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@RugbyLocos - my reply to you was much briefer than yours to my comments! I hope your confidence is Hook is repaid - it rarely is when he takes the international field.
Posted 13:07 15th June 2012
You don't half ramble mate!!!......No one is saying that James Hook is perfect, just that he should be given a proper chance to stake a claim for the Nš10 jersey - especially while Priestland is evidently lacking at present - no one can deny that Priestland played an absolute howler last weekend - his poor kicking and double handling error put wales on the back foot.
With regard to tackling Hook has also improved greatly (barbarians 8 successful tackles from 8 attempts as opposed to Biggars 5 tackles from 8 attempts).
Hook has proven himself in France this year at Nš10 and has regained his confidence. He is the only Welsh Nš10 capable of making a difference in attack - and this weekend Wales need to take it to the Aussies big-time - 100% - and from the starting whistle.
As for not wanting to knock Rhys confidence: Rugby is a professional sport and professionals understand that if they don't perform they get dropped until they prove themselves again - this is how the SH teams approach the subject and is the reason why they have long occupied the top 3 positions in World rugby.
Posted 11:47 15th June 2012
@jontheref - why would someone who supports the Ospreys and who criticised Priestland be using rose (Scarlet) tinted spectacles - that really is a daft remark isn't it, without going into any further detail.
I must admit that only a mad man would think Hook played well last weekend. He was awful. Did he make a tackle?? Did he directly cost Wales 7 points??? Have you forgotten that he generally can't tackle, isn't that quick, can't catch (see RWC), can't kick tactically (why he couldn't even play 10 for the Ospreys) etc?? I think I sense bias and a complete lack of memory!
Utter rubbish about Priestland costing Wales that number of points - evidence please?
As for the costing of points by Hook, just think of Genia and one of the most pathetic attempts at a tackle ever. Of course Hook has a record of this - games against Australia and South Africa spring to mind. I'm sure you now recall. Then we enter the zone of the Hook interception. I've seen numerous ones of these over the years - remember France 2010 for example.
Do you remember Hook being caught with a run in by a Glasgow prop?? That takes some doing with a head start!!
So what spectacles are you wearing, or perhaps you just have a white stick in your hand.
Sorry mate, but you deserved that kickin after your completely misguided criticism of my comments. All the best - hope you aren't too embarassed.
Posted 20:13 14th June 2012
Seems you were watching the games through rose(Scarlet) tinted specs!
Priestland was great at the RWC, and in the Ireland game.
Since then he has not fired.
Hook by comparison, showed his class when he came on, out of position last saturday.
Played very well, albeit against a lesser team on Tuesday.
Grand Slam 10 in 2008, give him his chance.
At the start of Gatlands reign, you were dropped if you cost the team 6 points.
Priestland cost Wales 10+.
I'd love him to come good, but something is wrong with him at the moment.
Posted 18:56 14th June 2012
Priestland seemed to have no bearings at the stadium last week, literally no idea where the touchline was, or how much wider the pitch was than the 6N stadia. If this stadium is smaller, that issue disappears, and then it's about the platform the forwards give him (which has to be better than last week) and whether he responds positively to a week of self criticism.
On reputation and past performance, 3 of the changes make this a stronger team. It's probably a bit early for Beck, but he certainly has the right skills to balance this backline, and offers a completely different style to Scott Williams.
If there are no serious injuries in the first 30, and Wales can improve from last week, the chances will be there for them to win impressively. Finishing them is another matter.
Posted 17:01 14th June 2012
Come on Wales! YOU CAN DO THIS! If you play like you did at the WC and 6N you can win this series..! You could've won the first test, but instead you rock up with this typical NH losers attitude - and it was exactly the absence of that that made you so good at the WC!
Snap out of it, believe you can win this (and I mean KNOW it, don't just say it) - and go out there and play your best rugby! You WILL win then!
Posted 15:10 14th June 2012
Okay. I agree with most of the comments here apart from Ryan Jones starting.
In the six nations, it was said he was too slow to start at 8, hence why he covered in the second row. Delve has been called up to replace Faletau but doesn't get a place?? If they weren't going to use Delve I'd have started with Warburton at 7 and Tipuric at 7. With Lydiate on at 6 that would have been devastating!
Posted 13:10 14th June 2012
@jontheref and @ RugbyLocos - very simple reason for him keeping his place - no one could replace him. After another shocking display by Hook last weekend, he can't be considered, and there are no other 10's. - I agree that Priestland isn't playing well, but............
Posted 13:03 14th June 2012
Good choice. R.Jones is a better player.
Posted 12:52 14th June 2012
The Australians would love nothing more than Hook starting, he poses half the threat of Priestland and would drop more ball as his hands are covered in instant tan. The Welsh should persist with Priestland he is a creative first five who can create.
Posted 11:35 14th June 2012
@ jonesy2 - No, no no. Wales have got one of the worlds best no.6's (ATM) in Dan Lydiate. This is a better balanced back row and this combination has worked well for Wales (apart from the missing Faletau - who has been a bit off his game but is injured anyway). Wales really missed an oportunity last week and were poor by their standards. It was the time to face up and get stuck in and beat a beatable Aussie side. They failed and so now the test is going to be harder. Wales needed to win this series if this tour was going to be successful by their standards. Unfortunately ATM it merely confirms how far away the NH sides are compared to the SH sides. I think England can close the gap, Wales should have closed the gap more, Ireland are opening up the gap and the lass we say about Scotland and Italy the better. This is a must win test for Wales.
Posted 11:01 14th June 2012
My only worry for this Welsh team is a lack of effective ball carriers in the forwards. Let's hope they don't kick it as much this time as well. There are some great backs in this Welsh team, so use them! Good luck Wales!
Posted 10:24 14th June 2012
why do wales play warburton at 7 anyway, hes not really a 7 he would be a great 6
Posted 10:09 14th June 2012
Cannot see how priestland keeps his place, after gifting one try from a missed catch/knock on, and not putting the try away.
Posted 09:20 14th June 2012
Pleased for Ryan Jones, he's a great player and his experience is worth its weight in gold. However, I'm not quite as excited as I would have been if they had gone with their idea of playing Warburton at 8 and Tipuric at 7. It would have been a gamble but a potentially devastating back row.
Can imagine loads of people pulling their hair out at Priestland being stuck with but I say give him half an hour to pull the strings and find that superb passing game that's been eluding him and if it ain't working it's time to pull the plug and give Hooky his turn. Ditto Phillips and Webb...
Posted 09:04 14th June 2012
How many opportunities is Priestland going to be given? - Is he Gatland's secret son or something?. It's time Hook was given another shot at the Nš10 jersey - and if not get Biggar in there.
Priestland has been given plenty of leaway and has not been performing well since the World Cup. On form he should not be anywhere near the pitch on Saturday.
Posted 08:35 14th June 2012