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Wales avenge heavy loss by beating Ireland in Dublin RWC warmup

I agree with pretty much everything said above. AWJ and Tipuric were the two outstanding players for me. The whole Welsh team played with great intensity, though they can still be a bit workmanlike in attack (missing Liam Williams definitely).

What worries me as a Welsh fan is Wales's generosity to the other team. Don't get me wrong - I'm not suggesting that they're playing against nobodies that aren't intent on winning, but Wales need to do the basics, like clear to touch rather than turning over lineouts/scrums at crucial stages of the game near their own line. On one occasion they held the ball at the back of the scrum, despite the scrum looking wobbly, conceding possession, rather than getting it out quickly and clearing their lines.

I have a lot of hope for Wales and honestly think they currently look better than England (though Australia look very dangerous in that pool, and Fiji also are looking good currently with their Pacific Nations Cup win). If the opposition earn their points and a win then that is fair enough, but Wales gave away a cheap try and almost another at the death, which could have cost them a game that (if you watched the whole thing) they controlled for most periods. So - a bit naive at times, but a confidence boosting win proving that Wales can give anyone a good game and, I think, win. Cuthbert made one good bust over the gain line off a lineout, but I don't feel he warrants his place: his defensive positioning is often wayward and his all-round skills are not good enough (in my opinion). All he has is decent pace for a big man and he can finish (something any good winger should be able to do).

As for Ireland, Sexton looked noticeably rusty and the Irish pack were out-muscled for most of the game. With a full 1st XV they should be stronger, but their reliance of the up and under reminds me at times of Sarries (a few years ago) and South Africa). Just can't wait for the World Cup to start already!

1 Month, 3 Days ago

Henry Speight banned for five weeks for dangerous flip on Juan de Jongh

I definitely agree about the highlights video. The more of these longer videos focussing on the actual highlights, the better. I often think that highlight videos are done in an attempt to disgust viewers into buying cable television just so they can actually see what really happened!

3 Months, 1 Week ago

Setting up and defending a drop goal with Brian O'Driscoll and Rhys Priestland

All I can remember as a Welsh fan is Priestland missing that crucial drop-goal in front of the posts in the last WC semi-final vs France...

11 Months, 1 Week ago

Ireland get their first ever win in Argentina in Resistencia

I couldn't get enough of that first Argentine try when I saw it live. The take by the full back was terrific, and the step and pace by Sanchez... The finish reminded me of Shane Williams vs the Springboks back in 2008 I think (going inside and then out). Considering the Pumas has so few recognisable star players I think they did remarkably well, and were only really killed off by a cheap interception try that took the game away from them.

1 Year, 3 Months ago

Hardest, Fastest, Strongest - Carrier, Runner, & Big Hitter

1) Hardest Ball Carrier for me at the moment has to be Willem Alberts. He ruined England recently. Craig and Scott Quinnell were very destructive runners too in their time.

2) Tonderai Chavhanga looks insanely fast on clips I've seen of him. There have been a lot of other fast runners though (and more rounded wingers) but I'd give it to him probably.

3) Hardest Hitter has to be Brian Lima, surely? Especially considering he didn't have the bulky build of the Tuilagi brothers or Jerry Collins (Henry Tuilagi and Collins being two other big hitters that come to mind).

3 Years, 1 Week ago

A look back at the successful 1997 British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa

I have to say, I think people sell Lydiate short. He always plays well for Wales, and I agree with you that Ferris is a better ball carrier (stronger, probably faster too) but I think the last six nations showed that Lydiate is a ferocious tackler.

3 Years, 2 Months ago

A look back at the successful 1997 British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa

1. Cian Healy (Gethin's great too, think Healy's a better ball carrier).
2. Ross Ford (everyone else is saying Ross Ford, I think hooker's up for grabs)
3. Adam Jones
4. Alun Wyn Jones (maybe Luke Charteris)
5. Richie Gray
6. Dan Lydiate (Welsh bias! Hard choice, could see Ferris or O'Brien starting potentially)
7. Sam Warburton (on form, if not O'Brien or Tipuric)
8. Ryan Jones or Ben Morgan (Faletau anonymous in Aus I thought, Heaslip is good too)
9. Ben Youngs (Mike Phillips if you want someone to start incidents!)
10. Johnny Sexton
11. George North
12. Manu Tuilagi (Jamie Roberts if on form, think he's better defensively)
13. Jon Davies (controversial, but I really rate him. O'Driscoll possibly)
14. Tommy Bowe
15. Rob Kearney or Leigh Halfpenny, both playing really well.

3 Years, 2 Months ago

WIN an adidas ball signed by All Black legend Dan Carter


3 Years, 3 Months ago

WIN an adidas ball signed by All Black legend Dan Carter

Carter scores tries, makes tries, makes tackles, sees opportunities, kicks well from hand, kicks well for goal and doesn't seem to feel pressure. He does play for the best team in the world, but he has been (with McCaw) the main man for the All Blacks for most of the last decade, so you'd be mad not to have him. As a Wales supported I'd like to make a case for Neil Jenkins...but Carter's better!

3 Years, 3 Months ago

Springboks go one-up in the series with Durban win over England

Are you kidding? I am a Wales fan, but I think even impartial rugby fans have to say that, defensively at least, Lydiate was the best 6 in the 6 Nations. I don't remember him ever missing a tackle, and he tackles in such an aggressive (or active is maybe a better word) manner than it stops the opposition getting over the gain line.

Offensively Ferris is a better ball carrier IMO, and I do rate him very highly, but I thought Lydiate's award was fair, and in the Wales - Australia game last saturday I thought he was one of the best Welsh players without question.

As for another flanker... Willem Alberts, what a tank! I don't know if I've even seen a ball carrier that destructive and dynamic. How come he only has about 10 caps? I suppose he was kept out the squad by Burger, and Brussow?

It will be difficult for any of the northern hemisphere teams to get a win now I think. I don't think any of the 6 nations teams would win against NZ, Wales will think they can win the series, maybe they can, and if England get one win now I think that would be a good effort.

3 Years, 3 Months ago