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Thread: Rank the performance of eliminated teams

  1. #16
    International Coach hendrix's Avatar
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    Here's a hot take: the forgotten missed selection is neither Sam Cane nor Ben Smith, it's Ngani Laumape. Lienert-Brown and Goodhue are good players but they are too similar to both be playing in the centres and we desperately needed someone to break the advantage line. If there's one centre who can do that it's Laumape.

    We barely used our forwards as runners at all i.e. bothered to establish go forward ball before spreading it to the backs. That does strike me as poor thinking. Yes we have some good backs, but England, unlike South Africa or Ireland, really knew how to defend across the width of the pitch. We needed to draw them in tight.
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  2. #17
    Request Your Custom Title Now! Uppercut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meridio View Post
    I don't know if it was tactical, but our loose forwards never really seemed to have a crack at the ruck until late in the second half. England's try, they basically had very quick ball for a minute straight, so we were always going backwards. Partly it was the strength of England's ball carriers, and their forwards supporting quickly, but we just never seemed to have guys going in for the turnover.
    Yeah I noticed this too. They counter-rucked hard for the first time in about the 77th minute and immediately turned the ball over. Then they're on the front foot and suddenly look like themselves again. I get why they wanted to leave men out in defence, especially after starting the game by conceding a try where they kept giving up ground on the edge of the ruck, but it didn't really play to their strengths.

  3. #18
    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    Wales

    Ah, the Leekists. God bless them every one.

    Defeat will smart. Smart like buggery, especially the day after an agonisingly close semi-final which is, by popular repute, the worst stage to exit a tournament. However, and I'm aware I'm going to sound the exactly the kind of patronising sais bastard Welsh rugby men hate both on general principle and by experience, of all the exited nations, save perhaps Uruguay and the hosts, the Welsh can be most satisfied with what they achieved.

    This Welsh team is unmistakeably that of their exiting coach. After 12 years in situ how could it not be? Many (including a sizeable chunk with Welsh accents) decry his style as Gatlandball &, in truth, Dan Biggar kicking away possession over 30 times isn't the rugby of Barry John, Gareth Davies and JPR Williams, but it's been bloody effective. It might've made for what aficionados might euphemistically call "an arm wrestle" (union speak for a dogshit spectacle), but it got a side missing four certain starters (Anscombe, Faletau, Navidi and Williams, L) before kick off, who lost another two in Francis and North to injuries before the denouement and had centres playing throughout with a broken hand and a bung thigh respectively, to within a scuffed Rhys Patchell drop goal of the final.

    En route they'd beaten Australia (who were a monkey on Gatland's back throughout those dozen years), Fiji (who embarrassed them in 2007) and France (who broke their hearts in their last semi in 2011), and they still have a shot at the All Blacks to come, who they haven't beaten since 1953.

    It's not the end Wales or Gatland would've chosen, but it's an exit with respect and, if they do manage to stun the All Blacks, their best ever world cup.
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  4. #19
    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    England

    "It was nearly complete; it was nearly so sweet."

    Or so Messrs Skinner and Baddiel once sang of another late stage tournament failure by the English national team in another football code.

    In truth though, it really wasn't. Whatever martial metaphor one reaches for of England's performance in the final against the Springboks, whether it was a failure to fire a shot, lay a glove on or throw a punch (the latter of these wasn't one always to bemoan purely in the the metaphorical realm, of course, after 1974, the 99 call and all that a spot of fisticuffs was often seen as practically a requirement for fronting up to South Africa; how union has changed) the conclusion is the same: it did not happen. This was not an English defeat to file under "gallant near miss"; it was an arseholing for the ages.

    I suppose one must devote some thought as to why things transpired so; the unexamined sporting life is not worth living, as Socrates might have had it.

    Firstly, and most obviously, South Africa were very, very good. Their scrum annihilated England's more thoroughly than any other forward pack has in recent memory and the back row, lead by the specimen that is Pieter-Steph du Toit, won practically every collision.

    Secondly, and following on from the first, selection. Kyle Sinckler being knocked sparko less than three minutes into the game is the kind of bad luck no coaching set up could reasonably have foreseen, but it did mean England now were committed to playing a 32 year old Dan Cole for the remainder of proceedings. I'm not suggesting Cole wasn't worthy of a place in the squad, but by only selecting two specialist tightheads Eddie had rather committed himself to both featuring throughout the tournament. Ditto (and doubly so) for the estimable Billy Vunipola at #8, he was literally the only specialist in the squad. Playing up front in a test is a fecking tough gig (evidenced by the 6/2 forward to back split on the winners' bench), having to do it six times in seven weeks is a task Hercules might baulk at. It not unreasonable to suggest a few English forwards weren't as fresh as they might have been with a more sympathetic squad selection.

    And, still on selection, close observers might've noticed the stalwart Ben Youngs having a minor Barry Crocker behind the creaking pack. However by virtue of only selecting two scrumhalves and Willi Heinz's injury, the coach had little option to keep Youngs on until about five minutes before the end, geese long since cooked and fat ladies all sung out, because on the pine was Ben Spencer, fresh off the plane and without a test victory is his locker. A run he'll carry over into 2020 now.

    However a final spot isn't to be sniffed at. The ease with which passage to the showdown was negotiated just makes the failure harder to stomach. England did swat aside Australia and New Zealand on consecutive Saturdays and the latter aren't a side overused to being swatted. It's just a little hard to praise the MO that did it when it was so thoroughly dismantled afterwards.
    Last edited by BoyBrumby; 03-11-2019 at 02:46 AM.
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  5. #20
    Request Your Custom Title Now! Burgey's Avatar
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    They were great all tourney I thought. Apart from the final, only thing I could fault them on were a couple of slow starts (Australia springs to mind - first ten they looked like they weren't awake), but that may well have stood out more because they were so damn good at other times.

    Anyway, terrific tourney from the Poms imho. Supporters will be disappointed but should also be proud.

    Contrast with our mob could not be greater.
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  6. #21
    U19 Vice-Captain Hicheal Michael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hendrix View Post
    Here's a hot take: the forgotten missed selection is neither Sam Cane nor Ben Smith, it's Ngani Laumape. Lienert-Brown and Goodhue are good players but they are too similar to both be playing in the centres and we desperately needed someone to break the advantage line. If there's one centre who can do that it's Laumape.

    We barely used our forwards as runners at all i.e. bothered to establish go forward ball before spreading it to the backs. That does strike me as poor thinking. Yes we have some good backs, but England, unlike South Africa or Ireland, really knew how to defend across the width of the pitch. We needed to draw them in tight.
    Hansens biggest failing was the continued selection of SBW. Laumape should have walked into that team.
    Last edited by Hicheal Michael; 06-11-2019 at 07:46 AM.

  7. #22
    State Vice-Captain Heboric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hicheal Michael View Post
    Hansens biggest failing was the continued selection of SBW.
    He was just pandering to certain parts of Cape Town. SBW is well liked by those dreaded SA All Black Supporters
    Last edited by Heboric; 08-11-2019 at 03:18 AM. Reason: typo

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