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Rainier Wolfcastle
23 Mar 12 02:15
Date Joined: 26 Dec 06
| Topic/replies: 1,359 | Blogger: Rainier Wolfcastle's blog
15 Kearney
14 Cuthbert
13 J Davies
12 Fofana
11 North
10 Farrell
9 Phillips

1 Jenkins
2 Hartley
3 Mas
4 Gray
5 Maestri
6 Ferris
7 Robshaw
8 Denton

Honourable mentions to Lee Halfpenny and Foden at full back, but Kearney was peerless under the high ball, kicked well himself (bar the one to Poitrenaud v France Cry) and countered well with ball in hand. As good a FB as there is in the world on this form.

Tournament top try scorer Tommy Bowe misses out Shocked
Bowe did very little other than get on the end of a few walk-ins whereas North and Cuthbert were wrecking machines for Wales, coming off their wings to great effect and constantly getting over the gainline.

Lee Dickson deserves a shout at 9 given he was making his debut and acquitted himself well without being outstanding. Phillips gets the nod as he has the liability of Priestland outside him to worry about.

Two Scots I hear you shout despite finishing bottom of the table. Scotland were not far off claiming a couple of big scalps. Richie Gray and David Denton set the tone for everything good about their play and worked tirelessly in defence.

Robshaw led the new look England to second spot and but for a crucial turnover against Wales, they might even have gone all the way. Discipline was good in his side, he communicated well with the ref and his team mates. Another excellent young leader to go with Warburton, he worked his socks off around the park.

Like Kearney, Tom Croft returned to his Lions form, but alas it was only for one match v the French. Elsewhere he was good without being superbg,  with the exception his lineout work.

They're the controversial selections and the rest picks itself Cool

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Report Rainier Wolfcastle March 23, 2012 1:17 AM GMT
Wales - 5
England - 3
Ireland - 2
France - 3
Scotland - 2
Report GPT March 23, 2012 2:39 PM GMT
What a bizarre list,RobshawLaughand you have missed out the player of the tournamentCrazy
Report pacficrc March 23, 2012 2:56 PM GMT
It was an online poll therefore VOID Tongue Out
Report pacficrc March 23, 2012 3:01 PM GMT
15 Kearney
14 Cuthbert
13 J Davies
12 Fofana
11 North
10 Farrell
9 Phillips

1 Jenkins
2 Hartley
3 Mas
4 Gray
5 Ryan
6 Ferris
7 Dusautoir
8 AN Other

No-one stood out at 8 for me. Phillips, Hartley are there by default. It was an average tournament in my opinion.
Report GPT March 23, 2012 3:32 PM GMT
Certainly average for IrelandGrin
Report Cha-Ching March 23, 2012 4:16 PM GMT
I thought Ferris actually had a poor tournament, and would happily have Lydiate or Dusautoir ahead of him at 6.

I think 10-15 is pretty much without dispute (could make a case for 1/2p, it's pretty disappointing that Hartley was the best Hooker on show which doesn't bode well for the Lions.

Denton for me at 8. Thought he was outstanding.
Report sewter lives again March 23, 2012 5:27 PM GMT
wouldnt argue with the backs, although Phillips gradually became less effective as the tournament went on, but no competition for his place.

However my forwards would be

1. Jenkins
2. Servat/Owens
4. and 5. Gray with any 1 from 6
6. Lydiate
7. Warburton
8. Morgan

difficult to be dogmatic about some choices as there were a lot of injuries for the top players
personally think Charteris would have been top second row but for injury.
Report RugbyMan March 23, 2012 6:00 PM GMT
A difficult year to find certainties in some positions as very few players were consistent. Even Lydiate, who is a fair choice as player of the tournament, was very quiet against England and his first and last games got him through.

Certainties, as they go, I would have as:

1. Jenkins
3. Cole - never seems to get much credit, but he keeps putting world-class loose-heads in trouble and wins a few turnovers as well. I didn't think Mas did enough and would have Adam Jones second.
4. Gray
6. Lydiate
9. Phillips - partly by default. Some of the scrum-half performances were shocking with a cameo from O'Leary at the end making Ben Youngs look like a world beater again.
10. Farrell - similar to Phillips in that he wasn't particularly exceptional, but who else? Some parts of Sexton's game were excellent, but at crucial times he went quiet.
11. North
12. Fofana - although Roberts and Barritt both did their jobs very well.
14. Cuthbert
15. Kearney
Report RugbyMan March 23, 2012 6:07 PM GMT
Which leaves

2, 5, 7, 8 and 13

At hooker I may just say Best deserves it, although it could be any of about 6 and nobody stood out.

Donnacha Ryan had one excellent game, the French locks didn't do a lot, Parling was decent for England. Despite not really being a fan of the man, I think Ian Evans edges this one.

Robshaw, who worked extremely hard and captained well, or Warburton who was brilliant at times and injured for the rest? Maybe even Rennie, although that botched effort against England doesnt help.

At 8, Morgan was briefly excellent, Faletau a bit quieter than expected, Denton was very good and Parisse is Parrise. Maybe Denton by a nose.

And 13, it's either the steady quality of Davies or the constant thundering physicality of Tuilagi.
Report RugbyMan March 23, 2012 6:08 PM GMT
All in all I thought that we were lacking tries again this year with far too much leniency being given to defending at the breakdown, but a better than average tournament all the same. Plenty of close games always helps.
Report big_dunc March 23, 2012 6:17 PM GMT
I'm a big Lydiate fan, but it's bizarre that he's getting the plaudits when you can reel off a huge list of his teammates who you'd give the accolade to before him. I don't think Ferris had a bad game for Ireland and his defence is simply awesome.

Can't be having Rory Best. His inability to find his man when it matters cost Ireland dearly on so many occasions. Hartley is a default selection as Servat was poor, despite what the media will have you think.

Robshaw another default selection at 7 I think. Warburton didn't play enough to be considered. Rennie is realistically the only competition, but you can't be going overboard on Scotland selections given that they were whitewashed. Results have to count for something.

13 also another default selection. Rougerie was awful, Tuilagi didn't play enough, which leaves Keith Earls as the only alternative.
Report pacficrc March 23, 2012 6:57 PM GMT
No mention of Court at 3, he definitely stood out
Report sewter lives again March 23, 2012 7:22 PM GMT
RM I had a senior moment and completely forgot about Cole at tight head but Mas was pretty steady, as everyone says it is difficult to decide who to pick in certain positions due to injuries

one thing we will never know is what a player like Parisse would have been like playing in a decent attacking team, most probably a hall of famer
Report pacficrc March 23, 2012 7:36 PM GMT
Not so sure sewter, he regularly looks average playing for Stade Francais and outstanding in a sea of dross at Italy often when the opposition are not up to much either. He is a good player but made look alot better in Italian team.
Report sewter lives again March 23, 2012 7:44 PM GMT
mind you it is difficult to judge him just on this season as he is nearly 30 now and has had his share of injuries-still played well though
Report furrelli March 23, 2012 7:52 PM GMT
The Bok Denton stood-out at No.8, with Morgan next best in a cameo/impact role. parisse's a bit like poc & picked on reputation these days. the adage big fish small pond etc springs to mind, although parisses does have impact at times when in the azzuri blue.

either ways I think the Lions coach of 2013 will be spoilt for choice! Grin
Report pacficrc March 23, 2012 7:53 PM GMT
He's a skillful player but the other 14 italians are playing for him, he plays well in an italian jersey but he'd have made a better outhalf than burton
Report RugbyMan March 23, 2012 7:59 PM GMT
It's not been Parisse's finest year, but however your team plays you cant stand out like he has in recent seasons without being an exceptional player. A few years back he was immense.
Report RugbyMan March 23, 2012 8:00 PM GMT
Take out the Scotland game and Italy would have been better off with Mauro Bergamasco at 9 and Castrogiovanni at 10.
Report pacficrc March 23, 2012 8:06 PM GMT
Parisse had a great first 60 against Eng, when they needed him in the last 20 he was gone, whether he spent himself in first 60 is debatable but telling Botes to kick the pens cost them the match
Report RugbyMan March 23, 2012 8:09 PM GMT
But when have Italy done any different? Only way they know.
Report northanlite March 23, 2012 8:18 PM GMT
The Bok Denton stood-out at No.8

he went to school there but he's no a bok
Report furrelli March 23, 2012 8:22 PM GMT
a "great" captain would make different choices & move them upwards, bit like poc for the lions, still have images of him flying over the top vs AB's in the 1st test when a calm calculated head would have set the Lions up for a try to stop the rot & who knows..... glorious failure could be on his tombstone...  fine lines i know but folk cant keep picking on reputations & always need to look at the bggr picture & as ALWAYS expect more from the experienced veterans..... it's the way it goes as yer progress thro' yer career Grin
Report furrelli March 23, 2012 8:24 PM GMT
The Bok Denton stood-out at No.8

he went to school there but he's no a bok

Must be my hearing when he speaks then Grin
Report RugbyMan March 23, 2012 8:28 PM GMT
He's Zimbabwean isn't he?

O'Connell gets away with a lot because he's such a give-everything, stand-up sort of bloke. Can't fault his attitude, but he makes some serious blunders. Fluffing an overlap that would have killed Wales off 1st up was his best effort this year.
Report northanlite March 23, 2012 8:32 PM GMT
Born in Zimbabwe, his Ma is from Glasgow
Report pacficrc March 23, 2012 9:14 PM GMT
I think you'll find he got man and ball RM. One thing though he should never have left Sexton to take a shot at goal at end, kick penalty to corner with 5 mins left.
Report TheVis March 24, 2012 8:56 AM GMT
still have images of him flying over the top vs AB's in the 1st test when a calm calculated head would have set the Lions up for a try to stop the rot & who knows

2nd Test wasn't it?  Happened right in front of me. Mind you he may have flew over the top at some stage in the 1st as well.  I couldn't see that due to being blinded by the horizontal sleet Laugh
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