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European Champions Cup - Semi Finals

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Sgt_Pooly
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European Champions Cup - Semi Finals Empty European Champions Cup - Semi Finals

Post by Fluxy Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:49 am

Home teams to be named by 23:59 hours on Tuesday
Away teams to be named by 23:59 hours on Wednesday
Tactics by 23:59 hours on Thursday 

Predictions to be PM’d to Fluxy by 23:59 hours on Sunday


Semi Final 1: Northampton Saints vs Newcastle Falcons
Wembley Stadium
Light Cloud - 13 degrees, 9mph North Westerly Winds


Northampton Saints
Manager: Dammit Chris

01. Mako Vunipola09. Conor Murray
02. Dylan Hartley10. George Ford
03. Ramiro Herrera 
04. Joe Launchbury(c)11. Julian Savea
05. Jonny Gray12. Wesley Fofana
06. Schalk Burger13. Elliot Daly
07. Brendon O'Connor14. Rieko Ioane
08. Facunda Isa15. Leigh Halfpenny(k)
.
Replacements: 16. Schalk Brits 17. Wyatt Crockett 18. Zander Fagerson 19. Vaea Fifita 20. David Pocock 21. Joe Simpson 22. Lima Sopoaga 23. Manu Tuilagi

Attributes:
Breakdown - Clearing: Ensuring the possession is clean and quick with quick support to the breakdown
First phase attack/strike moves: Will look to break the defence, with either a bust through or a clever move to create a gap.

Blitz Defence: Your side is known for Blitz and excels at it
Breakdown - Turnover possession: Your side is recognised to pick off turnovers at the breakdown, by getting the ball and gaining the penalty.

Tactics
Will be looking to play the game with a real physical intensity from the start, looking to get our big ball carriers into the game and create attacking opportunities for our strike runners in the backline. We've picked a strong impact bench to really up the tempo as the game goes on and will look to make the most of the big pitch at Wembley and get our backline scoring tries.

- Look to get a solid foundation in the game with our front five, get our halfbacks on the front foot to attack the Newcastle team. Aware of the quality of the Falcons halfbacks and will play to our strengths, great tactical kicking game and passing game of Ford to bring in the likes of Fofana, Ioane and Savea.

- Launchbury and Gray to add to the breakdown with their mobility but have picked O'Connor at no7 to bring his speed and breakdown work to the game. We want to make the most of our mobile pack and wear down Falcons.

- Halfpenny's boot to ensure the scoreboard keeps ticking over and Daly to go for goal anywhere from distance.

- Will have Daly and Ioane interchanging in the no13 channel during the game to give Ford different options in attack, the power of Ioane or Daly's pace. We want to get the ball in Daly's hands as much as possible to exploit any weaknesses outside of Campagnaro's channel.

Set Piece and Pack Battle
Hartley in to keep the scrum and lineout functioning and look to get an advantage over Falcons in the front five. A lot of impact from our pack off the bench, whilst we have been resting Mako, Launchbury and Burger in key games so they are fresh for the season run in. Gray to lead the lineout (as he does for club and country). We've picked a very mobile pack and will be looking to move Falcons all over the pitch and stretch their defence.

Gain-line/Physical Battle
Like Saracens in real life we'll look to send big runner after runner at the Falcons defence to suck in players and create space out wide. Looking for Mako, Burger and Isa to get us over the gainline before we call on the bench for more impact. Falcons have no real gain line breaker in their backline, all great attackers but will look for Ioane and Savea to give us a real physical presence going forwards there.

Breakdown
Per tactics above.

Attack/Points
- Front five to build a platform for our backline to attack, give Ford a lot of front foot ball to bring in his passing game to open up the Falcons defence. Will be looking to bring in a lot of strike moves from our backline with Daly given a licence to roam and get his hands on the ball.

- Win the tactical kicking battle, Murray and Ford are two great kickers and we will look to test out the Falcons wings. With Daly and Halfpenny too, this is an area that we can really get some success in and keep Falcons pinned back and getting the territory.

- Halfpenny to keep scoreboard ticking over, with Daly's boot meaning Falcons will get punished from 55-60 metres out.

Defence
Aggressive blitz defence with Murray sweeping behind.


European Champions Cup - Semi Finals 8 Newcastle Falcons
Manager – Bambam

01. Matt Mullan09. Rhys Webb 
02. Jamie George  10. Owen Farrell 
03. Vincent Koch
04. Matt Symons11. David Strettle
05. Lood De Jager12. Scott Williams
06. Pablo Matera13. Michele Campagnaro
07. Francois Louw14. Denny Solomona
08. Kieran Read (c) 15. Ben Smith
:-
16. Camille Chat 17. Nic Auterac 18. Davit Kubriashvili 19. Flip VDM 20. Jordi Murphy 21. Dave Lewis 22. Ian Madigan 23. Charles Piutau

Attributes
-Counter Attacking: Receiving the ball down field, your players will look to attack with ball in hand, thriving in the broken field and open spaces.
-Phase Attack: Attacks build momentum until an opportunity arises.

-Breakdown: Slowing up ball: The defenders can get over the ball to slow it up and prevent the attack from building momentum and allowing your defence to set.
-Blitz Defence: Your side is known for Blitz and excels at it

TARGET DALY & FORD IN DEFENCE WITH BIG RUNNER DOWN THEIR CHANNEL

PUT PRESSURE ON IN THE LINEOUT WITH NO LINEOUT LEADER FOR SAINTS

TARGET BREAKDOWN, LOOK TO DOMINATE AREA AND SLOW SAINTS DOWN
-
Game plan

Set piece - Look to really put their props under maximum pressure with our strong front row, we've got a great scrummaging lock pairing to help. If no weakness, use as restart. On their ball, mark their second rows and force long throws. On our ball, use the back row options to mix it up.

Breakdown - Back row and hooker to lead the way on turnovers. Others focus on strong clear outs and maintaining a strong defensive line. . On our ball, smash them off the ball, use pod system to ensure support if they are having success. Our openside is charged with keeping their main breakdown threat off our ball, and target turnovers if one of their carriers gets isolated

Kicking - Options throughout the backs . Kick in behind the wings for territory, aim for space not the man. Challenge wings positioning, Wings free to drop back for the counter off their kicks

Attack - Run our attack off 9 who sets the tempo, constantly change the point of attack and get our 10 quick ball.. Challenge their 10 defensively with our power backs cutting in running hard lines at his channel with the full back coming into the line. Big carrying forwards to set a platform, run at 10/12 all day long to put them on the back foot off first phase, see how they handle it.  

Defence - no weak links in the backline, use the blitz defence to put them on the back foot,  

Bench - Big carrying forwards throughout and talented, pacy backs to see us home


Semi Final 2: Harlequins vs Sale Sharks
Twickenham
Light Cloud - 14 degrees, 8mph North Westerly Winds


Harlequins
Manager – Steven_Sharks

01. Richard Barrington09. Luke McGrath 
02. Agustin Creevy10. Elton Jantjies
03. Tadhg Furlong
04. Pieter Steph Du Toit11. Jack Nowell
05. George Kruis12. Robbie Henshaw
06. Steffon Armitage13. Jonathan Joseph
07. Michael Hooper (c)14. Santiago Cordero
08. Jack Clifford15. Damian McKenzie (k)
.
16. Scott Baldwin 17. Cian Healy 18. Kieran Brookes 19. Mamuka Gorgodze 20. Jaco Kriel 21. Ruan Pienaar 22. Juan Martin Hernandez 23. Mike Haley

Attributes

Phase Attack - Attacks build momentum until an opportunity arises. 
Counter Attack - Receiving the ball down field, your players will look to attack with ball in hand, thriving in the broken field and open spaces. 

Breakdown (Turnover Possession) -  Your side is recognised to pick off turnovers at the breakdown, by getting the ball and gaining the penalty
Chop Tackle: Tacklers look to get low and chop down attackers before gaining momentum or metres over the gain line. 

Game Plan

  • Play the game at pace. Look to use our strong and mobile pack to get across the gain line before spinning it wide into the hands of our outside backs. We want to wear Sale out by retaining possession and moving them around the pitch 

  • Look to be really aggressive in defence and at the breakdown, using Hooper, Armitage, Clifford and Creevy especially to look to get on the ball and gain the turnover, penalty or to at least slow down Sale ball

  • Look for livewire McGrath to get us on the front foot looking to test the fringes and snipe before feeding our tighter forwards around the rucks. Look for Jantjies to stand flat and look to put our back row and centres into spaces in the midfield

  • Use McKenzie and Cordero to come in as first receiver to offer other options to keep Sale's defence honest 

  • Look to unload the bench gradually through the second half, with real impact coming on in every position. We are in no way weakened by our bench



European Champions Cup - Semi Finals 12 Sale Sharks
Manager – SJE

01. Jack McGrath09. Danny Care 
02. Tommy Taylor10. Johnny Sexton
03. Davit Zirakishvilli  
04. Dave Attwood11. Nemani Nadolo
05. Maro Itoje12. Reece Hodge
06. Peter O'Mahony13. Malakai Fekitoa
07. Sam Cane14. Semesa Rokoduguni
08. Duane Vermulean15. Nick Abendanon
.
Subs:16. Malcolm Marx 17. Ross Harrison 18. Martin Moore 19. Brodie Retalick 20. CJ Stander 21. Faf De Klerk 22. Bernard Foley 23. Joe Marchant

Attributes:
Phase Attack: Attacks build momentum until an opportunity arises.
Breakdown - Clearing: Ensuring the possession is clean and quick with quick support to the breakdown.

Blitz Defence: Your side is known for Blitz and excels at it.
Breakdown - Slowing up ball: The defenders can get over the ball to slow it up and prevent the attack from building momentum and allowing your defence to set. 

Specifics:
Pressure on the halfbacks: 
Looking for our usual strong blitz defence to put real pressure on the Quins halfback combo. Strong breakdown effort to ensure McGrath is on the back foot.

Get at the lineout: No recognised jumping options in the Quins backrow puts their 2nd row under pressure v POM & Itoje. Retalick to come in and increase our options here as Gorgodze at lock reduces theirs. 

Impact: Genuine impact coming on from the bench with the likes of Marx, Retalick, Stander, Foley. Will be looking for Stander to come on at 8 to allow the flankers to keep up their work at the breakdown.
 
Game Plan:
Attack:
 We will be playing a high intensity phased attacking game. Look to use a rugby league shape with runners on the gain line and out the back door to force the opposition into making defensive decisions. Numerous playmakers across the back line allows us to constantly change the point of attack and restructure our attacking phases. Care to keep the fringe defence honest with his snipping runs.

Breakdown: Quick ball is the aim on attack. Mobile pack and physical back line to clear out rucks and ensure we get it. We will look to get over the gain line off all carries to give a target to hit. Defensively when the initial contact is won we will look to commit numbers and get over the ball turning it over or at least slowing opposition ball up. Otherwise we will strengthen the line.

Defence: Straight line blitz defence focused on winning the gain line collisions and driving the ball carrier back. Line speed is crucial. Care will sweep behind the line to cover chips and grubbers. Bendy & Nadolo to cover the background dropping deep to cut off the green grass available to kick into.

Scrum: Strong scrummaging unit in the front row with the support of a powerful 4-8 will look to get the better of the opposition and build a strong attacking platform. We will look to put a slight wheel on where possible to take the opposition backrow out of play and then attack the space available and look for one on ones in the backline.

Lineout: Five mobile, athletic jumpers allows us to genuinely mix it up on attacking ball. Primarily looking to get the backs on the ball in space. Defensively Itoje to get up in the air at the front and challenge on opposition ball while POM marshals the middle looking to make it as messy as possible.



Last edited by Fluxy on Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:43 pm; edited 4 times in total

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:30 am

Mark

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Post by Steven_Sharks Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:07 pm

Harlequins
Manager – Steven_Sharks


01. Richard Barrington09. Luke McGrath
02. Agustin Creevy10. Elton Jantjies
03. Tadhg Furlong
04. Pieter Steph Du Toit11. Jack Nowell
05. George Kruis12. Robbie Henshaw
06. Steffon Armitage13. Jonathan Joseph
07. Michael Hooper (c)14. Santiago Cordero
08. Jack Clifford15. Damian McKenzie (k)
16. Scott Baldwin 17. Cian Healy 18. Kieran Brookes 19. Mamuka Gorgodze 20. Jaco Kriel 21. Ruan Pienaar 22. Juan Martin Hernandez 23. Mike Haley

Attributes

Phase Attack - Attacks build momentum until an opportunity arises. 
Counter Attack - Receiving the ball down field, your players will look to attack with ball in hand, thriving in the broken field and open spaces. 

Breakdown (Turnover Possession) -  Your side is recognised to pick off turnovers at the breakdown, by getting the ball and gaining the penalty
Chop Tackle: Tacklers look to get low and chop down attackers before gaining momentum or metres over the gain line. 

Game Plan

  • Play the game at pace. Look to use our strong and mobile pack to get across the gain line before spinning it wide into the hands of our outside backs. We want to wear Sale out by retaining possession and moving them around the pitch


  • Look to be really aggressive in defence and at the breakdown, using Hooper, Armitage, Clifford and Creevy especially to look to get on the ball and gain the turnover, penalty or to at least slow down Sale ball


  • Look for livewire McGrath to get us on the front foot looking to test the fringes and snipe before feeding our tighter forwards around the rucks. Look for Jantjies to stand flat and look to put our back row and centres into spaces in the midfield


  • Use McKenzie and Cordero to come in as first receiver to offer other options to keep Sale's defence honest


  • Look to unload the bench gradually through the second half, with real impact coming on in every position. We are in no way weakened by our bench


Last edited by Steven_Sharks on Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:48 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by dammit_chris Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:34 pm

Northampton Saints
Manager: Dammit Chris

01. Mako Vunipola09. Conor Murray
02. Dylan Hartley10. George Ford
03. Ramiro Herrera 
04. Joe Launchbury(c)11. Julian Savea
05. Jonny Gray12. Wesley Fofana
06. Schalk Burger13. Elliot Daly
07. Brendon O'Connor14. Rieko Ioane
08. Facunda Isa15. Leigh Halfpenny(k)
.
Replacements:
16. Schalk Brits 17. Wyatt Crockett 18. Zander Fagerson 19. Vaea Fifita 20. David Pocock 21. Joe Simpson 22. Lima Sopoaga 23. Manu Tuilagi

Attributes:
Breakdown - Clearing: Ensuring the possession is clean and quick with quick support to the breakdown
First phase attack/strike moves: Will look to break the defence, with either a bust through or a clever move to create a gap.

Blitz Defence: Your side is known for Blitz and excels at it
Breakdown - Turnover possession: Your side is recognised to pick off turnovers at the breakdown, by getting the ball and gaining the penalty.

Tactics
Will be looking to play the game with a real physical intensity from the start, looking to get our big ball carriers into the game and create attacking opportunities for our strike runners in the backline. We've picked a strong impact bench to really up the tempo as the game goes on and will look to make the most of the big pitch at Wembley and get our backline scoring tries.

- Look to get a solid foundation in the game with our front five, get our halfbacks on the front foot to attack the Newcastle team. Aware of the quality of the Falcons halfbacks and will play to our strengths, great tactical kicking game and passing game of Ford to bring in the likes of Fofana, Ioane and Savea.

- Launchbury and Gray to add to the breakdown with their mobility but have picked O'Connor at no7 to bring his speed and breakdown work to the game. We want to make the most of our mobile pack and wear down Falcons.

- Halfpenny's boot to ensure the scoreboard keeps ticking over and Daly to go for goal anywhere from distance.

- Will have Daly and Ioane interchanging in the no13 channel during the game to give Ford different options in attack, the power of Ioane or Daly's pace. We want to get the ball in Daly's hands as much as possible to exploit any weaknesses outside of Campagnaro's channel.

Set Piece and Pack Battle
Hartley in to keep the scrum and lineout functioning and look to get an advantage over Falcons in the front five. A lot of impact from our pack off the bench, whilst we have been resting Mako, Launchbury and Burger in key games so they are fresh for the season run in. Gray to lead the lineout (as he does for club and country). We've picked a very mobile pack and will be looking to move Falcons all over the pitch and stretch their defence.

Gain-line/Physical Battle
Like Saracens in real life we'll look to send big runner after runner at the Falcons defence to suck in players and create space out wide. Looking for Mako, Burger and Isa to get us over the gainline before we call on the bench for more impact. Falcons have no real gain line breaker in their backline, all great attackers but will look for Ioane and Savea to give us a real physical presence going forwards there.

Breakdown
Per tactics above.

Attack/Points
- Front five to build a platform for our backline to attack, give Ford a lot of front foot ball to bring in his passing game to open up the Falcons defence. Will be looking to bring in a lot of strike moves from our backline with Daly given a licence to roam and get his hands on the ball.

- Win the tactical kicking battle, Murray and Ford are two great kickers and we will look to test out the Falcons wings. With Daly and Halfpenny too, this is an area that we can really get some success in and keep Falcons pinned back and getting the territory.

- Halfpenny to keep scoreboard ticking over, with Daly's boot meaning Falcons will get punished from 55-60 metres out.

Defence
Aggressive blitz defence with Murray sweeping behind.


Last edited by dammit_chris on Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:49 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post by dammit_chris Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:13 pm

Guys I think Bam is away at the moment, would someone do a team for him please - I am happy to do one, but it would probably have Farrell in the front row, so a lot better for someone else!

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Post by Fluxy Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:33 pm

Will have a look Chris.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:43 pm

European Champions Cup - Semi Finals 8 Newcastle Falcons
Manager – Bambam

01. Matt Mullan09. Rhys Webb 
02. Jamie George  10. Owen Farrell 
03. Vincent Koch
04. Matt Symons11. David Strettle
05. Lood De Jager12. Scott Williams
06. Pablo Matera13. Michele Campagnaro
07. Francois Louw14. Denny Solomona
08. Kieran Read (c) 15. Ben Smith
:-
16. Camille Chat 17. Nic Auterac 18. Davit Kubriashvili 19. Flip VDM 20. Jordi Murphy 21. Dave Lewis 22. Ian Madigan 23. Charles Piutau

Attributes
-
Counter Attacking: Receiving the ball down field, your players will look to attack with ball in hand, thriving in the broken field and open spaces.
-
Phase Attack: Attacks build momentum until an opportunity arises.
-
Breakdown: Slowing up ball: The defenders can get over the ball to slow it up and prevent the attack from building momentum and allowing your defence to set.
-
Blitz Defence: Your side is known for Blitz and excels at it

TARGET DALY & FORD IN DEFENCE WITH BIG RUNNER DOWN THEIR CHANNEL

PUT PRESSURE ON IN THE LINEOUT WITH NO LINEOUT LEADER FOR SAINTS

TARGET BREAKDOWN, LOOK TO DOMINATE AREA AND SLOW SAINTS DOWN
-
Game plan

Set piece - Look to really put their props under maximum pressure with our strong front row, we've got a great scrummaging lock pairing to help. If no weakness, use as restart. On their ball, mark their second rows and force long throws. On our ball, use the back row options to mix it up.

Breakdown - Back row and hooker to lead the way on turnovers. Others focus on strong clear outs and maintaining a strong defensive line. . On our ball, smash them off the ball, use pod system to ensure support if they are having success. Our openside is charged with keeping their main breakdown threat off our ball, and target turnovers if one of their carriers gets isolated

Kicking - Options throughout the backs . Kick in behind the wings for territory, aim for space not the man. Challenge wings positioning, Wings free to drop back for the counter off their kicks

Attack - Run our attack off 9 who sets the tempo, constantly change the point of attack and get our 10 quick ball.. Challenge their 10 defensively with our power backs cutting in running hard lines at his channel with the full back coming into the line. Big carrying forwards to set a platform, run at 10/12 all day long to put them on the back foot off first phase, see how they handle it.  

Defence - no weak links in the backline, use the blitz defence to put them on the back foot,  

Bench - Big carrying forwards throughout and talented, pacy backs to see us home


Last edited by Sgt_Pooly on Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:50 am; edited 2 times in total

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Post by dammit_chris Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:44 pm

Cheers Pooly.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:46 pm

I'll have a look at tactics tomorrow morning Chris/Flux and do some generic points etc.

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Post by SirJohnnyEnglish Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:39 pm

European Champions Cup - Semi Finals 12 Sale Sharks
Manager – SJE

01. Jack McGrath09. Danny Care
02. Tommy Taylor10. Johnny Sexton
03. Davit Zirakishvilli 
04. Dave Attwood11. Nemani Nadolo
05. Maro Itoje12. Reece Hodge
06. Peter O'Mahony13. Malakai Fekitoa
07. Sam Cane14. Semesa Rokoduguni
08. Duane Vermulean15. Nick Abendanon
Subs:
16. Malcolm Marx 17. Ross Harrison 18. Martin Moore 19. Brodie Retalick 20. CJ Stander 21. Faf De Klerk 22. Bernard Foley 23. Joe Marchant

Attributes:
Phase Attack: Attacks build momentum until an opportunity arises.
Breakdown - Clearing: Ensuring the possession is clean and quick with quick support to the breakdown.

Blitz Defence: Your side is known for Blitz and excels at it.
Breakdown - Slowing up ball: The defenders can get over the ball to slow it up and prevent the attack from building momentum and allowing your defence to set. 

Specifics:
Pressure on the halfbacks:
Looking for our usual strong blitz defence to put real pressure on the Quins halfback combo. Strong breakdown effort to ensure McGrath is on the back foot.

Get at the lineout: No recognised jumping options in the Quins backrow puts their 2nd row under pressure v POM & Itoje. Retalick to come in and increase our options here as Gorgodze at lock reduces theirs. 

Impact: Genuine impact coming on from the bench with the likes of Marx, Retalick, Stander, Foley. Will be looking for Stander to come on at 8 to allow the flankers to keep up their work at the breakdown.

Game Plan:
Attack:
We will be playing a high intensity phased attacking game. Look to use a rugby league shape with runners on the gain line and out the back door to force the opposition into making defensive decisions. Numerous playmakers across the back line allows us to constantly change the point of attack and restructure our attacking phases. Care to keep the fringe defence honest with his snipping runs.

Breakdown: Quick ball is the aim on attack. Mobile pack and physical back line to clear out rucks and ensure we get it. We will look to get over the gain line off all carries to give a target to hit. Defensively when the initial contact is won we will look to commit numbers and get over the ball turning it over or at least slowing opposition ball up. Otherwise we will strengthen the line.

Defence: Straight line blitz defence focused on winning the gain line collisions and driving the ball carrier back. Line speed is crucial. Care will sweep behind the line to cover chips and grubbers. Bendy & Nadolo to cover the background dropping deep to cut off the green grass available to kick into.

Scrum: Strong scrummaging unit in the front row with the support of a powerful 4-8 will look to get the better of the opposition and build a strong attacking platform. We will look to put a slight wheel on where possible to take the opposition backrow out of play and then attack the space available and look for one on ones in the backline.

Lineout: Five mobile, athletic jumpers allows us to genuinely mix it up on attacking ball. Primarily looking to get the backs on the ball in space. Defensively Itoje to get up in the air at the front and challenge on opposition ball while POM marshals the middle looking to make it as messy as possible.

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Post by Fluxy Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:43 pm

Predictions Open

Good luck!

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Post by Fluxy Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:26 pm

European Champions Cup - Semi Finals - Results

Northampton Saints - 29
(T: Hartley, J Gray, Simpson C: Halfpenny [x1] P: Halfpenny [x3] DG: Ford [x1])
Newcastle Falcons - 26
(T: Webb, Campagnaro, Chat C: Farrell [x1] P: Farrell [x3])

Harlequins - 28
(T: Hooper, Jantjies, Cordero C: McKenzie [x2] P: McKenzie [x3])
Sale Sharks - 30
(T: Itoje, Sexton, Abendanon, Hodge C: Sexton [x2] P: Sexton [x2])

Prediction Bonuses:
Full:
Fluxy, Prop, Chris, SJE and Pooly

Score: Nick, CJB, CJ and Steve
None: Bam and Pull

Congratulations to Saints and Sharks!


Last edited by Fluxy on Tue Apr 25, 2017 12:23 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:36 pm

Congrats to getting to the final lads, best 2 sides in the league this season thumbsup

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Post by Fluxy Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:41 pm

Northampton Saints 25 - 22 Newcastle Falcons
Strong front 5 on show from Saints and Falcons will struggle to match them here. Back row brings it slightly closer with Saints bringing dog but Falcons having some flair. 9-10 not a lot between them, Ford was off form Sunday which doesn't help. Centres, just slightly go to Saints but not much in it with Falcons targetting Daly here. Great battle out wide and it will all stem from good ball from the set piece which Saints target in their tactics and I think will give them the added edge in this game.

Northampton Saints 24 - 28 Newcastle Falcons
Good even scrum battle but the Saints 2nd row has a bit more quality about it and a huge work rate. Falcons man for man stronger through the backrow and would expect them to cause issues at the breakdown. Halfbacks one a piece but Falcons work better as a combo for me. Back threes fairly even but Saints midfield look more threatening ball in hand. Saints do have a few more power carriers but can see Falcons making ground targeting Ford/Daly. Falcons backrow advantage is the decider for me wth them slowing down a fair bit of Saints ball. 

Northampton Saints 29 - 28 Newcastle Falcons

Northampton Saints 27 - 26 Newcastle Falcons


Northampton Saints 25 - 24 Newcastle Falcons
The quality of the Saints front five, just shades that of the Falcons, but they are an equal around the park. Saints for me perhaps a little behind in the lineout game, with Falcons having more options in my opinion. The Falcons back three is a class unit and will bring a lot to the game. The youth of Isa, will provide a nuisance all game. Farrell is just sublime at the minute for me and Ford despite his lapses, will be a threat alongside the outside backs at his disposal.  Close game, with both sets of tactics similar in a way. But the quality of the bench from Saints will help them edge a tight affair.

Northampton Saints 26 - 25 Newcastle Falcons

Northampton Saints 27 - 26 Newcastle Falcons

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European Champions Cup - Semi Finals Empty Re: European Champions Cup - Semi Finals

Post by Fluxy Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:42 pm

Harlequins 25 - 28 Sale Sharks
The front 5 battle is huge here and I can't see alot between the two teams to be honest. When looking at the back row this is where Sale come into their own and will cause the problems for Quins. Half backs go to Sale with their solid pairing. Centres Are closer and I think Quins could cause quite a few issues (would love to see this pairing for the Lions), outside of that it is evens and it comes down to the breakdown where Sale's 2 attributes gives them an added advantage here. Quins looking for a flat 10 but with Sale looking to put pressure on him this could cause problems. Sale win.

Harlequins 28 - 28 Sale Sharks

Harlequins 23 - 27 Sale Sharks

A great front 5 contest but Barrington stands out as a weakness at this level for Quins in an otherwise top unit. The Sale back 3 are a step up, some form issues at 6/8 for Quins holds them back with only really 8 an issue for Sale, better quality for Sale also. Apart from the halfbacks, prefer the Quins backline with some great balance and running threat. Tough game but The Sale pack and halfbacks steer them through another big game. 

Sale Sharks 31 - 34 Harlequins 
Great, great game. Weather conditions can really suit the Quins backline and their approach of using Hooper and co to target the breakdown could give them a lot of quick ball. A fantastic backline that could pull the Sale defence around. POM will cause a lot of problems come lineout, but in Kruis Quins have someone who is even better, but needs some game time to get back - so lineouts very even. Barrington a weakness for Quins, but Creevy and Taylor is only going one way. Few bigger names in the Sale pack, but the weather conditions suit Quins. 

Harlequins 29 - 28 Sale Sharks
Both front fives are class and provide a great platform for both sets of players throughout the game. Sharks for me just edge the back row, with each component bringing physicality and a confrontational game. The Quins midfield combo is the highlight here, and are just a threat from all over. Combine that with the pace and footwork of their back three and there is always danger. For me the deciding factor is the Sharks halfbacks, they have been here and done it, whereas the Quins combo will have played big games, but lack the control and composure when required. Incredible game, split by the smallest of margins for me.

Harlequins 25 - 25 Sale Sharks

Halrequins 28 - 29 Sale Sharks

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European Champions Cup - Semi Finals Empty Re: European Champions Cup - Semi Finals

Post by ChequeredJersey Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:14 am

Fluxy wrote:European Champions Cup - Semi Finals - Results

Northampton Saints - 29
(T: Hartley, J Gray, Simpson C: Halfpenny [x1] P: Halfpenny [x3] DG: Ford [x1])
Newcastle Falcons - 26
(T: Webb, Campagnaro, Chat C: Farrell [x1] P: Farrell [x3])

Harlequins - 28
(T: Hooper, Jantjies, Cordero C: McKenzie [x2] P: McKenzie [x3])
Sale Sharks - 30
(T: Itoje, Sexton, Abendanon, Hodge C: Sexton [x2] P: Sexton [x2])

Prediction Bonuses:
Full:
Fluxy, Prop, Chris, SJE and Pooly

Score: Nick, Steve, CJB and Steve
None: Bam and Pull

Congratulations to Saints and Sharks!

I submitted scores, Fluxy
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European Champions Cup - Semi Finals Empty Re: European Champions Cup - Semi Finals

Post by Fluxy Tue Apr 25, 2017 12:22 pm

ChequeredJersey wrote:
Fluxy wrote:European Champions Cup - Semi Finals - Results

Northampton Saints - 29
(T: Hartley, J Gray, Simpson C: Halfpenny [x1] P: Halfpenny [x3] DG: Ford [x1])
Newcastle Falcons - 26
(T: Webb, Campagnaro, Chat C: Farrell [x1] P: Farrell [x3])

Harlequins - 28
(T: Hooper, Jantjies, Cordero C: McKenzie [x2] P: McKenzie [x3])
Sale Sharks - 30
(T: Itoje, Sexton, Abendanon, Hodge C: Sexton [x2] P: Sexton [x2])

Prediction Bonuses:
Full:
Fluxy, Prop, Chris, SJE and Pooly

Score: Nick, Steve, CJB and Steve
None: Bam and Pull

Congratulations to Saints and Sharks!

I submitted scores, Fluxy
Sorry CJ, I forgot to add you in there!

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European Champions Cup - Semi Finals Empty Re: European Champions Cup - Semi Finals

Post by ChequeredJersey Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:04 pm

Thanks, Fluxy
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European Champions Cup - Semi Finals Empty Re: European Champions Cup - Semi Finals

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