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Nantgaredig 46-5 Sweden 
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Post Nantgaredig 46-5 Sweden
Amid the decline of Welsh rugby, here is something to raise a little smile. Nantgaredig, a village team in Carmarthenshire lying in Division 3 West A, beat Sweden by a 41-point margin! Just shows the severe disparities that still exist in world rugby between the traditional powers and everyone else.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-sout ... s-39282020

(The one point about the article that did make me cringe, however, was the line about Wales being more of a 'heartland' for rugby than New Zealand. LOL!)


Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:24 pm
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Post Re: Nantgaredig 46-5 Sweden
najbritcol wrote:
Just shows the severe disparities that still exist in world rugby between the traditional powers and everyone else.


Cherry picking; this was one match between two amateur teams. Sweden are ranked 57th in the world. There are a dozen European nations outside the 6N who are much better than they are. It would be profoundly dishonest to take this sort of thing as evidence that e.g. Georgia couldn't compete in the 6N.


Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:23 am
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Post Re: Nantgaredig 46-5 Sweden
Some time in the 80s, Brecon beat USA.


Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:59 am
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Post Re: Nantgaredig 46-5 Sweden
Cymru am byth wrote:
Some time in the 80s, Brecon beat USA.


Bridgend beat Wales back in the day.

Ron Waldron dropped Glen Webb ...

:kermit: :kermit: :kermit: :kermit: :kermit: :kermit:


Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:15 pm
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Post Re: Nantgaredig 46-5 Sweden
Figaro wrote:
najbritcol wrote:
Just shows the severe disparities that still exist in world rugby between the traditional powers and everyone else.


Cherry picking; this was one match between two amateur teams. Sweden are ranked 57th in the world. There are a dozen European nations outside the 6N who are much better than they are. It would be profoundly dishonest to take this sort of thing as evidence that e.g. Georgia couldn't compete in the 6N.


I am not talking about introducing promotion and relegation in the Six Nations at all. Rather, I am making the point that, much more than is the case with soccer, the gap in rugby between maybe the top sixteen nations and everyone else is immense. And by 'traditional rugby powers' we should no longer just think about the old Five Nations and SANZAR; to varying degrees Argentina, Italy, Japan, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Georgia and Romania also belong in this club - look how no country other than the last two ever wins the European Nations Cup, for example.


Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:15 pm
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Post Re: Nantgaredig 46-5 Sweden
najbritcol wrote:
Figaro wrote:
najbritcol wrote:
Just shows the severe disparities that still exist in world rugby between the traditional powers and everyone else.


Cherry picking; this was one match between two amateur teams. Sweden are ranked 57th in the world. There are a dozen European nations outside the 6N who are much better than they are. It would be profoundly dishonest to take this sort of thing as evidence that e.g. Georgia couldn't compete in the 6N.


I am not talking about introducing promotion and relegation in the Six Nations at all. Rather, I am making the point that, much more than is the case with soccer, the gap in rugby between maybe the top sixteen nations and everyone else is immense. And by 'traditional rugby powers' we should no longer just think about the old Five Nations and SANZAR; to varying degrees Argentina, Italy, Japan, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Georgia and Romania also belong in this club - look how no country other than the last two ever wins the European Nations Cup, for example.


But Nantgaredig beating Sweden isn't any kind of evidence at all for that point. Sweden are ranked 57th, and they're not even in the competition BELOW Romania and Georgia. There are 41 other nations ranked between 16 and 57, a few of whom have qualified for the RWC in the past. How can you pick a single game between Sweden and a Welsh village and use it to infer anything at all about those 41 sides? That's like saying "New Zealand thrashed Namibia at the 2015 World Cup, so the 6N teams must be rubbish."

Yes, there is a gap between the traditional powers and everyone else, and yes, Rugby is nowhere near football in terms of international spread and competitiveness. But the gap's not as big as people think it is, and it's getting smaller all the time.

Spain and Germany have both beaten Romania (the latter managing it *in* Romania, just a few weeks ago) in recent years; Russia and Portugal have managed it too. Romania have tended to come 2nd in the ENC but most years have lost to a team that wasn't Georgia. In the summer, Germany beat 2015 WC qualifiers Uruguay. Spain/Germany/Russia aren't much behind Romania; and in the level below, you have teams like the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Ukraine, and Switzerland, who are all making good progress.

In Africa, Namibia are the next best side behind South Africa and there is a big gulf between the two, but up-and-comers Zimbabwe and Kenya are just a fraction behind Namibia (Kenya came within a whisker of beating Namibia to 2015).

And in South America, the new Americas Rugby Championship is exposing Chile and Brazil to a much higher standard; the latter have managed to beat Uruguay and even the USA (albeit it wasn't a first choice XV).


Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:25 pm
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Post Re: Nantgaredig 46-5 Sweden
I believe both of you are saying more or less the same - rugby is evolving but there is still a great gap between countries. There is one interesting aspect in this as well and that is the lack of coverage of rugby in many countries. Even the most uninterested Welsh person will probably have watched dozen of games, played a little as a child and has a basic understanding of the game. For me, growing up in Sweden, there just is no rugby on TV or elsewhere. We did play a game of touch in school, as part of the curriculum - this was ONE game during ONE physical education lesson in nine years. I actually started playing when I was an exchange student abroad, and was surprised on my return home to find there was a team in my (university) town. We relied heavily on foreign students and expats who could run the game and tell others were to stand, how to tackle and how to time our runs, since we did not have that basic understanding.

So basically a village team in Wales will have players bred into the sport, playing their rugby in their spare time. The Swedish national team will have players who started playing in their midteens or latter, playing their rugby in their spare time. I am not even sure there are any players in Sweden who are even semi-professional.

The Swedish women's team are much higher in ranking as well :)


Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:27 am
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Post Re: Nantgaredig 46-5 Sweden
It doesn't help that a Rugby game is pretty difficult to organize, especially safely with amateurs. Part of the global appeal of Football is probably that it's a fairly simple game that even a handful of people in park can play a version of easily enough. Touch Rugby is definitely the way forward with kids (apparently it's all they do in NZ up until age 14 or so), but really it's just an inherent issue with the game that you might be able to mitigate, but never eliminate.


Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:50 am
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Post Re: Nantgaredig 46-5 Sweden
You are right Figaro. There are positions and rugby skills that you simply can't do unless you are playing or in a proper training environment.

With football you can kick against a wall on your own or play one on ones. In rugby, for even something resembling a game you probably need two on each side. Kicking and maybe scrum half type passing are among the only things I can think of that I would have done as a kid left alone with a rugby ball.


Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:16 am
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