AP Round 9

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AP Round 9

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Tue 05 Jan 2016, 4:17 am

Home teams to be named by 23:59 hours on Wednesday 
Away teams to be named by 23:59 hours on Thursday
Tactics by 23:59 hours on Friday
Predictions to be PM’d to Pooly by 14:00 hours on Monday


Exeter Chiefs v Gloucester
Sandy Park
Light rain, 9 Degrees, 16mph Winds


Exeter Chiefs Chief
         
Manager – Fluxy

01. Thomas Domingo09. Connor Murray
02. Rob Webber10. Nick Evans (k)
03. Mike Ross
04. Paul O'Connell11. Andrew Trimble
05. Lood De Jager12. Ma'a Nonu (c)
06. Tom Wood 13. George Pisi
07. Steffon Armitage14. JP Pietersen
08. Fritz Lee15. Mike Haley
_
16. Jack Yeandle 17. Nic Auterac 18. Jake Cooper-Wooley 19. James Horwill 20. Brad Shields 21. Yannick Nyanga 22. Nic White 23. Toby Flood


1 Beast
2 Strauss
3 Ousthuizen
4 Etzbeth
5 Robson
6 Alberts
7 Matera
8 Dickinson
9 Genia
10 Carter
11 May
12 Toomua
13 Kurindrani
14 Walker
15 Folau
16 Wood
17 LCD
18 Figallo
19 lavanini
20 Heaslip
21 Robson
22 Cipriani
23 Dagg

Tactics

Forwards Work - Half Backs Control - Outside Backs Create

Game Plan - When in the chiefs half we will play a patient game using our pack to carry hard and get us across the gain line carrying off 9 and 10. With Genia Carter and toomua we can control the game in the wet and exploit Chiefs lack of game management.As our play builds we'll look to use our strike runners and open it up. With Folau, toomua, kurindrani, may we have plenty of people to step in to second receiver and keep continuity.genia Carter and toomua are their to control the game Look to create space out wide by using out the back options with lead runners running wide out to in lines to keep defence honest.


Kicking Game- Look to play the game in the Chiefs  half using the boot of genia Carter toomua to keep Gloucester deep. We will vary between kicking for territory and using cross fields and up and unders to gain territory using Folau and co who are experts under the high ball and will bring us possession.

Defence - Look to blitz and put pressure on Chiefs. By targeting then we cut there possession at source. Likewise we will target  chiefs l throwing in with Webber being in a poor run of form
Genia will sweep and we will look be aggressive and send numbers in to the breakdown to try and affect turnovers

Set Piece - Use our scrum as a weapon to attack Chiefs and gain penalties and look to control the game.

KEY POINTS

Take the points - Carter is the best in the world and will kick  goals.
Look for the half back to set tone
Pressure Evans who is not a wet weather player
Exploit their lack of kicking past 10 by pressurising 9 and 10

Pressurise lineout on their throw with our multiple jumpers
Play game in right areas


Leicester Tigers v Northampton Saints
Welford Road
Heavy rain, 7 Degrees, 14mph Winds


Leicester Tigers
Manager – LukeLovesLuka

01. Gethin Jenkins09. Fourie Du Preez
02. Stephen Moore (c)     10. Freddie Burns (k)
03. Owen Franks
04. Pascal Pape11. Sitiveni Sivivatu
05. Victor Matfield12. Matt Banahan
06. Wycliffe Palu13. Mathieu Bastareaud
07. JMF Lobbe14. Drew Mitchell
08. Thomas Waldrom15. Mike Brown
.
16. Schalk Brits 17. Max Lahiff 18. Brian Mujati 19. Kearnan Myall 20. Juan Smith 21. Micky Young 22. Kurtley Beale 23. Billy Twelvetrees

In very wet conditions we have picked a huge XV to get us over he gainline as much as possible.

- Use the rolling maul - Moore to lead from the back guided by Du Preez, and use a regular weapon off lineouts won by Matfield.

- No overly ambitious passing - In wet conditions we will either look to kick to gain territory or look to keep ball in hand and take it through the middle.

- Gigantic XV made up of massive line-breakers right throughout the side, that will look to tire down Saints defence.
The likes of Waldrom, Palu, Bastareaud, Pape, Banahan and Moore used consistently to get us over the gainline.

- Lobbe, Bastareaud, Jenkins and Moore are the men charged with reaching the breakdown first and look to turnover possession. We will always look to attack quickly off any turnover ball.

- At the lineout use Matfield as our banker ball and Pape and Lobbe as alternative jumpers - we will rotate the target.
With the boots of Du Preez, Burns and Brown, we will look to get the ball deep in Saints territory and then contest all lineouts. We will relentlessly target the opposition's throws.

- In general attacking play, we will play off 9 with Du preez our general pulling the strings. We want to control of the tempo of the game as much as we can through our 9/10/15.

- Consistently test Saints' back three with kicks in wet conditions. Box kicks from Du Preez and up and unders from Burns to give the opposition problems in the air. We will really test Savea with these kicks, and look to Mitchell to be on him as quickly as possible.

- Lots of scrums - which we want to attack as a weapon if winning - and call when we can - if we are getting an advantage. Franks and Moore to look to target Mako and to look to really get the shove on.

- 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. Du Preez to sweep behind with an eye on short kicks.

- Burns to kick all penalites.


Northampton Saints
Manager | Dammit Chris

01. Mako Vunipola09. Sam Hildago Cline
02. Dylan Hartley10. Lima Sopoaga
03. Ramiro Herrera
04. Joe Launchbury11. Julia Savea
05. Samu Manoa12. Weslie Fofana
06. Schalk Burger13. Elliot Daly
07. David Pocock(c)14. Adam Ashley Cooper
08. Sergio Parisse15. Leigh Halfpenny(k)
Replacements:
16. Ashley Johnson 17. Wyatt Crockett 18. Logi Mulipola 19. Courtney Lawes 20. Billy Vunipola 21. Joe Simpson 22. Matt Giteau 23. Ben Foden

Tactics
With the conditions being awful we have opted to make five changes to the pack to ensure that it is fresh and able to take on the conditions. Includes both props, recalling Manoa and bringing Burger and Parisse into the backrow. We have selected a pack with a lot of strong ball carriers to make the hardyards, play a very physical game and give our halfbacks good quality possession. We will keep everything extremely simple.

Our halfbacks are selected specifically for the weather, with an emphasis on using the boots of SHC, Sopoaga, Daly and Halfpenny to put us deep in Tigers territory and stay there with an aggressive defence. Halfpenny's boot could be the difference in the game as arguably best gk in rugby.

Set Piece&Fresh Pack
Five fresh forwards, we want to really make sure both our scrum and lineout is solid to provide SHC with good ball to clear our lines when in our own half and get safe ball to Sopoaga. It is all about securing our own ball and putting pressure on Tigers at every opportunity. Good options from the bench to finish strongly. To target Matfield throughout the 80mins, Parisse in as well to offer a better lineout presence than BV as really want secure ball there.

Gainline/Physical Battle
When we take the ball forward we are going to be going through our pack and work through the phases. We have a lot of strong ball carriers and aim to make the game very physical and get us on the front foot. We also want to stop Tigers getting any momentum so will look to stop them on the gainline, look for the choke tackle and get a lot out of guys like Burger and Pocock here.

Breakdown&Disrupt Tigers Ball
Again this is mostly about securing our own ball, there is no benefit in quick ball today and we want to get our no9 good quality possession. When Tigers take the ball in we want to make this a really physical area, getting our boot on the ball and given du preez a worried 80 minutes. Guard round the fringes to make it difficult for Tigers to get any go forward there.

Win the Kicking Game
Awful conditions so we have gone with SHC and Sopoaga as our halfback combination and as their style is very much suited to the conditions. We've called in Daly and Halfpenny for their kicking games as well, particularly Daly's cannon of a left boot, and will look to beat Tigers in the territory stakes and pin Tigers back deep in their own half where they can't score points. Tigers have no kicking outlet in midfield and we'll look to take advantage of that.

Take all points on offer with Halfpenny's boot, Daly provides an additional drop kick option in the wider channel.

Simple game plan - win territory & big carries
Simply working our way through the phases in the pack, providing our halfbacks with good ball to kick in behind Tigers and keep the ball well in the home teams half. When in Tigers territory we'll start looking to bring Savea, AAC and Fofana into the game, set up drop goals and just take any opportunity for points we want that score board to tick over and happy to play a simple, boring game plan to achieve this.

Defence
Similar style defence to that which Saracens play in real life, putting a lot of pressure on the attacking team and force them into mistakes. Want to up the physicality in Tigers half, capitalise on any error. Put Burger on Burns and look to get at him at every opportunity, if we snap him up then Tigers don't have many other kicking options. Get AAC and Savea dropping deeper to provide support for Halfpenny on Tigers ball.

Subs
Strong bench, again selected to allow us to finish strongly with powerful ball carriers in the pack and can call on Simpson and Giteau to add to the kicking game in the backs.


Bath v Sale Sharks
The Rec
Heavy rain, 7 Degrees, 11mph Winds


Bath Rugby
Manager – CJB
01. Steven Kitchoff09. Richard Wigglesworth
02. Rory Best 10. Beauden Barrett
03. Ben Tameifuma
04. Will Skelton 11. Juan Imhoff  
05. Graham Kitchener 12. Christian Lealifano
06. Dan Lydiate 13. Damian De Allende
07. Francois Louw  14. Liam Williams  
08. Josh Beaumont 15. Alex Goode
16. Richard Barrington 17. Mikey Haywood 18. Samson Lee 19. James Gaskell 20. Justin Tipuric 21. Toby Falateu 22. Tawera Kerr Barlow 23. Sam Hill

Overall: We are gonna be looking to play a mix of territorial rugby and aggressive carrying rugby with the ball. Use our big boots in the back line to position our team and look to get turnovers at the breakdown and line out. When we have the ball in the Sale half look to relentlessly carry the ball creating space and breaking the defence.

Scrum: Use the set piece to get quick ball to restart our play. Kitchoff will look to cause Slimani trouble and we will hope to get a shove on. Skelton will add a lot of power to the scrum and we will look to get more power from our back five. Falateu will look to attack off the quick ball he gets

Lineout: We will look to switch up the lineup with Falateu, Skelton, Louw and Kitchener options in the lineout. Kitchener will run the line out. Look to get up into the air quickly and down for a quick maul. Skelton will offer quick ball option at the front. We expect to dominate here.

Breakdown: Look to generate quick ball for our backs to take advantage of. Louw  is brilliant at the breakdown and we will also look to get the rest of the pack looking to help and clear out.

Defence: Run a blitz defence. Lydiate will look to target Sexton. His aggressive tackling will help us stop the Sharks executing. Lots of pressure on out of form fly half. Wigglesworth and Goode to drift behind expecting kicks.

Attack: Our half backs will control our rugby. Wiggles will set the tempo and play what he sees in front of him. Outside of him, Barrett will play flat and use his creativity to bring in the back line and make plays. He will be given a freedom to be creative. Lealifano and Goode can also make plays as first receiver and look to exploit this.

Look to bring in the rest of the back line, especially De Allende who we would like to get running at defenders. Imhoff and Williams are very skilful and if the ball gets to them will look to draw in defenders. The pack will also be involved when we have the ball for a prolonged period. We have strong carriers who excel in the loose. Look to get the ball in the hands of Kitchoff, Skelton and Falateu in order to break the line and make yards. Look to play with a high tempo and tire Sale out. Exploit the holes we create and look to tire out Worcester which can help nullify their offensive threats.

Kicking: Barrett will be our chosen place kicker. Barrett, LLF, Williams, Wiggles and Goode all have the boots necessary to try and put us in a good position territorially and will use this option when in our own half. Look to get these balls either high giving us a chance of a good kick chase or deep in touch.

Substitutes: Keep a high tempo


 Sale Sharks
Manager – SJE

01. Marcos Ayerza09. Danny Care
02. Tommy Taylor10. Johnny Sexton
03. Rabah Slimani
04. Iain Henderson11. Simon Zebo
05. Brodie Retalick12. Francois Steyn
06. Peter O'Mahony13. Malakai Fekitoa
07. Matt Kvesic14. Willie Le Roux
08. Louis Picamoles15. Nick Abendanon
Subs:
16. Ross Harrison 17. Benjamin Kayser 18. Martin Moore 19. Matt Garvey 20. Maro Itoje 21. Sam Cane 22. Kieran Marmion 23. Bernard Foley

Hit the Bath 10/12 Channel: Look for carries from the likes of Henderson, Picamoles & Fekitoa targetting the 10/12 channel looking for good yardage with neither big defenders. 

Attack: Look to use the kicking game of our back line to keep the game in opposition territory. When in the right areas work the phases with big carries off 9/10 and in midfield to get us over the gain line building momentum and fast ball. Look to target the Bath 10-12 channel with our big carriers looking to make good ground.

Kicking: Look to take advantage of the better kicking game of our back three and control the territory. Mix in contestable kicks with all of our back three capable of challenging. All kicks to be chased to put pressure on the returning kick and prevent the counter.  

Breakdown: Mobile pack and physical back line 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. Defensively unless the turnover is on we will commit minimal numbers and look to strengthen the defensive line.

Defence: Straight line blitz defence focused on winning the gain line collisions and driving the ball carrier back. Line speed is crucial. We have selected three players comfortable at fullback in the back three who will look to sit deep and cover the backfield. Care will sweep behind the line to cover chips and grubbers.

Scrum: Strong scrummaging unit in the front row with the support of a powerful 4-8 will look to get the better of the opposition and build a strong attacking platform. Look to expose the opposition flyhalf with Picamoles running directly at him.

Lineout: Five mobile, athletic jumpers allows us to genuinely mix the target up on attacking ball. Primarily looking to hit the front or middle and get the maul rolling to suck in defenders and create space. Defensively POM to get up in the air at the front and challenge on opposition ball looking to make it as messy as possible.


Wasps v Worcester Warriors
Richot Arena  
Heavy rain, 7 Degrees, 14mph Winds


London Wasps
Manager: CJ


01. Eddy Ben Arous
09. Ben Spencer
02. Richardt Strauss
10. Francois Trinh-Duc (k)
03. Sekope Kepu

04. Sam Twomey11. Jesse Mogg
05. Luke Charteris12. Kyle Godwin
06. Chris Robshaw
13. George Moala
07. John Barclay (c)14. Craig Gilroy
08.  Victor Vito
15. Chris Pennell 
:-
16. Nathan Catt 17. Scott Spurling , 18. James Johnston 19. Grant Gilchrist  , 20 Carl Fearns , 21. Rhodri Williams , 22. Charlie Hodgson 23.  Manuel Montero

Tactics

In the pouring rain, the breakdown, territory battle and set piece are key and we have selected a side to focus on these areas.

Breakdown:

In the rain, the breakdown will be sloppy and ball speed generally less important so generally hold players out of the ruck and in defence/ready to kick chase. The exception is on our attacking ball in either 22, where we will hit the breakdown hard and early and with more numbers where possible to hope to catch the defence off guard in their 22 for a rare snipe, and to avoid the same happening on a turnover in our 22.

If the ball is stuck in the ruck and looks like we could turn it over, commit to the counterruck, but generally Barclay will be following the ball and looking to turn it over by getting there early and Robshaw helping him and slowing ball where he can.

Scrum-

we should really be able to attack their front row and with both our props strong we will push evenly on both sides to get the shove on our ball and turnover theirs or win penalties for backwards scrum- no need to wheel or cheat and we will be in the referee's ear if they try. Happy to set up ball off a Vito run.

Lineout-

Worcester have limited main options here, so in tricky conditions we will pressure them thusly with 2 strong defensive jumpers:

Charteris marking the front, pressuring with some attempted steals but largely letting them take the ball at the front, setting the maul and pushing it straight back into touch.

This pressurises them to throw to the middle, marked in the air by Twomey, who has been strong at stealing the ball.

On our ball we have multiple options to keep the pressure off and we will largely look to maul and work off that.

Territory-

we will kick deep and low, looking to get behind their wings especially Naholo, with a constant kick chase, looking for territory to attack their lineout and wicked bounces leading to possession or tries in the wet.

Also send the occasional high ball up, mostly at the wingers for our fullback trainer wingers to challenge.

We have kickers at 9, 10, 12 and the back 3 to keep the pressure off them all.

Will run back only unchallenged ball, preferring to kick and back ourselves to win that battle.

Happy to take drop goal shots and any points on offer

Defence-

Blitz led by Moala, 9 sweeping, tight fringe defence in this weather, looking to get two men (preferably one sweeping backrower) on Roberts to strip him or hold him up, and to rush their wingers to give them no space. This will leave space behind so Pennell's focus on being aware for chips and kicks through with Spencer. Biggar in great form, so stifle his ball by harrying Davies, Pennell covering his inevitable up and unders.

Attack-
keep slow ball simple with drives and mauls and our big carriers (Kepu, Vito, Arous) off 9-10. Happy to kick in neutral territory and look for attacking crossfields and chips.

Quicker ball kept simple, with big runners off 10-12, wingers coming in for work and Moala the point man. No silly offloads, look to recycle at the ruck. Robshaw can be first receiver to take pressure off backs

Lots of carrying to build momentum, then running at gaps once they appear, not at men

As usual, press for pens in their 22 and hold back in our half. Subs - our pack subs  and Montero should add power and HBs can add control

Overall:
Play the territory game with multiple kickers and great chasers, looking for the lucky bounce

Use multiple options in key areas to take pressure off individuals

Dual 7s at breakdown

Quick linespeed, cutting off opposition space

Attack opposition ball at set piece



Worcester Warriors
Manager – prop_lyd

01. Joe Moody09. Gareth Davies
02. Ken Owens10. Dan Biggar (k)
03. WP Nel
04. Stuart Hooper11. Waisake Naholo
05. Yohann Maestri12. Jamie Roberts
06. Mike Williams13. Mark Bennett
07. Sam  Warburton (c)14. Nehe Milner-Skudder
08. Ben Morgan15. Mathew Tait
:-
16. Ross Batty 17. Lucas Noguera Paz 18. Henry Thomas 19. Tom Savage 20. Jordan Taufua 21. Sam Harrison 22. Owen Williams 23. Jarrad Payne

Tactics
Confidence is huge with us having beaten Quins and taking away their unbeaten record in the league. In wet and windy conditions we will be looking for a controlled game and play positionally with Biggar and Davies putting us in strong areas.

Set Piece-We have gone for bulk and hard workers here who will all look to control our set piece and put pressure on the opposition's set piece Nel's return last week had a huge  impact and we have brought in Williams for further lineout options. We know Charteris can be difficult to battle against so will look to reduce the numbers if required to negate his effect. The ball will look to go in and out pretty quickly to prevent any major mistakes/slips in the conditons. And Williams/Warbs will look to fly off the back of the line to put pressure on 10.

Breakdown-In these conditions good ball is crucial and we have gone for Warburton to look to put pressure on their ball but also be a nuisance tackling at the fringes when needed, Williams has been brought in for his carrying game adding to Hooper, Maestri and Morgan if we get into a battle up front. Wasps have gone for 2 sevens and we appreciate that we will be looking to get the ball away fairly quick so are happy to pick and go to suck them in before spinning the quick ball out. We want clean ball and will look to attack any gaps on the fringes if they are obvious.

Half-Backs-A controlled game today mainly looking for position, Biggar will look to use his up and unders when appropriate and compete for the ball here. They will have options of the blindside winger or a forward running off their's and Roberts' shoulders for the pop ball. Wasps are looking for the Biggar up and under and we will keep them guessing with Biggar's positioning off ruck to give him more time.

Outside Backs-When it's on we will look to go wide, we have two big wingers suited for the conditions and they will look to run over their opponents rather than round them in what is likely to be a tight game. Bennett will pull the strings at 13 releasing the back three. Our back 3 will initially look to keep the ball in hand and Tait/Davies/Biggar will be one of the covering players from Wasps' tactical kicking therefore offering the clearance needed if no gaps appear.

Bench-A strong scrummaging bench and Savage and Taufua there as a carrying option. Payne will look to exploit the tired defences using tactical kicking.

Defence-Controlled defence here and we won't look to rush up, backrow to put pressure on 10 initially with Davies sweeping behind. Main impeotus is on no gaps and defending inside-out today.

Overall-Looking for a fairly tight game with quick breakdown ball, going for position and put pressure on the opposition's set piece.


Harlequins v Saracens
The Stoop
Heavy rain, 10 Degrees, 14mph Winds


Harlequins
Manager – Steven_Sharks

01. Gurthro Steenkamp09. Ruan Pienaar 
02. Agustin Creevy10. Steven Myler (k) 
03. Kieran Brookes
04. Luke Romano11. Jack Nowell
05. George Kruis12. Juan Martin Hernandez
06. Damien Chouly13. Robbie Henshaw 
07. Michael Hooper (c)14. Yoann Huget 
08. Mamuka Gorgodze15. Rob Kearney
16. Scott Baldwin 17. Ethan Waller 18. Kyle Sinckler 19. Pieter Steph Du Toit 20. Nick Easter 21. Jack Clifford 22. Henry Pyrgos 23. James O'Connor


Tactics

FORWARDS WORK HARD - HALF BACKS CONTROL - OUTSIDE BACKS CREATE


Game Plan


In the poor conditions we will look to play sensible, percentage rugby using two of the best controlling half backs around in Pienaar and Myler who will be able supported at 12 by Hernandez. We will look to play in Saracens half exploiting the lack of kicking game from the Saracens wingers. When we have the ball in Saracens territory we will look to use our forwards to carry hard at Saracens and get us some go forward for our backs to attack with on the front foot. 

Kicking Game


Each of our backs is an accomplished kicker with ball in hand but with Pienaar and Myler kicking accuracy and the distance of Hernandez and Kearney, we fully expect to be able to win the kicking duel and control the territory in this match. We have Henshaw, Kearney, Huget and  Nowell who are all accomplished under a high ball and we will look to use up and unders to target all three of the Saracens back three in tricky conditions.

Breakdown and Defence


In defence we will use the chop tackle as our default defence in order to stop Saracens dead and allow our pack to attack the breakdown with Hooper and Creevy leading this. Our default defensive system will be a drift with a quick line speed to try to force Saracens to go wide in difficult conditions. In attack we will look to carry in numbers so we have sufficient men to clear Saracens out at the breakdown.

Set Piece 

Look to really target the Saracens line out putting pressure on Whitelock and force Guirado to throw to less competent jumpers. We will mark the front and the middle to put pressure on the Saracens jumpers and try to force Saracens to take the risky option and throw to the back in slippery conditions. At the scrum we have Brookes in superb form and will look to get him to put big pressure on Waller.

Key Points


Keep the scoreboard ticking. JMH included for his drop goal expertise and will use this to keep us scoring. Take all points on offer.


Saracens
Manager – Pooly

01. Alex Waller09. Morgan Parra
02. Guilhem Guirado10. Nicolas Sanchez
03. Jannie du Plessis
04. Patrick Tuipultou11. George North
05. Sam Whitelock12. Sonny Bill Williams
06. James Haskell13. Conrad Smith
07. Will Fraser14. Chris Ashton
08. Nathan Hughes15. Pat Lambie
:-
16. Richard Hibbard 17. Ben Franks 18. Dan Cole 19. Geoff Parling 20. John Hardie 21. Lee Dickson 22. Henry Trinder 23. Hosea Gear

Tactics:

KEEP THINGS SIMPLE - PLAY THE CONDITIONS - Look to keep offloads and attacking play to minimum and play the conditions. Look to use SBW as a direct runner/dummy runner more than offloading at every opportunity. Look to use strong kicking options at 9/10/15 to keep us right areas of the pitch and big runners in Hughes, Tuipultou, Haskell, SBW, North etc to get us over the gain line. Will look to bring Lambie into the line on our own ball to offer another kicking option if needed.

QUALITY 9-13 TO CONTROL THE TEMPO OF THE GAME - Look to take the game to the opposition and key players with vast experience 9-13.

TARGET SCRUM, ESP AGAINST QUINS BENCH - Look to get at Steenkamp in the scrum and put him under pressure from the off. Fully International bench with over 100 caps against very inexperienced options for the opposition could be a match decider and chance to get points on the board.

NUMEROUS CARRYING OPTIONS IN CONDITIONS - Team packed full of "go to men" in the conditions to get us over the gain line.

TARGET BREAKDOWN - Numerous options in Cole, Whitelock, Hardie, Haskell, Hughes. Look to get n edge with only Hooper a genuine option in the opposition line up.

General - We'll be playing a structured physical game from the off, look to get at the opposition and target the breakdown. 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 bring in the opposition pack and then use big carrying options to punch holes through their defence. Look to control the tempo and areas we play with kicking options at halfback.

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 TH and Hooker will look to target LH and try to get between him and Hooker to allow LH to work on TH If no weakness seen will use as restart.

Line out – Look for safe ball with world class line out options and experience. Will allow SH good clean ball and have big carriers running off the 9 at angles. Look to target opposition throw and put pressure on the hooker.

Defence - Blitz defence with high intensity and big hits, looking to drive past the ball player if the ball hits the deck. physical pack that can look to get at the collision and breakdown allowing a chance to slow down/steal ball. Put pressure on SH's basics and force him into errors. Scrum half to sweep behind the defensive line.

Attack - Keep things simple in our own half then look to unleash backs in opp 22 territory. Scrum half to dictate play from the breakdown and runners on his shoulder. Huge carrying pack to get us over the gain line after front 5 set a platform. Midfield to run angles off the 9/10, allowing us gain line breakers. Look to keep opposition guessing with clever lines through midfield. Wingers will look to track the midfield combo.


London Irish v Newcastle Falcons


Sandy Park
Heavy rain, 9 Degrees, 15mph Winds



London Irish team too play Newcastle Falcons...

15.Delon Armitage
14.Anthoney Watson
13.Jesse Kriel
12.Henry Slade
11.Bryan Habana
10.Aaron Cruden
9.Aaron Smith

1.Joe Marler
2.Bismark Du Plessie
3.Frans Marbella
4.Alun Wyn Jones
5.Sebastian Vahamaania
6.Jerome Kaino
7.Sean O'Brian
8.Duane Vermaulen (C)

16.Tom Youngs 17.Scott Sio 18.David Wilson 19.Matt Symons 20.Marcell Coetzee 21.Ben Youngs 22.Shane Gereghty 23.Tim Nani Williams
In wet conditions we will be looking to play a mixed game, and have picked a side enabling us to do so.  When in Falcons 22 we will look to trust in our ability and put the ball through the hands when it is on to do so.  Further out than that and we will utilise the kicking games of our entire backline to take us into the right areas of the pitch

In defence, in poor conditions, we will employ a drift defence, leaving our wingers slightly deeper in anticipation of a primarily kick focussed game plan from Falcons.  No dog-legs will be a key component for us.  Aaron Smith will sweep in behind the defensive line to counter any chips/grubbers.

Specifics
*
* Lineout.  In wet conditions we will look primarily to hit font and middle, and use our mauling game.  Defensively we will look to compete for the ball and disrupt wherever possible, making any ball secured by Falcons as scrappy as we can.


* Scrum.  Hit channel one on our ball.  If we're on top, keep it in and drive to either gain ground or win the penalty.  If we're not going forward, get it out and play dependant on where we are on the pitch.  On their ball, 8 man shove and look to drive them off as their hooker lifts his foot to hook the ball.  Malherbe to stay tight and straight.  Flanker on that side to stay bound and keep Malherbe straight.


* Breakdown.  When we carry into contact, if we are taken to ground, we will flood the breakdown.  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.  In the Falcons 22 we will go through the phases, mixing up carrying in tight and getting it through the hands as appropriate.  We will also If the ball is slow and Gloucester are blitzing we will also utilise the pick and go, with the aim of keeping the blitz honest and forcing them slowly onto the back foot before going wider out.  Further out from the Falcons line we will again carry in tight where appropriate, but also use the boots of backline to kick.  We will use the up and under sparingly, in the main kicking deep and with a lowish trajectory to get the wet ball skidding on and being difficult to handle.  We will also use little grubbers in behind the blitzing Falcons defensive line, and Smith will also look to snipe around the fringes and keep us going forwards.


Newcastle Falcons
Manager – Bambam

01. Matt Mullan09. Greig Laidlaw
02. Jamie George 10. Owen Farrell (k)
03. Davit Kubriashvili
04. Ed Slater11. Charles Piutau
05. Flip Van Der Merwe12. Scott Williams
06. David Ewers13. Jonathan Davies
07. Callum Clark14. Ben Smith
08. Kieran Read (c)15. Gareth Anscombe
:-
16.Dane Coles 17.Alec Hepburn 18. Charlie Faumuina 19. Jacques Potgeiter 20. Rhys Ruddock 21. Rhys Webb 22. Ian Madigan  23. Charlie Sharples

Game plan - Our game plan is going to be focused on playing to the conditions and trying to use the threats in our backline to take advantage of their defence out wide where we think they could be exploited.

Set piece - Rock solid scrummage needed, we'll look to put pressure on Malherbe with Mullan's technique but if no weakness seen use as a restart. On our ball, George is one of the best at hooking, get it out the back to Read and get going forwards. At the lineout, we'll look to mark their locks with our second row pairing, force them to make the more difficult throws towards the back where Read will be waiting. On our ball, get ball off the top with Flip, use Read often as a second option with Slater the safe ball

Breakdown - Use the experience of Clark and Read to know when to pick their spots and go in for the steal. We'll use our big front 5 and Ewers to clear the breakdown quickly, with Read/Henry focusing on getting us turnovers and making sure that Vermeulen, BDP and SOB can't have too big of an impact, and they'll be backed up by the front 5 targeting their clear outs on those guys.

Kicking - We'll use the kicking game to put ourselves in the right areas of the field in the rain, kick in behind the wings and get them turning, we've got a great back 3 for the aerial chase. Cut off the easy pass to Delon for a clearing kick. Davies, Anscombe and Smith to offer kicking options

Attack - Use misdirection and Smith/Piutau coming into the line to try and pull their backline around. Strettle to primarily stay out wide to look to finish off chances. We want to target Watson on the wing, Anscombe to act as second distributor, split either side of ruck with Farrell, then run at Watsonwith both our centres having the ability to create 2 on 1s . Big carrying pack to get us on the front foot in the conditions. Get big runners going at Cruden and Slade to put them off their game

Defence - no weak links in the back line, big hitters throughout the pack to force them backwards. JD2 to lead the defensive line, we'll blitz in their territory but employ a drift to change it up.

Bench - impact forwards to get us on the front foot in the last 20,, and Madigan/Webb/ Sharples offer game breaking attacking play


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Re: AP Round 9

Post by Fluxy on Tue 05 Jan 2016, 2:34 pm

SJE/Pooly, aren't the disrupted European fixtures on this weekend, following the Paris attacks? 

I believe it would only be Bath that play though, I can't think of any other AP sides that had their games postponed.

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Re: AP Round 9

Post by SirJohnnyEnglish on Tue 05 Jan 2016, 2:41 pm

Postponements don't really affect us as we predicted on the games as they fell. We will be keeping with the original fixture list

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Re: AP Round 9

Post by Fluxy on Tue 05 Jan 2016, 2:43 pm

No worries, just thought it was worth mentioning!

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Re: AP Round 9

Post by Driver on Tue 05 Jan 2016, 5:33 pm

Can someone hit me with a quick rule refresh
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Re: AP Round 9

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Tue 05 Jan 2016, 5:35 pm

4 EQ starters, 8 EQ in squad.

Home teams in first. Injuries should run out this week but check anyway.

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Re: AP Round 9

Post by Driver on Tue 05 Jan 2016, 5:39 pm

Any weather or do we go off the BBC?
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Re: AP Round 9

Post by Driver on Tue 05 Jan 2016, 5:49 pm

London Irish team too play Newcastle Falcons...

15.Delon Armitage
14.Anthoney Watson
13.Jesse Kriel
12.Henry Slade
11.Bryan Habana
10.Aaron Cruden
9.Aaron Smith

1.Joe Marler
2.Bismark Du Plessie
3.Frans Marbella
4.Alun Wyn Jones
5.Sebastian Vahamaania
6.Jerome Kaino
7.Sean O'Brian
8.Duane Vermaulen (C)

16.Tom Youngs 17.Scott Sio 18.David Wilson 19.Matt Symons 20.Marcell Coetzee 21.Ben Youngs 22.Shane Gereghty 23.Tim Nani Williams.
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Re: AP Round 9

Post by prop_lyd on Tue 05 Jan 2016, 8:01 pm

Worcester Warriors
Manager – prop_lyd

01. Joe Moody09. Gareth Davies
02. Ken Owens10. Dan Biggar (k)
03. WP Nel
04. Stuart Hooper11. Waisake Naholo
05. Yohann Maestri12. Jamie Roberts
06. Mike Williams13. Mark Bennett
07. Sam  Warburton (c)14. Nehe Milner-Skudder
08. Ben Morgan15. Mathew Tait
:-
16. Ross Batty 17. Lucas Noguera Paz 18. Henry Thomas 19. Tom Savage 20. Jordan Taufua 21. Sam Harrison 22. Owen Williams 23. Jarrad Payne

Tactics
Confidence is huge with us having beaten Quins and taking away their unbeaten record in the league. In wet and windy conditions we will be looking for a controlled game and play positionally with Biggar and Davies putting us in strong areas.

Set Piece-We have gone for bulk and hard workers here who will all look to control our set piece and put pressure on the opposition's set piece Nel's return last week had a huge impact and we have brought in Williams for further lineout options. We know Charteris can be difficult to battle against so will look to reduce the numbers if required to negate his effect. The ball will look to go in and out pretty quickly to prevent any major mistakes/slips in the conditons. And Williams/Warbs will look to fly off the back of the line to put pressure on 10.

Breakdown-In these conditions good ball is crucial and we have gone for Warburton to look to put pressure on their ball but also be a nuisance tackling at the fringes when needed, Williams has been brought in for his carrying game adding to Hooper, Maestri and Morgan if we get into a battle up front. Wasps have gone for 2 sevens and we appreciate that we will be looking to get the ball away fairly quick so are happy to pick and go to suck them in before spinning the quick ball out. We want clean ball and will look to attack any gaps on the fringes if they are obvious.

Half-Backs-A controlled game today mainly looking for position, Biggar will look to use his up and unders when appropriate and compete for the ball here. They will have options of the blindside winger or a forward running off their's and Roberts' shoulders for the pop ball. Wasps are looking for the Biggar up and under and we will keep them guessing with Biggar's positioning off ruck to give him more time.

Outside Backs-When it's on we will look to go wide, we have two big wingers suited for the conditions and they will look to run over their opponents rather than round them in what is likely to be a tight game. Bennett will pull the strings at 13 releasing the back three. Our back 3 will initially look to keep the ball in hand and Tait/Davies/Biggar will be one of the covering players from Wasps' tactical kicking therefore offering the clearance needed if no gaps appear.

Bench-A strong scrummaging bench and Savage and Taufua there as a carrying option. Payne will look to exploit the tired defences using tactical kicking.

Defence-Controlled defence here and we won't look to rush up, backrow to put pressure on 10 initially with Davies sweeping behind. Main impeotus is on no gaps and defending inside-out today.

Overall-Looking for a fairly tight game with quick breakdown ball, going for position and put pressure on the opposition's set piece.


Last edited by prop_lyd on Fri 08 Jan 2016, 3:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: AP Round 9

Post by dammit_chris on Tue 05 Jan 2016, 8:28 pm

Northampton Saints
Manager | Dammit Chris

01. Mako Vunipola09. Sam Hildago Cline
02. Dylan Hartley10. Lima Sopoaga
03. Ramiro Herrera
04. Joe Launchbury11. Julia Savea
05. Samu Manoa12. Weslie Fofana
06. Schalk Burger13. Elliot Daly
07. David Pocock(c)14. Adam Ashley Cooper
08. Sergio Parisse15. Leigh Halfpenny(k)
Replacements:
16. Ashley Johnson 17. Wyatt Crockett 18. Logi Mulipola 19. Courtney Lawes 20. Billy Vunipola 21. Joe Simpson 22. Matt Giteau 23. Ben Foden

Tactics
With the conditions being awful we have opted to make five changes to the pack to ensure that it is fresh and able to take on the conditions. Includes both props, recalling Manoa and bringing Burger and Parisse into the backrow. We have selected a pack with a lot of strong ball carriers to make the hardyards, play a very physical game and give our halfbacks good quality possession. We will keep everything extremely simple.

Our halfbacks are selected specifically for the weather, with an emphasis on using the boots of SHC, Sopoaga, Daly and Halfpenny to put us deep in Tigers territory and stay there with an aggressive defence. Halfpenny's boot could be the difference in the game as arguably best gk in rugby.

Set Piece&Fresh Pack
Five fresh forwards, we want to really make sure both our scrum and lineout is solid to provide SHC with good ball to clear our lines when in our own half and get safe ball to Sopoaga. It is all about securing our own ball and putting pressure on Tigers at every opportunity. Good options from the bench to finish strongly. To target Matfield throughout the 80mins, Parisse in as well to offer a better lineout presence than BV as really want secure ball there.

Gainline/Physical Battle
When we take the ball forward we are going to be going through our pack and work through the phases. We have a lot of strong ball carriers and aim to make the game very physical and get us on the front foot. We also want to stop Tigers getting any momentum so will look to stop them on the gainline, look for the choke tackle and get a lot out of guys like Burger and Pocock here.

Breakdown&Disrupt Tigers Ball
Again this is mostly about securing our own ball, there is no benefit in quick ball today and we want to get our no9 good quality possession. When Tigers take the ball in we want to make this a really physical area, getting our boot on the ball and given du preez a worried 80 minutes. Guard round the fringes to make it difficult for Tigers to get any go forward there.

Win the Kicking Game
Awful conditions so we have gone with SHC and Sopoaga as our halfback combination and as their style is very much suited to the conditions. We've called in Daly and Halfpenny for their kicking games as well, particularly Daly's cannon of a left boot, and will look to beat Tigers in the territory stakes and pin Tigers back deep in their own half where they can't score points. Tigers have no kicking outlet in midfield and we'll look to take advantage of that.

Take all points on offer with Halfpenny's boot, Daly provides an additional drop kick option in the wider channel.

Simple game plan - win territory & big carries
Simply working our way through the phases in the pack, providing our halfbacks with good ball to kick in behind Tigers and keep the ball well in the home teams half. When in Tigers territory we'll start looking to bring Savea, AAC and Fofana into the game, set up drop goals and just take any opportunity for points we want that score board to tick over and happy to play a simple, boring game plan to achieve this.

Defence
Similar style defence to that which Saracens play in real life, putting a lot of pressure on the attacking team and force them into mistakes. Want to up the physicality in Tigers half, capitalise on any error. Put Burger on Burns and look to get at him at every opportunity, if we snap him up then Tigers don't have many other kicking options. Get AAC and Savea dropping deeper to provide support for Halfpenny on Tigers ball.

Subs
Strong bench, again selected to allow us to finish strongly with powerful ball carriers in the pack and can call on Simpson and Giteau to add to the kicking game in the backs.


Last edited by dammit_chris on Fri 08 Jan 2016, 10:50 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Re: AP Round 9

Post by ChequeredJersey on Tue 05 Jan 2016, 9:49 pm

London Wasps
Manager: CJ


01. Eddy Ben Arous
09. Ben Spencer
02. Richardt Strauss
10. Francois Trinh-Duc (k)
03. Sekope Kepu

04. Sam Twomey11. Jesse Mogg
05. Luke Charteris12. Kyle Godwin
06. Chris Robshaw
13. George Moala
07. John Barclay (c)14. Craig Gilroy
08.  Victor Vito
15. Chris Pennell 
:-
16. Nathan Catt 17. Scott Spurling , 18. James Johnston 19. Grant Gilchrist  , 20 Carl Fearns , 21. Rhodri Williams , 22. Charlie Hodgson 23.  Manuel Montero

Tactics

In the pouring rain, the breakdown, territory battle and set piece are key and we have selected a side to focus on these areas.

Breakdown:

In the rain, the breakdown will be sloppy and ball speed generally less important so generally hold players out of the ruck and in defence/ready to kick chase. The exception is on our attacking ball in either 22, where we will hit the breakdown hard and early and with more numbers where possible to hope to catch the defence off guard in their 22 for a rare snipe, and to avoid the same happening on a turnover in our 22.

If the ball is stuck in the ruck and looks like we could turn it over, commit to the counterruck, but generally Barclay will be following the ball and looking to turn it over by getting there early and Robshaw helping him and slowing ball where he can.

Scrum-

we should really be able to attack their front row and with both our props strong we will push evenly on both sides to get the shove on our ball and turnover theirs or win penalties for backwards scrum- no need to wheel or cheat and we will be in the referee's ear if they try. Happy to set up ball off a Vito run.

Lineout-

Worcester have limited main options here, so in tricky conditions we will pressure them thusly with 2 strong defensive jumpers:

Charteris marking the front, pressuring with some attempted steals but largely letting them take the ball at the front, setting the maul and pushing it straight back into touch.

This pressurises them to throw to the middle, marked in the air by Twomey, who has been strong at stealing the ball.

On our ball we have multiple options to keep the pressure off and we will largely look to maul and work off that.

Territory-

we will kick deep and low, looking to get behind their wings especially Naholo, with a constant kick chase, looking for territory to attack their lineout and wicked bounces leading to possession or tries in the wet.

Also send the occasional high ball up, mostly at the wingers for our fullback trainer wingers to challenge.

We have kickers at 9, 10, 12 and the back 3 to keep the pressure off them all.

Will run back only unchallenged ball, preferring to kick and back ourselves to win that battle.

Happy to take drop goal shots and any points on offer

Defence-

Blitz led by Moala, 9 sweeping, tight fringe defence in this weather, looking to get two men (preferably one sweeping backrower) on Roberts to strip him or hold him up, and to rush their wingers to give them no space. This will leave space behind so Pennell's focus on being aware for chips and kicks through with Spencer. Biggar in great form, so stifle his ball by harrying Davies, Pennell covering his inevitable up and unders.

Attack-
keep slow ball simple with drives and mauls and our big carriers (Kepu, Vito, Arous) off 9-10. Happy to kick in neutral territory and look for attacking crossfields and chips.

Quicker ball kept simple, with big runners off 10-12, wingers coming in for work and Moala the point man. No silly offloads, look to recycle at the ruck. Robshaw can be first receiver to take pressure off backs

Lots of carrying to build momentum, then running at gaps once they appear, not at men

As usual, press for pens in their 22 and hold back in our half. Subs - our pack subs and Montero should add power and HBs can add control

Overall:
Play the territory game with multiple kickers and great chasers, looking for the lucky bounce

Use multiple options in key areas to take pressure off individuals

Dual 7s at breakdown

Quick linespeed, cutting off opposition space

Attack opposition ball at set piece


Last edited by ChequeredJersey on Fri 08 Jan 2016, 12:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: AP Round 9

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Wed 06 Jan 2016, 6:19 am

Get your wellies out lads!

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Re: AP Round 9

Post by prop_lyd on Wed 06 Jan 2016, 8:26 am

How does it work if I wanted to make a change before deadline now conditions are up? No worries if I can't
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Re: AP Round 9

Post by Steven_Sharks on Wed 06 Jan 2016, 8:53 am

Harlequins
Manager – Steven_Sharks

01. Gurthro Steenkamp09. Ruan Pienaar 
02. Agustin Creevy10. Steven Myler (k) 
03. Kieran Brookes
04. Luke Romano11. Jack Nowell
05. George Kruis12. Juan Martin Hernandez
06. Damien Chouly13. Robbie Henshaw 
07. Michael Hooper (c)14. Yoann Huget 
08. Mamuka Gorgodze15. Rob Kearney

16. Scott Baldwin 17. Ethan Waller 18. Kyle Sinckler 19. Pieter Steph Du Toit 20. Nick Easter 21. Jack Clifford 22. Henry Pyrgos 23. James O'Connor


Tactics

FORWARDS WORK HARD - HALF BACKS CONTROL - OUTSIDE BACKS CREATE


Game Plan


In the poor conditions we will look to play sensible, percentage rugby using two of the best controlling half backs around in Pienaar and Myler who will be able supported at 12 by Hernandez. We will look to play in Saracens half exploiting the lack of kicking game from the Saracens wingers. When we have the ball in Saracens territory we will look to use our forwards to carry hard at Saracens and get us some go forward for our backs to attack with on the front foot. 

Kicking Game


Each of our backs is an accomplished kicker with ball in hand but with Pienaar and Myler kicking accuracy and the distance of Hernandez and Kearney, we fully expect to be able to win the kicking duel and control the territory in this match. We have Henshaw, Kearney, Huget and  Nowell who are all accomplished under a high ball and we will look to use up and unders to target all three of the Saracens back three in tricky conditions.

Breakdown and Defence


In defence we will use the chop tackle as our default defence in order to stop Saracens dead and allow our pack to attack the breakdown with Hooper and Creevy leading this. Our default defensive system will be a drift with a quick line speed to try to force Saracens to go wide in difficult conditions. In attack we will look to carry in numbers so we have sufficient men to clear Saracens out at the breakdown.

Set Piece 

Look to really target the Saracens line out putting pressure on Whitelock and force Guirado to throw to less competent jumpers. We will mark the front and the middle to put pressure on the Saracens jumpers and try to force Saracens to take the risky option and throw to the back in slippery conditions. At the scrum we have Brookes in superb form and will look to get him to put big pressure on Waller.

Key Points


Keep the scoreboard ticking. JMH included for his drop goal expertise and will use this to keep us scoring. Take all points on offer.


Last edited by Steven_Sharks on Thu 07 Jan 2016, 6:44 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: AP Round 9

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Wed 06 Jan 2016, 9:07 am

prop_lyd wrote:How does it work if I wanted to make a change before deadline now conditions are up? No worries if I can't

I've no issues with that Prop as the days have been a bit crazy over the holidays, should be back to normal next week though.

Johnny's call though thumbsup

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Re: AP Round 9

Post by SirJohnnyEnglish on Wed 06 Jan 2016, 9:16 am

Going to be harsh here changes are only allowed for injuries/suspensions. Weather is always per the BBC website Friday 3pm conditions. Haven't allowed others change earlier in the season.


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Re: AP Round 9

Post by prop_lyd on Wed 06 Jan 2016, 9:37 am

That's fine I thought that was the case but worth a try!!
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Re: AP Round 9

Post by BamBam on Wed 06 Jan 2016, 9:47 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Get your wellies out lads!

Canoes more like it

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Re: AP Round 9

Post by CJB on Wed 06 Jan 2016, 2:35 pm

Bath Rugby
Manager – CJB
01. Steven Kitchoff09. Richard Wigglesworth
02. Rory Best 10. Beauden Barrett
03. Ben Tameifuma
04. Will Skelton 11. Juan Imhoff  
05. Graham Kitchener 12. Christian Lealifano
06. Dan Lydiate 13. Damian De Allende
07. Francois Louw  14. Liam Williams  
08. Josh Beaumont 15. Alex Goode
16. Richard Barrington 17. Mikey Haywood 18. Samson Lee 19. James Gaskell 20. Justin Tipuric 21. Toby Falateu 22. Tawera Kerr Barlow 23. Sam Hill

Overall: We are gonna be looking to play a mix of territorial rugby and aggressive carrying rugby with the ball. Use our big boots in the back line to position our team and look to get turnovers at the breakdown and line out. When we have the ball in the Sale half look to relentlessly carry the ball creating space and breaking the defence.

Scrum: Use the set piece to get quick ball to restart our play. Kitchoff will look to cause Slimani trouble and we will hope to get a shove on. Skelton will add a lot of power to the scrum and we will look to get more power from our back five. Falateu will look to attack off the quick ball he gets

Lineout: We will look to switch up the lineup with Falateu, Skelton, Louw and Kitchener options in the lineout. Kitchener will run the line out. Look to get up into the air quickly and down for a quick maul. Skelton will offer quick ball option at the front. We expect to dominate here.

Breakdown: Look to generate quick ball for our backs to take advantage of. Louw is brilliant at the breakdown and we will also look to get the rest of the pack looking to help and clear out.

Defence: Run a blitz defence. Lydiate will look to target Sexton. His aggressive tackling will help us stop the Sharks executing. Lots of pressure on out of form fly half. Wigglesworth and Goode to drift behind expecting kicks.

Attack: Our half backs will control our rugby. Wiggles will set the tempo and play what he sees in front of him. Outside of him, Barrett will play flat and use his creativity to bring in the back line and make plays. He will be given a freedom to be creative. Lealifano and Goode can also make plays as first receiver and look to exploit this.

Look to bring in the rest of the back line, especially De Allende who we would like to get running at defenders. Imhoff and Williams are very skilful and if the ball gets to them will look to draw in defenders. The pack will also be involved when we have the ball for a prolonged period. We have strong carriers who excel in the loose. Look to get the ball in the hands of Kitchoff, Skelton and Falateu in order to break the line and make yards. Look to play with a high tempo and tire Sale out. Exploit the holes we create and look to tire out Worcester which can help nullify their offensive threats.

Kicking: Barrett will be our chosen place kicker. Barrett, LLF, Williams, Wiggles and Goode all have the boots necessary to try and put us in a good position territorially and will use this option when in our own half. Look to get these balls either high giving us a chance of a good kick chase or deep in touch.

Substitutes: Keep a high tempo


Last edited by CJB on Sat 09 Jan 2016, 12:13 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: AP Round 9

Post by BamBam on Wed 06 Jan 2016, 3:08 pm

Newcastle Falcons
Manager – Bambam

01. Matt Mullan09. Greig Laidlaw
02. Jamie George 10. Owen Farrell (k)
03. Davit Kubriashvili
04. Ed Slater11. Charles Piutau
05. Flip Van Der Merwe12. Scott Williams
06. David Ewers13. Jonathan Davies
07. Callum Clark14. Ben Smith
08. Kieran Read (c)15. Gareth Anscombe
:-
16.Dane Coles 17.Alec Hepburn 18. Charlie Faumuina 19. Jacques Potgeiter 20. Rhys Ruddock 21. Rhys Webb 22. Ian Madigan  23. Charlie Sharples

Game plan - Our game plan is going to be focused on playing to the conditions and trying to use the threats in our backline to take advantage of their defence out wide where we think they could be exploited.

Set piece - Rock solid scrummage needed, we'll look to put pressure on Malherbe with Mullan's technique but if no weakness seen use as a restart. On our ball, George is one of the best at hooking, get it out the back to Read and get going forwards. At the lineout, we'll look to mark their locks with our second row pairing, force them to make the more difficult throws towards the back where Read will be waiting. On our ball, get ball off the top with Flip, use Read often as a second option with Slater the safe ball

Breakdown - Use the experience of Clark and Read to know when to pick their spots and go in for the steal. We'll use our big front 5 and Ewers to clear the breakdown quickly, with Read/Henry focusing on getting us turnovers and making sure that Vermeulen, BDP and SOB can't have too big of an impact, and they'll be backed up by the front 5 targeting their clear outs on those guys.

Kicking - We'll use the kicking game to put ourselves in the right areas of the field in the rain, kick in behind the wings and get them turning, we've got a great back 3 for the aerial chase. Cut off the easy pass to Delon for a clearing kick. Davies, Anscombe and Smith to offer kicking options

Attack - Use misdirection and Smith/Piutau coming into the line to try and pull their backline around. Strettle to primarily stay out wide to look to finish off chances. We want to target Watson on the wing, Anscombe to act as second distributor, split either side of ruck with Farrell, then run at Watsonwith both our centres having the ability to create 2 on 1s . Big carrying pack to get us on the front foot in the conditions. Get big runners going at Cruden and Slade to put them off their game

Defence - no weak links in the back line, big hitters throughout the pack to force them backwards. JD2 to lead the defensive line, we'll blitz in their territory but employ a drift to change it up.

Bench - impact forwards to get us on the front foot in the last 20,, and Madigan/Webb/ Sharples offer game breaking attacking play


Last edited by BamBam on Fri 08 Jan 2016, 3:30 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: AP Round 9

Post by ChequeredJersey on Wed 06 Jan 2016, 6:21 pm

Glad I assumed it would be wet
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Re: AP Round 9

Post by Fluxy on Wed 06 Jan 2016, 7:17 pm

Exeter Chiefs Chief
         
Manager – Fluxy

01. Thomas Domingo09. Connor Murray
02. Rob Webber10. Nick Evans (k)
03. Mike Ross
04. Paul O'Connell11. Andrew Trimble
05. Lood De Jager12. Ma'a Nonu (c)
06. Tom Wood 13. George Pisi
07. Steffon Armitage14. JP Pietersen
08. Fritz Lee15. Mike Haley
_
16. Jack Yeandle 17. Nic Auterac 18. Jake Cooper-Wooley 19. James Horwill 20. Brad Shields 21. Yannick Nyanga 22. Nic White 23. Toby Flood

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Re: AP Round 9

Post by Guest on Wed 06 Jan 2016, 8:09 pm

1 Beast
2 Strauss
3 Ousthuizen
4 Etzbeth
5 Robson
6 Alberts
7 Matera
8 Dickinson
9 Genia
10 Carter
11 May
12 Toomua
13 Kurindrani
14 Walker
15 Folau
16 Wood
17 LCD
18 Figallo
19 lavanini
20 Heaslip
21 Robson
22 Cipriani
23 Dagg

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Re: AP Round 9

Post by LukeLovesLuka on Wed 06 Jan 2016, 8:12 pm

Leicester Tigers
Manager – LukeLovesLuka

01. Gethin Jenkins09. Fourie Du Preez
02. Stephen Moore (c)     10. Freddie Burns (k)
03. Owen Franks
04. Pascal Pape11. Sitiveni Sivivatu
05. Victor Matfield12. Matt Banahan
06. Wycliffe Palu13. Mathieu Bastareaud
07. JMF Lobbe14. Drew Mitchell
08. Thomas Waldrom15. Mike Brown
.
16. Schalk Brits 17. Max Lahiff 18. Brian Mujati 19. Kearnan Myall 20. Juan Smith 21. Micky Young 22. Kurtley Beale 23. Billy Twelvetrees

In very wet conditions we have picked a huge XV to get us over he gainline as much as possible.

- Use the rolling maul - Moore to lead from the back guided by Du Preez, and use a regular weapon off lineouts won by Matfield.

- No overly ambitious passing - In wet conditions we will either look to kick to gain territory or look to keep ball in hand and take it through the middle.

- Gigantic XV made up of massive line-breakers right throughout the side, that will look to tire down Saints defence.
The likes of Waldrom, Palu, Bastareaud, Pape, Banahan and Moore used consistently to get us over the gainline.

- Lobbe, Bastareaud, Jenkins and Moore are the men charged with reaching the breakdown first and look to turnover possession. We will always look to attack quickly off any turnover ball.

- At the lineout use Matfield as our banker ball and Pape and Lobbe as alternative jumpers - we will rotate the target.
With the boots of Du Preez, Burns and Brown, we will look to get the ball deep in Saints territory and then contest all lineouts. We will relentlessly target the opposition's throws.

- In general attacking play, [color]we will play off 9[/color] with Du preez our general pulling the strings. We want to control of the tempo of the game as much as we can through our 9/10/15.

- Consistently test Saints' back three with kicks in wet conditions. Box kicks from Du Preez and up and unders from Burns to give the opposition problems in the air. We will really test Savea with these kicks, and look to Mitchell to be on him as quickly as possible.

- Lots of scrums - which we want to attack as a weapon if winning - and call when we can - if we are getting an advantage. Franks and Moore to look to target Mako and to look to really get the shove on.

- 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. Du Preez to sweep behind with an eye on short kicks.

- Burns to kick all penalites.


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Re: AP Round 9

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Thu 07 Jan 2016, 4:56 am

Saracens
Manager – Pooly

01. Alex Waller09. Morgan Parra
02. Guilhem Guirado10. Nicolas Sanchez
03. Jannie du Plessis
04. Patrick Tuipultou11. George North
05. Sam Whitelock12. Sonny Bill Williams
06. James Haskell13. Conrad Smith
07. Will Fraser14. Chris Ashton
08. Nathan Hughes15. Pat Lambie
:-
16. Richard Hibbard 17. Ben Franks 18. Dan Cole 19. Geoff Parling 20. John Hardie 21. Lee Dickson 22. Henry Trinder 23. Hosea Gear

Tactics:

KEEP THINGS SIMPLE - PLAY THE CONDITIONS - Look to keep offloads and attacking play to minimum and play the conditions. Look to use SBW as a direct runner/dummy runner more than offloading at every opportunity. Look to use strong kicking options at 9/10/15 to keep us right areas of the pitch and big runners in Hughes, Tuipultou, Haskell, SBW, North etc to get us over the gain line. Will look to bring Lambie into the line on our own ball to offer another kicking option if needed.

QUALITY 9-13 TO CONTROL THE TEMPO OF THE GAME - Look to take the game to the opposition and key players with vast experience 9-13.

TARGET SCRUM, ESP AGAINST QUINS BENCH - Look to get at Steenkamp in the scrum and put him under pressure from the off. Fully International bench with over 100 caps against very inexperienced options for the opposition could be a match decider and chance to get points on the board.

NUMEROUS CARRYING OPTIONS IN CONDITIONS - Team packed full of "go to men" in the conditions to get us over the gain line.

TARGET BREAKDOWN - Numerous options in Cole, Whitelock, Hardie, Haskell, Hughes. Look to get n edge with only Hooper a genuine option in the opposition line up.

General - We'll be playing a structured physical game from the off, look to get at the opposition and target the breakdown. 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 bring in the opposition pack and then use big carrying options to punch holes through their defence. Look to control the tempo and areas we play with kicking options at halfback.

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 TH and Hooker will look to target LH and try to get between him and Hooker to allow LH to work on TH If no weakness seen will use as restart.

Line out – Look for safe ball with world class line out options and experience. Will allow SH good clean ball and have big carriers running off the 9 at angles. Look to target opposition throw and put pressure on the hooker.

Defence - Blitz defence with high intensity and big hits, looking to drive past the ball player if the ball hits the deck. physical pack that can look to get at the collision and breakdown allowing a chance to slow down/steal ball. Put pressure on SH's basics and force him into errors. Scrum half to sweep behind the defensive line.

Attack - Keep things simple in our own half then look to unleash backs in opp 22 territory. Scrum half to dictate play from the breakdown and runners on his shoulder. Huge carrying pack to get us over the gain line after front 5 set a platform. Midfield to run angles off the 9/10, allowing us gain line breakers. Look to keep opposition guessing with clever lines through midfield. Wingers will look to track the midfield combo.

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Re: AP Round 9

Post by SirJohnnyEnglish on Thu 07 Jan 2016, 7:55 pm

 Sale Sharks
Manager – SJE

01. Marcos Ayerza09. Danny Care
02. Tommy Taylor10. Johnny Sexton
03. Rabah Slimani
04. Iain Henderson11. Simon Zebo
05. Brodie Retalick12. Francois Steyn
06. Peter O'Mahony13. Malakai Fekitoa
07. Matt Kvesic14. Willie Le Roux
08. Louis Picamoles15. Nick Abendanon
Subs:
16. Ross Harrison 17. Benjamin Kayser 18. Martin Moore 19. Matt Garvey 20. Maro Itoje 21. Sam Cane 22. Kieran Marmion 23. Bernard Foley

Hit the Bath 10/12 Channel: Look for carries from the likes of Henderson, Picamoles & Fekitoa targetting the 10/12 channel looking for good yardage with neither big defenders. 

Attack: Look to use the kicking game of our back line to keep the game in opposition territory. When in the right areas work the phases with big carries off 9/10 and in midfield to get us over the gain line building momentum and fast ball. Look to target the Bath 10-12 channel with our big carriers looking to make good ground.

Kicking: Look to take advantage of the better kicking game of our back three and control the territory. Mix in contestable kicks with all of our back three capable of challenging. All kicks to be chased to put pressure on the returning kick and prevent the counter.  

Breakdown: Mobile pack and physical back line 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. Defensively unless the turnover is on we will commit minimal numbers and look to strengthen the defensive line.

Defence: Straight line blitz defence focused on winning the gain line collisions and driving the ball carrier back. Line speed is crucial. We have selected three players comfortable at fullback in the back three who will look to sit deep and cover the backfield. Care will sweep behind the line to cover chips and grubbers.

Scrum: Strong scrummaging unit in the front row with the support of a powerful 4-8 will look to get the better of the opposition and build a strong attacking platform. Look to expose the opposition flyhalf with Picamoles running directly at him.

Lineout: Five mobile, athletic jumpers allows us to genuinely mix the target up on attacking ball. Primarily looking to hit the front or middle and get the maul rolling to suck in defenders and create space. Defensively POM to get up in the air at the front and challenge on opposition ball looking to make it as messy as possible.


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Re: AP Round 9

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Thu 07 Jan 2016, 7:56 pm

I won't be able to do next week Johnny, got my dad and brother over.

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Re: AP Round 9

Post by ChequeredJersey on Thu 07 Jan 2016, 8:13 pm

I'm post nights part of  next week, no on calls the rest and just revising the weekend so I may be able to do it if nobody else wants yo
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Re: AP Round 9

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Thu 07 Jan 2016, 8:38 pm

Give it a blast CJ. The spreadsheet Johnny gives you is good, he's all about the details.

Takes a few hours out of your week.

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Re: AP Round 9

Post by Guest on Fri 08 Jan 2016, 6:48 am

Tactics


Forwards Work - Half Backs Control - Outside Backs Create


Game Plan - When in the chiefs half we will play a patient game using our pack to carry hard and get us across the gain line carrying off 9 and 10. With Genia Carter and toomua we can control the game in the wet and exploit Chiefs lack of game management.As our play builds we'll look to use our strike runners and open it up. With Folau, toomua, kurindrani, may we have plenty of people to step in to second receiver and keep continuity.genia Carter and toomua are their to control the game Look to create space out wide by using out the back options with lead runners running wide out to in lines to keep defence honest.


Kicking Game- Look to play the game in the Chiefs  half using the boot of genia Carter toomua to keep Gloucester deep. We will vary between kicking for territory and using cross fields and up and unders to gain territory using Folau and co who are experts under the high ball and will bring us possession.

Defence - Look to blitz and put pressure on Chiefs. By targeting then we cut there possession at source. Likewise we will target  chiefs l throwing in with Webber being in a poor run of form
Genia will sweep and we will look be aggressive and send numbers in to the breakdown to try and affect turnovers

Set Piece - Use our scrum as a weapon to attack Chiefs and gain penalties and look to control the game.

KEY POINTS

Take the points - Carter is the best in the world and will kick  goals.
Look for the half back to set tone
Pressure Evans who is not a wet weather player
Exploit their lack of kicking past 10 by pressurising 9 and 10

Pressurise lineout on their throw with our multiple jumpers
Play game in right areas

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Re: AP Round 9

Post by Driver on Fri 08 Jan 2016, 10:35 pm

In wet conditions we will be looking to play a mixed game, and have picked a side enabling us to do so.  When in Falcons 22 we will look to trust in our ability and put the ball through the hands when it is on to do so.  Further out than that and we will utilise the kicking games of our entire backline to take us into the right areas of the pitch

In defence, in poor conditions, we will employ a drift defence, leaving our wingers slightly deeper in anticipation of a primarily kick focussed game plan from Falcons.  No dog-legs will be a key component for us.  Aaron Smith will sweep in behind the defensive line to counter any chips/grubbers.

Specifics
*
* Lineout.  In wet conditions we will look primarily to hit font and middle, and use our mauling game.  Defensively we will look to compete for the ball and disrupt wherever possible, making any ball secured by Falcons as scrappy as we can.


* Scrum.  Hit channel one on our ball.  If we're on top, keep it in and drive to either gain ground or win the penalty.  If we're not going forward, get it out and play dependant on where we are on the pitch.  On their ball, 8 man shove and look to drive them off as their hooker lifts his foot to hook the ball.  Malherbe to stay tight and straight.  Flanker on that side to stay bound and keep Malherbe straight.


* Breakdown.  When we carry into contact, if we are taken to ground, we will flood the breakdown.  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.  In the Falcons 22 we will go through the phases, mixing up carrying in tight and getting it through the hands as appropriate.  We will also If the ball is slow and Gloucester are blitzing we will also utilise the pick and go, with the aim of keeping the blitz honest and forcing them slowly onto the back foot before going wider out.  Further out from the Falcons line we will again carry in tight where appropriate, but also use the boots of backline to kick.  We will use the up and under sparingly, in the main kicking deep and with a lowish trajectory to get the wet ball skidding on and being difficult to handle.  We will also use little grubbers in behind the blitzing Falcons defensive line, and Smith will also look to snipe around the fringes and keep us going forwards.  
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Re: AP Round 9

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Sat 09 Jan 2016, 8:03 am

PREDICTIONS OPEN

Shut 1400hrs on Monday (Nothing later accepted)

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Re: AP Round 9

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Sun 10 Jan 2016, 5:14 am

You can tell Driver is back...Marbella, Vermaulen and O'Brian Wink

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Re: AP Round 9

Post by SirJohnnyEnglish on Mon 11 Jan 2016, 2:01 pm

ChequeredJersey wrote:I'm post nights part of  next week, no on calls the rest and just revising the weekend so I may be able to do it if nobody else wants yo
I won't lie mate theres more work to the European threads with opposition and extra games to score. If your keen to give it a go work away as the more the volunteers the better but I will be looking for help the start of Feb as I'll be moving houses and won't have a lot of time. We will be back in to Prem games then so it would be an easier go for a first time if you had the time and wanted to take a thread then?

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Re: AP Round 9

Post by ChequeredJersey on Mon 11 Jan 2016, 2:29 pm

As long as it's after the 2nd Feb, I've got a post graduate exam then, but otherwise Feb sounds fine! I'm on nights from the 6th anyway, usually get a few hours of nothing
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Re: AP Round 9

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Mon 11 Jan 2016, 2:58 pm

Predo's closed.

Have results up soon.

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Re: AP Round 9

Post by Fluxy on Mon 11 Jan 2016, 3:14 pm

Apologies for the lack of tactics this week lads, was a bit manic toward the end of last week

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Re: AP Round 9

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Mon 11 Jan 2016, 3:46 pm

Fluxy wrote:Apologies for the lack of tactics this week lads, was a bit manic toward the end of last week

Probably cost you the game looking at results Flux.

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Re: AP Round 9

Post by Guest on Mon 11 Jan 2016, 3:50 pm

Thanks Fluxy. I needed the help Very Happy

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Re: AP Round 9

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Mon 11 Jan 2016, 3:52 pm

Results:

Exeter 23-25 Gloucester
(T:1 P:6)(T:1 C:1 P:6)
Leicester 18-21 Northampton
(P:6)(P:7)
Bath 19-22 Sale
(T:1 C:1 P:4)(T:1 C:1 P:5)
Wasps 18-20 Worcester
(P:6)(T:1 P:5)
Harlequins 22-19 Saracens
(T:1 C:1 P:5)(T:1 C:1 P:4)
London Irish 22-21 Newcastle Falcons
(T:1 C:1 P:5)(P:7)

Full Bonus: All
Scores only: Matt

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Re: AP Round 9

Post by Fluxy on Mon 11 Jan 2016, 3:52 pm

Sad

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Re: AP Round 9

Post by ChequeredJersey on Mon 11 Jan 2016, 3:56 pm

Sad Thought I could nick that. Well won, prop. Staying up this season looks rather unlikely
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Re: AP Round 9

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Mon 11 Jan 2016, 3:58 pm

Exeter 24 - 25 Gloucester

Not much in the scrums, Exeter lineout looks very impressive though and will really pressurise Gloucester throw. Think across the pack Exeter win the breakdown too, warning though that POC will start to lose rating now due to injury. With Alberts at 6 as well as Etzebeth and a few others, Gloucester have a clear advantage in heavy traffic work that matters in slippery, simple ball conditions. Great battle at Halfback, the rain making it all the more interesting, with all-court game important when attack is possible but conditions are slippery in light rain. Carter the best, but Evans in great form and Murray's power maybe edges over Genia - I think both equally good sets to set up backs and also strong kickers, really good match up. Nonu class but still struggling at Toulon, think the settled nature of Gloucester centres trumps him and whilst Exeter back 3 good in most areas of play, Gloucester back 3 will score tries and punish turnovers. With tactics too, albeit it simple ones, Gloucester take the backs. I think they do just enough to counter the deficit in the breakdown and lineout, just.
Exeter 20-22 Gloucester

Pretty even up front for me, although Exeter a step up in the second row on Robson. Back row battle very even too, good balance but think Matera might not get as much help at the breakdown as Armitage will. Glos have the edge at halfback, and I prefer their outside backs too on paper, but they won't be nearly as effective in the conditions. Bit more bench impact for Glos. Home advantage is cancelled out by lack of tactics from Exeter, so I'll have to go with a Glos win
Exeter 23 - 28 Gloucester

No tactics hurts Exeter. They have a strong side out but Gloucester are as strong are set up well tactically. Shame as this would have been an excellent contest.
Exeter 22-25 Gloucester
No tactics cost Exeter here. Gloucester probably have the advantage throughout the lineups but at home Exeter had a chance

Chiefs 21-21 Glos
Close in the front row and Chiefs can get some advantage in the 2nd row, will start being difficult to rate POC soon with injury. 2 well balanced back rows and feel Chiefs have a bit more with the conditions. Again looking at conditions Chiefs half backs could get on top but, with Carter's kicking then I can't see them getting much gain. Centres fairly even but out wide Chiefs have more form. Bench quite even, not alot in the impact. No tactics really harms Chiefs here as I feel they could have gotten on top, Glos using their carriers well to wear Cheifs down and I think that, with tactics it's enough to bring it back to a draw. Chiefs would have won with tactics.

Exeter 19-19 Gloucester
Exeter shade the pack battle with a bit more in the back 5 of the pack but not an awful lot between the back lines overall. Not really sure there is a lack of game management for Chiefs as identified in the Glaws tactics but without a game plan they are hindered.

Exeter 20-20 Gloucester 

Not much in the front row contest but Exeter have the ability to put pressure on in the lineout and around the park in the engine room. Exeter stronger at 7/8 but Gloucester at 6, I'd give Exeter an overall pack advantage though. Both 9's not in the best of form of late but Murray the better player, this is reversed at 10 although both in good form. One a piece in the centres and nothing in the back 3, not sure Walker is quite at this level and could be targeted. Exeter the better side and home advantage, but no tactic hurts them and I can't give them the win.



Exeter Chiefs 17 - 22 Gloucester
Would have had this as a lot closer if Exeter had tactics in but always give a 5 point swing without tactics. One thing with Chiefs is they lack a kicking option outside their halfbacks, while Gloucester could control this area of the game. Pack is pretty even but prefer balance of Gloucester backline and Walker in good form for Quins too. 



Chiefs 25 - 24 Gloucester

Not much in it up front, whilst think Chiefs edge the second row. I'd take Chiefs back row too and think they edge the pack overall. Great hb contest - one apiece, and the centres are a similar story. Bit more to Gloucester back three. As a xv Chiefs look better but lack of tactics hinder them. Home advantage gives them the win though.





Exeter Chiefs 24 Gloucester 19

For me rugby is won by your bread and butter routes. A strong set piece and Chiefs have the upper hand with a well balanced pack. POC/LDJ is a great combination. More options for Webber to hit in the line aswell. Lot of Gloucester players lack real world form for me. DC Will keep any team in the game so ensures this is a close one. Home Advantage , Form and more danger outwide sees a Chiefs win.

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Re: AP Round 9

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Mon 11 Jan 2016, 3:58 pm

Tigers 15 - 15 Saints

Pack key and Saints have a great scrum that comes out on top, 2 good set ups at lineout that Tigers edge and good power from the locks and very powerful backrows - sensible approach from both sides with plenty of heft in the tight and ball carrying, lots of form for both sides. Think the breakdown is Saints' with Pocock and Schalk though. Halfbacks pretty even in this weather, with both 10s more dry weather players in my opinion. Leicester will get some go forward with power backs, and the skill of Saints centres less useful in rain, but the big boots of Halfpenny (loses points for injury) and Daly very important for Saints. Draw
Leicester 17 - 19 Saints

Leicester have picked a massive pack, but I wonder if they could still come under pressure at the scrum due to the scrum form of the opposition, and Jenkins being a relative weakness these days. Matfield will rule the lineout, which will be a great source of ball for them. Pocock and Burger to rule the breakdown, with Lobbe having a tough time here. Round the park, you'd expect the Leicester side to win the collisions with their sheer size, but I'd fancy the Saints backs to use their speed a couple of times off turnovers. Agree that Leicester lack kickers outside the halfbacks, and territory will be important. Its a very close one, but I'll go with the side that wins the breakdown and has the greater bench impact to nick this
Leicester 16 - 16 Northampton

Too big sides out in horrid conditions. Have really issues with Banahan at 12 though I get why he's there. He's up against two excellent attacking centres who will exploit his positioning. He doesn't offer any controlling help for Burns either. Two huge packs who pretty much cancel each other out but Pocock should control the breakdown. I'm not overly convinced with the Saints pairing at half back and man for man I prefer Leicester there. Centres to Saints but Leicester will get over the gain line. Not much at all between the half backs with two strike runners and two top finishers. Very close game which I see finishing a draw.
Tigers 22-27 Saints
Prefer the Saints front five. The back row has a bit more about it as well and can cause problems at the breakdown. Overall would give the half backs to Tigers. Prefer the Saints outside backs as well and they grab a big away win here. 

Tigers 20-24 Saints
At present I think that Saints could get an edge up front and in the set piece battle, Matfield will bring the lineouts closer though. Back row Will be a good battle but I think that Saints will dominate the breakdown here with both Pocock and Burger. Good control for Tigers at half back but Hidalgo Clyne had a good game last night (Friday) in bad conditions. Tigers going for strong carriers in the centres which will help, Saints have more creation. Back threes brought closer through Halfpenny's continuing injury. Tigers have gone for carriers but not sure when Banahan last played at 12 for Bath, think their centres could stifle the ball a bit. Saints have brought in Manoa for more carrying opportunities and they have the tactical kickers to pin Tigers back.

Tigers 12-15 Saints
Very work rate around the park to the Saints pack and can see them really slowing it up for Tigers. Not sure on Sopoago as the controlling 10 and Tigers halfbacks better for the conditions. Power of Tigers will work well on attack but can see Du Preez having to cover an awful lot of space behind the midfield. Big one up defensive effort needed from Saints but can see them really turning the screw at the breakdown and keeping the game at the pace they want it.

Leicester 17-13 Northampton

In form Saints take the front row but Hartley's lack of gametime is hurting his form on here so have to call it even. Interesting lineout battle with no real options for Saints against Matfield/Lobbe, I think Tigers are right to target here and will get some joy throughout the 80mins. I really like Saints flank combination, possibly the best on the game at the minute and they'll get joy at the breakdown, little in the 8's on recent form. Big step up at 9 for Tigers and a problem position for Saints, especially in the conditions. Extremely physical centre combination for Tigers which will be hard for the Saints pair to handle. Saints the perfect wet weather back 3 but Tigers no mugs. Tigers a bit better set out out for the conditions and lack of lineout for Saints hurts them, tight game.












Leicester Tigers 19 - 19 Northampton Saints

Two big packs, and don't really see either budge through the duration of the game. Tigers get a slight advantage at the line out with Matfield ruling the skies. Leicester have cleverly added in Palu at 6 which will help the carrying in the condition, and play well with Lobbe providing the presence at the breakdown. Tigers wanting to test the back three of the Saints is admirable, as they would be strong under the high ball, with the odd contest being lost. The only concern for Tigers is Banahan at 12, he makes a useful 13, but would struggle at 12. However throughout the game we don't see Saints exploiting this. After the tough conditions limiting the play a bit, this one will turn up as a draw. 

Leicester Tigers 19 Northampton Saints 19

Tough game too call this as there is a lot of attacking talent and it's hampered by the cats and dogs falling from the sky. A good sound pack from igers is only beaten by Saints big players turning up in this big game. Pocock will pinch loads of ball in this game. Banahan at 12 is a weakness for me. More boots in the Saints back line ensure they play the weather better.

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Re: AP Round 9

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Mon 11 Jan 2016, 3:59 pm

Bath 16 - 18 Sale

Good scrum battle, Sale take it though. Lineout goes to Bath, and great power from both packs, Sale edge the breakdown. Think on form, Sale halfbacks just take the contest, through Wrigglesworth is very good for these conditions, Sexton just seems much more solid here and with a great kicking display last game for Leinster. Think Sale have a big more in the centres and both good back 3s but Sale edge the air battle and just nick a win
Bath 24 - 24 Sale

Bath's pack looks much more suited to the wet conditions this week, and has a better balance. I'd expect the packs to be pretty even at set piece and around the park, as Kvesic is backed up well by POM to counter Louw. Not too much to split the backlines either, Goode back in his proper position is ideal for this game, but the Sale back 3 all have FB experience and are good kickers. Real tough one, Sale have a bit more off the bench and I'm not sure that Barrett has the control to take on Sexton in conditions like this. I'll sit on the fence here
Bath 20 - 18 Sale

I think Bath are set up well here and offer a lot of control in their backs through 9,10,12 and 15. I don't see a lot between the packs both have some big men who will get them going forward and some who will tackle and attack the breakdown. I think the sides are very well matched across the board and I only really see the extra control offered by Bath as the deciding factor here. Great win for Bath. 



Bath 19-22 Sale
Sale can take the scrum advantage with the lineout being a bit closer. Looking at the breakdown it will be interesting to see Kvesic vs Louw as both in good form, having Lydiate there for the tackling negates Bath's carrying opportunities which POM brings for Bath. Sale take the half back battle and the centres will be close but Steyn's huge boot will help Sale here. Outside this Williams' long term injury doesn't help Bath and Sale can capitalise with some fairly good form. Two solid benches. Bath looking for territory and don't feel they would win the pack battle, Sale using their carriers and their strong kickers on show.




Bath 15-16 Sale

Much stronger front 5 for Bath this week and they'll do well around the park. Sale get an edge in the scrum with both of the Bath props not quite at their opposite numbers levels. I really like the Bath engine room and they'll just get an edge here, good contest in the backrow but Sale just shade the physicality. Sexton in some poor form evens up a good halfback contest and it's one a piece in the centres with Sale a 12 away from a top backline. Just a little more for Sale overall and in good form, they'll sneak the win.



Bath 9 - 11 Sale
I'm not sure Bath have the right tactics here as there is a lot of emphasis on getting quick ball and letting the backs attack, while SJE has his tactics spot on in this and keeps it simple. I'd have gone with the home win if they played the conditions as they actually have a very good wet weather team, just see playing at the tempo they are looking to will cause mistakes that Sale can capitalise on.



Bath 23 - 23 Sale

Slight edge to sale up front, with fairly even second rows. Not much in two good back rows. Edge to sale at hb with tried and tested combo of theirs. Decent centre contest that bath edge, and not much in the back threes. This is a really close game, home advantage gives bath a draw.

Bath Rugby 20 - 19 Sale Sharks

Great contest between these two. Tough to split either pack, with Bath being quicker to the breakdown to cause Sale some nightmares. Out wide both halfback pairings are about even, however the backs there is a slight advantage in carrying to Sharks with some bigger boys to help get over the gainline. This one will be close, with both benches going to 6/2 split, but Bath will keep Sale at bay at home. 

Bath 15 Sale Sharks 21

Sexton/Steyn is a great pairing for a day like this. Sexton can play the fields as good as anyone and will put a dangerous Sale Pack in the corner and with the lads in 4-8 being serious units you can see a push over from the maul splitting the two teams. Bath have a good team and will beat most but not sure about Gaskell and Tipuric bringing much compared too Itoje and Cane.

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Re: AP Round 9

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Mon 11 Jan 2016, 3:59 pm

Wasps 20 - 23 Worcester

Both packs set up well for the conditions, but think that Wuss have a bit more power from the likes of Williams, and will get more go forward. Dual 7 approach works well to counter Warbs, and Wasps backs will get some turnover ball from it. Main problem is halfbacks for Wasps, Spencer is a talent but lacks a bit up against the Welsh pairing, and I'd expect them to control the game, even without as much help from their outside backs, who are likely to score tries. Close game again, but the halfback pairing is so crucial here, and Worcester take it
Wasps 17 - 18 Worcester

Both sides set out well for conditions but think the personnel in the Worcester set up make them look that bit stronger. Wasps should get the better of the breakdown and the packs are pretty even overall. Their is a step up in class at 9 and that makes Biggar's job easier than FTD's but don't see much at all in the outside backs. My gut says that their is a bit more about the Worcester side here and they get a narrow win. 
Wasps 21-21 Warriors 
Prefer the Wasps front five. Advantage to Warriors back row although Wasps can do well at the breakdown. Half backs think the Welsh combo gives the advantage to Worcester. Outside backs go to Warriors. In the dry I'd go to Worcester but given the breakdown and set piece advantage Wasps can hold on. 




Wasps 13-16 Worcester
Not a whole lot between the packs. Biggar the more capable 10 in the conditions particularly with FTD struggling this season. More of a kicking game to the Wasps backs but Worc more dangerous ball in hand. Feel Worc have the options to get on the front foot more with Biggar pulling the strings in the conditions

Wasps 13-15 Worcester

Not too much in the front row and engine room battle although Twomey not at this level and could be targeted. Little in the backrow contest, Barclay and Williams the weaker players on show from tow good units. Worcester really step it up in the backs and it's hard to see where Wasps can get a foothold which is a shame as they really contest it in the pack(bar Twomey). 



Wasps 12 - 10 Worcester
Wet weather really makes the game interesting, in dry conditions you'd fancy that Warriors backline to run riot but I don't think they quite have the pack to grind out an away win against Wasps. The Wasps tactics (as always) are spot on and can see them getting some joy with the kick chase, conditions really suit the home side for a vital win. 



Wasps 19 - 24 Worcester

Not much in it up front, slight edge to worcs in 2nd row, whilst in the back row it's fairly even. Think worcs look stronger at hb. Behind there, worcs have more in attack and look the more likely to score tries. Think worcs have enough here for a good away win.

Wasps 17 - 16 Worcester Warriors

The workman like effort of this Wasps pack has shone through since the weather has come in, and the Wasps pack on this day won't take any backwards steps and can see them really getting in amongst the Warriors. With Robshaw leading the way with is energy and all round action Wuss have some trouble containing the Wasps pack. Warriors do have a star studded back line in comparison to Wasps, but the control from Trinh Duc will keep Warriors guessing. The Biggerana almost claims the result for the Warriors, but the old stager off the bench , Hodgson, wins it late on for the Wasps. 

London Wasps 12 Worcester Warriors 14

Wasps set there back row out really well but not so sure about 1-5. Two sevens is great for winning turnovers but players like Mike Williams and Hooper are ruck clearers and will nulify this too an extent. Didnt know Jesse Mogg still played rugby if i'm honest. Not seen anything significent since 2013 but will be a great player to have when he's back firing. Roberts on the short ball will make some serious headway against Godwin. Big names and a powerful forward pack with a dash of good tactics see Worcester take this one.

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Re: AP Round 9

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Mon 11 Jan 2016, 3:59 pm

Harlequins 15- 15 Saracens

Even in the scrums, excellent lineout battle which could go either way and I'm going to say even as well. Saracens have great ability atthe breakdown and will win that and match Harlequins at the carrying battle too. All halfbacks good for the heavy rain, more magic for Sarries but matters little in this kind of match. Harlequins backline very well picked with skill in the air and power and kicking, more classical by Saracens. Both well set out. I think Saracens' breakdown gets them enough to make a draw
Harlequins 24 - 22 Saracens

Nothing in the scrum, think Whitelock is the difference at lineout time. Breakdown is pretty even for me, think Hooper has the extra quality at 7, but the Sarries pack as a whole makes up for it. One a piece at halfback, while the outside backs are both set up well with kickers and carriers. Close game again, benches pretty even and home advantage swings it



Quins 23-23 Saracens 
Prefer the Quins front row but the Sarries second row. Quins back row will have an advantage. Sarries have the better set of half backs who can control the game. Sarries have the better outside backs and a strong bench can make a difference late on. 

Quins 20-22 Sarries
Give Quins the edge in the front row but the Sarries 2nd row will mean there's no give from either team at the set piece. Back row I do like the way Sarries are laid out and, even with Quins' international quality they won't get a huge edge, Hooper will slow down some ball but feel Sarries have the better carriers. Half backs see good control from both with the ball they are getting. Great centre battle,again nothing between them. Outside this having Lambie helps Sarries kicking options and good strike runners. Solid bench from Sarries. Looking at tactics Quins looking to target Sarries by kicking but not much mention of the pack battle with carrying Sarries using their carriers and a bit more info into their structure sees them sneak this.

Harlequins 18-14 Saracens
Hard to separate the packs in this one. Both sets of halfbacks offer great control but there's a better kicking game to the Quins back line and they are stronger aerially for me. Question marks over the Sarries fullback cover if Lambie is needed at 10.







Harlequins 16 - 15 Saracens
All the heavy rain games are close and this one is no exception and probably hardest game of the round to predict on. Hernandez in the centre could make a big difference as just gives Quins that extra outlet with a huge boot and the home side can deal with the conditions slightly better with the players they have available. Both managers have set out tactically very well. 



Harlequins 27 - 27 Saracens

Not much in the scrum, with Sarries stronger at lock. Quins look a bit stronger in the back row, and overall the packs are quite even. Sarries look better at hb, and at centre also, whilst back three are quite even. Really tough calling this, sitting on the fence.

Harlequins 15 - 12 Saracens

the scrum contest in this one well end up being a little stop start and messy, with the props being out of sorts as of late. Elsewhere the packs are full of big carriers in the wet conditions. Quins will get up a bit quicker in the line-out and can pinch the odd turnover in possession here as well as in open play. The whole of the Quins back line looks a little better with the return of the magician at 12, and all are suited nicely to a bit of wet weather and aerial contests. On the flip side Sarries may struggle in comparison, and will causes some issues in defence. That is enough to put pressure on Sarries and allow Myler to kick Quins to a narrow victory at home. 

Harlequins 9 Saracens 8

Harlequins have some serious form players in the pack and a back row to get them on the front foot. Saracens have some big old units in there pack bit Quins better man for man in most positions. Half backs are a bit more Saracens with Lambie giving them another good option with the boot. Like JMH and Henshaw as a combo too. Although SBW and Smith is pretty good. I'm splitting hairs for a winner here and home advantage does it.

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Re: AP Round 9

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Mon 11 Jan 2016, 4:00 pm

London Irish 18 - 19 Newcastle

Newcastle actually get a rare win over Irish in the scrum, and a very close lineout can go either way. Neither side really has a 7, so quite close with a physical scrap at the breakdown, which I just prefer Irish at though Read closes that gap. Great 9-10 for Irish but these conditions are made for Farrell and Laidlaw to control the game, and Farrell looks a much better player this season. Kickers in both backlines but I just think with their back 3 Newcastle edge that war and have enough to steal the win



London Irish 18 - 19 Newcastle

I think that personnel wise Newcastle are peerless when it comes to wet weather and this will be a fascinating contest. Two very strong sides set up well. I think Newcasttle have the half backs for the conditions with two even packs. Outside backs are even as well for me with Newcastle better suited to the conditions. Think they take a remarkable win.
Irish 29-20 Falcons
Front five goes to Irish. Back row for me has a bit of a gulf in class and will give Irish a great platform to perform. Half backs to Irish and the outside backs to Falcons.

Irish 23-22 Falcons
George's current exploits can nullify the front row battle, 2nd rows even. Backrow see's Irish set out well with carriers but not as much at the breakdown, Falcons doing similar so the breakdown could be a lottery. Half backs go to Irish with their international quality however, Falcons have a great tactical kicking combo which will benefit them massively in a tight game. Willams hopefully back soon but not the best to rate, Slade holding some rating still as only recently injured so all square in the centres but not much will get through Falcons. Outwide I feel that Irish can exploit the gaps better. Benches ok from both, Webb coming back soon so with him, Williams and Anscombe firing when fit then Falcons will be a tricky team. Falcons using their solid defence but can't see them getting alot of joy in quite an even carrying pack battle. Irish looking to cover the kicks well(do mention Gloucester once though!), think Irish's half backs can just JUST get this.

London Irish 12-16 Newcastle Falcons
Big packs from both sides but theres a bit more quality to the work of the Irish forwards. Cruden lacking form and Falcons halfbacks well suited to the conditions. Bit more quality to the Falcons backs although theres a strong kicking game for Irish in midfield. See a real messy game here. Would back Irish to have an impact at the breakdown but they want to win the collisions before hitting it which won't always happen against a big Falcons side. Falcons kick chase game should give them the better platforms in this one.

Irish 16-17 Falcons

Good scrum contest but Irish's lack of lineout options hurts them against a grizzly Falcons outfit. Irish's backrow is a level ahead though and better man for man, especially on the flanks. Halfbacks are not a contest in the conditions. Cruden is bang out of form and very hard to rate whilst the Falcons combo are playing some great rugby lately. Kicking options for Irish's midfield help but lack of physicality in the backline plays into Falcons hands somewhat. Falcons better set out for the conditions and will just sneak the win here. 



London Irish 13 - 15 Newcastle Falcons
Another close game in the heavy rain and can see Falcons coping better with that, but maybe they are trying to play a bit too much and that will let Irish right back into the game. Reason Falcons get the away win is Farrell and can see him doing better than Cruden in the conditions. Irish unlucky with injuries to Cruden and Slade.



Irish 26 - 24 Newcastle

Marbella! Irish edge the scrum, wi h fairly even second rows. Bit more about Irish in the back row and the take the pack. Prefer Newcastle hbs in the wet, centres are quite tight. Back threes quite tight too. Pack advantage gives it to the home side.

London Irish 24 - 22 Newcastle Falcons

Driver's first game back in charge and we will see a performance from his new men to prove their worth going forward. Falcons have a very good pack to set about the work, but the Irish pack is well suited to this sort of game, with plenty of dynamic carriers from 1-8. The Falcons back line though is perfectly suited to the conditions with the halfbacks playing the territory game to precision and keeping Irish on the back foot. Close contest, but Irish at home for the new man at top will edge a determined Falcons side.

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Re: AP Round 9

Post by Fluxy on Mon 11 Jan 2016, 4:04 pm

Understand my scores, but whoever said I don't have a kicking option outside my half backs hasn't looked and at least seen Nonu standing at 12  Whistle

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Re: AP Round 9

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Mon 11 Jan 2016, 4:08 pm

Where you going to use him? I didn't see it in your tactics Whistle

It wasn't me by the way lol.

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Re: AP Round 9

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