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@141: Yeah lost every game, if we'd been completely terrible, and were getting slaughtered 30+ points per game, i'd say yes we were in decline, however we havent, We've come out second best in tight games we could/should of won. Its too early to say wether we are in decline, see how the 6N goes and THEN you can judge.
@138 Eng are not in decline as they have gone back to scratch, and are showing some real signs of improvement. Wales, "great" WC, great GS, then what? Lost every game. Like it or not, started well, finished poorly = decline. Andy101 great shout! Would be interesting to see a team picked purely on stats where a players actual position was ignored.
This is tongue in cheek, but if stats are so important (they probably are); and a good openside is determined by the number of tackles and turnovers they make, it is worth considering Rory Best as the in-form player of this type in Northern Hemisphere club rugby.He currently tops the tables in both tackles and turnovers in the Heineken Cup. 33 tackles and 9 turnovers.
The only area where Rennie is worse than other opensides in the UK is tackles missed. This is probably because he's playing in a rank rotten Scotland side and has to fling himself at desperate tackles that someone else should have been making! Put him in a side where other people can tackle he'll be the same as the others. He offers so much more than any of the others in go forward and turnovers
What Wales decline are we talking about here??? We won a GS, went to Aus and narrowly lost 3 tests, where we could of won all of them. We had a poor start to the AIs and deserved to lose our first 2, but we gave NZ a great game and the match was closer than the scoreline, and then of course lost to aus again in the last 30secs. Eng lost to AUS and SA this AI and a summer tour, are they in decline?
If Wales' decline is down solely to Lydiate or Warburton, then they really aren't a great TEAM at all.The choice of who plays in the back row also depends on who is at lock and even at prop. Are we going to have big ball carriers or big tacklers at lock? Cole does some fantastic work on the floor and wins a lot of turnovers, so we dont have to rely on the back row only for that.
@133Agree Lydiate is class and if fit would be in my squad (if Mr Gatland is reading this I am still available if he needs to freshen up his coaching team even more). A lot depends on the style the Lions want to play, Croft offers speed and a line out option, O Brien sheer grunt, Lydiate can tackle all day, if you play Armitage at 7 then you need a line out option at 6. So many options
That's a fair point mate and only my opinion, but don't forget mate rugby is a team game and and I would rather have an incredible back row that works perfect together than a back row that doesnt work but has one class player al la Italy (Parisse) (Think England 2003 that backrow just worked and was the most effective in the world at that time)
@133 I don't like this reference to SW being linked to Lydigates injury. If SW form is truely based on that, he really shouldn't tour if to get the best of him you have to be dependant on Lydigate making the starting lineup (not a given) or even being fit. Say you take both and then Lydigate gets injured then your left with an extra ineffective player
I don't think Wales decline has been down to Warburton, I think its been down to that lad Dan Lydiate. Wales have lost that balance that they had in the back row, and the way that guy tackles gave SW a perfect platform for quick turnover ball. If he recovers and hits the form has had, he will be a test starter for sure. Ferris and O'brien were chopped down every time by that guy.
@131 I like Rennie but at the moment for me he's bottom of the 4. He's great going forward but he's a bit of a defensive liability. As the stats show 14 missed tackles in 9 games is pretty shocking. He's also conceeding a lot of penalties.
How are more people not mentioning Rennie? Have people just forgotten about the 6 nations? Rennie was outstanding for Scotland in every game and superb on Edinburgh H Cup run. His stats far outweigh the rest of the 7's apart from tackles made which in my opnion in a good team would be the easiest thing to improve. Rennie is clearly a better ball carrier, fetcher and strong on the ball.
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