Aviva Premiership - Round 8

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Aviva Premiership - Round 8

Post by Ozzy3213 on Wed 30 Dec 2015, 12:44 pm

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Friday 1st January 2016
Northampton Saints (5) vs. Exeter Chiefs (2)
Saints have been struggling for form and results recently, and although they’ll be happy to be back at Franklins Gardens, they’ll be less happy at facing an in form Exeter Chiefs. You would think that Saints will be out to prove a point after being the first AP side to lose to Irish this season, and I suspect they will up their game. Exeter won’t be easy to beat, but I fancy Saints to nick a tight one.


Saturday 2nd January 2016
Gloucester (6) vs. London Irish (11)
Gloucester had a high scoring draw against Quins last week, but could be counting the cost with a couple of key men picking up injuries. Irish got on the board, and despite a 2nd row injury crisis didn’t pick up any fresh knocks in beating Saints. This game could tell us a fair amount about the respective sides. Irish will fancy this, and be looking to get a good run going. What they don’t want to do is get too fast and loose, with the scrum and maul both having worked well last week. They could be key tools in bagging back to back AP wins for the first time in a year!

Newcastle Falcons (12) vs. Bath Rugby (7)
Bath have not been firing on all cylinders, and Falcons are winless, despite what I am told was a decent showing last time out against Tigers. This for me is a tough game to call. If conditions are good, I fancy Bath to win a high scorer. If it’s wet and windy, I can see Falcons grinding this one out against a Bath pack that has failed to dominate this season.

Saracens (1) vs. Leicester Tigers (3)
Saracens look unbeatable at present. Whoever they rotate in, they are a well oiled machine, who do their basics well and get results. That said, Tigers, whilst not completely firing on all cylinders are getting results, and despite their recent record against Sarries not being great (whose is?), they are the one side that you just wouldn’t back against getting a result. I think this one will be close, and will depend on who both sides put out, but it’s impossible to predict a Saracens defeat right now, home win.

Sale Sharks (9) vs. Wasps (8)
Despite a couple of excellent performances and results, Wasps find themselves down in 8th in the AP. Sale have yet to convince and after a bright start were distinctly 2nd best against the Chiefs last time out. On paper I would say Wasps, but at home and with Steve Diamond chewing their backsides, I reckon Sale may well tough this one out for the win.


Sunday 3rd January 2016
Worcester Warriors (10) vs. Harlequins (4)
Worcester have been in most of their games (Saracens excepted) and will fancy this at home. Quins appear to be rediscovering their mojo, which they had misplaced last season, but will be disappointed with their error count in the draw against Gloucester last week. I can see this being a bit of an open gunfight, which Worcester just lose out on, but it could be one of those losses where they pick up 2 bonus points on the way.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 8

Post by ChequeredJersey on Sun 03 Jan 2016, 5:31 pm

kingelderfield wrote:Well at least he made a game of it...........which actually has a lot more going for it than we'd all like to say.

Quins took their foot off giving up the tbp, but still got the win and 4 points, and Wuss gave something to their fans who turned up in numbers plus the paying punters on the telly.

win win I'd say.

Nope, happy with the points, but playing well and sensibly tends to be a habit and we have Sarries next, so 40 minutes of being Poopie and being piled under pressure by a ref as well as a resurgent Worcester is definitely not my idea of win. It's the kind of result and match that I would say leaves both sets of fans unhappy, like last week vs Gloucester. Lose - lose

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 8

Post by ChequeredJersey on Sun 03 Jan 2016, 5:33 pm

Brilliant predicting by Pete, by the way, got the tone of the games right and pretty close to bang on on the results

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 8

Post by stub on Sun 03 Jan 2016, 5:39 pm

ChequeredJersey wrote:Brilliant predicting by Pete, by the way, got the tone of the games right and pretty close to bang on on the results

Absolutely, it seems the man knows his rugby!

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 8

Post by yappysnap on Sun 03 Jan 2016, 5:41 pm

Game of two halves, first half Barnes is fairly even, second half he seems to get drunk and decide to stage a show where he is the star, idiocy then ensues.

Wayne Barnes picard Doh

On the plus side Harlequins were very good for 45 mins, then totally switched off, but if a get out of jail by the end there.

I never expected us to be beat Sarries next week and we haven't really changed that view.

Lastly well done to Wuss, played the weather, ref and their luck very well!

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 8

Post by stub on Sun 03 Jan 2016, 5:44 pm

yappysnap wrote:Game of two halves, first half Barnes is fairly even, second half he seems to get drunk and decide to stage a show where he is the star, idiocy then ensues.

Wayne Barnes picard Doh

On the plus side Harlequins were very good for 45 mins, then totally switched off, but if a get out of jail by the end there.

I never expected us to be beat Sarries next week and we haven't really changed that view.

Lastly well done to Wuss, played the weather, ref and their luck very well!


Thanks Yappy, I think... Wink

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 8

Post by yappysnap on Sun 03 Jan 2016, 5:49 pm

Also how quick was Barnes to go for those yellows and pen try decision?

I'll look back on it with a different view if next week Sarries get a player yellowed as soon as he commits a possible professional foul. Or if we get a pen try for a scrum looking like it's sort of going forward first time. Some how I don't think it'll happen.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 8

Post by yappysnap on Sun 03 Jan 2016, 5:50 pm

stub wrote:
yappysnap wrote:Game of two halves, first half Barnes is fairly even, second half he seems to get drunk and decide to stage a show where he is the star, idiocy then ensues.

Wayne Barnes picard Doh

On the plus side Harlequins were very good for 45 mins, then totally switched off, but if a get out of jail by the end there.

I never expected us to be beat Sarries next week and we haven't really changed that view.

Lastly well done to Wuss, played the weather, ref and their luck very well!

Thanks Yappy, I think... Wink

No problem Stub Wink you played what you were given perfectly. Just a little disappointed with a few decisions and more importantly my teams bizarre mindset.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 8

Post by yappysnap on Sun 03 Jan 2016, 5:55 pm

After all that bitching though Harlequins are going to struggle against the top teams of don't sort out restarts out. It was almost guaranteed that we'd balls up after every score we'd managed.

Brown is looking so off the pace, I don't know what we can do about that though.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 8

Post by ChequeredJersey on Sun 03 Jan 2016, 6:02 pm

Also, yes, well done Worcester, their intensity at the breakdown and ability outwide was really worrying in the second half

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 8

Post by ChequeredJersey on Sun 03 Jan 2016, 6:04 pm

yappysnap wrote:After all that bitching though Harlequins are going to struggle against the top teams of don't sort out restarts out. It was almost guaranteed that we'd balls up after every score we'd managed.

Brown is looking so off the pace, I don't know what we can do about that though.

Hopefully a big game will bring the best out in him? Or Conor can get an idea of how to perk him up? Robshaw looked devastated and well off his best for a couple of games after the world cup and we got him back to his best. We all know how well he can play, it would be great if he could be somewhere near good form vs Sarries though

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 8

Post by yappysnap on Sun 03 Jan 2016, 6:06 pm

Robshaw had a very good game against Wuss too, two turn overs on the deck, one at a maul and no penalties conceded. A deserved MoM

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 8

Post by ChequeredJersey on Sun 03 Jan 2016, 6:09 pm

yappysnap wrote:Robshaw had a very good game against Wuss too, two turn overs on the deck, one at a maul and no penalties conceded. A deserved MoM

He also carried better than usual

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 8

Post by yappysnap on Sun 03 Jan 2016, 6:20 pm

Yep a very complete game from him, Ward and Horwill too had very good games. We'll need big games from them all again next week.

How to beat Sarries, that is the question.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 8

Post by ChequeredJersey on Sun 03 Jan 2016, 6:24 pm

yappysnap wrote:Yep a very complete game from him, Ward and Horwill too had very good games. We'll need big games from them all again next week.

How to beat Sarries, that is the question.


Use other players at first receiver to minimise harrying of Nev, don't make errors, keep the tempo high, look for space behind Ashton with our wingers all strong on the attacking kick chase. Play well

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 8

Post by formerly known as Sam on Sun 03 Jan 2016, 6:24 pm

yappysnap wrote:Also how quick was Barnes to go for those yellows and pen try decision?

Both yellows were cynical and stopped try scoring situations. If you go for the big 50/50 turnover in those situations you've got to accept that you might cop a card. The penalty try I'm not 100% on because I don't think the scrum would have reached the line but Sinckler was definitely in at the angle just after the Roberts yellow.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 8

Post by ChequeredJersey on Sun 03 Jan 2016, 6:37 pm

Someone on CAW has rightly pointed out that Barnes was mostly doing what he usually does and heavily favours the side with the momentum to the point that it's impossible to get a decision against the momentum. So it's Quins' fault for letting up after their 3rd try (esp restart) and letting Worcester hammer on the door for the rest of the match

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 8

Post by yappysnap on Sun 03 Jan 2016, 8:18 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
yappysnap wrote:Also how quick was Barnes to go for those yellows and pen try decision?

Both yellows were cynical and stopped try scoring situations. If you go for the big 50/50 turnover in those situations you've got to accept that you might cop a card. The penalty try I'm not 100% on because I don't think the scrum would have reached the line but Sinckler was definitely in at the angle just after the Roberts yellow.

All true, my issue is that both those could be repeated next week and nothing given.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 8

Post by yappysnap on Sun 03 Jan 2016, 8:20 pm

ChequeredJersey wrote:
yappysnap wrote:Yep a very complete game from him, Ward and Horwill too had very good games. We'll need big games from them all again next week.

How to beat Sarries, that is the question.


Use other players at first receiver to minimise harrying of Nev, don't make errors, keep the tempo high, look for space behind Ashton with our wingers all strong on the attacking kick chase. Play well

Cool heads and no mistakes is the key thing I guess. We need to play like we did against Racing if we're to get a win.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 8

Post by ChequeredJersey on Sun 03 Jan 2016, 8:34 pm

On the Brown thing, thinking on the similarity to Robshaw and how knackered we know he has gotten before playing without break and especially for England, Brown was out of the game for a while post concussion then played a lot with little break, maybe he just needs a break?

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 8

Post by kingelderfield on Mon 04 Jan 2016, 12:47 am

Brown needs a break.

That said Quins must realize they are in with a real shout next week, everyone just has to believe and front up. A firmer pitch will help but even so they have the lard and nous to beat Sarries, I think they just need to believe but I've already said that.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 8

Post by kingelderfield on Mon 04 Jan 2016, 1:45 am

Just a thought but is everyone just making Sarries look good?

To be fair the standard hasn't been great so far this season, maybe world cup hang over, maybe the weather, maybe just poor coaching and to much rugby already, but I think given some perspective everyone is probably a notch or two down on previous years and Sarries to their credit are holding the line. As I say just a thought and we'll see how things progress.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 8

Post by LondonTiger on Mon 04 Jan 2016, 8:21 am

Personally I think the quality of play in the AP is a clear step up on what it has been for the last 4/5 years. There have been some fantastic matches and most teams are looking to try and win games rather than trying not to lose.

The current Leicester team is far superior to the model from the last two years - yet we are really just a mid table team.

Sarries may well start to struggle when spring arrives and drier conditions call for more inventiveness. I can see them being knocked out of the AP and ECC at the semi stage.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 8

Post by Big on Mon 04 Jan 2016, 4:32 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Personally I think the quality of play in the AP is a clear step up on what it has been for the last 4/5 years. There have been some fantastic matches and most teams are looking to try and win games rather than trying not to lose.

The current Leicester team is far superior to the model from the last two years - yet we are really just a mid table team.

Sarries may well start to struggle when spring arrives and drier conditions call for more inventiveness. I can see them being knocked out of the AP and ECC at the semi stage.

Sort of agree (the first few rounds were atrocious, but the league seems to have kicked on since). However, I do think Tigers have made both Sarries and Exeter look better than perhaps they are. Both were games in the build up to key European matches, both games that would probably have been lost even if the team were full strength - it seems no coincidence to me that top players were rested and the team looked less interested than in other games. That's not to say Sarries and Exeter aren't very good, but I think they'd need to fight a lot harder for a much smaller winning margin against a fully firing Tigers team. It's a shame the return fixtures are during the 6 nations when all 3 teams may be depleted, as I can't see Tigers giving anyone an easy ride at Welford Rd.

I'm not sure I'd say Tigers are just a mid table team though. The only games we've lost this season are the two referenced above. Despite the fact there seems to be a stronger focus on Europe this season the team actually seem to be doing better than normal for round 8. For me, as ever, Tigers are contenders for the title, but the club is focused on doing just enough at this point. I suspect that as usual the team will go up a few gears in the second half of the season.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 8

Post by formerly known as Sam on Mon 04 Jan 2016, 6:48 pm

I think the quality is quite high this season but that teams are taking time to settle for different reasons. Tigers are trying to build a rotation system they've not had previously and have got caught out a couple of times. Sarries have an excellent squad filled with home grown and long serving players who are happy and ingrained in their ethos and rotation system. That's why they are on top whilst a lot of other teams are transitioning.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 8

Post by jaydubs1977 on Mon 04 Jan 2016, 9:00 pm

I was impressed with Worcester's fightback on Sunday, especially their young centre/flyhalf Ryan Mills. Haven't seen much of him recently - any Worcester supporters want to weigh in on his prospects as a future England inside centre?

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 8

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