Dragons Season Thread - 2019/20 aka Year 1 of the new 5 Year Plan

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Post by Stone Motif on Sun 30 Dec 2018, 11:19 pm

First topic message reminder :

RiscaGame wrote:A good win for Dragons. Wonder if George North might get banned this week for more shethousery. Guy is turning into a dirty get down there.

Wasn’t too convinced by the subs we made, but they turned out to be wise choices. That includes Tovey steadying the ship and kicking the winner and surprisingly Suter being solid in the scrum.
It's an amazing win given the Ospreys dominance. If they'd have made the right calls our luck would have run out I think.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 22 May 2019, 9:33 pm

No.

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Post by RiscaGame on Wed 22 May 2019, 10:11 pm

I thought he had actually signed for Merthyr, but there we go.

I would actually sign him. Won’t cost much in wages probably and we can’t really rely on what we have staying fit, so it’s more depth. It shows a little intent if we are signing some players too, without Dean Ryan coming across all Bernard “freebie season to assess the squad”  Jackmany.

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Post by Stone Motif on Wed 22 May 2019, 10:28 pm

RiscaGame wrote:I thought he had actually signed for Merthyr, but there we go.

I would actually sign him. Won’t cost much in wages probably and we can’t really rely on what we have staying fit, so it’s more depth. It shows a little intent if we are signing some players too, without Dean Ryan coming across all Bernard “freebie season to assess the squad”  Jackmany.
Exactly my thoughts, if he's in the right banding, and still knows his way to the try line be well worth a punt. Has that Dan Evans ability to score tries despite his limitations. Plus Ashton Hewitt won't go a season uninjured, then we're down to 21 year olds.
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Post by Welshmushroom on Thu 23 May 2019, 1:20 pm

I don't think we need him. Id like to see us start Goodchild and Talbot-Davies next season in our backline more often. With Dixon, Morgan & Rosser that would be a speedy and bulky backline. Our real problem is at 10. I would have like to see Priestland come to us as we could have done with his experience steering the ship. I'll settle for Davies though if can get him.

We probably need to strengthen at second row as a second priority. Reckon Nansen and Hill wont be around for the first block of games and I don't think having Joseph Davies and Screech in the second row will work out to well for us. We need a bit of an experienced bulky second row in there to help steady the team.

If we can then get lucky with the Pro14 draw in the opening few rounds and not draw Ulster (who look like they will have a quality outfit even without their internationals) we could pick some good wins at the beginning. Munster, Leinster & Scarlets will be particularly vulnerable with so many players away at the World cup so getting those home or away should be winnable games and hopefully targeted by us.




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Post by LordDowlais on Thu 23 May 2019, 1:27 pm

Stone Motif wrote:
RiscaGame wrote:I thought he had actually signed for Merthyr, but there we go.

I would actually sign him. Won’t cost much in wages probably and we can’t really rely on what we have staying fit, so it’s more depth. It shows a little intent if we are signing some players too, without Dean Ryan coming across all Bernard “freebie season to assess the squad”  Jackmany.
Exactly my thoughts, if he's in the right banding, and still knows his way to the try line be well worth a punt. Has that Dan Evans ability to score tries despite his limitations. Plus Ashton Hewitt won't go a season uninjured, then we're down to 21 year olds.


He has been playing for Merthyr, his home town club, whilst he was getting over his personal problems. He also had a few games for Ponty and Cardiff in the prem whilst getting back to full fitness.

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Post by Stone Motif on Thu 23 May 2019, 1:46 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:I don't think we need him. Id like to see us start Goodchild and Talbot-Davies next season in our backline more often. With Dixon, Morgan & Rosser that would be a speedy and bulky backline.  Our real problem is at 10.  I would have like to see Priestland come to us as we could have done with his experience steering the ship.  I'll settle for Davies though if can get him.

We probably need to strengthen at second row as a second priority.  Reckon Nansen and Hill wont be around for the first block of games and I don't think having Joseph Davies and Screech in the second row will work out to well for us.  We need a bit of an experienced bulky second row in there to help steady the team.

If we can then get lucky with the Pro14 draw in the opening few rounds and not draw Ulster (who look like they will have a quality outfit even without their internationals) we could pick some good wins at the beginning. Munster, Leinster & Scarlets will be particularly vulnerable with so many players away at the World cup so getting those home or away should be winnable games and hopefully targeted by us.




Very young backline....
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Post by Stone Motif on Thu 23 May 2019, 1:48 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:
RiscaGame wrote:I thought he had actually signed for Merthyr, but there we go.

I would actually sign him. Won’t cost much in wages probably and we can’t really rely on what we have staying fit, so it’s more depth. It shows a little intent if we are signing some players too, without Dean Ryan coming across all Bernard “freebie season to assess the squad”  Jackmany.
Exactly my thoughts, if he's in the right banding, and still knows his way to the try line be well worth a punt. Has that Dan Evans ability to score tries despite his limitations. Plus Ashton Hewitt won't go a season uninjured, then we're down to 21 year olds.


He has been playing for Merthyr, his home town club, whilst he was getting over his personal problems. He also had a few games for Ponty and Cardiff in the prem whilst getting back to full fitness.
He's wasted at that level.
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Post by LordDowlais on Thu 23 May 2019, 2:08 pm

Nice of you to think so. Rolling Eyes

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Post by RiscaGame on Thu 23 May 2019, 3:46 pm

I know he has been playing around his regional clubs, but there was talk that Merthyr had signed him.

What's so wrong with saying a player is too good to be playing at Welsh Prem level?

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Post by RiscaGame on Thu 23 May 2019, 3:50 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:I don't think we need him. Id like to see us start Goodchild and Talbot-Davies next season in our backline more often. With Dixon, Morgan & Rosser that would be a speedy and bulky backline.  Our real problem is at 10.  I would have like to see Priestland come to us as we could have done with his experience steering the ship.  I'll settle for Davies though if can get him.

We probably need to strengthen at second row as a second priority.  Reckon Nansen and Hill wont be around for the first block of games and I don't think having Joseph Davies and Screech in the second row will work out to well for us.  We need a bit of an experienced bulky second row in there to help steady the team.

If we can then get lucky with the Pro14 draw in the opening few rounds and not draw Ulster (who look like they will have a quality outfit even without their internationals) we could pick some good wins at the beginning. Munster, Leinster & Scarlets will be particularly vulnerable with so many players away at the World cup so getting those home or away should be winnable games and hopefully targeted by us.




I am not overly a fan of Talbot Davies, to be honest. I wouldn't mind us having a look at Goodchild though.

Second row has been a problem and signing Nansen wasn't necessarily the best idea, given his injury record and the fact he was always likely to be going to the RWC (as he was an international when signed). Bulbring wouldn't be the worst signing for us, in my opinion.

To be fair, even Jackman managed a relatively good start to the league last season (although we should probably have beaten Treviso at home too). I would certainly like to come up against sides who would be weakened, but to be honest a lot of them are better set up than us even with a second string sadly.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 23 May 2019, 6:13 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:I don't think we need him. Id like to see us start Goodchild and Talbot-Davies next season in our backline more often. With Dixon, Morgan & Rosser that would be a speedy and bulky backline.  Our real problem is at 10.  I would have like to see Priestland come to us as we could have done with his experience steering the ship.  I'll settle for Davies though if can get him.

We probably need to strengthen at second row as a second priority.  Reckon Nansen and Hill wont be around for the first block of games and I don't think having Joseph Davies and Screech in the second row will work out to well for us.  We need a bit of an experienced bulky second row in there to help steady the team.

If we can then get lucky with the Pro14 draw in the opening few rounds and not draw Ulster (who look like they will have a quality outfit even without their internationals) we could pick some good wins at the beginning. Munster, Leinster & Scarlets will be particularly vulnerable with so many players away at the World cup so getting those home or away should be winnable games and hopefully targeted by us.




I agree with you. Not needed and even if our some of our current back 3 are injured we can usually bring one in from the academy to do a good job. After all this is how we found Amos, Dixon, Morgan, etc. We always have someone good coming through in 7 and 9 too. Time to look at additions to LH and 2nd row. Fly-half is another major but Sam Davies coming in just sets us back. We've had some garbage signings over the years and this one would be up there with the worst of those. Tom James is too big a risk for us but if he's still able to play pro rugby then he should probably go to Ospreys as they look light on the wing.

You're right about Ulster. Munster, Leinster and Scarlets (injuries permitting) also have good depth though, and will still be strong up front. Should we target each of those games? Absolutely.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 23 May 2019, 6:24 pm

Bulbring is still without a contract according to the WOL. I've no idea what us or Cardiff are waiting for. Very good and consistent player. I think he is now WQ but I don't think he's good enough to step up to that.

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Post by Stone Motif on Thu 23 May 2019, 7:37 pm

Anyone out there who still thinks we can go a season with only one back three player over the age of 24, go and look at how many tries we concede due to errors at the back and punch yourself in the face each time you spot one.

Then, when you realise who is likely to play full back, punch yourself again.
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Post by Stone Motif on Mon 27 May 2019, 10:33 am

So, Penguin makes his decision this week, according to the increasingly irritating Mark Orders. Still stand by this being a good thing if he chooses Newport over Swansea.

Struggles with consistency, but we won't get better on our budget. He can land a ball on a golf tee on his day which Rosser and Hewitt will eat up, and attacks the line well. We can't afford to buy our way out of our weak tight five problem but we can manufacture some carrying yards out of the likes of Dixon and Griffiths off ten. This is also why I'd sign Tom James, he has always gone into contact like a bag of concrete and we could deploy him off a ten that can fix a defence much how Wales send George North up the guts to hide their lack of heavy carriers.
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Post by RiscaGame on Mon 27 May 2019, 12:22 pm

I would agree with all of that.

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Post by The Oracle on Mon 27 May 2019, 4:26 pm

Yep, #metoo.

We have to be realistic with the budget we have got. And his one strength, as Stone says, is his ability to kick in behind and give wingers something to run on to. Our wingers are not Cuthbert or North-esque ‘bangers’ who can truck it up, but they’ve got gas and will run onto those kicks into space all day long. Again, that would be playing to our strengths.
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Post by Stone Motif on Mon 27 May 2019, 9:15 pm

The Oracle wrote:Yep, #metoo.

We have to be realistic with the budget we have got. And his one strength, as Stone says, is his ability to kick in behind and give wingers something to run on to. Our wingers are not Cuthbert or North-esque ‘bangers’ who can truck it up, but they’ve got gas and will run onto those kicks into space all day long. Again, that would be playing to our strengths.
One thing I'd disagree with Orders about - apart from his mission to be the self-appointed voice of the OTR PR team in the national media - is that Sam Davies' is guaranteed first choice ten. If you take Wainwright's ridiculous talent out of the equation, I'd say Josh Lewis is our lost improved player. Davies and Lewis are both capable of playing in the faces of the opposition which makes for good continuity - another plus point.
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Post by Stone Motif on Thu 30 May 2019, 4:49 pm

https://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/sport/17674727.dragons-get-their-man-as-wales-fly-half-sam-davies-signs-up/

It's official. Shame O'Charlatan signed Botica or I'd like to think we could have kept Tovey - Davies, Lewis and the Bane of Passports would have been the best set of tens we've had for a while.

Still, at least if I'm ever in a carpet shop in Merthyr I'll have another player who couldn't make the step up to full pro up my sleeve should an argument with a well-known rugby journalist transpire.
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 30 May 2019, 5:05 pm

I'm really happy with this. Josh Lewis ended the season well, but the one thing you'd worry about in a match is his kicking, especially from hand, and Sam Davies is excellent in that area. If it's p!ssing down and blowing a gale, which it often is at Rodney Parade, then you need that control. With Rhodri Williams being a really good wet-weather player, it bodes well.

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Post by The Oracle on Thu 30 May 2019, 5:59 pm

Yeah, happy too. Without wanting to incur the wrath of Mikey I’d say/hope Davies will be worth a couple of extra wins for us next season. Just having that extra bit of control, kicking well for territory/to the wings and kicking for goal. And that’s exactly what we need. We’re trying to build so need to take baby steps. We got 2 wins under Jackman, 5 under Jackman/Jones...... next season I’d like us to get to maybe 8 which would represent a 50% win rate in the league roughly. Big ask but more realistic than those saying ‘we should be aiming for a top 4 finish’ or ‘dragons lack ambition’, etc.
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Post by wayne on Thu 30 May 2019, 6:45 pm

Have to say I'm disapointed with this he's a much better 10 than Luke Price, Sam's kicking out of hand is superb, you only have to watch some of his kicks on JD, when he put us on the 5 metre line when we had penalties around the half way line, perhaps a small fault is his trajectory on open field kicks, it can be a bit low. His battle with Lewis can only be good for the Dragons. I know it's nothing to do with this topic I just hope Ieuan Evans's son (Cai)improves rapidly because Luke Price isn't the answer.

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Post by RiscaGame on Fri 31 May 2019, 12:47 am

It’s clear the vast majority of Dragons supporters are happy with this signing, much as a lot of Ospreys fans are gutted to lose him. Sam has a new level of control we haven’t had. I love Tovey as a player, but even he can’t do things I’ve seen of Davies this season, such as the no look to put Dan Evans in for his hat trick in SA recently. Good signing. That said, he couldn’t hold his nerve in the Christmas derby at the end, while Tovey did haha.

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Post by Stone Motif on Fri 31 May 2019, 5:54 pm

https://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/sport/17677254.dragons-sign-ireland-u20s-wing-mccarthy-after-munster-exit/

Wasn't expecting that. Oh well let's see how he goes.
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Post by RiscaGame on Fri 31 May 2019, 6:26 pm

Interesting signing. He’s meant to be alright. I can’t remember seeing anything of him, even if he was with us before (sort of).

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 01 Jun 2019, 3:13 am

The Oracle wrote:Yeah, happy too. Without wanting to incur the wrath of Mikey I’d say/hope Davies will be worth a couple of extra wins for us next season. Just having that extra bit of control, kicking well for territory/to the wings and kicking for goal. And that’s exactly what we need. We’re trying to build so need to take baby steps. We got 2 wins under Jackman, 5 under Jackman/Jones...... next season I’d like us to get to maybe 8 which would represent a 50% win rate in the league roughly. Big ask but more realistic than those saying ‘we should be aiming for a top 4 finish’ or ‘dragons lack ambition’, etc.

Yep I don’t rate him but good luck to the guy. I hope he can improve with us like some players actually have done in the past. Our team looks decent on paper but i also said that over a year ago, turns out we weren’t great. I hope we are going to sign in the front 5 too. Have ya’ll seen who Ulster and London Irish are signing? Kinda puts this into perspective...

I didn’t see the McCarthy signing coming. Highly rated in Ireland but it’s unclear why he left there. Perhaps it was an issue with settling down there seeing as he grew up in Wales up to age 18. Guess that rules out Tom James and rightfully so, because TJ is a full back known for having stellar defence right Stoner?

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Post by Stone Motif on Sat 01 Jun 2019, 11:41 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Yeah, happy too. Without wanting to incur the wrath of Mikey I’d say/hope Davies will be worth a couple of extra wins for us next season. Just having that extra bit of control, kicking well for territory/to the wings and kicking for goal. And that’s exactly what we need. We’re trying to build so need to take baby steps. We got 2 wins under Jackman, 5 under Jackman/Jones...... next season I’d like us to get to maybe 8 which would represent a 50% win rate in the league roughly. Big ask but more realistic than those saying ‘we should be aiming for a top 4 finish’ or ‘dragons lack ambition’, etc.

Yep I don’t rate him but good luck to the guy. I hope he can improve with us like some players actually have done in the past. Our team looks decent on paper but i also said that over a year ago, turns out we weren’t great. I hope we are going to sign in the front 5 too. Have ya’ll seen who Ulster and London Irish are signing? Kinda puts this into perspective...

I didn’t see the McCarthy signing coming. Highly rated in Ireland but it’s unclear why he left there. Perhaps it was an issue with settling down there seeing as he grew up in Wales up to age 18. Guess that rules out Tom James and rightfully so, because TJ is a full back known for having stellar defence right Stoner?

No, because TJ is a relatively cheap Welsh-qualified brick outhouse of a wing adept at making hard yards off a ten who can play flat - in the context, of course, of a side that lacks ball carriers and can't afford to buy any.

Why do you do it to yourself?
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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 01 Jun 2019, 3:36 pm

But you also alluded to us having poor defence and needing a full back, none of which TJ is. Waste of money for us when we need to recruit elsewhere, but he would be a good addition to a more forward-orientated team with a good fly-half (Ospreys). It’s starting the obvious, but some people are thick I guess.

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Post by Stone Motif on Sat 01 Jun 2019, 6:06 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:But you also alluded to us having poor defence and needing a full back, none of which TJ is. Waste of money for us when we need to recruit elsewhere, but he would be a good addition to a more forward-orientated team with a good fly-half (Ospreys).

I 'alluded' to a lack of experience in our wingers,particularly given who the likely full back is.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 01 Jun 2019, 6:09 pm

So we do need another full back then? That I would agree with.

Balls to experience, if you’re good enough you’re in.

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Post by LordDowlais on Mon 03 Jun 2019, 9:00 am

FFS.

Stone Motif, do you have some kind of irrational obsession with me ? I do not spend as much time on here because of people like you.

Then, I come on here after taking a few weeks away, I have not even spoken to anyone on this site, and here you are obsessing over me and my personal life.

And for the record, again you are making yourself look stupid, you bang on about how players from the Welsh prem cannot make the step up to the regions, then you are canvasing for Dragons to sign a player who has done just exactly that, made the step up from the Welsh prem to Cardiff Blues.

picard

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Post by The Oracle on Mon 03 Jun 2019, 10:20 am

And that's your sole contribution after a few weeks away?! Great Crying or Very sad
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Post by Stone Motif on Mon 03 Jun 2019, 3:35 pm

LordDowlais wrote:FFS.

Stone Motif, do you have some kind of irrational obsession with me ? I do not spend as much time on here because of people like you.

Then, I come on here after taking a few weeks away, I have not even spoken to anyone on this site, and here you are obsessing over me and my personal life.

And for the record, again you are making yourself look stupid, you bang on about how players from the Welsh prem cannot make the step up to the regions, then you are canvasing for Dragons to sign a player who has done just exactly that, made the step up from the Welsh prem to Cardiff Blues.

picard

Sorry, are you referring to Tom James - the guy who played one season for Merthyr as an 18 year old after switching from athletics, before joining the Cardiff Blues academy? Turn it in.
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Post by RDW on Mon 03 Jun 2019, 5:19 pm

Stone Motif - I've removed a few posts which were personal attacks. I don't know if you've kept up the future of the forum thread but we're taking a hardline on people attacking the poster as opposed to debating the post. First strike is red pen (this), second strike is formal warning, 3rd strike is a ban.

Mikey and LD - I've done some editing for you two as well, although I appreciate in this instance SM was the instigator. If people are posting personal abuse you are best off reporting them instead of retaliating yourself, as you'll both end up on the naughty step.

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Post by Stone Motif on Mon 03 Jun 2019, 7:27 pm

For the record, I'd much rather talk about why we should be running a 2-4-2 attack and how it would allow a Dixon/Edwards or even Benjamin to play as an extra forward at 12, Rosser and Tom James running strike plays again to help out our forwards and our best backs, who play at 13, given chance to dictate play a bit more.
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Post by Stone Motif on Tue 04 Jun 2019, 4:32 pm

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Well, I guess that kind of proves who here is up for talking rugby and who here is up for having a row.
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Post by RiscaGame on Tue 04 Jun 2019, 4:35 pm

Dragons have signed loosehead prop Jack Cosgrove from Worcester. Can’t pretend to be familiar with him, but I am content that Ceri Jones knows a thing or two about props.

Chris Kirwan thinks that’s the end of the incomings. He is probably right, given what Ryan said when he arrived too.

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 04 Jun 2019, 4:42 pm

What is a 2-4-2 attack?

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Post by RiscaGame on Tue 04 Jun 2019, 4:49 pm

That said, Cosgrove seems to have only been at Worcester for half a season.

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Post by Stone Motif on Tue 04 Jun 2019, 6:10 pm

LondonTiger wrote:What is a 2-4-2 attack?
Canterbury system, pod of four forwards in the middle pod (usually locks and props) with flankers and no8/hooker forming wide pods
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Post by Stone Motif on Mon 10 Jun 2019, 8:19 am

https://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/sport/17695144.ryan-dragons-cant-make-panic-buys-to-fill-holes-in-squad/

chin
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Post by RiscaGame on Mon 10 Jun 2019, 9:22 am

Wouldn't say we were light on outside backs really. We have quite a few, they're just all pretty inexperienced.

Whilst we don't have to panic buy, I am sure there are a few players released from pro teams that we could go or could've gone for. From what I've seen of interviews thus far, next season already seems like it is going to be a freebie like what Jackman's first one was. As long as he doesn't play players like your Connor Edwards' etc and then cast them aside, I don't mind it so much, but when the gap on a lot of teams is as vast as it is, we need to start closing it sooner rather than later.

I keep seeing about how we are likely to renew Harris too, so wonder what has taken so long.

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Post by Stone Motif on Mon 10 Jun 2019, 10:39 am

If Dean Ryan et al have the bones of a gameplan and are trying to fit players to that then fair enough. Jackman was throwing sh7t at a wall.
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Post by RiscaGame on Mon 10 Jun 2019, 11:57 am

I’m 100% confident that we will be less of a rabble. Just do get a bit nervous hearing that kind of talk, after what has happened.

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Post by Stone Motif on Mon 10 Jun 2019, 12:24 pm

I stand by my earlier rants about signing any more 85 kilo outside backs - looks like our academy is churning them out faster than 6.5s - but if we are bringing in a lump I can see the logic. If we shape up with Brown or Hubbard running a decoy of Screech/Hill (both of whom can run a line consistently and pass), you then have a ten who can operate credibly in heavy traffic with our best carrier at 12 and another strike option at 14. Morgan/Warren sit off and play whatever opens up with the flash boys able to support. Doesn't change how limited a team we are but a 2-4-2 fans across the field more so inevitably makes turning from attack to defence easier. Does make keeping hold of forwards with zero agility questionable, which might be why they're weighing up Brok now I mention it.
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Post by RiscaGame on Mon 10 Jun 2019, 1:23 pm

No more big Joe Davies? Ha.

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Post by Stone Motif on Mon 10 Jun 2019, 1:41 pm

RiscaGame wrote:No more big Joe Davies? Ha.

Out of window he doesn't get in the side with Nansen and Hill injury free. In window or covering injuries I'd hide him in the right hand pod in case we need a power lifter to flop ineffectually onto a ruck formed by a back four stone lighter but with four times the carrying ability.
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Post by RiscaGame on Mon 10 Jun 2019, 4:04 pm

Nah, I know really. He’s definitely 4th choice, maybe fifth if Huw Taylor gets more of a run. Wonder if Dean Ryan likes second rows to be second rows?

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Post by Stone Motif on Mon 10 Jun 2019, 5:56 pm

RiscaGame wrote:Nah, I know really. He’s definitely 4th choice, maybe fifth if Huw Taylor gets more of a run. Wonder if Dean Ryan likes second rows to be second rows?

He can like them to be proper all he wants, whether he can afford one is a different question I guess...
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Post by RiscaGame on Mon 10 Jun 2019, 7:44 pm

Nah, short of unearthing another gem we are pretty scuppered there.

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Post by Stone Motif on Tue 11 Jun 2019, 7:24 pm

https://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/sport/17699018.robson-and-edwards-hunt-dragons-starts-after-signing-new-deals/

Got time for both of these two. Edwards in particular offers a bit of consistency if filling in for Dixon, an oft overlooked selling point in a team as frequently disorganised as ours.
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