Aviva Premiership Round Seventeen

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Aviva Premiership Round Seventeen

Post by SirJohnnyEnglish on Mon 14 Mar 2016, 10:31 pm

First topic message reminder :

Home teams to be named by 23:59 hours on Tuesday
Away teams to be named by 23:59 hours on Wednesday
Tactics by 23:59 hours on Thursday

Predictions to be PM’d to SJE by 23:59 hours on Sunday

Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints
Sandy Park
Light Cloud, 8 Degrees, 9mph Winds

Exeter Chiefs Chief
Manager – Fluxy

01. Thomas Domingo09. Nic White
02. Rob Webber10. Otere Black (k)
03. Jake Cooper-Wooley
04. Kane Douglas11. James Lowe
05. Lood de Jager (c)12. Jan Serfontein
06. Luke Wallace13. Sam James
07. Steffon Armitage14. JP Pietersen
08. Fritz lee15. Mike Haley
16. Jack Yeandle 17. Nic Auterac 18. Taniela Tupou 19. James Horwill 20. Tom Wood 21. Chris Cook 22. Nick Evans 23. Teddy Thomas

We look to go back to the basic Chiefs style of play this week, and the conditions will help with that this weekend. A high intensity game in both defence and attack, with dynamic carrying and rucking at the fore. We want to control possession and go through the phases. Biggest focal point is to beat them man for man and beat Newcastle playing our way and the Chiefs way at Sandy Park. 

  • Territory - When we kick will aim to find touch deep within Falcons territory and forcing Strettle, Smith and Piatua to turn and chase the ball. Black, White, Nonu and Pietersen all have great kicking games, with all capable of kicking in behind the Falcons back line. With the location of Sandy Park, one half will be playing into strong winds, and either getting no gain, and the other with the wind at our backs. We know our home ground, and playing into the wind, will work the phases through the middle to pick holes, much like the modern day Chiefs. 

  • Lineout - Using Douglas, Wood & Lood to mix up our options and look for possession, and set our powerful maul. We need to control the game, and force Newcastle forwards into giving away penalties by bringing our maul down. Look to drop to six man line outs, with Fritz Lee stood at scrum half ready to secure the ball at the back of the maul. 

  • Forwards - Generally in defence with our line we will look to get stuck in early and get the carrier to ground early. This is to then either ensure we have numbers in the defensive line, or to get numbers in at the breakdown to slow up/turnover Falcons ball. Our back row is renowned for physicality at the breakdown and will frustrate the Falcons carriers and support. Our Pack will target the breakdown, looking to blow through the ruck and past the ball, to create clean ball. Allowing time for the halfbacks to dictate. Look for pick and goes in the Newcastle 22 to frustrate and pick up yards. 

  • Attack - In the opposition half take our time and not rush with ball in hand. Have confidence in our carriers to tie in defenders and get across the gain line and in our backs to exploit the gaps when we create them. Carriers to target the defence down Jackson's channel, who will get fed up and put off his game. Our back three looking to isolate their slower lads in the defensive line eg Ewers, Kubs & De Villiers.

  • Bench - Utilise the bench for impact, so we only make changes when we want the game to change in our favour, whether to up the effort up front, or to kick points via Nev

  • Build a Score - Black returns to take on kicking at goal responsibilities. Any penalty within their ten metre to be kicked at goal to keep scoreboard ticking. Unless ten metres from the line then we kick for the line-out and apply pressure.

  • Home Advantage - We have been nye on unbeatable at home and any side coming to Sandy Park struggles. This week is no different and we will look to put Bath to the sword with the sixteenth man Chief #Chiefsfortress

Northampton Saints
Manager: Dammit Chris

1. Wyatt Crockett
2. Ashley Johnson
3. Ramiro Herrera
4. Jonny Gray
5. Courtney Lawes
6. Sam Jones
7. David Pocock (c)
8. Schalk Burger
9. Joe Simpson
10. Lima Sopoaga (k)
11. Julian Savea
12. Matt Giteau
13. Adam Ashley Cooper
14. Frank Halai
15. Ben Foden

16. Dave Ward 17. Logi Mulipola 18. Zander Fagerson 19. Michael Paterson 20. Samu Manoa 21. Cobus Reinarch 22. Ollie Deveto 23. Harry Mallinder

We are looking to play with our usual aggressive, physical style in the forwards with big runners getting us over the gainline and putting Sale on the backfoot and not giving them any time on the ball. We will look for Burger, Isa and Pocock to dominate the breakdown with their experience and seek turnovers to launch attacks. Our aim is to give our halfbacks good front foot ball to attack Sale at pace and make the most of the try scoring threat in our back three. Will look for Sopoaga and Giteau to control the territory game with an intelligent kicking game and pin Sale in their own half.

Set Piece
We've been rotating our pack over the last few weeks to ensure that they are fresh and getting players game time. We recall two fresh props and will be looking for a strong set piece and powerful scrummaging unit. We've picked five jumping options in the lineout to mix up our options and recall Lawes and bring in Gray who will act as our lineout leader and both will be utilised to place Webber's throwing under pressure.

Gainline/Physical Battle
We want to put real emphasis on the gainline battle, so have picked powerful ball carriers throughout our pack and strike runners in our backline. We want to suck in Exeter's backline to stop our pack going forward and create space outwide for our backline. We want to stop Exeter's runners in their tracks and have picked a powerful defensive lineup.

We want to really focus on winning the breakdown battle, with Pocock and Burger we will look to dominate this area in terms of experience and outplay their opposite number. We want turnovers to attack off of, quick ball for Simpson to exploit. Our aim is to make this area a real mess on Exeter's ball and make it difficult for them to get quick ball for their halfbacks.

We will look to get our forwards on the ball and running off Sopoaga and Giteau to make inroads into Exeter's defensive line and providing space for our strike runners in the backline to exploit and get Savea and Halai on the ball as often as possible. We want to play a quick high-tempo game and go through the phases to tire the Exeter defence.

With Simpson, Sopoaga and Giteau we feel we have a strong kicking game and will look to ensure we dominate the territory battle, which will help us away from home. We'll look to use the size of our wingers in the kick chase game to place Exeter's back three under pressure. Sopoaga to take all shots at goal.

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. No9 sweeping in behind to cover any kicks. We'll look to focus on distrupting quick ball for Exeter through challenging their lineout and making the breakdown a really physical battle.

Harlequins v Worcester Warriors
Twickenham Stoop
Thick Cloud, 8 Degrees, 7mph Winds


1. Ethan Waller
2. Agustin Creevy
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Luke Romano
5. Pieter Steph Du Toit
6. Mamuka Gorgodze
7. Michael Hooper (c)
8. Nick Easter
9. Ruan Pienaar
10. Steven Myler (k)
11. Joe Tomane
12. Juan Martin Hernandez
13. Luther Burrell
14. Santiago Cordero
15. Damian McKenzie

16. Rob Buchanan 17. Gurthro Steenkamp 18. Kyle Sinckler 19. Jamie Gibson 20. Jaco Kriel 21. Karl Dickson 22. James O'Connor 23. Alex Lewington

Game Plan

We will use our forwards to get us across the gain line. We will use our front 5 around the breakdown off 9 and 10 and will look to use our back row in the midfield and in wider channels. With Myler, Hernandez and McKenzie we have 3 men entirely comfortable as first receiver. We will look to use this to our advantage and use them to organise others so we have a structured attack where we can look to exploit mismatches with forwards against backs and vice-versa.

Once we have got over the gain line, we will look to get the ball into the hands of our back three who we feel offer a serious threat with ball in hand. We will look to use our back row and Burrell as hard line runners to attract defenders and use Hernandez and our back three as the out the back options. 

We will look to effectively use the strong kicking game of our 9,10,12 axis to put us in the right areas of the pitch from which to attack. We will especially look to target the Worcester back three under the high ball putting them under huge pressure using Tomane and Cordero in particular to retain possession.  

Set Piece
On a dry day we will look to use the scrum to win our own ball. We have chosen to young, powerful props who will aim to get underneath the taller Bath props. 

Du Toit will run our line out as he has done very successfully for the Stormers. We have 4 solid options on a full line but will look to shortened lines which will allow us to release Gorgodze and Hooper to act as carriers in the midfield to get us over the gain line early. In defence we will mark the middle and back closely and look to give them the front but sack and drive towards touch line immediately upon returning to ground. 


A quick line speed (lead by Burrell) which will look to go from out to in to force a risky wide pass from Worcester should they look to go wide early and enable us to shephard the Worcester midfield in where we can chop tackle them and get the first man on the ball at the breakdown. With Hooper and Kriel we have two solid breakdown options who both possess bags of pace to get the breakdown first. 

Default tackle is the chop tackle and to look to get the man over the ball early to force penalty/turnover.

Key Points

Half backs, 12 and 15 who can manage a game. They will have us in the right areas and control our tempo. 

Back three who can rip the tightest defence to shreds. Getting them ball in hand in space on the front foot is key.

Worcester Warriors
Manager – prop_lyd

01. Joe Moody09. Rory Kockott
02. Codie Taylor10. Owen Williams (k)
03. Henry Thomas
04. Stuart Hooper11. Adam Thompstone
05. Dean Mumm12. Huw Jones
06. Jordan Taufua13. Venriki Goneva
07. George Smith (c)14. James Short
08. Warren Whiteley15. Nehe Milner-Skudder
16. Ross Batty 17. Lucas Noguera Paz 18. Luc Dulcalcon 19. Leone Nakawara 20. Sam Warburton 21. Sam Harrison22. Sam Olver  23. Waisake Naholo

Key Points- Impact benches are key in this day and age and we feel we haven't had a better one with quality all over able to keep a strong tempo and really cause havoc, we will not be afraid to unload the bench early in the 2nd half if needed as we feel there are big game changers here. We feel we have a good balance to get good ball and Smith and Taufua will look for turnovers when appropriate. We will look to disrupt their ball using our feet to kick the ball through the ruck and make them turn to their own try line. With quick ball we will look to use our strong carriers and back 3 to get over the gainline and keep the scoreboard ticking.

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, we have filled our pack with carriers most who are used to the conditions this weekend. We have Taufua for further lineout options. We will look to reduce the numbers if required to negate the Quins' ariel challenge. The ball will look to go in and out pretty quickly to prevent any major mistakes/slips in the conditons. And Taufua/Smith will look to fly off the back of the line to put pressure on 10.

Breakdown-Good ball is crucial and we have gone for Smith to look to put pressure on their ball but also be a nuisance tackling at the fringes when needed, Smith will be looking to school Hooper and use his experience and tactical nous to keep him quiet.. Taufua has been brought in for his carrying game adding to Hooper, Mumm and Whiteley if we get into a battle up front. 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. Smith willl look to control our ball and push pressure on theirs. Taufua will rush on 10 as we appreciate they are dangerous out wide.

Half-Backs-A controlled game today mainly looking for position however we will spin it if it is on but are concious that Burrell will be rushing. They will have options of the blindside winger or a forward running off their's and Jones' shoulders for the pop ball.

Outside Backs-When it's on we will look to go wide, we have two different styles of play with our wingers and will use their differences to target any gaps in the Quins defence. Goneva will make the breaks at 13 releasing the back three. Our back 3 will initially look to keep the ball in hand and Kockott/Williams will be one of the covering players from tactical kicking therefore offering the clearance needed if no gaps appear. We have gone for players in the back 3 who are comfortable in running back the high ball.

Bench-One of the strongest benches we have fielded, class all over with Nakawara looking to rip through the defence with Naholo and Warburton able to ease himself back in and target tired breakdowns.

Defence-Controlled defence here and we won't look to rush up, backrow to put pressure on 10 initially with Kockott 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.

Leicester Tigers v Saracens
Welford Road
Thick Cloud, 7 Degrees, 9mph Winds

Leicester Tigers
Manager – LukeLovesLuka

01. Max Lahiff09. Fourie Du Preez
02. Stephen Moore (c)     10. Freddie Burns (k)
03. Owen Franks
04. George Skivington11. Matt Banahan
05. Victor Matfield12. Kurtley Beale 
06. Juan Smith13. Mathieu Bastareaud
07. JMF Lobbe14. Sitiveni Sivivatu
08. Thomas Waldrom15. Drew Mitchell
16. Hika Elliot 17. Riccardo Brugnara 18. Brian Mujati 19. Pascal Pape 20. Wycliffe Palu 21. Micky Young 22. Brock James 23. Billy Twelvetrees


We will play a structured game built around Du Preez and Burns moving us into the right areas, the strength of our set piece and getting our exciting backs into space.

Target the lineout all game with Matfield as our banker ball, and Skiv, Lobbe and Smith offering alternative jumpers - we will rotate the target.
With the boots of Du Preez, Burns and Beale, we will look to get the ball deep in Sarries 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 9/10/12.
Box kicks from Du Preez and up and unders from Burns /b] to give the opposition problems in the air. We will really test Benjamin with these kicks, and look to Mitchell to be on him as quickly as possible.

Attack the scrum as a weapon - and call when we can, if we are getting an advantage. Moore to look to target Hibbard and to look to really get the shove on.

Massive line-breakers right throughout the side that will look to tire down Sarries defence. 
The likes of Waldrom, Bastareaud and Moore used consistently to get us over the gainline.

Lobbe, Smith, Bastareaud 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.

- Our back three are encouraged to do what they do best - counter attacking and running the ball back. If isolated all have good kicking games, but the counter is what we ask them to look for.

- 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.

Manager – Pooly

01. Alex Waller09. Morgan Parra
02. Richard Hibbard10. Nicolas Sanchez
03. Jannie Du Plessis
04. Sam Whitelock11. Hosea Gear
05. Geoff Parling12. Sonny Bill Williams
06. Thierry Dusatoir13. Conrad Smith
07. Will Fraser14. Miles Benjamin
08. Nathan Hughes15. Pat Lambie
16. Motu Mat'u 17. Ben Franks 18. Paul Hill 19. Patricio Albacete 20. Temani Harrison 21. Lee Dickson 22. Henry Trinder 23.Telusa Veainu

ATTACK LINEOUT, LOOK TO MARK MATFIELD OUT OF THE GAME - Look to put Parling on Matfield and then allow Whitelock to work on attacking the Tigers throw.

BIG RUNNERS DOWN THE 10/12 CHANNEL - Look to get big runners Hughes, SBW, Gear etc running down the 10/12 channel and target Burn's defence. Look to get runners off this and cause problems in midfield.

TARGET BREAKDOWN - Numerous options in Dusatoir, Fraser, Whitelock, Hughes. Attack with pace off turnover ball. Few options for the opposition so we feel we can get on top here.

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.

Bath v Newcastle Falcons
Recreation Grounds
Light Cloud, 7 Degrees, 9mph Winds

Bath Rugby
Manager – CJB
01. Steven Kitchoff09. Tawera Kerr Barlow
02. Mikey Haywood 10. Beauden Barrett 
03. Nepo Laulala 
04. Will Skelton 11. Juan Imhoff  
05. Graham Kitchener 12. Sam Hill
06. Siya Kolisi 13. Damian De Allende 
07. Liam Gill  14. Christian Wade  
08. Josh Beaumont 15. Alex Goode
16. Eddy Ben Arous 17. Jack Innard 18. Scott Wilson 19. James Gaskell 20. Liam Squire 21. Richard Wigglesworth 22. George Moala 23. Hallam Amos

Overall: We are gonna be looking to play front foot rugby and put Newcastle under immense pressure with our energy. Look for big carries and offloading at a high pace looking to create space and break the defense. Attack the set piece where we expect to be dominant.

Scrum: Use the set piece to get quick ball to restart our play. Skelton will add a lot of power to the scrum and we will look to get more power from our back five. Beaumont will look to attack off the quick ball he gets. Laulala look to get on top of Waller.

Lineout: We will look to switch up the lineup with Kolisi, Skelton 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. We think we can dominate here against a poor set of jumpers. Skelton will offer quick ball option at the front.

Breakdown: Look to generate quick ball for our backs to take advantage of. Gill 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. TKB to drift behind expecting kicks.

Attack: Our half backs will control our rugby. TKB will set the tempoand 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. Look to bring in the rest of the back line, especially De Allende who we would like to get running at defenders.  Wade and Imhoff 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 Kolisi in order to break the line and make yards. Throughout them team look to Keep the ball alive and look for offloads. Look to play with a high tempo and get the ball moving across the back line. Exploit the holes we create and look to tire out Irish which can help nullify their offensive threats.

Kicking: Barrett will be our chosen place kicker. We will chuck in the occasional grabber to chase. Barrett, TKB and Goode all have the boots necessary to try and put us in a good position territorially if need

Substitutes: Keep a high tempo.

 Newcastle Falcons
Manager – Bambam

01. Matt Mullan/Vincent Debaty09. Dave Lewis
02. Jamie George 10. Paddy Jackson (k)
03. Davit Kubriashvili
04. Ed Slater11. Charles Piutau
05. Flip Van Der Merwe12. Stuart McCloskey
06. David Ewers13. Luke Marshall
07. Francois Louw14. Charlie Sharples
08. Kieran Read (c)15. Ben Smith
16.Dane Coles 17.Alec Hepburn 18. Charlie Faumuina 19. Jacques Potgeiter 20. Chris Henry 21. Will Chudley 22. Francis Saili  23. David Strettle

Debaty in for Mullan if Mullan included in England squad

Game plan - Use the big pack to really put their front 5 under pressure, particularly targeting Laulala who has been out for months in the scrum with Mullan's technique. Compete hard for the ball at the ruck to get on top, and challenge number 8 and scrum half combo under pressure at every set piece and ruck, we think they can be targeted

Set piece - Look to really put their props under maximum pressure with Mullan and Kubs, we've got a great scrummaging lock pairing to help. If no weakness, use as restart. Flip to call lineout, mark their second rows and force long throws where Read is waiting. On our ball, use the back row options to mix it up

Breakdown - Louw, Read, Ewers and Coles to lead the way on turnovers. Others focus on strong clear outs and maintaining a strong defensive line. Coles and Read able to split staying close to the ruck, or turning the ball over in wider areas like they do for NZ. On our ball, smash them off the ball, use pod system to ensure support if they are having success. 

Kicking - Smith and Marshall to offer options outside Jackson with their accurate boots. Kick in behind the wings for territory, aim for space not the man. Challenge Wade's positioning with Piutau chasing  hard and put the high ball up on Goode at every opportunity and smash him 

Attack - get the ball out quickly to the in form Jackson, and get Mccloskey /Marshall through gaps. Challenge Barrett defensively with mccloskey and Marshall running hard lines at their channels with Piutau and Smith coming into the line. Big carrying forwards to set a platform, run at Barrett all day long to put them on the back foot off first phase, see how he handles it

Defence - no weak links in the backline, use a blitz in their territory, in ours use the drift to maintain the line and challenge them to beat us one on one

Bench - Big carrying forwards throughout and talented, pacy backs to see us home

Wasps v Sale Sharks
Ricoh Arena
Thick Cloud, 7 Degrees, 9mph Winds

London Wasps
Manager: CJ

01. David Kilcoyne09. Ben Spencer
02. Corey Flynn10. Charlie Hodgson (k)
03. James Johnston
04. Grant Gilchrist11. Tommy Bowe
05. George Merrick12. Renee Ranger
06. Alexandre Lapandry13. Tyler Morgan
07. Carl Fearns14.  Nick Cummins
08. Victor Vito (c)15. Jesse Mogg
16. James Slipper 17. Scott Spurling, 18. Sekope Kepu 19. Sam Twomey , 20 Tom Guest, 21. Tomas Cubelli , 22. Christian Lealiifano 23.  Nick Tompkins


Breakdown: Group effort at the breakdown, committing only minimal numbers unless the turnover is on either way, with the flankers working in tandem at supporting plays in attack and chasing the ball in defence

Defence: Blitz defence led by Morgan, Spencer sweeping, Vito  looking to pressurise the 9 and Ranger looking for the rush out against Foley when he's on the backfoot to smash him and force the turnover (Hodgson covering 12 in these occasions). Flankers take turns chasing the ball in defence. Fringe defence led by Gilchrist. Aggressive blitz to hit their big backs  before they get moving.

Attack: work slow ball into fast ball with pick and drives and mauling. We are looking to flood the 9-10 channel today with big carriers from the pack (Johnston, Vito, Fearns) and the backs (Cummins, Ranger), to make head way and narrow the defence, then recycle with Hodgson attacking the line and the centres flat, moving our direct runners outwide to make more ground against the narrow defence, before bringing the likes of Gilroy and Mogg in to attack the space created using their pace. Spencer sniping to keep fringe defence honest

Look to kick behind their wingers and chase with our good kickchasing wingers and isolate Abendanon with chip kicks and a hard chase, looking to impose our physical backs upon him.

Kicking: run back kicks where we can, unless we spot bad positioning at the back with this not Sale's back 3's strength, and then chase the kicks as a unit. Take any points available

Scrum: we are at a disadvantage here, so get the ball out on our ball as quickly as possible and use it as a way to restart the game.

Lineout: Mix up our options with mobile backrow giving us a lot of flexibility, and generally play quickly off the topic to bring Ranger etc in on the crash ball and reset play off that

Subs: We have an impact front row with two excellent props to bring on against tired scrummagers early in the second half and who also add a lot in the loose, pace in the second and back row substitutes plus the Brumbies real life 9-10 pairing to add flair in the backs. Bring on against tired legs to cut through the inevitable space formed

 Sale Sharks
Manager – SJE

01. Ross Harrison09. Faf De Klerk
02. Benjamin Kayser10. Bernard Foley
03. Davit Zirakishvilli
04. Brodie Retalick11. Nemani Nadolo
05. Dave Attwood12. Francois Steyn 
06. Sean McMahon 13. Malakai Fekitoa
07. Matt Kvesic14. Josua Tuisova
08. Louis Picamoles15. Nick Abendanon
16. Tommy Taylor 17. Marcos Ayerza 18. Martin Moore 19. Matt Garvey 20. Steven Luatua 21. Callum Braley 22. JJ Hanrahan 23. Kyle Eastmond

Target Morgan: Look to target Morgan's decision making as the Wasps defensive leader. Commit him with big runners down his channel and the likes of Fekitoa and Nadolo out the back door looking to get outside him and break the Wasps line.

Attack: We will be playing an expansive, high intensity offloading game looking to keep the ball moving. Look to use a rugby league shape with runners on the gain line and out the back door to force the opposition into making defensive decisions. Numerous playmakers across the back line allows us to constantly change the point of attack. De Klerk to keep the fringe defence honest with his snipping runs.

Breakdown: Quick ball is the aim on attack. Mobile pack and physical back line to clear out rucks and ensure we get it. We will look to get over the gain line off all carries to give a target to hit. Defensively when the initial contact is won we will look to commit numbers and get over the ball turning it over or at least slowing opposition ball up. Otherwise we will strengthen the line.

Defence: Similar set up to the Welsh with Foley and Le Roux defending deep to cover the backfield. Both wingers will step into the defensive line, to be part of the straight line blitz led by Fekitoa, to shut down space in the wider channels. Focused on winning the gain line collisions and driving the ball carrier back. Line speed is crucial.  De Klerk 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. We will look to put a slight wheel on where possible to take the opposition backrow out of play and then attack the space available and look for one on ones in the backline.

Lineout: Five mobile, athletic jumpers allows us to genuinely mix it up on attacking ball. Primarily looking to get the backs on the ball in 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.

London Irish v Gloucester
Madejski Stadium
Light Cloud, 7 Degrees, 8mph Winds

London Irish
Caretaker Manager: Pooly  
01. Scott Sio09. Aaron Smith
02. Bismark du Plessis10. Aaron Cruden
03. Frans Malherbe
04. Sebastien Vahaamahina  11. Marland Yarde
05. Matt Symons12. Henry Slade
06. Jerome Kaino  13. Jesse Kriel
07. Marcell Coetzee14. Bryan Habana
08. Duane Vermeulen15. Delon Armitage 
16. Tom Youngs 17. Ben Moon 18. Dave Wilson 19. James Broadhurst 20. Sean O'Brien 21. Sebastien Tillous-Borde 22. Brad Barritt 23. Tim Nanai-Williams

Basic Game Plan
In good conditions we will be looking to get use the power of our pack, especially the backrow to get at the breakdown and unleash our backline with handling and pace galore. 

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


  • Lineout.  Look for safe ball with numerous good lock options and Vermeulen offering at the tail. Look to attack the opposition and put pressure on thir throw. 

  • Scrum.  Hit channel one ball and get it out the back and into open play quickly, looking to maximise the space available with the opposition forwards packed down.  On there 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 opposition half we will play a Super Rugby type offloading game, with the ball shifted on to the support runner just prior to the point of the tackle with the defender already committed.   We will look to get big carriers down the 10 channel and use Habana and Yarde in particular trying to isolate front 5 forwards in the defensive line and use their pace, power and footwork to go past them and get us on the front foot.  We will also If the ball is slow and opposition 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.  Smith to also look to snipe around the fringes and keep us going forwards all the time.  


1 beast
2 Strauss
3 Ousthuizen
4 Etzbeth
5 taofufina
6 Croft
7 Savea
8 Du PreeZ
9 Robson
10 Carter
11 May
12 Toomua
13 Kurindrani
14 Walker
15 Folau
16 Wood
17 Grey
18 Mas
19 Dickinson
20 Alberts
21 Perenara
22 Cips
23 talebula

Last edited by SirJohnnyEnglish on Mon 28 Mar 2016, 9:55 pm; edited 4 times in total


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Re: Aviva Premiership Round Seventeen

Post by BamBam on Thu 24 Mar 2016, 9:59 am

I've just seen how large the font is on my tactics post, no idea what happened there!


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Re: Aviva Premiership Round Seventeen

Post by SirJohnnyEnglish on Sun 27 Mar 2016, 10:28 pm


Exeter Chiefs 23 (T:2 C:2 P:3)
Northampton Saints 32 (T:4 C:2 P:2)

Harlequins 29 (T:3 C:1 P:4)
Worcester Warriors 24 (T:2 C:1 P:4)

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

Bath 28 (T:3 C:2 P:3)
Newcastle Falcons 25 (T:2 P:5)

London Wasps 21 (T:2 C:1 P:3)
Sale Sharks 29 (T:3 C:1 P:4)

London Irish 28 (T:3 C:2 P:3)
Gloucester 26 (T:2 C:2 P:4)


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


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Re: Aviva Premiership Round Seventeen

Post by SirJohnnyEnglish on Sun 27 Mar 2016, 10:28 pm

Chiefs 22 - 24 Saints

Saints have more power in their pack, and may just take the set piece. Exeter worked hard to match them at the breakdown and they have a clever pack and will compete. Lots of attacking with those 9-10 combos, hard to know how Simpson would be playing. Edge in ability make something happen in Saints backs and they nick a win

Exeter 23 - 24 Saints

Exeter 22-29 Saints
Prefer the Northampton front five. Not a huge amount in back rows but Saints nick it. Half backs to Saints and they also get the outside backs.

Exeter 22-24 Northampton

Form issues for both sets of props and I can see little in the scrum contest. Two strong engine rooms and the lineout will be tightly contested. Balance issues in both backrows but Exeter set out a little better, Jones isn't up to this level of contest. One piece in the halfbacks but Saints a step up in the centres and back 3 bar Foden.

Exeter 23-26 Saints

Saints look to have the power edge in the pack, but think Exeter have the line out advantage. Pocock and co likely to win the breakdown, but biggest difference is at 10, lot to ask for Black up against a 10-12 combo with the control of Saints pair. Outside backs even enough outside of Savea. Saints win

Chiefs 23-26 Saints

Great pack battle particularly at the breakdown and should be a good open game based on the halfbacks. Saints pair with a bit more quality though. Savea the stand out in the backs and overall a bit more quality for Saints. Chiefs will get some joy from the kick chase but can see Saints opening the defence up a bit more regularly.


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Re: Aviva Premiership Round Seventeen

Post by SirJohnnyEnglish on Sun 27 Mar 2016, 10:29 pm

Quins 32 - 30 Worcester
Can see this game being a real high scorer with two teams that have great attacking options out wide. Like the balance of the Quins backrow, together with they've had some good form in McKenzie, the Argentinian wing and Burrell of late. The impact from Prop's new addition to the second row will be huge, especially with Warburton and they could get at Waller and Myler too. Quins just have enough.

Quins 25 - 20 Worcester

Both looseheads on top. Scrums even. Quins can attack Warriors' lineout, surprised that's not a clear target in tactics. Breakdown even. Backrows very different - canny handling game and linking of Quins works well with their playmakers outside of 10 (12 and 15) and could make up for Myler's lack of spark. Carrying from Worcester makes gaps for their running backline. Worcester back 3 look electric as do centres in attack, but I have doubts in defence. More balance for Quins and they have enough to win, both sides well set out for their tactics

Quins 26-23 Worcester
Front row to Warriors. Second row goes to Quins. Love the balance of the Quins back row and think they can really impact the game. One each in the half backs. Outside backs to Quins. Good pair of benches but at home Quins have enough.

Harlequins 23-23 Worcester

Can see Worcester getting a lot of joy at the scrum but both locks better for Quins. Not too much in the backrow, perhaps an edge on the flanks for Quins but nothing huge. Wocester halfbacks stronger, a but a concern for Quins going into the tail end of the season. Quins just shading the centres but I like the Wuss back 3. I just can't see Quins getting enough on the board with that halfback pairing.

Harlequins 26 - 25 Worcester Warriors

It's a good contest between both sets of front fives, which the Warriors will just get the better of the home side. Quins have a slightly better back row unit, with the carrying of the Quins three being more efficient around the park. I like the Quins spine of their midfield, which has proven to get them good results as of late. The biggest threat from the Warriors is their back three and they make the most of this by getting the ball into the hands of their guys when possible. Quins just edge this encounter with the help of the boot of Pienaar, but were being pushed all they way by the Warriors. 

Quins 27-23 Worcester 

Quins stronger front 5, back rows more even. Halfbacks slightly stronger for Quins, and outside backs a step up outside of NMS. At home Quins win fairly comfortably, Wuss bench keeps it close on scoreboard 

Quins 25-24 Worcester

Slight scrum edge to Worc but otherwise hard to seperate the packs. Quins wingers offer a bit more and McKenzie in cracking form.Can see the Quins defensive system shutting Worc down at times but the Worc bench use a good plus. Quins just shade this at home.


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Re: Aviva Premiership Round Seventeen

Post by SirJohnnyEnglish on Sun 27 Mar 2016, 10:29 pm

Leicester Tigers 24 - 21 Saracens
Tigers very difficult team to break down at home, if the conditions were rain then Sarries would win but this suits the home side and will let them play a quick game. Poorly right to attack Lahiff in the scrum, but can't see Parling bettering Matfield at the lineout and backrow battle very even with more experience for the home side. Backlines interesting, can't see where Sarries will score out wide, Benjamin can't be rated, Gear playing a lot of rugby at no12 for Clermont and Lambie injured/indifferent form for a bit, while Banahan and Mitchell in good form. Just a bit more threat from the home side wins it.

Tigers 19 - 23 Saracens

Slight advantage in scrum to Saracens, both sides safe on own lineout. Lots of leadership and nous in Tigers' pack but Saracens better at breakdown and more dynamic and will get quick ball on front foot. Burns now in form, but prefer Sarries' combo overall. I think Beale- Bastareud works very well in attack, but the cohesion of the Saracens centres is untouchable and they get more ball to the solid if not on fire back 3

Leicester 25 - 24 Saracens

Tigers 27-26 Sarries
Prefer the Saracens front five. Two different back row units and whilst I prefer the Tigers trio, I think Sarries can have success at the breakdown. Sarries have the better half backs but prefer the Tigers outside backs. At home Tigers probably just about pinch a win.

Leicester Tigers 28 - 26 Saracens

Tigers very much relying on their set piece to give them a platform, but struggle with Lahiff vs JdP. Their line out and maul is much more of a threat and with the tactical kicking of FdP and Beale putting pressure on the Sarries line out. Hughes carrying is Sarries biggest threat to get them going and keeps Tigers defence on edge. Sarries and Tigers both have good control at half back, Tigers benefit more in their back line with some good form and big units to make good ground. The kicking at goal from Tigers might be a little awry, but they have enough power to hold out home for a decent win. 

Leicester 24-24 Saracens 

Lahiff looks out of place, and outside of the line out the locks tough to rate. Pretty even in the back row, halfbacks  1 a piece. Outside backs slight edge to Tigers. At home, tough prospect and I'll sit on the fence 

Tigers 22-25 Sarries

Nothing between the set pieces but can see Sarries getting on top at the breakdown. Slight edge at halfback also. Hard to seperate the backlines with SBW playing 7s at the moment. Feel Sarries can slow Tigers down enough to stifle the big carrying game and take a good away win.


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Re: Aviva Premiership Round Seventeen

Post by SirJohnnyEnglish on Sun 27 Mar 2016, 10:30 pm

Bath 30 - 27 Newcastle Falcons
Another really exciting game with the backlines on display, Bath boosted by return of Wade to great form. Just see Bath getting more from their halfbacks - Bam, put his tactics up on the thread, so haven't marked down for no tactics. One area Falcons get an advantage in is the backrow as that is a scary unit there, lots of ball carrying and power, but it is the halfbacks that change it really.

Bath 26 - 25 Falcons

Falcons win the scrum, though that may change when subs come on. Bath edge the lineouts. Both sides have packs offering a fair bit in the loose, think Read gives Falcons an edge there. Nothing in it at the breakdown. More quality for Bath half-backs at this level, similar match ups in the centres with power the focus, and linebreaks will be made there. Bath back 3 can create a lot from nothing, but Wade and Goode can be tested in defence, and the Falcons back 3 are magic and would challenge any team. The benches bring Bath back into it and with their better 10 especially they just hold on

Bath 23 - 22 Newcastle

Bath 25-22 Newcastle

Good front 5 battle, engine room going to Bath but probably losing out in the front row. More quality for Falcons in the backrow but Bath a big step up in the halfbacks and a decent centre combo to play off. Cracking back 3 battle but see the home side coming through.

Bath Rugby 25 - 25 Newcastle Falcons

Very even up front between the forwards, Bath perhaps playing a little more of an open game with their more mobile back row, but Falcons wanting to be a little tighter around the fringes. Bath look dangerous with ball in hand, and a threat in most areas, however the form of Jackson and the falcons back three keep the Bath attack at arms length to prevent scoring opportunities. A close affair, but can't really be split with both playing good rugby. 

Bath 24-27 Newcastle

Can't seperate the sides at the set piece but Falcons stronger through the backrow. Bath halfbacks stronger as a combo but more about the Falcons backline particularly in wider areas. Tactics wise can see Bath making ground in wider areas in Falcons territory with the drift defence. Both Bath wings great in one on ones. Not sure Bath get on the front foot consistently though with the Falcons backrow getting on top and a big midfield on show to shut them down.


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Re: Aviva Premiership Round Seventeen

Post by SirJohnnyEnglish on Sun 27 Mar 2016, 10:30 pm

Wasps 21 - 25 Sale
Hard game for the home side, but they are getting better in quality of their team and options, especially with the new no9 and Leifano to come off the bench and that will bring the game back closer in the final 20mins. Sale have too many strike runners in their backline and can send wave after wave to tire down the home defence, if they can bring in a top class play maker into that midfield it would be so hard to stop.

Wasps 23 - 24 Sale

Wasps 19-27 Sale
Sale have a but more about their front five. Back row goes to Sale as well. With all the possession their forwards get the half backs can put their backs in marvellous positions. Wasps will get some encouragement when they bring in their replacements.

Wasps 21-23 Sale

Some form issues in the Worcester front 5 and against Sale they're going to struggle. Decent backrow contest but Sale have the quality in the backs bar probably Steyn to get another win on the road.

Wasps 23 - 28 Sale Sharks

Wasps a solid unit at the moment and CJ will benefit from his Six Nations lads coming back. Sharks are in good form, with more carriers in their pack it allows them to get some good go forward. Wasps have a dangerous set of backs with Hodgson puling strings and the strength and carrying of Ranger and Bowe will cause Sale some issues. Sharks claim the victory, but Wasps get themselves a well deserved LBP. 

Wasps 17-26 Sale

Sale looks to have the edge pretty much everywhere, CJ has an improving side but a big ask against a team this strong, comfortable away win 


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Re: Aviva Premiership Round Seventeen

Post by SirJohnnyEnglish on Sun 27 Mar 2016, 10:31 pm

London Irish 20 - 22 Gloucester
There's an issue with late team selection here - although it is better to get a team in to play against I haven't gone through the Irish tactics as Mat wasn't really given (i) a team to base tactics on and (ii) team submitted 2 days after the deadline. Gloucester team have better form in key positions and Robson looking a real strength at no9.

London Irish 31 - 29 Gloucester

Tactics fiasco a bit confusing here. To try to be fair, I'm not placing too much on the tactics unlike usual. Irish win the scrum battle. The lineouts are Gloucester's and I thought Gloucester may just edge the carrying battle, but Vermeulen's ability here may even it, just. Neither side amazing at breakdown, reliant on their 7s, Savea and Croft add some nice wide carrying as well as tight. Very even between 2 very good 9-10s with good balance - maybe Irish edge based on better 9, but Robson in great form. Very different backs - Irish use playmaking centres who will get plenty of time on the ball from tehir halfbacks to create gaps for enterprising back 3, and will find gaps. Gloucester use more power in their centres to draw men in and use raw pace outwide. Both will be effective at creating tries and it's a high scoring game, but Irish win at home

London Irish 25 - 25 Gloucester

Irish 28-17 Gloucester
No tactics against a very strong side is not the best idea

London Irish 25 - 22 Gloucester

Both sides secure on their own possession at the set piece, although Eztebeth's presence will mean they may pinch a turnover at the line out. Irish for me a little more adept at the breakdown, whereas Glos have players that are okay over the ball, but not as efficient as the Irish payers. The Gloucester midfield are in good form, but Irish are also coming to good form, with the return of Slade from injury as well. Gloucester will struggle with the lack of a tactical kicker in the back three, with the like of Cruden, Slade and Smith testing them and pinning them back. This contest is close but comes down to a late Cruden penalty kick to win.

London Irish 26-23 Gloucester 

Going to predict based on teams only here, given the sillyness. Irish stronger at scrum, Back row, halfbacks, back 3. Gloucester better locks, centres. Benches close, Irish wn

Irish 25-21 Glaws

Taken this as no tactics for either side. Good battle at the set piece but Glaws 2nd row with a bit more quality. Irish man for man stronger in the backrow. Halfbacks one a piece but Irish stronger as a combo. Good form in midfield for Glaws and Folau going well gives them a decent edge in the backs but can't see them getting the ball needed to let rip.


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Re: Aviva Premiership Round Seventeen

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