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France vs Wales; St. Bridget's Day, 2019

  • 01-02-2019 12:58am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 12,339 ✭✭✭✭ Losty Dublin


    Live on Virgin Media 1 from 7PM, BBC 1 from 7:25PM and S4C from 7PM.

    Guilhem_Guirado_and_Alun_Wyn_Jones.jpg.jpeg

    The Teams....


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    Le Beguinne


    French sport, like it's food, has always been in a class of it's own. From staples such as cheese and bread to it's masterful hams and pastries and even curios such as snails or Tartare, the nation has always put it's own indellibe stamp on whatever it does. And of course, it's rugby follows this pattern down to the tee, as if it were a stereotype that it was proud to live up to.

    Until now, that is. Yes, it's that time of year. Six Nations has arrived.

    A poor Six Nations in 2018 that yielded just 8 tries for Les Bleus was followed by a poorer tour to New Zealand, (It's main highlight for the visitors was a rescinded red card.) and an even poorer Autumn that saw defeat to to South Africa and Fiji, leaving them a shameful 9th in the World Rankings. That drop goal a year ago clearly did more damage than we thought Sacréd bleu :rolleyes:

    On the other hand things have been better for the visitors. A strong summer and winter series has left Warren Gatland cockier than a Moy Park stud rooster, I say I say I say, although poor results in the Ken Cup have blurred the Welsh halo somewhat. On the balance of results alone you'd go for Wales but that other French cliche, that of which France team turns up so lets see who's invited....
    The Teams

    Much pressure will be thrust upon France's debutant Romain Ntamack (below), not least for making the squad at the supposed expense of the somewhat larger Bastareaud or his bloodline but for his strong season for Toulouse.

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    He has the benefit of having Parra and Wesley Fofana to help make the step up, and it will be needed. Hadleigh Parkes and Jonathan Davies will be running at him from early on if the Welsh pack can get returning scrum half Tomas Williams clean quick ball. If the breaks are made then the French full back line will be nullified and in trouble; if not then the French pack will clean up shop;.

    Speaking of the pack, France will look to fight up front and make use of what is one of their strongest assets; their large experienced pack. Ever reliable Picamoles comes in at 8 and Sebastien Vahaamahina partners debutant Paul Willemse at engine/jumping duties. A strong front row sees hooker Guidardo captain the team

    Wales for their part have no Halpenny this week; he's away on Concussion protocol resting so Liam Willams gets a run out and Alan Wyn Jones makes what feels like his 25,000th cap as captain.

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    Le Verdict


    Coming from where both teams are, it's much harder to see a home win over an away loss come 10PM tomorrow evening. The French team have not worked well under Brunel, with the phrases "ringing the changes" being the most constant thing, almost the only constant in their game of late. Whatever about their club game grinding to a halt, their international team certainly has and with the Webb Ellis just 10 months away it is too late for a French recovery.

    My prediction tomorrow is for a 27-21 away win, a tired home pack late and for the Welsh to hold the French chicken in the air....


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,191 ✭✭✭ swiwi_


    Cheers Losty. Not sure if the statement is true, but I read that at 962 kg the French pack is the heaviest ever put out for an international game. Which reminds me of the topic debated on here a year or so ago about whether a 1 tonne pack was possible one of these days.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,339 ✭✭✭✭ Losty Dublin


    swiwi_ wrote: »
    Cheers Losty. Not sure if the statement is true, but I read that at 962 kg the French pack is the heaviest ever put out for an international game. Which reminds me of the topic debated on here a year or so ago about whether a 1 tonne pack was possible one of these days.

    I couldn't verify this fact for you; my bathroom scales is broken ;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,178 ✭✭✭ troyzer


    swiwi_ wrote: »
    Cheers Losty. Not sure if the statement is true, but I read that at 962 kg the French pack is the heaviest ever put out for an international game. Which reminds me of the topic debated on here a year or so ago about whether a 1 tonne pack was possible one of these days.

    Toulouse put out a 1 tonne pack in 2017 apparently.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,231 ✭✭✭✭ Venjur


    Zebo on the house of rugby podcast panel with Alex Payne, Tindell, Williams and Lawson - I've copied it below.

    42:50 here is worth a listen. Certainly something that is going to get picked up by the French media but Zebo vicariously pummelling the French setup by proxy through his international team mates.

    He also suggests that Sexton gets special treatment from Joe and the Munster lads don't like it :D



  • Registered Users Posts: 45,433 ✭✭✭✭ thomond2006


    These were the starting teams for both teams' openers last season. In bold are the players starting tonight.

    Palis; Thomas, Lamerat, Chavancy, Vakatawa; Jalibert, Machenaud;
    Poirot, Guirado (capt), Slimani, Iturria, Vahaamahina, Lauret, Gourdon.

    Halfpenny; Adams, Williams, Parkes, S Evans; Patchell, G Davies;
    R Evans, Owens, Lee, Hill, AW Jones (captain), Shingler, Navidi, Moriarty.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 23,564 ✭✭✭✭ Buer


    swiwi_ wrote: »
    Cheers Losty. Not sure if the statement is true, but I read that at 962 kg the French pack is the heaviest ever put out for an international game. Which reminds me of the topic debated on here a year or so ago about whether a 1 tonne pack was possible one of these days.

    I'd believe it. I went through the weight of their front five earlier this week and it's aburd (aside from Guirado). Their back row is not small but not massive so I think the tonne is achievable but, in reality, I can't see it happening in this generation purely because of how utterly immobile the pack would be.

    It will be very interesting to see how that pack goes for the opening 50 minutes against a team playing two opensides that like to keep the ball alive.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,231 ✭✭✭✭ Venjur




  • Registered Users Posts: 6,690 ✭✭✭ aloooof


    Buer wrote: »
    I'd believe it. I went through the weight of their front five earlier this week and it's aburd (aside from Guirado). Their back row is not small but not massive so I think the tonne is achievable but, in reality, I can't see it happening in this generation purely because of how utterly immobile the pack would be.

    It will be very interesting to see how that pack goes for the opening 50 minutes against a team playing two opensides that like to keep the ball alive.

    Didn't Atonio play in the second row for one game? (which is utterly hilarious) But I could maybe see it happening if there was an in-game injury, and some positional change like that happened.


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,044 ✭✭✭✭ Squidgy Black


    aloooof wrote: »
    Didn't Atonio play in the second row for one game? (which is utterly hilarious) But I could maybe see it happening if there was an in-game injury, and some positional change like that happened.

    Yeah against Lyon a couple years ago. They were fairly rallied by injuries though, they had players filling gaps out of position all over the pitch.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,419 ✭✭✭ evil_seed


    Not sure about that French jersey


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,178 ✭✭✭ troyzer


    evil_seed wrote: »
    Not sure about that French jersey

    It would be gorgeous if it wasn't for that ridiculous collar.


  • Registered Users Posts: 719 ✭✭✭ penybont exile


    Don't know what to expect from this game tonight.

    France are unpredictable but to some extent so are Wales first up.

    Win and I think we'll have a great 6N .... lose and it has the potential to go south.

    Gatland ... most of the time has the team well prepared. If we are close at half time I fancy our chances.


    As for tomorrow.... very close IMO.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,178 Quint2010


    Fancy Wales strongly here


  • Subscribers Posts: 36,277 ✭✭✭✭ sydthebeat


    Quint2010 wrote: »
    Fancy Wales strongly here

    You'll get good odds if youre a betting person..

    The money is following France


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,596 ✭✭✭ patmac


    Who will be the kickers tonight?


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,690 ✭✭✭ aloooof


    How is Morgan Parra still only 30??


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,310 ✭✭✭ Dubinusa


    I hope France win. It would be great for rugby if they could revert to the France of old.
    Besides, who wants to see Gatland win?


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,190 ✭✭✭ Burkie1203


    20000 empty seats


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,178 ✭✭✭ troyzer


    Lot of empty seats. Disappointing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,178 Quint2010


    sydthebeat wrote: »
    You'll get good odds if youre a betting person..

    The money is following France


    Is it? Had a look yesterday and there was no spread? Bookies couldn't separate them


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  • Registered Users Posts: 388 ✭✭ tommybrees


    How come so many empty seats?


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,178 ✭✭✭ troyzer


    tommybrees wrote: »
    How come so many empty seats?

    McIntyre was just saying that the weather stopped a lot of Welsh fans travelling.

    I heard the BBC pundit team's flight was cancelled. Must have been bad in Cardiff.


  • Registered Users Posts: 45,433 ✭✭✭✭ thomond2006


    The weather has to suit France. Wales need to run them ragged to win.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,610 ✭✭✭✭ stephen_n


    tommybrees wrote: »
    How come so many empty seats?

    France’s poor form for the last decade I’d imagine.


    Much as it’s hard to see Fance losing at home on the opening weekend two years in a row, I still fancy Wales to do it here.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,178 ✭✭✭ troyzer


    An ad break right at kick off.

    ****ing hell.


  • Subscribers Posts: 36,277 ✭✭✭✭ sydthebeat


    Quint2010 wrote: »
    Is it? Had a look yesterday and there was no spread? Bookies couldn't separate them

    If YOU fancy Wales strongly like you said, there's good odds..

    Ie you'd get 5/1 for wales to win by 11-20


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,690 ✭✭✭ aloooof


    troyzer wrote: »
    An ad break right at kick off.

    ****ing hell.

    Paulie on BBC, there.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,758 ✭✭✭ Hurrache


    troyzer wrote: »
    An ad break right at kick off.

    ****ing hell.

    Brings up the age old question, BBC has the best commentary team for the night, Virgín with the best stadium sound.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,599 ScrubsfanChris


    troyzer wrote: »
    McIntyre was just saying that the weather stopped a lot of Welsh fans travelling.

    I heard the BBC pundit team's flight was cancelled. Must have been bad in Cardiff.
    Might have counted for a few, but I'd doubt it counts for the majority of the empty 20'000 ;)


    Recent bad performances and low expectations are most likely the major cause.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,178 ✭✭✭ troyzer


    France with a brilliant start.


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