We’ve Gone Meta!

As MrGreysuit was kind enough to do this, we feel it deserves an audience.

This is what it says on the tin. No science or clever analysis here. Just one bored person and some by-eye counting of topics mentioned in the Scotland – Ireland MOTM blog, up to mid-morning.


Note: “witticisms / responses / off topic” includes cricket, blog steals, Larry giggling about RoG, the Oscars and complaints about Edinburgh’s tram system amongst other things. We’re an eclectic lot aren’t we.

About sagmog

Just the facts, man.
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633 Responses to We’ve Gone Meta!

  1. crovier says:

    beadle- anythoughts on what was going through his mind when he decided to pick up the ball in front of the ref while lying over a ruck?

  2. Archie says:

    @ crovier,

    I think that’s the big thing about Robshaw: does the basics really well and doesn’t make mistakes in his own game. That’s a BFD at test level I think.

    I was watching the replay and it’s amazing how often he is in the right place — like covering for the lack of say BFB Morgan at the restarts. Seems to win penalties in contact too (even when he takes the ball in!)

  3. crovier says:

    The entire Lancaster project seems to be based entirely on not making mistakes and in many ways Robshaw is the epitome of this.

  4. Archie says:

    @ shibui,

    the HASK to cover flanker/second row? Shirley he has the GUNS for it?

  5. crovier says:

    scratch entirely- thats not fair.
    Based in the first instance on not making mistakes would be more accurate

  6. beadleclawuk says:

    @crovier – I imagine he was contemplating the means by which the process of poetical construction, whilst trying to obliquely express the essence of reality, nevertheless is ultimately doomed to failure and was caught momentarily in a melancholic absence…

  7. Archie says:

    @ crovier,

    That’s probably the best summary of it I’ve heard so far!

    I was just about to say: in Woodward-speak, Throbs, Wood, Barritt and generally speaking Farrell and Brown ooze TCUP at test level.

  8. Shibui says:

    Re Lions back row, I think Robshaw and Wood come as a pair if you want to get the best out of them. No doubt neither of them would let the side down if played alone, but they suit each other so well and have developed such an understanding that it would seem perverse to break up the partnership. If you do play Wood/Robshaw you need a big ball-carrier and SOB is the best we have available- he’s more consistent than Beattie, doesn’t tire like Morgan. I don’t think Toby Faletau’s carrying is his strongest suit- it’s pretty good, but it’s not the reason you pick him. If you want a first-rank ball-carrier who can also clear up scrappy ball, tackle/counter-ruck etc., then it’s SOB. He’s a quick enough learner to pull it off, too.

    That isn’t to say there aren’t other equally plausible Lions loose trios in which SOB plays seven.

  9. crovier says:

    @ beadle
    Great stuff-amazingly enough I think that expresses the look on his face when wayne barnes blew for a penalty!

    Any more Thor articles on the way?
    (It was you wasn’t it?)

  10. crovier says:

    Sorry not up on Woodward speak- TCUP??

  11. Archie says:

    @ shibui,

    I think that’s a fair point. I think Wood is probably a better 6, but in some ways the way the England back-five forward — and particularly the flankers — play means that the whole “genuine xxx-side” argument is a bit moot!

  12. Archie says:

    @ crovier

    Thinking Correctly Under Pressure

  13. crovier says:

    @ Archie
    Management speak was one of the many things that I hated about Woodward!

  14. sagmog says:

    Sorry not up on Woodward speak- TCUP??

    Receptacle used to consume tea.
    Very important at half-time.

  15. Archie says:

    (I think more generally he used it in the sense of: consistently thinking correctly under pressure in test match situations — aka big-match abillity / strong mentality or whatever you want to call it)

  16. Archie says:

    Woodward is a bit of a nob — the best thing about him being on the BBC is that he’s not messing up the England camp!

  17. beadleclawuk says:

    @crovier – Guilty as charged. I just need two things to write some more, a flashbulb of inspiration and then some free time. I’m a slow creature these days…

  18. Shibui says:

    Not sure if you were joking, Archie, but there’s no way I want Hask anywhere near the second row. He’d be as bad as Lawes on the blindside on Saturday. In the longer term we have to hope that either Morgan’s fitness improves to the extent that England can select him knowing he will last the whole eighty if he really has to, thus obviating the need for specialist eight cover, and/or Billy V overtakes him. If Morgan’s fitness is a continuing problem, then Wood is a passable eight but the carrying has to come from elsewhere. I like Kvesic, but he’s a long way from looking like a Test-class eight at the moment, and I’d rather see him focus on becoming a useful stand-in for Robshaw (who will take a knock sooner or later). I wish we could pinch Iain Henderson- covers blindside and lock with equal ferocity, big ball-carrier. None of the English flanker-lock hybrids have the same bite, despite their other qualities.

  19. Archie says:

    Well @ Shibui, one must never take the HASK’s name in vain within the pages of his own diary …

    Joking aside, on a bench you have two players to cover the five loose forwards. Potentially that’s a lot of different roles to cover.

    So looking at the way injuries might go (leaving aside tactical/fitness concerns):
    Lose Wood: you need a blind side
    Lose Throbs: Wood to 7, you need a blind side
    Lose Morgan: Move Wood to 8, you need a blind side OR you need an 8 (ideally given the way Throbs and Wood play)
    All quite dependet on not losing Wood!
    Loose Launch/Parling: you need a lock.

    So I guess logically you would like a bench with a lock who can cover flanker at a push and then a genuine back row forward, in England’s case probably a 6/8 (aka the HASK!)

  20. Shibui says:

    Archie- you make a good point about the English back five operating as a unit- if the Lions were fielding (say) O’Connell and AWJ, I’m not sure Wood/Robshaw would work at all. There are lots of tantalising possibilities, but you have to strike such a fine balance…

    I really rate Robshaw, but honestly if forced to choose I’d have to say I’d rather see Wood and no Robshaw than Robshaw and no Wood. I could see Wood working well with SOB and Faletau in a way I couldn’t see Robshaw working quite so well without Wood; Robshaw is so involved in everything that you need a player like Wood just to hit the ruck when Robshaw carries, get in early so Robshaw can slow the ball down, etc. etc. Wood could do what he does for anyone; Robshaw needs a complimentary partner to truly shine. Compare the difference between Croft/Robshaw last year and Wood/Robshaw this. Robshaw’s come on, but I think Wood must take some of the credit.

  21. Shibui says:

    The thing is, Archie, I don’t really like Hask at eight either. He gets put on his arse too easily, despite his hallowed GUNS. England don’t have anyone genuinely capable of playing at six and eight, any more than they have a Henderson-style flanker/lock.

    The really troubling weakness is at lock though- if we lost Parling I think we’d really suffer, especially if he were out for an extended period. That complicates things even further. So in this ideal world we’re so busily constructing you would actually want a straight swap for Parling at lock, and then a genuine utility forward, Danie Rossouw style, who could do a job partnering Parling/his deputy, or cover for Morgan, or on the flank.

    We’re a long way from that though.

  22. Archie says:

    @ shibui,

    That’s a very fair point about the England flankers — except that I’m afraid to say that the stats from last year’s 6n show that in general Croft was pretty anonymous and Robshaw was immense! Also: no Launchbury (massive difference) and a very BF Morgan and Waldrom at 8 — not exactly a fair comparison. Wood is immense and better suited to more combinations than Robshaw, who is probably more “upgradable”… but who do you really, on 6N form, upgrade him to? or on Autumn international form? It’s a tricky one!

  23. Archie says:

    @ shibui,

    if we lost Parling I think we’d really suffer

    Many times yes.

    I can imagine Lancaster’s selection meetings go:

    everyone else!

  24. triskaidekaphobia says:

    @Crash (5 pages back)

    Saw the Tommy Bowe documentary and was impressed by the amount of monitoring and research. Well worth anyone – not just the Irish taking a look. Also impressed by the man himself – seemed very level headed and clear sighted.


    as to yesterday – well, when it got to 8-3 I told my wife that we were going to lose 9-8. It was clear the way the game was going. And sure enough, we gave away dumb penalties as ever.
    I think I commented after the Argentina game that at half-time it was 24-9 but the Puma 10 had missed a couple of easy ones. Straight after ht, Argentina scored another – a game we were winning easily could have been 24-18.
    Sure enough, we gave Scotland a way back into that game. And fair play to them to take it.

    I was following the to-and-fro between kjh and FD.
    Yes, you can blame the players for butchering chances – but then you’ve got to blame the person who picked them too.

    General thoughts – It was bad to arrive into a match with a “non-kicking” (to an extent) out-half and an out-of-form deputy. There’s such a thing a succession planning and we seem to have
    thought that there was no way Sexton would ever have gotten injured and that O’Gara would never lose form to such an extent. I don’t know what pressures
    have been on Kidney but persistently players have been overlooked or not given a chance until some external influence such as injury or retirement make the
    decision for us. (How long did it take for Ross to get picked? We all now rave about O’Brien – but he was tearing up trees for Leinster for a good while before he got a look in, and I’m sure there are others).
    The ridiculous rigmarole that we’ve seen of “Sexton to 12 on 60 mins” could have been an opportunity to have given Jackson, or Keatley, or Madigan an opportunity with the main kicker still available – and I’m
    not suggesting that any of them is the second coming.

    I could write more but it is 2am in Bucharest – so I’m off to bed

  25. Shibui says:

    For the avoidance of doubt, the above comment is not a dig at Robshaw, nor do I think Wood is better at what he does than Robshaw is at what he does, or better in general. All I meant to say is that by their very nature sevens need sixes to shine, and I see fewer credible replacements for Wood than I do for Robshaw as things stand. Thus, if I had to choose only one, on pain of death, it would be Wood.

    If there were an outstanding ball-carrying eight around (a British or Irish Picamoles) I think we’d no longer be having any discussions about the Lions back row. It would be Wood/Robshaw and British/Irish Picamoles with SOB on the bench.

    As things stand, I think SOB stands the best chance of becoming that kind of player, so at the moment I’d take a punt on SOB at eight for the Lions with Kelly Brown on the bench as the closest you’ll get to a like for like replacement for either Wood or Robshaw.

  26. Archie says:

    @ shibu
    That’s a tasty Lions selection!

  27. avsfan says:

    Just read an article in Rugby Heaven from the Sydney Morning Herald. They are already bricking at the thought of 112 kgs of Samoan coming at them in the form of Manu.

  28. @ avs

    That was written by Paul Cully, I am pretty sure if you found the articles he wrote about wales before their tour you could just do a find and replace on the name Roberts with Tuilagi and you would end up with that article. He is pretty focused on why the Wallabies are going to fail at every moment. It derives from him being a Kiwi brought up in the Northern Hemisphere, he is full of irrational hard as a result.

  29. Hatred not hard…autocorrect.

  30. Crisp ball off the top is the cue for the heavyweight Welsh back line to swing into action. For those struggling to conceptualise the size of their wingers, imagine if the All Blacks had selected Julian Savea and Hosea Gear – and then throw in a tip. George North pushes the needle towards the 110 kilogram mark and Alex Cuthbert is not far behind.

    For example, not Roberts, but you get the point.

  31. In the centres, there is no reason to split the partnership of Jamie Roberts and Johnathan Davies, a mix of brute power and classy touches. And they are only going to get better. Roberts is still only 25 and at 109kg gets over the gainline like no other back in world rugby. The Wallabies are still searching for their midfield.

    On one wing would lurk the 110kg George North, whose surprisingly light feet and security under the high ball makes him much more than just a bulldozer.

    And another example.

  32. avsfan says:

    OK, OK, I get the message……:-)

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