Aviva Predictions

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Aviva Predictions

Post by SirBurger on Tue 22 Aug 2017, 4:52 pm

With the season less than a fortnight away and most (if not all) recruitment done, how do people see the Aviva finishing this season?

Personally, I think it could be an odd one. Saracens and Exeter will remain very strong, but you could make an argument for almost all of the rest of the sides potentially slipping from where they were last season (other than probably Newcastle). In that sense, I think it is the hardest season to predict in ages. I am going to go for (with a very rushed summary of each side):

1. Saracens – Have recruited strongly, have an identity and will be well-coached. No surprises here.

2. Exeter – Same as for Saracens. The current Champions and no reason to expect them to be worse than last season.

3. Wasps – Pack still a little bit lacking compared to the two above them, but still have some electric backs, even accounting for the loss of Beale.

4. Bath – Haven’t been too impressed with their recruitment, but still a very strong squad across the board. If Burns clicks for them and they can keep Faletau, Joseph and Watson fit then they could potentially finish higher.

5. Leicester – Simply not the force of old. Recruitment has been focused on flashy backs, when I think it is their pack that is lacking compared with the big boys. If Ford, Manu and May go well then they have a chance, but then they will also lose these players during the international window.

6. Newcastle – My surprise package. They have recruited well and are a very difficult team to beat at home. Will have confidence after a strong season last time around and will take advantage of the teams in decline around them.

7. Northampton – Similar to Leicester in that Reinach, Francis and Horne are potentially great backline signings, but the pack is not the force it once was and the failure to adequately replace Picamoles will definitely hurt them. For the first time in ages, the front row seems to be lacking a bit of depth.

8. Harlequins – If Catrakalis can fit into their style of play, or the other players can adapt to him then they could be higher, but somehow I think they will struggle. The loss of big name stars during the international windows, along with the injury crisis that they are beginning the season with in the back row, could be their undoing. Too much quality to finish any lower though.

9. Sale – Another side that have recruited well, but question marks remain as to whether a De Klerk-O’Connor half back pairing is suitable for Premiership Rugby. Strauss and Ross will add meat to the back row, but it may take them a while to click.

10. Gloucester – Ackermann has been brought in to carry out a revolution and change the Gloucester mentality. Sadly, I don’t see it happening. Slater will improve the pack, as will Ackermann’s son, but I just don’t see enough quality for there to be immediate rewards from the new coaching setup.

11. London Irish – Much more of a team outfit than last time they were in the Premiership. Will definitely be in a relegation battle but a strong front row platform and a bit of magic out wide from Lewington, Cokanasiga and Nalaga will keep them safe.

12. Worcester – Already seem to be suffering with injuries and pre-season does not appear to be going well either. Hougaard missing the start of the season again is a big blow. They will be hoping that they have picked up some points by the time he is back, but I think they will struggle without a recognised starting fly half.

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by Fuzzy Dunlop on Tue 22 Aug 2017, 7:42 pm

Ah, I do love an opportunity to Poopie out my terrible, uninformed predictions. I should look at the fixtures first, given how important the start can be, but here's my table anyway.

1. Saracens - by far the best team in England who unfortunately suffered from fighting on 2 fronts last season. I expect they'll slightly shift the focus back towards the domestic league and a crucial home semi-final. If they go out of the European Cup before the final I can't see anyone stopping them.

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2. Tigers - biased of course but Tigers look stronger this year than last season when they were 2 points away from winning an away semi against the table toppers. IMO the forwards handed that match on a platter in the first half to a criminally poor backline who failed to take advantage. At least that's what I saw from behind the couch through the bottom of a pint glass.

3. Bath - injury ravaged last season and still came within a couple of wins of the play-offs. Undoubtedly much more talent than the last couple of seasons would suggest but I think this year they'll click.

4. Exeter - as reigning champions they will have something of a target on their heads and I reckon they'll struggle to recapture the form of the end of last season.

5. Wasps - a bit of a big call but I think this season is the one in which their high-risk, high-reward style fails to pay off. Slowed down towards the end of the season (Saracens match aside) and limped through the semi against a Tigers team crippled by injuries.

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6. Saints - I agree with the concerns about Saint's lack of replacement for Picamoles, especially given how much their game plan relies on having a hard carrier at 8. Much, much better in the second half of last season when they simplified their game plan: 17 tries in the first 12 rounds(the worst in the AP), but 3rd best in the second half with 35 tries.

7. Quins - I had them above Saints but then remembered Wallace's injury. With Robshaw likely to play almost every minute of England's internationals they need to bring in an injury replacement and that's difficult so late in the summer break. Unless they already have and I've missed it.  

8. Falcons - really impressed me last season but I think they're still a couple of seasons away from top 6. Definitely on the right path and Flood is the perfect signing for them. The advantage of a plastic pitch is waning, but still worth a couple of points over the course of a season.

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9. Gloucester - Slater for May is a good trade for both teams but it'll take at least another season for Ackerman to fix the set-piece issues and build a pack worthy of the cherry and white hoops.

10. Sale - if anyone can get O'Connor to get his head down and work it's Diamond, if there's a transformation anything like Cipriani's I'd back Sale to make the top 6. Sadly I think the piss-poor northern weather will ensure we rarely see him at his best.

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11. Worcester - possibly more dependent on one player than any other side. I'm not sure how long Hougaard is out for but if it's longer than 4 or 5 months I'll drop them to 12th.

12. Irish - I've not seen enough of them in the Championship to know if they're coming back better than when they went down. Made my decision purely on the improvement I saw in Worcester.


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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by B91212 on Tue 22 Aug 2017, 10:22 pm

Really looking forward to the new season now, seems to have been a long time in coming. Can foresee the league splitting into little groups, say 1-3, 4-5, 6-9 and 10-12 maybe.  

01. Exeter – Look strong again to me. Not changed much but why should they after last season? I know Baxter said they wanted to do more in Europe so that could be a distraction I guess. The critical 6N period doesn’t hit them anywhere near as hard as their main rivals.

02. Saracens (Champions) – Everyone knows that they will be going hard on 2 fronts again but this time I think they will do more to get a home semi. Think as good of a player as Liam Williams is they may miss Ashton more than some realise. His ability to track and break good well organized defences is a hard thing to replace and Williams is a different type of player. Pack looks formidable again with probably at least 6 backrowers that would get into most other teams starting 15’s.

03. Wasps – Still look a little light in the front row for me but strong elsewhere. Got a feeling they may start strong and fade a bit again.

04. Bath – If key players stay fit than can see them having a better year. A backrow of Louw, Garvey and Faletau if all fit and on form is as good as any in the league.

05. Leicester – If they can all get and more importantly stay fit then the back line looks very strong but still not convinced by back row. Front five looks decent as usual.

06. Newcastle – Good recruitment in the backs in conjunction with a solid pack makes me think they may go better than last season.

07. Harlequins – Will be interesting to see how Evans replacement goes. Think a lot will depend on key players being fit and available.

08. Northampton – As a Saints fan I’m worried I’ve put them one or two places too high. Backs look decent enough but Second and Back Row look short on quality and depth. As much as I'd want him to Day can't go on forever and Paterson doesn't seem good enough at this level. Ribbens looked to have potential at the end of last season. In the backrow Gibson, Wood and Harrison looks workmanlike but uninspiring at the top level. Maybe Eadie will come in at 8 or 6 to add some strength. Also fear Europe will be solely a distraction only with the group they have drawn.

09. Sale – Plenty of big signings but on paper good ones too. They may take a whole to settle in and will maybe be stronger as the season progresses?

10. Gloucester – Got what seems a like a top coach but stopping the habit of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory may take a while to overcome. First 15 looks impressive but strength in depth may be an issue, especially in the front 5.

11. Worcester – Depends on injuries and the style of rugby Gould has them playing. They looked decent ball in hand at times toward the end of last season but the tactics seemed very negative at times. Again strength in depth looks like it may be an issue.

12. London Irish – Singed some decent players considering the playoff system hindering them but still feel a couple of injuries and they could (and will) struggle.

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 22 Aug 2017, 10:51 pm

I'm more confident in Tigers this season as we've added some nice physicality up front though the loss of Slater could come to bite us. The new S&C setup could be a game winner for us as well.

Predictions.

1. Saracens - because they are quite exceptional as a team, must be a slight concern with some key members of their backline aging again.
2. Chiefs - best coached team in the league and have some young players that keep getting better.
3. Tigers - improved squad and improved over the course of last season.
4. Bath - keep players fit and they'll see an end to their inconsistent form.
5. Wasps - drifted away last season and were average in the playoffs. Haven't done anything to improve their front five but still have a stellar backline.
6. Harlequins - added some quality and some pragmatism, no Evans will be a big loss but he added so many injuries that consistency in selection might actually help Quins.
7. Gloucester - surprise package with Ackermann's influence growing over the season.
8. Sale - spark returning at ten and Diamond is always good at getting the best out of players.
9. Newcastle - developing nicely and the more experienced midfield will be a real benefit once they are all bedded in.
10. Saints - struggled last season and have lost their best player with no replacement.
11. Worcester - they need to sort their discipline but have a big hard working pack which should be enough. 
12. Irish - don't seem to have enough depth and quality.

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by yappysnap on Wed 23 Aug 2017, 7:38 am

Falcons at 6 laughing

You know what? I genuinely hope that does happen.

Sarries - They have that winning formula, unless something goes very wrong they'll be comfortably top 2
Quins - The surprise package here, have signed some good players, Kingston is bedding in and the squad looks strong (I may be over optimistic here)
Exeter - Will struggle to repeat last seasons big performances, I think they'll lose more of the close games as they're targeted by others
Leicester - Fading but still know how to get over the finish line, I think they'll just scrape into the top 4 this season
Wasps - Lots of flash but the pack looks a little weak, they'll be another team that's targeted and shut down more thoroughly this season
Bath - Tactics and squad seem to not be quite right
Saints - A fading force at the moment, they'll need this season to regroup
Gloucester - Just a bit lost
Falcons - Peaked well last season but will struggle to repeat that, more teams will target points off them as the top 7 are so tight
Sale - Will continue to fade as their pack struggles, O'Connor will take time to settle and has a lot of pressure on him
Irish - Just not getting relegated will be a win this season
Worcester - Have never really convinced at the top level

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by HongKongCherry on Wed 23 Aug 2017, 8:18 am

I'll have a pint of what you're drinking yappy! Wink

The Ackers revolution will follow the Fisher, Davies and Redpath revolutions... There is no doubt he is an outstanding coach, but it's going to take a number of years to stop the rot.

As my SuperBru track record proves I have an incredible talent for predicting the wrong score, so this table will not happen:

1. Sarries
2. Exeter
3. Tigers
4. Wasps
5. Bath
6. Falcons
7. Quins
8. Saints
9. Wuss
10. Glaws
11. Sale
12. Irish
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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by Smudge21 on Wed 23 Aug 2017, 9:07 am

1. Saracens - hard to look past them, outstanding team
2. Bath - I think they are stronger with burns instead of ford as he will be available all season and is a better kicker, expecting improvement from last year
3. Exeter - will have another good year but very hard to repeat what they did last year twice in a row
4. Pack a little weak compared to top teams, and will struggle compared to last season
5.Leicester - outside bet for the title if there exciting back line can fire, maybe suspect in the pack however
6. Newcastle - solid pack, exciting backs, very tough to beat at home and are not disrupted by international call ups
7. Quins - too inconsistent to challenge top 4 but still a very strong team with all there inter nationals
8. Sale - recruited well, good pack, good home record but will struggle away from home
9. Saints - lost there best player and I think will struggle his year
10. Gloucester - some god recruitment but may take time for everyone to bed in
11. Irish - strong pack can hopefully give foundations to their exciting backstuff
12. Worcester - injury hit a bit already in pre season and will struggle

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 23 Aug 2017, 9:09 am

So just the top 4, I reckon will be:
Saracens
Exeter
Wasps
Northampton

Leicester and Gloucester close but no cigar.

Are Saracens better than that Leicester team of old? I think they could be.

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by Scottrf on Wed 23 Aug 2017, 9:22 am

Not top 4 but Saints will do better than people expect. Things improved last year and most of the losses were close.
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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by formerly known as Sam on Wed 23 Aug 2017, 9:50 am

Scottrf wrote:Not top 4 but Saints will do better than people expect. Things improved last year and most of the losses were close.

Those close games were still losses and no big ball carrying 8 arrival leaves the backline looking a little light ball in hand. Lawes aside the second row isn't impressive and the front row still has Brookes in it who is only good for 20 minute spells. There's still no real competition for Myler but stacks of centres and fullback is an area teams may look to target. At the minute Saints look more likely to get relegated than win the title for me.

Also a bit surprised people think the Tigers pack look suspect. Ayerza retiring and Slater leaving isn't great for the tight five but the options that have arrived have added significant power to the backrow.

Genge, Youngs, Cole 
Barrow, Kitchener 
Williams, Kalamafoni, BOC

Is a pack to compete with any in this league. The back ups are pretty good as well with four other international props and a couple more international backrow options.

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by Scottrf on Wed 23 Aug 2017, 9:54 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
Scottrf wrote:Not top 4 but Saints will do better than people expect. Things improved last year and most of the losses were close.

Those close games were still losses and no big ball carrying 8 arrival leaves the backline looking a little light ball in hand. Lawes aside the second row isn't impressive and the front row still has Brookes in it who is only good for 20 minute spells. There's still no real competition for Myler but stacks of centres and fullback is an area teams may look to target. At the minute Saints look more likely to get relegated than win the title for me.

Also a bit surprised people think the Tigers pack look suspect. Ayerza retiring and Slater leaving isn't great for the tight five but the options that have arrived have added significant power to the backrow.

Genge, Youngs, Cole 
Barrow, Kitchener 
Williams, Kalamafoni, BOC

Is a pack to compete with any in this league. The back ups are pretty good as well with four other international props and a couple more international backrow options.
Disagree about the second row. Ribbans has been very good, Day is a very solid option.

There is real competition for Myler, and he's been playing there pre-season. Keep denying it if you wish.

Tuala was very good last year at fullback, not world class but not a problem area first choice.
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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by SirBurger on Wed 23 Aug 2017, 9:56 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
Scottrf wrote:Not top 4 but Saints will do better than people expect. Things improved last year and most of the losses were close.

Those close games were still losses and no big ball carrying 8 arrival leaves the backline looking a little light ball in hand. Lawes aside the second row isn't impressive and the front row still has Brookes in it who is only good for 20 minute spells. There's still no real competition for Myler but stacks of centres and fullback is an area teams may look to target. At the minute Saints look more likely to get relegated than win the title for me.

Also a bit surprised people think the Tigers pack look suspect. Ayerza retiring and Slater leaving isn't great for the tight five but the options that have arrived have added significant power to the backrow.

Genge, Youngs, Cole 
Barrow, Kitchener 
Williams, Kalamafoni, BOC

Is a pack to compete with any in this league. The back ups are pretty good as well with four other international props and a couple more international backrow options.

As an outsider, I highly rate Genge and Barrow and think Williams also has potential to come on nicely this season. Youngs and Cole are also very good players, but I would be concerned are slightly on the decline if I was a Leicester fan. Kitchener has never pushed on like he should have done, Kalamafoni has question marks over his fitness (although is otherwise a good player) and I personally think O'Connor is a bit overrated. It is a solid pack, but for me is a level below Sarries and Exeter and is nowhere near as dominant on paper as it was a few years ago. I am sure it will still put 40 on us at Welford Road, but as an opposition fan it does not fill me with the sense of dread that it used to.

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by formerly known as Sam on Wed 23 Aug 2017, 10:12 am

Scottrf who's been playing there pre season? Mallinder Jnr? Reminds me a lot of Billy Twelvetrees when he first burst on the scene albeit Mallinder Jnr is a better kicker. He just doesn't seem to have time on the ball, has his shoulder injury settled down from last season because that was ruthlessly exploited by a few teams.

SirBurger last season wasn't really a decline, last season was a calamity and the season before average. Yet we still somehow nearly made the final. BOC isn't highly rated anywhere really but if memory serves he still finished top of the turnover charts last season and in Thacker and Evans we have depth at openside. Kalamafoni does have injury problems but we have Tongan international Mapapalangi and Hamilton as back up. Kitchener finished last season well but had a back problem for most of it, hopefully we'll see a return to his best this season now he's injury free.


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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by Scottrf on Wed 23 Aug 2017, 10:14 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:Scottrf who's been playing there pre season? Mallinder Jnr? Reminds me a lot of Billy Twelvetrees when he first burst on the scene albeit Mallinder Jnr is a better kicker. He just doesn't seem to have time on the ball, has his shoulder injury settled down from last season because that was ruthlessly exploited by a few teams.

Last season wasn't really a decline, last season was a calamity and the season before average. Yet we still somehow nearly made the final. BOC isn't highly rated anywhere really but if memory serves he still finished top of the turnover charts last season and in Thacker and Evans we have depth at openside. Kalamafoni does have injury problems but we have Tongan international Mapapalangi and Hamilton as back up. Kitchener finished last season well but had a back problem for most of it, hopefully we'll see a return to his best this season now he's injury free.
Francis is our first/second choice 10.
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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by formerly known as Sam on Wed 23 Aug 2017, 10:24 am

I'll be interested to see how he does there. He's looked good at 12 when I've seen him play but not really seen him much at 10. How's his points kicking been going? That's what sunk a lot of Myler's previous challengers, Mallinder likes reliability.

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by Scottrf on Wed 23 Aug 2017, 10:39 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:I'll be interested to see how he does there. He's looked good at 12 when I've seen him play but not really seen him much at 10. How's his points kicking been going? That's what sunk a lot of Myler's previous challengers, Mallinder likes reliability.
You're right. He's solid but not top tier from what I've seen here and Super Rugby. But I am hopeful for some creativity we've been badly missing.
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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by formerly known as Sam on Wed 23 Aug 2017, 10:58 am

Scottrf wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:I'll be interested to see how he does there. He's looked good at 12 when I've seen him play but not really seen him much at 10. How's his points kicking been going? That's what sunk a lot of Myler's previous challengers, Mallinder likes reliability.
You're right. He's solid but not top tier from what I've seen here and Super Rugby. But I am hopeful for some creativity we've been badly missing.

If Saints can get some consistent selection in the midfield with Francis and Mallinder at 10/12 then that should help the creativity. There's a number of centres on the books wanting game time though.

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by HongKongCherry on Wed 23 Aug 2017, 11:25 am

I just don't see it with Saints. The signings have been solid, but not inspiring and in general I feel they are weaker than they were last year. Other teams have strengthened and it'll be a struggle to get ahead of these sides. As has been said Picamoles is a huge loss; he was responsible for a number of close wins last year (both Glaws games as an example!). They are firmly in the 2nd tier of sides at the moment. I've predicted 8th, but they won't be any higher than 6th.
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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by rosbif on Wed 23 Aug 2017, 1:09 pm

Just checked last seasons predictions and see only Beshocked and Mikey_Dragon tipped the Chiefs to win ( apart from myself )So this year it has to be between Sarries and the Chiefs with Wasps and Tigers making up the top 4, Bath and Newcastle 5-6 and Worcester to be relegated. Think Exeter can do it again as they lose less players during the 6N and are very much team players as opposed to being stars.

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by formerly known as Sam on Wed 23 Aug 2017, 1:40 pm

I think Sarries have such a strong game plan that they can dominate a league format and will finish in the top two. I'm not sure they'll win the playoffs if they do well in Europe again. Last season their players looked very flat in the first half at Exeter following the HEC final and their legs looked completely gone when trying to stop the last rolling maul.


The playoffs make the eventual winner very hard to predict in my view.

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by yappysnap on Wed 23 Aug 2017, 1:54 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
Scottrf wrote:Not top 4 but Saints will do better than people expect. Things improved last year and most of the losses were close.

Those close games were still losses and no big ball carrying 8 arrival leaves the backline looking a little light ball in hand. Lawes aside the second row isn't impressive and the front row still has Brookes in it who is only good for 20 minute spells. There's still no real competition for Myler but stacks of centres and fullback is an area teams may look to target. At the minute Saints look more likely to get relegated than win the title for me.

Also a bit surprised people think the Tigers pack look suspect. Ayerza retiring and Slater leaving isn't great for the tight five but the options that have arrived have added significant power to the backrow.

Genge, Youngs, Cole 
Barrow, Kitchener 
Williams, Kalamafoni, BOC

Is a pack to compete with any in this league. The back ups are pretty good as well with four other international props and a couple more international backrow options.

After the summer he's had are you expecting Youngs to start the season Sam? I can only imagine, but i'd guess pre season was the last thing on his mind.

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by formerly known as Sam on Wed 23 Aug 2017, 2:12 pm

yappysnap wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
Scottrf wrote:Not top 4 but Saints will do better than people expect. Things improved last year and most of the losses were close.

Those close games were still losses and no big ball carrying 8 arrival leaves the backline looking a little light ball in hand. Lawes aside the second row isn't impressive and the front row still has Brookes in it who is only good for 20 minute spells. There's still no real competition for Myler but stacks of centres and fullback is an area teams may look to target. At the minute Saints look more likely to get relegated than win the title for me.

Also a bit surprised people think the Tigers pack look suspect. Ayerza retiring and Slater leaving isn't great for the tight five but the options that have arrived have added significant power to the backrow.

Genge, Youngs, Cole 
Barrow, Kitchener 
Williams, Kalamafoni, BOC

Is a pack to compete with any in this league. The back ups are pretty good as well with four other international props and a couple more international backrow options.

After the summer he's had are you expecting Youngs to start the season Sam? I can only imagine, but i'd guess pre season was the last thing on his mind.

Last I heard Tiffany Youngs is still alive but very ill. Tom works on the family farm in Norfolk when not playing he's not the sort to go away and eat junk whilst being inactive. I think he will start the season but should/when the sad event occur I think we will see him step back for a period. He wanted to finish last season and may well like playing and training because it helps him to think about something else, I have no idea how he's kept it together so well. There's been no word on club captain so it looks like he'll retain that role.

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by king_carlos on Wed 23 Aug 2017, 4:14 pm

1.Sarries
2.Chiefs
3.Tigers
4.Wasps
5.Bath
6.Gloucs
7.Saints
8.Falcons
9.Sale
10.Irish
11.Worcester

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by Scottrf on Wed 23 Aug 2017, 4:17 pm

king_carlos wrote:1.Sarries
2.Chiefs
3.Tigers
4.Wasps
5.Bath
6.Gloucs
7.Saints
8.Falcons
9.Sale
10.Irish
11.Worcester
Quins to go bankrupt?
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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by yappysnap on Wed 23 Aug 2017, 4:17 pm

So who's 12th Carlos??

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by yappysnap on Wed 23 Aug 2017, 4:19 pm

Scottrf wrote:
king_carlos wrote:1.Sarries
2.Chiefs
3.Tigers
4.Wasps
5.Bath
6.Gloucs
7.Saints
8.Falcons
9.Sale
10.Irish
11.Worcester
Quins to go bankrupt?

We can always get a £50 mil loan and call ourselves the richest club in the land

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 23 Aug 2017, 4:30 pm

king_carlos wrote:1.Sarries
2.Chiefs
3.Tigers
4.Wasps
5.Bath
6.Gloucs
7.Saints
8.Falcons
9.Sale
10.Irish
11.Worcester

Quins for relegation then! Bristol to pop back up.

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 23 Aug 2017, 4:34 pm

Interesting predictions - especially so many pushing us up the league a little.

If anything on the pre-seasons..Flood looks simply top class and the players in general look stronger, faster and fitter than I have seen them. Sinoti looks in the best shape I have seen him and Fonua has dropped a load of dead weight by the looks of it.

Will be interesting to see how we go.

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by SirBurger on Wed 23 Aug 2017, 4:49 pm

People saying Irish lack depth - which positions in particular are you thinking? Or do you just mean that there isn't enough quality across the board? Because personally speaking, a lot of fans don't see much between our 1st and 2nd XVs.


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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by king_carlos on Wed 23 Aug 2017, 5:11 pm

Scottrf wrote:
king_carlos wrote:1.Sarries
2.Chiefs
3.Tigers
4.Wasps
5.Bath
6.Gloucs
7.Saints
8.Falcons
9.Sale
10.Irish
11.Worcester
Quins to go bankrupt?

Laugh My mistake, wrote that on my phone!

1.Sarries
2.Chiefs
3.Tigers
4.Wasps
5.Bath
6.Gloucs
7.Quins
8.Saints
9.Falcons
10.Sale
11.Irish
12.Worcs

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by B91212 on Wed 23 Aug 2017, 5:21 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
Last I heard Tiffany Youngs is still alive but very ill. Tom works on the family farm in Norfolk when not playing he's not the sort to go away and eat junk whilst being inactive. I think he will start the season but should/when the sad event occur I think we will see him step back for a period. He wanted to finish last season and may well like playing and training because it helps him to think about something else, I have no idea how he's kept it together so well. There's been no word on club captain so it looks like he'll retain that role.
Without downplaying whatsoever the horrendous events that Tom Youngs and family are going through (how the hell he made it through last season I'll never know) but I've never been overly impressed by his on field captaincy. Don't get me wrong, top club player and more than deserving of his place in the side but I think others would be better suited to the on field captaincy role. Barrow or Ben Youngs come to mind.

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by yappysnap on Thu 24 Aug 2017, 8:12 am

SirBurger wrote:People saying Irish lack depth - which positions in particular are you thinking? Or do you just mean that there isn't enough quality across the board? Because personally speaking, a lot of fans don't see much between our 1st and 2nd XVs.


Tbh I think it's impossible to know until the season starts, then you'll see if the team can cut it in the Prem again.

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by SirBurger on Thu 24 Aug 2017, 9:42 am

yappysnap wrote:
SirBurger wrote:People saying Irish lack depth - which positions in particular are you thinking? Or do you just mean that there isn't enough quality across the board? Because personally speaking, a lot of fans don't see much between our 1st and 2nd XVs.


Tbh I think it's impossible to know until the season starts, then you'll see if the team can cut it in the Prem again.

Totally agree - but I have a feeling we will do ok. Really hope I'm right!

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by formerly known as Sam on Thu 24 Aug 2017, 10:56 am

B9 Tom Youngs isn't most people's first choice for captain but neither is his brother. Barrow would be the common concensus on the offy forum. Might be a bit harsh to take it off Tom if he's keen to retain the job. He does command a lot of respect in the squad he just isn't the best at talking to the refs.

I look at LI and think an injury or two in the pack and then they are in trouble. For instance last time I checked second row resources were dependent on de Chases remaining fit.

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by SirBurger on Thu 24 Aug 2017, 11:54 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:B9 Tom Youngs isn't most people's first choice for captain but neither is his brother. Barrow would be the common concensus on the offy forum. Might be a bit harsh to take it off Tom if he's keen to retain the job. He does command a lot of respect in the squad he just isn't the best at talking to the refs.

I look at LI and think an injury or two in the pack and then they are in trouble. For instance last time I checked second row resources were dependent on de Chases remaining fit.

Yes - second row is probably the one concern but Franco van der Merwe is imminent and Josh McNally has gone under the radar but will surprise a few people. The rest of the pack has great depth now. E.g. Hobbs-Awoyemi-Faingaa-Du Plessis as a back up front row.

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by englishborn on Thu 24 Aug 2017, 12:44 pm

My humble predictions.

1 - Saracens, as ever look very strong and likely champions.
2 - Wasps, think they will expand on their attacking options.
3 - Chiefs, I suspect they may slip as other teams look to push onwards.
4 - Tigers, the old giant to perform better but not where they were yet.
5 - Bath, still a strong squad but I am not sure their signings will move them up
6 - Sale, (being completely unbiased of course) more hope than anything, new signings might get us here.
7 - Newcastle, looked impressive last season think they will kick on a bit this season.
8 - Quins, think international windows will hurt them as their depth cannot cover as well as top 4.
9 - Saints, not the force they used to be, think they might have a not so great season.
10 - Gloucester, not seen anything signing wise or coach wise to suggest they will improve overly.
11 - London Irish, buoyed by promotion and used to being up here I think they will survive.
12 - Worcester, will put up a fight as usual but think with the teams above will struggle to not be relegated this season.

Ok lets see if I got any correct.

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by formerly known as Sam on Thu 24 Aug 2017, 1:06 pm

A 23 year old prop with limited to no top flight experience and a set piece steady 36 year old tighthead don't really but any fear into anybody. They might do well but Worcester were a good scrummaging unit last year, Glaws should be this season and Sale normally do pretty well in that department.

I can see it being a long season for LI.

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by SirBurger on Thu 24 Aug 2017, 1:55 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:A 23 year old prop with limited to no top flight experience and a set piece steady 36 year old tighthead don't really but any fear into anybody. They might do well but Worcester were a good scrummaging unit last year, Glaws should be this season and Sale normally do pretty well in that department.

I can see it being a long season for LI.

Completely fair enough. Hobbs-Awoyemi is a great prospect though and Du Plessis is still one of the best scrummagers going.

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by nathan on Sat 26 Aug 2017, 11:35 am

Great to watch Toomua and Manu line up alongside each other against the ospreys, May managed to grab a couple of tries, he's exactly the player we need with his pace. Thought the backs played really well and managed to actually keep hold of the ball

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by Ozzy3213 on Sun 27 Aug 2017, 8:17 am

I think there are a couple of splits in the level of teams in the AP currently.  The top three are well ahead of everyone else, and if pushed my order for them would be...

Saracens
Wasps
Chiefs

Then in my opinion there are two teams battling for that final play off spot, and I reckon Leicester will take it, so...

Tigers
Bath

Then the remaining sides all have strengths but also have some glaring weaknesses and I genuinely feel that they could finish in any order given luck/injuries to key players.  If pushed I would go...

Saints
Falcons
Quins
Sale
Gloucester
Worcester

Where do Irish fit?  Who knows.  I think it's impossible to call right now.  What we do know, and what Nick Kennedy was clear about at the Premiership launch, is that two years ago we were the worst team in the league, the table does not lie.  In the 15 months since relegation there have been massive changes at the club and all focus has been on improvement.

Are we a better side now than we were then?  I would say yes.  Has the Premiership moved on and is stronger since then?  Absolutely yes.  

On that basis it's impossible to say right now where we will finish.  I'd take 11th right now, but I'd have us int hat group with the other six who could finish in any order.  What is certain is that we need to start a lot better than we did 2 years ago.  Zero points from our opening five matches meant we were cut adrift and we never quite caught up.  A similar start this time around will see a similar result next May.

As an illustration, this is the evolution of our side, from game one the year we went down, through the first and last games of last season, to the start of this.  I don't think there is any argument over the fact that we are a stronger side now than when we went down.



2015/16 R1201

2016/17 R1 
2016/17 Final 
2017/18 Prem Return (predicted)
15.
Andrew Fenby 

Greig Tonks
Tommy Bell
Tommy Bell
14. 
Alex Lewington

Ross Neal
Alex Lewington 
Alex Lewington
13. 
Tom Fowlie

Tom Fowlie
Ciaran Hearn
Ciaran Hearn
12.
Eoin Griffin

Johnny Williams 
Fergus Mulchrone
Fergus Mulchrone
11.
Topsy Ojo

Aseli Tikoroituma 
Topsy Ojo
Ben Ransom
10.
Chris Noakes

Tommy Bell
James Marshall
James Marshall
9.
Brendan McKibbin 

Brendan McKibbin 
Brendan McKibbin 
Ben Meehan






1.
Tom Court

Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi 
Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi 
Gordon Reid
2.
David Paice

David Paice
David Paice
David Paice
3.
Halani Aulika

Ben Franks
Ben Franks
Ben Franks
4.
Geroge Skivington

George Robson
Seb de Chaves
Seb de Chaves
5.
Matt Symons

Seb de Chaves
Jebb Sinclair
Franco van der Merwe
6.
Jebb Sinclair

Luke Narraway
Mike Coman
Mike Coman
7. 
Luke Narraway

Blair Cowan
Blair Cowan
Blair Cowan
8.
Rob McCusker

Ofisa Treviranus
Ofisa Treviranus
Ofisa Treviranus






16.
Gerard Ellis

Gerard Ellis
Dave Porecki
Dave Porecki
17.
Tom Smallbone

Tom Court
Tom Court
Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi
18.
Leo Halavatau

Ollie Hoskins
Ollie Hoskins
Petrus du Plessis
19.
Eoin Sheriff

Jerry Sexton
George Robson
Josh McNally
20.
David Sisi

Joe Trayfoot
Luke Narraway
Jake Schatz
21.
Scott Steele

Darren Allinson
Scott Steele
Brendan McKibbin
22.
Shane Geraghty

Ben Ransom
Greig Tonks
Greig Tonks
23.
Fergus Mulchrone



Napolioni Nalaga












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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by formerly known as Sam on Sun 27 Aug 2017, 8:56 am

Harlequins first up at the MadStad is a great opportunity to put a market down. Quins have a new flyhalf to bed in and early points are vital as you say. Momentum can't be overlooked.

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by Margin_Walker on Sun 27 Aug 2017, 10:03 am

It's at Twickenham unfortunately Sam, so closer to being a home game for Quins. Our record is pretty rubbish in the double header. That said, we need to be getting a win or two from the five games in September and the game is winnable.

Ozzy - Think Meehan may be injured. Heard he was on the sidelines yesterday with heavy strapping on his ankle/lower leg

As far as predictions go, I think we'll have enough to finish 11th, but it depends on plenty of variables. Worcester are the obvious relegation candidates along with us as the newly promoted team. Newcastle had a great season last year, but don't see them sneaking into the top 6 as some are predicting. Sarries to finish top.

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by yappysnap on Mon 28 Aug 2017, 8:26 am

I really think Exeter will struggle this season, their recruitment has been marginal, the expectations are going to be higher especially in Europe and they'll be targeted a lot more now and will need something special to say top. I think 4th at best.

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by yappysnap on Mon 28 Aug 2017, 8:28 am

Margin_Walker wrote:It's at Twickenham unfortunately Sam, so closer to being a home game for Quins. Our record is pretty rubbish in the double header. That said, we need to be getting a win or two from the five games in September and the game is winnable.

Ozzy - Think Meehan may be injured. Heard he was on the sidelines yesterday with heavy strapping on his ankle/lower leg

As far as predictions go, I think we'll have enough to finish 11th, but it depends on plenty of variables.  Worcester are the obvious relegation candidates along with us as the newly promoted team. Newcastle had a great season last year, but don't see them sneaking into the top 6 as some are predicting. Sarries to finish top.

As a Quins fan I'm nervous about the double header. Last season we were a real mixed bag. And while I think we'll get better as the season goes on, Irish will target this and we'll be napping.

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by formerly known as Sam on Mon 28 Aug 2017, 11:41 am

yappysnap wrote:I really think Exeter will struggle this season, their recruitment has been marginal, the expectations are going to be higher especially in Europe and they'll be targeted a lot more now and will need something special to say top. I think 4th at best.

They had a good squad last season and have kept most of it. Nic White will add something from 9 and more depth at 7 with Kvesic makes that backrow just a bit more niggly. They only have to get to the playoffs to have a chance to retain the trophy.  I think they'll do alright but struggle in Europe again like they did last season.

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by yappysnap on Mon 28 Aug 2017, 2:51 pm

You might be right Sam, but I think they'll be heavily analysed now and haven't changed their squad enough to make a big difference. likewise after Prem success there'll be an expectation to succeed in Europe so they'll have to focus more there, which will hit their squad hard.

Quins had similar issues after winning the Jeff and Exeter seem very similar to where we were.

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by Poorfour on Mon 28 Aug 2017, 3:13 pm

One thing I am surprised about is that most people are predicting that Exeter will adapt smoothly to all the changes they've made. Baxter has stepped up from day to day coaching, and people had begun to work out their gameplan at the end of last season, so I will be watching them closely in the early rounds to see whether they have made enough changes and bedded them in well enough to stay at the top of the pile.

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by Ozzy3213 on Mon 28 Aug 2017, 4:15 pm

Working put their game plan and being able to stop it are two different things.
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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by SirBurger on Mon 28 Aug 2017, 4:47 pm

Personally speaking, I think this Exeter team are much further advanced than the Quins team that won the League.

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by yappysnap on Mon 28 Aug 2017, 7:33 pm

I guess we shall see this season. But I wouldn't be surprised to see them struggle.

Of course, I'm probably totally wrong and they're going to run away with it now!

Also I reread the pre season friendlies thread and Tigers backline looks insane. They could be a surprise package for top two.

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Re: Aviva Predictions

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