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Subject: Six Nations 2018 rss

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Jim Patching
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The greatest Rugby (and some might say sport) tournament is almost upon is and it's time for predictions for Round 1

Wales Vs Scotland

Wales seem to be being written off and to be honest, with the horrendous injury list we have I can see why. However, in years past when Wales were shorn of a few key players the team would start to look pretty flakey but I'm actually impressed by how strong the announced line up looks.

Scotland have been playing some great rugby of late and most pundits seem to have them down to win this, but I reckon home advantage plus Scotland's bad form away from home will see a win for Wales.

France Vs Ireland

Ireland all the way. The old adage of 'You never know which French side is going to show up' doesn't really hold true anymore. We know which French side is going to show up - the shit one. I'm not impressed with their choice of new head coach either. Backwards step.

Italy Vs England

England are going to win it but I think it might be tougher than expected. Italy always seems to start the tournament stronger than they finish it and I reckon they'll be targeting this game and throw everything they have at England. Won't be enough though.
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Jerry Martin
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Scotland!!!

Ireland.

England (they will win by a big margin, they impressed me more last fall then I expected).
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Richie Freeman
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panzer-attack wrote:
The old adage of 'You never know which French side is going to show up' doesn't really hold true anymore. We know which French side is going to show up - the shit one.


God, that made me laugh. Unfortunately I’m inclined to agree as well - can’t see anything but a sound win for the Irish here.

I think Wales v Scotland will be a great match to watch as neutral but wouldn’t like to call who’s going to win it, with Scotland’s current form and the number of Welsh players injured it could go either way. Looking forward to seeing a few Scarlets players given another chance to impress in an international jersey again as well. The rugby they play in the Pro14 is fantastic to watch.

As an England fan, I’m disappointed by our distinct lack of of options at number 8 (don’t rate Nathan Hughes very highly though tbh) but I think the injury list we have is relatively manageable. I do think Ireland could take it this year though, should be a good few weeks of rugby! Looking forward to it all kicking off this weekend.
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Scotland to win the whole thing because I'm probably not going to be able to watch and follow this year.

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Jim Patching
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what happened to Ben Morgan? Haven't seen or heard anything of him for ages.
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Richie Freeman
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panzer-attack wrote:
what happened to Ben Morgan? Haven't seen or heard anything of him for ages.


Yeah, I rate Ben Morgan quite highly personally, although he’s very much “faded into the crowd” in the premiership over the past few seasons tbh. Definitely doesn’t seem to be on Eddie Jones’ radar - he was making a fairly decent claim after his return from injury at one point, and had a couple of truly stellar games against Saracens (my team), but I get why Jones overlooks him. He does all his bread-and-butter stuff very well, but seems to have lost some of his spark somewhere along the way unfortunately.
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Eric Dodd
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I'm afraid you're right Jim, though I hope (as always) that this might be the year Scotland can put a full series of performances together.

Professional rugby about to start down under, where the average temperature was about 32C last week.
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Jon M
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panzer-attack wrote:
The greatest Rugby (and some might say sport) tournament is almost upon is and it's time for predictions for Round 1

Wales Vs Scotland

Wales seem to be being written off and to be honest, with the horrendous injury list we have I can see why. However, in years past when Wales were shorn of a few key players the team would start to look pretty flakey but I'm actually impressed by how strong the announced line up looks.

Scotland have been playing some great rugby of late and most pundits seem to have them down to win this, but I reckon home advantage plus Scotland's bad form away from home will see a win for Wales.

France Vs Ireland

Ireland all the way. The old adage of 'You never know which French side is going to show up' doesn't really hold true anymore. We know which French side is going to show up - the shit one. I'm not impressed with their choice of new head coach either. Backwards step.

Italy Vs England

England are going to win it but I think it might be tougher than expected. Italy always seems to start the tournament stronger than they finish it and I reckon they'll be targeting this game and throw everything they have at England. Won't be enough though.


Wow great predictions - erm about this weeks lottery numbers...
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Jim Patching
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Well I had a funny feeling that Wales were going to win at least somewhat comfortably but I didn't see that coming. I watched the game in the Black Lion in Llandaff and the pub was bouncing.

I've got to be honest, I couldn't sit through all of France V Ireland. Pretty dull game. I've seen the highlights and yes, Ireland won, but I thought they'd win a lot more comfortably than they did. I reckon they'll get better as the tournament goes on. Amazing drop goal at the end though. Nerves of steel.

Poor Italy. The end score is probably not quite what they deserved from that game, they played pretty well. England look dangerous though.

So, next week's games:

Ireland Vs Italy

It's got to be Ireland hasn't it? Italy don't travel that well and Ireland are better than they showed on Saturday.

England Vs Wales
My head says England but, maybe it's just wildly optimistic, I reckon Wales will squeak a win out of a very tight game.

Scotland Vs France

Now this is a tough one to call but I think Scotland will recover their composure and beat the French. I'm pretty much just going with home advantage here.



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Andy Leighton
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panzer-attack wrote:
Well I had a funny feeling that Wales were going to win at least somewhat comfortably but I didn't see that coming. I watched the game in the Black Lion in Llandaff and the pub was bouncing.


Yes I was disappointed with Scotland. So one-dimensional. They looked to have made a massive step backwards and it isn't good for the tournament.

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I've got to be honest, I couldn't sit through all of France V Ireland. Pretty dull game.

I watched it live and yes - pretty dull game sums it up. Even the France try didn't liven things up. With the injuries to the two French half-backs they are going to struggle. Also the HIA stuff when it is an obvious knee injury doesn't help the game's image.

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Poor Italy. The end score is probably not quite what they deserved from that game, they played pretty well. England look dangerous though.

Yep Italy played a lot better than the scoreline suggests. Considering the lack of consistency at outside centre England look really good going forwards. Italy are usually pretty fierce defensively but looked all at sea at times. The English defence doesn't look as strong as it has in recent seasons, it looked narrow to me and over-reliant on line-speed. That should give the Welsh hope. It is likely to be a very tight game and may come down to an individual mistake or moment of brilliance.
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Mousey
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Scotland played terrible cry
They will loose against France.

Wales played a good solid game, but I think England will beat them.
England showed some really nice rugby in Italy.

Ireland will beat Italy, but not by the margin England did, Italy will have learned from the match against England.
Still not sure how good Ireland is at the moment, we will have to wait until they play Wales to find out.
Already looking forward to the last round when Irland plays England!
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Richie Freeman
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Couldn’t agree more with everyone that Wales/Scotland was the stand-out game of the weekend, but definitely didn’t expect Wales to win quite so exceptionally. Performance of the weekend, orchestrated brilliantly by Patchell at 10 imo, if I were Welsh I’d hope he continues to get picked over Biggar once he’s back from injury nowadays. And Shingler was thoroughly deserving of his MOTM award too but it was outstanding from everyone really, and after the first 6 minutes there really were very few positives to talk about for Scottish fans imo.

I think Ireland were deserving of scraping a win, but were lucky to do so - and 10/10 for Sexton handling a massive drop goal so coolly. Imo, it seemed like Ireland had forgotten how to attack with the ball-in-hand though. I know they’ve always relied strongly on their kicking game, but it was so frustrating to watch them continually thump the ball up the pitch rather than try to string a few phases together against a team I think they could outplay. I think Ireland are definitely still in contention despite an unconvincing win, but can’t see France taking England or Wales this close to the wire.

And, I’m probably being greedy as an England fan but I was hoping for a more dominant performance over Italy. I think we played some very good rugby, but also some incredibly stupid rugby, and made decisions and mistakes that no one else in the tournament will forgive. Still, I can’t be unhappy with a bonus point win and the best points difference of the weekend, but Wales definitely played the best and most complete rugby of the first round. Obviously devastated for Youngs, but he definitely wouldn’t be my first choice Scrum half so I hope Care plays a little more expansively if he starts over Wigglesworth next week. And, although I’m a Saracens fan, I think Wiggy is an odd choice for England imo. His pragmatic approach works fantastically for Saracens, but I hope it doesn’t slow England down. We’ve been playing really entertaining rugby under Jones so far.

And next week:

I think the only question I’ll be asking of Italy this tournament is will they concede a bonus point or not? Can’t see anything but a BP win for Ireland at home here.

Obviously my bias says England will win, but I was expecting to feel fairly confident about this before Wales’ performance last weekend, rather than nervous! Should be the game of the weekend imo. Hoping we patch a few cracks that Wales will punish much more than Italy; our blitz defence leaves you far too exposed in the wide channels, and Patchell and co. will be more than capable of exploiting this if we’re not careful.

I hope Scotland’s more expansive style of rugby is rewarded with a win, rather than France’s fairly one-dimensional brute-force approach. I think the Murrayfield crowd should swing things in Scotland’s favour. I think Scotland to win, France with a losing BP, but hoping for more for Scotland.
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Jim Patching
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Cardboard Conundrum wrote:
Couldn’t agree more with everyone that Wales/Scotland was the stand-out game of the weekend, but definitely didn’t expect Wales to win quite so exceptionally. Performance of the weekend, orchestrated brilliantly by Patchell at 10 imo, if I were Welsh I’d hope he continues to get picked over Biggar once he’s back from injury nowadays. And Shingler was thoroughly deserving of his MOTM award too but it was outstanding from everyone really, and after the first 6 minutes there really were very few positives to talk about for Scottish fans imo.


Gatland's announced the team and he's sticking with the same line up as last weekend which I'm very pleased with. I think it would have been easy for him to make some changes (such as bringing in North for the new wing Josh Adams) but I'm glad he's rewarding the players after their performance against Scotland.

I winced when Youngs was injured. The fact you could hear him scream shows it must have bloody hurt. Eddie Jones announces the England team today doesn't he? Looking forward to this game!
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Richie Freeman
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Yeah, absolutely agree. And as a Saracens fan, I’m very pleased (but also very surprised) that Liam Williams has been released.

BBC Sport had an article titled “Youngs to miss rest of the Six Nations”, which is just a ridiculous understatement - I watched the game with my other half and a few friends and we all shuddered when we heard the scream too, even before you had all the replays. At least four months out by the looks of it, but it looked incredibly nasty, so I guess it will be longer.

I can’t wait to see the team. Hoping (and expecting) for one or two changes to the England line-up, but will have to wait and see. Would like to see Joseph starting at 13 in particular. Should be a cracker though - enjoy the game!
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Mousey
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Go Scotland!

8 more minutes
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Mousey
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Unexpected, but so nice!
 
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Jim Patching
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I didn't get to see many of the games this weekend. I was at a birthday party with my girls on Saturday whilst Ireland were busy demolishing Italy but I managed to catch the odd bit here and there on the TV they had at the bouncy castle place. Ireland look good. For all of the talk of Italy's improvement under Connor O'Shea it's sure starting to look to me like they're going backwards. Only consolation for them really is that they managed to score a couple of tries against both England and Ireland.

Of course I watched the Big One - England vs Wales. Really good game. Shame about the bad weather. TMO decision on the Welsh try was wrong but the best team still won so I can#t grumble too much. Mike Brown and his aerial skills just killed us. Pleased Wales were right in there til the end though and almost got away with another burgled victory at Twickenham.

Didn't see Scotland vs France but caught the (very brief) highlights on Scrum V. Well done Scotland. Nothing against the English but come on Scotland, wipe that smug look off Eddie Jones's face in two weeks time!
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Andy Leighton
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panzer-attack wrote:
I didn't get to see many of the games this weekend. I was at a birthday party with my girls on Saturday whilst Ireland were busy demolishing Italy but I managed to catch the odd bit here and there on the TV they had at the bouncy castle place. Ireland look good. For all of the talk of Italy's improvement under Connor O'Shea it's sure starting to look to me like they're going backwards. Only consolation for them really is that they managed to score a couple of tries against both England and Ireland.

Italy had a poor game. They played much worse than they did last week. Ireland were solid but I don't think we learned anything from the game

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Of course I watched the Big One - England vs Wales. Really good game. Shame about the bad weather. TMO decision on the Welsh try was wrong but the best team still won so I can#t grumble too much.

Yep it was early enough no-one knows how the game would have played out afterwards. England dominated in the first half, but Wales came back strong after the break and it was down to whether England's defence would hold. Patchell had real trouble putting his mark on the game for Wales. I think some of the tackling from England was great but conceded far too many penalties for me (maybe a deliberate decision considering Wales didn't have the kicking specialists playing).

Quote:
Didn't see Scotland vs France but caught the (very brief) highlights on Scrum V. Well done Scotland.

It was more a question of France losing the game esp. when you consider Finn Russell had a nightmare of a game. Teddy Thomas is obviously a world class wing for France but the rest of the team didn't look too inventive in attack, and eventually they got tired and started making lots of bad mistakes in defence. So big questions for them on fitness, organisation, and decision-making. I didn't think the ref had a great game here either - he could easily have pinged France a fair bit more for hands in the ruck slowing things down.
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Jim Patching
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andyl wrote:

It was more a question of France losing the game esp. when you consider Finn Russell had a nightmare of a game.


Finn Russell was very poor against Wales too. Maybe he's not the player he's cracked up to be?
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Richie Freeman
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panzer-attack wrote:

Finn Russell was very poor against Wales too. Maybe he's not the player he's cracked up to be?


+1.

But, in terms of the games this weekend, it was a pretty tense weekend of rugby. Without wanting to be too harsh to Italy, the Ireland game was so expectedly one-sided it was hard to get excited about much. Still, Ireland should be pleased with a solid win there.

I thought the England Wales game was a cracker - first time I’ve been jumping off my sofa screaming at the telly this tournament . I was pleased with the win, and think England deserved it ultimately, but it was a real shame to have such a stinker of a decision dampen the celebrations. My two cents - Anscombe definitely grounded that ball and I don’t see the ambiguity that the TMO did there. However, I was screaming for the knock on, and I think a fair case can be made for the ball brushing Steff Evans’ fingertips when it bounces of his knee in the run-up. If I were Welsh I’m sure I’d be absolutely livid though . All the pre-match stuff with Jones throughout the week was odd as well, never seen him that rattled by a team and few key players so, as I said, it was a real shame to have such a huge decision dampen the post-win celebrations. However, have to credit England taking their opportunities so clinically in the first half and putting in a mammoth defensive effort in the second.

And I was really pleased that Scotland pulled through against France. Unfortunately our car broke down on the way home to watch this game, so I had to watch it on my phone in the back of a tow truck... However, was pleased that Laidlaw’s cool head punished France’s ill discipline in that second half and managed to hold on for the win. Couldn’t agree more about Finn Russell though, unfortunately. I think there are a few weak links in the Scotland team, but it’s been almost impossible to work out what Finn Russell has been thinking/trying to do in the tournament so far. But, could be eating humble pie in two weeks time - so will see what happens when England head to Murrayfield!

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Jim Patching
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Cardboard Conundrum wrote:
However, I was screaming for the knock on, and I think a fair case can be made for the ball brushing Steff Evans’ fingertips when it bounces of his knee in the run-up.


Yeah, I've seen super-slowed down footage that suggests the ball did hit Steff Evans' fingers ... so the TMO got both calls wrong Evans did knock it on and Anscombe definitely got there first.

The weird thing with Finn Russell is that he looks like he's just larking about when things aren't going well. Maybe it's just the way nerves manifest themselves but he looks like he's smirking and laughing as he takes pointlessly fast penalty kicks that don't find touch.
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Richie Freeman
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panzer-attack wrote:

The weird thing with Finn Russell is that he looks like he's just larking about when things aren't going well. Maybe it's just the way nerves manifest themselves but he looks like he's smirking and laughing as he takes pointlessly fast penalty kicks that don't find touch.


Yeah, agreed. If I was a Scotland fan I don’t think I’d be able to handle watching him and Ali Price on the pitch together tbh. I know that Glasgow are doing very well in the pro14, but they both seem to think it’s on every single time they get their hands on the ball - and that kind of forced and rushed rugby just doesn’t translate to an international fixture imo. You have to take your opportunities when they come and you want pace in the game etc, but they both seem to be looking continuously for that miracle ball rather than stringing a few honest, sensible phases together. And being in such a hurry to execute your game plan that you repeatedly miss touch from penalties is just unforgivable really, particularly on an international stage.

Sorry to the Scotland fans for such a negative comment, especially as you have played some great rugby of late, I just don’t see what the coaching staff see in that 9 and 10 pairing though. For all the criticism that Laidlaw gets, his cool head and more measured approached to the game was such a positive influence in the team and went a long way to earning that victory for Scotland at the weekend.
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panzer-attack wrote:
I didn't get to see many of the games this weekend. I was at a birthday party with my girls on Saturday whilst Ireland were busy demolishing Italy but I managed to catch the odd bit here and there on the TV they had at the bouncy castle place. Ireland look good. For all of the talk of Italy's improvement under Connor O'Shea it's sure starting to look to me like they're going backwards. Only consolation for them really is that they managed to score a couple of tries against both England and Ireland.


I was confident that with O'Shea it would be the time, but I'm slowly losing hope.
It is also difficult to understand that what was our strong suit now it looks to be the opposite: the forwards, especially the front row are really at a low level. Sergio is getting old and the other guys as well are not giving a good performance since long time.


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Jim Patching
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SittingBull wrote:
panzer-attack wrote:
I didn't get to see many of the games this weekend. I was at a birthday party with my girls on Saturday whilst Ireland were busy demolishing Italy but I managed to catch the odd bit here and there on the TV they had at the bouncy castle place. Ireland look good. For all of the talk of Italy's improvement under Connor O'Shea it's sure starting to look to me like they're going backwards. Only consolation for them really is that they managed to score a couple of tries against both England and Ireland.


I was confident that with O'Shea it would be the time, but I'm slowly losing hope.
It is also difficult to understand that what was our strong suit now it looks to be the opposite: the forwards, especially the front row are really at a low level. Sergio is getting old and the other guys as well are not giving a good performance since long time.




Zebra and Benneton are improving though so maybe it'll just take a while for the club form to filter through to the national side? France next - I know it's in France but could be do-able.
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