EPCR Champions Cup - Pool 4 Thread

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EPCR Champions Cup - Pool 4 Thread

Post by LondonTiger on Mon 08 Oct 2018, 10:43 am

First topic message reminder :

Teams:

Leicester Tigers
Founded: 1880
Ground: Welford Road
Capacity: 25,849
Captain: Tom Youngs
Coach: Geordan Murphy (Interim)


Racing 92
Founded: 1892
Ground: Paris La Defense Arena
Capacity: 32,000
Captain: Dimitri Szarzewski
Coach: Laurent Labit / Laurent Traver


Scarlets
Founded: 2003
Ground: Parc y Scarlets
Capacity: 15,180
Captain: Ken Owens
Coach: Wayne Pivac


Ulster
Founded: 1879
Ground: Kingspan Stadium
Capacity: 18,000
Captain: Rory Best
Coach: Dan McFarland



Fixtures:

Round 1
Saturday 13th October, 17:30 Scarlets v Racing 92 (BT Sport/beIN Sports)
Saturday 13th October, 17:30 Ulster v Leicester (BT Sport)

Round 2
Friday 19th October, 19:45 Leicester v Scarlets (BT Sport)
Saturday 20th October, 17:30 Racing 92 v Ulster (beIN Sports/BT Sport)

Round 3
Friday 7th December, 19:45 Scarlets v Ulster (BT Sport)
Sunday 9th December, 15:15 Racing 92 v Leicester (FR2/BT Sport/beIN Sports)

Round 4
Friday 14th December, 19:45 Ulster v Scarlets (BT Sport)
Sunday 16th December, 13:00 Leicester v Racing 92 (BT Sport/beIN Sports)

Round 5
Saturday 12th January, 15:15 Ulster v Racing 92 (BT Sport/beIN Sports
Saturday 12th January, 17:30 Scarlets v Leicester (BT Sport)

Round 6
Saturday 19th January, 15:15 Racing 92 v Scarlets (beIN Sports/BT Sport)
Saturday 19th January, 15:15 Leicester v Ulster (BT Sport)



Season's Form:

Leicester - Pl 6, W3, L3
Racing 92 - Pl 7, W4, L3
Scarlets - Pl 6, W4, L2
Ulster - Pl 6, W3, D1, L2



Squads:

Leicester:
Props: Bateman, Cole, Cortes, Feao, Genge, Gigena, Heyes
Hookers: Polota-Nau, Stevens, Youngs
Second Row: Fitzgerald, Kitchener, Lewis, Spencer, Wells, Williams
Back Row: Denton, Evans, Kalamafoni, Mapapalangi, O'Connor, Reffell, Thompson
Half Backs: Ford G, Ford J, Hardwicke, Harrison, White, Youngs
3/4s & FB: Aspland-Robinson, Eastmond, Holmes, May, Owen, Olowofela, Smith, Thompstone, Toomua, Tuilagi, veainu, Worth


Racing 92
Props: Ben Arous, Colombe, Gogochashvili, Gomes Sa, Johnston, Kakovin, Tameifuna
Hookers: Avei, Baubugny, Chat, Szarzewski
Second Row: Bird, Claassen, Maka, Nakarawa, Palu, Ryan
Back Row: Chouzenoux, Diallo, Lauret, Le Roux, Sanconnie, Joseph
Half Backs: Chauveau, Gibert, Iribaren, Machenaud, Russell, Volavola
3/4s & FB: Chavancy, Dulin, Dupichot, Imhoff, Klemenczac, Lagarde, Paris, Pauvert, Rokocoko, Thomas, Vakatawa, Zebo


Scarlets
Props: Dylan Evans, Rob Evans, Gardiner, Wyn Jones, Kruger, Lee, Price
Hookers: Elias, Marc Jones, Owens
Second Row: Ball, Bulbring, Helps, Cummins, Rawlins
Back Row: Boyde, Cassiem, James Davies, Kennedy, Macleod, Shingler, Thomson
Half Backs: Gareth Davies, Jonathan Evans, Hardy, Hidalgo-Clyne, Dan Jones, O'Brien, Patchell, Smith
3/4s &FB: Asquith, Blommetjies, Jonathan Davies, Steff Evans, Fonotia, Halfpenny, Hughes, McNicholl, Nicholas, Parkes, Prydie


Ulster:
Props: Ah You, Herbst, Kane, McCall, Moore, O'Sullivan, O'Toole, Warwick
Hooker: Andrew, Best, Herring, McBurney
Second Row: Henderson, O'Connor, Treadwell,
Back Row: Coetzee, Deysel, Henry, Murphy, Rea, Reidy, Ross, Timoney
Half Backs: Burns, Cooney, Angus Curtis, Graham Curtis, Lowry, McPhillips, Shanahan, Stewart
3/4s & FB: Addison, Cave, Gilroy, Kernohan, Ludic, McCloskey, Moore, Nelson, Speight, Stockdale

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Re: EPCR Champions Cup - Pool 4 Thread

Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 13 Oct 2018, 9:02 pm

marty2086 wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
PhilBB wrote:The Scarlets were not founded in 2003.
According to EPCR they were.

When did WRU create the regions?

And Companies House say they were incorporated in 2003 Whistle

But sure what would they know

laughing

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Re: EPCR Champions Cup - Pool 4 Thread

Post by neilthom7 on Sat 13 Oct 2018, 9:09 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
neilthom7 wrote:The amount of players who made their European debuts in that game for Ulster and Tigers was quite something, it's not often you get so many youth players in at once.  Some of them look like they have bright futures

It's one of the few plus points for Tigers that tonight we had four players who were at the JWC in the summer playing tonight. The big hope is Heyes, not often you see a 19 year old tighthead come on and look perfectly comfortable at this level. Cole's eventual successor for Tigers and England. They are coming through well and we finally have a head coach who will play them.

The Ulster fullback looked a real twinkle toes. He's going to be leaving people grasping at thin air for years to come

Absolutely Lowry did very well considering he is a 10 really. Ulsters years of not blooding players has resulted in them all being thrown in at once, the likes of Lowry, Curtis, kernoghan and O'Sullivan have all looked good this year so promising for future.

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Re: EPCR Champions Cup - Pool 4 Thread

Post by formerly known as Sam on Sat 13 Oct 2018, 9:33 pm

neilthom7 wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
neilthom7 wrote:The amount of players who made their European debuts in that game for Ulster and Tigers was quite something, it's not often you get so many youth players in at once.  Some of them look like they have bright futures

It's one of the few plus points for Tigers that tonight we had four players who were at the JWC in the summer playing tonight. The big hope is Heyes, not often you see a 19 year old tighthead come on and look perfectly comfortable at this level. Cole's eventual successor for Tigers and England. They are coming through well and we finally have a head coach who will play them.

The Ulster fullback looked a real twinkle toes. He's going to be leaving people grasping at thin air for years to come

Absolutely Lowry did very well considering he is a 10 really.  Ulsters years of not blooding players has resulted in them all being thrown in at once, the likes of Lowry, Curtis, kernoghan and O'Sullivan have all looked good this year so promising for future.

Very similar boat to Tigers. Cockers wasn't great at bringing through the he young talent, exceptional young players yes but those that come through and become valuable squad men not so much. Matt O'Connor virtually refused.

Big overhaul in the academy a few years back as well. Certainly helping these guys come through.

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Re: EPCR Champions Cup - Pool 4 Thread

Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 14 Oct 2018, 4:47 am

Rugby writer Alex Shaw says he'll have a piece out looking at why the English clubs have come up short in Europe again. I'll be interested to see his conclusions. he doesn't think last year's breakdown excuse washes, as he says that wasn't the problem in most of the matches.

Sure, Bath blew their game with those Burns bloopers but good teams in Europe manage home wins and Exeter, Bath and Leicester all fell short. I don't think Bath and Leicester have looked good this season, and couldn't seem them going far in the competition but I still expected them to rise to the occasion in the opening match at home.

If English clubs do fall off the pace quickly, I'll be very disappointed if they start fielding weaker teams to give priority to the League. It's something French clubs have often done, and it can unbalance the competition. Newcastle may well do this from the outset, given their current run of form in the Premiership.

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Re: EPCR Champions Cup - Pool 4 Thread

Post by Pete330v2 on Sun 14 Oct 2018, 9:47 am

Leicester didn't play at home, they were away to Ulster who themselves have been off the pace to say the least. Ulster did however rise to the iccasion in some style whilst Leicester simply didn't have the heart for the fight. It'll be very interesting to see how Saracens do against Glasgow this afternoon. C'mon the Weegies.

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Re: EPCR Champions Cup - Pool 4 Thread

Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 14 Oct 2018, 10:52 am

Pete330v2 wrote:Leicester didn't play at home, they were away to Ulster
Doh

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Re: EPCR Champions Cup - Pool 4 Thread

Post by The Great Aukster on Sun 14 Oct 2018, 11:11 am

neilthom7 wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
neilthom7 wrote:The amount of players who made their European debuts in that game for Ulster and Tigers was quite something, it's not often you get so many youth players in at once.  Some of them look like they have bright futures

It's one of the few plus points for Tigers that tonight we had four players who were at the JWC in the summer playing tonight. The big hope is Heyes, not often you see a 19 year old tighthead come on and look perfectly comfortable at this level. Cole's eventual successor for Tigers and England. They are coming through well and we finally have a head coach who will play them.

The Ulster fullback looked a real twinkle toes. He's going to be leaving people grasping at thin air for years to come

Absolutely Lowry did very well considering he is a 10 really.  Ulsters years of not blooding players has resulted in them all being thrown in at once, the likes of Lowry, Curtis, kernoghan and O'Sullivan have all looked good this year so promising for future.
Lowry is just turned 20 and was out with injury last season. Ulster can't really be accused of "not blooding players" that aren't available! Know what you mean though
- McPhillips, and McBurney should have been introduced long before the middle of last season.

Lowry has great feet but his stature is a problem. There can't be many players make George Ford look big, and he doesn't have the top line pace to stretch away either. He is like Rod Lyttle in that regard - talented but probably not big enough or fast enough to make it as a back-three player. Lowry's best chance of a Test career has to lie at half back. He has the heart of a lion, the brain of a chess player and the leadership qualities needed in the heart of the action.

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Re: EPCR Champions Cup - Pool 4 Thread

Post by formerly known as Sam on Sun 14 Oct 2018, 2:43 pm

Pete330v2 wrote:Leicester didn't play at home, they were away to Ulster who themselves have been off the pace to say the least. Ulster did however rise to the iccasion in some style whilst Leicester simply didn't have the heart for the fight. It'll be very interesting to see how Saracens do against Glasgow this afternoon. C'mon the Weegies.

I think Tigers had the heart for the fight. Lack of execution meant they had a 3-0 lead at halftime instead of 10+. They also kept Ulster out whilst down to 14.

Problem for Tigers was that the team tired as quite a few of them (notably the forwards) have played a lot of minutes. O'Connor back from injury for this game faded and the impact he had at the breakdown in the first half was significant. Three of the five forwards on the bench were 20 or younger. Ulster had more forward impact and it told. Made yards up the middle, sucked in the Tigers defence and scored two out wide and one off the back of a rolling maul.

Many problems for Tigers but lack of heart wasn't one and I was proud of the young lads for going down swinging trying for a LBP. They could have let their heads dropped and just played out the time.

Geordan has had no pre season and Matt O'Connor should be shot for the mess he's left the club in. Murphy was left with no defensive structure, no attacking game plan and players who hadn't done enough fitness work (MOC allegedly didn't believe in too much S&C). Trying to pick that up a game into the season is tough. As is going away to our bogey ground missing almost half the first team.

Fair play to Ulster they had a twenty minute period where they were ruthless and made us pay for the errors they forced us into. Thought we deserved a LBP so disappointed not to get one at the end but we made a lot of errors and too many unforced in the Ulster 22.

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Re: EPCR Champions Cup - Pool 4 Thread

Post by The Great Aukster on Sun 14 Oct 2018, 7:48 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
Pete330v2 wrote:Leicester didn't play at home, they were away to Ulster who themselves have been off the pace to say the least. Ulster did however rise to the iccasion in some style whilst Leicester simply didn't have the heart for the fight. It'll be very interesting to see how Saracens do against Glasgow this afternoon. C'mon the Weegies.

I think Tigers had the heart for the fight. Lack of execution meant they had a 3-0 lead at halftime instead of 10+. They also kept Ulster out whilst down to 14.

Problem for Tigers was that the team tired as quite a few of them (notably the forwards) have played a lot of minutes. O'Connor back from injury for this game faded and the impact he had at the breakdown in the first half was significant. Three of the five forwards on the bench were 20 or younger. Ulster had more forward impact and it told. Made yards up the middle, sucked in the Tigers defence and scored two out wide and one off the back of a rolling maul.

Many problems for Tigers but lack of heart wasn't one and I was proud of the young lads for going down swinging trying for a LBP. They could have let their heads dropped and just played out the time.

Geordan has had no pre season and Matt O'Connor should be shot for the mess he's left the club in. Murphy was left with no defensive structure, no attacking game plan and players who hadn't done enough fitness work (MOC allegedly didn't believe in too much S&C). Trying to pick that up a game into the season is tough. As is going away to our bogey ground missing almost half the first team.

Fair play to Ulster they had a twenty minute period where they were ruthless and made us pay for the errors they forced us into. Thought we deserved a LBP so disappointed not to get one at the end but we made a lot of errors and too many unforced in the Ulster 22.

I freely admit I was watching one-eyed at Ulster, but at the ground it didn't look like the Tigers had the heart for the fight. I was disappointed in Cole, both Youngs, Eastmond and to a lesser extent Thompstone, Tuilagi and Ford - or in other words the 'senior' players. Maybe that's because I noticed them more because of their familiarity but it was guys like Kalafamoni, Williams, Wells, Olowofela and Holmes who showed glimpses of danger and fight.
You might have sussed a major problem with the Tigers S&C history this season. I couldn't believe how far Dan Cole was off the pace, neither could I believe he was 5 years younger than Rory Best (when I checked the programme). The former faded in the scrum and I didn't notice him doing his usual breakdown work at all, while the latter gradually picked up the match pace the longer he was on the pitch. Maybe with the injuries some players are indeed jaded from too much gametime as I know some Ulster ones are for the same reason.
One big issue for both teams is the absence of motivational leadership. In the first half the game meandered like two boxers feigning blows but not actually landing punches. After the halftime break Ulster came out with a sense of purpose presumably imbued into them by the team talk and luckily for Ulster one that wasn't replicated in the Visitors dressing room.

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Re: EPCR Champions Cup - Pool 4 Thread

Post by formerly known as Sam on Sun 14 Oct 2018, 8:49 pm

I thought the Tigers midfield did fine. Manu made yards and broke both Ulster flyhalfs. Ulster made no yards through the Tigers midfield. Thompstone is rock solid but his pace is fading. Owolofela and Holmes have a lot of potential but positioning is not great often meaning that they weren't in position to support each other when kicks went in behind.

You're spot on with leadership. We are desperate for someone to take this team by the scruff of the neck. We just didn't come out for the second half where as Ulster looked pumped and driven.

Cole has struggled since the change in breakdown laws. He's just not quick enough to get down and over the ball. He does make a lot of tackles and play a lot of minutes still. We're in little trouble at tighthead in that Cole can't keep playing this many minutes but at the same time Heyes is 19 and we need to build him up slowly. Hopefully Puma prop Cortes can come in and do a shift or two to help out when he's fit again (got injured in a mid game warm up steam ).

This Tigers team will be nothing to about about this season. It's a rebuilding season whilst Murphy fixes the many broken aspects.

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Re: EPCR Champions Cup - Pool 4 Thread

Post by LondonTiger on Mon 15 Oct 2018, 7:14 am

Ford is the real on field captain for us. Even with OTY on the pitch it is Ford giving team talks, urging the players on (too often under the posts after conceding another try).

We looked plenty up for the fight too me, highlighted most by the linespeed in defence and how much harder we were working off the ball than in some earlier games. I actually thought , especially in the first half, that too many Ulster players looked lazy. Not getting back on their feet quick enough to help out the SH and FB.

Perhaps they were just pacing themselves better Wink

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Re: EPCR Champions Cup - Pool 4 Thread

Post by LondonTiger on Mon 15 Oct 2018, 11:21 am

For me, the main differences between the sides were:

1: Lineouts - we lost too many attacking opportunities with a faltering lineout, this is not a new thing sadly.
2: Penalty Count - we lost far too much ground by coughing up silly penalties allowing Ulster too much possession in our 22.


The set piece advantage we had largely disappeared when Moore came on and was able to keep Bateman (who is strong but not especially skilled at scrummaging) quiet. With the tighthead secured, Ulster were able to repel us in this area.

I was impressed with how we competed at the breakdown where several times (more in 1st than 2nd half) we were able to steal ball close to our own line to relieve pressure for a bit. Defence close to the line was good, but yet again this season  we had slow forwards defending the midfield and being made to look silly as several Ulster players made key breaks.

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Re: EPCR Champions Cup - Pool 4 Thread

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