Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

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Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by LondonTiger on Wed 11 May 2016, 10:56 am

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Racing 92 v Saracens
14 May 2016
KO: 17:45 local (16:45 BST)
Grand Stade de Lyon

TV: FR2, beIN Sports, BT Sport, Sky Sports

Officials
Referee - Nigel Owens
Touch Judge 1 - George Clancy
Touch Judge 2 - Leighton Hodges
TMO - Simon McDowell
Citing Commissioner - Murray White

Form

07/05/16 Worcester 19 Saracens 43
01/05/16 Saracens 23 Newcastle 14
23/04/16 Saracens 24 Wasps 17
16/04/16 Saracens 22 Harlequins 12
09/04/16 Saracens 29 Northampton 20


07/05/16 Brive 33 Racing 27
01/05/16 Racing 26 Clermont 20
24/04/16 Leicester 16 Racing 19

17/04/16 Toulouse 14 Racing 3
10/04/16 Racing 19 Toulon 16


Teams

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. Dimitri Szarzewski, 3. Ben Tameifuna, 4. Luke Charteris, 5. Francois van der Merwe, 6. Wenceslas Lauret, 7. Bernard Le Roux, 8. Chris Masoe
16. Virgile Lacombe, 17. Khatchik Vartanov, 18. Luc Ducalcon, 19. Manuel Carizza, 20. Antonie Claassen, 21. Mike Phillips, 22. Remi Tales, 23. Henry Chavancy

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. Jamie George, 17. Richard Barrington, 18. Juan Figallo, 19. Jim Hamilton, 20. Jackson Wray, 21. Ben Spencer, 22. Charlie Hodgson, 23. Marcelo Bosch


Last edited by LondonTiger on Fri 13 May 2016, 12:17 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by nathan on Sat 14 May 2016, 6:21 pm

Racing players dipping into tackles for some reason

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 14 May 2016, 6:24 pm

I can't see Racing clawing their way back. So, early congratulations to Sarries, it's been long overdue.

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by nathan on Sat 14 May 2016, 6:25 pm

Goode not having the best of games

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 14 May 2016, 6:30 pm

Kruis is going to be one of the great locks in world rugby, he's great at everything he does. Itoje gets more plaudits but I think he's slightly inferior. Why the English don't talk up Kruis and waste their time talking up Launchbury I really don't know.

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by lostinwales on Sat 14 May 2016, 6:37 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Kruis is going to be one of the great locks in world rugby, he's great at everything he does. Itoje gets more plaudits but I think he's slightly inferior. Why the English don't talk up Kruis and waste their time talking up Launchbury I really don't know.

Because in previous years Launchbury has been a lot better. But then Launchbury seems to be always injured or coming back from injury and has had issues with form, while Kruis has upped his game (and then some).

Itoje is a different case. He's very visible for obvious reasons, he does a lot of very good things, and has wisdom beyond his years. He's a baby in lock years but doesn't play like one.


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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by nathan on Sat 14 May 2016, 6:39 pm

Congratulations sarries

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 14 May 2016, 6:39 pm

That's true about Itoje LOW, I can't see him getting much better (he doesn't need to) but if he does then that would be good news for you. I just get the impression Kruis is a bit undervalued.

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by eirebilly on Sat 14 May 2016, 6:40 pm

Well done Sarries, Farrell and Wigglesworth were amazing today.

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by whocares on Sat 14 May 2016, 6:41 pm

Well done Saracens . 1st team to win this cup staying undefeated.

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by quinsforever on Sat 14 May 2016, 6:43 pm

Well deserved Sarries. Best team in England and Europe this year.

Fair play to them. And so pleased that their best players are EQP.

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by kingelderfield on Sat 14 May 2016, 6:47 pm

Congratulations Saracens.

When is it EJ names Itoje the national captain?

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by stub on Sat 14 May 2016, 6:49 pm

Well played Saracens - looked in control pretty much the whole match to me. Great result!

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by lostinwales on Sat 14 May 2016, 6:56 pm

the core of the Saracens team is pretty young as well as EQ. They are going to be tough to beat for a few more seasons

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by Rugby Fan on Sat 14 May 2016, 7:04 pm

Who was Man of the Match? Itoje again?

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by Cumbrian on Sat 14 May 2016, 7:09 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:That's true about Itoje LOW, I can't see him getting much better (he doesn't need to) but if he does then that would be good news for you. I just get the impression Kruis is a bit undervalued.

You can't see a 21 year old lock getting any better? I think we'll need a whip round for a white cane and a golden retriever! Very Happy

He will add nous and experience to what he has got at the moment plus he will naturally put on bulk and muscle that will help him in the tight exchanges.

Kruis is very good and will be a mainstay of England's pack for years but Itoje really is something special. It might be a bit hyperbolic but I honestly believe that Itoje will be the best lock forward in the world within two years. His reading of the game is amazing.

For the record Launchbury is a very, very good player too and once he is fully fit and firing will push the other two very hard. We're in such a good place for young locks at the moment, such a difference from a few years ago.

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by stub on Sat 14 May 2016, 7:09 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:Who was Man of the Match? Itoje again?

Yep, Itoje. Very Happy

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by George Carlin on Sat 14 May 2016, 9:10 pm

Well done to Sarries - whatever you think about how the team came together, they are a tight, hard bunch of bastards to beat. That's professional rugby.

Delighted to see Duncan Taylor is so deeply embedded in that team too - brings with it a winning mentality. 

Can you imagine Maro Itoje (21) and Jonny Gray (just turned 22) as a second row combination? Not farking bad.

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by Rory_Gallagher on Sat 14 May 2016, 10:09 pm

They are both pretty good players. But the truth is, Iain Henderson is better. Wink

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by Bone Collector on Sat 14 May 2016, 10:31 pm

Well done Sarries! Splendid work. I'm so proud of you. The boys did what they needed to do in poor conditions. Let's really upset the haters and do the double.

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by Pot Hale on Sat 14 May 2016, 11:04 pm

Well done to Mark McCall too.  Good to see a NH coach helping to bring home the bacon.

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by lostinwales on Sun 15 May 2016, 9:30 pm

stub wrote:
Rugby Fan wrote:Who was Man of the Match? Itoje again?

Yep, Itoje. Very Happy

Guess who got voted european player of the year....

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by stub on Sun 15 May 2016, 9:33 pm

lostinwales wrote:
stub wrote:
Rugby Fan wrote:Who was Man of the Match? Itoje again?

Yep, Itoje. Very Happy

Guess who got voted european player of the year....

Good choice!

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by George Carlin on Mon 16 May 2016, 8:46 am

I see that it didn't take long for Matt Dawson to pronounce Kruis and Itoje as the best lock combination in world rugby.

That must have come as a bit of a shock to Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock.

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by beshocked on Mon 16 May 2016, 9:18 am

Not a classic game of rugby, conditions were awful though.

Could see the difference in experience and composure. I think the stats showed that Racing Metro knocked on 19 times compared to Saracens 10.

Saracens also had won 4/5 vs Racing before this game - 2 in Paris, once in Nantes and once in Brussells! This win makes it a 5th effectively away from home.

Unfortunate for Racing that their star half backs were effectively crocked. Carter shouldn't have started.

Wigglesworth in contrast played to his strengths, his box kicking is IMO the best in England. Farrell had one of those days with the boot he can - kicking everything, also he kept calm.

Saracens discipline was also pleasing, no YCs, no stupid play, even Farrell's tackle he got pinged for I thought was unlucky, especially as he got taken out later on but that went unpunished.

Ashton's kick chase was also very nice, hitting the man at the right time. Didn't do any stupid tackles either.

Saracens have shown that once they get in front they are hard to reel in and Racing Metro couldn't handle the Saracens physicality.

If you can match the big French sides up front then they run out of ideas.

Saracens themselves still need to find a bit more finesse in attack for situations when opposition gain parity with them in the forwards but it's up to the opposition to force that change.

With Schalk Burger being a new signing next season, you feel that the pack won't get weaker as long as key men stay fit!

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon 16 May 2016, 9:19 am

George Carlin wrote:I see that it didn't take long for Matt Dawson to pronounce Kruis and Itoje as the best lock combination in world rugby.

That must have come as a bit of a shock to Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock.

laughing

It was very Welsh of Dawson.

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon 16 May 2016, 9:23 am

beshocked wrote:Wigglesworth in contrast played to his strengths, his box kicking is IMO the best in England. Farrell had one of those days with the boot he can - kicking everything, also he kept calm.

Agree with this. Conditions were ideal for Wigglesworth, who is one of the best tactical kicking 9s on the circuit. I'm not a big fan of his in dry and fast conditions, he's a bit boring for my tastes, but on a mucky pitch in tricky conditions then his cautious and considered style of play really comes into its own.

Very well played Sarries. I have huge doubts as to the long term financial viability of the Sarries project, but they are getting an awful lot right on the pitch.

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by LondonTiger on Mon 16 May 2016, 9:25 am

beshocked wrote:
Wigglesworth in contrast played to his strengths, his box kicking is IMO the best in England.

I am sorry but Wigglesworth was probably the second worst Saracen on the pitch. His godawful, slow and loopy passing kept putting Farrell under pressure. Farrell coped with that amazingly well, but with better service Sarries would have romped home. Passing from English scrum halfs, as demonstrated in recent weeks by Care, Dickson, Simpson and Youngs is not great - yet Wiggy made all four of those look like experts in the art.

The one sensible thing Wiggy did was to stop passing and only kick.

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by beshocked on Mon 16 May 2016, 9:42 am

Thank you FES.

Londontiger Wigglesworth's passing wasn't great I agree but he used his box kicking effectively.

You are right the level of passing on English scrum halves is very poor at the moment IMO.

I wouldn't consider Wigglesworth for England again, passing isn't snappy enough. Not quick enough either.

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by LondonTiger on Mon 16 May 2016, 10:17 am

Wiggy made the best of what he has, just felt he was a hindrance to a Saracens team that looked much stronger than their opposition who offered no more than they had against us - ie physicality and defence.

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by beshocked on Mon 16 May 2016, 10:43 am

Londontiger true perhaps but sometimes, especially in a final, you do what you can to win.The conditions were poor, wasn't really suitable for running rugby. If the sun is out and the ground is dry, I would be more happy to see taking a few more risks with ball in hand but playing conditions is important of course.

Sure it's not want the neutrals want to see but have to be streetwise.

I agree Racing were limited but if you can keep ahead of the opposition why change a winning gameplan?



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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 16 May 2016, 10:53 am

funnyExiledScot wrote:
George Carlin wrote:I see that it didn't take long for Matt Dawson to pronounce Kruis and Itoje as the best lock combination in world rugby.

That must have come as a bit of a shock to Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock.

laughing

It was very Welsh of Dawson.

Speaking of Welsh it sounds as if Matt Dawson has never seen AWJ and Charteris play!

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by beshocked on Mon 16 May 2016, 11:00 am

mikey dragon whilst I personally wouldn't call Itoje-Kruis world class or best in the world, far too soon but best 2nd row combo in Europe on current form I think would be a fair comment of where Itoje-Kruis are at the moment. GS winning 2nd row and now European Champions Cup winning 2nd row.

Outplayed the Welsh 2nd row at Twickenham. Doesn't mean they will next time but they are doing well.

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by lostinwales on Mon 16 May 2016, 11:01 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
George Carlin wrote:I see that it didn't take long for Matt Dawson to pronounce Kruis and Itoje as the best lock combination in world rugby.

That must have come as a bit of a shock to Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock.

laughing

It was very Welsh of Dawson.

Speaking of Welsh it sounds as if Matt Dawson has never seen AWJ and Charteris play!

who? Wink

Charteris was playing at the weekend....

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon 16 May 2016, 11:28 am

beshocked wrote:mikey dragon whilst I personally wouldn't call Itoje-Kruis world class or best in the world, far too soon but best 2nd row combo in Europe on current form I think would be a fair comment of where Itoje-Kruis are at the moment. GS winning 2nd row and now European Champions Cup winning 2nd row.

Outplayed the Welsh 2nd row at Twickenham. Doesn't mean they will next time but they are doing well.

Careful there. No-one ever actually "outplays" a Welsh 2nd row featuring AWJ, you merely "hold you own", and even then only because the World Classness of AWJ's partner temporarily dipped, probably because of the pressure of standing next to the great deity himself. Having proven everything these is to prove as a player and a man, it's also likely that AWJ let Itoje hold his own that day, just as a demonstration that AWJ has a generosity of spirit none can match. He could have destroyed Itoje, but was thinking longer term ahead to the Lions, and didn't want to crush the young man's confidence.

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by beshocked on Mon 16 May 2016, 11:40 am

FES true, for the greater good and all that. OK

Though to be fair I am pretty bias towards Itoje so I don't exactly hold the moral high ground.

I think Itoje has been great but I am worried that the likes of Dawson and Barnes are getting a little carried away. He's not world class yet. GS,AP and Rugby Champions Cup Medal - already is pretty impressive though! I know he didn't do it on his own but that's not bad for a 21 year old.

Oh and I think Charteris and AWJ are both very good players but sometimes it's your day, sometimes it isn't.

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon 16 May 2016, 11:46 am

Barnes always gets carried away with the next bright thing, it's one of his weaknesses as a pundit.

Itoje has had a great season, no question. I'm keen to see whether it can be sustained next season, as teams become more aware of his threat on opposition line-out ball and around the rucks/breakdown. No reason to believe he won't rise to the challenge, but there's recent history around English locks being overhyped only the struggle to meet those unrealistic expectations (Attwood, Lawes and Launchbury to name three).

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by beshocked on Mon 16 May 2016, 12:06 pm

FES teams should be aware of it by now. It's not as if Itoje has come out of nowhere this season, he made the Saxons in January last year, he won the AP last season, made the wider 50 EPS squad for the RWC though was let go by Lancaster, he's just been rising.

If you think of his rise so far it's pretty immense.

2014 - U20s RWC winning captain.
2015 - makes the Saxons, captains the LV Cup winning team, wins the AP as a starter. Makes the 50 EPS wider squad
2016 - wins his first international MOM award,wins GS with England, wins AP young player of the year award, wins European champions cup, wins European player of the year award.

Ridiculous when you think about it.

Things he needs to cross off -

Captain England
Win the RWC
Win a Lions tour

Of course those aren't easy but can he do it? Maybe...

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon 16 May 2016, 12:15 pm

Presumably he'd want to be Sarries captain before being thought of for the England job. Next on his radar should be locking down the England starting spot in the Summer/AIs/6 Nations and making the Lions squad - and the Lions XV from there.

All very much achievable given his skillset, but plenty before him have struggled with their second full season. I think what really helps him is his partnership with Kruis, and the fact that they are picked both for Sarries and England as a combination. Should Jamie George find favour with Eddie Jones at some point then that will also be useful.

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 16 May 2016, 12:24 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:
beshocked wrote:mikey dragon whilst I personally wouldn't call Itoje-Kruis world class or best in the world, far too soon but best 2nd row combo in Europe on current form I think would be a fair comment of where Itoje-Kruis are at the moment. GS winning 2nd row and now European Champions Cup winning 2nd row.

Outplayed the Welsh 2nd row at Twickenham. Doesn't mean they will next time but they are doing well.

Careful there. No-one ever actually "outplays" a Welsh 2nd row featuring AWJ, you merely "hold you own", and even then only because the World Classness of AWJ's partner temporarily dipped, probably because of the pressure of standing next to the great deity himself. Having proven everything these is to prove as a player and a man, it's also likely that AWJ let Itoje hold his own that day, just as a demonstration that AWJ has a generosity of spirit none can match. He could have destroyed Itoje, but was thinking longer term ahead to the Lions, and didn't want to crush the young man's confidence.

This is spot on. However I think I should correct the two of in saying that the starting lock combo that day was AWJ and Davies, and eventually AWJ went off injured. No arguments about Itoje-Kruis being the best in that tournament though, but FES has already highlighted why.

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by beshocked on Mon 16 May 2016, 12:25 pm

FES I don't think it will be long before he's Saracens captain but then again I think there will be an element of not putting too much pressure on him.

Technically next season would be his 3rd season in the top flight. Yes I know others have struggled before but I think he's more level headed than let's say Attwood or Lawes.

You are right - Kruis and Itoje have helped propel each other. They are competition for each other but also team mates.

Having Borthwick and Gustard for England would have helped too.

I hope Launchbury will rise to the challenge and when he's fully fit be another strong option in the 2nd row.

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon 16 May 2016, 12:34 pm

Borthwick certainly has the makings of a great mentor and coach for Itoje. Borthwick always had a great rugby brain, he just never had the physical prowess to fully implement what he wanted to do. Itoje has that certainly, and is already an old head on young shoulders.

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by beshocked on Mon 16 May 2016, 12:59 pm

Completely agree. That's what let Borthwick down, known as the professor of the lineout but you're right. Physically Borthwick struggled, notably to get over the gain line or impose himself on the opposition bar the lineout.

Some players have the attributes needed but not the rugby brain, some have the rugby brain but not the attributes needed.

Blending both is not easy. Especially at international level.

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon 16 May 2016, 1:57 pm

beshocked wrote:Completely agree. That's what let Borthwick down, known as the professor of the lineout but you're right. Physically Borthwick struggled, notably to get over the gain line or impose himself on the opposition bar the lineout.

Some players have the attributes needed but not the rugby brain, some have the rugby brain but not the attributes needed.

Blending both is not easy. Especially at international level.

I read this and I immediately thought of James Haskell!!

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by beshocked on Mon 16 May 2016, 2:12 pm

Indeed Haskell is one - if you had the body of Haskell and the brain of Easter you would have a immense no 8.

Not the only one. I feel the same about the likes of Twelvetrees and May.

Alex Goode has the rugby brain but the big question mark is does have he the attributes at international level?

Another was Easter. Great rugby brain but not the athleticism.

Frustating when players just don't do the basics.

As Londontiger mentioned eariler England 9s seem to have a difficulty doing the simple job of passing the ball crisply.

When Phillips came on for Machenaud in the final, I was pleased. One of the worst passers of the ball is Phillips.

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon 16 May 2016, 2:22 pm

For me Goode just lacks the top speed gas. His rugby brain is exceptional, he has great handling skills and he has the footwork to get himself into great positions and make ground, but when the space opens up and you look to your fullback to go through the gears, Goode just falls short when compared to the fullbacks in the teams England are looking to topple: Folau, Smith and Le Roux.

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by Jimpy on Mon 16 May 2016, 2:47 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
George Carlin wrote:I see that it didn't take long for Matt Dawson to pronounce Kruis and Itoje as the best lock combination in world rugby.

That must have come as a bit of a shock to Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock.

laughing

It was very Welsh of Dawson.

Speaking of Welsh it sounds as if Matt Dawson has never seen AWJ and Charteris play!

AWJ?

PMSL!

Oh my aching sides

picard

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

Post by thebandwagonsociety on Mon 16 May 2016, 3:14 pm

Congratulations to Saracens. Great achievement to go undefeated through the full competition and won tricky fixtures on the road.

The old saying that you have to lose one to win one kind of rung through. Having the experience of Toulon in Cardiff I think stood to them so that the occasion didn't get too big for some of the younger heads.

Conditions kind of stopped it being the free flowing game it could have been.

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Re: Champions Cup Final - Saracens vs Racing 92, 14 May

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