Aviva Premiership Round Two

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Aviva Premiership Round Two

Post by SirJohnnyEnglish on Mon 08 Sep 2014, 12:07 pm

First topic message reminder :

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 22:00 hours on Sunday

Harlequins v Saracens
Location - Twickenham Stoop
Sunny Intervals, 21 Degrees, 8mph W Winds

Manager – Steven_Sharks

01. Tony Woodcock09. Eric Escande
02. Schalk Brits10. Steven Myler (k)
03. John Afoa
04. Bakkies Botha11. Jack Nowell
05. Jim Hamilton12. Jamie Roberts
06. Mamuka Gorgodze13. Jonathan Joseph
07. Tom Wood (c)14. Yoann Huget
08. Nick Easter15. Rob Kearney
16. Rob Buchanan 17. Steven Kitchoff 18. Kieran Brookes 19. George Kruis 20. Jamie Gibson 21. Luke McGrath 22. Quade Cooper 23. Pita Ahki


Game Plan

We will play with our usual game plan. We will endeavour to get quick ball to attack with and to get this quick ball we will use our big pack to get us across the gain line with carriers off 9 and 10. Our pack will carry in numbers and look to either offload before contact, offload out of contact or keep the legs pumping after contact and give the rest of our pack a target to hit to recycle quick ball. When we get quick ball Escande and Myler will make the call to get the ball into wider channels and start stretching the Saracens defence with our quick and elusive outside backs looking to target gaps.

In our own 22 we will clear the ball directly to touch using the boots of Escande, Myler or Kearney and we will put huge pressure on the Saracens lineout. Between our own 22m and half way line we will assess whether to use a kick as an attacking option or to kick to space. If there is no space behind the Saracens defensive line then we can assume at least three men are out of the Sarries defensive line and their are gaps for us to exploit in the Saracens defence.

Our standard attacking set up will be to use a runner (usually a backrow forward or Roberts) to run a hard line and we would have with a more creative player (one of our backs) running a line out the backs. The first pivot option then has the option to hit a hard runner or to hit the man out the back to open up wider channels. More than one man can run the hard line to tie in more Saracens defenders.

Set Piece

Scrum time - Really look to exert pressure and scrum time. We have two, technically sound and experience props with two giants behind them in the scrum. This will make a huge difference to our scrum and we will look to use it as an attacking platform.

Lineout - Standard set up is to use a 6 man line. We will look to use the back ball as often as possible to allow us to release Jamie Roberts and Mamuka Gorgodze to get us across the gain line and to get us quick momentum. Should the back become quickly marked then we will either get off the top ball from the middle of the line or if they are offering the front we will set up a very quick maul and take advantage of their lack of numbers defending this position. Short line also an option.


Our defence will be out to in with Line speed being crucial. Joseph will lead our line speed and look to cut off Saracens going wide. This defence will especially target the Saracens decision makers. We will either look to win the collision if we are set and in a position to do so or chop tackle and look to get the first man to the breakdown to effect the turnover. If we can't win a penalty or a turnover with the first man their within 3 seconds then we will leave the breakdown and set up our defensive line although the first man will always look to legally slow the ball down if the turnover isn't on.

Manager – Pooly

01. Alex Waller09. Morgan Parra
02. Guilhem Guirado10. Tom Taylor
03. Matius Diaz
04. Patrico Albacete11. Zak Guildford
05. Flip van der Merwe12. Scott Williams
06. Callum Clark13. Maxime Mermoz
07. Thierry Dusatoir©️14. Chris Ashton
08. Nathan Hughes15. Matt Tait
16. Jamie George 17. Xavier Chiocci  18. Paul Hill 19. Louis Deacon 20. Dave Denton 21. Thomas Chapman 22. Morne Steyn 23. Malakai Fekitoa


TARGET BREAKDOWN WITH NO SPECIALIST IN QUINS PACK – With Dus/Clark strong in this area we’ll look to target turnover ball and slowing opposition attacks.

TARGET ESCANDE – Look to get him early on and put him off his game having little game time with Myler

IMPACT BENCH – Raise the intensity with big carrying options like Denton & Fekitoa. Steyn to see game home.

General - We've selected a team packed with power and physicality. We'll be playing a structured physical game from the off, look to smash the opposition back and get into the rucks/maul's and drive through. We'll look to tie the opposition in and then get at their backline, more so in their half. Look to keep it tight in the forward pack and grind through work. Looking to move the opposition pack around and then use big carrying options to punch holes through the opposition defence.

Scrum - Look to get a platform from the off with a strong scrummaging unit. Strong front 5 with big locks will look for the big push once the ball is in and drive the opposition back. Our LH and Hooker will look to target TH and try to get between him and Hooker to allow TH to work on LH If no weakness seen will use as restart.

Line out – Look for quick ball off the top with the world class line out options and experience. Will allow SH good clean ball and have big carriers running off the 9 at angles.

Defence - High intensity and big hits, looking to drive past the ball player if the ball hits the deck. Huge physical pack that can look to dominate the collision and breakdown allowing Clark/Dus etc a chance to slow down/steal ball. Lack of straight running option in the opp backline will allow us to hold up the runner and attempt the maul turnover. Scrum half to sweep behind the defensive line.

Attack - Keep things simple in our own half then look to unleash backs in opp territory. Scrum half to inject pace from the breakdown and have Williams/Mermoz on his shoulder. Huge carrying backrow to get us over the gain line after front 5 set a platform. Williams to run angles off the 9/10 and interchange 2nd receiver with Mermoz. Look to keep opposition guessing with clever lines through midfield. Ashton will look to track the midfield combo and get the end of Mermoz’s little offloads in contact. Guildford to keep things honest and come looking for work.

Bath Rugby v London Welsh
Location - The Recreation Ground
Sunny Intervals, 18 Degrees, 8mph W Winds

Bath Rugby
Manager – inthefastlane

01. Cian Healy09. Richard Wigglesworth
02. Richard Hibbard 10. Charlie Hodgson
03. Jake Cooper Woolsey 
04. Luke Romano 11. George North 
05. Graham Kitchener12. Christian Lealifano 
06. Liam Squire13. Stuart Hogg
07. Liam Gill14. Christian Wade
08. Sean O'Brien15. Alex Goode
16. Mikey Haywood 17. Benn Robinson 18. Nic Shonert 19. Sam Whitelock 20. James Gaskell 21. Maxime Machenaud 22. Sitiveni Sivivatu 23. Hallan Amos

Overall: We are gonna be looking to play front foot rugby. The team is going to be very uptempo with lots of hard running looking to overwhelm London Welsh.

Scrum: Look to get after the scrum and exert pressure. Strong second row provide the grunt behind the technically sound props. We will try to set a base, controlled by SOB which he can attack off.

Lineout: We will look to switch up the lineup with SOB, Squire, Romano and Kitchener options in the lineout. Look to get up into the air quickly and down for a quick maul.

Breakdown: Attempt to be aggressive at the breakdown. Look to get men to the breakdown quickly and clear out so Sean O'Brien and Liam Gill can attack the ball

Defence: Drift Defence looking to slow down the ball. Really look at putting pressure on FTD as we do not want him having time to create. Wiggles to sweep in behind.

Attack: Our half backs will control our rugby. Wigglesworth and Hodgson can play what they see and put the rest of the back line in strong positions. Lealifano can act as an extra playmaker from the 12. We have strong runners who can get over the gainline throughout the side with a very dynamic pack and a big back line. The likes of JCW, Romano, Hibbard, Healy and Squire will try and wear down defences by looking for gaps. The likes of Wade, North and Hogg will be looking for gaps created that they can exploit. Look to play with a high tempo and get the ball moving across the back line. Look for chances to offload.

Kicking: Lealifano will be our chosen place kicker. Any kicks will not be aimed towards their back three. We will chuck in the occasional grabber to chase. If we are enjoying a significant lineout advantage then we will look for touch. Hogg, LLF, Wiggles and Hodgson all have the boots necessary

Substitutes: Our subs will look to keep a high tempo.

 London Welsh
Manager – CJ

01.David Kilcoyne 09. Tawera Kerr-Barlowe
02.  David Ward10. Remi Tales
03. BJ Botha
04. George Skivington (c)11. Nemani Nadolo
05. Jamie Cudmore12. Kyle Godwin 
06. Ashley Johnson13. Casey Laulala
07. Luke Wallace14. Jesse Mogg
08. Victor Vito15. Chris Pennell
16. Matt Rees 17. Nathan Catt 18. Yannick Forestier  19.  Sitaleki Timani 20. Tom Guest 21. Ben Spencer 22. Jordan Turner-Hall 23. Ross Chisholm


The weather is great for running rugby again. In order to facilitate this we have picked a team designed to keep the ball moving in the backs and keep it quick in the breakdown

Breakdown- approach as a team, commuting minimum numbers to defensive ball and offensive ball that we have already secured. Johnson, Cudmore or Vito looking to focus on counter-rucking when the turnover is on and clearing out on our ball, with Ward and Wallace working in tandem to make sure one great fetcher is Aldiss chasing the ball so it is always safe and quick. In this role they will inevitably be on the shoulder for offloads when this is the more prudent option too.

Slow ball attack- we will move this around with groups of 3 in the pack, changing direction to tire their forwards and build momentum. Alternate this with inside crash balls to Vito and Johnson to test the Hodgson-LLF channel, and high box-kicks and crossfield kicks to target Wade and Goode under pressure agaisnt the high ball. The back 3 and Wallace when available to really challenge the catch.

Quick ball- the drift is most vulnerable to attacks cutting agaisnt the grain of the drift. We will achieve this with switches (especially with Laulala at full pelt) and inside runners and clever lines from the back 3 alongside Tales and Godwin's passing. Look to offload out of contact and support running is vital for this style of play, as are switches of direction on fast breakdown ball

Defence - we will look to blitz but keep our width to stop the wings getting space outside whilst minimising their time on the ball. TKB sweeping, Cudmore and Johnson to target Hodgson whilst Vito harries Wriggles.

Scrum- I think we hold our own here, look to pressurise the gap between JCW and Hibbard and get our back row running moves off our own ball

Lineout- ward is hit and miss so feel free to use a maul at the front then our slow ball tactics. When in attacking position cut the numbers down to gain in the backs.  Their jumpers are good, prefer to challenge the maul and rush the 9 than challenging every single jump

Subs- only make subs when needed but go 100% intensity trusting the subs we have. If set piece is suffering we can bring Rees on

Kicking- take all easy points on offer, and don't be afraid to kick back with Godwin, Mogg and Pennell all adept alongside our HBs, but either behind the man or high, don't give their back 3 easy run backs

Other - press for penalties in their 22 but relax and stay calm in our half- pens conceded in their half by us won't hurt and if we force turnovers or pens then there they are precious and vice versa.

Gloucester Rugby v Sale Sharks
Location - Kingsholm
White Cloud, 20 Degrees, 7mph W Winds

Manager – anonmattyt

01. Coonie Ousthieuzen 09. Dan Robson 
02. Joe Grey 10. Danny Cipriani
03. Juan Figallo
04. Richie Gray 11. Johnny May 
05. Roman Taoufufena12. Ryan Crotty 
06. Juan Smith13. Juan De Jongh 
07. Julien Salvi 14. Hosea Gear 
08. Jamie Heaslip 15. Andrea Masi
16 Wood 17 LCD 18 Steenkamp 19 Bird 20 Croft 21 Genia 22 Goosen 23 Rhule

Subject to changes when sides announced (Steenkamp and Crotty may have to change )

We will play a high tempo game keeping ball alive and looking to get in behind sale.
Amount of carriers in our side is crucial to this

Fast ball is crucial. We are chock full
Of big mobile carriers with in form players who will
Help us secure quick ball to attack with 
Commit the defence. Robson and Cipriani are live wires and will keep
Them honest. We have the pack to recycle the ball quickly and get in behind them when they are at their most disorganised 
Change the point of attack. Mix of playmakers and ball carriers in backline allows us to change tempo
And points of attack.
To keep
Them guessing 

Back three always involved. Our back 3 are all ball players and will look to get involved and target sale.

Attack from the scrum. Strong pack with better bench options will allow us
To target them. Coenie is reserve TH. Sale have Garvey in a position he does not play anymore which will affect their scrum.
Lock scrummaging is important.
Also Pickles is not being picked at Toulouse 

Mix it up at the lineout. Five genuine jumpers gives us a strong attacking base but also allows us to challenge and pressure the throw of Kayser. Our locks height advantage will put serious doubts in kaisers mind

- kick behind rokadunguni- we
Know he struggles going back so will look to pin behind him and target with high balls 

Straight line blitz defence. Focused on winning the gain line collisions and driving the ball carrier back. Line speed is crucial. Robson to sweep 

Target the breakdown. Committed to the breakdown.
Juan smith and Salvi to work in Tandem.
Man in is to
Clear pass the ball to allow our man to contest the turnover 
- BENCH-- Benches are crucial in the modern game and we have the bench packed with stars and experience. Figallo to come off at 40 with Steenkamp to
And coenie switch across

 Sale Sharks
Manager – SJE

01. Vasil Kakovin 09. Danny Care 
02. Benjamin Kayser10. Johnny Sexton 
03. Davit Zirakishvilli
04. Dave Attwood 11. Simon Zebo 
05. Matt Garvey 12. Francois Steyn 
06. Peter O'Mahony 13. Gael Fickou 
07. Matt Todd 14. Semesa Rokoduguni
08. Louis Picamoles 15. Jared Payne
16. Ross Harrison 17. David Paice 18. Samson Lee 19. Christian Day 20. Iain Henderson 21. Kieran Marmion 22. JJ Hanrahan 23. Nick Abendanon

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.

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.

TH issues for Gloucester. Figallo out for nearly a year now and no TH cover on the bench with two LH's selected.

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.

Exeter Chiefs v Leicester Tigers
Location - Sandy Park
Sunny , 19 Degrees, 10mph ESE Winds

Exeter Chiefs Chief

Manager – Fluxy

01. Richard Barrington09. Connor Murray
02. Dimitri Szarzewski 10. Toby Flood (k)
03. Mike Ross
04. Paul O'Connell (c)11. David Strettle
05. Michael Paterson12. Luther Burrell
06. Yannick Nyanga13. Adam Ashley-Cooper
07. Justin Tipuric14. Andrew Trimble
08. Carl Fearns15. James O'Connor
16. Jack Yeandle 17. James Johnstone 18. Phil Swainston 19. Kane Douglas 20. Jacob Rowan 21. Chris Cook 22. Ian Madigan 23. Tom Varndell

General Game plan

Fast paced game based around high intensity in defence, offloading, and dynamic carrying and rucking. 
We want to hit the ground running and hit the opposition hard and fast from the off. 
Our aim is to control possession and go through the phases. Flood will look to play flat and look to get our back line into the game whenever possible and keep the high tempo going throughout.
Big point is to match them man for man, in our style of play. We won't play their game plan, and at Sandy Park, Tigers will be forced to play at our pace, which will be a struggle for most of their slow lumbering front five. 

Set piece - Control the set piece and use it to restart our game plan and create point of attacks. POC to marshal the line-out and get quick ball from our dynamic jumpers. At the scrum we’ll look to get the squeeze on and target PDJ, and keep the opposition back row tied into the scrum giving Murray, Flood  more time and space to work in. 

Pack & Breakdown - Look for strong carries from our pack, tying in the opposition forwards. We’ll be looking to keep the ball alive and look for the offload when on. Our back-row will target the breakdown and look to blow through the ruck and past the ball. Clean ball will be generated either by blowing through the ruck and past the ball and a long presentation of the ball to keep it away from opposition defenders. Murray look to sweep up any turnover ball getting us on the front foot. We’ll look to win the collision with big our physical pack and dominate the opposition pack in the contact.

Defence - Look to neutralise the opposition early on and allow our back-row to dominate affairs. Use our hedgehog defensive line. If they an oppo player gets held or brought down this allows the second man to get over the ball quickly to at least compete and slow opposition possession. Tipuric will look to target the opposition fly half early on and pressure his kicking. Murray to sweep in behind the defensive line.

Backs - Look to get the ball in hands of the backs, as they have the pace and finishing ability to worry any defence. Utilise the pace and size of AAC/Burrell to crash through the line, using our 'league/slider move' developed from last season to break the line. Trimble/Burrell/Strettle are big quick guys and will be able to mix and match the opposition defence, either catching 36's weaker inside shoulder on a a run against the grain, or exploiting the concentration of Basteraud in defence. Or even generate a two on one with JOC joining the back line as the slider moves under the crash/dummy line.

Key Points

Home Advantage - Sandy Park is one of the hardest places to come and play. We won't want to kick the ball away, and Tigers can't score any points without the ball. 
Scrum & Line-out – Target throughout, if weakness seen heap pressure and generate penalties. Barrington to exploit PDJ and pile in on him with Swarz. Both have played together last season whereas PDJ has been called in due to injury. 
Line-out & Mauls - with a big front five we will look to set rolling mauls, to keep their back five tied in and also gain strong momentum.
Physicality & Dynamism – Win the collision and target rucks to drive through opposition. We have a big physical, but also mobile pack. Supported by some high energy forwards off the bench.
Targets in Defence - Basteraud is there danger carrier; Pape, Hines and Scaybrook aren't game line breakers, so we will meet them before the gain line and get them to the floor early to allow Tipuric et al to compete.
Breakdown – Tipuric & Nyanga to be a nuisance in in the breakdown and either get over the ball or get past the ball and make the opposition cleaners a nightmare by having to make them drive our forwards even further off their ball, or steal if the are limited numbers competing. 
Backs – Classy running options and two of the most prolific finishers in both the AP and the Celtic Leagues in Strettle & Trimble to take any opportunity.
Build a Score - Flood and JOC to share kicking at goal responsibilities with JOC taking the longer ones. Any penalty within their ten metre to be kicked at goal to keep scoreboard ticking. Unless ten metres from the line then we kick for the line-out

Leicester Tigers
Manager – LukeLovesLuka

01. Gethin Jenkins09. Kahn Fotuali'i
02. Stephen Moore (c)     10. Freddie Burns (k)
03. Paul Doran-Jones
04. Nathan Hines11. Alex Cuthbert
05. Pascal Pape12. Billy Twelvetrees
06. Tom Johnson13. Mathieu Bastareaud
07. James Scaysbrook14. Drew Mitchell
08. Ernst Joubert15. Mike Brown
16. Christopher Tolofua 17. Max Lahiff 18. Harry Rudkin 19. Kearnan Myall 20. Steve Mafi 21. Micky Young 22. Brock James 23. Rene Ranger


We will look to play high tempo, high intensity rugby. We have, particularly in the backs, big line breakers to make the hard yards and tie up defenders creating space in wider channels for Burns to exploit.

General Tactics:

Attack all scrums with our huge pack - Front row of Moore, Jenkins and Doran-Jones to look to really get the shove on, particularly tagetting the Barrington/Szarzewski channel.

Attack all lineouts. Use safe option of Joubert at the front, and also use Pape, Hines and Johnson in the middle or at the back.
Shortened lineouts with Scaysbrook in midfield as crash/decoy option.

Physical, abrasive XV made up of massive line-breakers. The likes of Pape, Hines, Basteraud and Cuthbert to be used to win the collisions in attack.

Play an offloading game. We see the offload as our big weapon and our carriers will all be looking to offload in contact, continuing our forward momentum.

Fotauli'i to look to snipe around the fringes and keep us going forwards all the time.

Look to win battle at the breakdown - Scaysbrook and Jenkins in particular to really look to get into the breakdown and give Exeter problems.

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

- 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, and look to win the collisions in defence. Fotauli'i to sweep behind with an eye on short kicks.

Burns to kick all penalties.

London Wasps v Northampton Saints
Location - Adams Park
Sunny Intervals, 19 Degrees, 6mph W Winds

Manager: Ozzy3213

01. Joe Marler09. Ben Youngs
02. Tom Youngs10. Henry Slade
03. Frans Malherbe
04. Romain Millo-Chluski11. Anthony Watson
05. Alun-Wyn Jones (c)12. Berrick Barnes
06. Fulgence Ouedraogo13. JJ Englebrecht
07. Steffon Armitage14. Marland Yarde
08. Luke Narraway15. Delon Armitage

16. Deon Fourie 17. Scott Sio 18. Fraser Balmain 19. Sebastien Vahaamahina 20. Jerome Kaino 21. Sebastien Tillous-Brode 22. Samu Kerevi 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 Slade, Barnes 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.  Youngs will sweep in behind the defensive line to counter any chips/grubbers.


  • Lineout.  Nothing flash. Hit our front and middle jumpers and ensure that we secure their ball.  On Saints ball put pressure on through AWJ and Ouedraogo, who are both athletic lineout jumpers.
  • 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.  Youngs to look to snipe around the fringes and keep us going forwards all the time.  

Northampton Saints
Manager – Dammit_Chris

01. Mako Vunipola09. Gareth Davies
02. Dylan Hartley10. Nick Evans (k)
03. Logi Mulipola
04. Joe Launchbury11. Tommy Bowe
05. Courtney Lawes12. Weslie Fofana
06. Schalk Burger13. Regan King
07. Chris Robshaw14. Jordan Williams
08. Sergio Parisse15. Ben Foden
16. Rob Webber 17. Thomas Domingo 18. Adam Jones 19. Jonny Gray 20. Billy Vunipola 21. Joe Simpson 22. George Ford 23. Elliot Daly.

Great conditions will allow Saints to play at a high tempo from the outset, looking to pressurise Wasps with high intensity in attack and defence. We will play with an aggressive defence to force mistakes from the opposition and get the ball in the hands of our big ball carriers to get us over the gainline and create space outwide. Will aim to finish the final quarter very strongly and unload our bench to add power in the forwards, help pressurise the Wasps set piece and get some more try scorers on the pitch in the form of Simpson, Ford and Daly.

We’ve selected a very mobile pack, with strong ball carriers to put us in a position to win the possession game. Our scrum will be used as a platform to launch attacks with Parisse and put pressure on the Wasps 8, 9 and 10 channels. We can bring on two strong scrummagers in the final 20-25 minutes as we look to turn the screw in the last quarter. Lineout wise, we will look for quick ball off the top, with Lawes, Launchbury, Robshaw and Parisse to provide a lot of options for Hartley. Lawes will aim to disrupt all Wasps ball and attack their lineout.

We want to utilise our mobile pack and play at a fast pace to put the Wasps defence under pressure. We will look for Vunipola, Mulipola and co in the forwards to get us over the gainline and suck in Wasps defenders, before getting the ball to our strike runners in the backline – Fofana, Bowe and Foden. Evans and King’s experience to ensure we play the game in the right areas, very happy to play an expansive game and get our backthree into play.

We will look to get our pack to the breakdown in numbers to secure our own ball and then look for turnovers whenever possible, with Lawes and Launchbury we have effectively got two additional backrowers – will look to use the ‘polas’, Burger and Robshaw to clear Wasps from the breakdown area and distrupt the speed of their attacking play.

An aggressive defence all across the pitch, have some strong tacklers in the forwards and Fofana and King will provide a solid platform in the backline. We will look for quick line speed to put pressure on Slade specifically and see if his confidence can be knocked early on. Davies to sweep behind the defensive line.

Key Points:
* We will look to put Wasps players in key positions under pressure, so will aim to target the no2, no8, no9 and no10 from the outset.
* Strong set pieces and pack, which will give us a platform away from home.
* Bench has been selected for impact – all five forwards are internationals and will strengthen the setpiece, while the backs are all creative players who can score tries in the final 20 minutes. Look to combine the two so we finish very strongly.

Newcastle Falcons v London Irish
Location - Kingston Park
Light Cloud, 16 Degrees, 6mph W Winds

Newcastle Falcons
Manager – Driver

01. Soana Tonga'uhia 09. Dave Lewis
02. Rory Best (c)10. Owen Farrell (K)
03. Luc Ducalon
04. Brad Thorn11. Charles Pitatau
05. Geoff Parling12. Francia Sailli
06. Dan Lydiate13. Johnathan Davies
07. Will Fraser14. Jamie Elliot
08. Dave Ewers15. Rob Miller 
16.George McGuigan 17.Matt Mullen 18.Scott Wilson 19.Ed Slater 20.Chris Henry 21.Nathan Fowles 22.Tommy Allen 23.Robbie Frueen


We've gone for a big impact side with big runners added into the side. On our new 3G pitch we'll look to move the ball wide with an exciting backline keen to score tries out there. 

First and formost we'll look to secure the ball in the pack and use our front 5 to assert our dominance on the Irish pack , In our front row we've got two big scrummaging props who also like to carry the ball hard. Thorn packing down behind Ducalon will give us a massive shove on and look to pull JBP away from his hooker and force the penalty at the scrum. Dave Lewis will look to make the ball move 'Quickly' to the back of our scrum.

Ewers will look to pick and go running at the 10/12 channel and getting his offloading game going which he impressed with in Exeter vs Welsh in real life. 

Lewis will look to keep the tempo of the game high with tap and go's at the penalty and Farrell moving the ball the same way he did against Italy in the 6Ns. 

Using Sailli to carry the ball to the line and moving defenders to him to create the space for Davies , Elliot , Pitatau and Miller to come into the line.

Defence will be focused on killing the breakdown and not allowing any irish momentum , Fraser will hassle the 9/10 channel and target the breakdown for turnover ball. Lewis to sweep the line to cover any kicks through. 


Target Trinder in defence and test his positioning against the world class JD.
Parling up at 2 to pressure the Irish ball.
Mullen to keep the pressure on when he enters the game.
Henry on for Lydiate to help steal more from the breakdown.

London Irish
Manager – Prop

01. JB Poux09. Lee Dickson
02. Marc Jones10. Dan Biggar (k)
03. Henry Thomas
04. Devin Toner11. Bjorn Basson
05. Jacques Poitgeiter12. Alapati Leuia
06. Kelly Brown13. Henry Trinder
07. Sam Warburton14. JP Pietersen
08. Ben Morgan15. Brice Dulin
16. Tom Lindsay 17.  Tom Court 18. Will Collier 19. Tom Savage 20. George Smith 21. Neil  De Kock 22. Owen Williams 23. Rob Cook


Set piece:  We have picked a strong scrummaging front 5 who all bring carrying bulk to the game. From kick offs we will look to go 2 passes in before hitting our direct runners. We will look to scrummage low (which all of our props are known for doing) and scrum straight to prevent the wheel. Our lineouts will be simple and we will look to bring the ball down before feeding 9. There’s not many players able to get as high as Toner.

Backrow: We feel we have a well balanced back row with a tackler, a carrier and a jackler and all 3 will be used for their main attributes. We have confidence in them all to do their jobs with Brown looking to rile Farrell and release his hot headedness. The impact and experience of Smith off the bench will continue Warburton’s harrassment of the breakdown.

Half Backs: On a 3g pitch we know the bounce can be unpredictable and Biggar will stand flat initially to give Leuia and our pack runners the chance to get over the gainline. We know how well Biggar can find touch and we will use this. Dickson showed vs Glos how well he can control a game and he will use these skills to control the tempo and slow the ball down if needed.

Outside Backs:  We will look to have a lot of movement off the ball to prevent us being easily read. There will be runners off of 12 and 13 when available and the ball will be shipped to the wings quickly to allow them to get the advantage in the race to the line. We have international experience all over the back 3 and will look to exploit this with angled running and confusing the oppositions defence.

Bench: Impact in all areas and Williams and Cook can change the pace of the game if required. The experience of Smith and De Kock will be vital in this game.

Defence: We see that Trinder’s defence has been targetted but don’t feel he is that poor a tackler. We also know how good JD2 is so will look to prevent him offloading the ball by double tackling him. We will look to blitz with Brown in Farrell’s face allowing Biggar the opportunity to drop back and cover with Dulin for any kicks ahead. We will defend inside-out and spread the line.

Overall: This will be a controlled performance against a strong Falcons team. We will look to hit the ball up twice and suck in defenders by going the same way till we run out of space, we will then flash across and look for quick hands against their pack who will be stuck defending the centre channels. Our carriers will come round the corner in 3’s to prevent the opposition knowing where the ball is going. We started with a shock draw against Quins and are looking for another shock today with a strong team on show and backs who are able to control a game well and defend strongly without allowing any gaps to appear.

Last edited by SirJohnnyEnglish on Mon 15 Sep 2014, 10:16 am; edited 7 times in total


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Re: Aviva Premiership Round Two

Post by Guest on Sun 14 Sep 2014, 7:17 am

Exeter 24-22 Leicester

How improved are Exeter ?

Great match this.

Front row to Exeter on form but Leicester have big names. Moore standout but PDJ out of his depth. Barrington would struggle against most but will find PDJ easy work.

Second rows to Leicester Just but they are at a huge disadvantage lineout wise.
Not a fan of Leicester tactic of shortened lineouts as all it does is put more defenders on the pitch. Great thing about lineout is it ties in defenders to a lineout and creates space. With players so fit these days it makes the pitch so small when you shorten lineouts

Backrow to Exeter by a distance.

Scaysbrook not at this level and Joubert looked on his way out last year. Not seen any prem this year except
Highlights so no idea if he is back and playing well.

Murray a step up on fotuali and for me the best 9 in Europe with care.

Flood a step up on Burns currently.
I understand burns is meant to be playing well behind a Leicester Juggernault in first 2 games but needs to show consistency when tested.( I have not seen any prem apart from highlights as on holiday )

Outside backs to Leicester with AAC marked down.

Both back 3s decent.

Luke Mitchell makes that back 3
Look much better defensively and a you have a really threatening back 3.

I think Exeter have more control and will also seriously affect Leicester lineout and take a stunning win

Last edited by anonmattyt on Sun 14 Sep 2014, 7:36 am; edited 2 times in total


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Re: Aviva Premiership Round Two

Post by Guest on Sun 14 Sep 2014, 7:33 am

Wasps 22-26 Saints

Pete you have the unlucky task I had last week with playing saints during RC.

Saints have more dynamism in the back 5 of pack and full of carriers. Wasps will take scrums but there will not be many with the weather.

Just see saints winning better quicker ball and having the backs
To deliver.

Half backs one a piece but evans will have better ball.

One a piece with Barnes marked down. 

Wasps better back 3 but hard to play without good quality ball.

Think wasps will get serious joy through king and Williams.

Personally think king is a poor 13 as his defence is so poor. Williams will come good and looks a real talent but stands out in an otherwise great team

Newcastle 24- 23 Irish 

Had this as a draw but then took home advantage in to account. Very even battle in the pack the Irish maybe having slight edge through backrow  Newcastle slight edge in front 5. Hard to rate thorn with him lacking form and being so old.

Hb one a piece.
Prefer falcons centre and back 3s even.

At home would give to Irish but home advantage nets driver the win


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Re: Aviva Premiership Round Two

Post by Ozzy3213 on Sun 14 Sep 2014, 7:53 am

Harlequins 23 Saracens 22
Bath Rugby 23 London Welsh 23
Gloucester 22 Sale Sharks 23
Exeter Chiefs 25 Leicester Tigers 25
Newcastle Falcons 24 London Irish 24

Sorry for so many draws, only really had time to scan the teams and not tactics and the teams are all really close.  Hopefully be back to doing full predictions in the next couple of weeks .

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Re: Aviva Premiership Round Two

Post by Driver on Sun 14 Sep 2014, 12:06 pm

Harlequins 27 Saracens 27
Bath 22 London Welsh 21
Gloucester 20 Sale Sharks 21
Exeter 24 Leicester 23
Wasps 20 Saints 21
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Re: Aviva Premiership Round Two

Post by ChequeredJersey on Sun 14 Sep 2014, 12:58 pm

Quins 26 - 25 Sarries
Gloucester 24 - 24 Sale
Exeter 27 - Tigers 28
Wasps 27- 28 Saints
Falcons 26 - 25 Irish

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Re: Aviva Premiership Round Two

Post by dammit_chris on Sun 14 Sep 2014, 7:28 pm

Quins 29 - 26 Sarries
Too much power and physicality in the Quins pack sees the home win, the conditions can really suit the Sarries team selection and backline, who could have some joy outwide but Quins will see more possession. As soon as JJ gets some form for Bath in real life it will really get Quins scoring a lot more points. More from the Quins bench.

Bath 30 - 28 Welsh
Great wing options for Bath, North so much better out wide and can see tries coming from the Bath backline. Great balance in the pack too, one of the teams you don't want to be playing during the RC. Like the Welsh tactics and can probably take advantage of Bath having SOB at no8 and not getting the cleanest ball, but more wc finishers for Bath see them get the win.

Gloucester 33 - 32 Sale
Very tough game to call, if worse conditions then I'd have given Sale the away win, but conditions well suited to a high scoring game and prefer the balance of the Gloucester pack and then you throw in a few wc players in to help the inexperienced through. Both teams will get try BP in this game.

Exeter 19 - 17 Tigers
Wow that Exeter team has improved incredibly, some great additions and can see them being to get a little bit of joy from the Tigers pack, especially around the backrow who could be got at physically. Tigers backline is looking more creative, just don't think they will have enough quality ball to make the most of it.

Falcons 24 - 22 Irish
Close game, Irish could get a bit of joy from attacking Falcons no8 and no9s, but really like how Driver has set out his team and they've got some very good quality throughout the team. Irish will keep the game close, but just need their 12 and 13 to show a bit of real life form and they will be so much better in predos.


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Re: Aviva Premiership Round Two

Post by Fluxy on Sun 14 Sep 2014, 9:44 pm

Harlequins 28 - 24 Saracens

Quins with the old heads in the front five get a slight advantage over their opponents. They also shade the back row, as Sarries are hard to rate with Dus struggling for form. Sarries are solid in the set piece, but just lack that little extra up top in key areas. 
Quins get a good nudge on up front, whilst the line out fairly even. Bit more about Quins front 5 round the park. As a unit Quins shade the back row and see them getting on top with the packs. In the backs it is a slightly different story, with Sarries carrying more of an attacking threat all round, but can be got at out wide. Quins have a better all round balance and will take the home win. 

Bath Rugby 25 - 22 London Welsh

Quite even in the front five, especially at the set piece. The Welsh back row as a unit is great, and can get the edge over the Bath unit at points. This means both sides have a decent flow of possession for their backs, I rate Kerr-Barlow but I feel Tales can dwell on possession and hence a slight edge here to the control of Wiggles and Hodgson. Unsure of Hogg at 13, best at 15 for me. Bath edge the backs with their finishing ability in the back three. If this was at home I could say that Welsh might edge it, but Bath at home secure the result. 

Gloucester Rugby 20 - 27 Sale Sharks

Glaws front five not suited to the set piece game and Sharks take advantage. Figallo is difficult to rate having not played for a long time and his front tow counterparts aren't in the best form at the minute either. Sharks have the front five to take advantage (although Garvey is not a second row for me). Glaws have a bit more bite in the back row, but with them on the back foot it is hard to make an impression on the game. Gloucester have the back three to do serious damage but with back foot ball it is hard, Sales halfbacks and centres help keep the momentum in the their favour to secure strong away win.

London Wasps 21 - 26 Northampton Saints

Saints shade each area in the forwards and allows their packs to dominate play. Wasps have a footing in the line-out, however it is made hard by the physical all out style of the Saints. Saints have the experience in the backs to just pull Wasps around and keep the pressure on. The ex Irish boys in the Wasps side are the shining lights of inspiration, along with Youngs, but Saints see away the Wasps. 

Newcastle Falcons 24 - 26 London Irish 

Good fight up front with no real advantage to either side. Falcons perhaps edging the line-out, Irish the breakdown, but still an open game for the backs to control.  A bit more control of the forwards from dickson allows Biggar more time to bring in his backs to good effect, but Faz has the ability to feed JD and their dangerous back three. Hard to split this one, looking at the benches late on to seperate and with the experience Irish has to call on- they steal an unlikely win on the road.

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Re: Aviva Premiership Round Two

Post by Ozzy3213 on Mon 15 Sep 2014, 6:47 am

Well played Chris, really didn't want to be playing you during the Rugby Championship.  I'm hoping that the return match is during the 6 Nations!!! Wink

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Re: Aviva Premiership Round Two

Post by dammit_chris on Mon 15 Sep 2014, 9:29 am

Cheers Pete! I'm hoping all my games get cancelled during the 6Nations! Good to get you and Mat out the way during the RC!


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Re: Aviva Premiership Round Two

Post by SirJohnnyEnglish on Mon 15 Sep 2014, 9:53 am


Harlequins 29 (T:3 C:1 P:4)
Saracens 23 (T:2 C:2 P:3)

Bath Rugby 28 (T:3 C:2 P:3)
London Welsh 23 (T:2 C:2 P:3)

Gloucester Rugby 24 (T:2 C:1 P:4)
Sale Sharks 28 (T:3 C:2 P:3)

Exeter Chiefs 26 (T:2 C:2 P:4)
Leicester Tigers 25 (T:2 P:5)

London Wasps 22 (T:2 P:4)
Northampton Saints 31 (T:4 C:4 P:1)

Newcastle Falcons 26 (T:2 C:2 P:4)
London Irish 24 (T:2 C:1 P:4)


Full: CJB, Fluxy, Matt, Luke, Prop, Chris, SJE & Pooly
Score: Pete, Driver & CJ
Excused: Steve


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Re: Aviva Premiership Round Two

Post by Ozzy3213 on Mon 15 Sep 2014, 9:59 am

I think I am right in saying that's the first time since 2008/09 season that I haven't got at least a losing bonus point from a game, and it's also only my third home league defeat in 7 seasons.  Sad

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Re: Aviva Premiership Round Two

Post by LukeLovesLuka on Mon 15 Sep 2014, 10:31 am

Well done Fluxy OK


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Re: Aviva Premiership Round Two

Post by Fluxy on Mon 15 Sep 2014, 10:44 am

Bloody hell didn't think I could pull that off! Cheers Luke well played OK

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Re: Aviva Premiership Round Two

Post by Steven_Sharks on Mon 15 Sep 2014, 11:10 am

Thanks for that SJE. Expected to get time Saturday morning but didn't materialise.


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Re: Aviva Premiership Round Two

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Mon 15 Sep 2014, 11:19 am

Good win Steve


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Re: Aviva Premiership Round Two

Post by Steven_Sharks on Mon 15 Sep 2014, 11:39 am

Pleased to get you in the RC mate. Doesn't hit me nearly as hard as you.


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Re: Aviva Premiership Round Two

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