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Super_horns

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Don't think Sean O'Brien will be getting a Christmas card from the Wales set up..

But did he have a point?
 

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Don't want to go overboard here but I think Marcus Smith is going to be the best fly-half ever.
Looks good, doesn't he?

Apparently, he was first spotted as a potential fly half for the future at a school coaching session taken by George Ford some years ago. They played against each other today at the Stoop. I watched the first half on tv and have to admit, the youngster looks good.

Perhaps it's a bit early to be saying yet (as did the commentary team) that he is another Jonny in the making........ There could be only one Jonny........... but there is clear potential there.

And it's already been picked up by Eddie Jones who has called him up for the England training camp before the Autumn Internationals.

An exciting prospect. I hope he makes it.
 

RavenBish

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can the Aussies play the All Blacks every week please? Another awesome Test match - All Blacks definitely missed Barrett and Retallick.

Hoping Saints can put up a good fight against Clermont later. Francis at 10 and Mallinder at 15 will be interesting to watch - Ford-Robinson and Collins get deserved starts too, plenty of future England intrigue. They will still most likely get walloped however.
 

Super_horns

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Autumn Internationals kicked off...

And Wales lost to Australia again - not sure if there is anything more predictable in rugby!

England with a scrappy looking win but job done I guess with key players rested.

Scots/Samoa sounded like a cracker and Ireland do their usual in Dublin - win.
 

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It was a disappointing performance, not enough ball carriers in that starting XV but then again I don't think you ever start with that XV in circumstances other than a loosener against Argentina anyway.

Was interesting to see Watson shift to 15 when Brown went off as that looks to be the future for him but I would have liked to see Daly given a stint there. Watson's a world class winger, I don't think Daly will ever be one whereas his positional play, running lines and gigantic boot means he could be a serious international full back.

Robshaw's days look numbered in an England shirt as does Hartley's - too many dynamic options in the front and back row for them to keep justifying squad places for anything other than experience. I'd like to see Simmonds get a run at 6 as I don't think there's much chance of him displacing Vunipola/Hughes whereas he could give you something to think about when it comes to the likely Lawes/Itoje 4 & 6 'idea'.

Slade fluffed his audition at 12 (made to look even worse by how good Lozowski was when he came on) but I think he should get a go at 13 next week.
 

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Bish, did you not think they looked really lethargic across the field? They looked tired and whenever I have played Rugby it's intensity that counts and wins you the game. They had absolutely zero.

I was upset about Slade too, he had a chance to dictate that game and he didn't.

Agree ref Hartley, Jamie George was one of the best players on the Lions tour and should be starting every game.

I'm unsure why Jones doesn't like Roko either. He scores tries every game for Bath and is for England.
 

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Jonny may could score 3 tries a game for Leicester for all I care - he's still not an international standard winger. Fast runner, bad rugby player.
 

Super_horns

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England pulled away at the end but how did they play generally?

Wales struggled pass Georgia with a 2nd string side as did Ireland - maybe says something about the depth?

Good effort form Scotland going down to a narrow defeat against the World Champions.
 

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Think England deserved the win though no doubt the scoreline was a little flattering in the end. Was a lot closer than that. Englands first try was a bit controversial as to whether the ball hit the touchline on the kick (personally I think it was just inside it) but Kurtley Beale is to blame for that for not playing to the whistle and almost just pulling up.

Scotland did very well against NZ but if they are going to beat the top sides need to be more productive in the opposition 22. Constantly moved it down field well but then when close to the try line seemed to run out of ideas.
 
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Samoa's heart isn't in this - they're going to get hammered.
 

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Scots being very ruthless against the Aussies!

7 tries v 14 men.
 

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not surprised, their side takes on the personality of their coach, Cheika - inconsistent, poor discipline and attitude. They're also far too easy to score against - a team of ballcarriers and not a lot else (Hooper is fucking awesome though).

Had enough of Chris Robshaw in an England shirt now - too slow and won't be in the squad come the world cup. Time to give Underhill, Curry x2 and Simmonds a shot at the 7 shirt.
 

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Rieko Ioane on course to beat Dougie Howlett's All Black try record before he's 24 at this rate. Freak.
 

Super_horns

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Well what has happened to the English sides this weekend - all beaten in the Champions Cup.

Most of them in quite a convincing matter as well.
 

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Hartley looks so average compared to a talent like Cowan-Dickie. His days have to be numbered.
 

Super_horns

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Billy V and his brother haven't had much luck with injuries..

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/42682727

English teams struggling generally in the Champions Cup - Wasps/Saints and Leicester all out and Saracens/Bath in danger of following them.

Leinster seem to be the in form team.
 
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RavenBish

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Simmonds has to be in the England XV against Italy. Only decision is whether he starts at 8 or 7. For me, it's the perfect opportunity to give him a go at 7 and Mercer at 8. Robshaw is a wise old head but like Hartley you can't justify him being in there anymore.

Nowell at 13 instead of Slade too - all the ball carriers.
 

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Quins effectively swapping Marland Yarde for Nathan Earle is looking like a tremendous bit of business
 

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James Haskell has gone and got himself a four week ban as a result of his red card for clumping Jamie Roberts in the match against Quins and will miss England's first two 6N games. The tariff for his offence starts at six weeks, but his ban was reduced to four because of the back row forward's previous <ahem> "exemplary record".

Is it just me or do the phrases "Back row forward" and "Exemplary record" somehow feel like they don't belong in the same sentence..?

Mathieu Bastareaud was given a three week ban for homophobic abuse of an opponent which put him out of Toulon's win-or-bust Champions Cup match against Scarlets last night. Toulon lost.

Faggots and mash for dinner tonight, Mathieu..?
 

Super_horns

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Saracens only English team through to the last 8.

Quarter final draw:

Leinster v Saracens
Clermont Auvergne v Racing 92
Munster v Toulon
Scarlets v La Rochelle

Some close games there...
 
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RavenBish

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It looks like Leinster's year but if there's one team that can go there and grind out a result, it's Sarries.

Scarlets will be delighted with La Rochelle
 

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Obviously hoping for a win to kick off but this new scottish team is looking very good. they're a great value bet for winner.
 

RavenBish

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front row looks weak but they should bowl over a Wales side that's been ravaged by injuries.

Ireland are overwhelming favourites but hopefully France can put up a good fight with their wildcard sans-Picamoles squad - still gutted Raka got injured as he would've been a superb addition to the 6 Nations.

Also going to make a prediction that Italy will actually be competitive this year too - well *more* competitive at least.
 

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Well, so much for it being Scotland's year then.
 

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Really impressive from Wales. Far too physical for Scotland and Steff Evans has been superb.
 

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I was quite disappointed with Scotland this afternoon. True, Wales played very well but the Scots turned over too much ball, gave away silly penalties and didn't make anything at all out of quite a lot of possession in the first half.

I like the directive that has told referees to be much stricter on putting the ball into the scrummage. For too long, Scrum Halves have been able to get away with feeding the Second Row. Good refereeing made sure that after both teams were pinged once each, they didn't do it again.

France vs Ireland is turning into a bit of an arm wrestle.
 

Super_horns

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Not much in terms of entertainment in this game !

Scrappy and lots of kicking .

Well it was scrappy till the end..

A great French try and a stunning drop goal from Sexton!
 
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RavenBish

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Bad stuff from France in a game they should have won, penalty count too high and then managed the last 5 minutes terribly. Missed penalty and then were far too passive - Ireland had those 30-40 phases or whatever it was but were never forced to catch or offload the ball under pressure.
 

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Enjoying Italy vs England. 10-17 at half time and a much more competitive match than many would have predicted.

Conor O'Shea is doing a good job of getting Italy organised. They're much better structured, have a number 10 who actually looks like a game manager and the basics seem to be starting to fall into place.

England should still win this match and probably by more than one score, but COS might just be turning Italy into more than perennial whipping boys. Early days for them still, but it's nice to see they're developing. At last.
 

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