Leicester Tigers 2019-20

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 10 Sep 2019, 11:23 am

First topic message reminder :

Fixtures


September
13th Misc - Premiership Sevens, Pool Fixtures
14th Misc - Premiership Sevens, KO Fixtures
21st 15:00 - Worcester (a), Premiership Cup
27th 19:45 - Exeter (h), Premiership Cup

October
 5th 15:00 - Bath (a), Premiership Cup
12th 15:00 - Northampton (h), Premiership Cup
19th 15:00 - Worcester (a), Gallagher Premiership
27th 15:00 - Saracens (h), Gallagher Premiership

November
 2nd 15:00 - Gloucester (h), Gallagher Premiership
10th 15:00 - London Irish (a), Gallagher Premiership
16th 15:00 - Pau (h), Challenge Cup
23rd 20:00 - Cardiff (a), Challenge Cup
30th 15:00 - Northampton (a), Gallagher Premiership

December
 7th 15:00 - Calvisano (h), Challenge Cup
14th 13:30 - Calvisano (a), Challenge Cup
21st 15:00 - Exeter (h), Gallagher Premiership
28th 16:30 - Harlequins (a - Twickenham), Gallagher Premiership

January
 4th 15:00 - Bristol (h), Gallagher Premiership
12th 15:15 - Cardiff (h), Challenge Cup
17/18/19 - Pau (a), Challenge Cup
24/25/26 - Bath (a), Gallagher Premiership

February
14/15/16 - Wasps (h), Gallagher Premiership
21/21/23 - Sale (a), Gallagher Premiership
28/29/01 - Worcester (h), Gallagher Premiership

March
6/7/8 - Saracens (a), Gallagher Premiership
20/21/22 - Exeter (a), Gallagher Premiership
27/28/29 - Beth (h), Gallagher Premiership


April
10/11/12 - London Irish (h), Gallagher Premiership
17/18/19 - Gloucester (a), Gallagher Premiership
24/25/26 - Sale (h), Gallagher Premiership

May
8/9/10 - Wasps (a), Gallagher Premiership
15/16/17 - Northampton (h), Gallagher Premiership
29/30/31 - Bristol (a), Gallagher Premiership

June
5/6/7 - Harlequins (h), Gallagher Premiership


Squad & Coaching Team


Head Coach: Geordan Murphy
Forwards Coach: Mark Bakewell
Attack Coach: Mike Ford
Defence Coach: Phil Blake
Scrum Coach: Boris Stankovich
Senior Development coach: Brett Deacon
Team Manager: Teresa Carrington


First Team Squad:
Props (8): Greg Bateman, Dan Cole, Gaston Cortes, Ellis Genge, Facundo Gigena, Joe Heyes, Owen Hills, Nephi Leatigaga
Hookers (5): Charlie Clare, Jake Kerr, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Jimmy Stevens, Tom Youngs
Second Row (4): Calum Green, Tomas Lavanini, Will Spencer, Harry Wells
Back Row (8): Jordan Coghlan, Dave Denston, Sione Kalamafoni, Sam Lewis, Hanro Liebenberg, Tommy Reffell, Jordan Taufua, Guy Thompson
Half Backs: (8)Sam Harrison, Harry Simmons, Ben White, Ben Youngs, George Ford, Tom Hardwicke, Johnny McPhillips, Noel Reid
Outside Backs (13): Sam Aspland-Robinson, Kyle Eastmond, Andy Forsyth, Jonah Holmes, Jonny May, Jordan Olowofela, Jaco Taute, Joe Thomas, Adam Thompstone, Manu Tuilagi, Telusa Veainu, EW Viljoen, George Worth

Development Squad:
Props (3): Osman Dimen, Keston Lines, James Whitcombe
Hookers (0):
Second Row (3): Cameron Jordan, Tom Manz, George Martin
Back Row (5): Ollie Ashwoth, Sam Eveleigh, Taylor Gough, Henri Lavin, Thom Smith
Half Backs (3): Jonny Law, Jack van Poortvliet, Sam Costelow
Outside Backs (4): Joe Browning, Kyran Bungaroo, Leo Gilliland, Freddie Steward

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sun 10 Nov 2019, 1:59 pm

Welly wrote: A lot of Tigers fans showed their true colours I thought last season.

Sadly so. Those glory fans should do us all a favour and stay away. Those that abused the players should be banned from Welford Road. It's one thing to discuss the game and be disappointed or annoyed by your team's performance it's another entirely to troll them on social media with vile messages.

This season will be another tough one. It's always a tough start for us during a RWC year and this will be no different. We just need to grab some wins after the European weekend with the England lads back.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 10 Nov 2019, 2:37 pm

Thanks for posting that story, LT.

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Post by Heaf on Sun 10 Nov 2019, 3:00 pm

[quote="formerly known as Sam"]
Welly wrote: A lot of Tigers fans showed their true colours I thought last season.

Sadly so. Those glory fans should do us all a favour and stay away. Those that abused the players should be banned from Welford Road. It's one thing to discuss the game and be disappointed or annoyed by your team's performance it's another entirely to troll them on social media with vile messages.

This season will be another tough one. It's always a tough start for us during a RWC year and this will be no different. We just need to grab some wins after the European weekend with the England lads back.[/quote]

If you could wait until after today that would be appreciated Smile

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Post by Heaf on Sun 10 Nov 2019, 3:07 pm

Not paying attention - didn't realise LI Tigers kicked off at 2:30 - good job I couldn't go today or would have been late.

Sounds like LI have crossed the line 4 times - 2 tries, once called back for quick tap taken at wrong place and once turned into a pen against for a neck-roll, but sounds promising ...

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Post by king_carlos on Sun 10 Nov 2019, 6:40 pm

Some good news for the day.

Bleddyn hinting on radio that Borthwick is indeed incoming.

Fissler claims that Genge has turned down an offer from Bristol to sign a 3-year deal with Tigers.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sun 10 Nov 2019, 7:30 pm

Well that news is far better than the result. From the online updates it sounded like we got into good positions but couldn't convert the pressure whilst LI had the firepower to make the pressure they had count. Hopefully we get a backline back in the next couple of weeks and can start landing some blows of our own.

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Post by king_carlos on Sun 10 Nov 2019, 8:33 pm

Pau are in good shape but won't send their 1st team to an away game in the challenge cup.

We can't get Ford and Manu back soon enough.

I hope Reffell is fit and gets a start. Sam Lewis will hopefully get a chance in the Challenge Cup as well, he's a promising talent.

I wouldn't mind Freddie Steward getting a start alongside a strong wing pairing. He did well off the bench against Chiefs in the PRC and offers a really promising skill set for a fullback.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Mon 11 Nov 2019, 8:28 am

king_carlos wrote:Pau are in good shape but won't send their 1st team to an away game in the challenge cup.

We can't get Ford and Manu back soon enough.

I hope Reffell is fit and gets a start. Sam Lewis will hopefully get a chance in the Challenge Cup as well, he's a promising talent.

I wouldn't mind Freddie Steward getting a start alongside a strong wing pairing. He did well off the bench against Chiefs in the PRC and offers a really promising skill set for a fullback.

Go strong as possible at home, we must start winning games at WR. The away game we can experiment a bit with the likes of Lewis and Steward. I would be tempted to give Thompson both weeks off though as we need to look after him.

Home game something like;

Genge, Youngs, Cole
Lavanini, Green
Kalamafoni, Reffell, Taufua
Youngs, Ford
Reid, Manu
Thompstone, TV, May

Away game something like;

Gigena, Kerr, Heyes
Jordan, Spencer
Lewis, Reffell, Liebenburg
White, Hardwick
Taute, Viljoen
Owolfela, Steward, Holmes

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Post by king_carlos on Mon 11 Nov 2019, 1:38 pm

Taufua had a HIA yesterday and Telusa broke his nose against Gloucester. I wouldn't risk either.

Ford is the most important player to get back. Followed closely by Manu. The lack of shape or penetration in the backs without them is dire. I'd start both for the Pau game then rotate Youngs, Cole and May back in against Cardiff.

1.Genge 2.Youngs 3.Cole 4.Lavanini 5.Green 6.Liebenberg 7.Thompson 8.Taufua
9.Youngs 10.Ford 11.May 12.Reid 13.Tuilagi 14.Holmes 15.Veainu

16.Polota-Nau 17.Bateman 18.Leatigaga 19.Spencer 20.Reffell 21.Harrison 22.Hardwick 23.Taute

We need as close as that to possible available against Saints so time to pray they all get game time over the next two weeks....

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 11 Nov 2019, 1:47 pm

When is Harrison off to Australia?

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Mon 11 Nov 2019, 2:15 pm

Good point on Taufua and TV. Give Coghlan a start instead and Holmes at 15.

LondonTiger wrote:When is Harrison off to Australia?

Start of January. Club to confirm last game. I wonder how long he'll be working in Australia before a pro/semi pro club come knocking?

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 11 Nov 2019, 2:36 pm

Just seen the stats from yesterday. We dominated possession and territory, had more linebreaks, conceded less penalties, won all our set-piece, had better tackling completion. However we were well and truly hammered.

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Post by bluestonevedder on Mon 11 Nov 2019, 4:07 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Just seen the stats from yesterday. We dominated possession and territory, had more linebreaks, conceded less penalties, won all our set-piece, had better tackling completion. However we were well and truly hammered.

I saw these as well and got me thinking- is this a coaching issue or a player issue? Looking at the teams on paper, LI certainly had more stars in their back line capable of finishing off tries. We just seem to lack the try-line flair without May, Tuilagi, Youngs or Ford.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Mon 11 Nov 2019, 4:26 pm

bluestonevedder wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:Just seen the stats from yesterday. We dominated possession and territory, had more linebreaks, conceded less penalties, won all our set-piece, had better tackling completion. However we were well and truly hammered.

I saw these as well and got me thinking- is this a coaching issue or a player issue? Looking at the teams on paper, LI certainly had more stars in their back line capable of finishing off tries. We just seem to lack the try-line flair without May, Tuilagi, Youngs or Ford.

You've hit the nail on the head there. Just not enough penetration in the backs. Forsyth plays at Championship level for a reason and there's no real size in the back three either. We needed Taute or Manu there for a physical presence. It is an area I worry about in our recruitment, our backline doesn't have much size to it, could really do with an Alex T or Rabeni about now.

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Post by Ozzy3213 on Tue 12 Nov 2019, 2:39 pm

bluestonevedder wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:Just seen the stats from yesterday. We dominated possession and territory, had more linebreaks, conceded less penalties, won all our set-piece, had better tackling completion. However we were well and truly hammered.

I saw these as well and got me thinking- is this a coaching issue or a player issue? Looking at the teams on paper, LI certainly had more stars in their back line capable of finishing off tries. We just seem to lack the try-line flair without May, Tuilagi, Youngs or Ford.

As they say, there are lies, damned lies and statistics. I don't know where those stats come from, but watching the game live in the stadium, the backs were not your problem. I have never ever seen such a toothless Leicester pack. The only one who made any real impact on the game was Thompson. I know you have a few guys to come back in there, but they will need to hit the ground running for you as the forwards who played on Sunday were just not good enough.
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Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 12 Nov 2019, 3:30 pm

That does concern Ozzy. Kalamafoni was fairly industrious but had very little impact last season when he was required to do a lot of the graft work in the tight. His appearance off the bench Vs Sarries and Vs Gloucester were far better in my opinion because he had Liebenburg the big South African grafting in the tight to good effect. His knock is hopefully only a small one as it looks like we'll need him back. Taufua not making much impact isn't surprising since he's only been training a week and was starting due to a couple of injuries.

That lock combination we had Vs you guys is a little light as well ideally it'll one or the other but as Lavanini is still learning the lineout calls and English and also with Spencer injured we were short on options.

The Saints game will be big for us. The Euro Cup minor competition is a good chance for us to experiment a bit and gets the full squad together for the first time and up to speed. We'll need some results in the Prem games before Christmas that's for sure.

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Post by Ozzy3213 on Tue 12 Nov 2019, 4:26 pm

Your locks were definitely underpowered. The number 8 who went off looked decent but got on the wrong side of JP early on and became a bit ineffective after that.
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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 15 Nov 2019, 12:24 pm

Leicester Tigers (v Pau, Welford Road, Saturday 3.00pm)

15 EW Viljoen
14 Sam Aspland-Robinson
13 Manu Tuilagi
12 Noel Reid
11 Jonah Holmes
10 George Ford
9 Ben Youngs
1 Facundo Gigena
2 Tom Youngs (c)
3 Dan Cole
4 Tomas Lavanini
5 Will Spencer
6 Sione Kalamafoni
7 Tommy Reffell
8 Ifereimi Boladau

Replacements
16 Jake Kerr
17 Ellis Genge
18 Nephi Leatigaga
19 Harry Wells
20 Guy Thompson
21 Ben White
22 Jaco Taute
23 George Worth

Pau: 15 Vincent Pinto, 14 Bastien Pourailly, 13 Alexandre Dumoulin, 12 Florian Nicot, 11 Watisoni Votu, 10 Tom Taylor, 9 Thibault Daubagna (c); 1 Siegfried Fisiihoi, 2 Lucas Rey, 3 Nicolas Corato,
4 Baptiste Pesenti, 5 Julien Delannoy, 6 Giovanni Habel Kuffner, 7 Pierrick Gunther, 8 Antoine Erbani
Replacements: 16 Rayne Barka, 17 Geoffrey Moise, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Fabrice Metz, 20 Martin Puech, 21 Clovis Lebail, 22 Antoine Hastoy, 23 Pierre Nueno

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Fri 15 Nov 2019, 1:04 pm

That's more like it. Backline looks considerably more threatening this weekend. Big forwards back should have plenty of bite to it. Bench has some impact to it as well. We need a much better display to build on. Like the idea of Viljoen at 15 with his big boot and size under the high ball.

Don't know the Pau team well enough to know whether that team is strong or not. I recognise a couple of the players and they are decent.

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Post by king_carlos on Fri 15 Nov 2019, 3:30 pm

Pau have predictable put out a second team. Not a single member of the starting XV from last weekend is in that starting XV, though some are on the bench.

That Tigers 23 'should' definitely win this...

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Post by Gooseberry on Sat 16 Nov 2019, 4:06 pm

As much as it's great to see a strong(er) Tigers side out I'd still rather see the players on limited games through EPS rested for the league. But I guess they desperately need this win to build some momentum.
They certainly should win with comfort.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sat 16 Nov 2019, 4:53 pm

Gooseberry wrote:As much as it's great to see a strong(er) Tigers side out I'd still rather see the players on limited games through EPS rested for the league. But I guess they desperately need this win to build some momentum.
They certainly should win with comfort.

A second string side that can still feature an AB capped flyhalf.

All games at Welford Road should be taken seriously. We need to recreate the fortress mentality. Next weekend away at Cardiff, send the development team for all I care.

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Post by LondonTiger on Sat 16 Nov 2019, 7:47 pm

I felt at times that we were on the back foot due to Pau's immense physicality. However Ford and Youngs showed just how much difference international half backs can make. We need the pair of them to play as many games as possible if we are to avoid relegation.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sat 16 Nov 2019, 9:34 pm

LondonTiger wrote:I felt at times that we were on the back foot due to Pau's immense physicality. However Ford and Youngs showed just how much difference international half backs can make. We need the pair of them to play as many games as possible if we are to avoid relegation.

It's the gamble the club are taking. We appear to be putting our money on experience turning Hardwick and Costelow into better flyhalfs than we can purchase to play second fiddle to Ford. Similar story at 9, slightly worrying with Harrison off soon.

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Post by LondonTiger on Sun 17 Nov 2019, 8:17 am

Ford we know is class, and imo the best 10 in the league by some way. Investing time in Hardwicke makes sense.

Youngs yesterday delivered a performance where the passing was quick & accurate while still looking for the gap. Felt like he kicked less. For me White is already better than Harrison, with my biggest worry being he always looks better off the bench rather than starting.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sun 17 Nov 2019, 8:23 am

I think White will be some way better than Harrison but he just lacks experience sometimes. If things don't go his way he poses confidence and stops backing himself and just stocks formulaic to the game plan. We saw that against Sarries where he didn't react to us losing the collisions and instead of kicking immediately kept trying to play two phases before kicking and so ended up kicking under pressure to a prepared backline. Hopefully we'll see some of Simmons soon, he's a good young 9 as well and has had no luck with injuries.

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Post by LondonTiger on Sun 17 Nov 2019, 8:40 am

Yeah Simmons offers a real sniping threat.

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Post by lostinwales on Tue 19 Nov 2019, 12:04 pm

Aspland-Robinson breaks leg vs Pau
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/50472539

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Post by king_carlos on Tue 19 Nov 2019, 7:41 pm

lostinwales wrote:Aspland-Robinson breaks leg vs Pau
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/50472539
Nasty injury. He's a talented player but has had no luck with injury.

Both Veainu and Olowofela are out currently as well so wouldn't be surprised if an injury dispensation signing is made at some point.

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Post by king_carlos on Tue 19 Nov 2019, 7:49 pm

Veainu and Taufua are still doubts for the Cardiff trip with both Liebenberg and Eastmond ruled out. No news on Viljeon or Boladau though.

The Cardiff pitch is notoriously bad so it's unlikely that Manu will be risked. Taute needs game time though so that's probably a tougher call. Particularly with Halaholo in their midfield.

Cardiff are missing key players and their front row should definitely be targeted by our scrum. Their back row is still strong even missing Navidi though.

1.Gigena 2.Youngs 3.Leatigaga 4.Lavanini 5.Spencer 6.Kalamafoni 7.Reffell 8.Boladau
9.White 10.Hardwick 11.Holmes 12.Reid 13.Taute 14.Thompstone 15.Steward

16.Kerr 17.Genge 18.Heyes 19.Green 20.Thompson 21.Youngs 22.Ford 23.Worth

That's a good mix of youth and experience, whilst holding back some impact on the bench depending on how the match shapes up.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 19 Nov 2019, 8:52 pm

I'd rest all the England players. They are required to have a certain amount of rest time. This game is miles away from a priority. Time to rotate the squad a bit.

Bateman, Kerr, Heyes
Spencer, Wells
Coghlan, Boladau, Reffell
White, Hardwick
Taute, Viljoen
Thompstone, Steward, Holmes

Clare, Gigena, Leatigaga, Jordan, Lewis, Simmons, Worth, Forsyth

If Viljoen isn't available then out Worth into the centres or recall Thomas from Nottingham.

Genge should not be risked on the plastic pitch.

If we are looking to recruit a winger on injury dispensation then I'd love to see us bring in Lolohea from the Tongan RWC squad. I'm sure TV will put in a good word. He was working in a community role in NZ pre RWC and has the kind of step that should be in a professional club.

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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 22 Nov 2019, 12:08 pm

Leicester Tigers (v Cardiff Blues, away, Saturday 8.00pm)

15 George Worth
14 Adam Thompstone
13 Joe Thomas
12 EW Viljoen
11 Andy Forsyth
10 Tom Hardwick
9 Ben White (c)
1 Ellis Genge
2 Jake Kerr
3 Joe Heyes
4 Tomás Lavanini
5 Harry Wells
6 Sam Lewis
7 Guy Thompson
8 Jordan Coghlan

Replacements
16 Charlie Clare
17 Facundo Gigena
18 Nephi Leatigaga
19 Cameron Jordan
20 Thom Smith
21 Harry Simmons
22 Sam Costelow
23 Freddie Steward

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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 22 Nov 2019, 12:09 pm

Pleased that we have rotated the squad. Personally would rather have seen Forsyth in the centre and Viljoen on the wing.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Fri 22 Nov 2019, 12:17 pm

They seem to be trying Viljoen in a few positions whilst they work our where he will be the best asset to us. 13, 15 and now 12. He'll certainly off a good kicking option for Hardwick if he needs it but after the Sarries game will be blitzed in his own half every time.

Forsyth I like but he's offered nothing ball in hand when playing in midfield. He can be the experienced head from the wing and he's not slow.

Nice to see a lot of the development players involved, Thom Smith given a chance to show what he's got. He's supposedly the best carrier of the original academy champion backrow but after Lavin played so well during the 7s I'm surprised he didn't get a go. I've not seen how they've all been playing at Yorkshire though.

Wise choice to keep Reffell away from the Welsh regions, don't want them trying to have a chat post game. Costelow either really but he deserves a go, his performance in the Championship last weekend was apparently outstanding.

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Post by bluestonevedder on Fri 22 Nov 2019, 12:20 pm

Not quite sure what to make of that. Can anyone shed some light on what Joe Thomas is like?

I note that the game is on BT Sport as it is the later kickoff, which is good. At least we'll get a chance to watch it and see some of these lesser known names.

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Post by Gooseberry on Fri 22 Nov 2019, 12:34 pm

No Saracens players we can borrow for this?

Not surprised to see Genge played as hes not had much to do so far this season. Could that front row be enough to munch the depleted Blues? 

Absolutely right to have rested/rotated the other England players but this does look a pretty weak side albeit in a competition that hardly matters. Keeping winning would be nice to raise spirits around the club. Assuming Blues play the strongest side they can its hard to see that happening

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Fri 22 Nov 2019, 1:12 pm

Cardiff Blues:
Hallam Amos;
Owen Lane,
Rey Lee-Lo,
Willis Halaholo,
Aled Summerhill;
Jarrod Evans,
Lloyd Williams (capt);
Corey Domachowski,
Liam Belcher,
Scott Andrews,
Seb Davies,
Josh Turnbull,
Shane Lewis-Hughes,
Will Boyde,
Nick Williams

Replacements: Kirby Myhill, Brad Thyer, Keiron Assiratti, Macauley Cook, James Botham, Lewis Jones, Jason Tovey, Matthew Morgan

We should win at the set piece looking at the respective front fives. Backrow looks about equal, maybe in Blues favour. Blues backline looks streets ahead of ours. If we contain them and do something in attack it'll be a feather in the caps for the lads being rotated in, particularly Hardwick at 10.

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Post by king_carlos on Fri 22 Nov 2019, 2:54 pm

Thom Smith and Cam Jordan are about to turn 20 so it's the time to play them if they're going to kick on. Jordan in particular was highly rated when he captained the U18s. Both have gone under the radar a bit with Reffell the pick of the back row talents and George Martin getting more attention from the locks.

I'm very happy to see Costelow and Steward on the bench. They are huge talents.

I do worry this is the familiar Tigers story of integrating young players into scratch sides rather than with experienced heads around them. I would have much preferred Reid and/or Taute in the squad.

It would have been good for Spencer and Lavanini to get another game together too.

I wonder if Reffell is being rested to start against Saints. Thompson is a terrific player who rarely has a bad game but I have thought our defence has looked better with Reffell in the side.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Fri 22 Nov 2019, 4:31 pm

It's not the scratch sides we've seen in the past. The backline has two development half backs but experience everywhere else. Fairly young experience outside of the wingers but the centres and Worth at 15 have all played senior rugby and enough of it to be comfortable at this level.

Thompson adds a leader to the backrow, Reffell played last weekend and it's nice to rotate them.

The young lads on the bench should come on with experience around them. Costelow and Simmons are likely to replace White and Hardwick whilst Steward is likely to be paired with two of Forsyth, Thompstone and Worth in the back three. That's a goo environment for them to get game time. Jordan will have a good senior front row in front of him either way round and Smith is likely to be alongside Thompson in the backrow to guide him. It's not like the Cockers years when the young lads were thrown to wolves.

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Post by king_carlos on Fri 22 Nov 2019, 5:11 pm

It's the midfield that worries me. Hence why I'd have risked at least one of Reid or Taute. I know Taute has knee problems but he also needs game time as he should be a walk in for the first choice 23. The plastic pitch at Arms Pack doesn't have a great reputation but neither does Allianz Park and I hope we won't rest key players for the return Sarries fixture.

That's just a case of picking your battles though to be fair. We are relying almost entirely on forward dominance, particularly at set-piece, to stop Lee-Lo and Halaholo against Viljeon and Thomas.

The pack depth looks better this season though, I agree. The front row has good depth without Cortes getting a game yet and the second row has improved with Lavanini and Green.

I actually hope to see Hardwick at 12 outside Costelow when the latter comes on. The two have experience together.

9.Simmons 10.Costelow 11.Worth 12.Hardwick 13.Viljeon 14.Thompstone 15.Steward

That would be an exciting backline to finish the game with on a pitch suited to running rugby.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Fri 22 Nov 2019, 7:11 pm

I have to agree on the Taute point, I expected him to play and he needs the game time plus it would have given Hardwick some leadership and bulk alongside him at 12. Having said that Viljoen isn't small. The 13 Thomas was talked up in the summer as a bit of a bargain, he lost out because of the odd budget shuffling and rumours of project reset. Went down to NZ for a bit and then we brought him in, a Wales under 20s international previously and had 16 appearances before injury and release for the Ospreys.

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/hugely-gifted-welsh-youngster-forced-16158162

I won't mind seeing a Simmons, Costelow, Viljoen, Hardwick, Thomas, Thompstone, Steward backline finish the game. Three big (ish) players coming in lines from the back three, two playmakers at 10 and 12 and Thomas hopefully organising things from 13.

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Post by king_carlos on Fri 22 Nov 2019, 8:48 pm

Thomas is the kind of punt I like from the coaches. Similar to Coghlan, Boladau or to an extent Holmes (Jonah was tearing up trees for Carnegie so will have been in more demand) in that he's performed well at other levels and won't have cost much at all. If he comes off then great, if not then it won't lose the club a huge amount. Particularly with no centres in the development squad.

It's that same story of Viljeon or Thomas with an experienced head, great. Both together outside inexperienced halfbacks, Viljeon making his first appearance at 12 and Thomas his first appearance outside PRC, not so great.

As said, it's a case of picking our battles when locked in a relegation battle that's going to get very competitive with Sarries now breathing down the ours and Wasps necks. So splitting hairs in the scheme of the season.

Genge, Youngs, Cole; Lavanini, Green; Kalamafoni, Reffell, Taufua
Youngs, Ford, May, Reid, Tuilagi, Holmes, Veainu

Kerr, Bateman, Leatigaga, Spencer, Thompson, White, Hardwick, Taute

The great news for us is that I believe those players are looking likely to be fit for Saints next weekend. Fingers crossed for the guys at the weekend and possibly even Liebenberg to return soon as well.

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Post by LondonTiger on Sat 23 Nov 2019, 7:55 am

I have seen suggestions we might not see May for a few weeks yet as he is still unable to sprint.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sat 23 Nov 2019, 10:12 am

Not surprised he was battling on with hamstring issues for England. It was bound to end badly. Hopefully we get some games out of him and we aren't just getting him fit for England and the 6N.

As close as we can get to that side the better against Saints, that is a game we could really do with winning for both the points and it would get some of the moaners back onside. Give the fans some hope.

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Post by LondonTiger on Sat 23 Nov 2019, 10:03 pm

That was a bloody awful game, but hugely impressed with how well the kids hung in. Was that close to a full strength lineup for Blues?

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sat 23 Nov 2019, 10:13 pm

Great result from the young guns and a couple of not so young guns. Defence was excellent and the tactics to pin Cardiff back and let the run from their own half was very good. By the second half we'd limited them to crossfield kicks, which admittedly they did pretty well.

Playing with that kind of heart every week will win over some of the unsettled fans.

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Post by LondonTiger on Sat 23 Nov 2019, 10:17 pm

Still have to say I am unable to see anything of value in a Viljoen.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sat 23 Nov 2019, 10:21 pm

LondonTiger wrote:That was a bloody awful game, but hugely impressed with how well the kids hung in. Was that close to a full strength lineup for Blues?

Think they are missing some but not that many. Backline looked virtually full strength outside of Josh Adams. Couple I noticed missing from up front, no Navidi, no Dillon Lewis. Will be happily corrected by someone better in the know.

I expected Cardiff to have too much firepower for us but we defended well and losing Lee-lo and Williams before the start of the second half really hurt them.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sat 23 Nov 2019, 10:24 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Still have to say I am unable to see anything of value in a Viljoen.

Hmm mediocre. I'm not sure he's a centre. Doesn't appear to have the promised outside break and despite his size doesn't seem that powerful. Big boot and makes his tackles. Hopefully he settles and comes into some form.

Thomas the other centre didn't show up outside of defence either which was a shame I was hoping to see some of the reported skills. He'll probably get another chance to show what he's got in Italy.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 23 Nov 2019, 10:55 pm

Cardiff were closer to their first team than Tigers were theirs. The refusal to bring in decent recruits up front as well as decent coaches is paying dividends.

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