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Aviva Premiership - Round 6

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Aviva Premiership - Round 6 - Page 6 Empty Aviva Premiership - Round 6

Post by LondonTiger Tue 01 Dec 2015, 1:06 pm

First topic message reminder :

Table

Team
Played
--Won--
-Drawn-
---BP---
Points
Saracens
5
5
0
2
22
Exeter
5
4
0
3
19
Leicester
5
4
0
0
16
Harlequins
5
3
0
3
15
Wasps
5
3
0
2
14
Northampton
5
2
0
4
12
Sale Sharks
5
2
1
2
12
Bath
5
2
0
2
10
Worcester
5
2
0
2
10
Gloucester
5
2
0
1
9
Newcastle
5
0
1
0
2
London Irish
5
0
0
0
0
Fixtures:


Fri 4th Dec

19:45 Gloucester Rugby  v   Sale Sharks BT Sport
Both sides will not have been happy with their performances last week in games that failed to rise above the awful conditions. Gloucester's experiment of Twelvetrees at 10 and hook at 12 failed rather conspicuously as neither managed to add any control. Gloucester will be hoping for dry conditions in which their quick backs are more likely to thrive. Not for the first time this season, Danny Cipriani was unsuccessful with a "win-the-game" kick. After his break during the Challenge Cup matches he looked rusty, and with the court appearance hanging over him he will need to cast away all extraneous emotions and perform if Sale are to sneak anything from this game. Gloucester should win and overtake their visitors in the table, but it is hard to see either team threatening the top half of the table.


Sat 5th Dec

15:00 Harlequins  v   London Irish
Having secured a TBP at Sandy Park, Quins will be bemoaning their ill-discipline (plus attempts to run the clock down at the end of the first half) that allowed Exeter to sneak the win. Still, if you had offered them 2 points before they started their journey west they would probably have bitten your hand off. London Irish are the only team still pointless in the table, but can keep tyheir hopes up by looking at just how hard their opening fixtures have been. all five of their opponents so far finished in the top half of the table last season, and all bar Bath are their again. The trip to the Stoop continues the trend of playing form teams. Certainly Irish have no being playing as poorly as the table would suggest and, despite Quins being clear favourites, they are capable of getting something from this game.

15:00 Worcester Warriors  v   Leicester Tigers
Along with visitors Bath, Leicester did well to rise above the conditions last week and produce a game full of ambition and running - but perhaps not finishing. With Bell and Youngs both kicking far too long with the wind behind, Bath dominated territory and possession in the first half. However tigers showed real grit to hold them at bay, repeated this when down to 14 men in the second half and pulled away at the end. While the influence of Mauger can be seen in how Tigers are trying to play, the physicality with which tigers hit every tackle, ruck and maul was quintessential Cockers. They will need all that grit and fire for the visit to Sixways to face a Worcester side that are more than the sum of their parts. Wuss will be disappointed and even shocked by the score line last week. They did not play as poorly as a casual look at the score would suggest. DOC needs to avoid winding the ref up though. There were a number of 50/50 calls that went the Sarries way after some rather pointless in the refs face behaviour.


15:15 Bath Rugby  v   Northampton Saints BT Sport
The top two in last years regular season have struggled for form and consistency in the league so far, both with just two wins from five games. It is hard to decide who will be more confident going into this match. Bath played some excellent rugby in absolutely dire conditions at the weekend, but allowed Leicester's physicality to seize the day. Saints in conditions almost as bad featured in perhaps the worst match of the season - but dominated their opponent up front. Bath struggled at the lineout last week, but went toe-to-toe  at scrum time with the Leicester 8, almost gaining parity. they will need to raise their game further though for the visit of Saints beast of a scrum. I fell thi smatch could be decided by the conditions. If dry and still Bath should be able to avoid arm wrestle and seize the win. Wet and heavy and Saints abrasiveness and grunbt should dominate. Both sides will not wish to lose and slide down the table, but both sides will have their eyes on potentially tricky European matches.

17:30 Wasps  v   Exeter Chiefs BT Sport
Two teams that love to run the ball. Also two teams that have shown admirable defence this season at times, Wasps most notably in Europe, Chiefs for Leicester's visit. I am fascinated to see how this match will pan out. On paper Wasps look stronger, but Exeter have continued to make a mockery of such assertions. Battle of the back rows could be seismic.


Sun 6th Dec

15:00 Newcastle Falcons  v   Saracens BT Sport
It will be a shock if Saracens fail to win this game. Falcons should not be written off though. With one eye on Europe the defending champions will continue to rotate their players. Falcons came close to beating Sarries last season in Barnet with an all action attacking game - same again could make things interesting - but they have to be precise. Lose possession when in attack and they will see just how precisely Sarries counter attack.

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Post by BamBam Mon 07 Dec 2015, 10:00 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:I'd agree with the point above that Launchbury is the only nailed on prop at present and it's who Jones' wants to partner him.

Tighthead or loosehead?

Wink

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 07 Dec 2015, 10:01 am

Damn it!

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 07 Dec 2015, 10:06 am

Yeah, I would say Launchbury is nailed on. Kitch to partner him for me as he would add both ballast and lineout expertise. Kitch is one of those who could really benefit from a "new broom".

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Post by beshocked Mon 07 Dec 2015, 10:08 am

Londontiger obviously you and I have different intepretations - I think it depends what you look for in a performance.

Defence - 8/10 - Newcastle didn't look like scoring a try. 20 phases - huffing and puffing - nothing, only 3 points conceded.

Attack - 7/10 -when Saracens could be bothered to attack they made easy inroads. They did score 4 tries.

Tactics - 7/10 - too much kicking and a bit predictable but the tactic of grinding down Newcastle and then bringing on monsters like the Vunipola bros did work. Got the try bonus albeit a bit lucky.

Ulster wasn't a 9/10 performance - Saracens were ponderous in the first half. They just put in an outstanding stint in the 2nd half.


Sarries upped their game when they needed to and took their opportunities.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 07 Dec 2015, 10:09 am

I'd agree. If he comes into any form he'd be the one I'd look to first. the others are for me currently more the replacement for Launchbury. Itoje maybe the other guy in a battle with Lawes.

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Post by Geordie Mon 07 Dec 2015, 10:12 am

Welcome back Beshocked...

Saracens didn't have to do very much at all because we were atrocious. Our tactics were abysmal.

I asked the guy next to me in the second half if Micky Youngs had actually passed a ball from SH yet and he said he didn't think so....

That's utterly appalling!!!!

Whats the point buying an expensive top of the range pitch to play rugby like that sack of tripe I had the mispleasure of freezing my A$$ off to watch yesterday.

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Post by Geordie Mon 07 Dec 2015, 10:16 am

beshocked wrote:Londontiger obviously you and I have different intepretations - I think it depends what you look for in a performance.

Defence - 8/10 - Newcastle didn't look like scoring a try. 20 phases - huffing and puffing - nothing, only 3 points conceded.

Attack - 7/10 -when Saracens could be bothered to attack they made easy inroads.  They did score 4 tries.

Tactics - 7/10 - too much kicking and a bit predictable but the tactic of grinding down Newcastle and then bringing on monsters like the Vunipola bros did work. Got the try bonus albeit a bit lucky.

Ulster wasn't a 9/10 performance - Saracens were ponderous in the first half. They just put in an outstanding stint in the 2nd half.


Sarries upped their game when they needed to and took their opportunities.

Please don't put that solely down to Saracens defence. A championship team could have defended us yesterday.

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Post by Geordie Mon 07 Dec 2015, 10:26 am

Just read on the unoffy....This was Richards 50th Premiership game as DoR of the Falcons. We have won 8 of those, a winning rate of 16%.

And he's still in the job?

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Post by beshocked Mon 07 Dec 2015, 10:28 am

Geordiefalcon what tactics should Newcastle have used? If you had attacked more from your half then you would have just been pushed back. Your biggest issue was that you could not break down the Saracens defence. If you can't get over the gain line....

The sides who cause Sarries the biggest issues are those who can get over the gain line like Exeter in the AP, Toulon and Clermont in Europe.

Sarries have one of the best defences in European club rugby. It's about pressure. Taking away your options which forces the opposition into mistakes.

Sarries like to force the opposition into playing higher risk rugby because it's meat and drink for the Sarries defenders.

When Newcastle took more risks in the last 10 minutes, Sarries notched up the try bonus.

Is it the poor Newcastle attack or the excellent Sarries defence? Perhaps a bit of both but Sarries are well known as a very tough side to score against.

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 07 Dec 2015, 10:31 am

If Sarries had played against Ulster as they did against Falcons they would have been stuffed.

Sarries can play really well, but to say they did yesterday is to obviously be someone unable to separate performance from result. It is to their credit they can win so well when they are not playing well.


Last edited by LondonTiger on Mon 07 Dec 2015, 10:34 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 07 Dec 2015, 10:32 am

It would have been beneficial for saracens to run the ball a little more though. The cut through Newcastle almost at will when they did and only ended up with the bonus in the last move, another day and it may not have happened. It must be frustrating knowing for the majority of the time your waiting for opponents mistakes rather than going for the throat?

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 07 Dec 2015, 10:36 am

If Sarries had played at even 7 or 8 out of 10, they would have scored in excess of 50 points. (sorry Falcons fans, but you kno whow poor you were yesterday)

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 07 Dec 2015, 10:38 am

Times team of the round

Marler
George
Brookes
Kitchener
Lees
Gibson
Fraser
Waldrom
Care
Evans
Visser
Slade
Lowe
Edwards
Veainu


And from me a special mention for Alex Waller. First player to achieve 100 consecutive AP appearances.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 07 Dec 2015, 10:39 am

Great stat that. Rare in football let along rugby!

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Post by Geordie Mon 07 Dec 2015, 10:48 am

LondonTiger wrote:If Sarries had played at even 7 or 8 out of 10, they would have scored in excess of 50 points. (sorry Falcons fans, but you kno whow poor you were yesterday)

We've been f%$king sh!t all season mate. I was absolutely fuming yesterday and still am today. Ill give them the rest of the season but if nothing changes, that's me done with them.

I could handle defeats like last season when we actually played entertaining rugby and showed passiona and fight.

But yesterday and most of this season has been appalling dirge! Its like we played when we were last relegated.

And I don't care what people say about how Saracens are so good. Last season we would have beaten that Saracens team we played yesterday...Fact! This season we have gone hurtling backwards.... WHY?????

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 07 Dec 2015, 10:54 am

Just to wind you up even more GF:

Dean Richards wrote:I've not spoken to Eddie Jones, but I would have thought a lot of our guys should be in with a shout for England in the future, especially our hooker George McGuigan.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 07 Dec 2015, 11:00 am

Sarries defence is just outstanding, we didn't have anything to break them down.

I find it odd people suggesting Sarries didn't well. Just because a team aren't running everything doesn't mean they are not playing well.

Truth is Saracens are at least 10pts better than every side in the league. Their 2nd string would more than likely finish in the top half.

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Post by beshocked Mon 07 Dec 2015, 11:00 am

Londontiger you play who is in front of you. Sarries can up their game when they need to as they did vs both Ulster and Newcastle.

Would Ulster have broken down the Sarries defence? I am not sure they would. Sarries were similar in the Ulster game I think - kicking an awful lot but then blowing the opposition away in the last 20. Watching some of that game was tiresome too.

Ulster have struggled with the Saracens defence like many sides have.

A winning margin of 35 points away from home against a side that can be a stubborn opponent I think is an excellent result.

Sarries haven't exactly been thrashing Newcastle in their recent encounters.

How many matches have resulted in 50-60 points?

I just personally felt that Sarries were comfortable and made easy yards with ball in hand. I question some of the decision making but attack wasn't an issue when Sarries decided to.


Geordiefalcon no you wouldn't have beaten that Saracens team. Sarries are the only unbeaten side in European club rugby at the moment. You think that Newcastle side would have done what no other side has done since they lost to Exeter? No sorry that's far fetched.

Plus of course there were the likes of the Vunipola bros on the bench....

I think Sarries are beatable but by Newcastle? Well Newcastle haven't in 13 occasions so it's unlikely.

The side most capable of beating Sarries in my opinion is Exeter then Leicester and Wasps as the top 3 most dangerous in the AP at the moment.


In Europe of course the two most dangerous are Clermont and Toulon, if I had to pick a 3rd then probably Munster.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 07 Dec 2015, 11:01 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Sarries defence is just outstanding, we didn't have anything to break them down.

I find it odd people suggesting Sarries didn't well. Just because a team aren't running everything doesn't mean they are not playing well.

Truth is Saracens are at least 10pts better than every side in the league. Their 2nd string would more than likely finish in the top half.

That's a wind up?

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 07 Dec 2015, 11:01 am

A wind up aimed at who?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 07 Dec 2015, 11:06 am

I don't know, but I just thought you couldn't be serious?

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 07 Dec 2015, 11:09 am

Saracens defended well.

Other than that they were not good. they kicked poorly and rather surprisingly fo rthem their precision and support lines in attack were almost non-existent. In the one match at the weekend with minimal wind disruption they could have done a lot better.

They are comfortably the best team in the League - but sorry that was a performance a long way from their best.

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Post by Geordie Mon 07 Dec 2015, 11:11 am

LondonTiger wrote:Just to wind you up even more GF:

Dean Richards wrote:I've not spoken to Eddie Jones, but I would have thought a lot of our guys should be in with a shout for England in the future, especially our hooker George McGuigan.

The irony is LT that we have some individually very talented players. Many would excel in better teams. Mcguigan being one. He just needs to sort his arrows out a bit and he would be a quality hooker for any team in the league. Sean Robinson our lock was very impressive yesterday...certainly WAY better than Botha!

But I have no idea what they are being coached.

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Post by Geordie Mon 07 Dec 2015, 11:12 am

beshocked wrote:Londontiger you play who is in front of you. Sarries can up their game when they need to as they did vs both Ulster and Newcastle.

Would Ulster have broken down the Sarries defence? I am not sure they would. Sarries were similar in the Ulster game I think - kicking an awful lot but then blowing the opposition away in the last 20. Watching some of that game was tiresome too.

Ulster have struggled with the Saracens defence like many sides have.

A winning margin of 35 points away from home against a side that can be a stubborn opponent I think is an excellent result.

Sarries haven't exactly been thrashing Newcastle in their recent encounters.

How many matches have resulted in 50-60 points?

I just personally felt that Sarries were comfortable and made easy yards with ball in hand. I question some of the decision making but attack wasn't an issue when Sarries decided to.


Geordiefalcon no you wouldn't have beaten that Saracens team. Sarries are the only unbeaten side in European club rugby at the moment. You think that Newcastle side would have done what no other side has done since they lost to Exeter? No sorry that's far fetched.

Plus of course there were the likes of the Vunipola bros on the bench....

I think Sarries are beatable but by Newcastle? Well Newcastle haven't in 13 occasions so it's unlikely.

The side most capable of beating Sarries in my opinion is Exeter then Leicester and Wasps as the top 3 most dangerous in the AP at the moment.


In Europe of course the two most dangerous are Clermont and Toulon, if I had to pick a 3rd then probably Munster.

Yes we would

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Post by Geordie Mon 07 Dec 2015, 11:15 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Sarries defence is just outstanding, we didn't have anything to break them down.

I find it odd people suggesting Sarries didn't well. Just because a team aren't running everything doesn't mean they are not playing well.

Truth is Saracens are at least 10pts better than every side in the league. Their 2nd string would more than likely finish in the top half.

The problem I have mate is that last season we were running lines, pop passes, great support lines etc. We were breaking teams down.

If we had played like that Yesterday...we would have beaten that Saracens side yesterday.

Why have we gone so badly backward.

is it the injuries in pre season...or the amount of new signings?

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Post by Geordie Mon 07 Dec 2015, 11:16 am

Oh and everyone keeps saying Saracens defended well...

Yes but its easy to defend when theres nothing being put on to you.

All we did was kick the ball to their back three!!!

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Post by beshocked Mon 07 Dec 2015, 11:19 am

Londontiger they didn't really try to attack. They showed the attacking stats like metres made, gain line success and Sarries were comfortably ahead of Newcastle.

I don't think the performance was that much different from the Ulster game to be honest - both first halves were pretty forgettable with lots of kicking, good defence though. With Saracens hitting the opposition hard in the 2nd half.

Plus Sarries gave away two stupid YCs against Ulster. Sarries arguably looked better in the Ulster game because they played well with 14 men but in reality the result was similar - snatching a try bonus with the last moment of the game away from home.

I wouldn't say that Sarries have strung together a complete 80 minute performance yet.

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 07 Dec 2015, 11:25 am

I still believe you fail to identify the difference between result and performance.

If Saracens were playing a better team than Oyonnax next, they would rather enter it on the back of the Worcester performance than the Falcons one. Of course thye vast majority of the side that started yesterday will not start next week.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 07 Dec 2015, 11:27 am

Saracens certainly played well but slightly within themselves. Defending is a facet of the game and that was outstanding.

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Post by beshocked Mon 07 Dec 2015, 11:29 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:
beshocked wrote:Londontiger you play who is in front of you. Sarries can up their game when they need to as they did vs both Ulster and Newcastle.

Would Ulster have broken down the Sarries defence? I am not sure they would. Sarries were similar in the Ulster game I think - kicking an awful lot but then blowing the opposition away in the last 20. Watching some of that game was tiresome too.

Ulster have struggled with the Saracens defence like many sides have.

A winning margin of 35 points away from home against a side that can be a stubborn opponent I think is an excellent result.

Sarries haven't exactly been thrashing Newcastle in their recent encounters.

How many matches have resulted in 50-60 points?

I just personally felt that Sarries were comfortable and made easy yards with ball in hand. I question some of the decision making but attack wasn't an issue when Sarries decided to.


Geordiefalcon no you wouldn't have beaten that Saracens team. Sarries are the only unbeaten side in European club rugby at the moment. You think that Newcastle side would have done what no other side has done since they lost to Exeter? No sorry that's far fetched.

Plus of course there were the likes of the Vunipola bros on the bench....

I think Sarries are beatable but by Newcastle? Well Newcastle haven't in 13 occasions so it's unlikely.

The side most capable of beating Sarries in my opinion is Exeter then Leicester and Wasps as the top 3 most dangerous in the AP at the moment.


In Europe of course the two most dangerous are Clermont and Toulon, if I had to pick a 3rd then probably Munster.

Yes we would

Geordiefalcon You wouldn't have sorry. Sarries are in a better place than when they struggled past Newcastle last season. Sarries' defence has been very strong this season. Why do you think the Newcastle side of last season could do what others haven't?

I think you are overestimating Newcastle's ability. Sarries are the form side in Europe at the moment.

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 07 Dec 2015, 11:31 am

I think you are confusing the ability of that XV Sarries put out with the one they would play for a big game.

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 07 Dec 2015, 11:34 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Saracens certainly played well but slightly within themselves. Defending is a facet of the game and that was outstanding.

Cannot agree it was any better than good defence. Falcons offered too little for it to be outstanding.

The defence was on another (higher) level last week for Sarries.

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Post by beshocked Mon 07 Dec 2015, 11:36 am

LondonTiger wrote:I still believe you fail to identify the difference between result and performance.

If Saracens were playing a better team than Oyonnax next, they would rather enter it on the back of the Worcester performance than the Falcons one. Of course thye vast majority of the side that started yesterday will not start next week.

I am sure that Gustard and co will be upset that Sarries conceded two tries vs Worcester (18 points). The margin of victory was less than vs Falcons.

Better to finish with a flourish than have the opposition score two tries even if the try bonus was wrapped up by that point.

Sgt Pooly I agree they did play within themselves but they were good.

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Post by Geordie Mon 07 Dec 2015, 11:37 am

Im talking about THAT side you put out yesterday. Not the one you play in Europe

Anyway its irrelevant.

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Post by Geordie Mon 07 Dec 2015, 11:38 am

beshocked wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:
beshocked wrote:Londontiger you play who is in front of you. Sarries can up their game when they need to as they did vs both Ulster and Newcastle.

Would Ulster have broken down the Sarries defence? I am not sure they would. Sarries were similar in the Ulster game I think - kicking an awful lot but then blowing the opposition away in the last 20. Watching some of that game was tiresome too.

Ulster have struggled with the Saracens defence like many sides have.

A winning margin of 35 points away from home against a side that can be a stubborn opponent I think is an excellent result.

Sarries haven't exactly been thrashing Newcastle in their recent encounters.

How many matches have resulted in 50-60 points?

I just personally felt that Sarries were comfortable and made easy yards with ball in hand. I question some of the decision making but attack wasn't an issue when Sarries decided to.


Geordiefalcon no you wouldn't have beaten that Saracens team. Sarries are the only unbeaten side in European club rugby at the moment. You think that Newcastle side would have done what no other side has done since they lost to Exeter? No sorry that's far fetched.

Plus of course there were the likes of the Vunipola bros on the bench....

I think Sarries are beatable but by Newcastle? Well Newcastle haven't in 13 occasions so it's unlikely.

The side most capable of beating Sarries in my opinion is Exeter then Leicester and Wasps as the top 3 most dangerous in the AP at the moment.


In Europe of course the two most dangerous are Clermont and Toulon, if I had to pick a 3rd then probably Munster.

Yes we would

Geordiefalcon You wouldn't have sorry. Sarries are in a better place than when they struggled past Newcastle last season. Sarries' defence has been very strong this season. Why do you think the Newcastle side of last season could do what others haven't?

I think you are overestimating Newcastle's ability. Sarries are the form side in Europe at the moment.

Not judging by Toulons last performance.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 07 Dec 2015, 11:40 am

LondonTiger wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:Saracens certainly played well but slightly within themselves. Defending is a facet of the game and that was outstanding.

Cannot agree it was any better than good defence. Falcons offered too little for it to be outstanding.

The defence was on another (higher) level last week for Sarries.

Happy to agree to disagree.

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 07 Dec 2015, 11:43 am

beshocked wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:I still believe you fail to identify the difference between result and performance.

If Saracens were playing a better team than Oyonnax next, they would rather enter it on the back of the Worcester performance than the Falcons one. Of course thye vast majority of the side that started yesterday will not start next week.

I am sure that Gustard and co will be upset that Sarries conceded two tries vs Worcester (18 points). The margin of victory was less than vs Falcons.

Better to finish with a flourish than have the opposition score two tries even if the try bonus was wrapped up by that point.

Sgt Pooly I agree they did play within themselves but they were good.

So you believe 75 minutes of dross and 5 of ok, beats 75 of excellence and 5 of going to sleep.

I understand everything now. Welcome back, but you really do need to be a lot less defensive. you shoudl be pleased that what was possibly your worst PERFORMANCE of the season gave such an excellent RESULT

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 07 Dec 2015, 11:47 am

Oh and believe it or not - sometimes teams score tries against Saracens because they did something well. Even the best defence can leak a try through no fault of their own.

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Post by beshocked Mon 07 Dec 2015, 11:48 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:Im talking about THAT side you put out yesterday. Not the one you play in Europe

Anyway its irrelevant.

Yes Geordiefalcon that side is still far too strong.

8 international experience - Goode,Taylor,Wyles,Hodgson,George,Figallo,Kruis,Vunisa

Then you have Ellery (England 7s), Tompkins (England U20s),Spencer (England U20s), Itoje (England U20s),Wray (England U20s),Fraser (England U20s)

The only player with no honours is Barrington and he had your TH in all sorts of trouble.


Londontiger as a Tigers fan you know all about playing to the 80th minute, Sarries switched off in the last 5 against Worcester and conceded 2 tries which of course brings own the overall performance.

Doesn't change that the result was still great but damages the defence record.

Got to keep up the intensity for 80+.

I should add that as a spectacle I enjoyed the Worcester game more but performance wise I think Sarries could have been better if they kept a clean sheet.


Geordiefalcon Toulon aren't unbeaten, they got stuffed by Wasps too.


Last edited by beshocked on Mon 07 Dec 2015, 11:54 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 07 Dec 2015, 11:53 am

I think everyone agrees that saracens won easily, were never really pressured but Newcastle seemed to make that bonus try a bit easy. Surely Saracens should have wrapped that up early, it wouldn't have been in the game plan to leave it so late. Fabulous squad. Can't believe Spencer is 3rd choice where he could be pushing elsewhere. Sure he's been compensated though.

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Post by beshocked Mon 07 Dec 2015, 11:59 am

No 7 & 1/2 I agree to some extent but Newcastle didn't make the try bonus easy, by not running it from their 22 it meant that Sarries couldn't pressurise Newcastle as much as they like to. Should have wrapped it up early but ultimately they just wanted to win, the try bonus was literally just a bonus.

I am surprised no one has snapped up Spencer agreed.

Geordiefalcon wanted Newcastle to run the ball more but I feel that would have just led Newcastle into more issues.

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Post by Geordie Mon 07 Dec 2015, 12:05 pm

picard I give up

I forgot Saracens are the best team on the planet and cannot be criticised no matter what.

Anyway lunchtime!


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Post by funnyExiledScot Mon 07 Dec 2015, 12:07 pm

Beshocked - you must be feeling pretty smug about how your season is shaping up?! It's a squad built for longevity as well, provided the finances stay strong.

One question though: Itoje, lock or blindside? My own view is that he could be a really special blindside, but another shortish/lightweight lock to add to the dozens England already have. He'll do a job at Aviva level at lock, no question. Just don't think he's an international prospect at lock.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Mon 07 Dec 2015, 12:13 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote: picard I give up

I forgot Saracens are the best team on the planet and cannot be criticised no matter what.

Anyway lunchtime!


Geordie - I noted that Dean Richards mentioned a hooker at Newcastle with England prospects. Any good?

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Post by BamBam Mon 07 Dec 2015, 12:15 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:Beshocked - you must be feeling pretty smug about how your season is shaping up?! It's a squad built for longevity as well, provided the finances stay strong.

One question though: Itoje, lock or blindside? My own view is that he could be a really special blindside, but another shortish/lightweight lock to add to the dozens England already have. He'll do a job at Aviva level at lock, no question. Just don't think he's an international prospect at lock.

Itoje is a funny one, I think he should focus on blindside, but is he too slow to be an international back row?

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Post by BamBam Mon 07 Dec 2015, 12:16 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote: picard I give up

I forgot Saracens are the best team on the planet and cannot be criticised no matter what.

Anyway lunchtime!


Geordie - I noted that Dean Richards mentioned a hooker at Newcastle with England prospects. Any good?

Its George McGuigan - he's great around the park but an iffy line out thrower from what I remember last season. England are definitely lacking one of those ...

In all fairness I haven't seen anything of Newcastle this season, so he may have sorted that out!

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Post by lostinwales Mon 07 Dec 2015, 12:18 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:Beshocked - you must be feeling pretty smug about how your season is shaping up?! It's a squad built for longevity as well, provided the finances stay strong.

One question though: Itoje, lock or blindside? My own view is that he could be a really special blindside, but another shortish/lightweight lock to add to the dozens England already have. He'll do a job at Aviva level at lock, no question. Just don't think he's an international prospect at lock.

My worry from way back was that he'd be too small to be a top lock (bizarre really, saying someone is only 6 5''..) but maybe too big/ not mobile enough to be a top blindside. Its difficult, but unless he really makes an outstanding case to be a lock he probably has a better chance of becoming an exceptional 6, but that might take a little while longer to achieve and might mean tailoring his training too.

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Post by beshocked Mon 07 Dec 2015, 12:20 pm

Geordiefalcon no they are not the best side on the planet - you don't win anything this early in a season, still plenty to do and prove. Sarries can be criticised - they should have played more intelligently vs Newcastle, should play with more variety. Can always improve.

FES it's going okay at the moment but things can go from well to bad awfully quickly. E.g. if England take one of the Sarries coaches and Sarries get Andy Farrell in return. Like swapping a race horse for a donkey.

We won't know Itoje's best position at international level till he's given an opportunity - Lancaster wasted the opportunity to try out Itoje in the RWC warm ups, hopefully he doesn't have to wait too long to see where he will be best.

I think height and weight is a bit overrated - power is more important and doing an effective job.

Packs are about balance - I think Itoje could fit in at lock or 6 with the right players.

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 07 Dec 2015, 12:23 pm

Speed can be worked on BamBam. Right now if he were to play at 6 - he would be close to the slowest in the 6Ns.

Itoje can be an excellent club lock, but really is likely to ever only be a decent lock at international level. As a back rower though he could be stunning.


As to McGuigan - his throws were exceedingly loopy and quite hit and miss. Sarries probably did not compete as much at the lineout as they could have and if they had would have put him under real pressure.



And my final thought on Sarries performance - if we could have a fantasy game between the performance over Worcester and that against Falcons, it is my belief that the Worcester performance would win with a TBP. I firmly believe that the performance levels were that marked from one week to the next.

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Post by lostinwales Mon 07 Dec 2015, 12:26 pm

No argument that Itoje is an outstanding young player with bags of potential. He might fit in with the right combination of players but to be picked for England he has to show he's either one of the best 3 or 4 locks or best 2 or 3 blindsides that is England qualified and playing in the AP.

If he's going to do that he might be best off focusing on one position.

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