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Pro 12: Connacht Rugby vs Edinburgh Rugby 31st Oct

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Pro 12:  Connacht Rugby vs Edinburgh Rugby 31st Oct Empty Pro 12: Connacht Rugby vs Edinburgh Rugby 31st Oct

Post by EWT Spoons Tue Oct 27, 2015 9:49 am

Connacht Rugby   v   Edinburgh Rugby
Saturday 31st October 2015
KO 18:45
Sportsground

TV - Nope

Connacht form
Last 3 Matches
24/10/15 Ospreys 16 - 21 Connacht
16/10/15 Connacht 34 - 15 Zebre
3/10/15 Connacht 36 - 31 Blues

Edinburgh Form
24/10/15 Zebre 19 - 11 Edinburgh  Doh
16/10/15 Edinburgh 16 - 10 Ulster
2/10/15 Edinburgh 20 - 9 Ospreys  

Teams:

Connacht
TBC

Edinburgh
TBC

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Post by RDW Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:33 am

Tough game for Edinburgh but we managed to win here last season – I suspect we’ll need all our Scotland players back to do so again though. I’d probably rather the front row and Denton got another week off but can see them all being thrown back in.

That is fine as long as they are given a break at some point before the 6N…

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Post by funnyExiledScot Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:43 am

Connacht are playing well and scoring freely. I think they'll tear us a new one personally.

I've lost all faith in our approach after that Zebre reversal. We are a team built on a narrow game plan, good defence, strong discipline and physical pack. We don't have the abilities to hurt teams with ball in hand, and so far Solomons doesn't seem to be willing to let the team open things up. Take that away and the defence and discipline become vital. Both fell to bits against a very average team which had thus far been humped by allcomers. We also don't have a kicker.

I would change the team around for this one, just to freshen things up where possible:

1.Sutherland 2.Cochrane 3.Berghan 4.Bressler 5.McKenzie 6.Du Preez 7.Watson (c) 8.Manu 9.Hidalgo-Clyne 10.Tonks 11.Hoyland 12.Burleigh 13.Helu 14.Fife 15.Brown

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Post by RDW Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:57 am

The frustrating thing is against Leinster in game 1 we did show some attacking flair, and actually looked quite good.  We were actually offloading and varying the game up well.  Manu was taking the ball in midfield and either smashing it up or popping it to Burleigh on the loop - we did that a few times and it worked very well.

We've literally seen none of that since - especially the good interplay with Manu and Burleigh.

We joke that they are being coached to not do anything expansive, but could it really be the case? In Manu's first start having had a short amount of training time he shows some flair and puts in an attack minded performance, looking very threatening.

A few weeks later he's lost all his flair and isn't as stand out a player anymore.  Surely that is being coached?

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Post by EWT Spoons Tue Oct 27, 2015 11:23 am

I think we've known for a while that Solly isn't an attacking coach, he plays a negative gameplan, which sometimes works, but isn't going to see us score many tries, or look exciting with ball in hand.

If we come up against a team with a half decent defense, or can match us physically then we're stuck.

Hopefully, connacht will open up against us and we're able to exploit that, but I can't see it. I think they'll be too good for us.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Tue Oct 27, 2015 11:57 am

I like Solomons and he's taken us a long way. I do wonder whether we are nearing our own Lineen/Toonie moment. It would be absurd to sack him after all he's done for us, but are we nearing the end of the road in terms of personnel/tactics?

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Post by EWT Spoons Tue Oct 27, 2015 12:13 pm

Well we're getting Duncan Hodge as attack coach, actually has he joined yet given the wc is over for us?

Anyway the point I was about to make, before i distracted myself, is that he might help bring on a more attacking gameplan, or at the very least help us develop the backs game a bit.

Lets see what happens over the next few months, but I think the plan is potentially for Duncan or Stevie (or both) to take over long term.

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Post by RDW Tue Oct 27, 2015 12:16 pm

I like Solomons too, but the cold hard reality is that in his reign we haven't finished above 8th in the league, had a completely miserable HK campaign (nilled twice in a row) and only have a Challenge Cup final and 1872 victory to show for it (although that is a massive plus point given how long it was without a victory).

I think he should see this year out and see what he can do with no excuses - he has squad depth, and he has had them for a full pre-season again.

Ultimately though I think he will be remembered for his negative tactics and plain refusal to use his subs or rotate the squad.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Tue Oct 27, 2015 1:50 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:I like Solomons too, but the cold hard reality is that in his reign we haven't finished above 8th in the league, had a completely miserable HK campaign (nilled twice in a row) and only have a Challenge Cup final and 1872 victory to show for it (although that is a massive plus point given how long it was without a victory).

I think he should see this year out and see what he can do with no excuses - he has squad depth, and he has had them for a full pre-season again.

Ultimately though I think he will be remembered for his negative tactics and plain refusal to use his subs or rotate the squad.

Agreed. Let's see how this season goes, plus it gives more time to Scott and Hodge to advance their cases.

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Post by VinceWLB Tue Oct 27, 2015 5:13 pm

What i don't like about Solomons is he doesn't learn from his mistakes, remember 2 seasons ago players were played into the ground and the result was a disastrous end of the season, guess what he made the same mistake last season which imo cost a trophy and possibly a place in the champions cup. I appreciate his efforts in giving players a good mindset which improved the defense drastically but most of the rewards should be going to Stevie Scott for the way the forwards have been playing.

Ideally, Edinburgh should have moved on from Solomons at the end of last season (keeping Scott as forwards coach of course) and brought someone like Pat Lam who transformed Connacht and made them the dangerous team they are.

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Post by InjuredYetAgain Tue Oct 27, 2015 8:55 pm

I can understand Solomons detractors but only to a point. Think of the utter shambles he inherited. he does seem to have solidified matters and, ok we would all like to see a bit more rotation, but he has weaned the likes of Sutherland. Let'a not forget that the Zebre game had the guts of our team not playimg whereas the Italian world cup players were because they had already had a week off.
All of that said, I do think we will get pumped by Connacht

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Post by funnyExiledScot Wed Oct 28, 2015 8:55 am

One caveat that I will give around Solomons is that I don't want the players to be let off the hook. That defeat against Zebre owed more to player incompetence than Solomons - he didn't coach the kicker to leave 11 points on the table, and nor did he instruct the players to give away so many penalties.

There are a few players not quite up to the mark this season. I'm not seeing Bressler as dominant as he can be, and there's something not right about Du Preez either. Manu is getting worse with every game and Burleigh continues to convince me that he's a 12 and not a 10.

As I said on the Zebre thread, I hope training has been particularly unpleasant this week.

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Post by RDW Wed Oct 28, 2015 9:00 am

InjuredYetAgain wrote:I can understand Solomons detractors but only to a point. Think of the utter shambles he inherited. he does seem to have solidified matters and, ok we would all like to see a bit more rotation, but he has weaned the likes of Sutherland.  Let'a not forget that the Zebre game had the guts of our team not playimg whereas the Italian world cup players were because they had already had a week off.
All of that said, I do think we will get pumped by Connacht

Solidified, yes, but as I said earlier there's nothing really to show for it yet and consistency is still lacking.  We get 4 good wins in a row then put in a shambolic performance against the worst team in the league! The same thing happened last year - beat Munster away, lose to Connacht at home.

Hopefully the Scotland players returning will freshen things up.  And I agree with FES that the team could do with being mixed up a bit - bring Dougie Fife back in, maybe same Beard.  I'd start Du Preez too.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Wed Oct 28, 2015 10:15 am

InjuredYetAgain wrote:I can understand Solomons detractors but only to a point. Think of the utter shambles he inherited. he does seem to have solidified matters and, ok we would all like to see a bit more rotation, but he has weaned the likes of Sutherland.  Let'a not forget that the Zebre game had the guts of our team not playimg whereas the Italian world cup players were because they had already had a week off.
All of that said, I do think we will get pumped by Connacht

That's an understatement. Solomons is the coaching equivalent of imodium.

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Post by Nematode Wed Oct 28, 2015 10:32 am

Look, Solomons has put in a ton of effort to turn around the club and IMO he's done wonders.

The pack seems very decent and we've all witnessed it against teams this season, performing well. The backs do seem a bit lacking in quality at times but there are decent enough players in SHC, Tonks, Burleigh, Scott, Fife, Hoyland etc.

Just because of one loss you can't immediately call for the search for a new coach to begin. If so, a certain GT wouldn't still be in the job after defeats to the Dragons in seasons past.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Wed Oct 28, 2015 10:54 am

Nematode wrote:Look, Solomons has put in a ton of effort to turn around the club and IMO he's done wonders.

The pack seems very decent and we've all witnessed it against teams this season, performing well. The backs do seem a bit lacking in quality at times but there are decent enough players in SHC, Tonks, Burleigh, Scott, Fife, Hoyland etc.

Just because of one loss you can't immediately call for the search for a new coach to begin. If so, a certain GT wouldn't still be in the job after defeats to the Dragons in seasons past.

I'm not just reacting to one defeat. More the niggling suspicion that our progress has peaked under Solomons.

I echo your comments on what he has done for Edinburgh. The squad is in much better shape to the one he inherited.

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Post by RDW Wed Oct 28, 2015 10:54 am

Nematode wrote:Look, Solomons has put in a ton of effort to turn around the club and IMO he's done wonders.

The pack seems very decent and we've all witnessed it against teams this season, performing well. The backs do seem a bit lacking in quality at times but there are decent enough players in SHC, Tonks, Burleigh, Scott, Fife, Hoyland etc.

Just because of one loss you can't immediately call for the search for a new coach to begin. If so, a certain GT wouldn't still be in the job after defeats to the Dragons in seasons past.

I don't think anyone's callign for him to get the sack, we're just looking to the future and, acknowledging that he has brought stability to the club, reckon we might be best served that he moves on at the end of the season and someone attempts to take Edinburgh to the next level.

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Post by RDW Thu Oct 29, 2015 7:49 am

Solomons getting the excuses in early again!

“Playing in Italy is always tough, they [Zebre] had all their World Cup players back. Connacht have a few injuries, but they have had very few players out with the World Cup. They had [centre] Robbie Henshaw and one other player [prop Nathan White] and they are both back playing. At the moment we have something like 14 players out – counting injuries and the World Cup players who need an extra week.”

With him comfirning that the Scotland players are getting another week off, I'm certainly not confident about this one.

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Post by EWT Spoons Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:59 am

Quite glad this game isn't being shown on tv, if he's getting the excuses out now.

Normally he comes up with the excuses after the game.

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Post by Nematode Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:21 am

Do the Scotland players really need another week off?


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Post by RDW Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:24 am

There are now 14 games in a row ending in the 6N - I don't think it would do them any harm having 2 weeks to recover. Remember if they were available this weekend they would have had to have been training all week, so they only would have got 1 week off post world cup, which isn't very much.

Dickinson, Ford and Denton were heavily involved in the world cup - it is about mental recovery as much as anything!

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Post by funnyExiledScot Thu Oct 29, 2015 12:08 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:Solomons getting the excuses in early again!

“Playing in Italy is always tough, they [Zebre] had all their World Cup players back. Connacht have a few injuries, but they have had very few players out with the World Cup. They had [centre] Robbie Henshaw and one other player [prop Nathan White] and they are both back playing. At the moment we have something like 14 players out – counting injuries and the World Cup players who need an extra week.”

With him comfirning that the Scotland players are getting another week off, I'm certainly not confident about this one.

It's funny how "playing away in Italy" only seems to be tough for us.

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Post by the-goon Thu Oct 29, 2015 4:13 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:
InjuredYetAgain wrote:I can understand Solomons detractors but only to a point. Think of the utter shambles he inherited. he does seem to have solidified matters and, ok we would all like to see a bit more rotation, but he has weaned the likes of Sutherland.  Let'a not forget that the Zebre game had the guts of our team not playimg whereas the Italian world cup players were because they had already had a week off.
All of that said, I do think we will get pumped by Connacht

That's an understatement. Solomons is the coaching equivalent of imodium.

This really made me laugh, well played

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Post by RDW Fri Oct 30, 2015 12:08 pm

Players not considered due to injury
Michael Allen (shoulder), Grant Gilchrist (groin), Stuart McInally (neck), Matt Scott (back), Grant Shiells (back), Jade Te Rure (knee), Greig Tonks (groin), Ben Toolis (elbow)

Rugby World Cup players being rested
David Denton, Alasdair Dickinson, Ross Ford, John Hardie, WP Nel

Edinburgh Rugby team v Connacht, Saturday 31 October, Sportsground, kick-off 6.45pm

15 Blair Kinghorn

14 Damien Hoyland

13 Chris Dean

12 Sam Beard

11 Will Helu

10 Phil Burleigh

9 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne



1 Rory Sutherland

2 Neil Cochrane

3 John Andress

4 Anton Bresler

5 Fraser McKenzie

6 Mike Coman (capt)

7 Roddy Grant

8 Nasi Manu



Substitutes

16 George Turner

17 Allan Dell

18 Simon Berghan

19 Alex Toolis

20 Cornell Du Preez

21 Sean Kennedy

22 Dougie Fife

23 Nick McLennan

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Post by funnyExiledScot Fri Oct 30, 2015 12:46 pm

Well I like that he's mixed things up a bit, particularly in the backline. Harsh on Watson missing out completely but in terms of squad rotation then I think Grant deserves a shot.

Really interesting backline, and a massive congratulations to Blair Kinghorn on his first start.

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Post by RDW Fri Oct 30, 2015 12:53 pm

He's perhaps looking for Grant's extra physicality against Connacht. That back row isn't going to give much away in the close quarters.

Great to see Kinghorn starting at 15, and even better to see no Strauss!

Interesting that Jack Cuthbert is completely dropped.

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Post by profitius Fri Oct 30, 2015 2:16 pm

Connacht line-up v Edinburgh

15. Tiernan O’Halloran
14. Darragh Leader
13. Bundee Aki
12. Craig Ronaldson
11. Matt Healy
10. Jack Carty
9. Kieran Marmion

1. Denis Buckley
2. Tom McCartney
3. Rodney Ah You
4. Aly Muldowney
5. Andrew Browne
6. John Muldoon (captain)
7. Nepia Fox-Matamua
8. Eoghan Masterson

Replacements:

16. Dave Heffernan
17. Finlay Bealham
18. Nathan White
19. Quinn Roux
20. Eoin McKeon
21. Ian Porter
22. Rory Parata
23. Niyi Adeolokun
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Post by EWT Spoons Sat Oct 31, 2015 7:40 pm

8-6 HT

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Post by highland_scot Sat Oct 31, 2015 8:32 pm

14-9 ft

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Post by highland_scot Sat Oct 31, 2015 8:33 pm

To Connacht obviously Rolling Eyes

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Post by George Carlin Sun Nov 01, 2015 9:09 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:I like Solomons too, but the cold hard reality is that in his reign we haven't finished above 8th in the league, had a completely miserable HK campaign (nilled twice in a row) and only have a Challenge Cup final and 1872 victory to show for it (although that is a massive plus point given how long it was without a victory).
Just a minute. You told me that you were World Class a fortnight ago. Headscratch
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Post by RDW Sun Nov 01, 2015 9:16 am

I did?

Anyway, not a complete disaster this result - a LBP was probably as much as we could hope for. Sounds like we had set piece dominance but gave away swathes of penalties again.

Positive to hear kinghorn nailing a long range penalty - could be a real asset for us.

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Post by George Carlin Sun Nov 01, 2015 9:35 am

I was just being facetious - Connacht are playing well (aren't they currently 2nd place or something?) and are a team with momentum. They'll be a handful for anyone.

That said, the key issue for Edinburgh should not be ignored - Solly needs to stop chopping and changing his backline. He has to know that stodgy backs with a great pack may place you in the top half of the table, but it won't get you a playoff spot.
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Post by RDW Sun Nov 01, 2015 12:12 pm

The thing is, he changed the backs into a more attacking unit! Hidalgo-Clyne and Beard are more attack minded than Kennedy and Strauss.

The problem is not as much the personnel though, it's the tactics - kicking the leather off the ball and passing to the wingers in space as a very last option only.

Apparently Beard was a real threat with ball in hand yesterday - him and Scott might be our best midfield combo.

Chris Dean is still young but certainly hasn't stood out si far this season - plus he's gone off injured more often than he's not!

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