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Tokyo Calling - Rugby 2019

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    #26
    France have youth coming through, Demba Bamba is a frightening prospect after seeing him in the U20 RWC.

    The number of recently injured players in the Wales team is worrying and probably unnecessary in the case of Moriarty as he was concussed.

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      #27
      I think it's going to be a fascinating 6N this year. Ireland are obviously on fire, but I think that a few other teams are showing form. I'm a bit worried about the game tomorrow night. France have picked a monster-sized pack, and you never know what you're facing over there.

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        #28
        The huge pack was predictable, what wasn't was the relatively small & nimble pairing of Ntamack and Fofana at centre rather than wrcking ball Basteraud.

        We've got the lightest player in the 6N at scrum half with Tomos Williams and Anscombe isn't the biggest either, it'll be interesting to see how that all develops as well as the forward battle.

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          #29
          I hate it when France do this. They'll only let me down later.

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            #30
            Talk about a game of two halves!

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              #31
              Originally posted by Levin View Post
              I hate it when France do this. They'll only let me down later.
              And they duly do.

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                #32
                I said at half-time that Wales were playing like utter dog shit but, oddly, I could see us winning (or being hammered) and so it turned out. France really weren't that good in the first half but we were worse. In the second half, we ran with ball in hand more and effectively and Biggar's kicking was more effective. I still can't see where this idea that we are potential winners comes from but France are fucked on tonight's showing. Cue them beating England and Ireland while losing to Italy and Scotland because, well, that's France.

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                  #33
                  The Welsh back row were excellent tonight. Tipuric really is some player - wherever a breakdown occurs he's on it.

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                    #34
                    He's a true great, I don't think he'll really be appreciated until he retires. There is no player in world rugby with his ability to mix the tough, nasty, back-breaking defensive work with lovely subtle skills, soft hands and a superlative rugby brain. I'm biased though, to the extent that when his name was read out in the stadium last night both my wife and my regular rugby mate both looked at me and said "Aw, there's your lad, eh." or words to that extent.

                    I reallly can't fathom much more about last night without watching the recording of the match back which I'll do on the train home. Clearly it was an absolutely insane switchback ride which had a wonderful finale but how on earth France allowed us to dodge the bullet I don't know. That last passage of play after ANOTHER butchered line-out when France went through 13 or so phases genuinely had my heart pounding.

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                      #35
                      Late winner for Wednesday followed by early try for England. Not a bad minute, that.

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                        #36
                        And a gift for England.

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                          #37
                          England absolutely battering Ireland, who, in truth, are lucky to only trail by seven at the break.

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                            #38
                            Especially that double movement decision

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                              #39
                              England really up for this.

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                                #40
                                I blame Paddy Power, personally.

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                                  #41
                                  So, back to back Grand Slams, then.

                                  As someone who doesn't watch club rugby, is that Chris Ashton who came off the bench for England the same one who used to do flying leaps on scoring tries? If so he looks about a million times bigger than last time I saw him.

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                                    #42
                                    Originally posted by longeared View Post
                                    So, back to back Grand Slams, then.

                                    As someone who doesn't watch club rugby, is that Chris Ashton who came off the bench for England the same one who used to do flying leaps on scoring tries? If so he looks about a million times bigger than last time I saw him.
                                    Same guy. Would be interesting to see if that's true.

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                                      #43
                                      Ashton playing League for Wigan



                                      and Union for Saracens



                                      There's no question that he is bigger, though in looking through photos the most significant change seems to have come when he was at Toulon.
                                      Last edited by ursus arctos; 03-02-2019, 12:57.

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                                        #44
                                        I thought it was his was increase in size while playing in France that longeared was getting at.

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                                          #45
                                          Not sure how visible it was on TV or how widely it was reported but at least 15,000 empty seats at the SdF for Friday night's game - most of them in an entire section of the upper tier along the length of the pitch which was completely closed.

                                          The cheapest ticket was €only 20 and only around 800 Wales fans didn't make it because of weather conditions. Given that Saturday and Sunday 6N games all generally sell out or damned close (however bad the French form is) it must be the ludicrous Friday night kick off putting off home fans from the southern rugby heartlands as well as some Welsh supporters.
                                          Last edited by Ray de Galles; 03-02-2019, 17:01.

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                                            #46
                                            Some French supporters were also put off by the possibility of Gilets Jaunes nonsense over the weekend, though that didn’t have as large an impact as the Friday timing.

                                            Did you chat with any French supporters? The ones I know were very down of the FFR and the team before that second half collapse.
                                            Last edited by ursus arctos; 03-02-2019, 17:23.

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                                              #47
                                              Not so many this time but that's certainly been the case on my other recent trips for the French game. The sense of, at best, hangdog resignation with regard to the national set up has been palpable for a while now.

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                                                #48
                                                Yes, it was arguably worse a few years ago

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                                                  #49
                                                  Huge Irish TV viewership for the rugby.

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                                                    #50
                                                    Hang on, the 6 Nations isn't on terrestrial TV in Ireland? Can you pick up the UK coverage anyway?

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