Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 August 2019 at 9:09am
SA and Oz hitting form with questions over NZ has definitely made it very interesting. Don't think I've seen a worse SA side than when they were over recently yet it reads as though they have been re-invented. 

NH sides: England do have some good players and have beaten SH sides but can be weak tactically and undisciplined. Ireland were looking so good but had an atrocious 6N and if Sexton is out then they're done for. And Wales - it's hard to be objective but there is a very strong core that has played a lot together now. It's built around fitness and defence which has been optimum to grind out wins in 6N rugby but will that be enough against those SH sides? If you leak 10+ points under potentially constant pressure without response then you're done for in big games. There's a few players who can score tries - Cawdor being one of the most opportunistic SHs around - but team tries can sometimes be harder to come by. We are going to need the threat of tries by the forwards off set pieces, the equivalent of the Vunipolo factor, from somewhere and I also think more threat of breaks from the centres/wings; something that will be less likely with a deeper 10 in Biggar. But he then brings the cross-kick into play and North and Adams I reckon are great for that but top sides will have a plan plus every side has big wingers these days.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GPR - Rochester Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 August 2019 at 11:38am
To win this tournament we are going to have get our defence back to being the best which is obviously doable. Add to that we will need to move the ball wide with a running threat at 10. Dan is many things but he is never going to be a running threat. I still maintain, despite the improvements seen in Anscombe in the past 12 months, that the most naturally gifted attacking 10 in Wales is Patchell. Everything will depend on his state of mind as to whether he is deemed ready for the battle. 

If he fails then I would not be surprised to see Evans given a chance. He too is a natural attacker but his goalkicking may mean having to find a place for Halfpenny. Our forwards are never going to be able to steam roll opposition like England & South Africa can so we must find other ways to win. If we cannot get parity at scrums and improve our lineout then all bets are off.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GPR - Rochester Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 August 2019 at 9:55am
Well having seen Ireland & Scotland recently NZ & South Africa may well decide to toss a coin for win instead of hitting lumps out of each other. Neither will lose any sleep over playing Scotland or Ireland who were absolutely smashed by an impressive England yesterday.

Wales really need to avoid losing to Australia & finish top of their group while hoping NZ top theirs. That would set up a semi final line up of NZ v England & Wales v South Africa. Would be great if we met England in the final where their back 3 will be tested like never before. Daly going backwards is an accident waiting to happen and big Joe is a pretty poor/green defender. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aber-fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 August 2019 at 1:10pm
Originally posted by GPR - Rochester GPR - Rochester wrote:

Well having seen Ireland & Scotland recently NZ & South Africa may well decide to toss a coin for win instead of hitting lumps out of each other. Neither will lose any sleep over playing Scotland or Ireland who were absolutely smashed by an impressive England yesterday.

Wales really need to avoid losing to Australia & finish top of their group while hoping NZ top theirs. That would set up a semi final line up of NZ v England & Wales v South Africa. Would be great if we met England in the final where their back 3 will be tested like never before. Daly going backwards is an accident waiting to happen and big Joe is a pretty poor/green defender. 

I agree that playing SA would be preferable to playing NZ in the semi... let's hope we get that far!

Your point re. the England defence also applies to France - they should have done the double v Scotland yesterday, but some poor defending let them down. Raka was dreadful at defending kicks - I'm sure the French will revert to Huget for the RWC.
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