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

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Post by The Oracle on Fri 06 Jul 2018, 12:06 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 06 Jul 2018, 8:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by SecretFly on Sun 02 Dec 2018, 1:58 pm

Sh1t flavoured lard?

Oh me God, the very best kind! The caviar of lard. A big dollop of it on a pan with some nice bacon and sausages........... divine.


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Post by RiscaGame on Sun 02 Dec 2018, 4:59 pm

The fact that Buttress has been quiet on Dragons matters today (and after the game) and hasn’t given his usual all pull together chat, is making cling on to the glimmer of hope that either Bernard has done the right thing and resigned (no chance), or he’s about to be put out of his misery. I doubt it, but it’s nice to have a dream.

Even the most bullish of the you can’t sack the coach crowd have lost faith. That’s when you know things are bad. Mine went last season, but I didn’t think some would lose faith after 1.5 seasons of the 3 year plan.

Plus our Dragons might be getting a rocket for locking or blocking supporters in the ground as well. Not from H + S, but the Human Rights Act for torturing their support.

Never mind. We play Timisoara Saracens next month, so another win might be on the horizon. Onwards and upwards. Let’s all pull together.

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Post by Stone Motif on Sun 02 Dec 2018, 5:28 pm

SecretFly wrote:Sh1t flavoured lard?

Oh me God, the very best kind!  The caviar of lard.  A big dollop of it on a pan with some nice bacon and sausages........... divine.

This pile came with a potato for a head and a load of tripe. And no dessert.
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 03 Dec 2018, 11:01 am

I left after their full back scored - the first time I've ever left before the final whistle. The atmosphere was flat as a pancake almost the whole time. People aren't even angry any more, or even surprised. I found it hard to care, which is pretty worrying.

This is as strong a squad as we've hard for years. Lyn and Kingsley (and Darren Edwards, and Paul Turner) would have loved to have this squad, and they'd be getting a damn sight more out of it.

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Post by RiscaGame on Mon 03 Dec 2018, 11:29 am

Never mind. He will keep the hot seat warm until McBryde or Howley are done with Team Wales, I reckon. There’ll be a few more dark days to come yet, this season.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 03 Dec 2018, 11:39 am

After we scored our try, to make it 19 - 10 I think, they started playing 'We Will Rock You' on the PA. That's taking the piss when we were 19 - 0 down in no time.

It felt like the end of something on Saturday. Like the fight had gone out of the crowd, if not the players. I know I was on the North Terrace which can be quiet anyway, but there was so little coming from the Hazell.

EDIT: It was actually 26-3 before we scored. Don't insult your customers with 'We Will Rock You', FFS.

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Post by RiscaGame on Mon 03 Dec 2018, 1:20 pm

Well you know I hate things like that, as you’ve probably seen me kick off about Dragons writing trrryyyyyyyyyy like that, when the try doesn’t make a difference to the result.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 03 Dec 2018, 2:23 pm

Maybe if they wrote 'consolation trrryyyyyyyyyy' instead Smile

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 03 Dec 2018, 2:33 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:Maybe if they wrote 'consolation trrryyyyyyyyyy' instead Smile


Well, we got hammered by Bristol on Saturday BUT our only try has been nominated for try of the week Very Happy

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Post by Stone Motif on Mon 03 Dec 2018, 2:36 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:Maybe if they wrote 'consolation trrryyyyyyyyyy' instead Smile


Well, we got hammered by Bristol on Saturday BUT our only try has been nominated for try of the week Very Happy
See how much of a consolation that feels when you ship a bonus point slaughter every single away game
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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 03 Dec 2018, 2:41 pm

Stone Motif wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:Maybe if they wrote 'consolation trrryyyyyyyyyy' instead Smile


Well, we got hammered by Bristol on Saturday BUT our only try has been nominated for try of the week Very Happy
See how much of a consolation that feels when you ship a bonus point slaughter every single away game
Home or away matters not a jot to us - we are handing out TBPs to the opposition like sweets at halloween.

Not sure though if it is worse to be us - with memories of having once been good, or you guys who have always been ... well not very good. Perhaps we will meet in the European Mickey Mouse Cup next year?

Anyway please accept my commiserations from one who knows what it is like to watch a team that seem to have given up with senior management who just seem to be taking the piss.

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Post by RiscaGame on Mon 03 Dec 2018, 8:24 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:Maybe if they wrote 'consolation trrryyyyyyyyyy' instead Smile

It might help.

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Post by Stone Motif on Mon 03 Dec 2018, 8:50 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:Maybe if they wrote 'consolation trrryyyyyyyyyy' instead Smile


Well, we got hammered by Bristol on Saturday BUT our only try has been nominated for try of the week Very Happy
See how much of a consolation that feels when you ship a bonus point slaughter every single away game
Home or away matters not a jot to us - we are handing out TBPs to the opposition like sweets at halloween.

Not sure though if it is worse to be us - with memories of having once been good, or you guys who have always been ... well not very good. Perhaps we will meet in the European Mickey Mouse Cup next year?

Anyway please accept my commiserations from one who knows what it is like to watch a team that seem to have given up with senior management who just seem to be taking the piss.
I know just the coach to turn Leicester around.
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Post by RiscaGame on Thu 06 Dec 2018, 1:27 pm

Good to see Uncle Bernie putting all his eggs into the derbies basket. He’s a very shrewd man. Never mind the fact that we have to bed in a new defensive system before them and all that. One win in the derbies will save his skin.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 06 Dec 2018, 2:20 pm

I fear what the score's going to be over in Clermont. At least you can enjoy the cuisine.

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Post by RiscaGame on Thu 06 Dec 2018, 3:17 pm

I would’ve been happy to go still. The atmosphere would be incredible, if they’re running in that many scores.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 07 Dec 2018, 12:15 pm

Late injury to Arwel Thomas, so Josh Lewis starts.

Northampton: G Furbank, O Sleighholme, R Hutchinson, L Burrell, T Naiyaravoro, D Biggar, A Mitchell, A Waller (captain), J Fish, B Franks, A Ratuniyarawa, A Moon, J Gibson, T Wood, T Harrison. Replacements: R Marshall, W Davis, E Painter, D Ribbans, M Eadie, C Reinach, F Strachan, A Kellaway​.

Dragons: H Amos, D Howells, A Warren, J Dixon, Z Kirchner, J Lewis, T Knoyle, R Bevington, R Hibbard (captain), L Fairbrother, B Nansen, L Evans, H Keddie, N Cudd, O Griffiths. Replacements: R Lawrence, A Jarvis, N Thomas, M Screech, H Taylor, J Benjamin, R Davies, J Williams.

Referee: Thomas Charabas (France)

https://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/sport/17283506.team-news-lewis-in-at-10-for-dragons-for-northampton-after-late-robson-blow/

God damn it, it's still a much stronger side than previous seasons even with (almost) all the Wales players missing, but it's impossible to have any confidence that we'll get a result.

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Post by RiscaGame on Fri 07 Dec 2018, 12:18 pm

Arwel who? Wink

Still a strong Saints team.

Us, I’m happy to see Dixon get a start. He’s been our defensive leader in the backs before this season, so why we haven’t selected him the last few weeks is beyond me, when our defence needs sorting. Finally we see Amos at 15 too. Pretty poor bench for ya. Nicky flipping Thomas mun.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 07 Dec 2018, 12:22 pm

Arwel Thomas Laugh He's still got it!

I did hear someone question why our best defensive inside centre has been off playing for Ebbw Vale.

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Post by Stone Motif on Fri 07 Dec 2018, 12:31 pm

So we're spite-playing Amos in every game I guess before he scoots off down the road?
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 07 Dec 2018, 12:41 pm

Actually a midfield of Dixon and Warren is about as sound as we can muster. It's not a bad side at all, I just have no faith it'll do anything.


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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 07 Dec 2018, 12:58 pm

Amos did well not to slump his shoulders on Saturday. I was watching him in the second half and I wondered what must have been going through his head.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 08 Dec 2018, 6:57 pm

Only 8 tries to 2.

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Post by The Oracle on Sat 08 Dec 2018, 7:08 pm

Yeah, we showed that Northampton lot! Wink
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Post by RiscaGame on Sat 08 Dec 2018, 8:09 pm

Bloody Edwards Coaches Wink

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Post by Stone Motif on Sat 08 Dec 2018, 10:36 pm

If the Poopie-flavoured lard isn't gone by Monday this club is being purposely run down. Only joy is that the WRU won't make Frak all from that ground when they do try and sell it.
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Post by The Oracle on Sun 09 Dec 2018, 10:06 am

RiscaGame wrote:Bloody Edwards Coaches Wink


Just read about that. So amateurish isn’t it?! We can’t afford to stay over night so get a bus up the day of the game, it turns up really late so we end up arriving in Northampton as Biggar is taking practice kicks - i.e. right before kick off. Great preparation for a pro team clap

I know sometimes sh*t happens and you can’t help mechanical breakdowns and stuff, but if you had to guess which side this would happen to most people would have Dragons high up their list. It wouldn’t be such a problem if we were staying the night before like most teams would (I expect) as we’d just get to bed a bit later, so it’s a problem directly related to our lowly financial status, and one compounded by the fact that we are gash and need all the help we can get to be able to compete, including a decent arrival and warm up.
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Post by RiscaGame on Sun 09 Dec 2018, 10:58 am

It’s inexcusable really. The way Chris Kirwan wrote it, is it made them late for their team meeting in a hotel, which for me means they decided to still go ahead with that, knowing they were late. I don’t get why (when they’re clearly counting every penny), they’re still doing this hotel meeting thing anyway, as there can’t be anything more to discuss when they’ve had since Tuesday to discuss the game (being generous and giving them all of Monday to deal with the Leinster fallout). But if they’re going to do the day travel thing, leave early. I get the bus broke down, but they clearly didn’t leave enough time on their journey for unexpected delays.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 10 Dec 2018, 10:25 am

Clermont are going to score 80-odd points against us, maybe even 100. I'm not kidding. The only way they'll score fewer is if they lose interest on account of it being so easy.

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Post by RiscaGame on Mon 10 Dec 2018, 12:29 pm

We might shock people and keep it below 60 Wink

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Tue 11 Dec 2018, 10:21 am

Oosh.

'Dragons have parted company with head coach Bernard Jackman.'

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/46519494

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Post by carpet baboon on Tue 11 Dec 2018, 10:31 am

Rob howley to take over?

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Post by carpet baboon on Tue 11 Dec 2018, 10:32 am

Or could this be Henson's first coaching job (is he still with you)

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Post by munkian on Tue 11 Dec 2018, 10:52 am

Mallinder apparently
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Post by Brendan on Tue 11 Dec 2018, 11:11 am

Not surprised to be fair, mutual consent would be leaving before sacked

Any idea on head coach. Is there any way S. Jones would want a shot at it or is he definitely going to Wales. Might be good to get a Welsh coach in.

The short list will be interesting and say alot about where the WRU want to take the Dragons. Think if they could get Deon Davis or that type person who gets the most out of the team it would be great. Is there a hard nose coach like Cockrill who can at least make you hard to break down. I think it is fair to say that of the bottom teams they have improved the least (If at all) over the last 3 years

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Tue 11 Dec 2018, 11:11 am

We still need a defence coach too!

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Post by Brendan on Tue 11 Dec 2018, 11:13 am

munkian wrote:Mallinder apparently

That would be a good appointment just don't keep him for 10 years like saints

Is the league becoming the coaching league of second chances

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Tue 11 Dec 2018, 11:17 am

Brendan wrote:I think it is fair to say that of the bottom teams they have improved the least (If at all) over the last 3 years

And that's despite having brought in new players over the summer. That's the most damning thing. He's got better players now but he still can't get a tune out of them.


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Post by munkian on Tue 11 Dec 2018, 11:18 am

Landman to get more games then
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Post by munkian on Tue 11 Dec 2018, 11:18 am

Jackman to Munster.
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Post by RiscaGame on Tue 11 Dec 2018, 11:36 am

munkian wrote:Landman to get more games then

If he hasn’t decided to move already like Amos.

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Post by RiscaGame on Tue 11 Dec 2018, 11:38 am

This is good news anyway. Sad that he has lost his job and all that, but I feel like a weight has been lifted today. Wasn’t keen on the direction we were heading in at all and it’s evident that people were losing faith in Buttress etc too.

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Post by munkian on Tue 11 Dec 2018, 11:41 am

RiscaGame wrote:
munkian wrote:Landman to get more games then

If he hasn’t decided to move already like Amos.

Blues were sniffing around before weren't they ?
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Post by RiscaGame on Tue 11 Dec 2018, 11:53 am

I don’t know. I wouldn’t be surprised, if other pro teams rated him more than Jackman did.

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Post by The Oracle on Tue 11 Dec 2018, 1:24 pm

Jake White Smile

(just for SecretFly, if he's reading!)

Edit: no word of a lie I just had a text from a mate saying he's heard Jake White's name is in the frame! Haha. Linked to every job.


Last edited by The Oracle on Tue 11 Dec 2018, 2:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by The Oracle on Tue 11 Dec 2018, 2:35 pm

Just read a comment on the Argus site suggesting Sam Warburton for the role (with support). For God's sake! I know Warbs was an excellent player. And I'm sure he won't do any worse than Jackman. But really?! The last thing we need is experimentation and inexperience.

Like the sound of Malinder though. Although, is that realistic or just a name bandied about because he's out of work?

In reality it's the ultimate poison chalice. Take a club at the bottom of the league, with less money than everyone (apparently) but with an expectation to be challenging for play offs, and under the microscope of the Welsh public and pundits. It's a near impossible job. It either needs a ton more money chucked at it. More than the other regions are getting. So that's not going to happen. Or it needs some sort of miracle worker to get more out of the players than any other coach has managed (although this year's crop on paper are better). We need a Neil Warnock type (sorry to use a football example). Or a Harry Redknapp maybe? Someone who seems to consistently get out of the teams more than the sum of their parts. Anyone we know like that in rugby?!
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Post by The Oracle on Tue 11 Dec 2018, 2:48 pm

Someone else has suggested Lancaster! Why on earth would he come to the Dragons from Leinster?! He's looking up not looking at rock bottom!
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Post by Brendan on Tue 11 Dec 2018, 3:49 pm

The Oracle wrote:Just read a comment on the Argus site suggesting Sam Warburton for the role (with support).  For God's sake!  I know Warbs was an excellent player.  And I'm sure he won't do any worse than Jackman.  But really?!  The last thing we need is experimentation and inexperience.  

Like the sound of Malinder though.  Although, is that realistic or just a name bandied about because he's out of work?

In reality it's the ultimate poison chalice.  Take a club at the bottom of the league, with less money than everyone (apparently) but with an expectation to be challenging for play offs, and under the microscope of the Welsh public and pundits.  It's a near impossible job.  It either needs a ton more money chucked at it.  More than the other regions are getting.  So that's not going to happen.  Or it needs some sort of miracle worker to get more out of the players than any other coach has managed (although this year's crop on paper are better).  We need a Neil Warnock type (sorry to use a football example).  Or a Harry Redknapp maybe?  Someone who seems to consistently get out of the teams more than the sum of their parts.  Anyone we know like that in rugby?!

Are Dragon fans really looking for play offs surely mid table would be a happy place to be for the moment.
I think a few(maybe any) away wins, Welsh derby wins (against the blues) and at least be still in with a shot of winning home games at 60mins would make fans happy for a year or two

As Connacht and Edinburgh have shown it does take much to go from near bottom to near Play-offs with no major player changes.

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Post by Brendan on Tue 11 Dec 2018, 3:50 pm

Plus if Dragons get their act together the fight for 4th might be too nailbitting

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Post by The Oracle on Tue 11 Dec 2018, 4:00 pm

Brendan wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Just read a comment on the Argus site suggesting Sam Warburton for the role (with support).  For God's sake!  I know Warbs was an excellent player.  And I'm sure he won't do any worse than Jackman.  But really?!  The last thing we need is experimentation and inexperience.  

Like the sound of Malinder though.  Although, is that realistic or just a name bandied about because he's out of work?

In reality it's the ultimate poison chalice.  Take a club at the bottom of the league, with less money than everyone (apparently) but with an expectation to be challenging for play offs, and under the microscope of the Welsh public and pundits.  It's a near impossible job.  It either needs a ton more money chucked at it.  More than the other regions are getting.  So that's not going to happen.  Or it needs some sort of miracle worker to get more out of the players than any other coach has managed (although this year's crop on paper are better).  We need a Neil Warnock type (sorry to use a football example).  Or a Harry Redknapp maybe?  Someone who seems to consistently get out of the teams more than the sum of their parts.  Anyone we know like that in rugby?!

Are Dragon fans really looking for play offs surely mid table would be a happy place to be for the moment.
I think a few(maybe any) away wins, Welsh derby wins (against the blues) and at least be still in with a shot of winning home games at 60mins would make fans happy for a year or two

As Connacht and Edinburgh have shown it does take much to go from near bottom to near Play-offs with no major player changes.

Well, if you are mid table then often you're close enough to be challenging for play offs. Mid-table tends to be just outside the play off places, and there might be a few teams around that mid point vying for a play off place if one of the teams above slips up.

I'm not saying they should be in the play offs. But certainly an improvement in a 14 league tournament from bottom 3 would be to be aiming for mid table (so around 7th, 8th, 9th, place). That's under the old format too. With the conference system even a team who came 4th out of 7 last year was in the play offs. Dragons were 6th, so an improvement of a couple of places is not that unrealistic.
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