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Dragons Season Thread - 2019/20 aka Year 1 of the new 5 Year Plan

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Post by RiscaGame on Wed 08 Jan 2020, 2:56 pm

First topic message reminder :

Because it seemingly hit his head. I understand why he did it, as they were slowing us down a fair bit and not getting penalised, but it needs to be a few more angles than the clip I have seen.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 15 Feb 2020, 10:50 am

I haven’t seen much of Carter or Scragg, but if they’re anything like Joe Davies then there’s no point in getting excited. There’s no fight at all for Cory to be starting lock with Nansen out injured. If we recruit another top class lock then that may well be true, in which case Hill is still good at 6. 
Don’t know about you guys but I’d prefer my pack to have more weight so we can at least get parity with the French teams. Still surprised if Mulvihill believes Hill can compliment the Blues pack, they’re better off holding into Pauli imo and perhaps looking elsewhere for a Rowlands-esque lock.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 15 Feb 2020, 10:53 am

In the backs then we can’t really afford to be taking on another learner in Joe Thomas. I think we need a bit of pacific influence in the midfield there.

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Post by Stone Motif on Sat 15 Feb 2020, 10:16 pm

Think how your old mate Hallam feels about now, Cory. Plastic grass ain't always greener...
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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 16 Feb 2020, 12:26 am

Yeah they should really be doing better, but that was embarrassing. JM is full of hot air... he’d make a good backs coach though.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 17 Feb 2020, 11:30 am

Stone Motif wrote:Think how your old mate Hallam feels about now, Cory. Plastic grass ain't always greener...
I hope it wasn't a ploy to show how much they need him.

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Post by BigGee on Tue 18 Feb 2020, 9:44 am


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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 18 Feb 2020, 8:24 pm

So if the rumours are true we definitely aren't getting Carre or Tompkins. Very concerning that there's still nothing being said on the recruitment front.

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Post by The Oracle on Tue 18 Feb 2020, 10:57 pm

I’m sorry to sound negative but we’re still the 4th region here in Wales. There’s no way we’re going to get the first pick of the top returning internationals (the ‘first pick of the draft players’ as I likened it to before). Especially not now that it is not a free market and the WRU not only own us but will ‘own’ the contracts of the top 38 or so players in Wales. The likelihood is that we will get the players who are ousted as a result of the top returning players being put into their teams and meaning they get less game time. So we might get an ousted Blues prop if Carre ends up there and becomes first choice. Or an Ospreys centre if Tompkins ends up there.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 19 Feb 2020, 7:55 am

If the WRU are intending to send cast offs to us then I can see why Buttress wants to take ownership. It’s just not the impression I was given, with the murmurings of increased funding, and getting internationals here (like Moriarty).

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Post by RiscaGame on Wed 19 Feb 2020, 8:37 am

I think the increased funding is a bit of a misnomer, as we aren't actually getting that much more. I am sure I saw that reported, that it's only something like 4.8k instead of 4.5k?

I agree that we are likely to only ever get cast offs and things won't change if we go under private ownership either, as Buttress isn't likely to put too much of his money into it (and who can blame him).

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Wed 19 Feb 2020, 11:03 am

RiscaGame wrote:I think the increased funding is a bit of a misnomer, as we aren't actually getting that much more. I am sure I saw that reported, that it's only something like 4.8k instead of 4.5k?

I agree that we are likely to only ever get cast offs and things won't change if we go under private ownership either, as Buttress isn't likely to put too much of his money into it (and who can blame him).

That's not so bad as long as we're allowed to keep hold of the cast-offs (Cory Hill)!

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Post by RiscaGame on Wed 19 Feb 2020, 11:10 am

Agree yeah. That's another thing with the no news on incoming players, is he is obviously trying to concentrate on retaining first.

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Post by Stone Motif on Wed 19 Feb 2020, 11:32 am

RiscaGame wrote:I think the increased funding is a bit of a misnomer, as we aren't actually getting that much more. I am sure I saw that reported, that it's only something like 4.8k instead of 4.5k?

I agree that we are likely to only ever get cast offs and things won't change if we go under private ownership either, as Buttress isn't likely to put too much of his money into it (and who can blame him).

That 300 grand was the loan we squeezed out of PRW because of how many forwards we were losing to the World Cup isn't it?

My reading of it is Buttress has given away the family jewels by distancing himself from leading the redevelopment of the north end. If there's any funding increase it'll be our moderate cut of the profit from that plus probably a low cost lease of the stadium.
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Post by RiscaGame on Wed 19 Feb 2020, 12:38 pm

I thought it was something more recent than that, but not sure.

That definitely seems to be the case on any potential increase of funds.

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Post by The Oracle on Fri 28 Feb 2020, 11:18 am

Former Wales hooker Mefin Davies is joining the coaching team from next season.  Not sure if he’s good or where he’s been but have seen him sporting a Worcester top so that suggests some English Prem experience and hints at the Dean Ryan link perhaps?
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 28 Feb 2020, 12:54 pm

I wonder where this leaves Ceri Jones, or Olivier Azam.

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Post by Stone Motif on Fri 28 Feb 2020, 1:19 pm

Who replaced Ianto?
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Post by RiscaGame on Fri 28 Feb 2020, 3:30 pm

I thought Azam was only temporary?

Anyway, seems like a few of the supporters are happy with this.


Last edited by RiscaGame on Sat 29 Feb 2020, 7:06 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by The Oracle on Fri 28 Feb 2020, 4:08 pm

Stone Motif wrote:Who replaced Ianto?

Simon Cross and Luke Narraway came in around the time he left I think, but not sure if they were direct replacements.
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 28 Feb 2020, 4:24 pm

It sounds like Mefin Davies is coming in to assist Ceri Jones, not to replace him.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 28 Feb 2020, 8:01 pm

Mefin seems like a decent signing, I would have liked to have Azam as well but I guess we can't have it all.

Dragons: Talbot-Davies; Rosser, Warren, Dixon, Hewitt; S Davies, R Williams (capt); Jarvis, Shipp, Fairbrother, J Davies, Screech, Keddie, Basham, Griffiths.

Replacements: Lawrence, Reynolds, Coleman, Nansen, Evans, Knoyle, Botica, Goodchild.

Cheetahs: Blommetjies; Smith, Small-Smith, Ven Rensburg, Barry; Schoeman, Rienaar (capt); Venter, Arnoldi, De Bruin, Manjezi, Steenkamp, Olivier, Pokomela, Davis

Replacements: Dweba, Marais, Coetzee, JP du Preez, Koen, Meyer, Fouche, Smit.



Nansen back, wonder how long he lasts. It should be noted that Cheetahs have giant locks, whilst we have one who is a very big man by any normal person's standards, but he stops when running into contact.

I thought WT-D was out for longer, but glad he's back to alleviate our back 3 injury situation.

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Post by RiscaGame on Sat 29 Feb 2020, 7:08 am

Some areas of our team looking really strong (back row and back three) again. Others aren’t great like front row. Not too much impact on the bench either.

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Post by BigGee on Sat 29 Feb 2020, 7:46 pm

Well done Dragons, did Glasgow a favour there taking points away from the Cheetahs!

Definitely a different and better team this year and becoming very hard to beat at home. We certainly could not manage it.

It will be very good for the league if they can truly push on from this next season.

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Post by The Oracle on Sat 29 Feb 2020, 8:16 pm

Cheers BigGee. That was a close one. 10 nil down, 10-10 on 80 mins and a penalty to win! Would have thought a South African team would capitulate in the UK storms (except maybe the 'Stormers' Tumbleweed <groan>). Was expecting a more comfortable win, although I appreciate we're still not that good yet. But nice to get the win. That's the exact sort of game we would have let slip in the last few years. 10 down, chasing the game and maybe let another one in and have too much to claw back. So definite improvement in grit and determination.

Big shout out to the groundstaff too for getting the pitch in any way playable. Storm lady of loose morals-hay has lashed us proper good the last 48 hours with floods all over.

Edit: cracking swear filter autocorrect above! I'll leave it for comedy value!
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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 29 Feb 2020, 8:35 pm

Another ugly win. When might we click Smile

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Post by Stone Motif on Sat 29 Feb 2020, 11:33 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Another ugly win. When might we click Smile

Who cares so long as we win
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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 29 Feb 2020, 11:56 pm

Should be a few 60 pointers when we do actually click though.

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Post by RiscaGame on Sun 01 Mar 2020, 3:14 am

Good result considering. Hope Big Phil still enjoyed his treble burger and ten kebabs, after a late win like that.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 01 Mar 2020, 3:20 pm

No signings announced from us. Ospreys re-sign Tipuric and sign up Protheroe. That's still a big worry.

Did anyone watch the Scarlets game? Things got pretty bad for them.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 01 Mar 2020, 3:23 pm

If it's agreed between us and the WRU that we have to let a back-rower go to another region then who would you choose? It's likely to be one of Moriarty, Wainwright, Basham, Griffiths. Seems like a tough choice but it would probably make sense to let one go and bring a quality NWQ who we won't be losing on international weekends.

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Post by RiscaGame on Mon 02 Mar 2020, 10:29 am

I haven't heard anything of that. That's interesting.

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Post by The Oracle on Mon 02 Mar 2020, 10:48 am

Wouldn't it be great if we could keep all 4 (Moriarty, Basham, Wainright and Griffiths) and just offload some of our fringe players to other regions instead. That's what the other regions have been doing for years keeping well stocked and 1st choice backrows, and we've been hoovering up the surplus (or they go to the English 2nd tier).

Someone is going to go as we also have Benjamin, Keddie, Cudd, Lewis Evans, Ben Fry, Greggains, Sheekey, Huw Taylor. Plus we have Max Williams who I reckon will be too small for lock (6'4") so might move his way to back row.

How many back rows players do you reckon a squad should carry? Does the above seem too many? That's 12 which is about a quarter of our whole squad.

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Post by Stone Motif on Mon 02 Mar 2020, 3:07 pm

Have we actually been told we have to lose a back row?
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Post by RiscaGame on Mon 02 Mar 2020, 3:08 pm

It is a lot. Weirdly though, we tend to get injuries there all at once.

I think we will find it hard to justify keeping Benjamin, Cudd, Evans, Fry, Greggains and Sheekey. I quite like Huw Taylor. I have no idea how Keddie went on the weekend, but have never been totally convinced by him.

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Post by RiscaGame on Mon 02 Mar 2020, 3:09 pm

Stone Motif wrote:Have we actually been told we have to lose a back row?

I haven't seen anything and did look in the Wail and Argus after it was mentioned.

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Post by Stone Motif on Mon 02 Mar 2020, 3:24 pm

The Oracle wrote:Wouldn't it be great if we could keep all 4 (Moriarty, Basham, Wainright and Griffiths) and just offload some of our fringe players to other regions instead.  That's what the other regions have been doing for years keeping well stocked and 1st choice backrows, and we've been hoovering up the surplus (or they go to the English 2nd tier).  

Someone is going to go as we also have Benjamin, Keddie, Cudd, Lewis Evans, Ben Fry, Greggains, Sheekey, Huw Taylor.  Plus we have Max Williams who I reckon will be too small for lock (6'4") so might move his way to back row.  

How many back rows players do you reckon a squad should carry?  Does the above seem too many?  That's 12 which is about a quarter of our whole squad.


Quarter of every match day squad as well though, and attritional positions even in teams with a tidy front five. Ours tend to be working over and above to cover other deficiencies plus it's also one area we fairly consistently produce international quality players, so there's also that to factor in.
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Post by The Oracle on Mon 02 Mar 2020, 3:45 pm

Stone Motif wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Wouldn't it be great if we could keep all 4 (Moriarty, Basham, Wainright and Griffiths) and just offload some of our fringe players to other regions instead.  That's what the other regions have been doing for years keeping well stocked and 1st choice backrows, and we've been hoovering up the surplus (or they go to the English 2nd tier).  

Someone is going to go as we also have Benjamin, Keddie, Cudd, Lewis Evans, Ben Fry, Greggains, Sheekey, Huw Taylor.  Plus we have Max Williams who I reckon will be too small for lock (6'4") so might move his way to back row.  

How many back rows players do you reckon a squad should carry?  Does the above seem too many?  That's 12 which is about a quarter of our whole squad.


Quarter of every match day squad as well though, and attritional positions even in teams with a tidy front five. Ours tend to be working over and above to cover other deficiencies plus it's also one area we fairly consistently produce international quality players, so there's also that to factor in.


If we can keep them all then that would be great. But 12 squad members, 3 starting places. I just wondered if that was too many (compared to the norm?) and also whether at some point some of the bench warmers would be want away players (understandably). If we can keep them on board and happy then all the better. I guess my point was that if some players did want to go it would be great if for once it was the fringe players rather than first choice, as 1st choice players tend to be the ones we lose. Very hard to keep players at the Dragons though, admittedly. Tough sell. But improving.
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Post by The Oracle on Mon 02 Mar 2020, 3:48 pm

Sorry, to answer your questions Stone no I haven't heard that we need to lose someone. Just seems like we might if there's too many players vying for a starting berth. Plus interest in players like Moriarty from elsewhere.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 02 Mar 2020, 6:17 pm

Sorry, should have stated that I was just hypothetically speaking. But I don’t see the need for three internationals in one position (7), except for maybe in the front row.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 02 Mar 2020, 6:23 pm

Griffiths is a 7 who is also probably a better 8 than Wainwright and Basham. Griffiths is also the most injured, whilst the other two are rising stars. Very difficult decision to make if it did come to that. 

I think Keddie is pretty decent. Taylor, Hill and even Nansen can play 6. The others you’ve mentioned aren’t really worth keeping. Even if we did offload all at once you would bet that someone in the academy could step up.

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Post by Stone Motif on Mon 02 Mar 2020, 8:58 pm

It all depends what happens with the front five, if Hill stays particularly. Nansen has been bed blocking for two years so assume he'll be off so we need another lock at least.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 8:51 pm

You all know I don't rate most of the locks on our books, but it seems we could have two good'uns in Scragg and Carter. James Fender from Ospreys also looks pretty good, whilst the Scarlets lad seems to have regressed. All of them are quite big lads.

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Post by The Oracle on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 1:42 pm

Robin Davey reports: - "With so many props out of action the Dragons signs Irish loose head Conor Macguire on a short term loan, goes straight on to the bench for tomorrow's game against Benetton. He has played for Ireland U20s and for Leinster A and Connacht Eagles this season".
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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 6:55 pm

Dee is on the bench for us Friday. Is that wise from a Wales perspective?

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Post by RiscaGame on Fri 06 Mar 2020, 12:50 am

To be fair, Dee isn’t going to get into the Wales 23 this Six Nations, so we just as well look after him. Let him get some minutes, but not start against a good scrummaging side normally. Rib injury too? Probably not too confident yet.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 06 Mar 2020, 8:05 pm

I don’t know if anyone’s watching, but we’re pretty shocking tbh.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 06 Mar 2020, 9:46 pm

Well Dixon is surely finished. That guy is soooo slow on the ball it’s like watching Aled Davies. I’ve held off commenting since the Cardiff game, but now it’s pretty obvious. 

There wasn’t any urgency in defence and even the 1v1’s were poor, Screech was uncharacteristically bad for this early on. The only forwards who want to hurt the opposition are our back-row, and that’s what they’re trying to do at every point of contact and breakdown - we are certainly blessed to have them, yep even Keddie. 

Josh Reynolds was good. Strong guy, faster than some wingers... and he participated in some off the ball stuff which I liked, but was lucky not to be pinged for it, especially with Clancy & Co penalising us for what we see from Irish teams every weekend. No consistency whatsoever.

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Post by RiscaGame on Fri 06 Mar 2020, 10:44 pm

Clancy was pretty gash, letting Benetton spoil us at times and taking Basham and others way past the ball a few times etc. But there’s no excuse for tonight. They made a big deal about the dry pitch, but were poor. I don’t get why, when you know you’re up against a driving line out side and a ref with a rep as (normally) whistle happy as Clancy, why you wouldn’t be whiter than white and not concede dull penalties. Sadly Keddie, Fairbrother and others lost their heads. Defence was poor. Yes players like Screech were pretty poor for once. I didn’t realise until tonight how garbage our line out is.

Bet they wish they’d played the game on the original date. I did watch the whole game (over the U20s too), but I didn’t half want to turn it off at 14-0 down.

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Post by Stone Motif on Sat 07 Mar 2020, 9:53 am

mikey_dragon wrote:Well Dixon is surely finished. That guy is soooo slow on the ball it’s like watching Aled Davies. I’ve held off commenting since the Cardiff game, but now it’s pretty obvious. 

There wasn’t any urgency in defence and even the 1v1’s were poor, Screech was uncharacteristically bad for this early on. The only forwards who want to hurt the opposition are our back-row, and that’s what they’re trying to do at every point of contact and breakdown - we are certainly blessed to have them, yep even Keddie. 

Josh Reynolds was good. Strong guy, faster than some wingers... and he participated in some off the ball stuff which I liked, but was lucky not to be pinged for it, especially with Clancy & Co penalising us for what we see from Irish teams every weekend. No consistency whatsoever.

He's not there to run fast, he's there to win collisions. See Manu Tuilagi, Hadley Parkes, etc. Sure he'd be faster if he wasn't 105kg but that's not his role. We need people who can carry in traffic. With Reynolds and Brown we seem to have finally uncovered a couple of front five forwards who can actually do this.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 07 Mar 2020, 10:27 am

He’s a liability and not in the same league as Tuilagi or Parkes.

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