Sunday, August 14, 2011

France adopt traditional one crap half approach, looting of Chariot wheels, and Springok front row dominated by Aussies- yes they were that bad!

Donncha Ryan (picture from )
Saturday , August 13
Wales 19 - 9 England
France 19 - 12 Ireland 
Italy 31 - 24 Japan
Canada 27-7 USA
South Africa 9 - 14 Australia
Ireland France
France played to their strengths and adopted their traditional game plan – play brilliantly in one half, and crap in the other. In the first half, they were just about unstoppable, running freely and putting immense pressure on Ireland which caused loads of Irish mistakes. Vincent Clerk, the irritating little shit (albeit a talented one), scored his obligatory try against Ireland. It could have been a lot worse at half time, but Ireland hung in there, and went in only 10 points down. It didn’t look like Ireland had performed, but they had actually managed to contain France pretty well.
Then, in the second half, it was all different. Do you think Kidney and Lievremont put their heads together before the match and there were lots of nods and winks as they split the halves? Anyway, Ireland started to really run at France, and it worked, they seemed to make good ground every time they tried something. Then the class of the subs told, as O’Connell and Heaslip hit the ground running. Murray looked good too what an environment to make a debut. There were problems – the lineout was bad, it got better with O’Connell and Flannery, but we still coughed up right on their line in the last few minutes.  We only have two props, Healy and Ross.  Other than that, Trimble gets better each match, and Ryan must be pencilling his name onto the list with another useful performance. We’re building nicely! For France, their backline was outstanding as always and Mermoz’s departure probably contributed to a wobbly second half. The new number eight Lakafia had an awesome debut.
South Africa Australia
This is what it’s come to - Australia put the Springbok  front row to the sword – yes the Boks were that bad. By kind courtesy of Sky, I only caught the 2nd half, and it wasn’t great rugby by either side, the rain didn’t help, but the Aussies definitely looked better. For the Boks, it was 13 changes from the last offering, so they looked rusty – this was their first competitive match this year. It wasn’t an out and out disaster, I rate the Aussies, but the match was there for the Springboks to win.  They have old players and some sort of game management was going to be needed, so their build up is probably sensible. Basically I don’t have very high expectations for them at the World Cup. A bit of tinkering will help – John Smit should not be on the field, and if I was Pieter, I’d bench Bakkies, Roussow, and Jean de Villiers for the next match. Next week is the All Blacks. Gulp. For the Aussies, Genia and Ioane were as sharp as ever.
Wales England
Yes, so the looting spreads to Cardiff as some chariot wheels go missing. It took a supreme effort from Martin Johnson, visibly shaking with rage, not to grab the mike off old chum Will Greenwood and shove it where the sun don’t shine so he could get busy dismembering his team in the changing room. They spurned numerous first half chances, and paid in the second half.But it’s not time to push the panic button yet – he changed 12 players from last week, and they had home advantage then. Bit worrying when your B team does better than you’re a team, but it’s a blip. He needs to tinker a bit – not sure who should be captain as Moody always seems to be injured, and  his tinkering needs to remove Tindall and Hape. Apart from that the A team needs game time.
For Wales, Hook is my man! Priestland  is really stepping up to the plate, Henson is gone by the looks of things, Warburton is in amazing formand  Faletu played much better as well. Good times for Wales!

1 comment:

  1. Given that England dominated in the scrum against an inexperiensed hooker and prop, I am not surprised that Johnson was furious. If there's a panic button I'd press it vigourously.