Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

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Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by The Oracle on Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:06 pm

First topic message reminder :

So we made it to the end of the 2017/18 season.  We've seen/endured the first year of Bernard Jackman's plan.  I think most of us have been through a rollercoaster of emotions, similar to previous seasons but perhaps even more so this season given the new injection of life and investment into the Dragons.  First there was the hope - the new coaches, some new players, the new pitch, new chairman, new cash injection.  Then we started to stumble - it's all down to the new coach and getting used to the new systems, we said.  Then came the face plant and the realisation that this trend was going to carry on for the whole season - a couple of wins in the league, a few in Europe, a lot of spankings, not many losing bonus points.  Very poor return.  The hope turned to despair and BJ's methods were being questioned.  Then the hope comes again with the announcement of new signings ('stellar' signings, compared to previous years!) and the assurance that the 1st year of the plan was always going to be difficult and that year 2 would be the one to judge BJ on.....  

So.......on to year 2 (2018/19).  Where are we?  What are our expectations (realistically)?  What's the best team we can put out on paper and how competitive will it be?  For a number of years we've been stuffed in the league so seem to try to get some solace from a decent showing in the Euro 2nd tier comp.  However, should we forget about Europe and try to put all of our focus on the league?  I think so.

Transfers - we've lost more than we've gained, although the quality of the transfers in could/should be better than those leaving.  But I'm worried we'll be thin on the ground when the inevitable injuries hit.

Players In: = 14
Jordan Williams from England Bristol Bears
Rhodri Williams from England Bristol Bears
Ross Moriarty from England Gloucester
Rhodri Davies from England Rotherham Titans
Richard Hibbard from England Gloucester
Huw Taylor from England Worcester Warriors
Josh Lewis from England Bath
Ryan Bevington from England Bristol Bears
Aaron Jarvis from France Clermont
Dafydd Howells from Wales Ospreys
Tiaan Loots from Wales RGC 1404
Jacob Botica from Wales RGC 1404
Rhys Lawrence from England Ealing Trailfinders
Brandon Nansen from France

Players Out: - =21
Sarel Pretorius to South Africa Southern Kings
Phil Price to Wales Scarlets
Scott Andrews to Wales Neath
Luke Garrett to Wales Neath
Adam Hughes retired
Pat Howard to England Ealing Trailfinders
Rhys Buckley to Wales Bargoed
Barney Nightingale to Wales Bargoed
Keagan Bale to Wales Bargoed
Angus O'Brien to Wales Scarlets
Nicky Thomas to Wales Scarlets (return from short-term loan)
Dorian Jones to France Angoulême
Charlie Davies to England Northampton Saints
Lloyd Lewis to Wales Pontypool
Sam Beard to New Zealand Canterbury
Sam Hobbs released
Thomas Davies released
Liam Belcher released
Ashley Sweet released
Robson Blake released
Carl Meyer released

I'll try to update the Ins and Outs as we go.


Last edited by The Oracle on Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by PhilBB on Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:10 pm

LordDowlais wrote:

Your so ignorant. You really should try leaving Newport once in a while. You are worse than PhilBB for your arrogance about anything north of the M4. Rolling Eyes

We are not the 3rd world up here mind.

Now is a good time to make the point that I live north of the M4.
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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by The Oracle on Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:19 pm

PhilBB wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:

Your so ignorant. You really should try leaving Newport once in a while. You are worse than PhilBB for your arrogance about anything north of the M4. Rolling Eyes

We are not the 3rd world up here mind.

Now is a good time to make the point that I live north of the M4.


Valley Herbert! Deck him!
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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by The Oracle on Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:28 pm

PhilBB wrote:
The Oracle wrote:
Why do you think the WRU focused on the M4 corridor, at the expense of the South Wales valleys, when it forced regional rugby on us? It’s pro sport. It needs to be commercially viable. If playing games ‘up the valleys’ would attract crowds over and above what the regions attract in the cities then the regions would do it. So it’s not about ‘entitlement’ (that’s just one of those words bandied about these days by the eternally offended, of which you are clearly one). It’s about what the owners think will work.

Like I said in my post, which you’ve selectively cropped, I am a fan of the regional approach. I’m not longing for a return to clubs. I want our pro teams to represent a region. However, I do not feel we need to go to small areas of the region to please a small number of disgruntled people. That’s not entitlement. Just as me thinking Crusaders in NZ not going out to areas in their region such as Tasman for Super Rugby games is not entitlement either.

a) the WRU didn't focus on the M4 corridor. The clubs themselves chose the 5 team solution
b) the WRU didn't force regional rugby on us. The clubs themselves chose to merge or standalone
c) our pro teams cannot "represent a region" in such a geographically small area as South Wales. It's simply impossible.
d) the financial argument you make, however, is spot on.


a) See below
b) OK, but would we have seen a change to 'regional' teams and a reduction to 5 if the WRU/Moffett hadn't either instigated or persuaded or influenced the move in some way? Were all of the clubs really for the move to regional rugby? It was my understanding that this was all started by the WRU and Moffett. Force was perhaps the wrong word.
c) I tend to disagree. I wouldn't say it's impossible. In fact, I struggle to see how the teams cannot represent a geographical area or region. That's not to say that people will get behind it or that it would work. That's a different. But any team can be set up to represent any area. If the WRU set up a new team called Powys Pirates, and they were to represent the county of Powys, then the team would represent Powys and all of the towns and villages within it, regardless of size. If it involves more than one town or village then it represents a region. Perhaps I do not understand you point.
d) .
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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by PhilBB on Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:33 pm

The Oracle wrote:

a) See below
b) OK, but would we have seen a change to 'regional' teams and a reduction to 5 if the WRU/Moffett hadn't either instigated or persuaded or influenced the move in some way?  Were all of the clubs really for the move to regional rugby?  It was my understanding that this was all started by the WRU and Moffett.  Force was perhaps the wrong word.
c) I tend to disagree.  I wouldn't say it's impossible.  In fact, I struggle to see how the teams cannot represent a geographical area or region.  That's not to say that people will get behind it or that it would work.  That's a different.  But any team can be set up to represent any area.  If the WRU set up a new team called Powys Pirates, and they were to represent the county of Powys, then the team would represent Powys and all of the towns and villages within it, regardless of size.  If it involves more than one town or village then it represents a region.  Perhaps I do not understand you point.  
d) .

a)
b) There were many options put forward, from Tasker Watkins' 8, to the Gang of Six, to the others wishing to move to a 12 team solution. The WRU did NOT instigate the reduction in teams, regardless of what Cobner's disciples will tell you, as that was done by the clubs before the Rebel Season and then the situation was accelerated by that season.
c) Teams cannot represent a geographical area because there are no natural borders in South Wales and because South Wales is so tiny. You cannot tell people who they are represented by. A team called Powys Pirates is just a team called Powys Pirates. It cannot force Brecon to be represented by it. And Brecon, in itself, is just a town. It has no cognisant being. You can't draw a line on a WRU map and say "that team represents that area". This isn't some North Korea style nonsense.
d)
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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by The Oracle on Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:18 pm

PhilBB wrote:
The Oracle wrote:

a) See below
b) OK, but would we have seen a change to 'regional' teams and a reduction to 5 if the WRU/Moffett hadn't either instigated or persuaded or influenced the move in some way?  Were all of the clubs really for the move to regional rugby?  It was my understanding that this was all started by the WRU and Moffett.  Force was perhaps the wrong word.
c) I tend to disagree.  I wouldn't say it's impossible.  In fact, I struggle to see how the teams cannot represent a geographical area or region.  That's not to say that people will get behind it or that it would work.  That's a different.  But any team can be set up to represent any area.  If the WRU set up a new team called Powys Pirates, and they were to represent the county of Powys, then the team would represent Powys and all of the towns and villages within it, regardless of size.  If it involves more than one town or village then it represents a region.  Perhaps I do not understand you point.  
d) .

a)
b) There were many options put forward, from Tasker Watkins' 8, to the Gang of Six, to the others wishing to move to a 12 team solution. The WRU did NOT instigate the reduction in teams, regardless of what Cobner's disciples will tell you, as that was done by the clubs before the Rebel Season and then the situation was accelerated by that season.
c) Teams cannot represent a geographical area because there are no natural borders in South Wales and because South Wales is so tiny. You cannot tell people who they are represented by. A team called Powys Pirates is just a team called Powys Pirates. It cannot force Brecon to be represented by it. And Brecon, in itself, is just a town. It has no cognisant being. You can't draw a line on a WRU map and say "that team represents that area". This isn't some North Korea style nonsense.
d)


Hmmm. Forcing people to support a team that represents their area, by gunpoint, would perhaps be a North Korean style set up! But I still think you can have teams representing areas that are drawn up rather than existing. I mean, counties represent something themselves but they are nothing more than lines drawn up on a map. There is no physical dividing wall around the counties.

I vaguely remember the East/West Wales rugby years back. That was just an imaginary line but for those playing it (and supporting it) it felt easy enough to get behind one of the teams. As an aside, I remember a guy from our local village captaining the East Wales side vs Jiffy’s West Wales (if memory serves).

I get what you mean about size. A small region means the team doesn’t cover very much. But I still think it’s possible to do. County lines would be similarly possibly and would give people something existing to relate to, but there are too many for rugby in Wales.

What about district rugby? That was huge for years and years. Yet the districts were also just imaginary lines weren’t they?
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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by The Oracle on Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:25 pm

P.s. I also live north of the M4! Just. Never thought about it before. There you go, LD!
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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by St John The Enforcer on Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:44 pm

I note you can be north of the M4 but still south or west of the UsK......

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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by PhilBB on Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:48 pm

The Oracle wrote:
Hmmm. Forcing people to support a team that represents their area,  by gunpoint, would perhaps be a North Korean style set up! But I still think you can have teams representing areas that are drawn up rather than existing. I mean, counties represent something themselves but they are nothing more than lines drawn up on a map. There is no physical dividing wall around the counties.

I vaguely remember the East/West Wales rugby years back. That was just an imaginary line but for those playing it (and supporting it) it felt easy enough to get behind one of the teams. As an aside, I remember a guy from our local village captaining the East Wales side vs Jiffy’s West Wales (if memory serves).

I get what you mean about size. A small region means the team doesn’t cover very much. But I still think it’s possible to do. County lines would be similarly possibly and would give people something existing to relate to, but there are too many for rugby in Wales.

What about district rugby? That was huge for years and years. Yet the districts were also just imaginary lines weren’t they?

Represents "their" area. There you go again. How does that happen when there are no historical boundaries and when the distances are so small? It simply doesn't work, especially when you go down the county route. Why? Because you'll get people like Dowlais moaning "Gwent has a pro rugby team, why doesn't Merthyr", as you point out.

That East / West game was a joke and impossible to get behind. Players from the same clubs in different teams made no sense.

When was District Rugby ever huge? Certainly not in Cardiff.

Why do people feel the need to tell people what is representing others? Where does this need come from in 2018?

All of our pro rugby is played in an area the same as the distance between Cork and Limerick. We are minuscule, so why the hell cut that up even further with false lines and "representation"? Just let people support who the hell they want, without anybody telling who they 'should' support as it 'represents your area'.

On a day when Spanish soccer announces playing games in America in order to widen its appeal, we win Wales want to arbitrarily split up the tiniest of tiny areas. To me, its utterly bonkers.
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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by munkian on Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:04 pm

Why the hand wringing if Cardiff is missed from the Blues then ?

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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by The Oracle on Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:10 pm

Phil, I think you've misunderstood me along the line somewhere.  At no time have I said that people can't support who they like or that people are forced to support someone by dint of living in an area.  At the end of the day ALL teams 'represent' someone or something.  Northampton RFC 'represents' the town of Northampton.  That doesn't mean that if you live there you are forced to follow them, obviously.  The team represents the town but anyone from within it, from outside it, from another planet can follow them.  Of course they can.  But they've still chosen to call themselves Northampton rather than just Rugby Club No. 12, and in doing so they've set some boundaries - they're directly appealing to the people of Northampton and those with ties to it and are, perhaps, alienating those from a rival town down the road who they might have had a rivalry with for the past 500 years.  Nothing wrong with that, BTW.  But naming a team based on a town introduces an element of 'representation'.  Just as 'Cardiff' does with the Blues.

So why can't people support Gwent if they want even though the boundary lines are arbitrary?  You just said we should let people support who they want?  So what's the issue?  What's wrong with someone from Aberystwyth supporting the Scarlets?  Nothing.  They don't need the regional boundary lines to tell them they can or can't support the Scarlets.  So it matters not a jot that they are 'included' in the boundary lines now anyway.  However, the boundary lines and 'areas represented' help administratively.  As an example, they help determine the clubs a region should focus on and work with.  Resources are finite so it's good to know that regions will be working with a roughly equal number of clubs in their region, as determined when they drew up the regional lines, rather than it being a bit lop sided with one region doing twice the work and spending twice the money working with twice the clubs.  And it avoids duplication too with the same teams working in the same territory.  And this has been determined by drawing up lines.
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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by PhilBB on Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:20 pm

munkian wrote:Why the hand wringing if Cardiff is missed from the Blues then ?


a) I don't understand why you've written that question in the context of this thread
b) Because it's Cardiff. Not Blues. Blues is not a defining brand.
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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by munkian on Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:23 pm

If you aim to entice supporters from the world over why have a place name for your brand ?

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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by PhilBB on Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:26 pm

The Oracle wrote:Phil, I think you've misunderstood me along the line somewhere.  At no time have I said that people can't support who they like or that people are forced to support someone by dint of living in an area.  At the end of the day ALL teams 'represent' someone or something.  Northampton RFC 'represents' the town of Northampton.  That doesn't mean that if you live there you are forced to follow them, obviously.  The team represents the town but anyone from within it, from outside it, from another planet can follow them.  Of course they can.  But they've still chosen to call themselves Northampton rather than just Rugby Club No. 12, and in doing so they've set some boundaries - they're directly appealing to the people of Northampton and those with ties to it and are, perhaps, alienating those from a rival town down the road who they might have had a rivalry with for the past 500 years.  Nothing wrong with that, BTW.  But naming a team based on a town introduces an element of 'representation'.  Just as 'Cardiff' does with the Blues.

So why can't people support Gwent if they want even though the boundary lines are arbitrary?  You just said we should let people support who they want?  So what's the issue?  What's wrong with someone from Aberystwyth supporting the Scarlets?  Nothing.  They don't need the regional boundary lines to tell them they can or can't support the Scarlets.  So it matters not a jot that they are 'included' in the boundary lines now anyway.  However, the boundary lines and 'areas represented' help administratively.  As an example, they help determine the clubs a region should focus on and work with.  Resources are finite so it's good to know that regions will be working with a roughly equal number of clubs in their region, as determined when they drew up the regional lines, rather than it being a bit lop sided with one region doing twice the work and spending twice the money working with twice the clubs.  And it avoids duplication too with the same teams working in the same territory.  And this has been determined by drawing up lines.

Sorry, but I don't see that a rugby club represents anything other than itself and its values. Northampton RFC doesn't represent Northampton, it just represents itself and has an identity that people buy into to be a part of. They chose to call themselves Northampton because that's where they play.

Unless, of course, you think that only clown jesters can be represented by a team called Harlequins, or birds of prey represented by a team called Ospreys. And God knows what you make of "Blues".

Cardiff Rugby doesn't represent Cardiff at all. It can't. Why? Because there are 50 odd (or so) other rugby clubs in Cardiff. Cardiff Rugby doesn't represented them any more than St Peters represents Newport Road.

What you've then gone on to explain is the pathway, perfectly. The 'administrative' lines - funnily enough that's exactly the set up that the English clubs have. You can't tell me "Exeter Chiefs" represents Cornwall, but that's the Academy area for that club. People in Cornwall don't need to be "represented" as they already have Exeter, Bath or any other team to follow.

So that's why you don't need to "represent". You can have responsibility for (i.e. the pathway) without the need to represent anything other than yourself (and by that I mean the rugby club in the third person).
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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by PhilBB on Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:27 pm

munkian wrote:If you aim to entice supporters from the world over why have a place name for your brand ?


Because it shows where you are based and has a continuation of branding.

Like Barcelona. Or Espanyol.
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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:14 pm

Did anyone go to the Northampton game? Was it as bad as bad as the scoreline suggests? I know a couple of their tries were interceptions, but it's the driving lineout ones I'm more worried about.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by munkian on Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:28 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:Did anyone go to the Northampton game? Was it as bad as bad as the scoreline suggests? I know a couple of their tries were interceptions, but it's the driving lineout ones I'm more worried about.

I was there, could've swore it looked fuller than 3K but anyway...

First quarter was positive, we looked lively, put in some big hits then the two interceptions completely took the wind out of us.

Saints pretty much brought on a new team at half time including Lawes and blew us away.

I really don't look too much into pre season games, especially with extended benches etc

Haskell looked old and tired, Lawes was huge.

Cudd was very lively, great to see him back.

It will be a rather different team against Glos I'd imagine.
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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by Stone Motif on Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:42 pm

munkian wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:Did anyone go to the Northampton game? Was it as bad as bad as the scoreline suggests? I know a couple of their tries were interceptions, but it's the driving lineout ones I'm more worried about.

I was there, could've swore it looked fuller than 3K but anyway...

First quarter was positive, we looked lively, put in some big hits then the two interceptions completely took the wind out of us.

Saints pretty much brought on a new team at half time including Lawes and blew us away.

I really don't look too much into pre season games, especially with extended benches etc

Haskell looked old and tired, Lawes was huge.

Cudd was very lively, great to see him back.

It will be a rather different team against Glos I'd imagine.

Didn't go but the write up said we swapped the front row on 40, the flankers, half backs, and captain on 48, which suggested to me it all probably went to sh1te from around the fiftieth minute, would that be fair?
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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by munkian on Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:46 pm

Sounds legit
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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by RiscaGame on Mon Aug 20, 2018 3:15 pm

Jackman utilised his playing resources as Dragons lost 42-10 to Saints in pre-season at Rodney Parade.

He admitted there were several positives to take from the outing in the first half with Rhodri Williams grabbing a deserved try.

But with the new Guinness PRO14 season fast approaching, Jackman is ready to start picking his best side when the team travel to Kingsholm to face Gloucester Rugby next Thursday.

“We have given everybody lots of game time in pre-season, which is good, and the pecking order is starting to sort itself out,” admitted Jackman.

“From now on we are going to pick or best team. Players are going to have to prove the right to play and we will have settled combinations.

“There were elements of the performance we really liked, the first half particularly,” he added. “I just felt when they brought on changes and we made changes too and became loose and disjointed. We lacked cohesion.

“I was very happy with the first group in the first half. Against the wind, Rhodri Williams put us in the right areas and we got a good try.

“We are disappointed with the two intercepts and lack of cohesion, but that is what pre-season is about and we have got quite a few bodies to come in now over the next two weeks.”

Jackman was delighted to Tyler Morgan and Dafydd Howells back in action and revealed the likes of Corey Hill and Elliot Dee could now feature at Gloucester.

“A big positive was Tyler coming back and playing 20 minutes – that is huge for us,” he said.

“Dafydd Howells has also got 20 minutes and we want to nurse those guys back so they are viable options for round one.

“We will get Leon Brown, Elliot Dee, Corey Hill, Hallam Amos back involved this week and Ollie Griffiths will potentially be around for Benetton. Suddenly your team looks a lot different with more experience, power and talent.

“We’ve had a good pre-season so far and we are not going to let a poor 40-minutes impact on that. Northampton showed power up front and put a squeeze on us, but we will fix that.”

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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:27 pm

“We’ve had a good pre-season so far and we are not going to let a poor 40-minutes impact on that."

That's fair enough, as long as it's not followed by a poor 80 minutes - or even another poor 40 minutes.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by PhilBB on Tue Aug 21, 2018 11:56 am

It'll be interesting to see if Jackman goes full on for this Thursday's game.
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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by RiscaGame on Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:18 pm

I think he will. Pretty risky for our shaky confidence, but I suppose a necessity to get people playing to the new structures etc.


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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by The Oracle on Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:34 pm

Just looking at the fixture list and can't help think that the tournament organisers have tried to give us a deliberate leg up in the first couple of rounds. Not that they're really easy games or anything like that (especially considering who we are), but most people would consider these teams easier than most others in the comp - Benetton, Southern Kings and Zebre all at home within the first four rounds! What are the odds on that being drawn randomly?!
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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by munkian on Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:50 pm

He's said several times he'll pick his strongest team, especially as the Welsh team players will be back - Hill, Dee, Amos and hopefully Brown.
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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by Stone Motif on Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:59 pm

The Oracle wrote:Just looking at the fixture list and can't help think that the tournament organisers have tried to give us a deliberate leg up in the first couple of rounds.  Not that they're really easy games or anything like that (especially considering who we are), but most people would consider these teams easier than most others in the comp - Benetton, Southern Kings and Zebre all at home within the first four rounds!  What are the odds on that being drawn randomly?!

Nah. We were bought by the WRU not the IRFU
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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by munkian on Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:02 pm

Stone Motif wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Just looking at the fixture list and can't help think that the tournament organisers have tried to give us a deliberate leg up in the first couple of rounds.  Not that they're really easy games or anything like that (especially considering who we are), but most people would consider these teams easier than most others in the comp - Benetton, Southern Kings and Zebre all at home within the first four rounds!  What are the odds on that being drawn randomly?!

Nah. We were bought by the WRU not the IRFU

I don't think it would be done randomly otherwise it would be a nightmare to organise ?

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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:33 pm

The Oracle wrote:Just looking at the fixture list and can't help think that the tournament organisers have tried to give us a deliberate leg up in the first couple of rounds.  Not that they're really easy games or anything like that (especially considering who we are), but most people would consider these teams easier than most others in the comp - Benetton, Southern Kings and Zebre all at home within the first four rounds!  What are the odds on that being drawn randomly?!

Don't forget that all those sides will see an away game in Newport as a relatively easy start.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by The Oracle on Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:49 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Just looking at the fixture list and can't help think that the tournament organisers have tried to give us a deliberate leg up in the first couple of rounds.  Not that they're really easy games or anything like that (especially considering who we are), but most people would consider these teams easier than most others in the comp - Benetton, Southern Kings and Zebre all at home within the first four rounds!  What are the odds on that being drawn randomly?!

Don't forget that all those sides will see an away game in Newport as a relatively easy start.


True. But they only get us once whereas we have 3 of the traditionally weaker teams in as many weeks. But my point was more about whether the games are 'chosen' or randomly selected as our start of the season seems oddly favourable. If they're not picked at random then someone must have decided to give us a relatively easy (easier) start, which is nice Smile
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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by munkian on Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:04 pm

I guess its all down to fixture availability, travel arrangements etc ?

Its nice to have the rub of the green though, it rarely happens.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by Stone Motif on Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:57 pm

munkian wrote:I guess its all down to fixture availability, travel arrangements etc ?

Its nice to have the rub of the green though, it rarely happens.


The main driver with Dave Parade is finding a slot when football isn't being played surely?
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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by munkian on Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:00 pm

Stone Motif wrote:
munkian wrote:I guess its all down to fixture availability, travel arrangements etc ?

Its nice to have the rub of the green though, it rarely happens.


The main driver with Dave Parade is finding a slot when football isn't being played surely?

I'd assume so yeah. Same with Ospreys ?
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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by RiscaGame on Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:11 pm

Dragons: J Williams, D Howells, T Morgan, J Dixon, H Amos, J Lewis, R Williams; R Bevington, R Hibbard, L Brown, B Nansen, C Hill (captain), H Taylor, A Wainwright, L Evans. Replacements: E Dee, B Harris, L Fairbrother, J Davies, M Screech, N Cudd, J Benjamin, T Knoyle, G Henson, J Sage, T Loots, G Gasson, J Goodchild, W Talbot-Davies.

Gloucester: J Woodward, M Banahan, H Trinder, B Twelvetrees, O Thorley, D Cipriani, W Heinz (captain), J Hohneck, J Hanson, F Balmain, E Slater, M Galarza, R Ackermann, L Ludlow, B Morgan. Replacements: F Marais, A Seville, C Knight, G Grobler, J Polledri, B Vellacott, L Evans, H Purdy, T Gleave, F Clarke, W Safe, G Evans, C Braley, O Williams, M Atkinson, C Sharples, T Hudson.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by munkian on Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:13 pm

A much stronger starting XV than last weekend but still the extended squads I see.

Thats a tidy Glos squad too Shocked

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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by RiscaGame on Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:15 pm

I am a little surprised to see Amos at 11 and Williams at 15, with all this talk about him being a fullback. Maybe a bit of a surprise to see Taylor and Evans starting in the backrow too, as well as Dee on the bench.

I guess Super Gav is back at ten cover again.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by munkian on Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:35 pm

It's only Gatland that's said he's a fullback isn't it ?
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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by RiscaGame on Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:40 pm

http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/sport/15997650.Jackman__Amos_transforms_Dragons__attack_from_full-back/

I can't link properly with my work computer, but in it Jackman said. I guess Jordan Williams gives us some of the stuff you can't coach, but still I would play Amos at 15 as much as possible with what he said, friendly or not.





“We saw what a boost he gave us after coming in without having trained,” said the head coach.

“He gave us that launchpad from the back and was central to most of the good moments that we had with ball in hand.

“Hallam trained with us on Thursday and will train with us again on Friday, so we expect even more from him on Sunday. It’s a big boost for us because full-back is the key position in attack.

“Most teams are so organised and so defensively sound from set piece that counter-attack and turnover is where the space is.

“Having a strike runner like him is important. Earlier in the year he was playing left wing and he is very adept there, but we see him as a full-back going forward.

“He still has a huge amount of work to do and is raw [at full-back] but he is a very, very special player. I was lucky enough to play with guys like Brian O’Driscoll, Shane Horgan, Denis Hickie, Keith Earls and he definitely has a huge amount of ability.

“Hallam has stuff that you can’t coach – he can beat people, he can stand people up and beat them with pace, power and footwork. We just have to coach him on the positioning of full-back and make sure he has clarity in that.”

Amos starred for Wales on the wing in the autumn and has rivals for the Test start at 15 in Leigh Halfpenny and Liam Williams, but Jackman has discussed the move with the international management team.

“I spoke to Rob [Howley, attack coach] about it,” he said. “In fairness they gave us the freedom to pick him where we want but we both felt his best position is full-back.

“He can play international rugby on the wing but realistically to be a stand-out international player, full-back would be his position.

“And for us, we want our best players getting the ball with both sides to attack in open space, and full-back gives him that.”

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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by munkian on Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:45 pm

Fair enough, cheers for that.

Pre season results don't matter as long as mistakes and inadequacies are improved upon. I just hope we don't capitulate in the 2nd half again or try to play too loose too early.

That being said, Glos don't have a Pisi.
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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by Stone Motif on Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:48 pm

RiscaGame wrote:I am a little surprised to see Amos at 11 and Williams at 15, with all this talk about him being a fullback. Maybe a bit of a surprise to see Taylor and Evans starting in the backrow too, as well as Dee on the bench.

I guess Super Gav is back at ten cover again.

That back row is proof positive that Bernard Jackman is the devil
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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by munkian on Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:53 pm

Or rotating his squad slightly in our last pre season game...
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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Wed Aug 22, 2018 3:08 pm

RiscaGame wrote:I am a little surprised to see Amos at 11 and Williams at 15, with all this talk about him being a fullback.

It backs Jordan Williams a bit, seeing as he wants to play fullback too (I assume), instead of shifting him as soon as Amos is available. But what do I know?

It's a strong squad, with some quality players still to come in.

Gloucester's is stronger again, of course. Polledri on the bench, for example.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by munkian on Wed Aug 22, 2018 3:13 pm

Owen Williams too #bringhimhome
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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Wed Aug 22, 2018 4:04 pm

I'm still not sold on Owen Williams. If there have been games where he ran the show, I didn't watch them. Having said that, he's almost certainly better than any of our 10s.

I wonder how Angus O'Brien is getting on down Llanelli way?

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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by RiscaGame on Wed Aug 22, 2018 4:13 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:It backs Jordan Williams a bit, seeing as he wants to play fullback too (I assume), instead of shifting him as soon as Amos is available. But what do I know?


I did consider that, but I can only imagine him doing it at some point. We shall see. I like the idea of having both in the back three from an attacking p.o.v. as well as Hewitt when fit.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by RiscaGame on Wed Aug 22, 2018 4:15 pm

Stone Motif wrote:
RiscaGame wrote:I am a little surprised to see Amos at 11 and Williams at 15, with all this talk about him being a fullback. Maybe a bit of a surprise to see Taylor and Evans starting in the backrow too, as well as Dee on the bench.

I guess Super Gav is back at ten cover again.

That back row is proof positive that Bernard Jackman is the devil

I guess he wants as physical a backrow as possible, but it isn't what I would've chosen either.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by RiscaGame on Wed Aug 22, 2018 4:19 pm

munkian wrote:Fair enough, cheers for that.

Pre season results don't matter as long as mistakes and inadequacies are improved upon. I just hope we don't capitulate in the 2nd half again or try to play too loose too early.

That being said, Glos don't have a Pisi.

Another week under Uncle Bernard now. All will be fine.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Wed Aug 22, 2018 4:23 pm

RiscaGame wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:It backs Jordan Williams a bit, seeing as he wants to play fullback too (I assume), instead of shifting him as soon as Amos is available. But what do I know?


I did consider that, but I can only imagine him doing it at some point. We shall see. I like the idea of having both in the back three from an attacking p.o.v. as well as Hewitt when fit.

I'm sure they do see Amos as first-choice full back.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by Stone Motif on Wed Aug 22, 2018 9:01 pm

munkian wrote:Or rotating his squad  slightly in our last pre season game...
Woosh.
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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by Stone Motif on Wed Aug 22, 2018 9:02 pm

RiscaGame wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:
RiscaGame wrote:I am a little surprised to see Amos at 11 and Williams at 15, with all this talk about him being a fullback. Maybe a bit of a surprise to see Taylor and Evans starting in the backrow too, as well as Dee on the bench.

I guess Super Gav is back at ten cover again.

That back row is proof positive that Bernard Jackman is the devil

I guess he wants as physical a backrow as possible, but it isn't what I would've chosen either.
Double whoosh. Should have cranked up the Iron Maiden classic obviously
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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by munkian on Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:46 am

Stone Motif wrote:
RiscaGame wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:
RiscaGame wrote:I am a little surprised to see Amos at 11 and Williams at 15, with all this talk about him being a fullback. Maybe a bit of a surprise to see Taylor and Evans starting in the backrow too, as well as Dee on the bench.

I guess Super Gav is back at ten cover again.

That back row is proof positive that Bernard Jackman is the devil

I guess he wants as physical a backrow as possible, but it isn't what I would've chosen either.
Double whoosh. Should have cranked up the Iron Maiden classic obviously

Number of the beast ?
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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

Post by PhilBB on Thu Aug 23, 2018 10:20 am

Gloucester will be a serious test of the defensive platform at least. They are able to go around the defence through Morgan's channel and they have two carriers in the back row if they wish to attack the fringes a little more often.

It should be a real test for Wainwright as his two colleagues in the back row are plodders.
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Re: Dragons Season Thread - 2018/19 - aka Year 2 of the 3 Year Plan

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