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Six Nations 2016

mxyzptlk

Colin Windon (37)
Ireland team to face Wales:

15. Simon Zebo
14. Andrew Trimble
13. Jared Payne
12. Robbie Henshaw
11. Keith Earls
10. Jonathan Sexton
9. Conor Murray

1. Jack McGrath
2. Rory Best
3. Nathan White
4. Devin Toner
5. Mike McCarthy
6. CJ Stander
7. Tommy O’Donnell
8. Jamie Heaslip

Replacements:
16. Sean Cronin
17. James Cronin
18. Tadhg Furlong
19. Donnacha Ryan
20. Rhys Ruddock
21. Kieran Marmion
22. Ian Madigan
23. Dave Kearney
 

Shelts89

Tom Lawton (22)
Very true! Right predictions for this weekend..

France for a comfortable win, between 10-20 points.
England with a narrow win, between 5-10 points
Wales by less than a score... Tough game to call that one!
 

Shelts89

Tom Lawton (22)
O'Brian, Healy and Ross are certainly back in the next few weeks. I'll give you it will affect them but I doubt it will make them awful.
 

qwerty51

George Gregan (70)
They're not awful.. obviously they won't get the spoon but I just don't think they're better than Scotland, France, England or Wales.

Scotland, Wales, France, England, Ireland, Italy in order.
 

Shelts89

Tom Lawton (22)
Scotland have come on leaps and bounds, and this should be a pretty close 6 Nations again this year, but I really can't see them winning it.

I'll go for England (bias much?), Wales, Ireland, Scotland, France, Italy

Though realistically England and France are kind of unknown quantities right now with their new coaches. I'd say Wales are realistically the best NH side right now.
 

Shelts89

Tom Lawton (22)
Now for the Panini Cup.... Eddie's got some half decent lines aye

"We've got the Calcutta Cup. I don't what the cup's called in Italy - maybe the Panini Cup - but we want to win that too."
 

Bardon

Peter Fenwicke (45)
Scotland had a good team on paper but they didn't produce a display to be proud of. It was all too easy for England. It was a close game on the scoreboard but Scotland never looked like scoring a try.

Scotland will definitely play better in subsequent games and I expect them to knock over at least one of Ireland, Wales and France.

England got a potential banana skin out of the way and they have that all important first win. With Italy up next they should make it two from two.

Scotland face a trip to the Millenium to face a Wales side either full of confidence from a win in Dublin or smarting from a defeat. Either way it's going to be tough for them. But Scotland seem to do better against Wales as they don't have the mental block they have for England.

France yesterday were very lucky. Italy played the better of the two sides. Italy moved the ball well while France tried to run it from everywhere without putting in the hard work to create space.

Still it's Nouves who has the tick in the W column and facing Ireland doesn't hold much fear for the French. A win over over Ireland would see them established as serious title contenders.

I'm looking forward to Ireland v Wales today but without the confidence of the last two years. Injuries and the players poor form means that Joe's really going to have to earn his money to get a win here.

Wales still have a pretty decent side and against a mediocre field this year they must fancy their chances of adding to their title hauls. Their coaches are installing Ireland as favourites in the media but no ones buying it.
 

mxyzptlk

Colin Windon (37)
Both Scotland and Wales went with the Australian double-openside experiment. It yielded all of two total turnovers, both by Tipuric. Conversely, England went with two blindsides, and they manage bupkis on the turnover charts.

Two opensides works best when those opensides are absolutely exceptional, and not just good. Tipuric is the closest to exceptional of that bunch.
 

mxyzptlk

Colin Windon (37)
Depends what the alternative is. Wales has a very small player pool, maybe no decent 6s?

Well, there's Dan Lydiate, a B&I Lion and blindside specialist. He came in off the bench Word is he may not have been fully fully fit, but the counter to that is if you're fit enough to be on the bench, you're fit enough to start. He came on and made a couple tackles and 3 carries, but didn't break the game open. Judging from the other games, though, I get the feeling that either of those sides could have opened up the rest of the 6N field like a can-opener.
 

Highlander35

Paul McLean (56)
Ashe - Currently Injured
Strauss - 37 minutes played in 2016
Harley - 66 minutes played in 2016
Wilson - poor form for both Glasgow and in the World Cup
Strokosch - Retired
Beattie - Poor form for Castres and in '15 6 Nations
K Brown - Cotter doesn't seem to like him, plus is more a 6 & a half
McInally - Required at hooker with F Brown injured
du Preez - Ineligible till September
Swinson - Required at lock with Gilchrist injured

It's not entirely justified, but given he above injury situation, the reasonably strong performance of Cowan and Hardie together in a couple of World Cup games, and the fact the Barclay plays a metric fuckton of 8 for Scarlets, it's not entirely unreasonable IMO.
 

the plastic paddy

John Solomon (38)
Both Scotland and Wales went with the Australian double-openside experiment. It yielded all of two total turnovers, both by Tipuric. Conversely, England went with two blindsides, and they manage bupkis on the turnover charts.

Two opensides works best when those opensides are absolutely exceptional, and not just good. Tipuric is the closest to exceptional of that bunch.
Pocock, Hooper and McCaw could have been playing on the same side and they wouldn't have got close to a turnover with Garces' "interpretation" of the breakdown in Dublin. It was a piss poor refereeing display.
 

Gnostic

Mark Ella (57)
Both Scotland and Wales went with the Australian double-openside experiment. It yielded all of two total turnovers, both by Tipuric. Conversely, England went with two blindsides, and they manage bupkis on the turnover charts.

Two opensides works best when those opensides are absolutely exceptional, and not just good. Tipuric is the closest to exceptional of that bunch.

The skill sets have to complimentary. The Pooper is just two on-baller's, they compliment each other. The mode of play needs to suit them as well. The Welsh, Scots and English didn't do anything different to what we have seen from them for years. The French and Italians likewise except theirs is a race to the bottom with the French in particular in danger of not truly being regarded as a tier 1 side anymore.

The Irish are the only side that I think even attempted to play something different to their failed RWC style. That was good enough to win 6N but rarely against the SH sides.

While the Wales V Ireland game was a cliff hanger and very hard fought the Welsh play was as predictable as ever, they should have moved Gatland on.
 
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