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Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

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Post by Guest Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:25 pm

First topic message reminder :

Too early?!  Never mind.

So, big changes are afoot at Dave Parade.  There's been loads of arguments about the best way forward, the pros and cons of regional v club rugby, and I'm sure there'll be many more to come.  But what's done is done and, for now, we have a pro team at Dave Parade to support next year.  A few weeks ago even that was in jeopardy.  So moving forward...

Ownership:
So the WRU has taken over the reigns.  I'll add updates here as and when we know them, but the formal split from Newport RFC should mean 'cleaner' or more straightforward to understand revenue streams.  

Pitch:
A new one is being laid as we speak.  This original pitch has been part and parcel of the problems at RP for a number of years.  A BBC report showed it to be up there as the most used pitch pro pitch in the UK.  Something had to be done.  A fully synthetic pitch was mooted and preferred by some, a al Blues, Saracens, Glasgow, et al.  However, FA rules state that football clubs cannot play on these surfaces (probably since the AstroTurf days of Luton Town, etc.).  So it looks like a compromise has been agreed with a 4g semi-synthetic pitch, like those used by many football clubs, Swansea City/Ospreys, Millennium Stadium, Aviva Stadium, Twickenham, Murrayfield, Cardiff City stadium, etc.  A weave of synthetic fibres and real grass meaning it's easier to maintain, less prone to weather damage, but still sort of like the real thing.  This will be a real move forward and should improve the product on the field.  A bit.

Personnel:
New coach - Huw Jackman.  Comes with a good reputation for hard work and attacking rugby.  Good stuff.
Gavin Henson - I'm happy with this.  Despite his knockers, so to speak, he is still a classy club player and performed well in the English Prem with Bristol, when not injured.  Which is the crux of the issue.  Hopefully we can keep him fit for an extended run of games.
Zane Kirchner - On paper a quality player but as with a lot of good players, when they are in the twighlight of their careers and join a 'lesser' club more often than not they do not perform as expected.  Let's hope he is an exception to the rule.  Did Jackman and Kirchner play together at Leinster?


Transfers In:

Bernard 'No Pudding' Jackman - coach
Gavin Henson
Zane Kirchner

Transfers Out:
Shaun Knight
Nick Crosswell
Tom Prydie
Geraint Rhys Jones
Darren Harris
Craig Mitchell


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Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings  - Page 16 Dragon10


Last edited by Griff on Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:19 pm; edited 4 times in total

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:50 pm

http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/sport/dragons/15608073.Dragons_establish_new_board/

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Post by Guest Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:14 pm

WRU Dragons indeed! 

I'm not really against the Dragons being run as a WRU 'project' as I think it was that or nothing (I.e. takeover or bust). However, I do wonder if this is a big experiment to assess the feasibility of the union controlling and running a region and whether it can be a success. Get the feeling that we're the guinea pigs for something! Again, not necessarily against that but just hope that if the 'experiment' doesn't work in the medium term that the WRU do not just pull out all of their people and leave the ship to sink.

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Post by Cardiff Dave Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:07 am

Aye....

"Buttress added: "Our collective primary purpose is to build...""

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/41686748

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:34 am

'They may not have invested financially in the Dragons but chairman David Buttress believes his three new board members will help boost the coffers at Rodney Parade.

'On Thursday the Dragons announced that David Reynolds, Ian Jeffery and Steve Phillips have joined Buttress on the board, with the chairman revealing that more individuals will be added in the “medium term”.

'They are charged with bringing more revenue into the now Welsh Rugby Union-owned Rodney Parade region, who have long lagged behind the Scarlets, Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys for spending power, let alone overseas clubs.

'Buttress became a minority stakeholder in the Dragons when he put in a six-figure sum this summer and while his three fellow board members have not followed suit, he believes their knowledge will help grow the pot.'

http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/sport/dragons/15608362.Buttress__New_board_members_will_help_boost_Dragons__spending_power/

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:35 pm

Enisei-STM: R Gaisin, J Baranovs, D Kacharava, D Gerasimov, I Kurashov, I Kushnarev, A Shcherban, A Polivalov, S Selskii, I Zykov, U Saulite (captain), V Krasylnyk, M Gachechiladze, A Rudoi. Replacements: N Gasanov, V Morozov, V Podrezov, E Elgin, A Budychenko, K Uzunov, S Trishin, V Orlov

Dragons: H Amos, J Rosser, T Morgan, P Howard, G Gasson, A O’Brien, S Pretorius, L Garrett, E Dee, L Brown, J Davies, C Hill (captain), A Wainwright, O Griffiths, J Benjamin. Replacements: G Ellis, T Davies, L Fairbrother, R Landman, J Thomas, C Davies, G Henson, A Warren.

http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/sport/dragons/15609394.TEAM_NEWS__Dragons_bring_back_big_guns_for_Russian_bonus_hunt/

Not happy that we're talking publicly about aiming for a bonus-point win when we lost there last season and our away record is abysmal. Rolling Eyes

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Post by LordDowlais Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:00 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:Not happy that we're talking publicly about aiming for a bonus-point win when we lost there last season and our away record is abysmal. Rolling Eyes

Nothing wrong with being confident. It's nice to see dragons aiming a bit higher for a change. OK

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:10 pm

Dowlais, we haven't won away from home since April 2016, and we lost to Enisei last time we were over there. We should be keeping our mouths shut, however confident we are.

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Post by RiscaGame Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:33 pm

I am not sure why Howard is playing 12, when you have Adam Warren and Super Gav available. Other than that, can't complain too much.

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Post by RiscaGame Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:37 am

Well done men. Good win. Sure there will be simple folk moaning about it.

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Post by Stone Motif Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:34 am

Now no one is more scathing than me of this narrative that there are a wealth of gnarly front five forwards dotted around eastern Europe like ex-communist housing blocks just waiting for someone to pick them up and polish them up. But it sounds a bit to me like their loosehead had Mssrs Brown and Fairbrother in some right bother yesterday. Being as we clearly don't rate any of our looseheads enough to stop Brok playing out of position, I wonder if the WRU checkbook could have done with an airing?
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:34 am

Well Jackman and co. will have seen how good he is with their own eyes, so it saves them sending a scout. Maybe see if he can repeat the trick at Rodney Parade.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:35 am

I see the Ospreys are finding some form just before we visit the Library. Rolling Eyes

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Post by munkian Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:42 am

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:I see the Ospreys are finding some form just before we visit the Library. Rolling Eyes

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:08 pm

Speaking of the Ospreys, I wonder how long it'll be before people start criticising us for not signing Sam Cross? You know it's coming!

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:20 pm

What's the story with Cross, former Sevens player right? I'm just wondering how he's found his way into the Wales squad out of nowhere. If Gatland feels we're short on open-sides why didn't he call up Will Boyde? His form warrants it IMO.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:26 pm

He must have been asked about that at the press conference. It does seem odd that he plays one game (off the bench) for the Ospreys and suddenly he's in the Wales squad. I know he has Sevens experience, but if they're looking for that kind of back rower then James Benjamin's been playing regularly, and well, since the start of the season.

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Post by Stone Motif Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:19 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:What's the story with Cross, former Sevens player right? I'm just wondering how he's found his way into the Wales squad out of nowhere. If Gatland feels we're short on open-sides why didn't he call up Will Boyde? His form warrants it IMO.

Gatland is a plum. Don't ever give it large in the press again about how unsavoury you find the media attention Warren, when you made soundbite selections like that. WTF didn't he call up Young or Boyd? No, some Sevens player makes a tackle in a game in which the Ospreys would be bummed raw 99 times out of 100, and that gets him a call up Rolling Eyes and don't get me started on Lydiate.
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Post by munkian Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:56 pm

Bloke who took out Griffiths got 9 weeks
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Post by RiscaGame Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:54 pm

Seems pretty high. Is it something like because they want to ban him a couple of European games as they aren't really playing, I wonder?

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Post by munkian Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:15 am

Elbow to the mush which broke a player's jaw and took him out of the game for 6 weeks ?

Seems fair to me.
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Post by munkian Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:10 am

Leon Brown has signed a 3 year extension with us. Good stuff.
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:15 am

That's great news. There's a nucleus of really good young players at the Dragons and they're only going to get better.*



* Fingers Crossed

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Post by RiscaGame Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:34 am

Having read an extract from the citing report in the Argus, maybe it is fair. I didn't watch the game, but my thoughts were that I saw dragons supporters say it wasn't an obvious elbow due to the poor picture and if I'm honest, I can't imagine many others copping a ban like that if there was say a big game due or whatever.

Given that he pleaded not guilty and didn't attend the hearing (thus no biscuits), no wonder he got done.

The good news is, he's only out for a month according to the same Argus piece.

SWA wrote:Gerasimov appeared before an EPCR disciplinary committee by video yesterday and, after pleading not guilty, was suspended for nine weeks.

“The committee upheld the citing complaint on the basis that the strike was with the shoulder, and determined that the offence had warranted a red card,” read a statement.

“Ollie Griffiths suffered a broken jaw as a result of Gerasimov's strike, and taking into account the seriousness of the injury, the committee found that the offence was at the top end of World Rugby's sanctions and selected 12 weeks as the appropriate entry poin

“As there were no aggravating factors, the committee then reduced the sanction by three weeks due to the player's clean disciplinary record before imposing a suspension of nine weeks.”

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Post by RiscaGame Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:35 am

Really happy for Leon Brown.

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Post by wayne Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:40 am

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:That's great news. There's a nucleus of really good young players at the Dragons and they're only going to get better.*



* Fingers Crossed

LP, do you remember about 3,4,5 years ago when the WRU announced that they put around £160K or close to that mark into each of the Regions academy systems and we (Ospreys) announced we put in 4 times that amount, yet the Dodger tried to take the plaudits for how well it was going. What I'm getting to, is the fact that your teams in the age group systems were as good as ours and used to beat us fairly regularly, at least basically equal, the drop off for you was after that, with the number of coaches in the Development Pathway increasing in your area because of the WRU involvement, it can only augur well for both your Region and Welsh Rugby in general.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:54 am

I remember reading a few years ago that the Dragons weren't investing at all in their academy system and that it was all WRU-funded (obviously it's all WRU-funded now).

I do think that Gwent has always produced good players, they've just been up against it in terms of the coaching they've had (including at the Dragons).

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Post by wayne Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:23 am

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:I remember reading a few years ago that the Dragons weren't investing at all in their academy system and that it was all WRU-funded (obviously it's all WRU-funded now).

I do think that Gwent has always produced good players, they've just been up against it in terms of the coaching they've had (including at the Dragons).

Yes exactly, off the top of my head, there have been good representation in Welsh Junior teams from your region, apart from the few that have broken through, there has IIRC a big drop off from there into senior Rugby. As for your standard of coaching I mentioned when he came into your system that Lyn the Lip was good at fetching players through to a certain level, but not really good enough for the job he had with you, the same could be said for his time with us. Another one with that sort of skillset IMO has been Gareth Jenkins down West, look at some of the players that have broken through since he went into their Development Pathway. Going back to the Lip, I remember reading an article before the Ospreys were started and he was coach at Neath and he came out with the gem that he had taken Neath as far as he could. That still didn't stop our directors making him our Head Coach, it beggars belief that he was allowed to stay in our job as long as he did.

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Post by munkian Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:09 pm

Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings  - Page 16 Dndxxv10
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Post by wayne Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:44 pm

If Gavin Dragon is around (hope you haven't been hounded out of here)are you coming down? Would be good to meet up pre-match in the Riverside Bar.

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Post by munkian Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:56 pm

wayne wrote:If Gavin Dragon is around (hope you haven't been hounded out of here)are you coming down? Would be good to meet up pre-match in the Riverside Bar.  

I cant go myself but hes a member of the supporter's club so I imagine hes going.
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Post by wayne Thu Oct 26, 2017 1:28 pm

munkian wrote:
wayne wrote:If Gavin Dragon is around (hope you haven't been hounded out of here)are you coming down? Would be good to meet up pre-match in the Riverside Bar.  

I cant go myself but hes a member of the supporter's club so I imagine hes going.

Yes I know, I met him and a couple of the others at our game with you last season at your home, a good fellow.

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Post by Guest Thu Oct 26, 2017 2:04 pm

wayne wrote:If Gavin Dragon is around (hope you haven't been hounded out of here)are you coming down? Would be good to meet up pre-match in the Riverside Bar.  


Why would he have been hounded out?! Who would have done the hounding???

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Post by wayne Thu Oct 26, 2017 3:22 pm

Griff wrote:
wayne wrote:If Gavin Dragon is around (hope you haven't been hounded out of here)are you coming down? Would be good to meet up pre-match in the Riverside Bar.  


Why would he have been hounded out?!  Who would have done the hounding???

Did I say he was? the word hope should help you

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Post by RiscaGame Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:40 pm

https://youtu.be/HK_J2jxYMFM?t=22m6s

That's the incident. Can see what people meant by saying it wasn't the best pic.

Funny how he still got bounced off though.

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Post by RiscaGame Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:45 pm

https://youtu.be/gsWpBM4K-ug

Highlights anyway. Very nice track Wink

Third try is very nice. Dee's offload again.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:58 pm

RiscaGame wrote:https://youtu.be/gsWpBM4K-ug

Highlights anyway. Very nice track Wink

Third try is very nice. Dee's offload again.

He's so composed with ball in hand.

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Post by Guest Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:03 pm

wayne wrote:
Griff wrote:
wayne wrote:If Gavin Dragon is around (hope you haven't been hounded out of here)are you coming down? Would be good to meet up pre-match in the Riverside Bar.  


Why would he have been hounded out?!  Who would have done the hounding???

Did I say he was? the word hope should help you

The question still stands though! You hope he hasn't. But why would he?! I haven't been hounded out. You haven't been hounded out. Why would he?! Who has???

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Post by Cardiff Dave Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:31 pm

Griff wrote:
wayne wrote:
Griff wrote:
wayne wrote:If Gavin Dragon is around (hope you haven't been hounded out of here)are you coming down? Would be good to meet up pre-match in the Riverside Bar.  


Why would he have been hounded out?!  Who would have done the hounding???

Did I say he was? the word hope should help you

The question still stands though! You hope he hasn't. But why would he?! I haven't been hounded out. You haven't been hounded out. Why would he?! Who has???

Who let the dogs out then?

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Post by munkian Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:17 am

Another big effort with nothing to show for it and another injured player steam

Fantastic news that Dee and Leon have extended their contracts though, think that's longest coverage we've ever had on Chum V that wasn't about us potentially going under.

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Post by Stone Motif Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:45 pm

I see Gwlad's collective p1ss is properly afroth over this and other Dragons related news...
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Post by munkian Tue Oct 31, 2017 1:12 pm

Stone Motif wrote:I see Gwlad's collective p1ss is properly afroth over this and other Dragons related news...

'shocker' Rolling Eyes

Encouraged me to do a well needed twitter clear out.
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Post by Stone Motif Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:35 pm

No one wanted Brown and Dee, apparently
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Post by munkian Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:12 am

Stone Motif wrote:No one wanted Brown and Dee, apparently

Aye, Dacey is a hell of a prospect at 28...

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Post by XR Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:56 am

Stone Motif wrote:No one wanted Brown and Dee, apparently

In the case of Cardiff, I think they're right. We have a lot of young front rowers coming through this year so I can see why they said that, in a Cardiff sense they wouldn't want them. Can't speak for the other teams though.

I'm looking forward to the Cardiff blues regional scrum v episode, live from sards road Shocked

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Post by munkian Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:49 am

Tyler Morgan released to Dragons from Wales squad with injury, Scot Williams called up.
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Post by Cardiff Dave Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:01 am

gcBlues wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:No one wanted Brown and Dee, apparently

In the case of Cardiff, I think they're right.  We have a lot of young front rowers coming through this year so I can see why they said that, in a Cardiff sense they wouldn't want them.  Can't speak for the other teams though.

I'm looking forward to the Cardiff blues regional scrum v episode, live from sards road Shocked

Very Happy

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Post by munkian Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:12 pm

We've signed Calvin Wellington

http://www.dragonsrugby.wales/News/Article/50406

Dragons have strengthened their options in the midfield with the signing of Rugby League starlet Calvin Wellington.

he Welsh born versatile centre, returns to the Dragons and Rugby Union following three years at St Helens.

The 21-year-old, who linked up with the Welsh Region this morning (Thursday 2nd November), made his debut for the Saints at the Magic Weekend in 2016.

Wellington signed a professional deal with the Rugby League team following his impressive performances during a two-week trial. He caught the eye of the Saints’ scouts playing Rugby Union for Aberavon Quins – but has also played League for Wales at 16s & 18s – as well as the South Wales Scorpions.

He has signed a two-year deal with the Welsh Region.

Dragons Head Coach, Bernard Jackman commented; “We want to build a team around young men that are hungry enough to work hard to help us be successful on and off the field.

“I have some friends in Rugby League whose opinion I trust and they tipped me off as to Calvin’s ability. The qualities he brings are pace, power and footwork.

“Every time I met him his desire to come back to Wales and try and make a name for himself in Rugby Union was infectious. So I felt it was worthwhile to negotiate his release from St Helens so that we can get him into our environment immediately and get him upskilled into the technical and tactical areas that are so important in our game.

“All our coaches are looking forward to working with him.”
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Post by RiscaGame Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:24 pm

Interested to see how this goes. Centre in league makes me think he will be either a 13 or winger for us, particularly if he does have some pace.

Bit of a strange team for tomorrow too. I know a lot of changes are enforced, but I wouldn't have rested our halfbacks for this game.

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Post by munkian Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:30 pm

RiscaGame wrote:Interested to see how this goes. Centre in league makes me think he will be either a 13 or winger for us, particularly if he does have some pace.

Bit of a strange team for tomorrow too. I know a lot of changes are enforced, but I wouldn't have rested our halfbacks for this game.

Are we struggling with centres then ? Maybe he was just too good an opportunity to miss out on ? Or Tyler is buggered.

Re team selection I'd like to Angus get more game time and I'm a fan of Charlie Davies so its good to see them get a start. I don't think Henson has more than 60 mins in him these days and he makes mistakes when he gets tired.

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Post by RiscaGame Thu Nov 02, 2017 2:11 pm

I'm not Sarel's biggest fan, but more happens for us with him at 9. It was interesting to see the only real negative thing mentioned about us on Scrum V last week, was the lack of control coming from 9 though. I am happy to have Angus at ten, but would've liked to have seen a bit of continuity for him then and played our first choice 9. I guess having Jack alongside him helps.

I glanced the Argus write up about this signing and we are pretty short of centres yeah. Morgan and Beard seem to be out for a little while and Hughes isn't quite there. So really we only have the two that are playing this weekend? Interesting they still counted the guy from Bristol as one of our injured players too.

I guess Blacker is back with that Blouse now?

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