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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 Wed 01 Jul 2020, 3:49 pm

RiscaGame wrote:Dragons finally confirm Joe Maksymiw. Good signing to be fair, as I have said previously.

Good that we should have players like Tompkins, Holmes and Maksymiw available for the Bristol game too. With the difference in budgets, we will need a bit of help.

Be awesome if we can get Rowlands now too, now that Carre isn't coming here... Maksymiw has good league experience and I think can play in the back-row. Ideal if all are available for the August games and the QF in Bristol - they'll probably have Semi by then as well.

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Post by BigGee on Wed 01 Jul 2020, 7:36 pm

It's been a while since I have had to get the red pen out, but probably time for a reminder to keep the posts to rugby matters and away from personal issues with individual posters. Times are hard for everyone at the moment, which makes respecting others even more important.

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Post by Stone Motif on Thu 02 Jul 2020, 9:43 am

Chris Kirwan's latest. Should start with "Dear Phil"

https://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/sport/18555802.going-private-way-dragons-will-get-credit/
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Post by RiscaGame on Thu 02 Jul 2020, 11:14 am

I did think of that, as well as the others laughing

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 02 Jul 2020, 11:22 am

Stone Motif wrote:Chris Kirwan's latest. Should start with "Dear Phil"

https://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/sport/18555802.going-private-way-dragons-will-get-credit/

'The frequent call used to be ‘shut down the Dragons, send the side north’ but there are signs of progress under Dean Ryan.

'That doesn’t sit well with some, who would rather the Rodney Parade region knew their place at the bottom of the pile, patting them on the head and claiming their two wins a season.'

Ain't that the truth.



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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 02 Jul 2020, 12:53 pm

I can't recall if we let go of Bevington, or if negotiations are still on-going. Greg Bateman has been let go by Leicester and they are saying he's WQ. I wonder if we have the funds available and it's something that has come to Dean's attention. He has years of premiership experience and comes from a team that consistently has a dominant scrum.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 02 Jul 2020, 2:25 pm

Yeah I only saw yesterday that he was Wales-qualified. To be honest I think better clubs will come in for him, offering more money, but you never know.

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Post by RiscaGame on Thu 02 Jul 2020, 2:26 pm

Dragons seemingly teased another signing on twitter, yesterday? This one would be a mystery.

I also saw a few people questioning whether Bateman was WQ.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 02 Jul 2020, 2:41 pm

That was what I thought LP. Tigers fans definitely saying that he's WQ. I'm not saying he would get caps but if there are quota's to meet then this meets it. Would be a brilliant bit of business if we manage to pull that off.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Thu 02 Jul 2020, 3:53 pm

Not a particularly dominant scrummager solid and has played hooker and tighthead previously. Can carry pretty well.

https://youtu.be/LwLmpGLm23I

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 02 Jul 2020, 4:57 pm

As for other signings, it's likely to be just one of Tomane or Rowlands it seems. Rowlands is still under contract with Wasps so I guess would need to be bought out, that wouldn't leave anything for Tomane - as much as I think that sort of signing would be vital to us going forward I would opt for Rowlands if given the choice. We'd have a big, physical front 5 if these all came off.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 03 Jul 2020, 2:16 pm

Some Scot called Gordon Ross is appointed new backs coach for us. I don't know much about him, but his CV seems fairly decent.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 03 Jul 2020, 5:50 pm

I remember him as a player, but I didn't know he was a coach.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 03 Jul 2020, 8:37 pm

Nansen has signed for Brive. Good for him that he’s found a new club. Are they going up to the Top 14?

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Post by Stone Motif on Fri 03 Jul 2020, 9:26 pm

No, he's going down with an injury.
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Post by RiscaGame on Fri 03 Jul 2020, 11:40 pm

People will question Gordon Ross’ appointment, but I can’t say Barry Maddocks has particularly inspired me as an attack coach. We need more specialist coaches, instead of double hatters. I trust Dean Ryan, so he has obviously seen something in Ross.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sat 04 Jul 2020, 9:58 am

Ross was academy backs transition coach. There's been a few Wuss players come through the academy and not make it in recent times and a couple of notable success stories (Ollie Lawrence will play for England). As a player he was a very good controlling flyhalf.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 04 Jul 2020, 8:21 pm

Basically whoever's been at Wuss will be coming our way at some point. Any good lock forwards with a Welsh granny up that way?

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 10 Jul 2020, 8:53 pm

Daf Howells re-signs. We shouldn't need to play him as often if Holmes and Tompkins are back 3 cover. He's a good player but breaks very easily, I hope this year is different.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 13 Jul 2020, 11:49 am

Very useful squad player, if he stays fit of course.

I saw this the other day. If this one can stay fit - and I do worry about him on that front - then both the Dragons and Wales have one hell of an asset:

https://twitter.com/griffiths12895/status/1282398005505777665?s=20

Obviously there's his work over the ball too, which that doesn't show.


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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 13 Jul 2020, 12:43 pm

Yeah Griffiths is a superb player. It was always so funny when Miaow used to come in and tell us he wasn’t that good, etc. I think Basham is a bit of a like-for-like with Griff, and when both are fit I find it hard to see where Wainwright fits in.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 13 Jul 2020, 2:42 pm

Miaow really did struggle with the idea that quality players could come through at the Dragons.

I was going to say I would play 6. Wainwright, 7. Basham, 8. Griffiths, but then I remembered Moriarty. It's a good problem to have, as they say.


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Post by RiscaGame on Mon 13 Jul 2020, 4:59 pm

I saw this on twitter yesterday. Somebody said that the new contact area laws will really help Griffiths. Be interesting to see. To be honest, I haven’t really paid attention to them yet.

I think my backrow would have Wainwright on the bench, to be honest. Although rotation will happen a fair bit anyway, especially in the two warm up derbies.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 13 Jul 2020, 7:28 pm

I like two 7’s in my back-row. I draw the line at three, but we (Wales) seemed to have good success with that against Australia. Ideally I’d prefer a big man at 6 or 8 - basically a solid lock who can cover back-row pretty well or Nick Williams. I don’t think we have either yet. I imagine we’ll rotate anyway what with injuries and limited game time for Wainwright and Moriarty.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 13 Jul 2020, 8:58 pm

Saying that, I think a good way to counter Bristol is to start with Wainwright, Basham and Griffiths.

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Post by Stone Motif on Wed 15 Jul 2020, 11:14 am

So, we shipped one Doc to Cardiff but might be getting one in return.

He's got a tweet or two to apologise for before he rocks up in Newport.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 15 Jul 2020, 11:37 am

I think his best days are behind him, he was a hell'uva player. I still think he's an upgrade on Dixon. I would rather Tomane but I think this indicates that the deal is off, I expect he'll end up in France or Japan now.

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Post by RiscaGame on Wed 15 Jul 2020, 5:09 pm

Would be a good signing. I don’t see it really. I know he’s a real pro and that, but if he wants to finish at Cardiff then it seems cruel to prevent that.

I still expect Joe Thomas to be announced at some point laughing

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 16 Jul 2020, 8:50 pm

Yikes. 

Friday September 18th, 19:45 KO against Bristol.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 21 Jul 2020, 9:11 pm

Rowlands seems to be gathering pace again. Some reckon it’s a done deal if Wasps give the go ahead and can find a replacement - from a partially dubious source btw.

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Post by Welshmushroom on Wed 22 Jul 2020, 8:29 am

News outlets reported yesterday that Rowlands hasnt signed up to the 25% wage cut and as such is having his contract terminated. By all accounts he doesnt want to leave until Wasps sign a second row replacement.

Apprently WRU will be naming him in the 38man training squad so will have 80% of his wages being paid. Also Roberts is due to decide by the end of the week with Ryan saying that the lure of playing for Wales is going to be the deal clincher as him moving to the MLR will almost certanly but his international aspirations on ice.

If Ryan can pull these 2 signings off, Dragons first 15 looks a really good outfit for next season.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 22 Jul 2020, 9:16 am

Roberts would be a good partner to Warren or Tompkins in midfield.

It seems that now Moriarty is in the 38, we have the funding to bring in Rowlands but pay only 20% of his wages - it makes you wonder which position he's taking in the 38? I would be interested to see that list. Holmes is not in the 38 so we're paying full wages for him. Even if these signings come off the squad still looks a bit thin. I think we've been missing solid locks for a while, but the two new signings call fill the void, although I'm not too confident in their back-up (Screech aside who is usually a solid performer).

If Greg Bateman is still floating about then we should at least offer him a 1 year contract, if possible. He will be cheap and available all season, unless Pivac decides he needs to hold tackle bags / get a token cap.

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Post by RiscaGame on Wed 22 Jul 2020, 9:36 am

Everybody who is questioning it, is assuming Beard is one of the 38. I don’t particularly rate Beard, so wouldn’t see the stink, if Rowlands is ahead of him in the 38.

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Post by prop_lyd on Wed 22 Jul 2020, 9:57 am

Luke Baldwin loan confirmed for end of 20/21 season.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 22 Jul 2020, 10:35 am

RiscaGame wrote:Everybody who is questioning it, is assuming Beard is one of the 38. I don’t particularly rate Beard, so wouldn’t see the stink, if Rowlands is ahead of him in the 38.

I was thinking him or AWJ, only because Alun should be slowly phased out. Beard has been crap for 2 seasons now, which is disappointing - he looked very good when he first became a pro, he hasn't kicked on.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 22 Jul 2020, 10:36 am

prop_lyd wrote:Luke Baldwin loan confirmed for end of 20/21 season.

Meh, what you guys think of him? Better than Knoyle I'm sure, but there's a certain Johnny Evans still available.

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Post by RiscaGame on Wed 22 Jul 2020, 11:52 am

It seems a little counter productive to loan Baldwin again, whilst not giving Babos an opportunity. He did okay for us, but it seems a little strange to have Knoyle and Baldwin as experienced 9s both kicking their heels behind Rhodri Williams.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 22 Jul 2020, 8:36 pm

Well anyway, if we pull off all these new signings then they're all starters for me. I'm not sure what my entire bench would be due to all the shoite still plugging up our squad. We should be aiming win all our remaining league fixtures in the build up to Bristol, which is I believe is winnable with this team;

1. Harris 2. Dee 3. Brown 4. Maksymiw 5. Rowlands 6. Moriarty 7. Basham 8. Griffiths - 9. Williams 10. Davies 11. Hewitt 12. Roberts 13. Tompkins 14. Holmes 15. J Williams

Subs: Hibbard, Reynolds, Jarvis, Screech, Wainwright, Baldwin, Fly-half, Warren.

I've opted for Moriarty at 6, maybe that makes it easier for him to counter guys like Nathan Hughes, maybe not. Our back-row are interchangeable anyway. Ross is probably the hardest hitter in the back-row follow by Griffiths.

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Post by The Oracle on Wed 22 Jul 2020, 10:45 pm

Just heard on the news that the Blues will see out their remaining games at Rodney Parade. Dragons too I assume. And County? What about Newport RFC? Busy pitch!
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Post by RiscaGame on Thu 23 Jul 2020, 12:17 am

Not sure if Jordan Williams is fit. Would be interesting to see if he is.

I don’t see Screech not starting, tbh.

Back up ten will be Josh Lewis. He has to get good game time in at least one of the derbies, in case something happens to Sam Davies.

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Post by RiscaGame on Thu 23 Jul 2020, 12:23 am

The Oracle wrote:Just heard on the news that the Blues will see out their remaining games at Rodney Parade. Dragons too I assume. And County? What about Newport RFC? Busy pitch!

I guess it depends when games will start. Certainly the pro games will start sooner. Seems like there’ll be a bit of a delay until the semi pro teams come back. Crazy times. I guess for a more permanent thing, Cardiff will have to go somewhere like CCS again, until CAP isn’t a part of the fight against the pandemic.

It’ll take a lot of working out, as at some point there’ll be a lot of back to back games, with likely bunched fixtures for all three teams.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 23 Jul 2020, 9:17 am

RiscaGame wrote:Not sure if Jordan Williams is fit. Would be interesting to see if he is.

I don’t see Screech not starting, tbh.

Back up ten will be Josh Lewis. He has to get good game time in at least one of the derbies, in case something happens to Sam Davies.

You're right he probably isn't fit. I'd maybe shift Holmes to full-back and have one of Dyer or Howells on the wing instead.

If Screech is the lineout option I guess he could start over Maksymiw.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 26 Jul 2020, 8:47 pm

So Dragons are interested in Greg Bateman. If all 3 signings come off then we have a decent outfit. I expect Scarlets will be better by the time we play them so we'll need all the help we can get.

Next questions to be asked are who do we lose to team Wales and what can we put out when they're away? I don't see Bateman getting called up, unless it's a cap and run, so;
Dee, Brown, Rowlands, Moriarty, Wainwright, Tompkins, Holmes. Outside bets on Griffiths, Basham, Hewitt, Rh Williams, Davies, J Williams.

To summarise, lack of strength in depth still an issue.

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Post by Welshmushroom on Tue 28 Jul 2020, 9:46 am

Apparently the other 3 regions are unhappy about the signings going ahead as currently the WRU are trying to bring in a 30% pay cut for 3 years.  The questions being raised by the other 3 is how the Dragons can afford these types of signings.

I find this story laughable if it is true.  We are constantly being raided by them which in turn drives the prices of top players up at crazy amounts.  Throw in the fact that half the time they sign players that are not even needed by them.  If Scarlets for example have offered 300K to Halfpenny, where is the sense in that? Can anyone really see him making the Scarlets starting side?  I put Evans, McNicholl & Williams as their first choice back 3.

Yes they may have the budget to spend but it seems to me as if the Regions are always trying to use every cent they have as if money as if it was being taken away from them.  

Ospreys are a prime example of mismanged finances on players.  They are trying to get back to the No1 Welsh side in Wales as funding from the WRU clearly impacts this.  They used to get more cash from the WRU but since have watched as their funding has dropped as they are producing less and less players for Wales.  In their desperation they overpaid for a lot of their top players on the books instead of really adding more depth.  

Sure we only get half the funding of the other 3 regions but everytime we lose a player our budget becomes available increases while those 3 regions available budgets get smaller (decreases).  Its basic math really.

Sounds like sour grapes from them and I am getting fed up of their constant complaining about money or other factors imparing their ability to suceed.

In truth we can all see the difference Ryan has made.  The amount you spend on your squad is irrelevant if the headcoach is cluesless.  It's been a key reason why the Ospreys have gone down the toilet and also why the Blues have been mediocre for years.  

The best investment any team can make is a astute tactically minded head coach who has a good track record spotting and blooding talent.

I really hope we (Dragons) play a blinder next season and finish 1st/2nd highest welsh region if only to teach the others that budget is not main factor behind success.

Saying that I have no doubt the others will roll out excuses such as our players are injured or away although at least they cant say they were underfunded.

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Post by Brendan on Wed 29 Jul 2020, 4:04 pm

With the Dragons being Union backed you know your wagewill be paid. Chances of the other Regions running into financial difficulties are much higher than Dragons.

Also it could be argued that Dragons have a good coaching team and are on the up and everyone backs a winner.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 29 Jul 2020, 9:34 pm

It’s been a poor reaction to say the least - some ‘regional rugby fans’ seem to have short memories. It’s only a matter of time before the teams pipe up, then that’s our team talk done. Don’t know about everyone else but Bristol is the high priority for me, do well, win, and we might just give a good account of ourselves in Europe’s premier competition.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 31 Jul 2020, 3:02 pm

Brendan wrote:With the Dragons being Union backed you know your wagewill be paid.  Chances of the other Regions running into financial difficulties are much higher than Dragons.

And there's always going to be suspicion / accusations of favouritism until we're fully in private ownership again. I think we'll just to have to accept the muttering.

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Post by Stone Motif on Fri 31 Jul 2020, 5:16 pm

The thing these bellends want to overlook is like with many other things it's a buyer's market at the moment. Players will look at us who wouldn't normally, because its that or the jobcentre.
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Post by Stone Motif on Mon 03 Aug 2020, 4:18 pm

https://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/sport/
Never thought I'd see the day
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 03 Aug 2020, 4:30 pm

“Before playing through the junior ranks in Cardiff from the age of 15, my love for the game was born on the terraces of Rodney Parade,” he said.

“My dad, Norman, has been a lifelong Newport Rugby supporter and for many years my brother and I would frequent the terraces on weekends and harness our love for the game I’ve been so fortunate to play professionally.

“No one would be prouder than him that I’m coming to represent the rugby supporters of Gwent.

“There has always been something very special about a packed out Rodney Parade and it’s something I’m looking forward to experiencing first hand on the pitch this season.”

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