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Butts

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Anyone got any predictions for the Winning Country this year.

I think I fancy France - if the correct team turns up :p

With regard to tommorrows Scotland v England encounter at Murrayfield it should be interesting with the huge changes in personnel.

My hope is for fast flowing high scoring entertainment and may the best side (hopefully Scotland) win. I'd rather England won 34-28 or the like than a 6-6 football score :p
 
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Ivo

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I'd like to say England, but the way things have gone since we won last time I have severe doubts about us finishing even second. To be perfectly honest, I would be happy if anyone besides the French win.

After their recent heorics though, I wonder if Wales can pull it off - again? Was it '05 they managed the Grand Slam before?

I'd rather England won 34-28 or the like than a 6-6 football score :p
6-6 is hardly a football score ;) Although that would be massively disappointing from a rugger perspective...!

I think England will win at Murrayfield, but by margins of less than both 10 and 50% (i.e. no more than nine points greater and no more than 49% greater).
 

Butts

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I'd like to say England, but the way things have gone since we won last time I have severe doubts about us finishing even second. To be perfectly honest, I would be happy if anyone besides the French win.

After their recent heorics though, I wonder if Wales can pull it off - again? Was it '05 they managed the Grand Slam before?



6-6 is hardly a football score ;) Although that would be massively disappointing from a rugger perspective...!

I think England will win at Murrayfield, but by margins of less than both 10 and 50% (i.e. no more than nine points greater and no more than 49% greater).
Its a while since you last turned us over at Murrayfield :p
 

newbie babs

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I have watched England for many years, but I am disappointed in the decisions that have been made . I don`t think they will win and with a young team I fear its probably the wooden spoon.
 

Greenback

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It might be an interesting tournament this year.

England are in transition after a poor World Cup and with a new coach. Yet Wales were in the same position in 2008, and managed to surprise eberyone. The big difference, I suppose, is that Wales kept the same players who had done so badly in 2007, whereas England seem to have had a bit of a clear out.

Ireland are also building for the future, but still have quite abit of expereince in the squad. I feel they are capable of doing well, as long as the younger players that come in have got what it takes.

Scotland could well play better this year, but I still don't think they are capable of scoring many tries. They either need to play a kicking game focused on the forwards and Dan Parks, or find a world class running fly half. I think the former is more likely!

Italy will be difficult to beat, and will probably manage a victory or even two, but they are still a long way from winnign the competition.

Wales looked very good in the World Cup, and I was as surprised as most observers at their style of play. I think they will beat England, Scotland and Italy but may struggle against France. And anything can happen in an Ireland v Wales match!

France will be the team to beat in my opinion. There is a lot of confidence and optimism in French rugby at the moment, and I think that will be carried forward by the international side.

If I had to make a prediction I would go for France, Wales, ireland, italy, England and Scotland in that order at the end of the Six Nations.
 

Ivo

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I have watched England for many years, but I am disappointed in the decisions that have been made . I don't think they will win and with a young team I fear its probably the wooden spoon.
If I had to make a prediction I would go for France, Wales, ireland, italy, England and Scotland in that order at the end of the Six Nations.
England finishing behind Italy? I know we've got an iffy set-up at present, but surely only Scotland are liable to that fate...
 

Greenback

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England finishing behind Italy? I know we've got an iffy set-up at present, but surely only Scotland are liable to that fate...
The Italians will be thinking that if ever there was a good time to play England, this year is probably it. I think they might just do it too. They will think they can beat any of the other nations, but a win over the English will be sweeter for them as they haven't managed it before in the Six Nations as far as I know. I might be wrong though!

I wouldn't be surprised, either, if England lose this weekend, and finish with the wooden spoon as Newbie Babs suggested. I can't really imagine them losing to both Scotland and Italy in the same season though.

At the end of the day, I think it's really difficult to predict this year, I don't think there is a stand out team.
 
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The problem with England is that the population have no faith in throwing youngsters in at the deep end. Other countries seem to have done it with a good success rate over the years.

England supporters are rather obsessed with old heroes continuing playing for the team until they drop dead at 50, which is illustrated by the calls for someone called Beckham to captain the football team.

Whatever the result against Scotland, it will give the English side a good lesson in the qualities necessary to be a success in international rugby, which is no bad thing.

I think France will win the title, but Wales may run them a close second.
 

newbie babs

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I don`t think its England supporters being obsessed with old heroes but there is a time and place to get rid and I don`t think all at once is a good idea, we have already seen the younger members of the team loose their heads in big tournaments, surely having a couple of old hands who don`t become idiots would bind the team together.
We shall see anyway!!
 

Greenback

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I didn't enjoy the games much today. France won easily in the end, but didn't really assert themselves that much. Maybe they didn't have to?

England managed to win without doing anythign really, due to Scotland being utterly abject in attack. Obviously my opinion about Dan Parks's kicking game is in complete tatters now!
 

Michael.Y

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In the history of the Six Nations when it comes to be written by far more erudite and knowledgeable persons than I, this day will carry its own footnote in the margin, in the inimitable style of the Simpsons' own Comic Book Guy: "Worst. Opening Day. Ever."

Italy sans Bergamascos tired early, overly relying on a prop forward to carry their ball over gain lines but not try lines. France never left third gear, but then neither does a 1979 Robin Reliant. Both rusty and unfashionable, uninteresting and uninspiring. Their Mediterranean opponents, with such exotic names as McLean, Derbyshire and Burton, weren't up to scratch. Again. After twelve seasons in the Northern Hemisphere's top international competition, they are still undercooked, under-prepared and underwhelming. A national embarrassment for such a sport-mad nation, and reason if ever one was needed for a relegation/promotion system with the European Nations Championship to allow Spain, Georgia or Portugal the chance to graduate to the big time.

Up north, the Scots managed to get through a match without one of their men being carted off on a stretcher, so bonus points there. However, if I was a Scottish rugby fan, I'd be more depressed than if I was listening to Morrissey on a miserable Monday morning in Mockerkin. How this team, with its talent and ability, wastes chance after chance after chance is beyond me. They make Robert Mugabe look careful and a queen's banquet look austere. England were ordinary - an ordinary team with ordinary players coached by an ordinary bloke. No spark, no character, just.... grey. A big woodlouse army of grey.

I feel cheated. Where's my tournament? I hope to christ it's waiting in a big, glass cake tin in Dublin tomorrow.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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I feel cheated. Where's my tournament? I hope to christ it's waiting in a big, glass cake tin in Dublin tomorrow.
It will be a pity if all three of the opening series of matches seem to give rise to rather dull affairs. I know that the coaches all look to the first match to herald their team's preparation for this years tournament, but where has all the "sparkle" suddenly gone to?
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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Ireland 21 - 23 Wales. The match was won by Wales in the last minute.
Now that was a match with some passion and my wife and I were kept on edge all the match. I wonder how the Irish player who conceded the penalty in the final minute, in the middle of the pitch in his own half, must feel at the present time. James Hook made a difference when he was brought on for Wales.
 

Liam

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I think we have just seen the two best teams in the championship at the Aviva. France generally improve as the tournament goes on, or they completely imlpode, but I can't see Saint-Andre allowing that to happen. Scotland and England looked poor, Scotland simply unable to get over the try line (again!!) and England losing possesion far to often. And Italy... well they looked good against France, but tired at the end which shows the effort required by them just to stay in touch with the French.

Anyway, I can see a grand slam decider at the Millennium with Wales coming out on top against France.
 

Greenback

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That was a hell of a game. I thought Wales just about deserved to win, but Bradley Davies really should have been sent off for that assault (you can't really call it anything else).
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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The rules are quite specific about lifting a player....then dropping him. The spear tackle by the Welsh player caused the Irish player to descend neck downwards to the floor. The other tackle by the Irish player was in no way a spear tackle as such, but still was an infringement of the rules and the resultant penalty from this decided the outcome of the match.
 

Greenback

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The rules are quite specific about lifting a player....then dropping him. The spear tackle by the Welsh player caused the Irish player to descend neck downwards to the floor. The other tackle by the Irish player was in no way a spear tackle as such, but still was an infringement of the rules and the resultant penalty from this decided the outcome of the match.
The Welsh yellow card should have been red. No question. Even the Welsh rugby forum that I frequent is in total agreement on that one (which is unusual!). There is some suggestion that the punishment may have been influenced by Ryan's cheap shot on the Welsh prop Adam Jones just before Davies's moment of madness, but there is absolutely no defence for what he did.

From a Welsh point of view, it is extremely disappointing following what happened at the World Cup.
 

Michael.Y

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Twas the sort of game we would have lost not long ago. Gatland should drop Bradley Davies on principal. Tipuric one hell of a player. Cuthbert anonymous. Priestland needs practice. With our absentees we would have put ten on them. Italy to beat England next week methinks.
 

Greenback

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Twas the sort of game we would have lost not long ago. Gatland should drop Bradley Davies on principal. Tipuric one hell of a player. Cuthbert anonymous. Priestland needs practice. With our absentees we would have put ten on them. Italy to beat England next week methinks.
Yes, Davies should be dropped. The Gatland who arrived in 2008 would have done it! Yipuric is a fine player, and hopefully he will ge tbetter with experience. Just a few years ago Welsh rugby fans couldn't see where another number 7 was going to come from after Martyn Williams, now there are two class open sides in the same squad!

Italy will fancy their chances next week.
 

Ferret

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Yes - what's worse: John Terry using abusive language (allegedly) or Bradley Davies throwing somebody onto the floor in the name of 'tackling'?! Causing somebody physical harm will always be far worse than any vile words as far as I'm concerned...
 

Michael.Y

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It's by no means the worst of the spear tackles we've seen (I think the double-teaming, bonebreaking assault on BoD remains the "pinnacle" if that's the right word) but tackling and physical contact is part of the game. Lifting a player up to the horizontal but not beyond and putting him down is a legal move. It's rare that anything beyond occurs and when it does, it's usually dealt with.

However, it can happen in the high tempo, high strength world of rugby nowadays, especially with, as was seen in the World Cup with Sam Warburton, forwards taking on backs and the lighter backs simply being too flimsy and agile to control properly.

The racism issue is a whole separate thing. It is in NO way connected to the game, is in no way potentially accidental, and is in no way comparable.

To illustrate this point: the Bradley Davies incident occured on Sunday. It is now Wednesday, and the punishment has been meted out.

The John Terry incident happened last year, and justice will not be meted out until (conveniently) after the Euros.
 

Ferret

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Agree up to a point with what you've said there, but tellingly, even Warren Gatland talked of 'intent'. Sam Warburton's for me was accidental, but still he got his punishment, and that was that. When an experienced coach like Gatland talks of intent, and wanted his own player red-carded, I'd say that too has no place in any game of any kind. As one forum member said - it was an assault. I must also point out that in no way do I seek to defend John Terry for what he has allegedly done.......quite the opposite in fact!

q
 

Michael.Y

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Agree up to a point with what you've said there, but tellingly, even Warren Gatland talked of 'intent'. Sam Warburton's for me was accidental, but still he got his punishment, and that was that. When an experienced coach like Gatland talks of intent, and wanted his own player red-carded, I'd say that too has no place in any game of any kind. As one forum member said - it was an assault. I must also point out that in no way do I seek to defend John Terry for what he has allegedly done.......quite the opposite in fact!

q
And there's another (prescient) example - the man's coach comes out and condemns him, and says he deserves the punishment. Today, Capello has thrown his toys out of the pram and resigned because the FA told him they didn't want a womanising alleged racist representing their team on the world stage.
 

Greenback

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Can we keep this thread to rugby please?!

The point about Bradley Davies's ludicrous challenge is that the sport is dangerous enough without deliberately picking up another player off the ball and throwing him down on to his back, neck or head.

There have been more than enough serious head and neck injuries in the game without this sort of thing, thank you very much. I don't know how anyone can call it a tackle, being as Ryan didn't even have the ball.
 

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