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 quinsforever on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 1:08 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:He's got the yellow for holding. It was noticed because he got kicked in the shoulder. Subtle difference but overall not every holding on offence is going to end in a yellow as refs won't see them all and won't enforce it consistantly.
but how can holding, when it didnt affect play, and sarries had the ball in wasps 22, ever ever ever be more than a simple penalty? i will take 1 actual example. ever. and will concede the point.

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

Post by Fanster on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 1:33 pm

quinsforever wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:He's got the yellow for holding. It was noticed because he got kicked in the shoulder. Subtle difference but overall not every holding on offence is going to end in a yellow as refs won't see them all and won't enforce it consistantly.
but how can holding, when it didnt affect play, and sarries had the ball in wasps 22, ever ever ever be more than a simple penalty? i will take 1 actual example. ever. and will concede the point.

You don't understand the context of the sporting environment, Saracens contribution to the way of playing non rugby, and the blight this is becoming on the sport.

All those thousands of Sarries fans didn't buy tickets to see Sarries players holding Wasps players for 80 minutes lol

Seriously though the competition is blighted with poor crowds, uninteresting games, and from what I've heard poor TV viewing figures (subscription TV), the EPCR have to make games more interesting, this is their first step.

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

Post by LondonTiger on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 1:35 pm

Such an offence, if seen will rarely get more than a penalty agreed. I have though seen players binned for a deliberate knock on in th eopponents 22, so kind of a precedent that deliberate cheating can get a YC anywhere.

My suspicion is that the CO felt sorry for McIntyre. After all his reaction to some rather pathetic cheating was innocuous with no force. However there was deliberate contact from foot to the head area so has to be red in the modern game.

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

Post by beshocked on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 2:25 pm

Fanster your comment seems pretty spiteful. Saracens were not the only side cheating, just Wasps were allowed to get away with more in my opinion.

Londontiger you talk about precedent, do you honestly think this will lead to more consistency? It's consistency that's the blight on the game. It should be clear, giving a retrospective YC means that holding on now has to be seen as a YC in all circumstances or it defeats the object.

Surely there should be a clamp down on crooked lineouts and feeding at scrum time.


Mcintyre wasn't innocent though, he took Alex Goode not much earlier. Now I know there are some on here who saw nothing in that challenge, well I disagree. You don't pull out of a challenge then you can get in trouble.

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

Post by munkian on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 2:36 pm

Marler 2 weeks, McIntyre 2 weeks.


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

Post by thebandwagonsociety on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 2:42 pm

quinsforever wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:He's got the yellow for holding. It was noticed because he got kicked in the shoulder. Subtle difference but overall not every holding on offence is going to end in a yellow as refs won't see them all and won't enforce it consistantly.
but how can holding, when it didnt affect play, and sarries had the ball in wasps 22, ever ever ever be more than a simple penalty? i will take 1 actual example. ever. and will concede the point.

Only example I can think of is a match between Clermont and Ulster in the old hcup. Nathan Hines (as saint of man in every match he ever played in) managed to hold onto 3 Ulster players at a breakdown as Clermont were 5m from the Ulster try line. I think at the time he got a yellow card and penalty against him. That really was the exception though and Hines got done because (1) he had a reputation for playing at the edge of the rules and (2) it was so bleeding obvious it bordered on ridiculous.

If the player wasn't being held then he could take up the first defender position, and the entire line moves out one. It's particularly effective where a team is trying to play an expansive game. So the holding might happen at one side of the field but could create 5 yards of space in a defensive line at the other side of the field.

All teams play in that grey area of the rules, it's a case of how far towards the black they go. You can't react like that though, referees in every sport are ten times more likely to spot the reaction rather than the instigation of an incident.

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

Post by quinsforever on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 2:42 pm

right decision for marler and mcintyre. retrospective YC for itoje is an embarrassment. that means the ref should have awarded a yellow at the time. complete and utter bollix.

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

Post by thebandwagonsociety on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 2:44 pm

munkian wrote:Marler 2 weeks, McIntyre  2 weeks.


2 weeks for Marler would mean the citing committee thought it would have warranted a red card during the game? Would Harlequins have won quite as easily if they were stuck with 14 men for c.50 minutes of the game? They can think about that when they are on the coach driving to the stadium for the final.

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

Post by munkian on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 2:45 pm

Im not sure how Marler only got 2 weeks mind - lowest end is 4 and he hardly has a record of good behavior.

He must have upped his biscuit game.

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

Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 2:55 pm

quinsforever wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:He's got the yellow for holding. It was noticed because he got kicked in the shoulder. Subtle difference but overall not every holding on offence is going to end in a yellow as refs won't see them all and won't enforce it consistantly.
but how can holding, when it didnt affect play, and sarries had the ball in wasps 22, ever ever ever be more than a simple penalty? i will take 1 actual example. ever. and will concede the point.

Personally never really seen a yellow for holding in a ruck, or just after in this case. Hence earlier when I said there's no risk to the player doing it; the only time they ever get penalised is when it's reversed anyway as a player has retaliated. I'd welcome the refs properly cracking down on this, but it's too hard to do and people will complain that the ref is blowing his whistle too often, failing to blame the coaches and players.

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

Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 3:03 pm

Fanster wrote:
quinsforever wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:He's got the yellow for holding. It was noticed because he got kicked in the shoulder. Subtle difference but overall not every holding on offence is going to end in a yellow as refs won't see them all and won't enforce it consistantly.
but how can holding, when it didnt affect play, and sarries had the ball in wasps 22, ever ever ever be more than a simple penalty? i will take 1 actual example. ever. and will concede the point.

You don't understand the context of the sporting environment, Saracens contribution to the way of playing non rugby, and the blight this is becoming on the sport.

All those thousands of Sarries fans didn't buy tickets to see Sarries players holding Wasps players for 80 minutes lol

Seriously though the competition is blighted with poor crowds, uninteresting games, and from what I've heard poor TV viewing figures (subscription TV), the EPCR have to make games more interesting, this is their first step.

They are introducing a multi ball option from 60 min next season if less than 30 points has been scored by each team. An additional 5 balls will be brought onto the field to ensure defences are stretched more.

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

Post by lostinwales on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 3:05 pm

Fanster is only going to be happy if Sarries were banned from the ERC. Probably not the only one who thinks that way.

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

Post by quinsforever on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 3:06 pm

i think fanster's never happy. full stop. Laugh

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

Post by SecretFly on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 3:07 pm

laughing

Good proposals. Though Nigel looks the only ref ready to be official at such a game. The rest of them will need a lot more training to cope.

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

Post by beshocked on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 3:13 pm

no 7 & 1/2 surely the way to crack down is hand out more YCs and make it more like Rugby league...

Would certainly open things up more. Have to be consistent though. Also more YCs for backchat to the refs or making the opposition have to march back 10 metres and no tolerance for diving/playacting.

Want to crack down on discipline seriously then better policing needs to be done, too much missing of incidents at the moment.

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

Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 3:16 pm

Absolutely true beshocked. Would love to see a crackdown. Not so much watching league though, bit boring for me.

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

Post by beshocked on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 3:24 pm

When I said more like rugby league I meant with only 13 men on each side because two men from each side would be in the bin!

If there is a crackdown then I would do so from next season. That means no more crooked feeds, crooked feed would be a penalty to the opposition. More sin bins if both teams collapse the scrum. Still the game is slowed down by reset after reset.

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

Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 3:26 pm

Wouldn't personally mind the laws actually being enforced at all.

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

Post by brennomac on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 3:30 pm

thebandwagonsociety wrote:
quinsforever wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:He's got the yellow for holding. It was noticed because he got kicked in the shoulder. Subtle difference but overall not every holding on offence is going to end in a yellow as refs won't see them all and won't enforce it consistantly.
but how can holding, when it didnt affect play, and sarries had the ball in wasps 22, ever ever ever be more than a simple penalty? i will take 1 actual example. ever. and will concede the point.

Only example I can think of is a match between Clermont and Ulster in the old hcup.  Nathan Hines (as saint of man in every match he ever played in) managed to hold onto 3 Ulster players at a breakdown as Clermont were 5m from the Ulster try line.  I think at the time he got a yellow card and penalty against him.  That really was the exception though and Hines got done because (1) he had a reputation for playing at the edge of the rules and (2) it was so bleeding obvious it bordered on ridiculous.

If the player wasn't being held then he could take up the first defender position, and the entire line moves out one. It's particularly effective where a team is trying to play an expansive game. So the holding might happen at one side of the field but could create 5 yards of space in a defensive line at the other side of the field.

All teams play in that grey area of the rules, it's a case of how far towards the black they go.  You can't react like that though, referees in every sport are ten times more likely to spot the reaction rather than the instigation of an incident.

I remember that Hines YC, used his two arms and a leg to hold down three Ulster players and then had this hangdog puppy eyes look when he given the bin. Was hilarious. Will forgive Hines anything, greatest tragedy to hit Leinster was when we were forced by the IRFU not to renew his contract

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

Post by thebandwagonsociety on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 7:28 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
Fanster wrote:
quinsforever wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:He's got the yellow for holding. It was noticed because he got kicked in the shoulder. Subtle difference but overall not every holding on offence is going to end in a yellow as refs won't see them all and won't enforce it consistantly.
but how can holding, when it didnt affect play, and sarries had the ball in wasps 22, ever ever ever be more than a simple penalty? i will take 1 actual example. ever. and will concede the point.

You don't understand the context of the sporting environment, Saracens contribution to the way of playing non rugby, and the blight this is becoming on the sport.

All those thousands of Sarries fans didn't buy tickets to see Sarries players holding Wasps players for 80 minutes lol

Seriously though the competition is blighted with poor crowds, uninteresting games, and from what I've heard poor TV viewing figures (subscription TV), the EPCR have to make games more interesting, this is their first step.

They are introducing a multi ball option from 60 min next season if less than 30 points has been scored by each team. An additional 5 balls will be brought onto the field to ensure defences are stretched more.

Reminds me of the future version of baseball on Futurama.

Would be brilliant to see it happen once. However can you imagine all the knock-ons resulting in scrums and resets! It's bad enough have everyone concentrating on catching one ball, have half a dozen out there!

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

Post by SecretFly on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 9:31 pm

Oh I don't know... some of those forwards are well used to concentrating on more than one ball.

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

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