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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 07 Mar 2020, 10:54 am

Matthew Watkins has passed away, aged 41. Things have been quiet on that front for a while so it was a shock to read that this morning. RIP.

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Post by Stone Motif on Sat 07 Mar 2020, 11:03 am

mikey_dragon wrote:Matthew Watkins has passed away, aged 41. Things have been quiet on that front for a while so it was a shock to read that this morning. RIP.

Awful news, only a few months younger than me. Things were looking dark when it was released the cancer had moved to his brain.
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Post by Stone Motif on Sat 07 Mar 2020, 11:08 am

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

The point being he does the same job though. A liability how?
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Post by The Oracle on Sat 07 Mar 2020, 11:49 am

Very sad news about Matthew J Watkins. Was one of my favourite players back in the day.
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Post by RiscaGame on Sat 07 Mar 2020, 12:13 pm

Awful news. I know it’s a Wales away game, but it would be nice if England acknowledged it somehow.

Poor MJ has had a long battle though. Such a horrible disease.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 08 Mar 2020, 6:28 pm

Stone Motif wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:He’s a liability and not in the same league as Tuilagi or Parkes.

The point being he does the same job though. A liability how?

He can’t though. He struggles with passing and game management. Parkes and Tuilagi are able to do that. Dixon whilst pretty strong defensively, seems to struggle with defence orientation and often gets caught out. He spends too much time on the ball due to his lack of game management, then throws it to anyone - this puts the receiver in a sticky situation and also puts the team under pressure. That’s how.

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Post by Stone Motif on Mon 09 Mar 2020, 11:47 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:He’s a liability and not in the same league as Tuilagi or Parkes.

The point being he does the same job though. A liability how?

He can’t though. He struggles with passing and game management. Parkes and Tuilagi are able to do that. Dixon whilst pretty strong defensively, seems to struggle with defence orientation and often gets caught out. He spends too much time on the ball due to his lack of game management, then throws it to anyone - this puts the receiver in a sticky situation and also puts the team under pressure. That’s how.

How can you be strong defensively if you struggle with orientation? Let alone one of the team's most reliable defenders...

The half backs he plays outside routinely miss 50% or more of their tackles, and we don't have anyone else who can win a collision (outside the back row, but they push out to the wings in attack).

Any centre would struggle with that, including the two "game managers" mentioned who are coached and conditioned to win collisions over speed and agility, precisely in order to help their teams manage a game.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 09 Mar 2020, 7:00 pm

I swear we had this convo before? Now I find I’m repeating myself yet again. Yeah you really like Dixon, we get it. By orientation I mean he struggles with what they’ve been practicing, he gets caught out of position and the opposition are going around him. 

I alluded to Davies being poor defensively before we signed him, I swear you were one of the ones trying to sweep it under the rug? Either way that doesn’t excuse Dixon now does it. Two new centres would be on my shopping list. We need better and less injured than Dixon and Morgan.

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Post by Stone Motif on Mon 09 Mar 2020, 9:59 pm

Like has got nothing to do with it, I just can't see how you can construct an attack in a team without a midfield carrier who can suck in defenders (and ideally offers the threat of busting a first up tackle).

It's a microcosm of team Wales where the best forward carrier in heavy traffic we've had in the last three seasons is George North.

You can do it through guile - Adam Beard is a player I really liked watching play for us - but not on our pitch, not without a genuine carrier in the central pod of forwards. That's before we get into what happens when the pop passes or whatever don't go to hand, I.e. some incompetent pre-determines the Dragons are a rubbish side, so it must be a scrum penalty to the other team.

Besides which, if you think this is repetitive you should check how many times Dean Ryan has said we haven't got any money this week.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 7:49 am

Not sure what you’re talking about now. 

I know we need a raft of changes and I believe Dixon to be one of them. The only places in which we probably don’t need reinforcing is back row and back 3.

Not sure, didn’t see or hear what was said. I hear we still have more cash than Cardiff though, who are buying up a few players. If the big wigs haven’t realised we’re still 10 years behind then there’s not much point in any fans putting their money in.

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Post by Stone Motif on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 11:30 am

https://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/sport/18291005.dragons-recruitment-drive-held-frustrating-wait-wales-pair---boss-ryan/

A raft of changes ain't happening anytime soon. That being the case, and understanding that attack starts in the forwards not the backs, a front five of Jarvis, Brok, Hibbard, Davies and Screech is not going to worry an opposition defence sufficient to create space for the backs to attack.

The only thing you can do is try and get the ball to a forward that can step and pass (high risk as it requires other forwards with decent skills) or send a brick sh1thouse back down the midfield channels (low risk as it gives a better percentage chance of retaining the ball). Like Wales under Gatland.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 5:23 pm

I think you’re confused. I only mentioned needing a raft of changes as you seem to think that I only want a new 12. I’m just saying, realistically, we’d need a raft of changes and not just at 12/13. I’m also not saying that I expect it, not a chance. 

Interesting, as Dean seems to allude to us targeting a few players. I wonder why Hill and Moriarty are taking so long. 

Disagree on Harris and Screech, and they’d be better helped by less of a rabble around them, so naturally I agree on the rest. Hopefully we get Owen Williams and Rowlands just to name two. Definitely need to retire Bevington and Jarvis.

Tomane is probably leaving Leinster, he isn’t first choice there. He would be useful for us and probably affordable, more available, less injured, etc.

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Post by Stone Motif on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 6:24 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:I think you’re confused. I only mentioned needing a raft of changes as you seem to think that I only want a new 12. I’m just saying, realistically, we’d need a raft of changes and not just at 12/13. I’m also not saying that I expect it, not a chance. 

Interesting, as Dean seems to allude to us targeting a few players. I wonder why Hill and Moriarty are taking so long. 

Disagree on Harris and Screech, and they’d be better helped by less of a rabble around them, so naturally I agree on the rest. Hopefully we get Owen Williams and Rowlands just to name two. Definitely need to retire Bevington and Jarvis.

Tomane is probably leaving Leinster, he isn’t first choice there. He would be useful for us and probably affordable, more available, less injured, etc.

Not really. Point I'm making is you can't waste limited funds recruiting backs until you have a functioning pack of forwards who are able to win collisions and carry. If you can't buy that functioning pack of forwards, you need to be careful jettisoning backs who help to mitigate that weakness.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 7:18 pm

And that point I’ve never disagreed with. Dean also mentions academy prospects. Our good ones are Brown, Dee and probably Reynolds now. Definitely need a good NWQ in each of those positions.

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Post by Stone Motif on Wed 11 Mar 2020, 11:31 am

So Mr Dixon can stay then, as he might be slow but that's the price you pay for being capable of winning tight collisions, making yards in contact and hopefully retaining the ball in the process.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 11 Mar 2020, 11:57 am

Unless we get Owen Williams, in which case Dixon would be on the bench or out of the 23.

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Post by Welshmushroom on Wed 11 Mar 2020, 3:42 pm

Be interested to see what happens on the transfer side for next season. Granted they are waiting on Hill and Moriarty to make a decision. But given the amount both those guys are being offered and looking at the overall time they are away with Wales I think we could bring some great value players in. Id imagine that Rowlands from Wasps can't be on as much as Hill and I think he could be a real steal if we could get hold of him. Granted the other regions are probably going to go for him if he becomes available. At any rate I could see 3 descent players coming in for the amount we are probably paying those 2 now.

I'd imagine Bevington, Jarvis and Nansen can't be offered new deals either as they have spent more time injured than actually playing for the Dragons. Granted Nansen probably was cheap but Bevington and Jarvis probably were on not bad money. So if we can bring in a tighthead and loosehead which are both durable then that should do wonders for us. Problem is I can only think of Carre currently fits that bill and he wont be available until next year and the Blues will almost defnitely move to bring him back as they too and probably can offer him first team rugby.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 11 Mar 2020, 4:31 pm

If Rowlands is in the 38, like Hill and Moriarty probably are, then that's a big chunk of his wages paid for. I imagine it's only us and the Blues in the market for Big Will. So it wouldn't be that costly. Agree on Bev, Jarvis and Nansen. Are the deals going to expire? Would bring in a NWQ for all 3 as well as the aforementioned. Carre to the Blues is a dead cert.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 12 Mar 2020, 4:17 pm

'Pro14 bosses have suspended the rest of the league season indefinitely because of the coronavirus outbreak.'

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/51858815

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Post by The Oracle on Thu 12 Mar 2020, 4:20 pm

Ooosh. That's big.
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Post by The Oracle on Thu 12 Mar 2020, 4:29 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:Be interested to see what happens on the transfer side for next season.  Granted they are waiting on Hill and Moriarty to make a decision.  But given the amount both those guys are being offered and looking at the overall time they are away with Wales I think we could bring some great value players in.  Id imagine that Rowlands from Wasps can't be on as much as Hill and I think he could be a real steal if we could get hold of him.  Granted the other regions are probably going to go for him if he becomes available.  At any rate I could see 3 descent players coming in for the amount we are probably paying those 2 now.

I'd imagine Bevington, Jarvis and Nansen can't be offered new deals either as they have spent more time injured than actually playing for the Dragons.  Granted Nansen probably was cheap but Bevington and Jarvis probably were on not bad money.  So if we can bring in a tighthead and loosehead which are both durable then that should do wonders for us.  Problem is I can only think of Carre currently fits that bill and he wont be available until next year and the Blues will almost defnitely move to bring him back as they too and probably can offer him first team rugby.

I do quite agree with what you're saying, and definitely having players not in the Welsh squad means having players available longer. But two things: Firstly, as Mikey says if they're in the 38 then actually it's a good deal and that's why everyone (bar us it seems) has been scrambling to get some '38' players signed up. Lets say Moriarty plays 10 games a season - under the old system that would cost around £50k a game. Under the 38 system it would be around £10k which is much better, obviously.

Secondly, if we offload the likes of Hill and Moriarty in favour of welsh squad fringe players or those not playing international rugby, then we go back to the old days of just having the cast offs. These international players are international because generally they're the best. So getting 10 games out of them a season might be worth it as opposed to 20 games from dross. I know that's looking at extremes and ignores inevitable injuries, etc. But the best teams in the league don't become the best by not signing internationals. Sadly 'budget, budget, budget' though I know.

It does come back to aspirations and kudos too though, unfortunately. Rowlands is what we need, but would he see going from the heady heights of Wasps to the Dragons as a bit of a demotion? We're still a tough sell!
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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 12 Mar 2020, 5:15 pm

Well if there’s anything else that could halt us signing more players then it’s definitely coronavirus. If only we hadn’t waited like everyone else...

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Post by Welshmushroom on Fri 13 Mar 2020, 11:10 am

I see your point Oracle.

I wasnt suggesting to buy cast off players. The 3 guys I would be looking at for 1, 3 & 5

Rowland at Lock (only of Hill does end up going to the Blues) - think he would be an upgrade from Hill as he would defnitely bulk us up.

Carre at Loosehead (Blues will defo end up with him but I'd like to see us in there with a offer) - failing that I'd probably look at Steff Thomas at the Scarlets.

Wainwright at Tighthead - to be honest I'm happy with both Fairbrother & Brown so I would see him more as a development signing for the long term.

Now granted we are behind the other regions and most welsh players would pick them over us. I also think we are not using our NWQ player allowance. Assuming both Nansen and Baldwin go in the summer we should have 6 spots to use.

Now we can forget looking at French, English, Australians, South Africans & New Zealanders as anyone with even a shred of talent will be on big money already.

But given the change in policy from recruitment from French teams there are oopertunities to be had. Georgia and Italy both spring to mind.

From Italy I would be looking at:
Fischetti at Zebre (Loosehead)
Sisi at Zebre (Lock)
Riccioni at Treviso (Tighthead)

Not only will those guys add some bulk to our front 5, I honestly see them becoming quality long term international investments. I also dont think Italy is paying anywhere near going rates for those guys. I'll update with some Gerogians who also should probably be quite good buys....


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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 13 Mar 2020, 11:19 am

Riccioni did a great job of shoring up Italy's scrum when he came on against France.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 13 Mar 2020, 1:22 pm

Ideally you'd want to keep Hill and bring in Rowlands. Bring in as many locks as possible so Davies and Williams aren't required.

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Post by Welshmushroom on Fri 13 Mar 2020, 1:32 pm

Assuming none of the Italians listed where in our price range or other clubs interest I'd look at the following Gerogian and other nations:-

Tetrashvili (Loosehead) at Agen
Ainuu (Loosehead) at Toulouse
Kakabadze (Loosehead) at Clermont
Odishvili (Loosehead) at Pau
Tcheisvhili (Loosehead) at Montpellier

Karkadze (Hooker) at Brieve - I rate him. He's going to have a bright future and could be a ideal replacement for when Hibbard retires.

Tabidze (Tighthead) at Bordeaux
Melikidze (Tighthead) at Stade Francais
Tierney (Tighthead) at Castres
Japaridze (Tighthead) at Brieve
Tchelidze (Tighthead) at Toulon

Yahi (Lock) at Agen
Kitwanga (Lock) at Bordeaux
Delannoy (Lock) at Pau
Rebbadj (Lock) at Toulon
Vernet (Lock) at Toulon

All of those guys are up and coming players without reputations. They are all strong units and bulky at that.

Given we have looked light weight those positions I would be targeting to shore us up when we lose some of our front end players to internationals.

If Moriarty goes I'd look to bring in one of:
Giorgadze at Brieve
Gorgadze at Bordeaux
Tskhadadze at Brieve

My point here is we should make use of the 6 NWQ players by signing up and coming talent that won't be as expensive as the guys they are replacing but without sacrificing quality.

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Post by The Oracle on Fri 13 Mar 2020, 2:30 pm

Good suggestions, Mushroom. Sorry, I could have used better language than ‘cast offs’. My point was that if we’re getting rid of team Wales squad members then their replacements (Welsh replacements) are likely to be a step down as they probably wouldn’t be internationals themselves. But using our NWQ quota to the full would be a good shout.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 13 Mar 2020, 4:58 pm

Ideally we’d also want NWQ’s that are off their country’s radar, in which  case South Africans are usually your best bet. I literally don’t know anything about the Georgians you’ve listed there, but interesting to see just how many quality front 5 players they keep putting out.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 13 Mar 2020, 11:42 pm

RE up and coming, let’s get lock forward James Fender from Ospreys. Looks the best of a good bunch of lock forwards in the U20s. With the 3/4 they currently have I can’t see him making headway any time soon. Ospreys would be daft not to get a NWQ at 2nd row in case they have to also lose BD to the Wales team.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 03 Apr 2020, 6:28 pm

Moriarty to re-sign with us. Hill to Blues. Hill was a decent 2nd row before, now I'm sure he's already world class in the eyes of some.

So if we aren't making any new signings soon/now then we should probably be disbanded.

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Post by RiscaGame on Fri 03 Apr 2020, 7:56 pm

I know it has been said on the Argus, but I suspect Dean always had an eye on a lock. Probably a big lump too.

Good luck to him. Cardiff are doing some signings. It’s going to come to a point soon, where their supporters and others can’t hide behind budgets anymore. Cardiff especially. They have almost got a current squad member in every position now, haven’t they. Then fringe players like Seb Davies too.

Carre (happening)
Lewis
Hill
Navidi
Williams
Evans
Adams
Halaholo
Tomkins (as good as done)
Lane
Amos


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Post by Stone Motif on Fri 03 Apr 2020, 9:59 pm

https://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/sport/18355687.dragons-lock-hill-return-cardiff-blues/

Agree, something stinks here for Cory Hill to Lydiate us like that. That being said Dean Ryan is in no way daft enough to think that the Cory Hills of this world are the answer to our problems.

Moriarty confirmed too.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 04 Apr 2020, 10:35 am

Cardiff’s team is pretty good, well their first team is. Defence leaves a lot to be desired though. I don’t particularly rate Seb Davies, Turnbull and Cooke the way they do, Hill is their best lock to date.

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Post by Stone Motif on Sat 04 Apr 2020, 10:43 am

mikey_dragon wrote:Cardiff’s team is pretty good, well their first team is. Defence leaves a lot to be desired though. I don’t particularly rate Seb Davies, Turnbull and Cooke the way they do, Hill is their best lock to date.

Same problem as us. Plenty of decent 5.5s, no war dog locks. Welsh teams aren't in the market for the latter so the value of the former is artificially inflated.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 04 Apr 2020, 11:09 am

Yeah pretty much. That’s why Rowlands is probably in high demand behind the scenes. Grobler is out of contract and favour at Glaws, I certainly think he fits into the latter too. If Nansen is off then that frees  up a spot.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 05 Apr 2020, 11:19 am

Anyone know why they're asking for a probe into it? I don't think we've been outbid.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 06 Apr 2020, 7:06 pm

Moriarty has agreed a long-term deal, I'm not sure how long or if he has even put pen to paper. Good news I guess, with plenty of cover in the back-row and the WRU paying 80% of his wages.

"Ollie Griffiths, Rhodri Williams, Jordan Williams, Josh Lewis and Rio Dyer have also agreed new contracts for next season and beyond.

Academy products Taine Basham, Max Williams, Connor Edwards, Lennon Greggains, Josh Reynolds and Dan Babos also agreed new terms earlier this season."

Good news that we are retaining most of our good players who came in via our academy, but still unsure over Lewis, Williams and Edwards.

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Post by RiscaGame on Mon 06 Apr 2020, 7:24 pm

Maybe a little strange to retain Babos and Edwards. Not really had a shot this season.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 06 Apr 2020, 7:25 pm

Unless, hopefully, Knoyle is being shown the door. What have we got to do to get Johnny Evans back.

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Post by RiscaGame on Mon 06 Apr 2020, 7:29 pm

I was thinking about missing him, when they showed highlights of that dragons v blues QF on the weekend (that I can’t remember any of the game).

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 06 Apr 2020, 7:54 pm

I forgot that game ever happened until they showed highlights. Goes to show how long we've been this poor, as we could usually get to the latter stages of that competition, even topping the group along the way. Was it the year we played Montpellier away? It was the first time I seen Willemse and he was biggest lock I had ever seen.

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Post by Stone Motif on Mon 06 Apr 2020, 9:03 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Anyone know why they're asking for a probe into it? I don't think we've been outbid.

Why move otherwise?
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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 06 Apr 2020, 9:17 pm

Personal preference? Technically it's his 'home region'.

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Post by Stone Motif on Mon 06 Apr 2020, 9:40 pm

RiscaGame wrote:Maybe a little strange to retain Babos and Edwards. Not really had a shot this season.
both cheap and talented though
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Post by Stone Motif on Mon 06 Apr 2020, 9:43 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Unless, hopefully, Knoyle is being shown the door. What have we got to do to get Johnny Evans back.

Word
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Post by Stone Motif on Mon 06 Apr 2020, 9:44 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Personal preference? Technically it's his 'home region'.

Righto
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Post by RiscaGame on Tue 07 Apr 2020, 7:13 am

Stone Motif wrote:
RiscaGame wrote:Maybe a little strange to retain Babos and Edwards. Not really had a shot this season.
both cheap and talented though

Definitely. I would just like to see Babos feature more, to be honest. Particularly when we’ve loaned Luke Baldwin.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 08 Apr 2020, 11:11 am

Well hopefully we get Williams and Rowlands just to name two...

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 09 Apr 2020, 8:29 pm

Just noticed that Cudd made the 7 jersey in Dragons ultimate XV, fighting off some very tough but recent competition for the jersey. Surely it’s news that will trigger som... well, trigger one, but for me it goes to show that we was quite underrated from a Wales perspective. His time has gone now but he’s been pretty awesome for us in the past.

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Post by RiscaGame on Fri 10 Apr 2020, 10:24 am

Some of the votes have been ridiculous. I can’t see how anybody can vote for Cudd, when we have two 7s on our books as defensively strong and who offer more going forward. For me, that had to be Forster. I was more flabbergasted though, that so many people voted Sarel Pretorious as our best 9. I get the love in for Brok, but to ignore somebody with so many appearances and whose try record was class too was mad (Black).

This is how my voting has gone and will go.

Black, Jones, Anthony (I would’ve had Brok here possibly), Charteris, Gough, Charvis, Forster, Faletau, Wayne Evans (probably should’ve gone Cooper there), Tovey, Brew, Smith, Warren (depending on the nominees), Wyatt, Morgan.

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