Author Topic: Six Nations 2019  (Read 1752 times)

jeremyp

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Six Nations 2019
« on: February 02, 2019, 06:56:56 PM »
The best rugby union tournament in the World according to both Eddie Jones and Joe Schmidt (BBC Rugby Union Weekly podcast).

I don't think there was any doubt about Scotland - Italy and, prematch, I would have bet on Wales beating France, but England's win away against the favourites is huge.

My prediction after one match is that Wales will win, given that they play England at home.
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ProfessorDavey

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Re: Six Nations 2019
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2019, 08:23:33 PM »
The best rugby union tournament in the World according to both Eddie Jones and Joe Schmidt (BBC Rugby Union Weekly podcast).
Is that a bit like the BBC getting Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola to say that the FA Cup is the greatest football tournament in the world (hint, the FA Cup is one of the few remaining live sporting events the BBC has - a bit like the 6 Nations, in part).

Try it this way - if Jones or Schmidt could only win one tournament in 2019, do you really think they'd opt for the 6 Nations rather than the World Cup.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2019, 08:25:43 PM by ProfessorDavey »

jeremyp

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Re: Six Nations 2019
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2019, 01:46:19 PM »
Is that a bit like the BBC getting Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola to say that the FA Cup is the greatest football tournament in the world (hint, the FA Cup is one of the few remaining live sporting events the BBC has - a bit like the 6 Nations, in part).

Try it this way - if Jones or Schmidt could only win one tournament in 2019, do you really think they'd opt for the 6 Nations rather than the World Cup.
They weren't saying it is the most prestigious tournament but that it was the best overall spectacle for the fans, excitement and has the best atmosphere. Every single one of the matches in the tournament will be attended by a lot of fans of both teams. That atmosphere in the stadium is always brilliant and no match - with the possible exception of the Italy games - is a foregone conclusion.

Did you see the Ireland England game? I haven't seen such a good game for quite a while. 

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ProfessorDavey

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Re: Six Nations 2019
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2019, 09:50:52 PM »
That atmosphere in the stadium is always brilliant ...
I've been to a few 6 nations matches over the years - always in Wales which is supposed to be a hotbed of atmosphere. But to tell the truth I've been underwhelmed by the atmosphere each time. Was there last year for the France game and the atmosphere was pretty flat - certainly so compared to big football matches I've been to. Surprisingly, virtually no singing - nothing of the spontaneous (and often humorous) singing that you get in football sadly. The only serious singing part from the anthems was led by a amplified singer on the pitch at half time.

So I don't really buy this atmosphere thing - to me it seems more like an excuse for an extended drinking session with a sporting occasion thrown in.

Not been to any other big rugby matches, e.g. the world cup so can't compare - but six nations is nothing like a play off final or even FA cup semi final which are my benchmarks.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 01:41:13 PM by ProfessorDavey »

ProfessorDavey

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Re: Six Nations 2019
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2019, 07:36:22 AM »
Every single one of the matches in the tournament will be attended by a lot of fans of both teams.
Which is exactly the same as most major sporting tournaments.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 01:40:22 PM by ProfessorDavey »

ProfessorDavey

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Re: Six Nations 2019
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2019, 07:49:09 AM »
... and no match - with the possible exception of the Italy games - is a foregone conclusion.
Not sure that is true - one of the challenges with rugby (in tournaments that matter) is that the result goes with prediction far more regularly than say in the world cup finals. It is quite rare to get a genuinely unexpected result. The Ireland England one could be thought to be that last weekend, and last year probably only the Scotland England result in the whole tournament would be what you might call an 'upset' - otherwise all went with prediction or they were largely too close to call anyhow.

Also there are precious few matches that are in the balance right to the final whistle - in other words with one team being just a score ahead. Usually by the time you get to the final 10 minutes it is obvious who is going to win.

Actually these aren't features just of the 6 nations but a problem of rugby overall - I seem to remember a complete world cup tournament a while ago where there was just one match that went against prediction.

But a particular feature of the 6 nations is that there are far too many matches where one (or both) teams don't really care whether they won or not - it doesn't mean anything. So for example if France lose to England on Sunday their tournament is over - their last 3 games will be used in useful preparation for the Autumn's world cup. And each year in the latter half of the tournament it becomes clear that the teams who have no chance of a tournament win are focussing on preparing for the future rather than on the current tournament. You never get this when the 'sharp' end of a competition is knock out.

And then there is the totally weird format which allows some teams to play 3 games at home while others only play 2 games at home - creating a totally non level playing field from the outset.

ProfessorDavey

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Re: Six Nations 2019
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2019, 01:45:55 PM »
Did you see the Ireland England game? I haven't seen such a good game for quite a while.
Yes - enjoyed it. Interesting though that much of the post-match comment in papers etc was about the implication of the result (and performance) on the relative prospects of England and Ireland in the World Cup in the Autumn - virtually nothing about the implication in the likelihood of winning the actual tournament currently being played. Tells you all you need to know about the importance of the 6 nations really.

If you didn't know better you'd have thought it was a world cup warm up match ;)

jeremyp

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Re: Six Nations 2019
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2019, 04:24:15 PM »
Two coaches who both hail from the Southern hemisphere are on record as disagreeing with you. I think I'll take their opinions over yours.

So let's leave it at that and talk about the actual rugby.
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jeremyp

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Re: Six Nations 2019
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2019, 04:34:06 PM »
Yes - enjoyed it. Interesting though that much of the post-match comment in papers etc was about the implication of the result (and performance) on the relative prospects of England and Ireland in the World Cup in the Autumn - virtually nothing about the implication in the likelihood of winning the actual tournament currently being played. Tells you all you need to know about the importance of the 6 nations really.

If you didn't know better you'd have thought it was a world cup warm up match ;)
I didn't read any of the papers, only the BBC's online report which was all about the English underdogs sticking one on the Irish against previous form. I haven't seem much speculation about how it might affect the two teams' prospects at the World Cup except that losing would have been a psychological blow against England.

I think the implications for the Six Nations are that Wales might win it as both England and Ireland have to play them in Cardiff.
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ProfessorDavey

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Re: Six Nations 2019
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2019, 04:38:35 PM »
Two coaches who both hail from the Southern hemisphere are on record as disagreeing with you. I think I'll take their opinions over yours.
In managed comments on a platform run by a broadcaster that has that tournament on their scheduled (but neither of the other 2 big ones).

So to test their assertions - again do you think that either Jones or Schmidt would prefer to win the 6 nations in 2019 rather than the world cup. I think we both know the answer to that one, which tells you their real view on the relative merits/importance of the competitions.

No doubt in a few months time they will both be on the record (perhaps on ITV) saying that the world cup is the best tournament in the world - and do you know what - then they'd be right.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 04:43:40 PM by ProfessorDavey »

ProfessorDavey

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Re: Six Nations 2019
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2019, 04:48:24 PM »
I didn't read any of the papers, only the BBC's online report which was all about the English underdogs sticking one on the Irish against previous form. I haven't seem much speculation about how it might affect the two teams' prospects at the World Cup except that losing would have been a psychological blow against England.
Do you mean this one:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/47105622

Which reports on the match, but mentions zero about the result in the context of the 6 nations as a tournament, but says the following:

'The silver lining for Ireland, if there is one, is that it is February not October. Better to be ransacked now than come the World Cup.'

'Expectations may be lowered a little. There will be less talk about going to the World Cup as close to favourites. These are good things. They are still the world team of the year, with the world coach of the year, and the world player of the year.'

And Jones even states that he sees this game as 'stand-alone' - hmm, not really consistent with someone talking about the first game in the best tournament in the world. The quote:

'"These games have got nothing to do with the World Cup," he declared afterwards, trying to keep that grin off his chops. "They are standalone games. We'll start worrying where we are in the World Cup 10 days before our opening game against Tonga."'

And in the interview he is specifically asked "stop the search - have you found your number 12 for the World Cup?"
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 04:57:59 PM by ProfessorDavey »

ProfessorDavey

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Re: Six Nations 2019
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2019, 04:51:02 PM »
I think the implications for the Six Nations are that Wales might win it as both England and Ireland have to play them in Cardiff.
Maybe so - but who cares - even on the opening weekend the clear focus is on a series of useful warm-up games for the Autumn. Once we get into the last couple of weekends that will become even more apparent as teams who cannot win the 6 nations will start experimenting to try out tactics for the Autumn.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 05:01:24 PM by ProfessorDavey »

jeremyp

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Re: Six Nations 2019
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2019, 06:47:21 PM »
Maybe so - but who cares
If you don't care, what are you doing here?
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ProfessorDavey

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Re: Six Nations 2019
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2019, 10:09:22 AM »
If you don't care, what are you doing here?
Pointing out the non-sense of implying that the 6 nations is the 'best rugby union tournament in the World' - something you imply Jones and Schmidt believe (note you've never actually provided a link to the comments so I cannot judge in context).

I don't think it is true and I don't think Jones and Schmidt do either as the evidence of their comments post-match clearly demonstrate, with far more emphasis on their results in the context of the World Cup (which is the best rugby union tournament in the World) rather than the 6 nations.

Try it this way - Jones was asked (and replied to):

"stop the search - have you found your number 12 for the World Cup?" - seemed a completely reasonable question and Jones answered it as a reasonable question.

Imagine if England were playing a top team in the first match of the world cup and had pulled off an excellent victory with a major contribution from a number 12 who'd been out of the side for years. Post match the equivalent question is asked, namely:

"stop the search - have you found your number 12 for the next 6 nations?"

It is a bonkers question - no-one would be interested in that - they'd be interested in the great performance in the context of the ongoing world cup.


ProfessorDavey

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Re: Six Nations 2019
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2019, 10:14:46 AM »
https://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/six-nations/joe-schmidt-sends-world-cup-warning-ahead-of-crucial-england-clash-37743911.html

Hmm - sounds like a person who thinks that the 6 nations is a more important tournament than the world cup - not.

Nearly Sane

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Re: Six Nations 2019
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2019, 10:15:55 AM »
https://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/six-nations/joe-schmidt-sends-world-cup-warning-ahead-of-crucial-england-clash-37743911.html

Hmm - sounds like a person who thinks that the 6 nations is a more important tournament than the world cup - not.
Best and most important are not synonymous.

ProfessorDavey

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Re: Six Nations 2019
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2019, 10:25:55 AM »
Best and most important are not synonymous.
Do you think either really think the 6 nations is the best tournament? And it is a weird take on best to think it means the tournament that doesn't include the best teams in the world, rather that the tournament where the winner can demonstrably claim to be the best team in the world and the tournament with is the greatest focus of teams, players and managers.

It is a bit like the hoary old non-sense that the FA Cup is the best tournament in the world, when all the evidence points in a different direction.


Nearly Sane

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Re: Six Nations 2019
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2019, 10:32:04 AM »
Do you think either really think the 6 nations is the best tournament? And it is a weird take on best to think it means the tournament that doesn't include the best teams in the world, rather that the tournament where the winner can demonstrably claim to be the best team in the world and the tournament with is the greatest focus of teams, players and managers.

It is a bit like the hoary old non-sense that the FA Cup is the best tournament in the world, when all the evidence points in a different direction.
I don't know what either think, and I honestly don't care. The point is that 'best' is a completely subjective term, and that you think best for you means most important doesn't make that an objective fact. That you then use the term 'evidence' having decided your feeling of what best is true is simply circular.

ProfessorDavey

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Re: Six Nations 2019
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2019, 10:38:54 AM »
I don't know what either think, and I honestly don't care. The point is that 'best' is a completely subjective term, and that you think best for you means most important doesn't make that an objective fact. That you then use the term 'evidence' having decided your feeling of what best is true is simply circular.
Take it up with Jeremy - he made the claim, citing two coaches, but never providing actual quotes. I disagree and I think there is enough 'on the record' evidence from those 2 coaches in the last week to suggest that isn't what they believe either - as a professional rugby coach I suspect best, most important, and most keen to win are actually synonymous. They might not be for an arm-char fan, but they are likely to be for a top pro, whether player or coach.

Nearly Sane

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Re: Six Nations 2019
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2019, 10:52:49 AM »
Take it up with Jeremy - he made the claim, citing two coaches, but never providing actual quotes. I disagree and I think there is enough 'on the record' evidence from those 2 coaches in the last week to suggest that isn't what they believe either - as a professional rugby coach I suspect best, most important, and most keen to win are actually synonymous. They might not be for an arm-char fan, but they are likely to be for a top pro, whether player or coach.
Why would I take up a claim that I've said I don't care about what they think? Surely you've now made a claim about what Schmidt and Jones actually believe about 'best' and you need to do that without making most important synonymous because of your suspicions.

Anyway, I'll leave you to go on your little journey into the minds of Schmidt and Jones.

ProfessorDavey

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Re: Six Nations 2019
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2019, 10:55:58 AM »
Why would I take up a claim that I've said I don't care about what they think?
Then why did you bother to take it up with me. Take it up with both or neither

Nearly Sane

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Re: Six Nations 2019
« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2019, 11:03:06 AM »
Then why did you bother to take it up with me. Take it up with both or neither
I didn't take up what Schmidt and Jones think with you. I questioned you making best and most important synonymous. Jeremy hasn't stated that so why would I take it up with him. And that's leaving aside that I can take up anything with whomsoever I choose.

Anyway - the Six Nations weekend - what are your thoughts?

ProfessorDavey

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Re: Six Nations 2019
« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2019, 11:09:36 AM »
I questioned you making best and most important synonymous.
Which I have responded to - in the context of a top professional (such as an international coach) as far as I'm concerned they are synonymous.

Nearly Sane

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Re: Six Nations 2019
« Reply #23 on: February 08, 2019, 11:13:35 AM »
Which I have responded to - in the context of a top professional (such as an international coach) as far as I'm concerned they are synonymous.
So anyway what about this 6 nations weekend?

ProfessorDavey

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Re: Six Nations 2019
« Reply #24 on: February 08, 2019, 11:24:40 AM »
So anyway what about this 6 nations weekend?
Most likely is that Wales beat Italy, Ireland beat Scotland and England beat France.

If that happens after just 2 games there will be 2 teams (Italy and France) who won't even make any kind of pretence as to being interested in the tournament but will be in full on try out fringe players to finalise the likely squad for the autumn.

What would be interesting would be if Scotland beat Ireland (not impossible) and then Schmidt will also be in full on preparation games for the world cup.

Interesting that Jones has brought in Ashton in a completely unforced change to Nowell who according to all reports had a great game last weekend. Completely justified tactical change, or giving a player who hasn't been part of the team for a while some game time with a view to selection choices for the Autumn? ;)
« Last Edit: February 08, 2019, 11:35:33 AM by ProfessorDavey »