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Gallagher Premiership - End of Season run-in (Play-Offs)

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 21 Mar 2019, 10:39 am

First topic message reminder :

Saracens v Gloucester Rugby (Allianz Park, 1.30pm) Live on BT Sport
Referee: Luke Pearce (91st Premiership game, 1st semi-final).
Assistant Referees: Karl Dickson & Paul Dix. TMO: David Grashoff.
Citing Officer: Buster White


Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints (Sandy Park, 4.30pm) Live on BT Sport
Referee: Matthew Carley (87th Premiership game, 3rd semi-final).
Assistant Referees. Tom Foley & Jack Makepeace. TMO: Rowan Kitt.
Citing Officer: Paul Hull.


Last edited by LondonTiger on Fri 24 May 2019, 12:20 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sat 23 Mar 2019, 11:33 am

I think Murphy has shown some tactical flair and has improved the attacking game plan (in that we now have one). The top job has come too early for him. An experienced DOR with either a forwards or defence background is now essential. We have tried to fix things on the cheap since Meyer left and it's seen us stagger along with each experienced coach out the door our decline has intensified. Bakewell and Blake should be shown the door in the summer, Bakewell has failed spectacularly as the forwards coach and Blake has not done enough to bring bite back to our defence.

Jamie Joseph has a contract with Japan until after the RWC. There should be a contract waiting for him to become DOR. Split the head coach role with Murphy providing the Tigers link and backs coach and then drop some money to Edwards to lead the team until Joseph take over. It'll cost but we need to rebuild. If Edwards won't come then Joseph's former assistant Herring is at Otago and has coached defence and forwards at national and Super 15 level.

If not Joseph then Wessells or be the latest to try and tempt Hepher away from Exeter.

The clear out is coming and there's plenty of deadwood to clear. Ford, the front row and the academy lads are the only ones who have played to their ability this season. All else should consider themselves at risk. May and Manu have done pretty well but not hit their straps. A rebuild for numbers 4 to 8 is particularly essential.

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Post by LondonTiger on Sat 23 Mar 2019, 3:03 pm

Hmm. Doyle seems to have forgotten the law.

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Post by LondonTiger on Sat 23 Mar 2019, 3:19 pm

Sheesh, is there a worse ref than JP I the premiership?

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sat 23 Mar 2019, 3:27 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Sheesh, is there a worse ref than JP I the premiership?

Seems like the big names all hungover from the 6N. Barnes was shocking last night.

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Post by Heaf on Sat 23 Mar 2019, 3:34 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Sheesh, is there a worse ref than JP I the premiership?

Not many ...

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Post by Heaf on Sat 23 Mar 2019, 4:29 pm

hmmm ... not sure I agree with that from JP ...

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Post by Heaf on Sat 23 Mar 2019, 5:15 pm

Huge result for Warriors - looking really interesting at the bottom now.

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Post by stub on Sat 23 Mar 2019, 5:33 pm

Yes Heaf, that makes things very interesting indeed. That last quarter was very difficult to watch from a Wuss point of view.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sat 23 Mar 2019, 5:40 pm

Falcons win this and Tigers are deep in the crapper. Well if Falcons get a TBP then half the league are dragged into the relegation dogfight.

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Post by Heaf on Sat 23 Mar 2019, 5:46 pm

Indeed - at least this year I can watch it play out as a neutral and not be stressed out ...

Falcons not starting well today however ...

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Post by LondonTiger on Sat 23 Mar 2019, 6:38 pm

Callum Green will probably be cited for biting Rob Webber. Hopefully Webber is cited too. From what I could see Webber had the Falcon in a locked double arm choke hold. Both on the ground with someone else on top of Green. Green's defence should be that his arms were pinned and he was heading rapidly to unconsciousness.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sat 23 Mar 2019, 6:45 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Callum Green will probably be cited for biting Rob Webber. Hopefully Webber is cited too. From what I could see Webber had the Falcon in a locked double arm choke hold. Both on the ground with someone else on top of Green. Green's defence should be that his arms were pinned and he was heading rapidly to unconsciousness.

Agree completely. Should have been a red card a piece.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly on Sat 23 Mar 2019, 7:15 pm

Much better performance 2nd half for Falcons leading 22-10 with 15mins left (after being 0-10 down in first 10mins). Had the rub of the green but good value for the lead, Sinoti outstanding.

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Post by Heaf on Sat 23 Mar 2019, 7:23 pm

One more score and you're safe I reckon

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Post by Sgt_Pooly on Sat 23 Mar 2019, 7:37 pm

Just made it, game on! 3 wins in 3.

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Post by Heaf on Sat 23 Mar 2019, 7:39 pm

phew

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Post by Heaf on Sat 23 Mar 2019, 7:40 pm

And the good news is letting in that last try got me within margin point range on Superbru Smile

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Sat 23 Mar 2019, 7:49 pm

Heaf wrote:And the good news is letting in that last try got me within margin point range on Superbru Smile

Snap thumbsup

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Post by jeffwinger on Sat 23 Mar 2019, 8:50 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Sheesh, is there a worse ref than JP I the premiership?

Ian Tempest at Gloucester vs Wasps today was truly awful.  Loads of random nonsense penalties in both directions, missed a couple of clear knock-ons and gave one of the softest yellows I've ever seen to Mostert after 5 minutes digging through the footage to find any excuse to bin somebody.  Had no control over the game at all and seemed completely clueless as to what was going on at any time.  Luckily it seemed to even out and the better team won.

Generally I think we're fairly fortunate in the premiership with some decent refs and relatively few absolute howlers.  Watching English teams in Europe and the occasional Pro14 game makes me feel very sorry for fans of other leagues.  However, I do feel the quality of officiating is slipping across the board and far too many games are being influenced by the man with the whistle.

My main gripe is referees and TMO's always seeming to look for the negative outcome - trying to find reasons to disallow good tries and send players off.  It's a worrying trend and a shame we're spending so much time discussing it.  Given rugby's culture the officials are rarely held to account which could be concerning if things don't improve going forward.

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Post by Gooseberry on Sun 24 Mar 2019, 8:28 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:I think Murphy has shown some tactical flair and has improved the attacking game plan (in that we now have one). The top job has come too early for him. An experienced DOR with either a forwards or defence background is now essential. We have tried to fix things on the cheap since Meyer left and it's seen us stagger along with each experienced coach out the door our decline has intensified. Bakewell and Blake should be shown the door in the summer, Bakewell has failed spectacularly as the forwards coach and Blake has not done enough to bring bite back to our defence.

Jamie Joseph has a contract with Japan until after the RWC. There should be a contract waiting for him to become DOR. Split the head coach role with Murphy providing the Tigers link and backs coach and then drop some money to Edwards to lead the team until Joseph take over. It'll cost but we need to rebuild. If Edwards won't come then Joseph's former assistant Herring is at Otago and has coached defence and forwards at national and Super 15 level.

If not Joseph then Wessells or be the latest to try and tempt Hepher away from Exeter.

The clear out is coming and there's plenty of deadwood to clear. Ford, the front row and the academy lads are the only ones who have played to their ability this season. All else should consider themselves at risk. May and Manu have done pretty well but not hit their straps. A rebuild for numbers 4 to 8 is particularly essential.

Yeah that attacking game improved for a bit certainly, albeit at the expense of the defence...but they havent passed 15 points in any of the last 5 games ( some excuse for most of the first choice backs missing for most for those games) . The scoring has got progressively lower as the seasons gone on, and we are now into that part of the season where high scoring games become normal again. I agree that the entire staff must carry some blame for all this, and bringing back Blake always seemed an odd thing given his history, but perhaps a quick patching fix with someone who was available and could slot straight in. Id be interested to know how much Murphy was consulted on his appointment, youd hope as he had just been given his permanent job that he had significant input into his staff but I also wouldnt be amazed if it was done by the opinions on the board without his knowledge.
Theres quotes in the press from an ex player "source" slating the recruitment process and lack of detailed analysis of players. Also the breaking of the internal culture by continued failing to retain internal talent and turning to established international "stars" . It does sound like the same old arguments that have been going on for over a decade now as you say.
Im not sure how much Murphy displays trying to do things on the cheap as he does trying to return to the Cockerill/Richards "internal culture" philosophy, but it is fair to say that even with oddities like Varndell being bought back as a squad player Tigers recruitment policies havent matched that.
We've all agreed for many years (MOC years!) that the academy has pretty much shat the bed and failed to bring through the quality of player it did a decade ago. Olowofela has to be a bit of a disappointment this season though, hes had the opportunities but done very little with them...hopefully he will kick up a gear having seen the difference between top level european rugby and england age group games now. Freddie is an example of a player whos maybe been given more chances than he mightve elsewhere because of who he is, but again not really shown hes worthy of a first team place. So Im not sure how much that "home grown players" theory stacks up, they need to seriously improve the academy recruitment and coaching if thats going to be a major source of future first teamers again.

Despite being in the relegation mire theres still a reasonable chance of making next years HC too. Im not sure how much that would really benefit them though, obviously the cash and prestige is nice but the second point is a bit like polishing a turd right now. Even cash wise if we pretend the salarry cap is real and that Tigers still have more cash than they know what to do with that shouldnt stop them recruiting a top level DOR and run a team next season with a smaller squad focused on quality and competition for first team spots. Its long been a problem for them to spread resources to cover 3 competitions and England call ups, Saracens of course have always had a novel approach to how to do that, but Exeter have shown its still possible with some pretence of legality. Its reached such a nadir for Tigers now that I feel they could benefit from one season out of the HC to help them focus on becoming a force in the premiership and actually winning matches again. Trampling all over the rest of the European second tier in the losers cup again should help getting them used to winning games again and confident.
For now though not getting relegated is the most important thing. Then getting a DOR. Then finding some leadership on the pitch. Then sorting some recruitment and a fire sale. Then sort the academy. then look back at those coaching jobs. Im a Murphy sceptic but happy to accept hes far from the sole problem and absolutely agree that sacking or completely sidelining him now is unlikely to provide a sudden fix. I just get a bit narked when the finger gets pointed everywhere except at him just because of who he is no matter how awful they get. The playing squad he has should be able to produce better, its hos job to get them to play to potential and even if its not the players he would choose he is failing them as much as they are failing him. I was shocked when he got given a permanent contract, and Im sure theres some responsible who are wondering if it was the right thing especially given it was done to help plug holes in a sinking ship and provide stability ..it seems to have had the exact opposite effect but made it even harder to turn around and try a different route to safety.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Sun 24 Mar 2019, 9:11 am

Well thank you Bristol for putting out such a weakened team...giving Worcester the victory...and by God The ref Maxwell Keyes did his best for a sale victory despite them being woeful.  

Sinoti was outstanding and Andrew Davidson showed Glasgow they are getting a top class young Lock .

We keep fighting.

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Post by LondonTiger on Sun 24 Mar 2019, 10:17 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:My current predicted finishing positions:

Exeter 89
Saracens 81
Gloucester 64
Quins 59
=============
Sale 55
Saints 50
-----------------------
Bristol 50
Leicester 50
Bath 49
Wasps 47
Newcastle 41
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Worcester 37

OOOOhhhhhhhh that's a big statement LT!!!

I will need to amend this as it included Tigers beating Saints, and Bristol beating Worcester.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sun 24 Mar 2019, 12:54 pm

Gooseberry, I'm not sure the attacking game has come at the expense of the defence. The defence has been woeful all season. If anything minor gains in defence have come at the expense of the attacking game. Tactics have generally been good but individual errors have seen them fall apart and we normally start well then see the wheels come off. See the game on Friday we were the dominant team until Williams took his 10 minute sit down and then we had to chase the game.

I agree with the action plan re escape relegation, get a DOR and then sort onfield leadership. The academy though I think has been doing perfectly well. Worth and Evans have come on well this season and are now good squad players who could push onto more at only 22. Kerr is possibly the best hooker at the club now (development team as opposed to academy admittedly). Owolofela, White, Simmonds, Hardwick and Heyes have all come in a done decent squad player jobs. We are maybe missing the big name wonderkid that we've had previously with Ben Youngs, Ford and Manu instead the academy is churning out more Matt Smith, Twelvetrees and Tom Youngs style good club men who could push onto more.

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Post by LondonTiger on Sun 24 Mar 2019, 2:26 pm

It is hard to do anything about academy recruitment as RFU limit where you can recruit from and we do not have a posh school in the region that can be used as a filter.

I would argue anyway that the performances of the academy lads in the Premiership tournament suggests the issue comes at the transition stage. Now injuries do not help, but Worth looked at home in the team two years ago yet has not been trusted since. He is not the only one.

It is of course easy to look good at U18. There was a lot of hand wringing when Jacob Umaga moved from our academy to Wasps, but he has been barely seen since. I would argue though that we have recruited journeymen ahead of promoting our youth. Heyes and White have shown that it is possible to step up.

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Post by Heaf on Sun 24 Mar 2019, 4:18 pm

Some interesting officiating by Mr Dixon in the Chiefs v Bath match - first he calls a non-existent knock on against Chiefs when in a good attacking position followed by a pen when questioned and then he ignores a Bath player collecting the ball in front of the last player to play it (it was dropped backwards so no knock-on but bounced forwards and the player grabbing it was in front of the last player to touch it - so offside AFAIK) ...

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Post by LondonTiger on Sun 24 Mar 2019, 4:36 pm

Heaf wrote:Some interesting officiating by Mr Dixon in the Chiefs v Bath match - first he calls a non-existent knock on against Chiefs when in a good attacking position followed by a pen when questioned and then he ignores a Bath player collecting the ball in front of the last player to play it (it was dropped backwards so no knock-on but bounced forwards and the player grabbing it was in front of the last player to touch it - so offside AFAIK) ...
You can only be offside if the ball is played forward from a team mate behind you. If it went backwards then bounces forward you are ok.

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Post by Heaf on Sun 24 Mar 2019, 5:11 pm

Not sure I agree - I remember LI losing a H-Cup match when a player tried to gather the ball but fumbled it backwards and the next player came along and picked it up but got pinged for offside as he didn't come from behind the last player to touch it.

A player is offside in open play if that player is in front of a team-mate who is carrying the ball or who last played it. An offside player must not interfere with play. This includes:

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 24 Mar 2019, 6:58 pm

LondonTiger wrote:It is hard to do anything about academy recruitment as RFU limit where you can recruit from and we do not have a posh school in the region that can be used as a filter.

Not Loughborough then?

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Post by LondonTiger on Sun 24 Mar 2019, 7:15 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:It is hard to do anything about academy recruitment as RFU limit where you can recruit from and we do not have a posh school in the region that can be used as a filter.

Not Loughborough then?

There is a University in Loughborough, but not aware of any posh schools there, certainly not the sort that throw out rugby scholarships.. Struggling to find the current academy boundaries.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 25 Mar 2019, 9:18 am

Well its Saracens away for us next and Wasps away for Worcester.

I cant see us getting anything, but Wasps aren't exactly playing well and i fear Wuss could very well get something there.

Tigers have Exeter at home...tough game.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Mon 25 Mar 2019, 9:49 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:It is hard to do anything about academy recruitment as RFU limit where you can recruit from and we do not have a posh school in the region that can be used as a filter.

Not Loughborough then?

Whilst there is a posh school in Loughborough it doesn't have a big rugby tradition. Certainly not in the scholarship style you see elsewhere. There are better rugby playing schools in the county.

The university collects a selection of players that haven't made it into the senior academy system and so there is sometimes good players that come through there. We have strengthened our links with the university playing our A league games there so the partnership is hopefully going to help going forward.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 25 Mar 2019, 9:57 am

If you mean Loughborough Grammar Sam, it is certainly not a rugby school.

Have we used Stuart Broad's old school (Oakham?) to place some guys? I know that a lot of the Academy Lads go to Sixth form at John Cleveland - but that is a state school.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Mon 25 Mar 2019, 10:26 am

LondonTiger wrote:If you mean Loughborough Grammar Sam, it is certainly not a rugby school.

Have we used Stuart Broad's old school (Oakham?) to place some guys? I know that a lot of the Academy Lads go to Sixth form at John Cleveland - but that is a state school.

Yeah Loughborough grammar. Don't think they've produced a player if note since one of the Whitelock brothers ( the winger) and an age grade England flanker in the same year (the flanker is now at Notts).

Oakham is probably our best school for rugby. I think we are using the facilities out Melton way at the agricultural college for the player development system as the school Wyggeston Queen Liz college wasn't great other than location. Uppingham school has good facilities.

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Post by Gooseberry on Tue 26 Mar 2019, 1:17 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:Gooseberry, I'm not sure the attacking game has come at the expense of the defence. The defence has been woeful all season. If anything minor gains in defence have come at the expense of the attacking game. Tactics have generally been good but individual errors have seen them fall apart and we normally start well then see the wheels come off. See the game on Friday we were the dominant team until Williams took his 10 minute sit down and then we had to chase the game.

I agree with the action plan re escape relegation, get a DOR and then sort onfield leadership. The academy though I think has been doing perfectly well. Worth and Evans have come on well this season and are now good squad players who could push onto more at only 22. Kerr is possibly the best hooker at the club now (development team as opposed to academy admittedly). Owolofela, White, Simmonds, Hardwick and Heyes have all come in a done decent squad player jobs. We are maybe missing the big name wonderkid that we've had previously with Ben Youngs, Ford and Manu instead the academy is churning out more Matt Smith, Twelvetrees and Tom Youngs style good club men who could push onto more.


Hinckley academy had been doing pretty well without being a posh school in recent years, going back the like of Ellis used to come from Leicester Grammar but Im not aware of them being such a good source in more recent years despite in theory having better facilities now? They still have the advantage of lots of ex players bringing their kids up (and well the entire extended Tuillagi dynasty!) staying located in the area, even if they sometimes are scrapping with the Northampton boundary.

There are a fair few decent squad players but Im not sure that suggests its a great success as such, the whole way the cap is structured pretty much ensures that any team is going to have a fair few graduates in their squad. We are also talking about a squad thats one of the worst performing in the premiership currently, so its hardly a ringing endorsement.
I mentioned Owofela as the one who might buck the trend of " not good enough for test rugby", but hes not stepped up in the way hoped this season despite opportunities. Its an unfair comparison really because he is such a freak but the way Manu hit the ground as a pro player when a few years younger to me really highlights the stark difference between decent club players and real international forces that the academy used to produce. Even Twelvetrees won a few caps, and never lived up to his early potential. Ford was really the last one I can think of (im going to get schooled here arent I!) who came through as the sort of player whos going to make a genuine difference at a club that aspires to be in the European elite, and he had the step up from rugby league academies and very early involvement with the England elite coaching set up. Prior to him there was a steady stream of test class players, Manu, 2 x Youngs, Cole, Crane, Croft, all within a few years of each other and most of those were test ready within a season or 2 of becoming seniors. The academy has produced one player who looks like he might live up to that lot in a similar period. Maybe its getting better than it was, but Im not as impressed by the graduates as you seem to be. The conveyor belt of test class talent hasn't been there for a few years.

Im not sure youve interpreted what I said about the defence/attack correctly. But early season its fair to say they were scoring a lot of points but leaking more. Now we have a defence coach in we seem to have lost the attack and are still letting in quite a lot.
When you have the worst points difference in the league and took some of your worst ever hammerings in Europe then its hard to say either is sorted out, although those early season bonus points are very handy right now they currently don't look like they could score 4 tries against themselves let alone professional opposition.

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 26 Mar 2019, 2:27 pm

Crane came to us from Leeds as a 20 yo. Pretty sure he had captained an England age group team by that stage - probably u19s as it would pre-date the JWC and U20s.

I agree that we have not been churning out international ready players like Sarries manage, or slightly slower burners as Exeter have done. The successes at U18s over recent years suggests we are getting something right with the academy, but the players just are not kicking on as we would like.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 26 Mar 2019, 8:09 pm

It goes back again to what do you want to see from the academy. We talk about the Youngs brothers, Crofty, Cole, Smith, Manu and Ford but if you look at the age range there the reality if over about 7 years our academy produced less than 10 players for regular first team rugby.

To my mind our biggest failing with the academy has been out inability to push on those that aren't obviously destined for international rugby. We've seen some leave who could have done perfectly well in the squad, the likes of Lewington and Green being prime examples. Sarries have pointed to their success in the recent salary scandal. They have lots of homegrown players provided cap extension. Homegrown talent helps the cap, stops the need for buying relatively expensive journeymen from elsewhere and provides players hungry to perform for their club (look at Smith he's never first choice but never less than 110%).

The exceptional talent will emerge when it emerges and we need to get it but we also need to get those lads who can be quality squad men and get them playing and developing at Tigers. That's why I'm happy with the current crop. There are some there that might pass on into multiple cap internationals (Joe Heyes being an obvious one) but all of them look like they can be part of Tigers squads for years as first and second string players.

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Post by propdavid_london on Wed 27 Mar 2019, 12:42 pm

Dusty Hare as Head scout and going to Saints - spelt the beginning of the end...…….

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 27 Mar 2019, 3:07 pm

The end was when the conveyor belt from the Falcons dried up... Very Happy

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Wed 27 Mar 2019, 6:58 pm

propdavid_london wrote:Dusty Hare as Head scout and going to Saints - spelt the beginning of the end...…….

Pretty much. He left in 2010. The last time we had a squad that was really top class was in 2009. After that a mix of retirement, failure to promote sufficient players from the academy and mediocre recruitment has left us in the mess we have now.

We came back towards the end of 2017 so will have helped with recruitment for last season where we actually signed some decent players and looked to promote internally.

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Post by LondonTiger on Sat 06 Apr 2019, 7:18 am

Good win for Sale last night, though in a low quality game. Quins still have a clear gap to 5th, but Custard must be frustrated at his side's big swings of form.

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Post by lostinwales on Sat 06 Apr 2019, 4:56 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Good win for Sale last night, though in a low quality game. Quins still have a clear gap to 5th, but Custard must be frustrated at his side's big swings of form.

Rhubarb not playing?

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Post by yappysnap on Sat 06 Apr 2019, 6:37 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Good win for Sale last night, though in a low quality game. Quins still have a clear gap to 5th, but Custard must be frustrated at his side's big swings of form.

Cant really blame injuries or tactics either.

We just seem to be running out of steam now, too many penalties given away needlessly and too many players doing silly things.

The Cat really shouldnt have started he was poor at 10 and looks like he needs a lot more time in the A league and off the bench to improve. If he is even going to, he didnt exactly set the world alight at Montpellier.

Sinkler needs to be dropped for his silly antics, seems to happen too often for Quins.

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Post by Gooseberry on Mon 08 Apr 2019, 9:50 am

Newcastles fate looks very much in their own hands now with 4 fixtures against struggling sides. They'd won 3 before losing narrowly to Saracens away where you'd normally expect a hammering for the bottom feeders.
Bristol should be safe but do have a tough run in.
Worcesters fixtures are interesting...nothing easy looking but its quite possible some of the teams they play will have switched off a bit and have a lot less invested in the result than they do.
Tigers...well the next two games are huge and could leave the relegation picture looking very different. Whilst theres no great shame in being soundly beaten by Exeter their results have been awful and continuing to get worse over the last few months. The humiliations mount having conceded more points in a premiership game than they ever have done before. I know the Newcastle fans are hugely pessimistic about their side and the lack of quality but its Tigers who have had the worst results recently and continue to slide, contrasting results this weekend Newcastle should carry a lot of optimism and confidence into next weekends game.

Tom Youngs will be suspended for at least 2 weeks as well. Whilst some my argue that Tigers losing their least successful captain in living memory isnt a bad thing it really isnt going to help either the mood or quality of player they can put on the pitch. Theres a lot of talk around about how Tigers were killed by the red card, but they were already in a losing position at that point and had benefited themselves from Nowell getting a yellow earlier. Its a poor excuse, they arent good enough even when some the stars are producing moments of magic.

Its the most interesting relegation battle I can remember in the premiership and seems to be stealing the headlines form whats going on at the top. The top two spots are basically sewn up, and Gloucester looking pretty safe for a playoff spot. Its only really the honour of losing the other semi that seems to be a genuine battle now between Quins Sale and Bath.

Tigers to win all 4 remaining matches with bonus points and get the 4th playoff spot thanks to remarkable set of results going their way in other games then get revenge on Exeter putting on 53 points in the semi. Then take the title in an epic battle against Saracens with Olowofela finally scoring a try. You heard it here first Rolling Eyes

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 08 Apr 2019, 10:08 am

I will not fault the players individual effort and at times we looked to be trying too hard. There were basic mistakes be it missing straightforward one on one tackles or throwing horrific interception passes, but the effort was there. Tom Youngs red card was completely the correct call, even if some similar challenges have escaped sanction this season. Right after Toomua made an even worse clear out attempt only saved by the Chief ducking under it. As I said perhaps trying too hard.

My concern is as it has been all season and is the complete lack of any organisation and trust. The players all looked like individuals with no discernible pattern or teamwork. Arguments abounded as to who should be where in defence, three different defensive strategies seemed to be in play and the attack was stunted by Harrison's glacial delivery.

Good news, flights to Jersey just £25 for September.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 08 Apr 2019, 10:43 am

I still have my suspicions about ring fencing LT. It might end up no one is relegated.

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Post by TightHEAD on Mon 08 Apr 2019, 10:53 am

I'd put a very large bet on that if the Tigers finish bottom then the ring fencing debate will start up and be implemented asap.

Friends in high places will make sure of it. Whistle
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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 08 Apr 2019, 11:02 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:I still have my suspicions about ring fencing LT. It might end up no one is relegated.

I am coming round to the idea of ring-fencing, but it should not happen this season. Whoever finishes bottom should go down and then have a season to get back up again. To be honest I am starting to wonder if like Saints and Quins before us we might actually need to go down to allow the rebuilding to start properly.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 08 Apr 2019, 11:03 am

TightHEAD wrote:I'd put a very large bet on that if the Tigers finish bottom then the ring fencing debate will start up and be implemented asap.

Friends in high places will make sure of it. Whistle

Nah, Bruce Craig will vote that we get relegated and then the league is ring fenced with us outside it.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly on Mon 08 Apr 2019, 12:01 pm

I still think it's going to be us or Worcester to go down. As bad as Leicester look, I think they'll have too much in attack for us and we're not really capable of taking huge advantage of your defensive woes.

Worcester are the interesting side as they can perform and take points.

If I was a betting man, my 20p would still be on Falcons.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 08 Apr 2019, 12:46 pm

Yeah im with you there SGt, I think it'll be us.

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