'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

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'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Griff on Tue Jun 20, 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:



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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by mikey_dragon on Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:38 am

So an under-strength Leinster team first up, albeit a very good Leinster team. We don't ever seem to get favourable opening fixtures but this is a good time as ever to get one over on them. Hopefully Jackman has the team performing by then; our first pre-season is this weekend right?

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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by munkian on Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:06 am

Festive Derbies

THE Dragons will enjoy a pair of home festive derbies in the revamped Guinness PRO14.

Bernard Jackman’s men will entertain Cardiff Blues on Boxing Day (kick-off 2pm) – their first Rodney Parade fixture on that date since 2013 – before hosting the Ospreys on New Year’s Eva (kick-off 5.35pm).

The Dragons, who are in Conference B of the expanded Championship, open up with a Newport date against Leinster on Saturday, September 2 (kick-off 3.15pm) and play one fixture in South Africa when they travel to face the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth on the first weekend of March.

They do not play the non-Welsh sides in Conference A home and away, so in the coming campaign will face Munster in Cork and Zebre in Parma while Connacht, the Cheetahs and Glasgow will head to Newport.

The Dragons have a split of 11 home games and 10 away.
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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by mikey_dragon on Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:39 am

Henson to debut, not sure if at 10 or 12, he could play in both positions at some point I guess. Our pre-season fixture list is quite difficult.

http://www.wru.co.uk/eng/news/39232.php#.WYrVHIccRD8

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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by munkian on Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:44 am

Its a pity we don't have any home pre season games but these will all be massive tests which we will need to face Leinster.

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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:54 am

I know they can't please everyone, but I'm pretty p!ssed off that we won't have a genuine home league game against the Scarlets again. Is it really asking too much for our Judgement Day game to be against the Ospreys instead?

N.B. I'm assuming Judgement Day is still happening this season. If it isn't - good!

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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by munkian on Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:57 am

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:I know they can't please everyone, but I'm pretty p!ssed off that we won't have a genuine home league game against the Scarlets again. Is it really asking too much for our Judgement Day game to be against the Ospreys instead?

N.B. I'm assuming Judgement Day is still happening this season. If it isn't - good!

Last Saturday of the season I believe Rolling Eyes Not a fan myself - only chance we have of beating the baby eaters is at home.
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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by mikey_dragon on Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:07 am

Are we playing them because we play an extra game against Welsh teams?

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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:13 am

It's years since we played them at Rodney Parade (in the league). Chaparro was playing, that's how long ago it was. And we won!

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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by munkian on Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:10 pm

Rubbish isn't it ? I've been to two but in all honesty its just a p*ss up with my mates.
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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by RiscaGame on Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:35 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:It's years since we played them at Rodney Parade (in the league). Chaparro was playing, that's how long ago it was. And we won!

I actually liked Lyn and Kingsley back then, especially the way they came across when Scrum V went behind the scenes a bit with us. Funny how things turned out.

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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by munkian on Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:31 am

Dragons have brought in skills coach Barry Maddocks from Bath

http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/sport/dragons/15463646.Dragons_sign_up_skills_coach_Maddocks/
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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:17 pm

They're putting the new turf down too:

http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/sport/dragons/15465443.First_turf_laid_in_transformation_of_Rodney_Parade_pitch/

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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by PhilBB on Thu Aug 10, 2017 4:53 pm

We were told, despite evidence to disprove this, that "Newport Gwent Dragons" weren't spending to the salary floor. In terms of player recruitment, it's just Henson, Kirchner and some lads from the semi pro game, isn't it?

So how have those two suddenly made the difference to the spending level? Either they are ridiculously expensive or the previous narrative was, as evidence suggests, completely false.
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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by munkian on Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:09 am

PhilBB wrote:We were told, despite evidence to disprove this, that "Newport Gwent Dragons" weren't spending to the salary floor. In terms of player recruitment, it's just Henson, Kirchner and some lads from the semi pro game, isn't it?

So how have those two suddenly made the difference to the spending level? Either they are ridiculously expensive or the previous narrative was, as evidence suggests, completely false.

Not making a lot of sense there chief. You've said there was evidence to disprove that that the Dragons weren't spending to the salary floor ?
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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by PhilBB on Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:28 am

munkian wrote:
PhilBB wrote:We were told, despite evidence to disprove this, that "Newport Gwent Dragons" weren't spending to the salary floor. In terms of player recruitment, it's just Henson, Kirchner and some lads from the semi pro game, isn't it?

So how have those two suddenly made the difference to the spending level? Either they are ridiculously expensive or the previous narrative was, as evidence suggests, completely false.

Not making a lot of sense there chief. You've said there was evidence to disprove that that the Dragons weren't spending to the salary floor ?

Yes. The "Cost of Sales" being over £5m in their accounts.

Pesky facts.
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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by munkian on Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:32 am

PhilBB wrote:
munkian wrote:
PhilBB wrote:We were told, despite evidence to disprove this, that "Newport Gwent Dragons" weren't spending to the salary floor. In terms of player recruitment, it's just Henson, Kirchner and some lads from the semi pro game, isn't it?

So how have those two suddenly made the difference to the spending level? Either they are ridiculously expensive or the previous narrative was, as evidence suggests, completely false.

Not making a lot of sense there chief. You've said there was evidence to disprove that that the Dragons weren't spending to the salary floor ?

Yes. The "Cost of Sales" being over £5m in their accounts.

Pesky facts.

So the Dragons were or weren'tactually spending to the salary floor ?
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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:44 am

In case anyone missed it, these are the teams for the game against Montpellier:

Montpellier: J Michel, J Tomane, Y Reilhac, H Immelman, G Ngandebe, F Steyn, B Paillaugue, G Fichten, B Du Plessis, A Guillamon, P Willemse, N Van Rensberg, F Ouedraogo (captain), W Liebenberg, M Devergie. Replacements: C Geli, Y Watremez, K Mikautadze, K Kornath, R Pienaar, T Darmon, M Haouas, M Nariashvili, J Delannoy, G Galletier

Dragons: C Meyer, A Hughes, S Beard, J Dixon, H Amos, G Henson, S Pretorius, T Davies, E Dee, L Fairbrother, M Screech, A Sweet, J Thomas, J Benjamin, H Keddie. Replacements: R Buckley, P Price, L Brown, M Williams, N Cudd, C Davies, A O'Brien, P Howard, A Hewitt, W Talbot-Davies

Players from France training squad not included against Montpellier: J Rosser, G Gasson, A Warren, T Morgan, D Jones, T Knoyle, L Garrett, G Ellis, L Belcher, D Suter, C Hill, J Davies, R Landman, O Griffiths, R Blake.


Last edited by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:56 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling)

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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by munkian on Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:51 am

I'm guessing the lads not playing will be up against NH tomorrow ?
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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by PhilBB on Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:51 am

munkian wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
munkian wrote:
PhilBB wrote:We were told, despite evidence to disprove this, that "Newport Gwent Dragons" weren't spending to the salary floor. In terms of player recruitment, it's just Henson, Kirchner and some lads from the semi pro game, isn't it?

So how have those two suddenly made the difference to the spending level? Either they are ridiculously expensive or the previous narrative was, as evidence suggests, completely false.

Not making a lot of sense there chief. You've said there was evidence to disprove that that the Dragons weren't spending to the salary floor ?

Yes. The "Cost of Sales" being over £5m in their accounts.

Pesky facts.

So the Dragons were or weren'tactually spending to the salary floor ?

FFS. Their accounts suggested they were not.

Their new signings suggest they were not.
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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:54 am

Yes. It's an insane bit of scheduling.

We won't be at our strongest, but then neither will Montpellier:

Chris Kirwan wrote:Montpellier blew away some cobwebs against French rivals Lyon last weekend.

They lost 40-12 and head coach Vern Cotter will be looking to step things up ahead of their Top 14 opener against Agen on Saturday, August 26.

The former Scotland boss is able to field a formidable side despite having a sizeable list of absentees that includes high-profile summer recruit Aaron Cruden.

The All Black and Springbok Jan Serfontein have not yet arrived in France while also missing are powerhouse number eight Louis Picamoles following his move from Northampton, wings Nemani Nadolo and Benjamin Fall, Aussie full-back Jesse Mogg, France centre Alexandre Dumoulin and Les Bleus flanker Yacouba Camara.


Last edited by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:56 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling, again)

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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by munkian on Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:57 am

PhilBB wrote:
munkian wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
munkian wrote:
PhilBB wrote:We were told, despite evidence to disprove this, that "Newport Gwent Dragons" weren't spending to the salary floor. In terms of player recruitment, it's just Henson, Kirchner and some lads from the semi pro game, isn't it?

So how have those two suddenly made the difference to the spending level? Either they are ridiculously expensive or the previous narrative was, as evidence suggests, completely false.

Not making a lot of sense there chief. You've said there was evidence to disprove that that the Dragons weren't spending to the salary floor ?

Yes. The "Cost of Sales" being over £5m in their accounts.

Pesky facts.

So the Dragons were or weren'tactually spending to the salary floor ?

FFS. Their accounts suggested they were not.

Their new signings suggest they were not.

FFS re read what you posted - it doesn't make sense -

BC wrote:We were told, despite evidence to disprove this, that "Newport Gwent Dragons" weren't spending to the salary floor
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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Luckless Pedestrian Yesterday at 12:18 pm

I'm slightly concerned by the last of these photos:

http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/sport/dragons/15481567.First_look_at_fully_laid_Rodney_Parade_pitch/

Is it me, or does it look like the in-goal area's going to be purely 3G? It's hard to tell without the tryline painted on.

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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Luckless Pedestrian Yesterday at 12:47 pm

Mikey's going to love the team selection for the Exeter game:

15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Adam Hughes, 13 Adam Warren, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Hallam Amos, 10 Angus O’Brien, 9 Charlie Davies; 1 Brok Harris, 2 Gerard Ellis, 3 Dan Suter, 4 Matthew Screech, 5 Rynard Landman, 6 James Thomas, 7 Nic Cudd, 8 Robson Blake.

Replacements: Luke Garrett, Elliot Dee, Leon Brown, Max Williams, James Benjamin, Sarel Pretorius, Dorian Jones, Carl Meyer, Connor Edwards, Jared Rosser, Will Talbot-Davies


Last edited by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri Aug 18, 2017 3:44 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Katie Vizard can't spell.)

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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Griff Yesterday at 12:48 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:I'm slightly concerned by the last of these photos:

http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/sport/dragons/15481567.First_look_at_fully_laid_Rodney_Parade_pitch/

Is it me, or does it look like the in-goal area's going to be purely 3G? It's hard to tell without the tryline painted on.

My understanding was that the whole pitch would be a hybrid pitch (desso playmaster as the Argus states) but the areas surrounding the pitch would be 3g/fully synthetic to help with the drainage. That area behind the pitch at the south end is actually quite big so there's room for an in-goal area too. See pic below.



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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Griff Yesterday at 12:51 pm

Looks like a new tiered seating area on the south stand too? 3rd pic on the Argus link. Where the hospitality boxes used to be.

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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Griff Yesterday at 12:53 pm

Edit: here's a better one:



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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Luckless Pedestrian Yesterday at 12:53 pm

Thanks. I remember now that they moved the playing surface (towards the north stand) a few seasons ago.

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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by RiscaGame Yesterday at 2:32 pm

You are correct Griff. I guess that's literally right behind where the dead ball line would be.

Strange team from us. I'd have thought we'd be near first choice now, but there are certain selections (like the front row) that make no sense at all.

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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by mikey_dragon Yesterday at 2:41 pm

Yes Harris at LH is strange, unfortunately I can't say I'm surprised by Suter starting. The front-row reps are decent though.

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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Luckless Pedestrian Yesterday at 3:11 pm

Another bench spot for Leon Brown is good, it's high time they were bringing him on.


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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by RiscaGame Yesterday at 6:08 pm

Just watched "highlights" from last week in Northampton. Blinking heck, Jared Rosser can shift.

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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Griff Yesterday at 10:10 pm

I was reading the argus article about the Northampton game. They were trying to paint it in a better light, saying that Jackman should ignore the final quarter when doing the video analysis, etc. We were apparently very close on the scoreboard early in the 2nd half (something like 21-23). Northampton put out two completely different 15s in the first and second halves, while we put out just one squad of 23 with only 5 experienced pros. So a loss was inevitable. But still, I have to question how we concede 50 points in the last 3rd of the game?! 50! Without reply too but the sounds of it.

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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Stone Motif Yesterday at 10:39 pm

Griff wrote:I was reading the argus article about the Northampton game. They were trying to paint it in a better light, saying that Jackman should ignore the final quarter when doing the video analysis, etc. We were apparently very close on the scoreboard early in the 2nd half (something like 21-23). Northampton put out two completely different 15s in the first and second halves, while we put out just one squad of 23 with only 5 experienced pros. So a loss was inevitable. But still, I have to question how we concede 50 points in the last 3rd of the game?! 50! Without reply too but the sounds of it.

I dunno. Look at the team that finished the game - like a Gwent Prem XV Barbarians, only with less coaching
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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Griff Today at 9:56 am

Stone Motif wrote:
Griff wrote:I was reading the argus article about the Northampton game. They were trying to paint it in a better light, saying that Jackman should ignore the final quarter when doing the video analysis, etc. We were apparently very close on the scoreboard early in the 2nd half (something like 21-23). Northampton put out two completely different 15s in the first and second halves, while we put out just one squad of 23 with only 5 experienced pros. So a loss was inevitable. But still, I have to question how we concede 50 points in the last 3rd of the game?! 50! Without reply too but the sounds of it.

I dunno. Look at the team that finished the game - like a Gwent Prem XV Barbarians, only with less coaching

Fair enough, can't argue with that. It just goes back to what's been said previously about giving a load of young/inexperienced players a humping against far superior opposition. Does nothing for their confidence and little for their development really, IMO. Poor scheduling and planning from the Dragons management, as has been mentioned.

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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by mikey_dragon Today at 10:07 am

Dragons scored first quite early on, Saints replied with 4 tries. Dregs got another try and some kicks at goal - that's when the scoreline looked respectable. Saints changed their team and scored lots more tries in the 2nd half, think Rosser got another one at that point too.

What bugs me is Suter's first contribution in the jersey; penalty try to Saints from a scrum. Poor poor signing.

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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by VinceWLB Today at 10:49 am

Why Craig Mitchell wasn't kept on? Injury issues or something else? Few times i saw him last season looked actually decent at scrum time.

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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Stone Motif Today at 12:42 pm

Griff wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:
Griff wrote:I was reading the argus article about the Northampton game. They were trying to paint it in a better light, saying that Jackman should ignore the final quarter when doing the video analysis, etc. We were apparently very close on the scoreboard early in the 2nd half (something like 21-23). Northampton put out two completely different 15s in the first and second halves, while we put out just one squad of 23 with only 5 experienced pros. So a loss was inevitable. But still, I have to question how we concede 50 points in the last 3rd of the game?! 50! Without reply too but the sounds of it.

I dunno. Look at the team that finished the game - like a Gwent Prem XV Barbarians, only with less coaching

Fair enough, can't argue with that. It just goes back to what's been said previously about giving a load of young/inexperienced players a humping against far superior opposition. Does nothing for their confidence and little for their development really, IMO. Poor scheduling and planning from the Dragons management, as has been mentioned.

Jackman went in print in the Argus saying the double header wasn't something he dreamt up, just something he had to manage. It does smack of something Kingsley might do when he's not breeding the next generation of Welsh rugby superstars.
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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Stone Motif Today at 12:42 pm

VinceWLB wrote:Why Craig Mitchell wasn't kept on? Injury issues or something else? Few times i saw him last season looked actually decent at scrum time.

Busted flush. Shoulder I think.
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Re: 'Dragons from Gwent' Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

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