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Kiwirooster, whilst the exact nature of your selections would be up for debate, I completely agree that St A should be going for this sort of team. If he cant have the balls to go for the young in-form players now, then he never will.
I do see the point about number 9's being key, but dont think this is a reason to excluse Parra. He should be on the pitch somewhere as he is a real competitor with lots of skill.
Now to take the forwards to task, Dimitri Szarzewski is just not top class. The rest of the pack is pure quality, with talent in depth for most positions, but I worry about the lack of intensity at times. How can this happen when Dusatoir leads by example? Maybe they need a gobby pack leader to sort this out. That said, it is still the backs that need most sorting out.
Come on St A - grow a pair!!
Posted 22:59 15th March 2012
Thanks for pointing out what stuartgary was saying. Gosh, I really hadn't got that........ Hmm, looks as though irony hasn't quite reached the new Jerusalem, although patronising would appear to be alive and well. I'm assuming though that you could not possibly be English given the appalling spelling and grammar in your post. Whilst you are looking up irony in the dictionary, try looking at 'confident', the use of 'an' instead of 'a' as in 'an English supporter', there is no space usually between a full stop and the word preceeding it and you could also do with finding where the apostrophe key is on the keyboard. It's not that difficult.
Happy to be of help and do let me know if you have any other enlightening thoughts from the chariot garage. x
Posted 21:13 15th March 2012
Reread @Stewartgarys post I think you will see he is saying if you where english there would be uproar and posts saying you are being arrogant .You say confidant so when / if a english supporter posts some comment like yours please remember that .His being confidant not arrogant ok Also you have @Stewartgarys name wrong in your reply so obvisously didnt read it properly
Posted 20:02 15th March 2012
What I meant with my previous posts is that it's difficult to make serious conclusions about the state of a team in the middle of a season, without the strict preparation of a pre-season and a long training camp, mostly after a gruelling world cup and a hard domestic season, This tournament is beautiful to watch for us viewers everywhere in the world, but it has its shortcomings. Of course the best team wins and Wales so far have won five out of five, but when France won their last Grand Slam their team was not really dominant. They beat Ireland after a yellow card and then it was all plain sailing during that match, but their last match against England was poor. Wales are still in the making, that's all, and they still have to learn a lot. They have been lucky (referee decisions, balls bouncing their way, strokes of luck) and that has played a part in their results. Ireland are becoming better and better, and maybe if they played now Ireland would beat them (even without O'Connell). Of course, it's all "ifs"...
Posted 19:48 15th March 2012
This is obviously an experimental team, but is Wales in Cardiff the occasion for such a trial. No is the obvious answer. France were lucky to win their last match against Wales, and must be hoping that their luck continues, naming that team. The back line is just ridiculous, the front row chages odd (bar for at 2), and one must feel sorry for Picamoles.
Wales - this is a golden opportunity!
Posted 18:16 15th March 2012
@ Welshy and @ Reds.
I'm not French or a French supporter.
I am as neutral as somebody who lives in a country where rugby is a marginal sport but who has been watching and playing rugby for more than 30 years. I believe Wales have won four matches out of four, they have been quite consistent, but they are not as good as they seem to be rated by some pundits or their supporters. They are a team still learning and building its foundations to become a great force in international rugby. When Ireland won their grand slam a few years ago they were not considered as world leaders, but they won a grand slam. Wales are better than that team, but they are not as good as the teams in the SH. They have been able to deliver so far, but you have to admit that their performance against Italy was a bit poor, far below their usual standard. I was not attacking the Welsh team. It's an exciting team full of promise which is already at the highest level in Europe.
Posted 17:28 15th March 2012
4 signed sealed delivered - just check the 6 Nations Table
@ Stuart garry
Spot on mate. England are arrogant. Me I'm just confident and believe my team will win. Pretty poor supporter if I didn't. If we don't win at home with a strange selection from the French then that will have been a serious underperformance and I will be very dissapointed. However, I can't help believing in my team and I can't help feeling confident and comfortable about the way they are playing (imperfect and nowhere near the finished article though it may be). Let's quit the sniping and hope for a great game.
As for being New Zealand, I think I am right in saying that they have never won a 6 Nations.
Posted 17:12 15th March 2012
Well its good to see Servat starting imo he should have started every match and shame Picomoles isnt starting i think he offers France go forward which imo they have lacked espically in the 1st half .A.Rougeirie should have been moved to the wing aswell instead of W.Fonfana.If Mas is exhausted then i can understand Atoub starting and yes France have definatly missed Barcella and Domingo.Personally i dont think PSA has found his feet yet or got the squad he wants Do the FIR still have selectors looking over his shoulder and interfering like they did with the RWC squad??.I think french supporters will have to wait till the summer to see a PSA squad .As to this weekends match i hope its a good hard match which is also a good spectacle and advert for the game as berfits a grand slam deciding match .Which Wales win lol
Posted 16:49 15th March 2012
@Welshy: you won 4 games... wouldn't say you delivered 4 though. I agree with Carpelone, you seem to be a bit overconfident...
Posted 16:17 15th March 2012
Only real problem is Beauxis atarting at 10. He has an amazing boot but stands very deep and doesn't provide much else other than kicking. Yachvili directing the game will need to ivolve a lot of skip passes to 12 if France intend on trying to get their backline involved and that will probably play into the hands of the Welsh shooters
Posted 15:58 15th March 2012
Delivered 4 already
Posted 15:24 15th March 2012
Speak less and deliver more.
Posted 14:00 15th March 2012
@mlbp, have you really been watching the same tournament or did you keep your rose tinted spectacles on. On the Italy game""Wales performance really dismal", Italy were a tough opponent, I take it you forgot about the near miss in Rome a couple of weeks ago oh and Scotland the week before.
It goes to show, England turn up for their first game of the championship in France and win and now they believe they have a god given right to tell everyone how poor they are.
Get back in your box pal!
Posted 13:47 15th March 2012
Imagine.... if ....and if.... and........ jog on.
Imagine if France were better, if England were more experienced, if Ireland were younger, if Scotland had more self belief, if Italy could score tries or even if (whisper it as it seems to upset a lot of people) Wales were a pretty good side who had made their chances and their 'luck'.
No ifs about the next bit
Played 4 won 4 up for Grand Slam
Should win at home and will be disapointed if they don't. It's Wales' to lose.
Come on boys!!
Posted 13:35 15th March 2012
Dont fancy Poitrenaud much as the last line of defence, and he will be required to defend against Wales.
Rougerie picked because he is big? Well he looks so leaden at centre that Wales will run right around him, putting more pressure on Poitrenaud.
Beauxis. Dont make me laugh. Parra was better at 10 than Beauxis would ever be, and his kicking hasnt been good enough to cover for the fact that he is cr*p.
Yachvilli - great player, but wondering what Parra has done to upset St A? Parra is the man for the future.
Fofana pushed out to the wing - ludicrous decision given his form to date.
Not at all impressed by St A as a coach so far, although having watched a lot of T14 recently he cant be helped by the volume of SH players currently playing in France.
15 Clement Poitrenaud, 14 Wesley Fofana, 13 Aurélien Rougerie, 12 Florian Fritz, 11 Alexis Palisson, 10 Lionel Beauxis, 9 Dimitri Yachvili, 8 Imanol Harinordoquy, 7 Julien Bonnaire, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (c), 5 Yohann Maestri, 4 Pascal Pape, 3 David Attoub, 2 William Servat, 1 Jean-Baptiste Poux.
Replacements: 16 Dimitri Szarzewski, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Julien Pierre, 19 Louis Picamoles, 20 Morgan Parra, 21 François Trinh-Duc, 22 Jean-Marcellin Buttin
Posted 13:07 15th March 2012
Strange lineup, but what do you know... We are millions of viewers and each of us feels like a coach when we see the teams.
I would have played Palisson-Fofana-Fritz-Rougerie (all positional changes), as Fritz looks more of a 13 than a 12 to me, and Rougerie would have been more useful at 14 (his natural position and better for defending the big north and Cuthbert). I wonder why Palisson was chosen, but maybe there are no more French winger prospects in sight. It's true Mas looked too tired in the match against England, but I wonder if Attoub is the right choice. France are missing the likes of Domingo and Barcella, who have been outstanding loose head props. Poux is not my favourite, but he can play as number 3 if Domingo or Barcella are available.
Bonnaire is not at his best level, maybe Picamoles can bring something extra, or maybe PSA can secure the lineouts first through Bonnaire and later bring Picamoles on as an impact player.
Beauxis gets a second chance, and it looks as if France are going to play territory at the beginning of the match using box kicks by Yach and the big boot of Beauxis. It's a pity the coaches always use him as a kicking flyhalf when he can make excellent tactical decisions and can move his line forward.
France are capable of the best, too, but I am concerned about how these new combinations will gel. Let's see if this is one of those days when France click and we can see a great match. Wales have a lot to worry about, too. They are not as good as they look. England and Ireland could have beaten them but if for minor details. Imagine what our reaction would be if Trinh-Duc had scored his drop goal and the ref hadn't made some decisions in the Ireland match and Scott Williams hadn't picked up that ball from Courtney Lawes. Wales are not so dominant, and their performance against Italy was really dismal.
Posted 12:28 15th March 2012
As a player Saint Andre was a winger and a very good one at that. How does he expect to get the ball to the wings with Fritz and Rougerie in the middle. My guess is he's more worried about defence than he is about attack. Rougerie is a winger and can't see or time a pass that requires one degree of thought. Fritz is solid, will tackle all day but he's not got the pace to frighten this Welsh lineup and when frustrated he can get silly. Good to see Servat back to start, but he should have been there from day one. Yachvili on his day can upset the best but the problems may exist in the back row. Dussautoir doesn't lack pace, Harinordiquay is OK but Bonnaire is long in the tooth, they are going to have to get a shifty on to outsmart the Welsh unit. The Welsh will move it around and i can't see on present form the French scrum dominating so where their attack will come from goodness knows. I disagree that Beauxis is past his best however but he needs decent service to show what he can do and he didn't get that against England. Memo to all decent No 10s whatever you do don't go and play for Stade Francais, any decent flair, imagination and wit you ever had will be coached out of you. luckily Beauxis saw the light and moved to Toulouse, hopefully it's not too late for him. Wales still favourites though
Posted 12:28 15th March 2012
Ach - he's a great winger but Rougerie isn't a centre. Just because of Roberts, Tuilagi, Nonu et al. France feel they have to have a big centre. Fofana is strong and, more importantly, class; you don't have to be big to cross the gain line if you've got good balance and run good lines. If Carwyn James was alive I'd personally pay him to give all today's professional coaches a 3 day seminar in back play
Posted 11:07 15th March 2012
These changes are obviously experimental since France look like they are going to...I don't know what they are going to try and do, as this is a Wales side that going for the slam will be probably be a bit tetchy and France have put out a side that is neither attack/defensive/10 man/15 man, who knows??...But the changes are a bit nuts. Putting the tiny Palisson up against George North is suicidal and bringing in the slight and ponderous Yashvilli instead of the more physical Dupuis (who didn't play badly against England) against Phillips makes no sense either. Moving their find of the season at 12, Fafona, to the wing is plainly screwballs as it's a backward step as regards progressing this team. As for Beauxis, he's one of the most overated international fly halves around, and though he has a huge boot that is all he has, he's no more than a big rump of roast beef. Rougerie is clearly off form these days and should have been dropped, so too Bonnaire who has been well below par off late and maybe should retire. Buttin should have been given his chance for this match...Have I criticised enough, well maybe, but this Grand Slam is now only there for "lucky" Wales to lose! But if they do win it they deserve it as they have always wanted to play the best and most fearless rugby!
Posted 11:06 15th March 2012
@ CymruAmByth: I've read in the French press that Mas is really exhausted and need some rest so the decision is undestandable.
However, I'm rather sceptical concerning the Rougerie - Fritz midfield. Power to counter the huge Welsh centers and pace on the wing? Servat starts to get things straight at scrum time with the unexperienced Attoub (at international level) I guess. Why not? We'll see on saturday. I would love to see Jean-Marcellin Buttin. He's performing extremely well with ASM. Allez les petits!!
Posted 11:01 15th March 2012