Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

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Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Griff on Tue 20 Jun 2017, 12:25 pm

First topic message reminder :

Too early?!  Never mind.

So, big changes are afoot at Dave Parade.  There's been loads of arguments about the best way forward, the pros and cons of regional v club rugby, and I'm sure there'll be many more to come.  But what's done is done and, for now, we have a pro team at Dave Parade to support next year.  A few weeks ago even that was in jeopardy.  So moving forward...

Ownership:
So the WRU has taken over the reigns.  I'll add updates here as and when we know them, but the formal split from Newport RFC should mean 'cleaner' or more straightforward to understand revenue streams.  

Pitch:
A new one is being laid as we speak.  This original pitch has been part and parcel of the problems at RP for a number of years.  A BBC report showed it to be up there as the most used pitch pro pitch in the UK.  Something had to be done.  A fully synthetic pitch was mooted and preferred by some, a al Blues, Saracens, Glasgow, et al.  However, FA rules state that football clubs cannot play on these surfaces (probably since the AstroTurf days of Luton Town, etc.).  So it looks like a compromise has been agreed with a 4g semi-synthetic pitch, like those used by many football clubs, Swansea City/Ospreys, Millennium Stadium, Aviva Stadium, Twickenham, Murrayfield, Cardiff City stadium, etc.  A weave of synthetic fibres and real grass meaning it's easier to maintain, less prone to weather damage, but still sort of like the real thing.  This will be a real move forward and should improve the product on the field.  A bit.

Personnel:
New coach - Huw Jackman.  Comes with a good reputation for hard work and attacking rugby.  Good stuff.
Gavin Henson - I'm happy with this.  Despite his knockers, so to speak, he is still a classy club player and performed well in the English Prem with Bristol, when not injured.  Which is the crux of the issue.  Hopefully we can keep him fit for an extended run of games.
Zane Kirchner - On paper a quality player but as with a lot of good players, when they are in the twighlight of their careers and join a 'lesser' club more often than not they do not perform as expected.  Let's hope he is an exception to the rule.  Did Jackman and Kirchner play together at Leinster?


Transfers In:

Bernard 'No Pudding' Jackman - coach
Gavin Henson
Zane Kirchner

Transfers Out:
Shaun Knight
Nick Crosswell
Tom Prydie
Geraint Rhys Jones
Darren Harris
Craig Mitchell


New Badge:



Last edited by Griff on Fri 01 Sep 2017, 2:19 pm; edited 4 times in total

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Griff on Fri 21 Jul 2017, 9:53 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:Okay. Well I've seen worse.

That's because you've seen Mike Hercus!

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by RiscaGame on Fri 21 Jul 2017, 10:13 pm

munkian wrote:I think if he wasn't the coach's Son there would have been a lot less criticism of him.

I'm not convinced he would've even played for Ebbw, without a boost from who his dad was. It's all well and good Kingsley acting like he wanted his sons to make their own way, when he tried his hardest to bump them up. Particularly Dorian.

It speaks volumes that he is available to be signed and nobody has taken him. If he makes it under Jackman, I'll eat my words but I don't see him being as protected now as he has been. Obvious examples would be hardly playing with Luc Jones or not being thrown to the Lions like Tovey was v Pau away.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 24 Jul 2017, 10:57 am

I always thought it was a bit fishy that Dorian got a Dragons contract and Ethan Davies was let go, when Ethan Davies was playing for Wales under-20s at the time (and Dorian wasn't).

I remember he (Davies) tweeted something implying nepotism at the time - which probably didn't help his cause....

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 24 Jul 2017, 11:01 am

Good example of favoritism yeah, but Davies wasn't any good either.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 24 Jul 2017, 11:36 am

Well he was good enough to play for the under-20s.

As was Angus Whistle

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 24 Jul 2017, 11:38 am

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:Well he was good enough to play for the under-20s.

Yeah, too bad he wasn't good enough at this level. Debatable if he was good enough for the U20s as I thought he was poor. AOB, Sam Davies are some others to have looked poor or average at that level and still haven't ironed out the weaknesses. The lack of 10s coming through in Wales is a bit of a concern for me actually.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by RiscaGame on Mon 24 Jul 2017, 1:43 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:Well he was good enough to play for the under-20s.

As was Angus Whistle

laughing

It's a shame Arwel Robson hasn't been given more of a chance, particularly when Jones and Macleod were injured.

That said the best performing ten playing for a "Gwent" team is probably Powell at Bedwas, isn't it? Wink

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by SirBurger on Tue 25 Jul 2017, 4:03 pm

I didn't realise Gerard Ellis had joined you guys.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by munkian on Tue 25 Jul 2017, 4:14 pm

SirBurger wrote:I didn't realise Gerard Ellis had joined you guys.

Neither had I - when did that happen ?
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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by SirBurger on Tue 25 Jul 2017, 5:08 pm

It is on his twitter bio.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by RiscaGame on Tue 25 Jul 2017, 6:10 pm

Interesting. Dragons are quite slow to announce things like that though. Generally the last to release any news.

Can't pretend to have heard of him before to be honest. Not sure where he will fit in either IF Dee remains fit, though it does fit within our new role of bringing home exiled Welsh players.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by SirBurger on Tue 25 Jul 2017, 6:18 pm

He is a hooker/back row who has masses of potential. We probably messed him around a bit too much between the two positions, but he is a formidable ball-carrier and could still develop into a good back row player. Unfortunately, his basics at hooker leave a lot to be desired and I think we lost patience with him in that respect. Hope he goes well as seems like a good lad.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 26 Jul 2017, 7:56 am

RiscaGame wrote:That said the best performing ten playing for a "Gwent" team is probably Powell at Bedwas, isn't it? Wink

Signing for Merthyr he is. OK

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Griff on Wed 26 Jul 2017, 8:57 am

SirBurger wrote:He is a hooker/back row who has masses of potential. We probably messed him around a bit too much between the two positions, but he is a formidable ball-carrier and could still develop into a good back row player. Unfortunately, his basics at hooker leave a lot to be desired and I think we lost patience with him in that respect. Hope he goes well as seems like a good lad.


Read that his Dad is Welsh. Could be that Paul Turner (employed as a head of Welsh exiles programme - so a talent scout of sorts) has influenced this move. Kinsgley Jones, ex-Dragons head honcho, is or has taken over this role so maybe that was something to do with it too?

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by munkian on Wed 26 Jul 2017, 9:13 am

Glad to see the Dragon's media and PR department is as on point as ever...


THE DRAGONS have signed a pair of hookers after former Wales front rower Rhys Thomas decided to hang up his boots to pursue his coaching career with the academy.

The Rodney Parade side have snapped up Welsh-qualified Gerard Ellis from London Irish and Liam Belcher from Cardiff Blues who have both been training at Ystrad Mynach under the watchful eye of new boss Bernard Jackman.

The pair will tussle with Elliot Dee and Rhys Buckley for the number 2 jersey with Thomas taking on an academy role at the end of an illustrious career that saw him win 27 caps.

http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/sport/dragons/15432781.Dragons_snap_up_two_hookers_as_former_Wales_ace_Thomas_pursues_coaching_career/?ref=eb

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 26 Jul 2017, 9:20 am

Glad TRT is far away from the starting team, that's good news. Belcher looked good at U20 level and don't really know anything about Ellis.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by RiscaGame on Wed 26 Jul 2017, 9:28 am

It's a bit of a shame that no fuss has been made of TRT leaving at the very least Munk. He's an ex captain. Just goes to show how good Dragons are at releasing info.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by munkian on Wed 26 Jul 2017, 9:31 am

RiscaGame wrote:It's a bit of a shame that no fuss has been made of TRT leaving at the very least Munk. He's an ex captain. Just goes to show how good Dragons are at releasing info.

Yupp, crap isn't it ?

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 26 Jul 2017, 10:22 am

Still nothing on the BBC website, haven't checked Twitter to know if their social media pages have covered it, but I know they're also slow on that front.

Anyway, latest rumour; Halfpenny to Dragons Whistle

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Wed 26 Jul 2017, 10:58 am

I saw a photo of that Ellis training with the Barrel and didn't know who he was. Good to find out eventually!

I'm sure I saw Belcher playing for Pontypridd last season.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 26 Jul 2017, 1:16 pm

There's now a little write-up on the BBC regarding TRT. Also, the recently released Craig Mitchell got injured during training with Bath. He must have been on a trial there or something, but is expected to be out for 6 months with this recent crop. He possibly has the worst luck with injuries ever but I guess that's why we released him.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by RiscaGame on Wed 26 Jul 2017, 5:20 pm

Quite contradictory reports. Dragons talk as if he has retired (as did that report), but I just read a report on SWA saying he could still play on.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 26 Jul 2017, 6:17 pm

Surely his playing time will be in the PSXV at 35 years of age.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Stone Motif on Wed 26 Jul 2017, 9:38 pm

RiscaGame wrote:It's a bit of a shame that no fuss has been made of TRT leaving at the very least Munk. He's an ex captain. Just goes to show how good Dragons are at releasing info.

This. Good servant imo. Would we have preferred Buckles and Harris getting more game time?
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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by PhilBB on Thu 27 Jul 2017, 4:33 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Glad TRT is far away from the starting team, that's good news. Belcher looked good at U20 level and don't really know anything about Ellis.

Belcher is too small to be a top class professional hooker.
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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by GavinDragon on Thu 27 Jul 2017, 5:47 pm

Think TRT was quite poor at times last season. His fitness fell off the cliff.

Dee and Buckley to tussle for starting berth.

Liam Belcher at 5'9 and 16 stone is on the short and light side, but then Gareth Williams, another Blues hooker, was shorter and played internationally (granted not very well), so I don't think it is an awful signing.

That being said, we have Ellis Shipp, the current 20's hooker, so if the region rate him I hope Belcher isn't on a long term deal.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Stone Motif on Thu 27 Jul 2017, 5:48 pm

So, anyone else hearing 'hotel' on the cabbage patch?
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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by GavinDragon on Thu 27 Jul 2017, 5:50 pm

Nope. Not yet anyway. I have heard it has to be kept for leisure activities so a new leisure centre could go there eventually.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Griff on Thu 27 Jul 2017, 5:55 pm

Stone Motif wrote:So, anyone else hearing 'hotel' on the cabbage patch?

Haven't heard it but assumed something like that would happen. The plan was always for the WRU to keep the stadium going and refurb it but to sell off the clubhouse and surrounding land (cabbage patch, squash club, etc), or at least that's how I understood it to be. If not a hotel then I imagined it would be houses, offices, a supermarket, etc. One of those. 

Hopefully they'll build some sort of bar/clubhouse into the grounds and stands of RP now. Just hope it's decent! Can't be much worse than Rodney Hall, although that's a bit unfair as even though I wasn't a fan I've had some good times in their over the years.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 27 Jul 2017, 7:11 pm

I heard the stadium is already renamed, albeit the source isn't a bright kid. 'Gwent Staidum.'

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by munkian on Fri 28 Jul 2017, 8:40 am

There has been talk of flats/shops etc there for around 10 years but the local residents kept blocking it. Will that change now ?

The old club house was a Poopie hole no matter how sentimental people get about it.
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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Stone Motif on Fri 28 Jul 2017, 9:19 am

Well there's a massive convention centre opening just up the road, that's quite a few thousand short of bed spaces if the Matthews clan PR engine is to believed...
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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 28 Jul 2017, 10:31 am

munkian wrote:There has been talk of flats/shops etc there for around 10 years but the local residents kept blocking it. Will that change now ?

The problem with putting shops there is the parking. I park the other side of Corporation Road and walk to the ground, which is fine when you're going to watch a rugby match, but not ideal when you're lugging a load of shopping.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Griff on Fri 28 Jul 2017, 10:57 am

Maybe a hotel is more attractive for residents than flats/shops/houses? Could a hotel increase house prices in the local area? So less objection? I have no idea, just thinking out loud.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by PhilBB on Fri 28 Jul 2017, 11:46 am

The new owners are seeking quotes for refurbishing the clubhouse end.
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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Griff on Fri 28 Jul 2017, 11:58 am

PhilBB wrote:The new owners are seeking quotes for refurbishing the clubhouse end.

I see no point in keeping the clubhouse end if the bit in between it and the stadium will be owned by someone else. May as well make the stadium self contained (it already has a function room, shop and bar in the new stand) with access from Corpa Road (as there is currently) and on the other side round the back of the Hazell Stand (again, as there is currently). Just need to add a clubhouse of some kind to the current stadium, e.g. on the North Terrace.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Stone Motif on Fri 28 Jul 2017, 12:30 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
munkian wrote:There has been talk of flats/shops etc there for around 10 years but the local residents kept blocking it. Will that change now ?

The problem with putting shops there is the parking. I park the other side of Corporation Road and walk to the ground, which is fine when you're going to watch a rugby match, but not ideal when you're lugging a load of shopping.

You wouldn't get planning for another supermarket in Newport it's saturated.
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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Stone Motif on Fri 28 Jul 2017, 12:31 pm

Griff wrote:
PhilBB wrote:The new owners are seeking quotes for refurbishing the clubhouse end.

I see no point in keeping the clubhouse end if the bit in between it and the stadium will be owned by someone else.  May as well make the stadium self contained (it already has a function room, shop and bar in the new stand) with access from Corpa Road (as there is currently) and on the other side round the back of the Hazell Stand (again, as there is currently).  Just need to add a clubhouse of some kind to the current stadium, e.g. on the North Terrace.

Yep much more sensible, the club house sterilises the majority of the land they've got to play with.
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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Stone Motif on Fri 28 Jul 2017, 12:33 pm

Griff wrote:Maybe a hotel is more attractive for residents than flats/shops/houses?  Could a hotel increase house prices in the local area?  So less objection?  I have no idea, just thinking out loud.

The objections last time were on the massing but he student village got consent despite the residents kicking off. Not sure you'd get a similar consent now unless the new build was situated as far back from the houses neighbouring DP to prevent any loss of amenity.
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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by munkian on Fri 28 Jul 2017, 1:06 pm



Some work has already started



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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 28 Jul 2017, 2:03 pm

Comptons are based in Ferndale.

SUFTMORCT!

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Griff on Fri 28 Jul 2017, 2:04 pm

Good pics Munkian! Behind the South stand/media centre/corporate box side. New coroporate boxes I wonder, or a whole new clubhouse and stand? Or both perhaps.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Griff on Fri 28 Jul 2017, 2:08 pm

I always thought they could do with 'joining the dots' of RP.  As it stands the stadium seems to have 4 completely separate sides!  I'm not sure whether it's actually possible to get from one side to the next - I.e. enter the Bisley stand from the North Terrace, or enter the south stand area from the Hazell, etc.  Would be nice to finish off the corners so that it was more enclosed, joined up and not just 4 mismatched 'sides' of a rectangle!  Although I'm sure a local resident would complain that it stops their free view of the games through one of the corners!

Edit: Munkian's top picture above is a perfect example of that. The right hand corner of the Hazell Stand and the left hand corner of the South Stand/Corporate boxes. Completely different types of buildings, no join, different materials! All a bit higgledy piggledy.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by munkian on Fri 28 Jul 2017, 2:46 pm

Griff wrote:I always thought they could do with 'joining the dots' of RP.  As it stands the stadium seems to have 4 completely separate sides!  I'm not sure whether it's actually possible to get from one side to the next - I.e. enter the Bisley stand from the North Terrace, or enter the south stand area from the Hazell, etc.  Would be nice to finish off the corners so that it was more enclosed, joined up and not just 4 mismatched 'sides' of a rectangle!  Although I'm sure a local resident would complain that it stops their free view of the games through one of the corners!

Edit: Munkian's top picture above is a perfect example of that.  The right hand corner of the Hazell Stand and the left hand corner of the South Stand/Corporate boxes.  Completely different types of buildings, no join, different materials!  All a bit higgledy piggledy.  

I pinched the pics of the Dragon's supporters page on FB.

Apparently some of the South Stand is pretty much rotten. You can technically get from the Bisely to the North Terrace to the Hazel if the security guys aren't being jobsworths with the gate to the Bisley.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Stone Motif on Sat 29 Jul 2017, 9:18 am

Stone Motif wrote:
Griff wrote:
PhilBB wrote:The new owners are seeking quotes for refurbishing the clubhouse end.

I see no point in keeping the clubhouse end if the bit in between it and the stadium will be owned by someone else.  May as well make the stadium self contained (it already has a function room, shop and bar in the new stand) with access from Corpa Road (as there is currently) and on the other side round the back of the Hazell Stand (again, as there is currently).  Just need to add a clubhouse of some kind to the current stadium, e.g. on the North Terrace.

Yep much more sensible, the club house sterilises the majority of the land they've got to play with.

I meant the other club house, Rodney Hall etc. Get that shizzle down and you can make some money...
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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by dragon4life on Thu 03 Aug 2017, 6:44 pm

Hendre Marnitz Signed up as new defence coach

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by RiscaGame on Fri 04 Aug 2017, 8:10 am

Great news this. Comes with a bit of pedigree compared to what we normally get and despite that, it's good to have an out and out defence coach finally.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 04 Aug 2017, 10:25 am

It's pitiful that we didn't have a dedicated defence coach for so long, and I think I'm right in saying that we didn't have a dedicated backs coach or forwards coach at various times, so yes, having a defence coach at all is something, and he seems to have a decent pedigree (we were never going to have the best in the business, after all).

I agree with what he says here:

'My first impressions are that we have a young exciting group of players who are hungry to learn and are hard-working.'

And now those players will be going into battle with fewer disadvantages than before.


http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/sport/dragons/15452916.Dragons_appoint_South_African_defence_coach/

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by munkian on Fri 04 Aug 2017, 4:09 pm

New sponsor too - Monmouthshire Building Society, better than Dildotyres anyway
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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by RiscaGame on Fri 04 Aug 2017, 8:15 pm

Leinster at home first up then.
Be an interesting comparison to see how far we've come, especially after that debacle last season.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

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