Wales v France: Wales player ratings

jamie roberts


15. Leigh Halfpenny: 7.5
Racked up a 17-point haul with another accurate kicking display. He looked sharp and ambitious in attack and asked plenty of questions of Les Bleus, but he had very little to do in open play for most of the match, as the Welsh defensive wall stood strong.

14. Alex Cuthbert: 6
The Welsh winger used his size and strength to great effect in defence. He held the Frenchmen up, slowed their ball, and grappled stragglers into touch. But he was once again starved of the ball and he did not get much of a chance to stretch his long legs.

13. George North: 6
Made some powerful bursts, and looked dangerous throughout. He was rewarded for his perseverance, when some calamitous French cover gifted him his 16th international try. But he struggled with the defensive responsibilities of the midfield and missed six tackles, including one on Mathieu Bastareaud that nearly cost a try.

12. Jamie Roberts: 7.5
His unique blend of brute strength and deft handling tormented the French defence. He regularly bullied his way over the gain line and provided Wales with plenty of impetus.

11. Liam Williams: 6
Williams was very solid on the Welsh flank, defending staunchly, and the few times the French kicked to his corner, the winger covered comfortably. But he was also given very little ammunition and even less room to manoeuvre.

10. Rhys Priestland: 7
Rhys Webb’s service complemented Priestland, who set his backline in motion throughout with plenty of pace and fluidity. Made some important tackles when he dropped in behind to cover the Welsh line.

9. Rhys Webb: 8
Fully justified his selection. He was instrumental in raising the tempo of the game with brisk and accurate distribution. Webb obviously does not have the physical presence of his predecessor, but he made a significant contribution to the defensive effort with nine tackles.

1. Gethin Jenkins: 7
Jenkins proved that he was back to full fitness with a colossal defensive display, and despite ending face down in the turf on some occasions just about held his own at the scrum. He was sent to the bin when Alain Rolland eventually lost patience, but he made amends when he returned from by dismantling Nicholas Mas.

2. Richard Hibbard: 6
It was another fairly anonymous outing for Hibbard, who carried with his usual intent but rarely made it over the gain line and made little impact in the loose. But he was not at fault for the collapsed scrums and he hit his lineout jumpers with accuracy.

3. Adam Jones: 6
Answered questions surrounding his scrummaging by effectively combating the craft of Thomas Domingo, but he did still concede two penalties at the set piece. He looked a lot more energetic in the loose, with some thumping tackles, although he did not make a single carry.

4. Luke Charteris: 7
Charteris was absolutely everywhere as he cut down French runners with gusto. He did a great job at the front of the welsh lineout and provided some much-needed stability to that area of the Welsh set piece, which had struggled recent weeks.

5. Jake Ball: 6.5
Ball seized the opportunity to stake a bold claim for the no.5 shirt. He played with a lot of intensity and determination, and showed plenty of attacking intent with the ball in hand.

6. Dan Lydiate: 8
Typically immense in defence. After a frustrating outing in Ireland, Lydiate seemed to be in his element, as he flew off the line and hammered anything in a blue shirt throughout this contest. Unsurprisingly, he topped the tackle count with 15.

7. Sam Warburton: 8.5
Warburton was phenomenal, tackling vigorously, carrying with intent and stepping up to take charge of the lineout in the absence of Alun-Wyn Jones. Eventually imposed himself on the breakdown and made some crucial turnovers. Topped his performance off with a brilliantly finished try.

8. Tauluape Faletau: 6.5
Faletau was faultless throughout and got the over the gain line whenever he was called upon. He ground out the hard yards and cleared up well at the base of an inconsistent Welsh scrum. Displayed plenty of physicality as he confronted the raw power of the French pack.

Replacements: 6.5
Rhodri Jones seemed to struggle in the scrum when he came on, whereas Paul James destroyed his fellow substitute Vincent Debaty during Jenkins and Mas’ sin-bin sabbatical. Ken Owens, once again, looked impressive after his introduction, and will be pushing for Hibbard’s starting jersey.

By Nathan Hyde (@NathanHyde2)

79 thoughts on “Wales v France: Wales player ratings

  1. Agree more or less overall, I would say the Welsh backs were solid if unspectacular, bar for Roberts good performance. I feel the Welsh were made to look very good by some terrible performances by the French, not that the Welsh were bad. Can see Hibbard being dropped for Owens, who has been impressive, whereas Hibbard has been pretty anonymous in the last couple of matches.

  2. Look guys, I know that a couple of you are England fans, and as England fans go, you’re actually pretty fair (unlike the Telegraph) and I don’t disagree with these ratings, but I don’t want to see the England Player Ratings later on get a load of 8s and 9s…

        1. Hammered is a bit generous isn’t it brighty? Was only a couple of points in the England v France game. The Irish had your lot by 23 points.

          1. Jim, you’ve misread what I said, I’ll repeat and make it clearer for you, I said:

            “And Wales hammered a team that beat England a few weeks ago Trevor40.”

            Which you should have read as

            And Wales hammered France, a team that beat England a few weeks ago.

            which is totally correct, we beat France by more than Ireland beat us so I am correct in saying that both of those results were hammerings and also further correct in saying that the ream we hammered, France, beat England.

    1. LIKE James. The problem was that (/sarcasm on) a) Wales didn’t come from behind and b) we played a crap team, England played a really good one. (/sarcasm off).

      Roberts should be a pt higher for me, magnificent in defence and a few punches through the middle. Loved Jake Ball’s debut, always brilliant to see a man who’s chance has come late in life, you could see how knowing how precious it was he wasn’t going to leave that field unless he was dead.

      In a defensive game (we were ahead for nearly the entire match) Cuthbert was excellent, constantly chasing down and smashing Picamoles, a 6 is too low there. Especially if I see Farrel get an 8 with any mention of his ruck work! 🙂

      1. It’s a difficult one. Whenever scores come up on there, remember that they are put together by different people, so it’s impossible to compare scores across the board.

        In general though, if you take England’s performances vs Ireland/France and Wales’ performances against the same opposition, surely it can’t be argued that the Welsh were more impressive? I’m not arguing the English have been far more impressive, I just believe over the two games they have been considerably better.

        We all know playing against the French is an impossible yard stick to measure a team, because let’s be honest, the old cliche about which France turns up is completely true.

        1. Well, no, but if you look at our results: we got destroyed by the Irish and then we ruined the French, but the English just about got nudged out by the French and then just about nudged out the Irish, I would say that those are pretty similar results comparatively… And if you go back and check out the Player Ratings that these guys gave England vs France – they gave HIGHER scores, even though England lost.

          With the best will in the world, there really is such thing as a Pro-England bias, and I think this blog is actually pretty good at dampening it, it’s just something to be wary of as it can sometimes have an effect on its reliability….

          1. Completely agree that the Welsh should have higher ratings for this game than the English did against the French, BUT, the key thing is that I assume (don’t know for sure), but different people wrote the two ratings.

            A scoring system out of 10 is incredibly subjective in regards to what makes a player a 9 or a 7, it is more the description of the how the player played, and the score comparatively amongst his team mates and that weeks opposition that is more relevant.

          2. English commenters may have a pro-England bias? No. Surely not. How dare they?

            This demand for everyone to be scrupulously even-handed does get a bit silly at times. These scores are someone’s opinion and bear no more weight or importance than my scores or Brighty’s scores do.

            Accept that there may be an in-built bias and deal with it. After all, it would be pretty pointless for English commenters to go onto the Western Mail/Wales Online or Gwlad and complain about a pro-Wales bias wouldn’t it?

            Also, I’d mark the Welsh down a bit as although they can only play what’s in front of them, the French were truly awful – possibly the worst team on display this weekend.

      2. Brighty, I do think that this is not so wide of the mark; “b) we played a crap team, England played a really good one. “

        1. Blub, I’ve seen people before talk about how one team makes the other team play badly through intensity. Can’t remember which team I saw that write up about? 🙂

          The truth is that the six nations is so tight that none of this really matters until we all play each other. But it is fun to talk about.

          As a Welshman it is slightly annoying to constantly hear about the amazing English game when we’ve just mullered France by a record score, only for English people to tell us it doesn’t count as great cos France were crap. But again that is what makes the six nations so much fun. With so few matches and teams
          we all enjoy training to interpret our own teams performances as evidence that we are on a roll now. Roll on the next weekend of matches.

          1. Well there may be some who believe that the Wales performance doesn’t count because of France’s performance. I would suggest that this though misses the point.

            I got the impression that a fully primed France would have struggled to beat Wales given the intensity they bought to the game.

            However, as a team I don’t think that Wales were great. I think that they flew out of the traps, found a French side that appeared to lack any sort of fight or direction, and beat them with a workmanlike performance interspersed with several high quality individual performances.

            It doesn’t lessen the Welsh performance but it is worth putting it into perspective. There seems to be some need to recall the Wales v England game last year, in order to “prove” a point. The main difference between the two games is that in one game Wales battered and bettered a well drilled but ultimately out classed opposition. In the other game Wales beat an oddly ill motivated and directionless opposition, who never looked like finding the collective resolve to mount a challenge.

            Wales were excellent in one game, and effective in the other. The approach of the respective oppositions are miles apart.

      3. >>Loved Jake Ball’s debut, always brilliant to see a man who’s chance has come late in life

        He’s actually 22 yrs old – not 29 as stated in the commentary! Not so late in life… One for the future I think.

  3. Precisely, I have absolutely no problem with the Welsh getting 7s (although I do think some of these should be slightly higher) but it rankles with me when the Welsh gets 7s and absolutely smash the French, whereas England beat Ireland by 3 and get 8s and 9s.

    NOT that I’m saying that’s happened or even will happen, it’s just the kind of thing you notice when you’re not an England fan…

    1. An English conspiracy James? A conspiracy to irritate perhaps?

      Honestly, the rating of players in any particular match is just a bit of fun, it doesn’t really mean anything. There are no winners or losers, and implying sub-conscious bias (“I know that a couple of you are England fans,…..but I don’t want to see…”) is a little daft.

      I would rate the England players generally (though not exclusively) higher than the Wales players from this weekends matches, because England generally played very well against a good Ireland team, whilst Wales played efficiently (and in some areas very well) against an atrocious France team.

      Lest you infer that “atrocious France team” is intended as a slight on Wales, it is not. It is a statement of fact, they were terrible, and were not the team (in terms of performance) that played England or Italy.

      Wales were not great, but it was a good win, and some players (Webb, Williams, Warburton, and the scrummaging tight five) really improved from last time out.

      None of this means England are better than Wales (or vice versa), it is simply a view on the two games independently of each other.

  4. If I were doing England ratings, the only 8s I’d give would be to Robshaw (8), Brown (8.5) and Launchbury (9).
    Maybe Care and Lawes could claim an 8 too, bit I think a 7.5 is more just.

    Farrell would get a 5. He’d need to shoe 10 rucks to make me forget that a prop read him like a book and further delayed us getting the ball to the overlap. He should have been more decisive and the shoulder charge does him no favours either.

    1. So just comparing back row players, you’d give lydiate and robshaw the same marks? 7 more tackles, at least 2 turnovers and helping create a try as well as other carries. Merely asking!

  5. These ratings matter not a jot now…… what’s really going to matter is the ratings when they meet in two weeks time !!. Gonna be massive !.

  6. from a spectator’s view I’d mark the front row down as 5 – why is it Wales matches have so many collapsed scrums? SA in the autum, England last year and now France – all good scrummaging sides and yet the incidences of collapsed scrums appears to be more common when Wales are playing? If is a tactic? I just find it very frustrtating to watch.

    I’d say these ratings are fair. Tbh Wales didn’t create a whole of try scoring chances given their dominance, but boy did they play with a lot of intensity. After this match and last year’s decider any oppostion coach would be mad to agree to the roof being closed, it properly lifts the home side.

    Enjoyable match, but French so disappointing. I wonder whether they’ll be better at home when the Irish visit.

  7. Love that everyone’s saying ‘well of course they’re biased, they’re English!’ What’s the point of rating them at all then? Why not give every English player a 10 for every game (even the ones they lose). The point of player ratings is that you highlight where each player was strong and weak – statistically – and then you give them a score compared to that.

    Jamie Roberts got a 7.5, and Robshaw got an 8.5? You’re saying there was a whole points distance between those two? Roberts was phenomenal and he played for a team that won by 20+ points. Robshaw was pretty good, fine, but a point?! Come on.

    1. Agree that Roberts was good, but I don’t think he was great.

      Robshaw made a weekend high 22 tackles, and 3 turnovers (damn him not being a ‘real’ 7), so yes, more than justified an 8.5 I think.

      Roberts may have sneaked an 8, but I think that maybe slightly generous.

      1. But James, I do hope you are aware that its only your Welsh bias that is causing you to complain about the scores?

        In what way was Roberts phenomenal? He carried well in his usual bang it up the middle style. He made one good break that lead to a try that Warburton did extremely well to finish. He made 3 tackles but missed 2 tackles and conceded one turnover.

        Robshaw on the other hand led his inexperienced team to a closely-fought victory against a strong Irish side who played well. He made 22 tackles whilst missing just one. He made three turnovers. And he had the vision and ability to take the ball on, break the Irish line and give a good pass to Brown that lead to the crucial try being scored.

        An 8.5 may be slightly too low.

        A more fair comparison would be Roberts to 12Ts or Burrell and given he scores more highly than both of them, it would suggest to me that the scoring system here is entirely just

      1. You realise he has put Weird at 10 (who was awful for 78 minutes), Dave Kearney in the team (who to me looks well off the pace)? Those two in particular stand out as strange to me.

        Dunbar also didn’t feel like a ‘team of the week’ performance, although I have no idea which 13 was better.

      2. Personally I’d have had Robshaw and Hartley in, but mostly no complaints well apart from Weir. Thought Allan had a good game.

        1. Robshaw is a good point but much like in the case of the Lions I think he partly loses out due to the Welsh backrow being a unit that it’s almost unimaginable to see split up but still improved.

          Weir mystifies me – he seems to be being rewarded for a match winning kick when I’d contend it was him who put Scotland into the position of needing one. It would be like praising Priestland for scoring a kick just after butchering a try. Dunbar I thought was a good shout and was another reason I thought Weir was poor – Scotland finally have backs making moves and their 10 throws them lumpy passes.

          However, I don’t think any 10s had a great weekend.

          1. I’d put Robshaw in over Lydiate. He makes all the tackles Lydiate does but also makes yards with the ball and does good link work

  8. This was a good performance by the Welsh who put themselves back in contention. I think they should their marks overall should be a little higher, but they played a terrible French team. Wales did what they needed to do. On the other hand, England played a good French team and lost. The French have a habit of being dangerous one week and uninterested the next. Did the French players play with their clubs the week before the England match?

    I think the real issue is the French, and not how good England or Wales might be. The French looked tired against Wales. I think only 6 players were rested last week and they play a lot of games. They looked exhausted.

    I know that many Welsh players also played last week too, but they don’t play as many games and frankly, they needed to play. The French didn’t since they play week in and week out.

  9. Still not sure how Jenkins was named man of the match. 10 minutes in the bin, albeit because Alain Rolland refused to properly set a scrum for the entire bloody game. However, he saw the ball 3 times, made 1m, got turned over and missed 1 tackle in 7 attempts. Hardly a big game for man of the match, could have been 12 Welsh players ahead of him

  10. “they played a terrible French team. Wales did what they needed to do. On the other hand, England played a good French team and lost. ”

    Ha ha ha ha. Oh that is such a good one. Well played sir. Hilarious. The one eyed bias in that comment is the most bald display of “my team is the best, no matter what the score” I have ever seen.

    Both of us played poor teams – the difference is that we didn’t gift them a few tries through cack handed defending.

    Or both if us played good teams – the difference was that we didn’t let them into the game.

    But no, England lost to the same good team, we lost to the same bad team. I can see now why so many of the comments on here were getting ready for such drivel.

    1. Brighty, I think that you are probably overanalysing this. Teams can definitely play better one week and worse the next or visa versa. This may have something to do with the opposition, the pitch, or in France’s case the waxing and waning of the moon (for all I know). Last year Wales had some lacklustre performances and then put together a stormer to beat England. I don’t know many non Welsh people who thought that France played as well against Wales as they did against England. As stated this could have been for a variety of reasons. The truth of the matter is that the teams come head to head in 10 days time and bragging rights will be earned for another 12 months. Personally I’m a bit fed up with the Millenium result being aired time and time again so am hoping for a reverse of fortunes, however annoyingly your lot seem to have timed their run just right and therefore I am rather pessimistic about our chances. We shall see and then this debate will be put to bed for another 12 (11/10 months!)

    2. Wow, that’s an absurd comment. I’m not even English. You would be pretty delusional to think that France played well that match. I don’t even think France played that well against England, but it was a lot better than against the Welsh. Are you ignoring the fact that France is known to play well one week and horrible the next? They did lose to Tonga in the World Cup pool and then get to the finals after all.

      Wales beat France and England didn’t, so what are you complaining about. There is a really good chance that Wales will beat England and win the 6 Nation, so what are you complaining about.

  11. Without wanting to sound one eyed, I’m without a doubt that France played woefully against Wales on Friday night. I mean, that’s nearly as poor as I’ve ever seen them. Wales did what they needed to do to put them away, I’m sure they have an extra gear to find when they need it.

    I will agree though that France played poorly against England though. People are still telling me that France/England was a great game. I thought it was a difficult to watch hash of a game with lots of errors lacking in any real attacking skills. But I don’t think France were as bad against England as they were against Wales. Similarly, I think Ireland played a better game against Wales than they did against England

    I think the whole thing of reading into who Wales have beaten and who England have beaten to work out who will win the tie is a pointless exercise. It will be a different game, with different line ups and presumably different gameplans tailored to a different opposition.

  12. If you are sick off the Millenium result how often did all the non-Celtic nations hear from 2003-2007 about England RWC champions, then 2007-2011 former champions and now I suppose its former former champions.

    Try looking at the English newspapers, the so called BBC, and ever single English rugby commentator who never call him ‘Jonny Wilkinson’ but the ‘World Cup Winner, the man who dropped the goal to win the World Cup’ -…..11 years ago…..

    Yeah right when George North and players such as Vunipola were still in their Welsh primary schools -note that Welsh Primary Schools!

    Have a read of the English press -‘England to be No1 in the World’, ‘England to be this England to be that’.

    England who haven’t won anything really important since 2003 apart from the 2011 Championship which was again a GS lost in the last game.

    Better still go back the late 90s and early 2000s when Wales were struggling and see how the English media revelled in this failure.

    Having your noses rubbed in it after last year-you don’t know the meaning of it I am afraid.

    1. Sadly I remember the 70’s so what goes around comes around. I’m not convinced the Welsh press is completely rational and unbiased when it comes to rugby. A bit of bias sells papers! Last years result gets raised on a regular basis here, although to be fair I was fed up by the result by about the 70th minute of last years match. Just looking forward to us competing this year!

  13. Staggy the way the British-wide funded BBC acts as a mouth piece for English rugby at the expense of other nations is utterly wrong.

    Last year before the Millenium match we had nothing but England England England in the build-up to that afternoon. On the day a sneering John Inverdale saying things in the most sarcastic way such as

    ‘Even Wales could win the 6N if and this if they beat England by 8 points or more’

    How else can this be viewed but proEnglish bias?

    Hell we’ve won 3 GS and a 6N since 2005 and never got team of the year from the BBC. England beat NZ in 1993 after NZ missed 6-7 kicks and goal and got named team of the year for winning 1 game. Yet in that year’s 5N lost to Wales in Cardiff and were cleaned out by Ireland 17-3 and the English-dominated Lions lost 2-1 to NZ in the summer of 93

    The Welsh papers have a Welsh bias because they are sold in Wales but the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph and so on are supposed (like the BBC) to present all views. They don’t. They plug England England England.

    There was even that BBC radio programme ‘A week with Lancaster’s England’ that was broadcast the Monday after the Millenium game-talk about arrogance!!!

    I don’t doubt that local papers in Glos or Leicestershire have a bias to their local teams but this is not the standard we’d expect from the BBC or media that claims to be British-wide.

    1990 on the morning of the Scotland v England match newspapers were already declaring England had won a GS and the BBC was interviewing the wives and girlfriends of the English internationals before kick-0ff.

    By 4:05pm that afternoon things were very very different and Scots will still go on about that win almost 25 years later because of the way the British (English) media behaved in the run up to that match.

    1. I can’t believe I am doing this …

      Dai, I’d cut the English media some slack here.

      Inverdale is a pompous clown, a lot of English people recognise this as well and discount him. He’s a bit of an embarrassment.

      As for the rest – England sort of suffers here is it doesn’t have an English media. It has local papers, and local BBC, but it doesn’t have “BBC England”. The rest of us in the UK have BBC Wales, BBC Scotland and BBC NI so we expect them to reflect the opinions of our countries. Ditto with the Western Fail, etc. So I’ll cut them some slack when it comes to focusing on England in the “UK” media as it’s purely just a numbers game – 60mil of them, 10 mil of the rest. Most of the time the only “bias” I see could be written off as simple volume e.g. 5 pages on England, with England on the front, 1 page about Wales in their somewhere. This is just simple economics I think.

      Sometimes, occasionally they do hilariously get carried away (in our office in Bristol we have the “World Beaters!” national newspaper supplement stuck to the wall – it’s a pic of Tuilagi during the NZ game (the one they won) with WORLD BEATERS! written above it) but that’s all part of the fun of then winning. I prefer it when they do this – it puts pressure on their team, the “real” rugby fans know it’s all tosh and they know it’s not helpful. You will get the odd clown who will believe it and utter bilge – my personal fave this week was a guy on Twitter saying we should stop going on about last years Mil Stad result (sorry Staggy, only 2 more weeks of this to go and I’m gonna enjoy it) as it was a long time ago while in the same tweet telling me that when “we” have won a world cup then we can say we’re better than England who have won one…

      Anyway, always, always (and believe me, I’ve been there so I know how hard it is) remember that the media and the rugby fans/teams/players are two separate entities so The Times thinking it’s now in the bag for England is not the same as the team thinking it is (and really, they wouldn’t, they know it’s gonna be a proper test match).

      *there are certain players I don’t cut slack e.g. Foden for his “time to put little brother into his place” comments, Austin Healey for every single breath he takes, etc.

      1. Brighty- don’t forget

        Ben Cohen with the ‘Shane who?’ comment.

        Geoff Cook in Jan 1993 ‘I cannot see anything other an English win on Saturday’ Pity Ieuan et al had not read the script.

        Matt Dawson Cardiff 2001 after his try

        The list is endless.

        Remember most of their players who are actually born in England went to public school (where only 7%of the school population go) and think therefore they have entitlement in life that others should never have.

        I could go on but…………..

  14. Oh yeah and whole the England team under Martin Johnson beaten i19-13 in the 2000 Murrayfield GS decider who refused to out the changing room to receive the 6n trophy they won on points difference

    Petulant or what!!!!

    1. Dai, I’m not going to apologise for any of this. Every country has its share of idiots and I guess that because we have a bigger population, it just means we have more! I would suggest (out of sheer bedevilment!) that not all welsh people, media, teams, etc can say that they haven’t done or said stupid things. England definitely has its share – Austin Healey and the “Plank” comment spring to mind just before Harrison had his career day! However I think that you’re probably just getting a little over excited by all of this. I for one hate arrogance and you’ll be surprised to find that most of the English commentators on this blog do as well. Do you get so upset by how one eyed the kiwi press is over rugby? Or is it just because it’s us English?!!!

      Anyway I for one am looking forward to 10 days time when (hopefully) some English demons can be laid to rest. We were mullered last year and it was painful watching. If I had a penny for every time that Brighty (you couldn’t help yourself could you :-)) or another Welshman had mentioned the game I’d now be writing this post from an island in the Caribbean rather than from my office! So roll on the game, it can’t be worse than last year………… can it?

  15. I don’t get what you’re trying to achieve here Dai? Do you want every English commentator on this site to apologise foe everything that has been said and done in the past? Nothing I’ve read here is offensive to Wales but you seem to attack anyone who doesn’t agree or praise all things Welsh, which just comes across as bitter.

    This site, for the most part, enjoys lively debate on rugby topics and largely avoids all of the xenophobic nonsense.

    If that’s what you want then I suggest you visit the BBC rugby forums where people from the four corners of the UK will be more than happy to indulge you.

  16. I have simply replied to the comment from Staggy that

    ‘Personally I’m a bit fed up with the Millenium result being aired time and time again’

    All I have done is refer to the repeated slights made by the pro-English BBC is response to Staggy’s comment.

    I have simply shown how if Staggy feels annoyed by that 1 match being talked about then you should see it from the point of view of a nation whose team have been routinely mocked and derided by a news organisation that calls itself British.

    If the weight of evidence I have put forward cannot be seen for what it is and you don’t like it that is just tough luck.

    You clearly don’t know how insulting the BBC and wider media have been for decades towards the Welsh rugby team. It goes at least as far back as 1980 when both the BBC and newspapers spent an entire week before the England Wales game vilifying the Welsh International Paul Ringer and calling for his head.

    That is exactly what happened only minutes into the game.

    None of what I have said is factually inaccurate because no-one has yet queried its validity- if you were alive when these events transpired and have followed rugby for as long as I have you might have some counter-point but nothing has been offered ever to query the facts I have referred to.

    I have never stated that I blame every single commentator on this site. Those words have been stated by me. If they were please find them.

    I have shown the arrogance of the BBC and quoted some examples of how we have seen this from English internationals when playing the Celtic nations.

    That is all I have done-I did not start the argument-the quote at the top of this post is from someone else. I have merely countered with points of my own.

    Please feel free to quote examples of where I have not stated an actual truth.

    1. And because we are all British (for a few more months anyway) you of course support England when playing a non British team I assume (I know I support Wales in this instance)?

      I would love a Scrum V equivalent, we don’t have one. An England fan only gets to watch highlights of the Autumn Internationals on the BBC, my licence fee is subsidising coverage of the Welsh internationals.

      Take a more balanced view, is it really that bad when you get far more free to air coverage than the English? Look at the full picture, don’t just filter out the bits that don’t fit your preconception.

      Just remember, for every Austin Healey there’s a Gavin Henson! Neither of us are exempt from the ability to produce complete and utter tools. It’s an interesting parallel, Healey picks a fight with Lomu, Henson picks one with Fearns, not sure which demonstrates the greater stupidity.

      On the earlier public school jibe. Which current England players are you referring to? Robshaw is public school, but he’s the polar opposite of the arrogant entitled type you refer to. There are plenty of guys in the team who have certainly not had a privileged and entitled upbringing.

      1. I don’t understand all this “every nation should have equal time on the BBC” whinging

        If fairness if want we want, then the BBC should accurately reflect the people who pay for it

        Population of England 53,000,000
        Population of Scotland 5,295,000
        Population of Wales 3,063,456

        Therefore for every 20 rugby articles there should be 17 articles about England, 2 about Scotland and 1 about the Welsh

        It seems the Welsh are massively over-represented and in fact England under-represented

        More articles about England please!

      2. If you want England AI’s in non-pay tv address your comments to the RFU.

        The RFU sold the rights in England’s AI games to Sky.

        1. I’m well aware of who I pay to watch them, nor do I have any issue with the RFU selling them for more money than the BBC could afford.

          The point is getting Pro12, Scrum V and more international coverage on free to air television is hardly evidence of an anti-Welsh position from the BBC. Your other statement on the 14 regional channels is ridiculous, they are localised almost entirely by news and weather only.

          A Welsh rugby fan gets a much better deal from the BBC than an English one, there’s nothing to complain about. Appreciate what you have, there may come a time where the BBC can no longer justify those expenses.

    2. You just seem overly sensitive to anything that isn’t pro welsh..

      ‘I cannot see anything other an English win on Saturday’ – What on earth is wrong with that? How is it a slight? We were utter crap in the 90’s so it would’ve been nonsensical for Cook to suggest anything else. I didn’t see us winning before kick off.

      ‘Shane who?’ – This is one players comments, on another player, not a slight on all things welsh – it happens in every professional sport.

      Here’s a different view on how the Welsh rugby team were treated in the 80’s/90’s – we were crap, the papers pointed it out. I dunno, maybe it’s easier to accept it if we see it as being picked on or bullied.

      I’m sure there were those that absolutely revelled in the fall from grace we suffered transitioning from the 70’s in to the 80’s and 90’s. Probably the same sort of feelings I had watching England transition from 03 excellence to an absolute turd fest.

      My point is, why play the victim? Does my head in that as a nation that we always want to take offence to everything at the earliest opportunity.

      1. I am not playing the victim I am responding to a comment about how 1 English fan feels about being reminded about 2013 in Cardiff.

        I only pointed the institutional prejudice against the Welsh team (because they are Welsh) by the ‘British’ media that always supports Team England in all matters.

  17. Difference is that I don’t feel it is a slight the match being mentioned because at the end of the day we got a good tonking, and that is the fact of the matter. Doesn’t however mean that I can’t be fed up with hearing about it though. None of us like it when our teams get turned over so comprehensively!

    If you put my comment in context, it was part of a reference to a hope that the result this time round was going to be different, although I then went on to say that Wales had timed their run superbly to peak for this fixture again. Hardly anti Welsh sentiment!

    Haven’t necessarily disagreed with the factual content of what you’ve said nor indeed the fact that the Beeb probably has some bias to it, but at the end of the day I’m trying to talk about rugby not Welsh separatism (particularly as I know nothing about the latter and probably only a bit about the former!)

    Still looking forward to the game, although with some trepidation!

  18. “Repeated slights”?
    “Routinely mocked and derided”?

    I understand your pain Dai.

    Just tonight I have heard the one eyed commentators on Scrum V criticise the English scrum.

    That arrogant beast Adam Jones is on the BBC website saying how he is not intimidated by Twickenham and even has the gall to recall winning there 3 times. Disgusting and flagrant lack of respect for a larger nation.

    Jonathan Davies has appallingly picked a team of the week with 5 players from Wales in it. That’s a third of the team, disregarding over 100 players from non-Welsh nations.

    Lastly they have published an article about Jake Ball conveniently only making a passing reference to him being born and bred in Surrey, instead of focussing on this.

    BBC – hang your head in shame for allowing this wanton Welsh bias.

    1. Jake Ball-Welsh father.

      Mauritz Botha? Tom Waldrom?

      JD-never rated him as a pundit and as aplayer-never won a 5n, never won in Paris, never went on a Lions Tour, deserted the club that he captained and had given him a chance to play top flight rugby for 5 seasons and 18 months later deserted Wales after he led them to humiliating defeat v Rumania in Dec 1988.

      1. Bless you Dai.

        Use all the time in the world that you have to take some deep breaths and look again at what is written.

        I do not question Jake ball’s eligibility. I infer that you believe I do, from your brief references to Waldrom and Botha. You could have used Hartley, Barritt, Vunipola (x2) and Tuilagi surely? Good, solid, English players.

        Not at all – I have no issue with the geographic backgrounds of International players. My own boys are triple qualified, so can play for Scotland or Wales (with my blessing) – only if they’re not good enough for England, mind you!

        Your last paragraph comes as something of a surprise (perhaps less so the reference to his punditry), but we are all unique with our own opinions. It does not sit with my memories of seeing him play – apart perhaps from when he “returned south”.

  19. Well done, Blub, you gave me a giggle (assuming your tongue was well and truly in your cheek). I think the correct response from some of my oversensitive compatriots would be ‘Touché’!
    Seriously, it has the potential to be a cracker next week, two really good teams. Let’s hope it doesn’t dissolve in a pile of collapsed scrums!

    1. Absolutely Gwyn.

      Offence is there for all of us to find, if we look for it.

      …and I didn’t even mention Paul Ringer! Or me paying a licence fee and finding a BBC channel not speaking the Queens English.

      Anyway, seriously next week is looking very tasty, and I hadn’t even considered the prospect of collapsed scrums. Mind you, the English props seem more prone to going backwards than going down, so maybe that’s a good sign :-s

    1. Interestingly, I read an article very recently (can’t remember where, possibly The Times) that highlighted the fact that only a minority of the present English squad are public school educated. Which surprised me.

      We may have covered this off previously, but when this “Public School” issue is raised it is usually to bemoan “priveleged” upbringings, when in fact the truth is that many top level players end up at Public Schools (Wellington, Stowe, Dulwich, Millfield etc) not because of rich parents, but because of promising sporting ability that gives them the opportunity to take up scholarships.

    1. Not sure that this comes as much of a shock to the English, even though generally we root for our Celtic neighbours most of the time! I can remember watching a Grand Prix in Scotland in 1995 with all British Nations present. All except the English supported David Coultard in his battle with Damon Hill at the front until Coultard spun off and then they all switched their allegiance to Schumacher who was in third at the time. It’s a cross we have to bear for mostly long forgotten historical reasons or in the odd case perceived slights over media impartiality!

      1. No it wouldn’t Dai. The advert was made because it’s funny. Because in any country when you have 60mil of one and 3mil of another you get the 3mil wanting the 60mil’s team to lose. It’s sport.

        Trying to conflate this with some historical English wrongdoings is just wrong Dai. This is modern, international rugby, not a battle of Empire.

        I know you can say what you like but please at least put it more in your own words and stop making out like is Welsh are a bunch of mentalists who take offence at even the slightest mention of England in the British press.

        PS whoever said be grateful for Scrum V, yes, spot on. I am. And Dai, if the WRU could double their money by selling their games to Sky they would. Sky don’t want em badly enough. Economics, not class warfare.

  20. So many are still missing point re Scrum V-Welsh BBC so Welsh view is shown. .

    How many BBC English regional channels are there? 14 yep 14

    So if its BBC London talking about Harlequins or Wasps and their English Internationals I’d expect pro-English style reporting because that is the target audience.

    On the main BBC1 which is supposed to be a impartial, general UK wide-there should not be biased reporting/coverage/comments favour of England from the main presenters of these programmes or editors or from the scheduling.

    From the pundits yes you’d expect Keith Wood to be pro-Ireland that is why he is there-but have you noticed how they have ‘more’ English pundits than the other teams-

    e.g.2013 Cardiff it was JD (the comic taff there to amuse others) plus Woodenhead, Guscott (both English) plus the pro-English commentator Inverdare

    I’ll repeat some of the points made in recent days and please answer them if you can contradict me

    1: Justify the BBC giving the England Rugby of the year 1993 but Wales not given it in 2005 2008 2012 (or even 2013 winning a tournament that at half-time v Ireland they were 80-1 to win!)?

    2: Justify the BBC’s radio programme on radio 5 ‘A week with Lancaster’s England’ showing the build up to the GS decider in Cardiff when no such programme was made in 2005 2008 2012 for Wales.

    The programme was scheduled for Monday after the match BBC clearly assuming that England were going to win no matter what!

    Inverdale was telling us about the programme before kick-off that afternoon!

    3: If England get the Triple Crown next week what’s the odds on them getting BBC sports team of the year? Remember they got in 1993 for a single AI match having lost to both Wales and Ireland that year in the 5n and filled the losing Lions that summer too.

    4: Check the coverage in newspapers this weekend/next week and their sports sections e.g. the Telegraph et al down to the gutter trash and see how much England England England there is-Celtic nations get a paragraph to every full page on Team Lancaster.

    I am reminded of comments of Otto von Bismarck who said

    ‘Every nation is one day held to account for windows broken by its press’

    Responses welcome. I have all the time in the World but try answering Q1-4 and respond to the facts themselves.

    1. I’ll weigh in with my answers too. Largely the same theme as the above answers

      Q1 – Competition for team of the year was greater in those years that Wales won Grandslam;

      2005 – England (&Wales at the time) Cricket team won the ashes for the first time in ages in one of the best series. One of the star performers was Welsh – Simon Jones
      2008 – Olympic cycling team won – dominated the Olympics on a world stage in Beijing. Which included Welsh, Scottish and NI stars. Not just ENglish
      2012 – London 2012 Team GB – doesn’t need an explanation

      1993 – no idea who England were up against. If you could justify other teams having better performances than them it would make your point more valid

      Q2 – Could’ve been a number of reasons. Sponsors pushing for exposure on England, RFU accepting offers vs WRU not. Could be that by 2013, participation is bigger than in the past, so Rugby gets more exposure overall

      Q3 – so far in 2014, not many teams have performed too well. So an English Championship win would be up there from the two months we’ve had of the year so far. GB winter olympics have had a equal record year so they might be up for it. (two of the 4 medals originate from Scotland)

      Q4 – If I remember to respond I will after the weekend

  21. Wow. Just wow

    That’s not so much a chip on your shoulder as it is an entire bag of potatoes. I’m surprised you can even stand up under the weight of it.

    1. I cannot believe you are so hung up on the results of a silly little BBC competition from 21 years ago, but anyway, wasn’t this done by public vote?

    2. the BBC has an English constituency 17 times larger than its Welsh counterpart. 1 program about England is hardly over-doing it. As an English rugby supporter I have no equivalent of Scrum V which is on once EVERY week during the rugby season is it not?

    3. Still harping on about 1993 I see. Tell you what, I’ll give you £50 if england win the team of the year this year – the chances of it happening are close to 0

    4. Ref. comments about size of population. Newspapers have to sell themselves. They are not going to spurn one readership for the sake of another 17 times smaller. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. Get the Western Mail or something similar

    Just when I thought your paranoid, drama queen couldn’t get any worse you up the ante by using a Bismarck quote in a discussion over rugby coverage.

    I am now beginning to think you are winding us all up.

    1. This is merely the beginning …………………the class war still goes on

      ‘Peace Land Bread’

      ‘All Power to the Soviets’

  22. Dai, you mustn’t let your views degenerate into mud-slinging, as it demeans both you and your views.

    I will pick up and respond to your 4 points, not to contradict as you ask, but to offer an alternative view.

    1. I don’t recall what else happened in 1993, but I do in 2005, 2008, 2012 and 2013, and I would suggest that Wales RFC would not have been most peoples obvious choice for team of the year. I would point out that all four winning teams had Welsh members who made significant contributions to the success of said winning teams.

    2. FiveLive has a significant listenership within England. I downloaded this podcast and found it fascinating. I would suggest that most people with an interest in rugby would also find this interesting. I guess the answer is “public interest”.

    3. Probably unlikely. They may get it if they win the Championship and thrash the All Blacks 3-0 though. Again, unlikely. England winning the (football) World Cup will probably get the award!

    4. I shall read the Times as usual, specifically to read of the England team. I shall avoid the Welsh papers because I do not have the time, and because my preference is England – I am in this sense, one of the “target readership” of the Times sports section.
    Interestingly, the Online version of the Times has every day articles on Scottish Rugby, sometimes more column inches than covering England.
    I understand that this is because its readership north of the border demand this whereas the Welsh readership do not – presumably their (your?) needs are adequately met elsewhere.

    Here’s a quote for you;
    “The Function of posterity is to look after itself”.


  23. OK I wave the white flag and surrender. I think that one individual has tied up about 17 of us in this (now mainly non rugby) debate about national bias. Hope you’re happy with those ratio’s!

  24. I am struggling not to laugh out loud in the office at this whole exchange.

    I am beginning to suspect a degree of trolling by Dai. Mainly because there are not enough potatoes in the world for a chip that big. And the slightly odd obsession with 1993. I am not saying we should pretend it did not happen, but after 20 years it may be time to think of moving on?

    Added to which, using Inverdale in any argument… Really. Even England supporters find him too partisan. I generally try to pretend he is not there.

  25. Okay Mike

    Then if not Inverdale then we have Steve Rider and his comment when the scoreboard from Stradey showed Llanelli 13 Awstralia 9

    Key Steve Rider to say ‘Full marks for the score but no marks for the spelling’

    That would be the Welsh spelling of Australia there Steve. Its a newsflash from Llanelli

    One hour later Rider forced to apologise on air

    30 mins later BBC news programme with no reference at all the Llanelli beating a full strength Australia ( then RWC Champions)

    But for some strange reason we got a report and footage of the England South West Region losing to the Springboks. No reference to Llanelli’s famous win (and I ain’t no Scarlet!!!)

    That was 1992

    And I still have not forgiven the city of Liverpool for flooding the village of Capel Celyn in 1965
    destroying a community that had existed for hundreds of years so that Liverpool could drink water literally taken from Wales.

    ‘Paham mae dicter…’

    1. Dai, your encyclopedic knowledge of English slights against the Welsh is truly incredible. I would take my hat off to you but I fear you’d see that as a reference to those evil landowning gentry and cast me out for it.

      Darn those pesky Saes and their lack of knowledge of how to spell Australia in Welsh! Grrrr! How dare they!

      Credit to the Liverpool guerilla army as well and their audacious secret plan to flood a Welsh valley without anyone in Wales knowing about it, agreeing with it, facilitating it and profiting from it. Are we not just the most beaten down nation in the world? Poor us. Let’s not do something about it, like making our own history going forward, revelling in our current achievements and not giving a stuff about what anyone else thinks. Nope, let’s point out what Steve Rider did on the tele in 1992. That’ll learn em!

      1. Brighty, I just can’t make you out – next you’ll be telling us English to stop harking on about 2003 and 1966 and tell us to start looking forward to RWC15!


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