Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

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Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by SirJohnnyEnglish on Mon 12 May 2014, 12:08 pm

Home teams to be named by midnight on Tuesday
Away teams to be named by midnight on Wednesday
Tactics to be provided by midnight on Thursday

Predictions by 15:00 hours on Sunday



Leicester Tigers v Gloucester Rugby
Location - Welford Road
Sunny Intervals, 18 Degrees, 6 Mph SW Winds


Leicester Tigers
Manager – LukeLovesLuka

01. Andrew Sheridan     09. Kahn Fotuali'i
02. Stephen Moore10. Jonny Wilkinson (k)
03. Cencus Johnston
04. Nathan Hines11. Drew Mitchell
05. Pascal Pape12. Billy Twelvetrees
06. Francois Louw13. Brian O'Driscoll (c)
07. Jacques Burger14. Sitivenu Sivavatu
08. Ernst Joubert15. Mike Brown
16. Tom Youngs17. Gethin Jenkins 18. Dan Cole 19. Kearnan Myall 20. Sean O'Brien 21. Micky Young 22. Kurtley Beale 23. Ugo Monye

Tactics:

We will play to our strengths and play a game built around our intelligent HB's controlling the game and the power and strength of our side.

Target Cipriani all game with Louw and Burger breathing down his neck at every opportunity. Big runners through his channel - looking to win the Wilko vs Cipriani contest.

Attack at all scrums with our huge pack - Moore to look to really get into Strauss, with two huge props backed up by Pape and Hines. An area we will look to target if winning.

Attack at all lineouts. Use Joubert or Hines at the front and Pape off the top as our three key options.
Shortened lineouts with Burger in midfield as crash or decoy option.

- Put serious pressure on Strauss's throws with Joubert at the front on all Gloucester's throws.

Target the breakdown - huge emphasis on our work at the breakdown today and we will always look to turnover possession. With Louw and Burger, and the likes of BOD too, we feel our breakdown play could be crucial today.

Gigantic pack made up of massive line-breakers, used in the tight to tire down the Gloucester defence.

- In attacking play, we will look to get runners attacking the gain line looking for gapsWe do want to control the game, mixing up the point of our attack and looking for where the gaps are.

- In attacking play, we will play with the option of 2 first receivers in Wilko and 36We want to control the game, mixing up the point of our attack.

- We will look to employ a blitz defence, focusing on a quick line speed to hit the ball carrier before he gets to the gainline. We have aggressive forwards to carry out this instruction. Fotuali'i to sweep behind with an eye on short kicks.

- Wilko to kick all penalties.


Gloucester
Manager – anonmattyt


01.  Nick Wood 09.  Conor Murray
02.  Adriann Strauss10. Danny Cipriani
03. Nicholas Mas
04.  Eben Etzbeth11.  Johnny May
05.  George Robson12.  Matt Scott
06. Willem Alberts13.  Tevita Kudrani
07.  Akapusi Qera14.  Israel Folau
08.  Jamie Heaslip15. Israel Dagg
16 Coenie Ousthuizen 17 Jamie George 18 Rupert Harden 19 Elliot Stooke 20 Tom Croft 21 Dan Robson 22 Dan Carter 23 Charlie Walker

Scrum: we have a big front 5 with heaps of technical ability and will be using the scrum on our ball to launch attacks. There will not be that many scrums but on our ball we will be looking to get on the front foot between our 22 and their 10 metre we will look to pick up and
Get on the front foot to launch our big ball carriers to get that front foot ball needed to play open rugby. On their ball we will try and disrupt

Lineout

We have 5 jumpers and see the lineout as a great source of attacking ball. We will be mixing drive and off the top and will challenge their ball unless in our 22 where only 2 jumper will be put up. When we are driving the lineout we will be looking to move the ball away whilst the maul is moving. This can be either to one of our big forward runners or straight to Cips

General forwards

We have picked a pack of ball carriers and see ourselves as having more options to carry than Leicester.We want to carry relentlessly and get over the gainline and either offload or create quick ball for Murray to move. We have gone for a mobile pack
And the intention is to move Leicester around as much as possible.
We have backs to score lots of tries and we want to give them ball to attack,

Breakdown wise we will send numbers in if we can turn it over and look to counter ruck.

Attack wise we will be looking for aggressive clear outs to generate that quick ball that is necessary.

Around the fringes we will really target 9 to affect rhythm.

Backs

We are aiming to really play at tempo and stretch bath outwide.
We want to create one on ones and mismatches for gear  Folau May and co to exploit.

Murray Is in fine form and will keep there backrow and 9 honest but his prime job is to hit cipriani so cipriani can take the options. We will play a mixed game and kick where necessary. But when in the right area or when we spot a gap we will go for it.

We will use the cross kick for folau and will look to up the pace as the game goes on.

With a back 3 like ours we will look to counter attack any loose kicks from Leicester
We will also utilise quick throw ins and quick taps as the game progresses

Playing at this pace takes it's toll so benches are very important. We will utilise all of our bench to keep the pace up.

We will look to selectively blitz in defence. In conditions like this if you blitz all the time the grubber and chip are easy to utilise so it will be used sparingly. However we will be looking for very quick line speed. As ever Murray will sweep.



 


London Wasps v Sale Sharks
Location - Adams Park
Sunny Intervals, 18 Degrees, 6 Mph N Winds


London Wasps
Manager  Ozzy3213

01. Paul James09. Aaron Smith
02. Bismarck du Plessis10. Owen Farrell
03. David Wilson
04. Jim Hamilton (c)11. Bryan Habana
05. Johann Muller12. Christian Lealiifano
06. Siya Kolisi13. JJ Englebrecht
07. Steffon Armitage14. Marland Yarde
08. Duane Vermeulen15. Delon Armitage


16. Rob Hawkins 17. Alex Corbisiero 18. Ben Alexander 19. Matt Symons 20. Luke Wallace 21. Nathan Fowles 22. Pat McCabe 23. Tim Nanai-Williams

Basic Game Plan
In dry conditions we will be looking to play a possession based game, going through the phases and continually shifting the point of attack.  We will play sensibly in our own half though, and will use the boots of Farrell, Lealiifano and Armitage if it is not on to run the ball.  When using the boot we will kicking for touch and looking to contest the lineout.  We WILL NOT kick to their back three.

In defence, as always we will be running a blitz defence.  Our focus will be on the gainline collisions and driving back in the tackle.  Line speed and no dog-legs will be key components for us.  Smith will sweep in behind the defensive line to counter any chips/grubbers.


Specifics

  • Lineout.  On our ball we will mix things up, utilising all of a back 5 forwards.  We will at times go with a shortened line and use Duane Vermeulen either on the crash ball off first phase or as a decoy in midfield.  We will use the driving maul from the lineout when close to the Sale try line
  • Scrum.  On attacking scrums we will look to really mix things up.  We will of course scrummage and if we can gain the ascendency will try to turn the screw, but we also want to get the ball out and play.  We will be inventive in the Sale 22 and at times have Farrell packing down on a flank with Steffon Armitage at first receiver for a quick crask ball option off first phase, or as a decoy.
  • Breakdown.  When we carry in, we will flood the breakdown rucking well past the ball to free it up quickly and go again.  In defence, if we have made a passive tackle and the carrier has momentum we will not overcommit, but will maintain a strong defensive line.  If we win the collision and knock the carrier back we will look to get the second man in hard over the ball to turn it over.  Key for us is being selective.
  • Attacking Play.  We will be looking to play a Super Rugby type offloading game, with the ball shifted on to the support runner just prior to the point of the tackle with the defender already committed.  We will constantly look to shift the direction of play and pull their defenders out of position to create gaps.  We are looking to hit spaces not faces.  Smith to look to snipe around the fringes and keep us going forwards all the time.  
  • Defensive play.  We want to get off the line quickly, and as a team.  We want to where possible double up in the tackle, first man going low and stopping momentum before they hit the gainline, and second man in high to stop the offload before getting over the ball once the carrier is on the ground (obviously having released first so as to not get pinged).


Key Points

  • Home Advantage We are 100% at home all season and it is tough to win away, particularly at the business end of the season.
  • Balanced team Big, powerful front 5 and number 8.  Real lineout leader at 5.  Mobile, pacy flankers to get to breakdowns quickly and control that area.  Sniping 9, controlling 10.  Kicking and running games in the outside backs.  No defensive weaknesses.
  • Flankers  We are playing left/right flankers, and they are charged with leading the defence, and effecting turnovers.  
  • World Class Spine In the important 2, 8, 9 and 10 jerseys we have players who would be considered to be world class.  Bismarck is best in the world by a distance at hooker, and the three are all in the top 5 in the world in their positions.  Winning knockout games is about making the right decisions at the right times, and these guys will do that.



 Sale Sharks
Manager – SJE

01. Marcos Ayerza 09. Danny Care
02. David Paice10. Johnny Sexton
03. Davit Zirakishvilli
04. Dave Attwood11. Simon Zebo
05. Brodie Retalick12. Francois Steyn
06. Peter O'Mahony13. George Pisi
07. Matt Todd14. Semesa Rokoduguni
08. Louis Picamoles15. Jared Payne
|
16. Jack McGrath 17. Tommy Taylor 18. Phil Swainston 19. Christian Day 20. Matt Kvesic 21. Ben Spencer 22. Beauden Barrett 23. Kyle Eastmond

We will play an expansive, high intensity offloading game looking to create space and break the defensive line. Mobility, physicality and handling is key to our approach.

Momentum & form. Similar to Wasps in their glory days we have peaked at the perfect time with 6 wins from 6 in the league. Boasting some of the form players in the world currently we are on a roll and have real belief.

Fast ball is crucial. Mobile pack and physical midfield to clear out rucks and ensure quick ball. We will look to get over the gain line off all carries to make it easier to do so.

Commit the defence. Sexton will play flat on the gain line to pull in defenders before releasing runners while Care will look for opportunities to snipe around the base always committing defenders.

Change the point of attack. Numerous playmakers across the backline comfortable at coming in at first receiver allow us to change the point of attack and leave the opposition guessing.

Back three always involved. Wingers to track the ball off their wings looking for the inside ball or offload. Payne to join the line from fullback looking for mismatches and to create overlaps.

Attack from the scrum. Strong technical front row backed up by a powerful second row will look to build a platform for Pickles, Care & Sexton. An area we will look to target if winning.

Mix it up at the lineout. Five genuine jumpers gives us a strong attacking platform. Look to use both the rolling maul and ball off the top to keep the defence guessing.

Straight line blitz defence. Focused on winning the gain line collisions and driving the ball carrier back. Line speed is crucial. Care will sweep behind the line to cover chips and grubbers.

Target the breakdown. Committed to the breakdown with POM & Todd fetching for the ball, supported by the rest of the pack when needed. We will always look to turn the ball over.


Last edited by SirJohnnyEnglish on Mon 19 May 2014, 2:06 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by Ozzy3213 on Mon 12 May 2014, 12:19 pm

Two big games.  Glad that it's good conditions this week.  Who's in the Heineken Cup final the following weekend?
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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by SirJohnnyEnglish on Mon 12 May 2014, 12:20 pm

Saints & Tigers in the Heino 
Glaws & Worc in the Amlin

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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by Ozzy3213 on Mon 12 May 2014, 12:22 pm

Straight shoot out for me and you then SJE.  No minds on anything other than winning this one!
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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by Ozzy3213 on Mon 12 May 2014, 12:54 pm

Johann Muller, Duane Vermeulen, Aaron Smith and Bryan Habana are amongst the returnees for London Wasps as they name a strong side  for their play off semi final with Sale Sharks this weekend.

London Wasps
Manager  Ozzy3213

01. Paul James09. Aaron Smith
02. Bismarck du Plessis10. Owen Farrell
03. David Wilson
04. Jim Hamilton (c)11. Bryan Habana
05. Johann Muller12. Christian Lealiifano
06. Siya Kolisi13. JJ Englebrecht
07. Steffon Armitage14. Marland Yarde
08. Duane Vermeulen15. Delon Armitage

16. Rob Hawkins 17. Alex Corbisiero 18. Ben Alexander 19. Matt Symons 20. Luke Wallace 21. Nathan Fowles 22. Pat McCabe 23. Tim Nanai-Williams

Basic Game Plan
In dry conditions we will be looking to play a possession based game, going through the phases and continually shifting the point of attack.  We will play sensibly in our own half though, and will use the boots of Farrell, Lealiifano and Armitage if it is not on to run the ball.  When using the boot we will kicking for touch and looking to contest the lineout.  We WILL NOT kick to their back three.

In defence, as always we will be running a blitz defence.  Our focus will be on the gainline collisions and driving back in the tackle.  Line speed and no dog-legs will be key components for us.  Smith will sweep in behind the defensive line to counter any chips/grubbers.


Specifics
  • Lineout.  On our ball we will mix things up, utilising all of a back 5 forwards.  We will at times go with a shortened line and use Duane Vermeulen either on the crash ball off first phase or as a decoy in midfield.  We will use the driving maul from the lineout when close to the Sale try line
  • Scrum.  On attacking scrums we will look to really mix things up.  We will of course scrummage and if we can gain the ascendency will try to turn the screw, but we also want to get the ball out and play.  We will be inventive in the Sale 22 and at times have Farrell packing down on a flank with Steffon Armitage at first receiver for a quick crask ball option off first phase, or as a decoy.
  • Breakdown.  When we carry in, we will flood the breakdown rucking well past the ball to free it up quickly and go again.  In defence, if we have made a passive tackle and the carrier has momentum we will not overcommit, but will maintain a strong defensive line.  If we win the collision and knock the carrier back we will look to get the second man in hard over the ball to turn it over.  Key for us is being selective.
  • Attacking Play.  We will be looking to play a Super Rugby type offloading game, with the ball shifted on to the support runner just prior to the point of the tackle with the defender already committed.  We will constantly look to shift the direction of play and pull their defenders out of position to create gaps.  We are looking to hit spaces not faces.  Smith to look to snipe around the fringes and keep us going forwards all the time.  
  • Defensive play.  We want to get off the line quickly, and as a team.  We want to where possible double up in the tackle, first man going low and stopping momentum before they hit the gainline, and second man in high to stop the offload before getting over the ball once the carrier is on the ground (obviously having released first so as to not get pinged).

Key Points
  • Home Advantage We are 100% at home all season and it is tough to win away, particularly at the business end of the season.
  • Balanced team Big, powerful front 5 and number 8.  Real lineout leader at 5.  Mobile, pacy flankers to get to breakdowns quickly and control that area.  Sniping 9, controlling 10.  Kicking and running games in the outside backs.  No defensive weaknesses.
  • Flankers  We are playing left/right flankers, and they are charged with leading the defence, and effecting turnovers.  
  • World Class Spine In the important 2, 8, 9 and 10 jerseys we have players who would be considered to be world class.  Bismarck is best in the world by a distance at hooker, and the three are all in the top 5 in the world in their positions.  Winning knockout games is about making the right decisions at the right times, and these guys will do that.



Best of luck SJE, may the best team win.  Very Happy


Last edited by Ozzy3213 on Thu 15 May 2014, 9:24 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Mon 12 May 2014, 2:28 pm

mark

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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by LukeLovesLuka on Tue 13 May 2014, 9:48 am

Leicester Tigers
Manager – LukeLovesLuka

01. Andrew Sheridan     09. Kahn Fotuali'i
02. Stephen Moore10. Jonny Wilkinson (k)
03. Cencus Johnston
04. Nathan Hines11. Drew Mitchell
05. Pascal Pape12. Billy Twelvetrees
06. Francois Louw13. Brian O'Driscoll (c)
07. Jacques Burger14. Sitivenu Sivavatu
08. Ernst Joubert15. Mike Brown

16. Tom Youngs17. Gethin Jenkins 18. Dan Cole 19. Kearnan Myall 20. Sean O'Brien 21. Micky Young 22. Kurtley Beale 23. Ugo Monye

Tactics:

We will play to our strengths and play a game built around our intelligent HB's controlling the game and the power and strength of our side.

- Target Cipriani all game with Louw and Burger breathing down his neck at every opportunity. Big runners through his channel - looking to win the Wilko vs Cipriani contest.

- Attack at all scrums with our huge pack - Moore to look to really get into Strauss, with two huge props backed up by Pape and Hines. An area we will look to target if winning.

- Attack at all lineouts. Use Joubert or Hines at the front and Pape off the top as our three key options.
Shortened lineouts with Burger in midfield as crash or decoy option.

- Put serious pressure on Strauss's throws with Joubert at the front on all Gloucester's throws.

- Target the breakdown - huge emphasis on our work at the breakdown today and we will always look to turnover possession. With Louw and Burger, and the likes of BOD too, we feel our breakdown play could be crucial today.

- Gigantic pack made up of massive line-breakers, used in the tight to tire down the Gloucester defence.

- In attacking play, we will look to get runners attacking the gain line looking for gaps. We do want to control the game, mixing up the point of our attack and looking for where the gaps are.

- In attacking play, we will play with the option of 2 first receivers in Wilko and 36. We want to control the game, mixing up the point of our attack.

- We will look to employ a blitz defence, focusing on a quick line speed to hit the ball carrier before he gets to the gainline. We have aggressive forwards to carry out this instruction. Fotuali'i to sweep behind with an eye on short kicks.

- Wilko to kick all penalties.


Last edited by LukeLovesLuka on Fri 16 May 2014, 8:35 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by Guest on Wed 14 May 2014, 2:56 pm

On trains most of week so will reformat. Wanted to get it in so like has visibility

1.wood
2 Strauss
3. Mas
4 Etzbeth
5 Robson
6 Alberts
7 Qera
8 Heaslip
9 Murray
10 Cipriani
11 May
12 Scott
13 Kuridrani
14 Folau
15 Dagg
16 Coenie Ousthuizen
17 George
18 Harden
19 Stooke
20 Croft
21 Robson
22 Carter
23 Walker

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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by Driver on Wed 14 May 2014, 3:22 pm

GUYS I HAVE MADE A EUROPEAN THREAD FOR MY GAME AGAINST STADE FRANCAIS TO SAVE SJE THE HASSLE. IF YOU COULD ALL PREDICT ON THAT GAME ASWELL THAT WOULD BE JUST DANDY
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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by Guest on Wed 14 May 2014, 3:28 pm

OK DRIVER WE WE GET THE POINT AND WILL PREDO IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by Driver on Wed 14 May 2014, 3:40 pm

THANK YOU MATTHEW
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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by Fluxy on Wed 14 May 2014, 5:12 pm

CALM DOWN GUYS

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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Wed 14 May 2014, 6:19 pm

Some interesting calls in team selections

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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by SirJohnnyEnglish on Wed 14 May 2014, 9:31 pm

Sale Sharks
Manager – SJE

01. Marcos Ayerza 09. Danny Care
02. David Paice10. Johnny Sexton
03. Davit Zirakishvilli
04. Dave Attwood11. Simon Zebo
05. Brodie Retalick12. Francois Steyn
06. Peter O'Mahony13. George Pisi
07. Matt Todd14. Semesa Rokoduguni
08. Louis Picamoles15. Jared Payne
|
16. Jack McGrath 17. Tommy Taylor 18. Phil Swainston 19. Christian Day 20. Matt Kvesic 21. Ben Spencer 22. Beauden Barrett 23. Kyle Eastmond

We will play an expansive, high intensity offloading game looking to create space and break the defensive line. Mobility, physicality and handling is key to our approach.

- Momentum & form. Similar to Wasps in their glory days we have peaked at the perfect time with 6 wins from 6 in the league. Boasting some of the form players in the world currently we are on a roll and have real belief.

- Fast ball is crucial. Mobile pack and physical midfield to clear out rucks and ensure quick ball. We will look to get over the gain line off all carries to make it easier to do so.

- Commit the defence. Sexton will play flat on the gain line to pull in defenders before releasing runners while Care will look for opportunities to snipe around the base always committing defenders.

- Change the point of attack. Numerous playmakers across the backline comfortable at coming in at first receiver allow us to change the point of attack and leave the opposition guessing.

- Back three always involved. Wingers to track the ball off their wings looking for the inside ball or offload. Payne to join the line from fullback looking for mismatches and to create overlaps.

- Attack from the scrum. Strong technical front row backed up by a powerful second row will look to build a platform for Pickles, Care & Sexton. An area we will look to target if winning.

- Mix it up at the lineout. Five genuine jumpers gives us a strong attacking platform. Look to use both the rolling maul and ball off the top to keep the defence guessing.

- Straight line blitz defence. Focused on winning the gain line collisions and driving the ball carrier back. Line speed is crucial. Care will sweep behind the line to cover chips and grubbers.

- Target the breakdown. Committed to the breakdown with POM & Todd fetching for the ball, supported by the rest of the pack when needed. We will always look to turn the ball over.


Last edited by SirJohnnyEnglish on Thu 15 May 2014, 10:03 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by ChequeredJersey on Thu 15 May 2014, 7:49 am

Good luck guys
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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by Guest on Fri 16 May 2014, 9:31 am

Scrum: we have a big front 5 with heaps of technical ability and will be using the scrum on our ball to launch attacks. There will not be that many scrums but on our ball we will be looking to get on the front foot between our 22 and their 10 metre we will look to pick up and
Get on the front foot to launch our big ball carriers to get that front foot ball needed to play open rugby. On their ball we will try and disrupt

Lineout

We have 5 jumpers and see the lineout as a great source of attacking ball. We will be mixing drive and off the top and will challenge their ball unless in our 22 where only 2 jumper will be put up. When we are driving the lineout we will be looking to move the ball away whilst the maul is moving. This can be either to one of our big forward runners or straight to Cips

General forwards

We have picked a pack of ball carriers and see ourselves as having more options to carry than Leicester.We want to carry relentlessly and get over the gainline and either offload or create quick ball for Murray to move. We have gone for a mobile pack
And the intention is to move Leicester around as much as possible.
We have backs to score lots of tries and we want to give them ball to attack,

Breakdown wise we will send numbers in if we can turn it over and look to counter ruck.

Attack wise we will be looking for aggressive clear outs to generate that quick ball that is necessary.

Around the fringes we will really target 9 to affect rhythm.

Backs

We are aiming to really play at tempo and stretch bath outwide.
We want to create one on ones and mismatches for gear  Folau May and co to exploit.

Murray Is in fine form and will keep there backrow and 9 honest but his prime job is to hit cipriani so cipriani can take the options. We will play a mixed game and kick where necessary. But when in the right area or when we spot a gap we will go for it.

We will use the cross kick for folau and will look to up the pace as the game goes on.

With a back 3 like ours we will look to counter attack any loose kicks from Leicester
We will also utilise quick throw ins and quick taps as the game progresses

Playing at this pace takes it's toll so benches are very important. We will utilise all of our bench to keep the pace up.

We will look to selectively blitz in defence. In conditions like this if you blitz all the time the grubber and chip are easy to utilise so it will be used sparingly. However we will be looking for very quick line speed. As ever Murray will sweep.

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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by SirJohnnyEnglish on Fri 16 May 2014, 9:46 am

Predictions Open

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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Fri 16 May 2014, 3:04 pm

London Wasps 26-27 Sale Sharks

FR - I can't see many scrums in the game and I don't think they'll be much in it either with both units strong. Ayeza adds more to the game than James and Wilson more than Zira. Bdp is a big step up on Paice though and will help Wasps get on front foot.
SR- Sale pairing a step up in quality here I think. Both Wasps players are top players but slowing down and lose a bit in the good conditions. the Sale unit is extremely athletic/powerful and suit the game better. They'll be little in the line out with strong options for both sides.
BR- Titanic battle at 8 with Picamoles playing the better rugby this year although both not in top form Armitage has the 7 battle but POM a class up at 6. As a unit I think the Sale trio are stronger and I think they have a good back 5 advantage.
HB- Tried and tested for Sale. Smith and Care in outstanding form with both nailing respective national spots. Farrell improving all the time and top FH for these types of games, Sexton just brings a little more to the game and he's been on fire the last few months.
CEI've had a bit of problem all season with the Wasps pairing with both not offering a big running threat. Luckily for Johnny, Steyn has been playing quite well and his unit offering a good balance and an attacking threat. Again there's not a huge advantage, but Sale just sneak it.
B3- Not much in the FB's both in good nick. Zebo playing well for Sale and Yarde just coming into form in time for Wasps. I do think Wasps edge overall though.
Tactics- Similar game plans but I think Sale are set out a little better here and have the players suit. I'm not sure Farrell can direct this high tempo offloading game, similar with the Wasps midfield.
Overall- Two teams in top form. Sale have a back 5 edge and a little more creativity to suit the game plan. I'm really surprised I'm considering an away win in the semi finals as I didn't think I would before going through teams/tactics. I just the athleticism and form of the majority of the Sale players just gives them the edge. Massive massive game and this one will go right to the edge.

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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by Steven_Sharks on Fri 16 May 2014, 4:58 pm

Leicester 25 - 24 Gloucester

Up front is a good battle and I don't think there is much in it at all at the set piece. I think there is more dynamism in the Gloucester pack when it comes to carrying and I think they have the stronger carriers and this will have a big impact upon Gloucester getting onto the front foot, which they need to do with Cips at 10. At the breakdown I think Leicester will get some joy in this area and will get some turnovers even with Gloucester's 'aggressive clear-outs.'

The backs are an interesting battle. I like the gnarl which both 9's bring but feel that Murray is in the better for and offers the control needed with Cips outside him. The 10's obviously bring different things to the table and I feel that Cips will get more out of his back line than Wilko when he gets the quick ball I feel his pack will be able to get him with their strong carriers. The increased physicality in the Gloucester centres helps them out but I feel BOD will be able to get some joy in the 13 channel if he gets enough ball in hand. Back threes look exciting and I feel that Gloucester have the stronger unit with a bit more X factor.

Bench goes to Leicester but Young and Beale as a replacement half back pair will struggle should Kahn and Wilko go off. In the end it is very tight but their isn't enough of an advantage for Gloucester to come away with the win.

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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by dammit_chris on Sat 17 May 2014, 11:20 am

Amazingly tough to predict these games, all four teams are so evenly matched! Probably would have given draws for both if it wasn't a semi final.

Leicester 26-25 Gloucester
Both sides set up very well here, forward battle going to be extremely physical. Louw and Burger have finished very strongly, but Sheridan and Joubert haven't featured much at all, while Gloucester pack is strong throughout. When you factor in the strength of Tigers bench it just shades the overall pack battle to Tigers, but can see Gloucester having the edge until the subs benches come on, but Gloucester forwards on bench are all in good form.

Back lines very contrasting in style, Kahn has blown hot and cold for Saints and not much pace 10-13 for Tigers, while with Cipriani Mat has one of the form players in the AP. More x-factor from the Gloucester backline.

If the Tigers forward bench wasn't as strong as it is, then Gloucester would have won, but the final 20 minutes is where the game will be won and the platform set for Wilko. Welford Road factor contributes.

Saracens 33-32 Sale
Just as hard a game to decide on, both teams are better than the other in certain areas and I know i have criticised both a little bit in terms of players who can finish off chances and score from distance, but looking at both back threes and there are tries all over the place here.

Can see Sale being able to get at Paul James, but then Pete has the best hooker in the world and that makes a huge difference when up against Paice. A bit more physicality about the Sale pack and backrow. But the game changer for me is the weather, if it was raining then this would give the game to Sale, but sunny conditions and at home then it plays into Wasps' hands a bit more.

With Wasps I like the kicking options they have at 10, 12 and 15 - but Sale have the best halfback combination in the game. Again in the rain I'd have given Sale the win by 3 points, but conditions just that bit better suited to Wasps.

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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by SirJohnnyEnglish on Sat 17 May 2014, 11:49 am

Leicester Tigers 23-20 Gloucester Rugby
 
Scrum: Some form issues for both but feel the power of the Tigers front 5 can get on top. 
Lineout: Both sides should hold their own but more variety to the Glaws lineout.
Breakdown: Both sides committing to the breakdown but there's more quality to the Tigers work and they should slow Glaws up somewhat.
HB's: Better form for Glaws but they will have to play off slower ball which doesn't always suit Cips. 
Attack: More about the Glaws back line as a whole. 
Defence: Kuindrani can be moved around positionally & BOD has the passing/offloading game to take advantage.
Bench: Glaws halfbacks could offer more control but Tigers can really up the tempo ball in hand.
Tactics: Glaws with a good approach moving the Tigers pack around the pitch as I feel their front 5 is that bit more athletic but will find it hard to get real momentum going with slow ball. Feel Wilko will control things better and keep Glaws deep.

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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by ChequeredJersey on Sat 17 May 2014, 4:35 pm

Will try and get full predos in tomorrow morning (my time). Looks 2 good matches, but bedtime now and I'm just gutted after Quins lost (though not surprised)
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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by prop_lyd on Sat 17 May 2014, 4:41 pm

Tigers 25-23 Glos
SP: Little to Glos come lineout, evens in the scrum.
BK: Carrying goes to Glos here but on the floor Tigers can cause all sorts of problems.
HB: Bit more form for Glos, Tigers have the cool heads.
AT: This is where Glos can step up a bit.
DE: Glos could be got at; Tigers quite solid.
BE: Evens here.
TA: Tigers targeting breakdown well and can see the swaps in 10's working well with Wilko and 12T bringing different styles of play. Glos will get good lineout ball and carry a lot of yards but feel that they will get slow ball at the breakdown today.

Wasps 32-31 Sale
SP: Feel Wasps have more about them in the set pieces.
BK: Like the set up of both and on good ground there will be huge collisions.
HB: Very tough to split these having watch Farrell today, may have a few issues with pressure penalties which Sexton won't have issues taking.
AT: Kicking wise Wasps have strong players but Steyn brings the long boot. Can't split the back three.
DE: Both looking pretty solid.
BE: Wasps can bring more power in the scrum.
TA: Dry conditions and quick offloads for Wasps works really well. Sale do bring league form in this game with a good surge at the end but think that they have met their match when trying to play the offloading game.

2 great matches, very hard to split!!
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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by CJB on Sun 18 May 2014, 1:00 am

Tigers 25-22 Gloucester
Prefer the Gloucester front five here with their greater athleticism on show. Do think the Tigers back row can offer more, especially at the breakdown. Glaws have the form half backs but both will thrive off better ball. Prefer the Tigers outside backs although Gloucester are always dangerous and can thrive given an open field. Can see the Tigers bench coming on and providing fresh impetus and winning drive.

Wasps 27-28 Sale
Wasps have the better front row, mainly thanks to BDP and his dominance around the park but Sale have the better second row. What a battle in the back row. Very hard to split but would just give it to Sale. Sale have the best half back combo in the league but both are very strong here. Again not much in it but Wasps have stronger outside backs. Wasps are at home but Sale do have form and momentum in their side which edges it for me.

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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by ChequeredJersey on Sun 18 May 2014, 5:59 am

Tigers 30 vs 28 Gloucester
Tiniest edge to Tigers in the scrum, but then Glaws just edge the lineout and neither dominates. Tigers flankers have been 2 of the best 7s in world rugby this year (shame Louw is injured though) and will win the breakdown but lose a bit in the carrying stakes, due to Alberts and Etzebeth. Altogether the pack battle evens out, in the HBs, I think Murray will help Cips more but with the pressure on Cips, Wilko's composure means advantage Tigers. I marginally prefer Glaws' tactics, and their backline is packed with pace but Tigers has so much power running and cleverness too, and I think with them targeting the breakdown and Cips and having a 2nd 1st receiver they edge this at home.

Wasps 25 - 25 Sale
Dead evens at the scrum and lineout, both sides looking to use both to play off. Really hard to call breakdown too, mayb e edge Sale. Wasps ahve the advantage carrying though. HBs, botyh good but in the sun Sale are more dangerous without losing the ability to control the game. I would always target Care in a match like this, because if he has space he causes all sorts of trouble. Attack- Wasps more reliant on getting ball to lethal back 3 and more threat in centres for Sale. Really can't separate these sides, even with Wasps at home.
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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by Ozzy3213 on Sun 18 May 2014, 8:13 am

Leicester Tigers 35 Gloucester 31

Interesting scrum battle.  Both hookers are excellent, but form/injury issues amongst the props.  6'5" Sheridan vs. 5'11" Mas is an interesting one, but I'd back the Frenchman's better technique and ability to get underneath to enable him to really anchor the Gloucester scrum.  On the other side though I don't see Wood being able to really get on top of Johnston enough to gain major dominance.  In the lineout both will be able to scure their own ball, with Tigers perhaps being able to steal a couple more.  From the meake up of their back row, Tigers are clearly wanting to win the breakdown with two opensides on the flanks.   In the half backs, I am trying not to judge Fotuali'i solely on Friday night's performance where he was all over the place.  Wilkinson will need decent ball.  The back row will provide it, but it's what Fotuali'i does in between that will decide whether Tigers can play or not.  I like the Gloucester centre pairing, but Tigers is just a bit more tried and trusted, and both teams have massive threat in the back three.  I also like the look of the Tigers bench a little bit more than Gloucesters.  Tactically Gloucester wanting to play fast and loose which suits the players they have on the pitch, Tigers look a little more pragmatic going through the phases with big carriers.  Overall I just don't see Gloucester having that real pack and defensive  dominance that you have to have to even contemplate winning away from home.  Close game, but for me Tigers book themselves an opportunity to defend their title in two weeks time.
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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by SirJohnnyEnglish on Sun 18 May 2014, 9:47 am

Will be leaving predictions open till 8pm so lets get the full house in this week  thumbsup

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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by Ozzy3213 on Sun 18 May 2014, 9:53 am

Yeah, mine and SJE's game is so tight it would be good to get the full set in (Steve, Driver, Matt, Luke and Fluxy!)  Wink
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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by Guest on Sun 18 May 2014, 10:14 am

Wasps 28-28 Sale

Sorry to sit on the fence here but impossible to split. Forwards 4 a piece and both have particular strengths and advantages.
BDP over paice retallick over muller etc.

Can see it being a pack battle that wasps just shade due to a superior backrow which is probably the weakest part of the sale side.

Great halfback battle with Care vs Smith a great contest. Sexton the form ten in the world and will get more out of the backline and conditions . Both tactics are good although I feel wasps should have kicked at rokodunguni who is very defensively naieve which is why bath prefer banahan in big games. Wasps much better back 3 but don't feel Farrell will get the most out of them.


Sale have a lot of form and sneak the draw

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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by Driver on Sun 18 May 2014, 2:42 pm

Leicester Tigers 29 Gloucester 25

Too very very good sides , hence why they're in the AP semi finals. Feel tigers have a bit more about them in the pack with Pape and co able to get through shedloads in the loose. Back row goes to Tigers aswell for me. Half backs tigers centres too back 3 glaws.
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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by Steven_Sharks on Sun 18 May 2014, 2:52 pm

Wasps 28 - 25 Sale

Feel Wasps will control the set piece and with a pack which has numerous strong carriers they will get the better of the pack battle. Half backs are pretty even with more zip from Sale but more control from Wasps. Centres pretty even but feel the Wasps back 3 has more about it going forward as well as being a bit stronger in defence. Good game but Wasps win.

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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by Driver on Sun 18 May 2014, 6:42 pm

Wasps 29 Sale 24

Wasps will own the set piece and have plenty of go forward , Smith and Farrell able to control this game. Rest of backs all square. Tactics just favour Wasps.
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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by Fluxy on Sun 18 May 2014, 7:50 pm

London Wasps 27 - 26 Sale Sharks

Two decent teams with similar set ups for this clash. Up front I give the edge to Wasps as they have a bit more experience in this high pressure situation. Smith and Faz can control the game with the slight dominance of their pack. Although Care and Sexton are arguably the form halfbacks in the world right now and edge the bcos with they way they can their backs and forwards into play. Tough to choose a winner, but with Faz playing as he is at the moment he will be a little more reliable with boot and edge a massive home win.

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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by Fluxy on Sun 18 May 2014, 7:58 pm

Leicester Tigers 24- 22 Gloucester

Great battle up front with two monster packs. Tigers just edge with a front five keen to get through a bit more the close in carrying. Glos power back row though give them some real go forward.
Wilko will pull the strings, but glos halfbacks are very strong and make use of the momentum from their back-row. Backs vevens with both having standouts in particular positions. For me the experience of Tigers players in key positions means they can keep their calm and comeback to secure the win late on.

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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by LukeLovesLuka on Sun 18 May 2014, 8:22 pm

Leave the open for me? Been On a stag do. Will be in tonight

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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by Guest on Sun 18 May 2014, 8:41 pm

Well done Luke. I would have given you the win myself.

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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by LukeLovesLuka on Sun 18 May 2014, 9:56 pm

Wasps 26 - 25 Sale

Such a tough game to call here. Wasps edge front row but sale take the second row. Not a lot in the back rows. Sale edge the HBs, as per usual. Centres close but back three to wasps. Two top sides with great players all over the park. At home wasps edge a close encounter.

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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by LukeLovesLuka on Sun 18 May 2014, 9:56 pm

Cheers matt, good game.

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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by Ozzy3213 on Mon 19 May 2014, 6:24 am

RESULTS

Leicester Tigers 31 (T: Johnston, Twelvetrees, Mitchell 2 C: Wilkinson 4 P: Wilkinson)
Gloucester 24 (T: Strauss, Cipriani, Carter C: Cipriani 2, Carter P: Cipriani)

London Wasps 31 (T: Kolisi, Lealiifano, Habana, Farrell C: Farrell 4 P: Farrell)
Sale Sharks 28 (T: Attwood, Payne, Pisi C: Sexton 2 P: Sexton 3)
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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Mon 19 May 2014, 7:58 am

Well done lads.

Big win for Tigers, you must have the record for Semi defeats Matt

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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by SirJohnnyEnglish on Mon 19 May 2014, 9:09 am

Congratulations to Luke & Pete best of luck in the final  thumbsup

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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by Guest on Mon 19 May 2014, 9:39 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Well done lads.

Big win for Tigers, you must have the record for Semi defeats Matt


2 or 3 final appearances and a few semi defeats consistent top 4 candidate

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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Mon 19 May 2014, 10:17 am

Always the bridesmaid, never the bride Wink

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Re: Aviva Premiership Playoff Semi Finals

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