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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:27 pm 
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I like haggis wrote:
Difference for me is Hogg will win you games but Mike Brown won't lose you them.

England don't need to rely on one or two players the same way Scotland do so Brown suits them and Hogg suits us.


Even the bit in bold isn't necessarily true - if he crowbars an otherwise certain overlap for a try and we lose by < 5 points then he'll have lost us a game!

I'm a Brown fan because he is normally very consistent... but if we had Hogg as an option I can't think of many people who'd not be selecting him instead?!?

(Except Chuckles of course)


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:29 pm 
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Chips wrote:
ManInTheBar wrote:
Total nonsense, even by your standards


Quote:
I do agree that keeping the ball is a good tactic



From ad hominem to agreement in one post. Rare but not unknown.


You really have NO idea what 'ad hominem' means, do you?

As for the other, keeping the ball includes running the ball in for tries as we have done in recent years. Apparently you are not in favour.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:29 pm 
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pjm1 wrote:
I like haggis wrote:
Difference for me is Hogg will win you games but Mike Brown won't lose you them.

England don't need to rely on one or two players the same way Scotland do so Brown suits them and Hogg suits us.


Even the bit in bold isn't necessarily true - if he crowbars an otherwise certain overlap for a try and we lose by < 5 points then he'll have lost us a game!

I'm a Brown fan because he is normally very consistent... but if we had Hogg as an option I can't think of many people who'd not be selecting him instead?!?

(Except Chuckles of course)


I reckon it's a Liam Williams / 1/2p thing, and I reckon (and have always argued on here) that solid and dependable fullbacks are far more valuable to a team than attacking ones.

I don't think it's a coincidence that the 3 best teams in the 6 nations, all coached by canny and knowledgeable sorts, continue to pick solid and dependable fullbacks over potentially more attacking ones.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:31 pm 
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Jeff the Bear wrote:
pjm1 wrote:
I like haggis wrote:
Difference for me is Hogg will win you games but Mike Brown won't lose you them.

England don't need to rely on one or two players the same way Scotland do so Brown suits them and Hogg suits us.


Even the bit in bold isn't necessarily true - if he crowbars an otherwise certain overlap for a try and we lose by < 5 points then he'll have lost us a game!

I'm a Brown fan because he is normally very consistent... but if we had Hogg as an option I can't think of many people who'd not be selecting him instead?!?

(Except Chuckles of course)


I reckon it's a Liam Williams / 1/2p thing, and I reckon (and have always argued on here) that solid and dependable fullbacks are far more valuable to a team than attacking ones.

I don't think it's a coincidence that the 3 best teams in the 6 nations, all coached by canny and knowledgeable sorts, continue to pick solid and dependable fullbacks over potentially more attacking ones.


For a Welshist, you're alight!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:33 pm 
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ManInTheBar wrote:
Chips wrote:
ManInTheBar wrote:
Total nonsense, even by your standards


Quote:
I do agree that keeping the ball is a good tactic



From ad hominem to agreement in one post. Rare but not unknown.


You really have NO idea what 'ad hominem' means, do you?

As for the other, keeping the ball includes running the ball in for tries as we have done in recent years. Apparently you are not in favour.



Trust me, you're out of your depth.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:37 pm 
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Jeff the Bear wrote:
pjm1 wrote:
I like haggis wrote:
Difference for me is Hogg will win you games but Mike Brown won't lose you them.

England don't need to rely on one or two players the same way Scotland do so Brown suits them and Hogg suits us.


Even the bit in bold isn't necessarily true - if he crowbars an otherwise certain overlap for a try and we lose by < 5 points then he'll have lost us a game!

I'm a Brown fan because he is normally very consistent... but if we had Hogg as an option I can't think of many people who'd not be selecting him instead?!?

(Except Chuckles of course)


I reckon it's a Liam Williams / 1/2p thing, and I reckon (and have always argued on here) that solid and dependable fullbacks are far more valuable to a team than attacking ones.

I don't think it's a coincidence that the 3 best teams in the 6 nations, all coached by canny and knowledgeable sorts, continue to pick solid and dependable fullbacks over potentially more attacking ones.


I have no doubt Eddie, Gatland and Schmidt are WAY better selectors than any of us...

But I don't really see us as having a Hogg option at FB. We have Watson (who's the closest) but by putting him at FB then we lose him at wing. And his record on the wing speaks for itself... so unless we stuck Nowell there, all of the other alternatives are far weaker overall than Brown.

So it's all speculation really!

You're right that inconsistent FBs can cause problems... I guess we all pine for the Mike Brown consistency and Hogg flair :shock:


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:41 pm 
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pjm1 wrote:
But I don't really see us as having a Hogg option at FB. We have Watson (who's the closest) but by putting him at FB then we lose him at wing. And his record on the wing speaks for itself... so unless we stuck Nowell there, all of the other alternatives are far weaker overall than Brown.

So it's all speculation really!

You're right that inconsistent FBs can cause problems... I guess we all pine for the Mike Brown consistency and Hogg flair :shock:



I'd say Daly is closer to Hogg than Watson.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:46 pm 
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Chips wrote:
ManInTheBar wrote:
Chips wrote:
ManInTheBar wrote:
Total nonsense, even by your standards


Quote:
I do agree that keeping the ball is a good tactic



From ad hominem to agreement in one post. Rare but not unknown.


You really have NO idea what 'ad hominem' means, do you?

As for the other, keeping the ball includes running the ball in for tries as we have done in recent years. Apparently you are not in favour.



Trust me, you're out of your depth.


Name someone who trusts you


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:47 pm 
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ManInTheBar wrote:

Name someone who trusts you



Your mum


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:49 pm 
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Chips wrote:
ManInTheBar wrote:

Name someone who trusts you



Your mum


Come on, her saying, "I love me chips, I do" is not her trusting you ;)


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:50 pm 
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Chips wrote:
ManInTheBar wrote:

Name someone who trusts you



Your mum


Dead 3 years and 54 days. Demented and off her head for another 10 years. Try me


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:58 pm 
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pjm1 wrote:
Jeff the Bear wrote:
pjm1 wrote:
I like haggis wrote:
Difference for me is Hogg will win you games but Mike Brown won't lose you them.

England don't need to rely on one or two players the same way Scotland do so Brown suits them and Hogg suits us.


Even the bit in bold isn't necessarily true - if he crowbars an otherwise certain overlap for a try and we lose by < 5 points then he'll have lost us a game!

I'm a Brown fan because he is normally very consistent... but if we had Hogg as an option I can't think of many people who'd not be selecting him instead?!?

(Except Chuckles of course)


I reckon it's a Liam Williams / 1/2p thing, and I reckon (and have always argued on here) that solid and dependable fullbacks are far more valuable to a team than attacking ones.

I don't think it's a coincidence that the 3 best teams in the 6 nations, all coached by canny and knowledgeable sorts, continue to pick solid and dependable fullbacks over potentially more attacking ones.


I have no doubt Eddie, Gatland and Schmidt are WAY better selectors than any of us...

But I don't really see us as having a Hogg option at FB. We have Watson (who's the closest) but by putting him at FB then we lose him at wing. And his record on the wing speaks for itself... so unless we stuck Nowell there, all of the other alternatives are far weaker overall than Brown.

So it's all speculation really!

You're right that inconsistent FBs can cause problems... I guess we all pine for the Mike Brown consistency and Hogg flair :shock:


Well I reckon for those coaches (all coaches?), it's not a question of either/or, it's only a question of solid and dependable, with attacking on top (i.e. the only way those 3 coaches would drop any of their favoured fullbacks for an 'attacking' one, is if the attacking one was equally as dependable as well).

And this is backed up by how the coaches talk about those players. It's not as if they are grudgingly pickin these, supposedly inferior, players. When they talk about them, they are nothing less than effusive in their praise:

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/int ... mike-brown

I've just had a quick look, but can't quite find it...but Gatland, prior to the Scotland game, was talking up 1/2p and his outstanding stats with regards to meters covered etc., and all the unseen work he does with his positioning.

As noted above, I'm also firmly on that bandwagon that the only superior fullbacks to defensively solid fullbacks, are defensively solid fullbacks who also attack. Poor defending attacking fullbacks are way down the list in my opinion.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:02 pm 
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I'm not convinced Hogg is a bad defender though... he may not be at Brown's 2012 best but Brown hadn't been at his 2012 best defensively (especially on the high balls) for a while until the Wales game.

Hogg is a decent defender who is an exceptional attacker.

Brown is a very good defender who has a very limited and one-dimensional attacking play.

I see it more of a horses for courses decision than a straight, "Brown wins".

Of course, I'm not-so-secretly hoping we now kick everything to Hogg and he has a mare, but if that happens, I'd be surprised and delighted in equal measure!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:04 pm 
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Worth noting in perhaps Garland's best achievement to date be used Liam Williams at fullback.

It is what it is. Scotland won't beat anyone up like Wales, England and Ireland can and therefore a solid defensive fullback would do nothing for us.

Hogg is our talisman. I wouldn't swap him for any of these defensively solid fullbacks.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:08 pm 
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Location: Near Milecastle 11 Hadrian's Wall
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I don't do archeology


Based on your inability to accurately place a 80 odd mile World Heritage site built around AD 122 this admission does not surprise me.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:08 pm 
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pjm1 wrote:
I'm not convinced Hogg is a bad defender though... he may not be at Brown's 2012 best but Brown hadn't been at his 2012 best defensively (especially on the high balls) for a while until the Wales game.

Hogg is a decent defender who is an exceptional attacker.

Brown is a very good defender who has a very limited and one-dimensional attacking play.

I see it more of a horses for courses decision than a straight, "Brown wins".

Of course, I'm not-so-secretly hoping we now kick everything to Hogg and he has a mare, but if that happens, I'd be surprised and delighted in equal measure!



Against Wales, Brown knocked two catches on and gave away a penalty for not releasing returning the first one he caught. And he got skinned by Williams but was saved by Underhill. It was not a MoM performance.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:08 pm 
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pjm1 wrote:
I'm not convinced Hogg is a bad defender though... he may not be at Brown's 2012 best but Brown hadn't been at his 2012 best defensively (especially on the high balls) for a while until the Wales game.

Hogg is a decent defender who is an exceptional attacker.

Brown is a very good defender who has a very limited and one-dimensional attacking play.

I see it more of a horses for courses decision than a straight, "Brown wins".

Of course, I'm not-so-secretly hoping we now kick everything to Hogg and he has a mare, but if that happens, I'd be surprised and delighted in equal measure!


Hogg's defence is like George Ford's goalkicking. You never know when it's going to to go pot, but it's usually actually pretty good despite the criticism.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:10 pm 
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Also, fuck me has the standard of match threads nosedived this year.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:13 pm 
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Chips wrote:
pjm1 wrote:
I'm not convinced Hogg is a bad defender though... he may not be at Brown's 2012 best but Brown hadn't been at his 2012 best defensively (especially on the high balls) for a while until the Wales game.

Hogg is a decent defender who is an exceptional attacker.

Brown is a very good defender who has a very limited and one-dimensional attacking play.

I see it more of a horses for courses decision than a straight, "Brown wins".

Of course, I'm not-so-secretly hoping we now kick everything to Hogg and he has a mare, but if that happens, I'd be surprised and delighted in equal measure!



Against Wales, Brown knocked two catches on and gave away a penalty for not releasing returning the first one he caught. And he got skinned by Williams but was saved by Underhill. It was not a MoM performance.


Image


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:17 pm 
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pjm1 wrote:
I'm not convinced Hogg is a bad defender though... he may not be at Brown's 2012 best but Brown hadn't been at his 2012 best defensively (especially on the high balls) for a while until the Wales game.

Hogg is a decent defender who is an exceptional attacker.

Brown is a very good defender who has a very limited and one-dimensional attacking play.

I see it more of a horses for courses decision than a straight, "Brown wins".

Of course, I'm not-so-secretly hoping we now kick everything to Hogg and he has a mare, but if that happens, I'd be surprised and delighted in equal measure!


In my opinion, Hogg is an average tackler with average positioning. He is however the best out-and-out attacking fullback on the planet though. So I can understand why he gets the love, and he is nowhere near a bad fullback.

But in the rarefied air of international rugby, it is almost always the team with the best defence that wins the game...so it should be no surprise that coaches will cling to defensively solid players in the most defensively exposed position on the pitch.

P.S. Found that Gatland quote on 1/2p:

Quote:
To me, he is the best defensive full-back in the world, with his positional play. His work-rate is absolutely phenomenal when you see the numbers after a game and look at how hard he has worked compared to anybody else and the amount of metres he has covered.

So it’s pleasing to see him get some confidence from an attacking perspective and then to also finish it with a fantastic goal-kicking display.


https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rug ... d-14242880

That's not the words of a man that is 'having' to pick 1/2p...that's the words of a man that wants to pick 1/2p.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:26 pm 
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Another good contribution JtB.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:26 pm 
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JM2K6 wrote:
pjm1 wrote:
I'm not convinced Hogg is a bad defender though... he may not be at Brown's 2012 best but Brown hadn't been at his 2012 best defensively (especially on the high balls) for a while until the Wales game.

Hogg is a decent defender who is an exceptional attacker.

Brown is a very good defender who has a very limited and one-dimensional attacking play.

I see it more of a horses for courses decision than a straight, "Brown wins".

Of course, I'm not-so-secretly hoping we now kick everything to Hogg and he has a mare, but if that happens, I'd be surprised and delighted in equal measure!


Hogg's defence is like George Ford's goalkicking. You never know when it's going to to go pot, but it's usually actually pretty good despite the criticism.


For me, this is a spot on comparison. His defence is “good enough” and his attack is just too good to leave out even when Farrell is the more reliable alternative. It’s for this reason I reckon Eddie would pick a Hogg over a Brown if he had the choice (which he doesn’t!)


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:31 pm 
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Mike Brown running into space

Image

Image

And if you look here you can see that he had 2 men on his right that were unmarked.

Image


We teach kids as young as 7 and 8 to hold the ball in two hands.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:39 pm 
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pjm1 wrote:
I like haggis wrote:
Difference for me is Hogg will win you games but Mike Brown won't lose you them.

England don't need to rely on one or two players the same way Scotland do so Brown suits them and Hogg suits us.


Even the bit in bold isn't necessarily true - if he crowbars an otherwise certain overlap for a try and we lose by < 5 points then he'll have lost us a game!

I'm a Brown fan because he is normally very consistent... but if we had Hogg as an option I can't think of many people who'd not be selecting him instead?!?

(Except Chuckles of course)


croyals. I rated Hogg as better than Brown, and never said I wouldn't have him in my team over Brown.

Re the crowbar point, bored FACTs notwithstanding he will actually throw a pass under the right circumstances. Given he passes pretty freely for Quins it seems pretty clear that he's under instructions to set up rucks on the counter.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:51 pm 
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For all his weasel ways, I would take Hogg over Brown.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:02 pm 
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Mick Mannock wrote:
For all his weasel ways, I would take Hogg over Brown.

Eh, Hogg is just a better weasel than Brown.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:05 pm 
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Wahey! Gifs! The true measure of an argument.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:08 pm 
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And on a less tribal note, there was a good hour long chat between Matt Dawson and Ian Robertson on Radio 5 just now.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:09 pm 
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The Man Without Fear wrote:
Wahey! Gifs! The true measure of an argument.



A picture paints a 1000 words but a gif is worth 3 pages.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:16 pm 
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Chips wrote:
The Man Without Fear wrote:
Wahey! Gifs! The true measure of an argument.



A picture paints a 1000 words but a gif is worth 3 pages.


Of people laughing at you.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:39 pm 
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Chips wrote:
pjm1 wrote:
I'm not convinced Hogg is a bad defender though... he may not be at Brown's 2012 best but Brown hadn't been at his 2012 best defensively (especially on the high balls) for a while until the Wales game.

Hogg is a decent defender who is an exceptional attacker.

Brown is a very good defender who has a very limited and one-dimensional attacking play.

I see it more of a horses for courses decision than a straight, "Brown wins".

Of course, I'm not-so-secretly hoping we now kick everything to Hogg and he has a mare, but if that happens, I'd be surprised and delighted in equal measure!



Against Wales, Brown knocked two catches on and gave away a penalty for not releasing returning the first one he caught. And he got skinned by Williams but was saved by Underhill. It was not a MoM performance.


Give it a rest Toga - he got hung out to dry by a 3 on 1 overlap.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:39 pm 
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The Man Without Fear wrote:
Chips wrote:
The Man Without Fear wrote:
Wahey! Gifs! The true measure of an argument.



A picture paints a 1000 words but a gif is worth 3 pages.


Of people laughing at you.




Bringing humour to PR. By Christ it needs it.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:42 pm 
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ovalball wrote:
Chips wrote:
pjm1 wrote:
I'm not convinced Hogg is a bad defender though... he may not be at Brown's 2012 best but Brown hadn't been at his 2012 best defensively (especially on the high balls) for a while until the Wales game.

Hogg is a decent defender who is an exceptional attacker.

Brown is a very good defender who has a very limited and one-dimensional attacking play.

I see it more of a horses for courses decision than a straight, "Brown wins".

Of course, I'm not-so-secretly hoping we now kick everything to Hogg and he has a mare, but if that happens, I'd be surprised and delighted in equal measure!



Against Wales, Brown knocked two catches on and gave away a penalty for not releasing returning the first one he caught. And he got skinned by Williams but was saved by Underhill. It was not a MoM performance.


Give it a rest Toga - he got hung out to dry by a 3 on 1 overlap.




I was told yesterday than Alex Goode personally, on his own, cost England two 6Ns victories. Not a word of disagreement was posted.

Brown is shite and he's getting worse. Goode is not the answer either before you conflate this line with the one above.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:04 am 
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The Man Without Fear wrote:
And on a less tribal note, there was a good hour long chat between Matt Dawson and Ian Robertson on Radio 5 just now.

That is an oxymoron Shirley?


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:16 am 
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Chips wrote:
ovalball wrote:
Chips wrote:
pjm1 wrote:
I'm not convinced Hogg is a bad defender though... he may not be at Brown's 2012 best but Brown hadn't been at his 2012 best defensively (especially on the high balls) for a while until the Wales game.

Hogg is a decent defender who is an exceptional attacker.

Brown is a very good defender who has a very limited and one-dimensional attacking play.

I see it more of a horses for courses decision than a straight, "Brown wins".

Of course, I'm not-so-secretly hoping we now kick everything to Hogg and he has a mare, but if that happens, I'd be surprised and delighted in equal measure!



Against Wales, Brown knocked two catches on and gave away a penalty for not releasing returning the first one he caught. And he got skinned by Williams but was saved by Underhill. It was not a MoM performance.


Give it a rest Toga - he got hung out to dry by a 3 on 1 overlap.




I was told yesterday than Alex Goode personally, on his own, cost England two 6Ns victories. Not a word of disagreement was posted.

Brown is shite and he's getting worse. Goode is not the answer either before you conflate this line with the one above.



I've no idea what point you're trying to make about Goode or what it has to do with Brown. But, quite clearly, Brown is not shite - anyone saying he is, shouldn't be taken very seriously.

I don't think Brown is brilliant - but he does bring certain qualities to the side - and, no alternative is really pulling up trees in a bid to replace him.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:28 am 
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ovalball wrote:
I've no idea what point you're trying to make about Goode or what it has to do with Brown. But, quite clearly, Brown is not shite - anyone saying he is, shouldn't be taken very seriously.

I don't think Brown is brilliant - but he does bring certain qualities to the side - and, no alternative is really pulling up trees in a bid to replace him.



You think the accusation about Goode is ok?

I'm not defending Goode per se, just demonstrating how ridiculous the narrative gets in here when a particular player is judged harshly. It also goes the opposite way where other players get a free pass regardless of their obvious failings. Knock-ons are ignored, turnovers forgotten, overlaps ignored.

The PR Quins Quartet tend to only have one eye between them.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:44 am 
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Chips wrote:
ovalball wrote:
I've no idea what point you're trying to make about Goode or what it has to do with Brown. But, quite clearly, Brown is not shite - anyone saying he is, shouldn't be taken very seriously.

I don't think Brown is brilliant - but he does bring certain qualities to the side - and, no alternative is really pulling up trees in a bid to replace him.



You think the accusation about Goode is ok?

I'm not defending Goode per se, just demonstrating how ridiculous the narrative gets in here when a particular player is judged harshly. It also goes the opposite way where other players get a free pass regardless of their obvious failings. Knock-ons are ignored, turnovers forgotten, overlaps ignored.

The PR Quins Quartet tend to only have one eye between them.


And you think that calling Brown 'shite' is the way to engender more rational discussion :?

I didn't see the Goode example - all I can say is that I don't think he's done very well in an England shirt - which is disappointing because he's had some great games for Sarries.

Quins supporters on here are a law unto themselves - they aren't very representative.

I'd also add, though, that Brown has received plenty of stick on here over the last 2 years. But I think it has been recognised that he's shown better form recently - and the alternatives aren't knocking the door down.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:53 am 
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I'd swap Brown for Willie Le Roux.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:01 am 
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ovalball wrote:
Chips wrote:
ovalball wrote:
I've no idea what point you're trying to make about Goode or what it has to do with Brown. But, quite clearly, Brown is not shite - anyone saying he is, shouldn't be taken very seriously.

I don't think Brown is brilliant - but he does bring certain qualities to the side - and, no alternative is really pulling up trees in a bid to replace him.



You think the accusation about Goode is ok?

I'm not defending Goode per se, just demonstrating how ridiculous the narrative gets in here when a particular player is judged harshly. It also goes the opposite way where other players get a free pass regardless of their obvious failings. Knock-ons are ignored, turnovers forgotten, overlaps ignored.

The PR Quins Quartet tend to only have one eye between them.


And you think that calling Brown 'shite' is the way to engender more rational discussion :?

I didn't see the Goode example - all I can say is that I don't think he's done very well in an England shirt - which is disappointing because he's had some great games for Sarries.

Quins supporters on here are a law unto themselves - they aren't very representative.

I'd also add, though, that Brown has received plenty of stick on here over the last 2 years. But I think it has been recognised that he's shown better form recently - and the alternatives aren't knocking the door down.




Rational discussion?! I'd love to...

Yes, Brown isn't 'shite', of course he isn't. It was a sort of poetic license I used in the spirit of this place and accusations thrown at his peers. I wrote yesterday about what (I think) the 4-year RWC cycle means in terms of selection. The shortest precis I could get was getting 'The best of the best to play the best of their best in Q3 2019'. I admit it sounds a bit mission statement corporate speak but in essence, it is what it is. As an elite group, you have to believe that the group will be better players, by every metric you measure them by, in Q3 2019. That is what elite team preparation is all about. Now, if you believe that players like Brown, Hartley, Cole, Youngs, Care etc will be better players in Q3 2019 then that is fair enough, your opinion is just as valid as mine. However, if you don't believe that then it is frustrating to see players picking up England caps that you judge to be in decline.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:16 am 
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Chips wrote:

Rational discussion?! I'd love to...

Yes, Brown isn't 'shite', of course he isn't. It was a sort of poetic license I used in the spirit of this place and accusations thrown at his peers. I wrote yesterday about what (I think) the 4-year RWC cycle means in terms of selection. The shortest precis I could get was getting 'The best of the best to play the best of their best in Q3 2019'. I admit it sounds a bit mission statement corporate speak but in essence, it is what it is. As an elite group, you have to believe that the group will be better players, by every metric you measure them by, in Q3 2019. That is what elite team preparation is all about. Now, if you believe that players like Brown, Hartley, Cole, Youngs, Care etc will be better players in Q3 2019 then that is fair enough, your opinion is just as valid as mine. However, if you don't believe that then it is frustrating to see players picking up England caps that you judge to be in decline.


And there's where I agree with you. I think you also have to assess whether an alternative player will be better by 2019 - and you do need a few 'old hands' - but I worry about the number of players we have that are probably in decline. We'll have to wait and see what Eddie does - but I don't think Hartley, Cole and Brown are moving on any time soon. And Care and Youngs are nailed on.

We could almost do with a defeat or two to move things along.


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