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Is Italy really a Tier One country? 
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Post Is Italy really a Tier One country?
A serious, non-trollish question. Yes I know World Rugby classify it as such, primarily because they play in the Six Nations. However:

- Whereas all the other Tier One countries between them make up the top nine in the world rankings, Italy are ranked fifteenth - behind Fiji, Japan, Georgia, Tonga and Samoa.

- Italy have not won a single game in the Six Nations for two seasons now, and have had record defeats to Wales, Ireland and Scotland. Furthermore, their best record is two wins in a season and fourth place, which they only achieved in 2007 and 2013.

- Italy are the only Tier One team to have conceded over 100 points against another team (to New Zealand and South Africa).

- Italy are the only Tier One team to have never beaten England or Australia.

- Italy have not won a single match so far in this calendar year. Furthermore, within the last few months they have lost to Tonga and Fiji with more-or-less full-strength teams (those who whinge about the Wales rookies unconvincingly beating Tonga and Samoa should keep that in mind).

In short, why are Italy such outliers compared to all the other Tier One countries in rugby? (Of course, the same is also true of New Zealand, but for totally the opposite reasons). Do Italy even really deserve to be called a Tier One country?


Sun Jun 25, 2017 12:02 am
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Post Re: Is Italy really a Tier One country?
"Tier One" I'd just an arbitrary designation. Italy were invited into the 6N and then the Pro12 and at the time they probably were the next strogest team in the world.

Rugby teams' relative strengths are always shifting though. France is another example of a team not as strong as it was in the past. Based on current results it's probably fair to say that Italy are not as good as the T2 nations ranked above them.

Does that mean they are not T1 anymore? Not really, because the term was meaningless to begin with


Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:25 am
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Post Re: Is Italy really a Tier One country?
Yes id agree with Figaro.

But playing the game for a minute, what is going on when we nearly lost and probably should have lost to their under the twenties in the very recent world cup. As a "tier one" country surely we should have the development structures, money, and structure to blow these peasants away.

Im not sure we are in a position to judge.... professionalism has kept the score down from the regular 70 point hammerings that Wales were receiving regularly from the NH, we dont always beat the Italian clubs :dontknow:


There is a simple answer stop ringfencing the 6 Nations, the winner of the lower tier competition plays off at the end of the season against the side lowest in the 6 Nations. Instead of theorizing, actualize. If you can't win that then you don't deserve to be there.

_________________
"Business!' cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. "Mankind was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The deals of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”
“None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free.”
"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for


Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:45 am
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Post Re: Is Italy really a Tier One country?
Blindside wrote:
Yes id agree with Figaro.

But playing the game for a minute, what is going on when we nearly lost and probably should have lost to their under the twenties in the very recent world cup. As a "tier one" country surely we should have the development structures, money, and structure to blow these peasants away.

Im not sure we are in a position to judge.... professionalism has kept the score down from the regular 70 point hammerings that Wales were receiving regularly from the NH, we dont always beat the Italian clubs :dontknow:


There is a simple answer stop ringfencing the 6 Nations, the winner of the lower tier competition plays off at the end of the season against the side lowest in the 6 Nations. Instead of theorizing, actualize. If you can't win that then you don't deserve to be there.


I agree with the last paragraph - the Six Nations should be subject to the same system of promotion and regulation that exists in all other tiers of European rugby. However, as usual you are judging Welsh rugby with harsher standards than rugby from other countries - that Italy U20s team also beat Ireland U20s this season, ran a very good Scotland U20s close and even scored four tries against the Baby Blacks; even teams like Leinster, Munster and Glasgow do also sometimes lose to the Italian clubs; and those NH hammerings you mention (they weren't as severe as 70 points anyway) were mostly at a time when, on the one hand, England were an exceptional team under Clive Woodward, while on the other hand the professional Welsh Premiership was dying on its knees. As unfashionable and sacrilegious as it is apparently in this forum to point out, Welsh rugby has actually got considerably better thanks to (a) the introduction of the regional/super-club teams and (b) Warren Gatland. (Not saying things couldn't be better, but f.e. when you consider that what was possibly the most inexperienced Wales side in the professional era still managed to make it past a team that has beaten full-strength Wales teams four times in the past, it cannot be argued that there has been no real progress compared to the really dark era of 1990-2003).

But anyway, none of the above should digress from the main point of topic - Italy are still notably less successful than any other Tier One country, including what could be argued is their SH equivalent of Argentina, even taking into account their comparatively successful U20s team this year.


Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:46 pm
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Post Re: Is Italy really a Tier One country?
najbritcol wrote:
Blindside wrote:
Yes id agree with Figaro.

But playing the game for a minute, what is going on when we nearly lost and probably should have lost to their under the twenties in the very recent world cup. As a "tier one" country surely we should have the development structures, money, and structure to blow these peasants away.

Im not sure we are in a position to judge.... professionalism has kept the score down from the regular 70 point hammerings that Wales were receiving regularly from the NH, we dont always beat the Italian clubs :dontknow:


There is a simple answer stop ringfencing the 6 Nations, the winner of the lower tier competition plays off at the end of the season against the side lowest in the 6 Nations. Instead of theorizing, actualize. If you can't win that then you don't deserve to be there.


I agree with the last paragraph - the Six Nations should be subject to the same system of promotion and regulation that exists in all other tiers of European rugby. However, as usual you are judging Welsh rugby with harsher standards than rugby from other countries - that Italy U20s team also beat Ireland U20s this season, ran a very good Scotland U20s close and even scored four tries against the Baby Blacks; even teams like Leinster, Munster and Glasgow do also sometimes lose to the Italian clubs; and those NH hammerings you mention (they weren't as severe as 70 points anyway) were mostly at a time when, on the one hand, England were an exceptional team under Clive Woodward, while on the other hand the professional Welsh Premiership was dying on its knees. As unfashionable and sacrilegious as it is apparently in this forum to point out, Welsh rugby has actually got considerably better thanks to (a) the introduction of the regional/super-club teams and (b) Warren Gatland. (Not saying things couldn't be better, but f.e. when you consider that what was possibly the most inexperienced Wales side in the professional era still managed to make it past a team that has beaten full-strength Wales teams four times in the past, it cannot be argued that there has been no real progress compared to the really dark era of 1990-2003).

But anyway, none of the above should digress from the main point of topic - Italy are still notably less successful than any other Tier One country, including what could be argued is their SH equivalent of Argentina, even taking into account their comparatively successful U20s team this year.



Well i think we all agree that losing to Italy is quite a low point for any recognized rugby country, but i fail to see your point. What is the significance if any of them being not categorized as a tier one country, who decides and what is the criteria and what is the point.

Yes i judge Welsh rugby by harsher at standards as i want it to change. Im sick of the excuses and the short term analysis. We have no strength in depth, we have strength in depth we have no strength in depth and then we have it :D We beat Samoa and Tonga and we have strength in depth. I can asure you it woont be long before we dont again :D

_________________
"Business!' cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. "Mankind was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The deals of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”
“None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free.”
"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for


Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:07 am
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Post Re: Is Italy really a Tier One country?
Blindside wrote:

Yes i judge Welsh rugby by harsher at standards as i want it to change. Im sick of the excuses and the short term analysis. We have no strength in depth, we have strength in depth we have no strength in depth and then we have it :D We beat Samoa and Tonga and we have strength in depth. I can asure you it woont be long before we dont again :D


It'll all be well when a Welsh coach is back in the saddle as Head Coach.

The WRU have a series of courses to help the ambitious.

http://www.wru.co.uk/eng/development/ministomillennium/coach/index.php


Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:17 am
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Post Re: Is Italy really a Tier One country?
Blindside wrote:
najbritcol wrote:
Blindside wrote:
Yes id agree with Figaro.

But playing the game for a minute, what is going on when we nearly lost and probably should have lost to their under the twenties in the very recent world cup. As a "tier one" country surely we should have the development structures, money, and structure to blow these peasants away.

Im not sure we are in a position to judge.... professionalism has kept the score down from the regular 70 point hammerings that Wales were receiving regularly from the NH, we dont always beat the Italian clubs :dontknow:


There is a simple answer stop ringfencing the 6 Nations, the winner of the lower tier competition plays off at the end of the season against the side lowest in the 6 Nations. Instead of theorizing, actualize. If you can't win that then you don't deserve to be there.


I agree with the last paragraph - the Six Nations should be subject to the same system of promotion and regulation that exists in all other tiers of European rugby. However, as usual you are judging Welsh rugby with harsher standards than rugby from other countries - that Italy U20s team also beat Ireland U20s this season, ran a very good Scotland U20s close and even scored four tries against the Baby Blacks; even teams like Leinster, Munster and Glasgow do also sometimes lose to the Italian clubs; and those NH hammerings you mention (they weren't as severe as 70 points anyway) were mostly at a time when, on the one hand, England were an exceptional team under Clive Woodward, while on the other hand the professional Welsh Premiership was dying on its knees. As unfashionable and sacrilegious as it is apparently in this forum to point out, Welsh rugby has actually got considerably better thanks to (a) the introduction of the regional/super-club teams and (b) Warren Gatland. (Not saying things couldn't be better, but f.e. when you consider that what was possibly the most inexperienced Wales side in the professional era still managed to make it past a team that has beaten full-strength Wales teams four times in the past, it cannot be argued that there has been no real progress compared to the really dark era of 1990-2003).

But anyway, none of the above should digress from the main point of topic - Italy are still notably less successful than any other Tier One country, including what could be argued is their SH equivalent of Argentina, even taking into account their comparatively successful U20s team this year.



Well i think we all agree that losing to Italy is quite a low point for any recognized rugby country, but i fail to see your point. What is the significance if any of them being not categorized as a tier one country, who decides and what is the criteria and what is the point.

Yes i judge Welsh rugby by harsher at standards as i want it to change. Im sick of the excuses and the short term analysis. We have no strength in depth, we have strength in depth we have no strength in depth and then we have it :D We beat Samoa and Tonga and we have strength in depth. I can asure you it woont be long before we dont again :D


Perhaps a rather better indication of strength-in-depth would be beating England at Twickenham two years ago while missing Rhodri Jones, Jonathan Davies, Rhys Webb, Leigh Halfpenny and Cory Allen and then in that match losing Scott Williams, Liam Williams and Hallam Amos within a matter of minutes, with lots of players playing out of position in the process - most notably Lloyd Williams, who put in the crossfield kick for Gareth Davies to score the crucial try. Look, I am not saying that Welsh rugby has anything like as much strength-in-depth as do New Zealand, South Africa, England and possibly even Ireland, but it is not as dire as you make it out either.


Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:16 pm
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Post Re: Is Italy really a Tier One country?
najbritcol wrote:
Blindside wrote:
najbritcol wrote:
Blindside wrote:
Yes id agree with Figaro.

But playing the game for a minute, what is going on when we nearly lost and probably should have lost to their under the twenties in the very recent world cup. As a "tier one" country surely we should have the development structures, money, and structure to blow these peasants away.

Im not sure we are in a position to judge.... professionalism has kept the score down from the regular 70 point hammerings that Wales were receiving regularly from the NH, we dont always beat the Italian clubs :dontknow:


There is a simple answer stop ringfencing the 6 Nations, the winner of the lower tier competition plays off at the end of the season against the side lowest in the 6 Nations. Instead of theorizing, actualize. If you can't win that then you don't deserve to be there.


I agree with the last paragraph - the Six Nations should be subject to the same system of promotion and regulation that exists in all other tiers of European rugby. However, as usual you are judging Welsh rugby with harsher standards than rugby from other countries - that Italy U20s team also beat Ireland U20s this season, ran a very good Scotland U20s close and even scored four tries against the Baby Blacks; even teams like Leinster, Munster and Glasgow do also sometimes lose to the Italian clubs; and those NH hammerings you mention (they weren't as severe as 70 points anyway) were mostly at a time when, on the one hand, England were an exceptional team under Clive Woodward, while on the other hand the professional Welsh Premiership was dying on its knees. As unfashionable and sacrilegious as it is apparently in this forum to point out, Welsh rugby has actually got considerably better thanks to (a) the introduction of the regional/super-club teams and (b) Warren Gatland. (Not saying things couldn't be better, but f.e. when you consider that what was possibly the most inexperienced Wales side in the professional era still managed to make it past a team that has beaten full-strength Wales teams four times in the past, it cannot be argued that there has been no real progress compared to the really dark era of 1990-2003).

But anyway, none of the above should digress from the main point of topic - Italy are still notably less successful than any other Tier One country, including what could be argued is their SH equivalent of Argentina, even taking into account their comparatively successful U20s team this year.



Well i think we all agree that losing to Italy is quite a low point for any recognized rugby country, but i fail to see your point. What is the significance if any of them being not categorized as a tier one country, who decides and what is the criteria and what is the point.

Yes i judge Welsh rugby by harsher at standards as i want it to change. Im sick of the excuses and the short term analysis. We have no strength in depth, we have strength in depth we have no strength in depth and then we have it :D We beat Samoa and Tonga and we have strength in depth. I can asure you it woont be long before we dont again :D


Perhaps a rather better indication of strength-in-depth would be beating England at Twickenham two years ago while missing Rhodri Jones, Jonathan Davies, Rhys Webb, Leigh Halfpenny and Cory Allen and then in that match losing Scott Williams, Liam Williams and Hallam Amos within a matter of minutes, with lots of players playing out of position in the process - most notably Lloyd Williams, who put in the crossfield kick for Gareth Davies to score the crucial try. Look, I am not saying that Welsh rugby has anything like as much strength-in-depth as do New Zealand, South Africa, England and possibly even Ireland, but it is not as dire as you make it out either.



I have given you stick on here and im not trying to bash your opinion for opinion sake, however indulge me for a minute and instead of looking at a way of countering my post listen to it.

If you are happy or should i say accept being behind the top 4 or 5 sides the world then you have a point, success would be making a quarter final of the world cup. If that is our only realistic position then OK perhaps settle for it. But that is not the expectation, just look at what happens on here when you lose to sides above us. So if the expectation is higher, it must be realistic..... it clearly is not under the present structure and by structure i mean age 7 to 20 does not develop enough players with the correct skill set and knowledge.

Now all countries have players unavailable thats a given but some of the players you have mentioned above are not international standard in any case shining examples being Rhodri Jones and Corry Allen, and to an extent Amos, please dont tell me that coming on and holding one scrum against Samoa makes you an international quality tight head, because this is what people are saying :scratch:

The Engalnd game has long gone and if you actually watched that game we would have lost it 9 times out of 10. Having said that we could and possibly should have won the last game in Cardiff when we lost 16-21. England though had loads of players out.

So, first of all, set your goal, if in your opinion Wales can only be a top 8 team them OK say it, we have players who can keep us around that area and will probably continue to have them. My frustration is that nothing is done to make the use of the unique conditions within Wales that would make it far easier to facilitate a fantastic structure of talent identification and development.

The last hundred years make no difference, none, zero. We need to look at the players we have and the players we are going to have.

_________________
"Business!' cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. "Mankind was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The deals of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”
“None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free.”
"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for


Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:45 pm
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Post Re: Is Italy really a Tier One country?
Blindside wrote:
najbritcol wrote:
Blindside wrote:
najbritcol wrote:
Blindside wrote:
Yes id agree with Figaro.

But playing the game for a minute, what is going on when we nearly lost and probably should have lost to their under the twenties in the very recent world cup. As a "tier one" country surely we should have the development structures, money, and structure to blow these peasants away.

Im not sure we are in a position to judge.... professionalism has kept the score down from the regular 70 point hammerings that Wales were receiving regularly from the NH, we dont always beat the Italian clubs :dontknow:


There is a simple answer stop ringfencing the 6 Nations, the winner of the lower tier competition plays off at the end of the season against the side lowest in the 6 Nations. Instead of theorizing, actualize. If you can't win that then you don't deserve to be there.


I agree with the last paragraph - the Six Nations should be subject to the same system of promotion and regulation that exists in all other tiers of European rugby. However, as usual you are judging Welsh rugby with harsher standards than rugby from other countries - that Italy U20s team also beat Ireland U20s this season, ran a very good Scotland U20s close and even scored four tries against the Baby Blacks; even teams like Leinster, Munster and Glasgow do also sometimes lose to the Italian clubs; and those NH hammerings you mention (they weren't as severe as 70 points anyway) were mostly at a time when, on the one hand, England were an exceptional team under Clive Woodward, while on the other hand the professional Welsh Premiership was dying on its knees. As unfashionable and sacrilegious as it is apparently in this forum to point out, Welsh rugby has actually got considerably better thanks to (a) the introduction of the regional/super-club teams and (b) Warren Gatland. (Not saying things couldn't be better, but f.e. when you consider that what was possibly the most inexperienced Wales side in the professional era still managed to make it past a team that has beaten full-strength Wales teams four times in the past, it cannot be argued that there has been no real progress compared to the really dark era of 1990-2003).

But anyway, none of the above should digress from the main point of topic - Italy are still notably less successful than any other Tier One country, including what could be argued is their SH equivalent of Argentina, even taking into account their comparatively successful U20s team this year.



Well i think we all agree that losing to Italy is quite a low point for any recognized rugby country, but i fail to see your point. What is the significance if any of them being not categorized as a tier one country, who decides and what is the criteria and what is the point.

Yes i judge Welsh rugby by harsher at standards as i want it to change. Im sick of the excuses and the short term analysis. We have no strength in depth, we have strength in depth we have no strength in depth and then we have it :D We beat Samoa and Tonga and we have strength in depth. I can asure you it woont be long before we dont again :D


Perhaps a rather better indication of strength-in-depth would be beating England at Twickenham two years ago while missing Rhodri Jones, Jonathan Davies, Rhys Webb, Leigh Halfpenny and Cory Allen and then in that match losing Scott Williams, Liam Williams and Hallam Amos within a matter of minutes, with lots of players playing out of position in the process - most notably Lloyd Williams, who put in the crossfield kick for Gareth Davies to score the crucial try. Look, I am not saying that Welsh rugby has anything like as much strength-in-depth as do New Zealand, South Africa, England and possibly even Ireland, but it is not as dire as you make it out either.



I have given you stick on here and im not trying to bash your opinion for opinion sake, however indulge me for a minute and instead of looking at a way of countering my post listen to it.

If you are happy or should i say accept being behind the top 4 or 5 sides the world then you have a point, success would be making a quarter final of the world cup. If that is our only realistic position then OK perhaps settle for it. But that is not the expectation, just look at what happens on here when you lose to sides above us. So if the expectation is higher, it must be realistic..... it clearly is not under the present structure and by structure i mean age 7 to 20 does not develop enough players with the correct skill set and knowledge.

Now all countries have players unavailable thats a given but some of the players you have mentioned above are not international standard in any case shining examples being Rhodri Jones and Corry Allen, and to an extent Amos, please dont tell me that coming on and holding one scrum against Samoa makes you an international quality tight head, because this is what people are saying :scratch:

The Engalnd game has long gone and if you actually watched that game we would have lost it 9 times out of 10. Having said that we could and possibly should have won the last game in Cardiff when we lost 16-21. England though had loads of players out.

So, first of all, set your goal, if in your opinion Wales can only be a top 8 team them OK say it, we have players who can keep us around that area and will probably continue to have them. My frustration is that nothing is done to make the use of the unique conditions within Wales that would make it far easier to facilitate a fantastic structure of talent identification and development.

The last hundred years make no difference, none, zero. We need to look at the players we have and the players we are going to have.


OK you make a lot of good points there. First of all, I don't rate Rhodri Jones, Cory Allen or Hallam Amos that highly either, but they are promising players (yes, not the same thing as international quality) who could get better over time and did become part of what was a horrendous and crippling injury list. I also totally get your point about there being a difference between expectation and reality. In another thread, you yourself said that the number of (estimated) rugby players in Wales is grossly overstated, which does beg the question as to whether Wales really is such a rugby-oriented nation as the stereotype suggests in the first place? I certainly wouldn't say it is in the same way that New Zealand and South Africa clearly are, not just because of the national and club/regional teams' performances and results, but also because not only in terms of both players and attendance rates is rugby well behind football in Wales in the first place, but also it doesn't factor in most people's lives here much except possibly during the 6N. Go into any pub and chances are they shall be showing Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal, not the Blues, Ospreys or Scarlets. So, in answer to your question, I certainly think that a top 6 ranking is realistic for Wales - which in fact it did sustain between 2014 and 2016 - but do I really think it realistic that Wales will offer a long-term (as opposed to sporadic) challenge of SANZAR and England? No, and it is fallacious to believe it can do.


Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:35 pm
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Post Re: Is Italy really a Tier One country?
Yes cos world rugby says so end of.

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Mon Jun 26, 2017 4:07 pm
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