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Rugby - The Game They Play In Heaven II

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  • I have no doubt Stevens will make the squad. That's why they're jamming so much game time into him in these matches. I still think he was exposed at Test level last time so we'll see what happens this many years later. Yes, Gaskell and Johnson are promising. I thought Crane, apart from some nice hands, was his usual one-dimensional self. So the search for a quality 8 goes on. I was disappointed by Clegg, too, he's turned into a pretty limited player. That's why I'd like to see the Farrell child exit Sarries - which he won't while his old man is there - because he needs to learn to wind up a backline. Something he will never learn at Sarries. He does most other things very well for his age.

    Those signings are the sorts of players Saints need to find to give their squad some depth. They can't expect to prosper with what amounts to a 15-man squad.
    " ... and the following morning I should see the Boks wallop the Wallabies again?" - Havak
    "The only thing worse than being quoted in someone's sig is not being quoted in someone's sig." - finbar, with apologies to Oscar Wilde.

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    • Enjoyable day. Plenty of great Super 15 rugby and England Saxons beating Canada in style with Miles Benjamin looking a good prospect.

      In other news, what the hell is wrong with Welsh players? Mike Phillips in trouble again.

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      • Watching the Jnr World Championship - England Vs South Africa - the future certainly seems bright

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        • The problem with Welsh players? All that coal dust still hanging around in the air, I expect. Or they're they just yobs. One or the other.

          I watched the last 50-odd minutes of the England -v- Bok babies. England can thank George Ford and that lock from, I think, Wasps - Launchbury? - for some outstanding try-saving defence in the last ten minutes. Cripes, there was some speed on display. Good skills, too. Ford is a serious talent. Young Farrell was good at 12. With those two coming through, the future does look rosy. Launchbury - if that's his name - was excellent. I don't know who the scrummy was but he needs to learn not to fire bullet passes at teammates from 5 yards away.
          " ... and the following morning I should see the Boks wallop the Wallabies again?" - Havak
          "The only thing worse than being quoted in someone's sig is not being quoted in someone's sig." - finbar, with apologies to Oscar Wilde.

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          • Originally posted by finbar View Post
            The problem with Welsh players? All that coal dust still hanging around in the air, I expect. Or they're they just yobs. One or the other.

            I watched the last 50-odd minutes of the England -v- Bok babies. England can thank George Ford and that lock from, I think, Wasps - Launchbury? - for some outstanding try-saving defence in the last ten minutes. Cripes, there was some speed on display. Good skills, too. Ford is a serious talent. Young Farrell was good at 12. With those two coming through, the future does look rosy. Launchbury - if that's his name - was excellent. I don't know who the scrummy was but he needs to learn not to fire bullet passes at teammates from 5 yards away.
            Yup, and Wade was pretty electric.

            One thing about Ford...he needs to take more conservative kick-offs - he fluffed it twice.

            Had the referee had access to a TMO, Yardie would have also got a try and had two knockons been judged correctly, England wouldn't have been under so much pressure for a significant part of the game.

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            • So farewell Churchill cup - from next summer the USA and Canada will host touring sides in June instead. The cup has helped the Saxons get game time but I do wonder if USA and Canada have got as much from it (the whole idea was to devlop them to a stage where they could host tier one touring sides). I guess we will see when NZ/Aus/RSA go to see them.

              With only so many hours in the days I haven't caught the Juniors. Are the baby Blacks kicking a** as always?
              It is better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt

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              • Haven't seen any of the baby ABs but they appear to be rampant as usual. Cleaned up the Taffys in a big way.

                The CC is/was indicative of the problems involved in lifting the second-tier nations. An annual international tournament is about the most costly approach. It was inevitable that cost would eventually sink the event. Perhaps the money is better spent domestically amongst the second-tier nations. Who is going to fund the first-tier nation tours? That will probably result in lopsided results anyway.
                " ... and the following morning I should see the Boks wallop the Wallabies again?" - Havak
                "The only thing worse than being quoted in someone's sig is not being quoted in someone's sig." - finbar, with apologies to Oscar Wilde.

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                • I believe the IRB is sponsoring the respective hosting (initially in any case).

                  Mr Stevens should be named in the training squad later. Wonder if any surprises await in that?
                  It is better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt

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                  • Bound to be the guy whom Claws Cueto gouged and who lied to get Claws off lightly.
                    " ... and the following morning I should see the Boks wallop the Wallabies again?" - Havak
                    "The only thing worse than being quoted in someone's sig is not being quoted in someone's sig." - finbar, with apologies to Oscar Wilde.

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                    • Nuh. He didn't make the list. Probably accepted a couple of hundred quid in lieu. Manu was obviously going to make the list - and will go to NZ, I have no doubt - as was Stevens, and he, too, will go to NZ. I can't imagine the fair-haired Bok lock will make the short list. And the fact that the leaden-footed Wigglesworth even makes the long list is some sort of indictment of I know not what.
                      " ... and the following morning I should see the Boks wallop the Wallabies again?" - Havak
                      "The only thing worse than being quoted in someone's sig is not being quoted in someone's sig." - finbar, with apologies to Oscar Wilde.

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                      • Cripes, I just noticed there's no Anthony Allen on the list. Beggars belief. So the black hole that is the midfield will remain. I also cannot seriously believe that Thomas the T.E. will make the short list. He's used very wisely - tactically - by Leicester off the bench but that's club rugby.
                        " ... and the following morning I should see the Boks wallop the Wallabies again?" - Havak
                        "The only thing worse than being quoted in someone's sig is not being quoted in someone's sig." - finbar, with apologies to Oscar Wilde.

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                        • Allen's ommission simply telegraphs to the RWC that England will persist with this years game plan A. The SANZAR sides have nothing to fear.

                          Wigglesworth is riding his clubs 'success', as is the Bok lock. I thought the CC showed the extreme limitations of the Bok in particular - he is almost an old fashioned engine room piston. Interesting that Lancaster felt there was room for both the Bok and the far more rounded Kitchener.

                          I think you obeserved yourself that Cockerill benched Thomas as soon as he started talking England. He is a good player - he picks good lines and moves the ball cleverly - and he may well be better than Easter (who isn't?) but there is a reason the ABs passed him over (and I suspect fitness entered that decision).

                          And there is space for Worseley but not for Tom Johnson? Hmmm.
                          It is better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt

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                          • I think Thomas T.E. was also benched by Leicester because they sorted out his strengths and weaknesses. He's good with ball in hand, mobile, picks good lines, but less effective doing the hard, grinding and dirty work that is also required of an 8. That's where I think Crane outshines Thomas for Leicester and why they start him, keeping Thomas as an impact player. Yet Crane lacks Thomas' handy attributes. Combine the two and you'd have a very useful 8.

                            Am I blind or is Crane missing from the list too? If so, including Narroway, that's both Saxons 8s missing. Both Saxons skippers. Bizarre. I mean, I don't think Crane is up to it at Test level, but neither is the incumbent. And, as you say, Worsley makes this cut. Overall, such a conservative, middle-ground, steady as she goes, predictable lot of selections.
                            " ... and the following morning I should see the Boks wallop the Wallabies again?" - Havak
                            "The only thing worse than being quoted in someone's sig is not being quoted in someone's sig." - finbar, with apologies to Oscar Wilde.

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                            • You are right Finbar - Crane and Narraway remain Saxons only. Robshaw and Haskell would be the other options for the second berth of an 8 assuming the Tank gets trimmed out when the squad is finalised.

                              I caught a few minutes of the U20s beating France and note they now face the baby blacks for the third time in four years in the final. No doubt the result will be the same. I actually didn't clock that the fly half - George Ford - is one of ours. A Tiger through and through and fairly good by all accounts?
                              It is better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt

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                              • Very promising. A natural. Unlike Flood.
                                " ... and the following morning I should see the Boks wallop the Wallabies again?" - Havak
                                "The only thing worse than being quoted in someone's sig is not being quoted in someone's sig." - finbar, with apologies to Oscar Wilde.

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