THE ANFIELD NOISE

The Rugby Union Thread

Pro14 Final tomorrow, right after the Leeds match. Genuinely torn about this one, I have sort of been following Leinster since the beginning of this season, but I love the emotion that Ulster play with.

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Are the Wallabies any good yet?

No?

Interesting one for you @Arminius

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/54263252

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Interesting - Rugby Canada is in desperate financial condition, they were already very tight before the pandemic. But there may be a bit of ‘moneyball’ going on, someone with that pedigree would not look at Canada without funding that RC doesn’t have, except for his personal difficulties.

Also interesting that he is going to working with Toronto and the nationals (training center is on Vancouver Island).

Sadly I think Covid plays a part in this but that is to Canada’s advantage. UK clubs and regions simply dont have the cash to employ another coach, no matter the pedegree. He had no where to go. The whole game is pretty much in stasis here now.

Close to the same here too, although a fall ‘season’ has been put together for kids - no games, no contact, but ball drills and flag. Very tight restrictions, volunteers sanitizing balls and flags, etc. So some cash flow has started up again for the national federation.

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Interesting discussion this afternoon, about what is happening in rugby globally. Apparently, for many rugby powers, the funding model is very much top down - if Ireland doesn’t play, IRFU is broke and the money doesn’t flow down to the clubs. By contrast, Rugby Canada has taken a hammer blow as well, but the funding model is from the grassroots up. This season has been badly truncated, but there is revenue flowing up - and apparently loads of families have ticked the box to voluntarily contribute the same amount to the national teams as in previous years. So while Rugby Canada is even more broke than they were a year ago, the chasm they were trying to close is narrower than it has been in 20 years.

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France clinically put Wales to the sword last night. Silly defensive errors exploited brilliantly by a superb French back line. They are impressive. Wales letting Edwards go is proving to be a massive mistake so far.

The game was not without controversy though. I expect a French forward to be cited this week. Had the officials seen it France would have been down to 14 for an hour.

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Fairly annoyed with DAZN’s rugby coverage. The ERCC has quietly disappeared from coverage, was there before the covid break, gone after the resumption. With the Six Nations, it appears to be one game per round - I got the fairly predictable Ireland-Italy, not the rather more interesting Wales-France.

Ireland France next week. I have to admit this French side are very good on the eye. But they also have a little nasty streak when needed (or not) as the case maybe. Quite possibly the best half back pairing in the world now as well. Certainly the in form one.

We are in a bit of a mess on the other hand

Sort of interesting to see France out-‘Wales defence’-ing Wales, which is why I had hoped to watch that match. I don’t really understand the defensive system well enough to pick out what I am seeing yet, but the high-level results are evident.

Leaving gaps mainly. It’s not joined up and cohesive. The French to their credit saw it and exploited it.

Attacking wise Wales aren’t in a bad place but lacking accuracy and France pounced on the turn over.

Worth seeing game highlights if you can. While people will rightly applaud France when you look at the Welsh defence France simply exploited amd took the opportunities in front of them. They deserve credit for that more than the running angles etc. IMO. It’s basically playing with your head up and making the decision based on what’s in front of you. Not easy.

Slightly bizarre decision but means nothing in reality, it needed to be picked up during the game. I’m not convinced it was accidental but hey ho.

A video of the incident is in this article

A huge shame. True legend.

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Comprehensive win. New Zealand’s biggest winning margin over Australia. Secures the Bledisloe Cup for the 18th successive year.

Ireland making a mess of this game versus France.

Combination of French attacking with this Wales-style defence has real potential

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Australian rugby appears to be a real mess. Could be a while before the Bledisloe Cup is in jeopardy.

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Fucking hell. Clearly intentional. Assaulted him at least three times in that sequence and the right arm smash into Jones’ face at the end was disgusting. Noted that the French No.2 also raked his studs deliberately on one of the Welsh players on the ground at the start of that video.

Did they refer this to the same committee as reviewed the Pickford assault?

Quite possibly :laughing: He has previous too.

The weird thing is that are supposedly being really hot on tackling, rucking etc. Round the neck. And yet they let this slide.

Weird thing, despite it being nasty, Jones was ok and I no longer mind that it wasn’t picked up during the game. Had France been down to 14 it would have hidden the problems Wales currently have. We are not in a good place right now.

In contrast the Pickford incident still riles me.

They are on another level right now.

You have to play on the basis that you are likly to concede at least 2 tries.