Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

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Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by LondonTiger on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 11:38 am

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Saracens  v   Wasps
23/04/2016 15:00 Madejski Stadium Sky Sports / beIN Sports

Officials
Referee - Roman Poite
Touch Judge 1 - Jerome Garces (France)
Touch Judge 2 - Pascal Gauzere (France)
TMO - Eric Gauzins (France)
Citing Commissioner - Stefano Marrama (Italy)


Form

9/4/16 Saracens 29 - 20 Saints 8,050
23/1/16 Toulouse 17 - 28 Saracens 12,498
16/1/16 Saracens 33 - 17 Ulster 9,642


9/4/16 Wasps 25 - 24 Chiefs 23,866
23/1/16 Wasps 51 - 10 Leinster 16,519
17/1/16 Toulon 15 - 11 Wasps 13,344


Teams

Saracens
15. Alex Goode; 14. Chris Ashton, 13. Duncan Taylor, 12. Brad Barritt, 11. Chris Wyles; 10. Owen Farrell, 9. Richard Wigglesworth; 1. Mako Vunipola, 2. Schalk Brits, 3. Petrus du Plessis, 4. Maro Itoje, 5. George Kruis, 6. Michael Rhodes, 7. Will Fraser, 8. Billy Vunipola
16. Jared Saunders , 17. Richard Barrington, 18. Titi Lamositele, 19. Jim Hamilton, 20. Jackson Wray, 21. Neil de Kock, 22. Charlie Hodgson, 23. Marcelo Bosch

Wasps
15. Charles Piutau; 14. Christian Wade, 13. Elliot Daly, 12. Siale Piutau, 11. Frank Halai; 10. Jimmy Gopperth, 9. Dan Robson; 1. Matt Mullan, 2. Carlo Festuccia, 3. Lorenzo Cittadini, 4. Joe Launchbury, 5. Bradley Davies, 6. James Haskell, 7. George Smith, 8. Nathan Hughes
16. Ashley Johnson, 17. Simon McIntyre, 18. Phil Swainston, 19. Sam Jones, 20. Thomas Young, 21. Joe Simpson, 22. Ruaridh Jackson, 23. Rob Miller


Preview
The top two in the AP table meet at the Madj for the first all English semi-final since 2007, when Wasps beat Northampton. Since those heady days Wasps have made little impact on the top tier competition, while their opponents have been on the rise. This will be Sarries 4th semi-final in a row, and 5th in total (first in 2008). Sarries will be all too aware that they have lost all but one of those semi-finals so far and will be desperate to make their second final. To do so they know they have to play much better than they did in the 1/4 final, though it is fair to say that Wasps were not at their best in the 1/4s despite the thrilling come-back.
The last time these two teams met was during the 6Ns when Wasps visited Barnet and thrashed the reigning AP champs. While both teams were missing players, Sarries were worse affected and everything Wasps touched turned to gold that day. We should expect a much tighter game this weekend. Sarries will look to squeeze Wasps up front, then put massive pressure on their opponents back line. Wasps will need to execute their game plan with precision, fail to do so and Saracens will swamp them.





Leicester Tigers  v   Racing 92
24/04/2016 15:15  City Ground BT Sport / FR 2 / beIN Sports

Officials
Referee - Nigel Owens (Wales)
Touch - Judge 1 George Clancy (Ireland)
Touch - Judge 2 Leighton Hodges (Wales)
TMO - Simon McDowell (Ireland)
Citing Commissioner - Jeff Mark (Wales)


Form

10/4/16 Tigers 41 - 13 SF Paris 20,866
24/1/16 SF Paris 36 - 21 Tigers 12,073
16/1/16 Tigers 47 - 7 Treviso 19,076


10/4/16 Racing 92 19 - 16 Toulon 15,340
23/1/16 Glasgow 22 - 5 Racing 92 9,063
17/1/16 Racing 92 64 - 14 Scarlets 6,931


Teams

Leicester Tigers
15. Matthew Tait; 14. Telusa Veainu, 13. Peter Betham, 12. Manu Tuilagi, 11. Vereniki Goneva; 10. Freddie Burns, 9. Ben Youngs; 1. Marcos Ayerza, 2. Harry Thacker, 3. Dan Cole, 4. Dom Barrow, 5. Graham Kitchener, 6. Michael Fitzgerald, 7. Lachlan McCaffrey, 8. Opéti Fonua
16. Greg Bateman, 17. Logovii Mulipola, 18. Fraser Balmain, 19. Ed Slater, 20. Tom Croft, 21. Sam Harrison, 22. Owen Williams, 23. Adam Thompstone

Racing 92
15. Brice Dulin; 14. Joe Rokocoko, 13. Johannes Goosen, 12. Alexandre Dumoulin, 11. Juan Imhoff; 10. Dan Carter, 9. Maxime Machenaud; 1. Eddy Ben Arous, 2. Virgile Lacombe, 3. Ben Tameifuna, 4. Luke Charteris, 5. Francois van der Merwe, 6. Wenceslas Lauret, 7. Bernard Le Roux, 8. Chris Masoe
16. Camille Chat, 17. Khatchik Vartanov, 18. Luc Ducalcon, 19. Manuel Carizza, 20. Antonie Claassen, 21. Mike Phillips, 22. Remi Tales, 23. Louis Dupichot

Preview
It is over 90 years since Leicester last met Racing. Fair to say things have changed just a little since the 1920's, and it is extremely doubtful that either side will warm up with a visit to a strip club as Tigers did on their first visit to France. Jacky Lorenzetti has spent big money assembling the star-studded Racing team, with Dan Carter surely the jewel in the crown. Even on one leg his class was enough to guide the Parisians to a narrow win over three-time champs Toulon. However they are far from a one man team with stardust sprinkled throughout the side. Racing's T14 form has stuttered in recent weeks and a largely second string team went down to Toulouse last week. With the big names coming in though, they are - on paper at least - far stronger than their English rivals. It is hard to see weaknesses in the Racing pack with an excellent second row pairing sandwiched by very powerful back and front rows. Tigers will be hoping that they can exploit a possible lack of speed in the back row, but cannot assume that their opponents will tire - or be as poor as their city rivals Stade were. It is to be hoped that Castro can keep his cool in any post match interviews this time.
Leicester have been like the little girl, when they are good they are very, very good but when they are not they are awful. This will be a huge test physically. The front five cannot give an inch while the back row have to win the battle of the breakdown. Secure a decent amount of possession and they have the backs to score tries from anywhere. However they need to be clinical both in attack and defence. Racing will exploit any dropped passes or defensive dog-legs.
This is Leicester's first semi-final since the unforgetable game in Cardiff in 2009, and Racing's first ever semi.


Last edited by LondonTiger on Fri 22 Apr 2016, 12:07 pm; edited 4 times in total

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 4:20 pm

Huge scrum!!!

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by nathan on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 4:21 pm

Poorly, they are not normally this bad.

Good to see thacker is doing well in the scrum

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 4:23 pm

They don't normally face this kind of quality Nathan, it's cracking Racing outfit.

That scrum could be a real turning point.

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 4:24 pm

Thacker struggling with the hook though, McGuigan will help you next season Wink

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by nathan on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 4:27 pm

Why is owens checking that? Didn't check the deliberate knock on...

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by nathan on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 4:28 pm

Racing have always got a player laying on the wrong side of the ruck

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by nathan on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 4:30 pm

We were walking Frak forward!!!

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by sad_gimp on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 4:31 pm

Just because you're going forward doesn't mean you can infringe. Ball was available, should have used it.

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by king_carlos on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 4:33 pm

Tough sub decision coming up for Cockers.

Fonau is disappearing so Slater will come on but usually Mulipola will come on at the same time to offer the carrrying Fonau is meant to.

With the scrum as it is it'd be a bold call to take Marcos or Cole off though.

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by nathan on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 4:34 pm

That's correct, but if that's the case then why don't refs do it each and every time.

Kicked outside of the 22 there...

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by nathan on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 4:38 pm

Lol @ thackers offload

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by sad_gimp on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 4:40 pm

Shame he's the only Tiger that knows how to throw a ball around.

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by nathan on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 4:41 pm

There are many that know how, apparently just not today

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by nathan on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 4:41 pm

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, come on!

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by king_carlos on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 4:42 pm

We desperately need something to stick here.

Betham has barely been in the game because he's usually the first on the ball, out wide after we get through the gain line but we haven't got over the gain line enough!

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by nathan on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 4:42 pm

Feck

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by nathan on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 4:43 pm

Goneva in no man's land there

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 4:45 pm

TMO almost seemed to want to give that try.

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by Heaf on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 4:49 pm

the pass off the base of the scrum was clearly forwards - loads before that missed today too ...

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by nathan on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 4:52 pm

Racing have done their homework on Manu

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by king_carlos on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 4:52 pm

We've got a pack with 3 second rows in it who are good jumpers, Croft on now as well and hooker with a great throw yet we aren't trying to use the maul as a weapon....

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by GeordieFalcon on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 4:54 pm

Jesus man, Tigers handling!!!

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by sad_gimp on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 4:56 pm

It's a miracle they're still in this game....going to have to pray the scrum dominance can give them an opportunity.

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by nathan on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 4:59 pm

On this showing, sarries have a wonderful the final

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by nathan on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 5:00 pm

Won*

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by king_carlos on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 5:01 pm

I haven't watched a game with this many unforced errors in a long time.

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by nathan on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 5:04 pm

Neither have I, it's awful!

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by quinsforever on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 5:04 pm

frustrating game to watch. so many knock ons, mostly from leicester, and lying on the wrong side mostly from racing

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by king_carlos on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 5:04 pm

So dumb from Croft.

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by sad_gimp on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 5:05 pm

Thank god for Super Rugby so we get a break from this dross.

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by quinsforever on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 5:05 pm

and nigel has made a few shocking calls. that scrum pen before half time againt cole. and that one againt croft.

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by quinsforever on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 5:06 pm

impressed with thacker. good game he had.

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by king_carlos on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 5:08 pm

Get Harrison on, change something please.

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by quinsforever on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 5:09 pm

youngs however has been awful. ponderous. leaden hands. consistent delivery above heads. machenaud a cut above today.

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by nathan on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 5:09 pm

Hopefully these subs can catch, not sure why they haven't been brought on sooner

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by nathan on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 5:11 pm

Lol, harsh decision on him there!

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by nathan on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 5:11 pm

Even the Poopie decision up earlier against tigers

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by VinceWLB on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 5:12 pm

"Best ref in the world"

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by quinsforever on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 5:13 pm

that was actually pretty funny. i was howling for a yellow against imhoff... censored ...then i saw the replay!

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by nathan on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 5:13 pm

I was to quins

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by kingelderfield on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 5:13 pm

oh dear


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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by GeordieFalcon on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 5:15 pm

Be hard to bet against Racing in the final!

EDIT - Ah I forgot they're playing Saracens. Be a good game.


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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by quinsforever on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 5:16 pm

wow. game on

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by nathan on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 5:18 pm

Absolute bullocks from owens there

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by quinsforever on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 5:19 pm

great last 10 minutes. if only leicester hadnt coughed up the ball so much i think they might have pipped it. huge defense racing have there though. masoe was a giant

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by sad_gimp on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 5:19 pm

Well, you can add Youngs to the list of players that might not make the summer tour. Absolute toilet today.

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by king_carlos on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 5:22 pm

With Manu off his feet nathan?

TBH I thought Manu had dived off his feet the second he came in!

A really poor game but the better side on the day won IMO. Masoe was absolutely fantastic all day. Tigers really needed to make subs sooner to change things up. Youngs was just going through the motions and needed to be subbed for Harrison, Goneva did very little yet Thompstone sat on the bench for most the game.

As for Owens. Games like that are very tough to ref. Emotions are running high from fans and mistakes were being made left, right and centre from both sides. The scrum was often messy but the Tigers were often on top and got the rub of decisions. It wasn't his best game but in a horrible game to ref he did much better than most will admit to themselves. We all thought Imhoff had knocked on until the replay.

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by nathan on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 5:25 pm

Will be interesting to see the tackle on kitch again, looked like a shoulder to his head.

I can't blame Owens though as we were just rubbish, any pressure we built up was lost with a handling error

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by GeordieFalcon on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 5:26 pm

mid_gen wrote:Well, you can add Youngs to the list of players that might not make the summer tour. Absolute toilet today.

Agree, especially with Robson playing well

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

Post by nathan on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 5:28 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:
mid_gen wrote:Well, you can add Youngs to the list of players that might not make the summer tour. Absolute toilet today.

Agree, especially with Robson playing well
He's been playing well to be fair, just not today

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Re: Champions Cup Semi-Finals - 23/24 April

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