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Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



Japanese kids singing World In Union, it's on. It's started. It has begun.

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Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



The Russians are just shagged. Heads dropped, and not from the opposition dominating but the pace of the game. Ireland and Scotland should be getting 70+ points on them, and be heading to fifty against Japan if they play as loose as this.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



I'm not sure I'm fully ready for these 5.30am starts, but if all the games start with the same bang as Fiji have I might manage.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



Fiji have done well, there's a lot more structure in their game while still maintaining their offloading play. 22 exits have been hugely improved, they're playing great off lineouts, if their scrum was better they could be up another one, maybe even two tries.

Australia have been the creators of their own downfall, a little. They're playing a loose game against what's basically a big sevens team (albeit with Fiji doing the fundamentals a lot better.) There was a period where they went from the half way line to the 22 by just picking and going and using centre smashes. At the start they were also keeping the ball in play with their clearance kicks, just all round dumb play against a team who loves to run. If Australia keep it tight, wear down Fiji, they have to win.

Fiji are also unlucky not to have been a man up for ten minutes, a shoulder to the head went unpunished.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



Aramoro posted:

Hugets 'kick pass' to Medard was very French

The France play has been very French so far, but not quite francing it yet. Lots of passes and offloads that come with a shrug, and a general fired up attitude towards moving forward while a relaxed attitude in how to do so.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



Grand cru Francing

Although the French can tend to be shite between fifty and seventy minutes and come back in the last ten. The difference being they don't normally have a 20 point advantage to blow.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



bessantj posted:

Not thrilled about the offside line seemingly disappearing though. Argentina can feel hard done by.

Both teams were desperate for staying behind the offside line for important parts of the game. When there's two points in it with two minutes to go it can be tough to not see it called, but when you've been getting away with it all match it's a strange ask for it to be suddenly respected (although something Nigel Owens would be happy to oblige with.)

That being said France should have had a yellow card, although I'm not sure how much of a difference it would have made. Argentina should have taken at least one chance during the first half and then France wouldn't have been able to hold out.

Edit:

Painkiller posted:

Did Gardner forget his cards? France should've had someone binned at some point. Picamoles intercept was a mile offside too. And I'm pretty sure a French defender rolled into the scrum half on that last turnover.

That definitely happened, and I was yelling at the screen as it happened, but again, it's one of those things that you can't expect that to be suddenly called because it's the last minute and you're two points down, however fuming I'd be if it happened to Ireland.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



Slumfrog posted:

Actually what is the general line on enforcing offside atm? Occasionally see it enforced strictly, but rushing defense is pretty much mandatory now, esp with the pod offense structure (which someone here explained really well and thank you whoever that was). Seems a pretty fine line for teams to walk as to staying onside or ending up with gaps for runners to hit.

Theoretically it's behind the hindmost foot of the ruck, but I haven't seen that rigorously enforced in a tier 1 match in pretty much forever. Behind the bulk of the ruck might be generally enforced, but mostly it's just something that looks obviously offside by someone being particularly far ahead. This often ends up with bad calls though, where someone charging from behind makes yards and just looks offside because they had a head of steam up, while the smothering effect of the whole line being a metre or so offside goes by unnoticed. All in all, it's a shitshow, and probably the most advantageous pushing of the laws outside the ruck that goes on at the highest level of the game.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



Based on fifteen minutes, and knowing there's a long way to go in both this game and the rest of the group stage, England must be thinking their chances at winning the whole lot are getting much better.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



tarbrush posted:

That is precisely when England are at their worst

Whereas Ireland and Scotland (presumably) will be facing an angry All Blacks and Bok.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



So if NZL are asleep for 80 minutes it's possible to beat them. Good to know.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



Bokke scrumhalf ain't great. They're playing the same game Munster played when Rassie and Nienaber were coaches there, but they don't have a Murray at 9.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



bessantj posted:

Faf is such a good scrum half but dulled today.

He just seems caught between two minds at every ruck, and ends up making that just-sub-optimal decision. It doesn't help that the midfield outside him have been playing like simpletons, and I'm not sure there's any forward/backrow movement for him to work with (or he's not calling for it.)

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012




Me running to the bus and it taking off just as I get to the stop.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



Slumfrog posted:

Yeah, that's a fair call. Thanks y'all for putting up with my less than incisive commentary and dumb questions. I may not be the foremost expert on this game, but goddamn if I don't love it. I plan to be here all WC as it's a decent timezone for once (for me anyhow), so hopefully the rest of the games are up to th e current standard.

I don't know if the timezone is a blessing or a curse for me. It's not even 2pm, and half an hour ago I was ready for bed. I seem to be on my second wind now, but I figure I'll either have my dinner early, go to bed in a food coma and wake up for the early matches tomorrow, or get into that exhausted-but-wired mode where I'll be up until 3am and potentially sleep through tomorrow's games.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



Parisse dropping the ball, smashing his own player, dropping lineouts, smashing the ref. The man is a legend but he was a liability in the last Six Nations and now he seems like the equivalent of a senile rugby player.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



Even the post is Irish.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



Ireland are pretty much playing with 14 men. Sexton hasn't been doing anything for the past fifteen minutes, and Murray is taking the kicks. They're getting him to halftime but if he's in bits that's a big blow.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



TMO and ref get that right. The ITV commentary get it all wrong, "He could be in trouble here," and talking about how he dropped so there's mitigating circumstance, "It's on his neck so this might be a problem." Then the ref says, "Across the chest, no foul play for me." And suddenly the ITV commentators are all in agreement.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



Vaders Jester posted:

Just popping in to say Sir Clive's thermonuclear take on Hodge getting a three week ban of a shoulder charge to the head of a player is yet another reason he should never be on tv again.

Not to be age-ist, but I'm gonna be age-ist. There's definitely an issue with how rugby has changed so much over the past thirty, forty, fifty years. You get old coaches who aren't in the game anymore who just want to be relevant, when the smart move, as seen with many of their peers, is to prop up the bar and regale people with stories out of their days while murdering the steady stream of free pints. The same can be seen with Eddie O'Sullivan on Irish TV. The game has passed them by, and instead of disappearing into the background to become the appropriate level of barroom legend they keep pushing for relevance when they're not part of the game that's happening.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



It's awful to see a player go off, but I love that the two physios holding him up were replaced by the two big men players better capable of supporting his, eh, heft.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



That was far too simple a try to give away, the play was moving quickly, but even still the out half getting in shows they broke down much too quickly.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



The USA planning on tiring out England by having them attack for the whole game.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



SUCK IT! ENGLAND!

U-S-A! U-S-A!

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012




Post-avatar synchronicity

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



bessantj posted:

Prep for six matches over the weekend!

My plan was to daydrink today and fall asleep by maybe seven or eight so I'd be awake for 5am tomorrow. My brain decided to play tricks on me by rearranging itself to wake me up at 3am, probably because I told it it'd be daydrinking. Now I'll probably be wired all day and sleep until midday tomorrow.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



That it's being enforced is kind of new, but I don't ever remember a time when it was technically OK to smash a fella inna face.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



At least Munster are doing a number on the Dragons. The day isn't a complete write off.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



bessantj posted:

Ireland doing well.

Ireland have extended the old Munster 10 man game to include one more person, the centre, crashing it up like a backrow. It's entirely un-inventive and immediately shows its flaws as soon as a team knocks us back. We may as well not have wings (except for chasing kicks back and the odd stray break.)

If moneyball was implemented in rugby it'd be Schmidt who has the best claim to it.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



Australia deserve to lose just because of their stupidity in their own 22. Why play it so much? Why chip kick? Just hoof it down the field.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



I have no idea what this game is. It feels like a big match, but it seems like both teams have avoided the "let's win the hard collisions, keep it tight" talk and just thought "gently caress it!"

In a way it's a fun game. Not an entertaining game(all though I am entertained,) for technical reasons, or skill reasons, but like the teams have wanted to make it joyful. I've never seen anything like it.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



Ireland's plan has been to work their way through the group and then bring out the intricate play in the quarters (and then progress.) Of course it never occurred to them that using the backline might have been something that needed practice in real match conditions before the big game. There's more inventiveness being shown, even with dropped balls, than since before the Six Nations. But you can't suddenly switch on a previously missing part of your game no matter how much time you train (unless you're Japan.)

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



Vagabundo posted:

Japan have been together since basically the Top League ended back in February.

The one time Ireland tried something different in a real match situation, Japan beat them.

I'm not sure Ireland tried anything different in the Japan game, and my point was Japan, through their training for most of the year, could come out playing an entirely new gameplan and to an ability they hadn't done before. Ireland's first time trying anything intricate with their backs came in this game. They should have been playing in the same manner for all their games, possibly since the Six Nations, without showing their full plan, as they seemingly tried to hide their intent to keep video analysis out of it..

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



I've stopped watching Irish games with two minutes to go, not with twenty. But no-ones been nilled in a quarter final either until today.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



Nigel feeling sorry for the good folk of Irish rugby in these last ten minutes.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



Ireland win the last ten minutes 14-12.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



bessantj posted:

Excellent win by New Zealand in the end. All reset for Ireland now with Schmidt going on his way.

Unfortunately its Farrell stepping up a position from the current coaching team, so I'm not sure we can expect the shake up that's needed.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



Vagabundo posted:

Ireland under Schmidt tend to resist off-loading, and have a low-risk gameplan built around starving the opposition of possession, and grinding their defence down until it cracks. It's efficient and was clearly effective (although it had been worked out - despite losing, the All Blacks spent the last quarter on attack in Dublin last year, and both Eddie Jones and Warren Gatland had found a way to navigate this). They go left to right, with a carefully regimented pod structure. Against Japan, they started off-loading, and were getting quite a bit of mileage out of kicks from hand to the right side of the Japanese 22, before their entire structure collapsed in on itself and they ended up on the wrong end of the 19-12 scoreline.

The kicking was brought in in the warm up games, but it wasn't as drastic a change as we saw today. It worked against Italy (and they used the offloading a little too,) and was used sparingly against Wales (not at all against England.) They were particular strike moves (I personally think being practiced in isolation, and not with the whole player movements) and didn't come into complete use today. Sexton played far more with the ball, and our one out pods weren't used for repeated phase play instead preferring to go wide. Similarly we used our wings beyond the cross-kick in this game after Stockdale and Earls had almost no wide movement in previous games, instead coming into the line or being used on the blindside.

Yes, you're right, there were signs of it before, but never it all put together. That's a flaw, they didn't have the full set of tools put together in any real games. Ireland played pieces in isolation, hoping for it all to come in as one for this game. It was a huge mistake to do that.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



Vagabundo posted:

Cheika’s gone. Get out of here ghost, etc.

Two former Leinster coaches done in one day. A Province with well over a million people fooling international rugby with latent talent rather than the coach's astuteness. (This is sarcasm, whatever about Joe he brought Ireland to places they hadn't been to before.)

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Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



That was a beautiful try from within the 22. Gorgeous small steps, small passes and play in close space.

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