European Champions Cup Semi-Finals

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European Champions Cup Semi-Finals

Post by Fluxy on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 9:13 am

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


Northampton Saints vs Sale Sharks
Twickenham Stadium
Light Cloud, 10 degrees, 11mph North Easterly


Northampton Saints
Manager: Dammit Chris

01. Mako Vunipola09. Connor Murray
02. Dylan Hartley (c)10. Lima Sopoaga
03. Ramiro Herrera
04. Joe Launchbury11. Julian Savea
05. Jonny Gray12. Matt Giteau
06. Facundo Isa13. Manu Tuilagi
07. Brendon O'Connor14. Adam Ashley-Cooper
08. Schalk Burger15. Ben Foden
Replacements
16. Ashely Johnson 17. Logi Mulipola 18. Jake Cooper-Wooley 19. Paul Jedrasiak 20. Luke Wallace 21. Joe Simpson 22. Weslie Fofana 23. Elliot Daly

Tactics
Our priority is to win the European Cup, we have won every game in Europe for three seasons apart from one final and want to keep our reputation as European specialists. We'll play our usual aggressive, physical style in the forwards with big runners getting us over the gainline in the pack, and specifically target Eastmond with Tuilagi and Savea running at his channel.  We want to win that gainline battle, suck Sale defenders in and exploit any space. We'll target the breakdown area and make this a real physical battle. We have selected a 9, 10, 12 combination that has an excellent kicking game to control territory, strike runners throughout the backline and a very strong impact bench to ensure we finish well.

Set Piece
We've been rotating our pack to ensure that is fresh for the end of the season, especially Herrera so we can really pressure the Sale scrum. We feel we have stronger front five replacements on our bench and will look to win this battle over the 80minutes. We will rely on the accuracy of Hartley's throwing and have a strong lineout presence so will move the point of attack away from Itoje and generate quick ball for our backline. Taylor hasn't been involved in many big games so will pressurise the Sale hooker. Strong options in the pack off the bench.

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'll aim to wear down the Sale defence to open up the game in the final 20 minutes. We will send our big strike runners in the backline at Eastmond and are confident of knocking him back in the tackle, force Sale into doubling up on the likes of Tuilagi or Savea and then start using them as dummy runners and pushing the ball wide to exploit the space that leaves.

Breakdown
We are aiming to make this a really physical battle with Burger and Isa and provide O'Connor with a platform to seek turnovers and attack. We will look to use the breakdown ability of Launchbury and Gray to make sure we get an advantage over Sale and attack the breakdown as a team. We want quick ball for Murray to exploit and have seen that Itoje gives away plenty of penalties, so will look to benefit from his inexperience and youthfulness.

Attack
We will look to get our forwards on the ball and running off Sopoaga to make inroads into the Sale defensive line and provide space for our strike runners in the backline to exploit and get Tuilagi, Savea and AAC on the ball as often as possible. Giteau provides an excellent second distributer. We'll bring on Simpson, Fofana and Daly to really add pace to the game over the final 15-20 minutes and test Sale's defence even further.

Kicking
We;ve gone with a strong kicking 9, 10 and 12 and will look to dominate the territorial kicking battle, with Sexton the only top class kicking outlet Sale have. If we get at him he doesnt have options outside him to take the pressure away. With Murray we now have an excellent box kicking game and Savea and AAC will chase his kicks, particularly targeting Nadolo's positioning. With Care's box kicking coming under question we'll counter attack any loose kicks.

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. Lot of big hitters in the pack, Murray to sweep behind the defensive line.


Sale Sharks
Manager – SJE

01. Jack McGrath 09. Danny Care
02. Tommy Taylor10. Johnny Sexton
03. Rabah Slimani
04. Maro Itoje11. Simon Zebo
05. Iain Henderson12. Kyle Eastmond
06. CJ Stander13. Malakai Fekitoa
07. Matt Kvesic14. Nemani Nadolo
08. Louis Picamoles15. Nick Abendanon
Subs:
16. Malcolm Marx 17. Ross Harrison 18. Davit Zirakishvilli 19. Dave Attwood 20. Sam Cane 21. Faf De Klerk 22. Bernard Foley 23. Willie Le Roux

KEY POINTS 
- Psychologically we have an edge on Saints this year with wins home and away against them. On neutral ground today we will look to put them under pressure. 
- Physically we can match and potentially out do Saints at the collisions particularly in the backrow. Really look to put them under pressure on attack with a full defensive line. Stander to help cove the 12 channel. 
- Murray still bedding in in what is an important role for Saints. Look to take advantage of any communication errors with our aggressive blitz.  
 
Attack: We will be playing an expansive, high intensity 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. Care 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 we are primarily looking to strengthen the defensive so will not overly commit to the ruck. If the initial jackal is on though we will look to hit it and support.

Defence: Similar set up to the Welsh with Sexton and Bendy 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. Stander will look to defend the 12 channel with Eastmond. Focused on winning the gain line collisions and driving the ball carrier back. Line speed is crucial.  Care will sweep behind the line to cover chips and grubbers.

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 Itoje to get up in the air at the front and challenge on opposition ball looking to make it as messy as possible. 




London Irish vs Harlequins
Twickenham Stadium
Light Cloud, 10 degrees, 11mph North Easterly


London Irish
Manager: Driver

01. Scott Sio09. Ben Youngs
02. Bismarck du Plessis10. Aaron Cruden
03. Davey Wilson
04. Sébastien Vahaamahina11. Marland Yarde
05. Alun Wyn Jones12. Brad Barritt
06. Jerome Kaino13. Henry Slade
07. Tom Wood14. Henry Speight
08. Duane Vermeulen15. Tim Nanai Williams
16.Harry Thacker 17.Ben Moon 18.Ben Alexander 19.Cameron Skelton 20.Sean O'Brian 21.Aaron Smith 22.JJ Engelbrectt 23.Noa Nakaitachi

Overall Gameplan

We've gone for a big strong pack who'll look too take the game too Quins in the pack. We'll look too generate momentum through the scrum and maul looking to get a serious shove on and target Quins front row due too our more powerful front row. Wilson will look too isolate Waller at the scrum by having his bind futher down on the prop and create the illousion of boring in and swinging penalties our way. We'll look too keep this momentum going through offloads from the big carriers in our team. Youngs will look too shift the points of attack around the fringes and snipe around the ruck.

Set Piece
We'll look too use the lineout as a weapon too get our maul going in the Quins half and especially near the try line.
Vaa , AWJ , Wood and Vermalen are more than capable of mixing the lineout up today with plenty of options.

Defence and Kick Returns
An aggresive defence around the fringe and look to stifle Quins ball. Create slow ball for there backs. Looking too close them down and hit them early.
Spieght and Yarde too drop deep to cover kicks with Youngs dropping too cover.


Harlequins
Manager – Steven_Sharks

01. Ethan Waller09. Ruan Pienaar 
02. Agustin Creevy10. Elton Jantjies (k)
03. Kieran Brookes
04. Pieter Steph Du Toit11. Jack Nowell
05. George Kruis12. Luther Burrell
06. Damien Chouly13. Jonathan Joseph
07. Michael Hooper (c)14. Santiago Cordero
08. Mamuka Gorgodze15. Damian McKenzie
16. Scott Baldwin 17. Cian Healy 18. Kyle Sinckler 19. Luke Romano 20. Nick Easter 21. Henry Pyrgos 22. Juan Martin Hernandez 23. Robbie Henshaw

Tactics

Game Plan 
With the ball in hand look to play at pace using big carriers to get us across the gain line running off 9 and 10. We'll look to offload out of the contact when it is on. Look to attack the ball at pace and attack the spaces not the defenders. When we get over the gain line and get quick ball we will look to get Jantjies standing flat and looking to put Burrell into wholes or play out the back to Joseph and our back three who are lethal with ball in hand and try to get them into space and one on one with defenders. We'll look to bring McKenzie into the line at pace to exploit holes in a tired defence and occasionally use him as a first receiver to vary our attack 

When we are deep in our own territory we will look to use the boots of Pienaar, Jantjies and McKenzie to get us into LI territory where we can use our strong line out to disrupt the Irish line out. We'll look to target Yarde and Speight under the high ball and try to kick behind them to take advantage of their limited kicking game to gain territory.

Set Piece
Our line out is exceptionally strong with Kruis, Chouly and Du Toit all top class line out operators. We really hope to spoil Irish ball and take good ball off the top all game so we can get our backs on the front foot from the first phase. At the scrum we'll look to target the unfit and out of form Wilson from the off.

Defence 
We'll employ a drift defence and allow the pace of our side to smother the Irish attacks. We'll look to use the chop tackle to kill Irish momentum and so we can look to get the first man over the ball and get the turnover or win the penalty. If we don't get the first man to the breakdown then we will spread out and set our defence.



Last edited by Fluxy on Fri 22 Apr 2016, 10:02 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: European Champions Cup Semi-Finals

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 9:34 am

mark

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Re: European Champions Cup Semi-Finals

Post by dammit_chris on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 1:55 pm

Northampton Saints
Manager: Dammit Chris

1. Mako Vunipola
2. Dylan Hartley (c)
3. Ramiro Herrera
4. Joe Launchbury
5. Jonny Gray
6. Facunda Isa
7. Brendon O'Connor
8. Schalk Burger
9. Connor Murray
10. Lima Sopoaga
11. Julian Savea
12. Matt Giteau
13. Manu Tuilagi
14. Adam Ashley Cooper
15. Ben Foden

Replacements
16. Ashely Johnson 17. Logi Mulipola 18. Jake Cooper-Wooley 19. Paul Jedrasiak 20. Luke Wallace 21. Joe Simpson 22. Weslie Fofana 23. Elliot Daly

Tactics
Our priority is to win the European Cup, we have won every game in Europe for three seasons apart from one final and want to keep our reputation as European specialists. We'll play our usual aggressive, physical style in the forwards with big runners getting us over the gainline in the pack, and specifically target Eastmond with Tuilagi and Savea running at his channel. We want to win that gainline battle, suck Sale defenders in and exploit any space. We'll target the breakdown area and make this a real physical battle. We have selected a 9, 10, 12 combination that has an excellent kicking game to control territory, strike runners throughout the backline and a very strong impact bench to ensure we finish well.

Set Piece
We've been rotating our pack to ensure that is fresh for the end of the season, especially Herrera so we can really pressure the Sale scrum. We feel we have stronger front five replacements on our bench and will look to win this battle over the 80minutes. We will rely on the accuracy of Hartley's throwing and have a strong lineout presence so will move the point of attack away from Itoje and generate quick ball for our backline. Taylor hasn't been involved in many big games so will pressurise the Sale hooker. Strong options in the pack off the bench.

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'll aim to wear down the Sale defence to open up the game in the final 20 minutes. We will send our big strike runners in the backline at Eastmond and are confident of knocking him back in the tackle, force Sale into doubling up on the likes of Tuilagi or Savea and then start using them as dummy runners and pushing the ball wide to exploit the space that leaves.

Breakdown
We are aiming to make this a really physical battle with Burger and Isa and provide O'Connor with a platform to seek turnovers and attack. We will look to use the breakdown ability of Launchbury and Gray to make sure we get an advantage over Sale and attack the breakdown as a team. We want quick ball for Murray to exploit and have seen that Itoje gives away plenty of penalties, so will look to benefit from his inexperience and youthfulness.

Attack
We will look to get our forwards on the ball and running off Sopoaga to make inroads into the Sale defensive line and provide space for our strike runners in the backline to exploit and get Tuilagi, Savea and AAC on the ball as often as possible. Giteau provides an excellent second distributer. We'll bring on Simpson, Fofana and Daly to really add pace to the game over the final 15-20 minutes and test Sale's defence even further.

Kicking
We;ve gone with a strong kicking 9, 10 and 12 and will look to dominate the territorial kicking battle, with Sexton the only top class kicking outlet Sale have. If we get at him he doesnt have options outside him to take the pressure away. With Murray we now have an excellent box kicking game and Savea and AAC will chase his kicks, particularly targeting Nadolo's positioning. With Care's box kicking coming under question we'll counter attack any loose kicks.

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. Lot of big hitters in the pack, Murray to sweep behind the defensive line.


Last edited by dammit_chris on Thu 21 Apr 2016, 12:36 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: European Champions Cup Semi-Finals

Post by SirJohnnyEnglish on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 10:18 pm

Sale Sharks
Manager – SJE

01. Jack McGrath 09. Danny Care
02. Tommy Taylor10. Johnny Sexton
03. Rabah Slimani
04. Maro Itoje11. Simon Zebo
05. Iain Henderson12. Kyle Eastmond
06. CJ Stander13. Malakai Fekitoa
07. Matt Kvesic14. Nemani Nadolo
08. Louis Picamoles15. Nick Abendanon
Subs:
16. Malcolm Marx 17. Ross Harrison 18. Davit Zirakishvilli 19. Dave Attwood 20. Sam Cane 21. Faf De Klerk 22. Bernard Foley 23. Willie Le Roux

KEY POINTS 
- Psychologically we have an edge on Saints this year with wins home and away against them. On neutral ground today we will look to put them under pressure. 
- Physically we can match and potentially out do Saints at the collisions particularly in the backrow. Really look to put them under pressure on attack with a full defensive line. Stander to help cove the 12 channel. 
- Murray still bedding in in what is an important role for Saints. Look to take advantage of any communication errors with our aggressive blitz.  
 
Attack: We will be playing an expansive, high intensity 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. Care 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 we are primarily looking to strengthen the defensive so will not overly commit to the ruck. If the initial jackal is on though we will look to hit it and support.

Defence: Similar set up to the Welsh with Sexton and Bendy 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. Stander will look to defend the 12 channel with Eastmond. Focused on winning the gain line collisions and driving the ball carrier back. Line speed is crucial.  Care will sweep behind the line to cover chips and grubbers.

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 Itoje to get up in the air at the front and challenge on opposition ball looking to make it as messy as possible.


Last edited by SirJohnnyEnglish on Fri 22 Apr 2016, 9:55 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: European Champions Cup Semi-Finals

Post by Steven_Sharks on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 12:06 pm

Do I still have to get my side in today even if Driver hasn't posted his?

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Re: European Champions Cup Semi-Finals

Post by SirJohnnyEnglish on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 12:35 pm

Technically there is no home side so you both have till close of play today to get it in. If one misses the bonus 3 point margin applies.

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Re: European Champions Cup Semi-Finals

Post by Steven_Sharks on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 12:52 pm

Didn't realise it was neutral.

Will get it in later.

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Re: European Champions Cup Semi-Finals

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 1:10 pm

Driver has laptop issues, I'll get it in later if ok

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Re: European Champions Cup Semi-Finals

Post by Steven_Sharks on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 6:26 pm

Harlequins
Manager – Steven_Sharks

01. Ethan Waller09. Ruan Pienaar 
02. Agustin Creevy10. Elton Jantjies (k)
03. Kieran Brookes
04. Pieter Steph Du Toit11. Jack Nowell
05. George Kruis12. Luther Burrell
06. Damien Chouly13. Jonathan Joseph
07. Michael Hooper (c)14. Santiago Cordero
08. Mamuka Gorgodze15. Damian McKenzie

16. Scott Baldwin 17. Cian Healy 18. Kyle Sinckler 19. Luke Romano 20. Nick Easter 21. Henry Pyrgos 22. Juan Martin Hernandez 23. Robbie Henshaw

Tactics

Game Plan 

With the ball in hand look to play at pace using big carriers to get us across the gain line running off 9 and 10. We'll look to offload out of the contact when it is on. Look to attack the ball at pace and attack the spaces not the defenders. When we get over the gain line and get quick ball we will look to get Jantjies standing flat and looking to put Burrell into wholes or play out the back to Joseph and our back three who are lethal with ball in hand and try to get them into space and one on one with defenders. We'll look to bring McKenzie into the line at pace to exploit holes in a tired defence and occasionally use him as a first receiver to vary our attack 

When we are deep in our own territory we will look to use the boots of Pienaar, Jantjies and McKenzie to get us into LI territory where we can use our strong line out to disrupt the Irish line out. We'll look to target Yarde and Speight under the high ball and try to kick behind them to take advantage of their limited kicking game to gain territory.

Set Piece


Our line out is exceptionally strong with Kruis, Chouly and Du Toit all top class line out operators. We really hope to spoil Irish ball and take good ball off the top all game so we can get our backs on the front foot from the first phase. At the scrum we'll look to target the unfit and out of form Wilson from the off.

Defence 


We'll employ a drift defence and allow the pace of our side to smother the Irish attacks. We'll look to use the chop tackle to kill Irish momentum and so we can look to get the first man over the ball and get the turnover or win the penalty. If we don't get the first man to the breakdown then we will spread out and set our defence.


Last edited by Steven_Sharks on Thu 21 Apr 2016, 7:14 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: European Champions Cup Semi-Finals

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 7:03 pm

-


Last edited by Sgt_Pooly on Thu 21 Apr 2016, 6:51 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: European Champions Cup Semi-Finals

Post by Driver on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 8:23 pm

Please disregard the above.

My team will be up in 20 minutes.
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Re: European Champions Cup Semi-Finals

Post by Driver on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 8:44 pm

1.Scott Sio
2.Bismark Du Plessis
3.Dave Wilson
4.Sebastian Vaahamenia
5.Alun Wyn Jones
6.Jerome Kaino
7.Tom Wood
8.Duane Vermaulen

9.Ben Youngs
10.Aaron Cruden
11.Marlande Yarde
12.Brad Barritt
13.Henry Slade
14.Henry Sprieght
15.Tim Nani Williams

16.Harry Thacker 17.Ben Moon 18.Ben Alexander 19.Cameron Skelton 20.Sean O'Brian 21.Aaron Smith 22.JJ Engelbrectt 23.Noa Nakaitachi

Overall Gameplan

We've gone for a big strong pack who'll look too take the game too Quins in the pack. We'll look too generate momentum through the scrum and maul looking to get a serious shove on and target Quins front row due too our more powerful front row. Wilson will look too isolate Waller at the scrum by having his bind futher down on the prop and create the illousion of boring in and swinging penalties our way. We'll look too keep this momentum going through offloads from the big carriers in our team. Youngs will look too shift the points of attack around the fringes and snipe around the ruck.

Set Piece

We'll look too use the lineout as a weapon too get our maul going in the Quins half and especially near the try line.

Vaa , AWJ , Wood and Vermalen are more than capable of mixing the lineout up today with plenty of options.

Defence and Kick Returns

An aggresive defence around the fringe and look to stifle Quins ball. Create slow ball for there backs. Looking too close them down and hit them early.

Spieght and Yarde too drop deep to cover kicks with Youngs dropping too cover.


Last edited by Driver on Thu 21 Apr 2016, 9:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: European Champions Cup Semi-Finals

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Thu 21 Apr 2016, 4:11 am

Only 5 EQ driver

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Re: European Champions Cup Semi-Finals

Post by Driver on Thu 21 Apr 2016, 9:55 am

Wilson in at 3
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Re: European Champions Cup Semi-Finals

Post by Fluxy on Fri 22 Apr 2016, 10:04 am

Predictions to SJE, good luck everyone!

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Re: European Champions Cup Semi-Finals

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