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European Rugby Challenge Cup Final - Edinburgh V Gloucester

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Post by RDW Mon 20 Apr 2015, 8:43 am

First topic message reminder :

European Rugby Challenge Cup Final - Edinburgh V Gloucester - Page 2 17      European Rugby Challenge Cup Final - Edinburgh V Gloucester - Page 2 2
Edinburgh V Gloucester

Friday 1st May 2015, KO 19:45
The Twickenham Stoop, Twickenham
Live on BT Sport

Referee Jerome Garces (France)
Touch Judge 1 Pascal Gauzere (France)
Touch Judge 2 Mathieu Raynal (France)
Fourth Official Eric Gauzins (France)
TMO Eric Gauzins (France)

Citing Commissioner Yves Thieffine (France)

Route to the final

Edinburgh

UBB 10 - Edinburgh 24
Edinburgh 25 - Lyon 17
Edinburgh 28 - London Welsh 13
London Welsh 6 - Edinburgh 24
Lyon 21 - Edinburgh 19
Edinburgh 38 - UBB 20

London Irish 18 - Edinburgh 23
Edinburgh 45 - Dragons 16

Gloucester

Gloucester 55 - Brive 0
Oyonnax 15 - Gloucester 25
Gloucester 35 - Zebre 10
Zebre 16 - Gloucester 32
Gloucester 33 - Oyonnax 3
Brive 20 - Gloucester 31

Gloucester 14 - Connacht 7
Gloucester 30 - Exeter Chiefs 19


Teams

Edinburgh
European Rugby Challenge Cup Final - Edinburgh V Gloucester - Page 2 Sam+Hidalgo+Clyne+Edinburgh+Rugby+v+London+cwEx-KiqwRkl
Tonks; Fife, Beard, Strauss, Visser; Burleigh, Hidalgo-Clyne; Dickinson, Ford, Nel, Bresler, Toolis, Coman, Grant, Du Preez.

Replacements: McInally, Sutherland, Andress, McKenzie, Watson, Fowles, Heathcote, Brown.

Gloucester
European Rugby Challenge Cup Final - Edinburgh V Gloucester - Page 2 Greig+Laidlaw+qNTjtak2uwVm
Sharples; May, Meakes, Twelvetrees (capt), Purdy; Hook, Laidlaw; Wood, Hibbard, Afoa, Savage, Palmer, Moriarty, Kvesic, Evans.

Replacements: Dawidiuk, Thomas, Puafisi, Galarza, Rowan, Robson, Burns, McColl.

Official Preview
PREVIEW: Will Sam be the man for Edinburgh?
Sam Hidalgo-Clyne has lit up Scottish rugby this season and spearheaded the Edinburgh Rugby march to their first Challenge Cup final.

Three Heineken Man of the Match awards, and a club European record 28 point haul against Bordeaux-Begles at Murrayfield, have showcased his talent this season and he is set to be a key man in their Edinburgh's push for an historic first professional rugby title at Twickenham Stoop.

As his side's main player maker and goalkicker he is bound to be a target for Gloucester Rugby's players on Friday night and the west country club's director of rugby, David Humphreys, is obviously a fan.

"Sam has become one of the superstars of the game. When you look at how he has performed for Edinburgh in Europe this season he has been outstanding," said Humphreys.

But while the Gloucester back row will be on red alert in the final so, too, will be the Edinburgh side as they try to contain their former team mate Greig Laidlaw. The Scotland skipper has been hugely influential for the Kingsholm team since switching allegiance last summer.

With half-back partner James Hook, and front row recruits John Afoa and Richard Hibbard, he has been able to steer Gloucester into the final without losing. In the final they will attempt to do what Peter Buxton's side of 2006 did and go the full nine games unbeaten.

Gloucester's best form has been saved for Europe this season and the tournament is their only lifeline into next seasons Champions Cup. Win it, and they will go into the play-off for the 20th place, something their meagre ninth place in the Premiership won't offer them.

That will give them extra incentive on the night, although Edinburgh will come into the game with great momentum having demolished Zebre and the Dragons in their last two games. Their added incentive is to become the first Scottish team to win a major trophy - and to beat Glasgow Warriors to the punch!

The big battle is going to be in the front five, where both teams have established sound reputations. Gloucester have the best scrum stats in the Premiership for getting the ball back into play, while the introduction of Aussie-born lock Ben Toolis has added power and agility to the Edinburgh pack. Whoever gets on top at scrum time will have a clear advantage.

Richard Hibbard v Ross Ford at hooker will be a key battle, as will the one between Alasdair Dickinson and John Afoa at prop. The Edinburgh back row will have to deal with Matt Kvesic, the tournament's turn-over king, at the breakdown and if they can stop him from being as effective and influential as usual then it will do them a lot of good.

"We know we are going to play against a highly motivated Edinburgh side and will need to play at our very best to win. We need our international players to stand up and give us international class performances," added Humphreys.

The last time Gloucester reached the Challenge Cup final they needed extra-time to overcome London Irish. That was nine years ago and their last trophy came in 2011 when they won the Anglo-Welsh Cup.

Edinburgh have yet to win a trophy in the professional era, other than the 1872 Cup played for annually between themselves and arch-rivals Glasgow Warriors, and one of the big questions for them to answer at the Twickenham Stoop will be how will they cope with the pressure of the major occasion.

When they met in the European Cup pool stages last season they ended up with an away win each. Who will be the winner on the road this time with a major trophy at stake? It's too tight to call!

Match Facts
•Edinburgh are the first Scottish club to reach a European final while Gloucester - the 2006 champions - will be in appearing in their second decider.
•The competition has been won by an English club on 10 occasions, more than any other nation. French clubs have won the title six times, with Ireland and Wales on one each.
•Gloucester and Edinburgh have never met in the Challenge Cup before, but have played each other four times in Europe's top flight with the Cherry and Whites winning three.
•Gloucester have a 100% record this season and aim to repeat their 2005/06 feat of winning every game on their way to lifting the trophy.
•Edinburgh have the best lineout success (90%) in the competition with Ben Toolis the top lineout winner (44 including steals).
•The two finalists boast the two top scorers in the competition with Greig Laidlaw's 67 points bettered only by Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (91).
•Despite playing the maximum amount of games in this season's Challenge Cup, Gloucester (8) and Edinburgh (11) have conceded fewer tries than any other sides in the competition.
•Matt Kvesic has made the most tackles in the competition completing 97 of his 110 attempts. He has also won the most turnovers (15).
•Of the 370 players who have won the Challenge Cup, 131 are English and eight Scottish. The Scottish winners are: Joe Ansbro (Northampton Saints 2009), Craig Chalmers (Harlequins 2001), Scott Gray (Northampton Saints 2009), Kenny Logan (Wasps 2003), Euan Murray (Northampton Saints 2009), Bryan Redpath (Sale Sharks 2002, 2005), Tom Smith (Northampton Saints 2009), Barry Stewart (Sale Sharks 2005).

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Post by HongKongCherry Fri 24 Apr 2015, 7:47 am

Check shedweb as there seems to be one or two being exchanged. It'll be worth checking Exeter and Dragons forums to see if anyone if selling. Other than that I think you'll need to pay through the nose for sites like stubhub.
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Post by RDW Fri 24 Apr 2015, 8:32 am

Denton has yet to start the graduated return to play protocol apparently, so is a doubt for next week.

Not a big problem as such (assuming no more injuries tonight) but would be a real boost to have him back.

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Post by prop_lyd Fri 24 Apr 2015, 10:30 am

ok cheers hkc, I may head back and watch it in glos anyway if I can't get a ticket
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Post by Nematode Fri 24 Apr 2015, 10:45 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:Denton has yet to start the graduated return to play protocol apparently, so is a doubt for next week.

Not a big problem as such (assuming no more injuries tonight) but would be a real boost to have him back.

Do you know what his injury is specifically? And why he hasn't started yet? Bit concerning.

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Post by RDW Fri 24 Apr 2015, 10:55 am

Head knock!

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Post by RDW Sat 25 Apr 2015, 9:08 am

Well last night Edinburgh completely obliterated Zebre's pack. I mean, what they did to them should have come with an 18 rated certificate.

However, it was only Zebre and it is worth saying our backs did very little given all the domination. You could say we didn't have to use the backs very much given every scrum won a penalty and most driving mauls marched up the pitch (leading to 4 tries).

So I think our tactics next week are going to be clear - try to dominate up front. If we do that I think we'll win. If we don't I just can't see our backs creating much for us - Gloucester will win.

And the Gloucester pack is significantly better than Zebre's.

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Post by George Carlin Mon 27 Apr 2015, 7:30 am

The Cherries shipped 40 points to Newcastle at home at the weekend.

To be fair, they scored 42 of their own, but that has to be a concern for them, surely?
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Post by RDW Mon 27 Apr 2015, 7:42 am

They made a good number of changes to be fair, and they have nothing to play for in the league - this final is the be all and end all for their season.

Then the playoffs after that if they win....

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Post by cakeordeath Mon 27 Apr 2015, 8:12 am

They also picked up a few injuries which will be worrying for them.

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Post by RDW Mon 27 Apr 2015, 8:28 am

Some positive noises coming from Mike Coman about how the squad are very strong now both on and off the pitch - gives a bit more of a positive note given the rumours of the management and admin side of the club being a complete shambles:

BBC Sport wrote:Edinburgh captain Mike Coman believes they have raised the bar on and off the pitch this season.

The New Zealander joined the Pro12 club in September 2013, the start of a testing transitional period under head coach Alan Solomons.

"Our standards have changed a lot off the field; we're fitter for one," said the loose forward.

"There were boys coming off back-to-back seasons last year, hanging on by a thread and getting through games."

The back-row was involved in Friday's 37-0 thumping of Zebre, but Coman endured a trying introduction to the Pro12 as newly-appointed Solomons began to recruit, rebuild and redesign
Edinburgh, instilling a hard-nosed, forward-oriented style in place of the risk-laden, adventurous rugby of old.

After a wobbly start to the current league campaign, however, he now finds himself leading the club into the Challenge Cup final against Gloucester on Friday while chasing Champions Cup qualification via the domestic standings.

"You want guys going out there to prove something," said Coman.
"The boys really respect Alan and want to perform for him as well. He's got a very structured game plan and it probably frustrated people.

"I agree with that style of play. Coming from New Zealand, you realise you've got to have structure too, because there are so many guys that are naturally gifted and they just want to play rugby and, when you come up against good defences, that doesn't work."

Coman admits there were "tough times" at the start of the season and the players were aware of the criticism.

"But everyone's stuck to it and this is the tightest team I've ever been involved with," he said. "A group of boys that get on well and want to strive to play well for each other.

"We've got a good amount of experience here now, we're driving high standards and there's a good nucleus of leaders willing to drive those standards.

"That's led from Solly, because he's so honest and up front with boys."

As well as highlighting the squad's enhanced physical condition, Coman cited a combination of "little things" that have catalysed Edinburgh's upward trajectory.

"I think it's a combination of good personnel, right guys for the right jobs," he said. "We don't have any superstars that are all about themselves.

"Punctuality, timing, in meetings, guys have got books, writing things down, and they're being a lot more clinical with their roles.

"You look around the gym, boys are working hard, there's no mucking around, no talking - that's down to the trainers too.

"We're getting some consistency in our programmes. When I first arrived, things were changing a lot; we had different schedules, now boys are in a bit of a routine.

"When we go out to training, we're there to improve; we're not there just ticking boxes.

"We've started to get there, but we're by no means the finished product."

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Post by cakeordeath Mon 27 Apr 2015, 8:49 am

Wait Coman isn't a saffer

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Post by HongKongCherry Mon 27 Apr 2015, 4:10 pm

I don't think too much can be read into Glaws' game v Newcastle. There were numerous changes and there is no doubt the focus was on this week. What it did show is that the strength in depth in the forwards is lacking; Afoa and Hibbard were excellent again when they came on, but Dawiduik and Puafisi lacked grunt in the scrum.

The biggest concern was the 3 injuries. Johnny May went off with a cut and any cut that is bad enough to not have the player return is a concern. Kalamafoni went off with a leg injury; he initially walked off the pitch but was stretchered to the changing rooms. Dan Murphy was knocked out cold and has to be a concern. Therefore, I am predicting the following 23 for Glaws:

Wood, Hibbard, Afoa, Savage, Galarza, Moriarty, Kvesic, Evans, Laidlaw, Hook, Purdy, Twelvetrees, Meakes, May, Sharples

Reps: Dawiduik, Thomas, Puafisi, Stooke, Hudson/Rowan, Robson, Burns, Macken
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Post by LondonTiger Mon 27 Apr 2015, 4:19 pm

Wasn't May concussed HKC?

Just watched the first half of the game with Falcons. Seems to me that Glaws struggled to cope with the ref allowing a free-for-all at the breakdown.

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Post by RDW Mon 27 Apr 2015, 4:21 pm

Would be a real bonus for Edinburgh if May was injured - not sure we could cope well with his pace out wide.

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Post by HongKongCherry Mon 27 Apr 2015, 4:37 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Wasn't May concussed HKC?

Just watched the first half of the game with Falcons. Seems to me that Glaws struggled to cope with the ref allowing a free-for-all at the breakdown.

That's what was the initial thought, but it has been confirmed he showed no sign concussion and has been referred to as a laceration requiring stitches.
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Post by GLove39 Mon 27 Apr 2015, 5:48 pm

Anyone received their tickets yet?

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Post by RDW Mon 27 Apr 2015, 5:54 pm

Got mine on Saturday. I did order them 10 minutes before fulltime in the semi though!

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Post by GLove39 Mon 27 Apr 2015, 6:01 pm

Impressive on both counts!

Also almost as if the SRU read my mind, just got this
We are currently working hard to allocate the tickets for the Final on Friday after only receiving the ticket stock late last week.
Most of the tickets were posted today, however, there are a small number of bookings still to be allocated and this will be done this evening and posted tomorrow.
If you have any further enquiries relating to your booking please email ticket.centre@sru.org.uk

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Post by RDW Tue 28 Apr 2015, 8:27 am

Edinburgh have confirmed there will be a fan zone at London Scottsh's ground from 2-7pm.

Not sure why the feel the need to start so early, but I'll definitely be heading there late afternoon!

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue 28 Apr 2015, 9:59 am

If Gloucester play like they did in large parts like they did last week they're going to struggle.

One thing with Gloucester though, it's usually an entertaining affair, lets hope for a good one.

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Post by SecretFly Tue 28 Apr 2015, 11:54 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:Edinburgh have confirmed there will be a fan zone at London Scottsh's ground from 2-7pm.

Not sure why the feel the need to start so early, but I'll definitely be heading there late afternoon!

Fan zone? Food? Drink? Most food and drink as possible sold on the day? Ged'em'in-early!

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Post by TJ Tue 28 Apr 2015, 12:22 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:If Gloucester play like they did in large parts like they did last week they're going to struggle.

One thing with Gloucester though, it's usually an entertaining affair, lets hope for a good one.

Lets hope so - we need this to be a showcase match.

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Post by George Carlin Tue 28 Apr 2015, 12:42 pm

Wenzaateamzout? European Rugby Challenge Cup Final - Edinburgh V Gloucester - Page 2 3933776953
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Post by RDW Tue 28 Apr 2015, 12:52 pm

George Carlin wrote:Wenzaateamzout? European Rugby Challenge Cup Final - Edinburgh V Gloucester - Page 2 3933776953

Thursday lunchtime probably.

Big calls for Edinburgh with some key players having not played for a few weeks now (assuming on injuries):

Bring Back Tonks? Yes, push Burleigh to 12. Both can be kicking options, with a a left foot / right foot balance

Bring back Denton? Yes, put him at 8 with Coman and Grant 6/7. Watson on the bench, Du Preez missing out (or taking up a back sub place)

Bring back Cuthbert? No, I think we need Tom Brown's pace at 15 for this game.

Worst case scenario would be Heathcoat being brought in at 10 and Tonks pushed to 15 - Heathcoat has been bloody awful this season.

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Post by LondonTiger Tue 28 Apr 2015, 1:10 pm

TJ wrote:
Lets hope so - we need this to be a showcase match.

I thought you were boycotting this competition?

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Post by MunsterMac Tue 28 Apr 2015, 2:07 pm

Best of luck to Edinburgh.

Do the Pro12 proud!!

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Post by Nematode Tue 28 Apr 2015, 2:21 pm

I'd go on form, so probably:

Dickinson, Ford, Nel, Toolis, Bresler, McInally, Grant, Coman, SHC, Tonks, Visser, Burleigh, Beard, Fife, Brown; Sutherland, Cochrane, Andress, McKenzie, Watson, Du Preez, Fowles, ?

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Post by des Tue 28 Apr 2015, 3:33 pm

I was surprised to see the Planet Rugby poll has Edinburgh as slight favourites.

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Post by RDW Tue 28 Apr 2015, 3:35 pm

des wrote:I was surprised to see the Planet Rugby poll has Edinburgh as slight favourites.

I'd say it is 50/50, or maybe just 51/49 to Gloucester.

Both teams have had up and down seasons and both had big semi-final wins. Neither team is suddenly overwhelmed with injuries and both are on decent form.

So it could go either way!

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Post by des Tue 28 Apr 2015, 4:27 pm

I expected it to be skewed in favour of Gloucester though as more voters will know them and I would presume, prefer them to win.  

Or maybe it's all our Pro12 chums voting for us?

Cheers MusterMac.

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Post by Nematode Tue 28 Apr 2015, 6:43 pm

Pro12 be like

European Rugby Challenge Cup Final - Edinburgh V Gloucester - Page 2 Tumblr_mm8ghgA8x71rvcpn5o1_400

Hug kiss

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Post by nickj Tue 28 Apr 2015, 7:57 pm

Wow. I'd give my eyes teeth to be going to this game. Does anyone know if there's likely to be a stream available? Is that even possible if a game is on BT Sport? I'm not going to be at home so I will need to avoid finding out the score for a few days if not!

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Post by RDW Tue 28 Apr 2015, 8:25 pm

It is on bt sport, and there will almost certainly be a stream!

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Post by Nematode Tue 28 Apr 2015, 8:26 pm

It will probably be on YouTube the next day (sure everyone knows by now)

Check 'Rugby Championship' channel

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Post by HongKongCherry Tue 28 Apr 2015, 9:09 pm

So Jonny May is definitely fit but Kalamafoni is a major doubt and it is too early to say whether Murphy will be involved http://www.gloucestercitizen.co.uk/Jonny-passed-fit-European-showdown-Sione/story-26403140-detail/story.html
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Post by InjuredYetAgain Tue 28 Apr 2015, 9:40 pm

To quote Hugh Grant in Four Weddings and a Funeral, bugger.
I really worry that Glaws are too good for our backs with Sharples, May and Burns ready to expose our lack of pace

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Post by George Carlin Tue 28 Apr 2015, 10:10 pm

Just a minute. Glaws can't play their best side. That's just not sporting.
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Post by InjuredYetAgain Tue 28 Apr 2015, 10:14 pm

Good to see you GC. I thought I was the only person allowed out to play tonight. Until you joined this thread, I was the most recent poster in 7 threads.
I think it would be churlish to deny them to right to play their best side but perhaps, to give our "pace men" a chance, the Glaws wingers have their boot laces tied to the laces of one of their colleagues (ideally Jim Hamilton) so that they aren't allowed to run quickly

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Post by HongKongCherry Tue 28 Apr 2015, 10:41 pm

Injured, Big Jim left us 2 years ago. But we'll give you a chance by promising that our pack doesn't win any ball to get out to the pacey wingers!
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Post by InjuredYetAgain Tue 28 Apr 2015, 10:45 pm

Why does no-one tell me these things?!
Well, go out and re-sign him then. Jeez, do I have to think of everything on these threads?

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Post by justified sinner Wed 29 Apr 2015, 6:39 am

For Embra Denton out but Watson , Tonks and Cuthbert all fit. According to the Scotsman.

http://www.scotsman.com/sport/rugby/latest/david-denton-set-to-miss-out-on-european-cup-final-1-3757416

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Post by RDW Wed 29 Apr 2015, 7:45 am

justified sinner wrote:For Embra Denton out but Watson , Tonks and Cuthbert all fit. According to the Scotsman.

http://www.scotsman.com/sport/rugby/latest/david-denton-set-to-miss-out-on-european-cup-final-1-3757416

Definitely a blow for Edinburgh, and him who hasn't had the best of luck with injuries!

Will be very interesting to see what happens now - keep McInally at 6 and one of Watson or Du Preez misses out, or bench McInally (one of our best players of late) to incorporate those two?

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Post by HongKongCherry Wed 29 Apr 2015, 8:15 am

Is the bigger blow Denton being out or Cuthbert being fit? Wink
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Post by RDW Wed 29 Apr 2015, 8:24 am

Laugh

To be fair, Cuthbert is a completely different player from his Bath days - he has been a good player for us. Very strong under the high ball, big boot and even makes a few line breaks.  I'd say he's gone from oil tanker to elephant in terms of his speed work too!

Saying that, I'd stick with Tom Brown - With Tonks and Burleigh we don't need Cuthbert's kicking option, and Brown's extra pace will cover all the line breaks your back 3 are going to make.

Solomons could surprise us all though and go for

10 Burleigh
12 Strauss
13 Beard
15 Tonks

Which wouldn't be overly creative to say the least.

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Post by George Carlin Wed 29 Apr 2015, 8:58 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:Laugh

To be fair, Cuthbert is a completely different player from his Bath days - he has been a good player for us. Very strong under the high ball, big boot and even makes a few line breaks.  I'd say he's gone from oil tanker to elephant in terms of his speed work too!

Saying that, I'd stick with Tom Brown - With Tonks and Burleigh we don't need Cuthbert's kicking option, and Brown's extra pace will cover all the line breaks your back 3 are going to make.

Solomons could surprise us all though and go for

10 Burleigh
12 Strauss
13 Beard
15 Tonks

Which wouldn't be overly creative to say the least.
So what do we really want from an exfoliator perspective, then?:

01 Dickinson
02 Ford
03 Nel
04 Bresler
05 Toolis
06 McInally
07 Watson
08 Coman

09 Clyne
10 Tonks
11 Visser
12 Burleigh
13 Beard
14 Fife
15 Brown

16 Cochrane
17 Sutherland
18 Andress
19 McKenzie/Grant
20 De Preez
21 Fowles
22 Rubbishyrubbishy Heathcote
23 Cuthbert
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Post by RDW Wed 29 Apr 2015, 9:04 am

Pretty much, but I would happily drop Heathcoat to have both Grant and Du Preez - we don't need 3 10s in the squad. Although I think Grant will start.

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Post by EWT Spoons Wed 29 Apr 2015, 9:18 am

GC, pretty much agree with your team, but I think Roddy will start with Watson on the bench, and I can’t see us having another 10 if Burleigh and Tonks are on the field.

I’d be happy with both Du Preez and Watson on the bench, but does leave us a bit short in the backs, but given the game plan Solly likes I think our forwards will do most the work so makes sense to have more cover amongst the forwards

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Post by des Wed 29 Apr 2015, 11:57 am

Much as I rate Watson, Grant probably still makes a more significant contribution.  The number and quality of turnovers he makes has shifted the momentum in our favour in a number of games.  

I don't think I've seen him make any mistakes this season either, other than not passing after he made a mini break in the semi-final the other week.

I think he'll probably be the Edinburgh players player of the season this year.

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Post by LondonTiger Wed 29 Apr 2015, 11:58 am

InjuredYetAgain wrote:To quote Hugh Grant in Four Weddings and a Funeral, bugger.
I really worry that Glaws are too good for our backs with Sharples, May and Burns ready to expose our lack of pace

The backs may have all the pace in the world, halfbacks are still Greig "Ready, steady, pass" Laidlaw and James "Can't Pass, Won't Pass" Hook

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Post by Nematode Wed 29 Apr 2015, 1:23 pm

Anyone think Hart has been hard done by? He was playing really quite well when SHC was away with Scotland, equally well as Fowels at least.

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