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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 Stone Motif on Mon 03 Aug 2020, 6:03 pm

"I'd struggle to play for another Welsh Region"
Great signing though, still remember him and Stirling Mortlock smacking into each other at the Principality, guy is an absolute warrior.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 03 Aug 2020, 8:34 pm

He’s here to nail Semi Radrada, it’s that simple.

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Post by RiscaGame on Mon 03 Aug 2020, 10:36 pm

Couple of years with us and hopefully he can bring on Jack Dixon, seeing as Dixon has predominantly been used as a bit of a clone. That said, by the time Roberts is done I guess they’ll be looking more at Aneurin Owen by then.

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Post by RiscaGame on Tue 04 Aug 2020, 8:25 am

I also forgot about Tom Griffiths, who could possibly have been ahead of Dixon in the pecking order by now.

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Post by Stone Motif on Tue 04 Aug 2020, 8:51 am

Aneurin Owen sounds like he could do great things but he'd need us to have two more power carriers in the back row and second row to work I think.

Whilst I'm sure the other strings to Jamie's bow haven't entirely been Gatlanded out, he probably is here to crash it up. I'm glad if so, as consistency in recruitment and gamelan shows Dean Ryan is doing his job.

Roberts/Dixon and Warren/Tompkins is a very decent pool of centres, with Edwards and Griffiths in reserve.
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Post by RiscaGame on Tue 04 Aug 2020, 1:49 pm

Yeah, fair enough. I guess I’m just assuming our problems in the forwards may finally be resolved at some point Wink

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 04 Aug 2020, 10:24 pm

Still not sold on Dixon or Griffiths. Dixon has had years to kick on but seems to be in the same place. 

Aneurin Owen hasn’t looked good at U20, not many of them did this season to be fair, but we’re not too bad at bringing through a couple good’uns. 

I imagine it’s Roberts at 12 with Tompkins 13, then Adam Warren when Tompkins is stopped from playing. Tompkins is also good at 12 if playing the second playmaker role, but not sure who would play 13 then... Roberts? Smile

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 04 Aug 2020, 10:27 pm

Stone Motif wrote:Aneurin Owen sounds like he could do great things but he'd need us to have two more power carriers in the back row and second row to work I think.

Whilst I'm sure the other strings to Jamie's bow haven't entirely been Gatlanded out, he probably is here to crash it up. I'm glad if so, as consistency in recruitment and gamelan shows Dean Ryan is doing his job.

Roberts/Dixon and Warren/Tompkins is a very decent pool of centres, with Edwards and Griffiths in reserve.

Power carriers thus far are old man Harris, Brown, Moriarty, Griffiths and Basham. Not bad but we’d need Bateman and Rowlands alongside them just to be competitive. I haven’t seen enough of this Joe M to comment. Not sure why WOL keep hailing him as a giant either, he’d be average lock build in the French and South African leagues.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 8:32 am

mikey_dragon wrote:Still not sold on Dixon or Griffiths. Dixon has had years to kick on but seems to be in the same place. 

Aneurin Owen hasn’t looked good at U20, not many of them did this season to be fair, but we’re not too bad at bringing through a couple good’uns. 

I imagine it’s Roberts at 12 with Tompkins 13, then Adam Warren when Tompkins is stopped from playing. Tompkins is also good at 12 if playing the second playmaker role, but not sure who would play 13 then... Roberts? Smile

Tompkins plays more 12 than 13 for Sarries. He runs good lines off the 10 and has a very handy ability to link up with forwards making half breaks. I wouldn't describe his style as a secondary playmaker though. Sarries use Goode at 15 or Lozowski at 13 as their secondary playmakers.

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Post by Stone Motif on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 9:19 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Still not sold on Dixon or Griffiths. Dixon has had years to kick on but seems to be in the same place. 

Aneurin Owen hasn’t looked good at U20, not many of them did this season to be fair, but we’re not too bad at bringing through a couple good’uns. 

I imagine it’s Roberts at 12 with Tompkins 13, then Adam Warren when Tompkins is stopped from playing. Tompkins is also good at 12 if playing the second playmaker role, but not sure who would play 13 then... Roberts? Smile

Tompkins plays more 12 than 13 for Sarries. He runs good lines off the 10 and has a very handy ability to link up with forwards making half breaks. I wouldn't describe his style as a secondary playmaker though. Sarries use Goode at 15 or Lozowski at 13 as their secondary playmakers.

Don't forget who is now paying Tompkins wages and which position the national team is particularly light in and reliant on one ageing and injury prone incumbent. He'll be playing outside centre.
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Post by Stone Motif on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 9:25 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:Aneurin Owen sounds like he could do great things but he'd need us to have two more power carriers in the back row and second row to work I think.

Whilst I'm sure the other strings to Jamie's bow haven't entirely been Gatlanded out, he probably is here to crash it up. I'm glad if so, as consistency in recruitment and gamelan shows Dean Ryan is doing his job.

Roberts/Dixon and Warren/Tompkins is a very decent pool of centres, with Edwards and Griffiths in reserve.

Power carriers thus far are old man Harris, Brown, Moriarty, Griffiths and Basham. Not bad but we’d need Bateman and Rowlands alongside them just to be competitive. I haven’t seen enough of this Joe M to comment. Not sure why WOL keep hailing him as a giant either, he’d be average lock build in the French and South African leagues.

Harris? A power carrier? Basham is a stepper (and a very good one). I'd only have Griffiths and to a much lesser extent Brown/Moriarty out of that lot as reliable yard gainers off a standing start in heavy traffic and turf.

At least two probably three will be off with Wales at some point too, as will Rowlands and Bateman if they are signed.

Dread to think of Aneurin Owen bering chucked out behind a pack of Lewis Evans and Joe Davieses mid winter, it'd ruin his career.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 12:58 pm

Harris might be old but more often than not he gets his 120kg over the gainline and knows how to spot a gap in defence. He hasn't really shown much sign of ageing yet so fair play to him. Basham can do it, he's a tough player like I alluded to and we need more like him; where-as I'm expecting and hoping that Brown/Moriarty continue to improve their carrying for us (they had improved before lockdown kicked in).

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 1:06 pm

Stone Motif wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Still not sold on Dixon or Griffiths. Dixon has had years to kick on but seems to be in the same place. 

Aneurin Owen hasn’t looked good at U20, not many of them did this season to be fair, but we’re not too bad at bringing through a couple good’uns. 

I imagine it’s Roberts at 12 with Tompkins 13, then Adam Warren when Tompkins is stopped from playing. Tompkins is also good at 12 if playing the second playmaker role, but not sure who would play 13 then... Roberts? Smile

Tompkins plays more 12 than 13 for Sarries. He runs good lines off the 10 and has a very handy ability to link up with forwards making half breaks. I wouldn't describe his style as a secondary playmaker though. Sarries use Goode at 15 or Lozowski at 13 as their secondary playmakers.

Don't forget who is now paying Tompkins wages and which position the national team is particularly light in and reliant on one ageing and injury prone incumbent. He'll be playing outside centre.

As opposed to inside centre where the incumbent has just left for Japan?

I was really just discussing Tompkins playing style. He'll play either 12 or 13, I doubt he'll be fussed. Wales will desperately need a 12 and with Tompkins and Williams have two new options there. If JD2 is fit he'll play so the 13 shirt isn't completely empty.

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Post by Stone Motif on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 1:43 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Still not sold on Dixon or Griffiths. Dixon has had years to kick on but seems to be in the same place. 

Aneurin Owen hasn’t looked good at U20, not many of them did this season to be fair, but we’re not too bad at bringing through a couple good’uns. 

I imagine it’s Roberts at 12 with Tompkins 13, then Adam Warren when Tompkins is stopped from playing. Tompkins is also good at 12 if playing the second playmaker role, but not sure who would play 13 then... Roberts? Smile

Tompkins plays more 12 than 13 for Sarries. He runs good lines off the 10 and has a very handy ability to link up with forwards making half breaks. I wouldn't describe his style as a secondary playmaker though. Sarries use Goode at 15 or Lozowski at 13 as their secondary playmakers.

Don't forget who is now paying Tompkins wages and which position the national team is particularly light in and reliant on one ageing and injury prone incumbent. He'll be playing outside centre.

As opposed to inside centre where the incumbent has just left for Japan?

I was really just discussing Tompkins playing style. He'll play either 12 or 13, I doubt he'll be fussed. Wales will desperately need a 12 and with Tompkins and Williams have two new options there. If JD2 is fit he'll play so the 13 shirt isn't completely empty.

I reckon part of Doc Jaw coming back is he is in for an international swansong. The noises coming out are that JD2 has done himself in at international level anyway with that injury he carried through the World Cup.

Anyway, you got to love the cut of Dean Ryan's gib as ever:
https://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/sport/18629978.dean-ryan-dragons-smart-transfer-market/
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Post by formerly known as Sam on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 3:14 pm

If Jamie Roberts is back in international reckoning then Wales have some very serious problems. He can still do a job at club level but he's not close to the player he was in his pomp. If Scarlets can Johnny Williams up to speed then that'll be the obvious answer to the Welsh 12 question as he's similar in style to Parkes. Add in Thompkins and Watkins then you've got three good centres the right side of 25 plus the injury recovery players JD2 and Halliholo.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 7:58 pm

If JD2 is knackered then we are in serious trouble at international level. He’s the best if fit. Halaholo, Williams and Tompkins all good players but need to fit in around him. Dare I mention it, seeing as it pees off a certain lurker, but North should be 13 and Watkin at 12. Scott Williams bench for Ospreys or not in the 23. The trouble with Wales’ defence before anyone mentions it, is Byron Hayward being out of his depth - another jobs for the boyo’s.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 06 Aug 2020, 9:56 am

I still think North at 13 would be a gift to opposition attack coaches. JD2's defence and reading of play is one of his strengths. How many times have we seen North caught out of position on the wing, even in the Shaun Edwards years? You can't afford that in midfield. You can always bring him into midfield from the wing in attack.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 06 Aug 2020, 9:34 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:I still think North at 13 would be a gift to opposition attack coaches. JD2's defence and reading of play is one of his strengths. How many times have we seen North caught out of position on the wing, even in the Shaun Edwards years? You can't afford that in midfield. You can always bring him into midfield from the wing in attack.

We didn't play him much at 13 but he always played very well there, right? I don't remmeber him doing anything disastrous in defence unlike Fluffbutt. The thing is, and we've been saying it for years now, he doesn't come into midifled from the wing in attack. Williams, Adams, Amos, all the NZ wingers are doing it. North doesn't. You put him near the tryline and he's likely to score, he can finish. The speed, size, power and ability to offload is just better utilised at 13 IMO. It would certainly add something that is very much needed to the Ospreys backline.

Honestly, I can't see North being in the team for much longer with the wingers now available to Wales.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 07 Aug 2020, 2:14 pm

On his ability to offload - he's a frustrating player in that aspect. Too often he has the blinkers on, but we know he do this:

https://youtu.be/t3kxC2c5xOM

Even if that was a while ago!

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Post by Stone Motif on Sun 09 Aug 2020, 2:34 am

North is a bad defender and an absolute liability at 13
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Post by Stone Motif on Sun 09 Aug 2020, 10:22 am

Cardiff are happy. Especially Phil lol
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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 09 Aug 2020, 11:00 am

Stone Motif wrote:North is a bad defender and an absolute liability at 13

Each to their own. If he can’t adapt to 13 then he’s going to find it difficult to make the 11 or 14 jersey his for Wales - as soon as Pivac takes the blinkers off that is.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 09 Aug 2020, 11:02 am

I don’t think we’ll get Rowlands until next season if all the rumours are true, as he’s back in training with Wasps. So we’ll miss him for the remaining league games and for trip to Bristol. That’s a blow. When does next season start, October?

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Post by Stone Motif on Sun 09 Aug 2020, 11:58 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:North is a bad defender and an absolute liability at 13

Each to their own. If he can’t adapt to 13 then he’s going to find it difficult to make the 11 or 14 jersey his for Wales - as soon as Pivac takes the blinkers off that is.

Yeah defo, he's kept his place by being Wales best carrying forward though not by being the best winger
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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 09 Aug 2020, 5:40 pm

It’s too bad we can’t clone JD2... he’s a bit of a specimen, good carrier and does every thing else very well. We’ll miss him for sure.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 14 Aug 2020, 9:09 pm

The regional split is revealed, and we have 5. That's probably Wainwright, Dee, Moriarty, and probably Brown. So who is the fifth? It ain't Tompkins. Does anyone know how we got Holmes, as I'm pretty sure he wouldn't be in the 38 even though he could make his way in in the near future. The last could be, and hopefully is, Rowlands.

We might not see him 'this season' and he is playing for Wasps on the weekend. We could see him next season which finishes about a week after this season....

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Post by RiscaGame on Mon 17 Aug 2020, 6:41 pm

Andy Howell on fire for the National Media of Wales today, fair play. Two rumours released by half six today (Sam Davies and Liam Williams leaving immediately) and a load of clicks generated probably.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 18 Aug 2020, 6:55 pm

The worst part is Liam calls out his bluff, and Howells comes out in his defence, saying it was from ‘impeccable sources’. Embarrassing.

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Post by RiscaGame on Tue 18 Aug 2020, 8:07 pm

The fact he had to edit his own article is bad in itself, as well as his sticking to his guns on twitter.

Thing is, in his need for trying to unearth scoops he has of course missed a big one in Jamie Roberts failing a COVID test. Just our luck really.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 18 Aug 2020, 9:55 pm

I don’t think we’ll have much of a presence in midfield then. Could be Holmes at 13... not my choice personally. We need to punch holes and get it wide, that’s where our strength is (out wide). All the other internationals must start.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 21 Aug 2020, 12:28 pm

Hmm.

Ospreys: D Evans, G North, O Watkin, K Williams, L Morgan, S Myler, R Webb, N Smith, S Parry, T Botha, A Beard, AW Jones, O Cracknell, M Morris, J Tipuric (captain). Replacements: D Lake, G Thomas, N Thomas, B Davies, W Griffiths, R Morgan-Williams, J Thomas, T Thomas-Wheeler.

Dragons: D Howells, O Jenkins, N Tompkins, J Dixon, A Hewitt, S Davies (captain), T Knoyle, B Harris, R Hibbard, L Brown, M Screech, J Maksymiw, B Fry, T Basham, R Moriarty. Replacements: E Shipp, C Maguire, C Coleman, J Davies, A Wainwright, L Baldwin, A Robson, A Warren.

Referee: Adam Jones (WRU)

https://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/sport/18667114.sam-davies-captain-dragons-pro14-derby-ospreys/

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Post by RiscaGame on Fri 21 Aug 2020, 1:52 pm

Would’ve backed Ospreys anyway, but strange selection for us. I don’t care about giving all players a shot before Bristol tbh. We need to get settled combinations in place, seeing as we have changed our coaching team in two pretty key areas (forwards and attack).

I don’t particularly like the back three. I don’t overly care for the backrow. I feel sorry for that backline, playing off Knoyle.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 21 Aug 2020, 2:25 pm

I'm not the only one who had concerns upon seeing this lineup then. I don't think that is Ospreys' best lineup either, looks as if the coach could be trying to figure out who is the best and in which position.

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Post by QuickBall on Sat 22 Aug 2020, 9:41 am

any word on who's covering the two derbies this weekend?
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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 22 Aug 2020, 10:09 am

Premier Sport. Replayed on S4C at night.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 23 Aug 2020, 8:02 pm

We had a good maul and decent scrum (when Smith wasn’t allowed to drive in) but I think our pack was second best, surprisingly also second best at the breakdown - so it was a bit odd to hear the ‘commentators’ say we were the best at the breakdown, and how they gave Williams MOTM over Hewitt I do not know. 

Howells failed the test at full back, always a risk putting him in after 6-9 month off though. 

Our halfbacks controlled the game well, even Knoyle but his passing makes the ball travel slow. And of course it wouldn’t be a Knoyle performance without his box kick out on the full, well done lad. Baldwin was good, probably better when he came on. Webb was the best of the lot though and you can see he’s really going to make a difference to the team this season. 

Don’t get me started on all the knock-ons... nothing short of embarrassing, so much so that I was happy with a draw. 

Hibbard was a liability, so was Screech at times. We desperately need those other rumoured signings up front. 

Tompkins is a fantastic play-maker and he’s going to be a match winner at some point. 

We have to go with the best available for Scarlets. The first team needs a run, whatever that is right now. Dragons need to put in a performance otherwise we can forget about competing with Bristol.

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Post by RiscaGame on Sun 23 Aug 2020, 10:16 pm

Hibbard should really be a sub for us now. I would like to see Shipp get more time. Saw a few Dragons supporters praising Screech, but I didn’t really see him do much either. He’s still always going to be our starting lock though, even when we sign Rowlands.

Not sure on the side for next week, but I would imagine something like this.

Williams, Holmes, Warren, Tompkins, Rosser, Davies, Williams, Harris, Dee, Brown, Screech, Davies, Keddie, Wainwright, Griffiths,

You might even see Huw Taylor or Lewis Evans play lock, I guess, seeing as Ryan is giving people opportunities before Bristol. Possibly won’t see people like Davies double up either, but I think we do need to go pretty strong too. Scarlets will in preparation for their Toulon game.

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Post by RiscaGame on Mon 24 Aug 2020, 9:27 am

No Griffiths until next season, by the looks. Real shame again. I would now wrap Wainwright, Basham and Moriarty in cotton wool on Sat and use others.

Considering we have Harrison Keddie, Lewis Evans, James Benjamin, Lennon Greggains and Huw Taylor still to feature, I guess they might do that.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 24 Aug 2020, 12:58 pm

I can't remember the last time I saw so many unforced errors in a match. In the second half we seemed in such a rush, no composure at all. I don't think we strung more than 10 phases together all half. We were lucky to get the draw in the end, and a win wouldn't have felt fair. But at least we didn't lose!

Leon Brown's line for his try was something else from a prop forward. It was like Cory Hill's line for his try against England, but this took more finishing.

I've said it before with Ollie Griffiths, but before long we're going to have to plan for a future without him. It's not his fault, and he's brilliant when he plays, but you literally can't rely on a player who's unavailable most of the time.


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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 24 Aug 2020, 3:00 pm

Oh gee how does Griffiths get injured again... it looks set to be another early retirement at this rate, I hope it isn't. I don't think Benjamin is at the required standard but I would start Wainwright, Fry or Greggains as back-up 7. Taylor and Keddie (under-rated guy) to also start. Or we could just go all guns blazing, because yolo. Unless something miraculous happens I can't see us getting near Bristol, they'll shred our defence on recent form and they aren't mugs up front either.

LP, definitely think Griffiths could benefit from a season elsewhere, English championship or maybe Japan.


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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 24 Aug 2020, 5:51 pm

I don't know how many games any other club would get out of him, unfortunately.

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Post by RiscaGame on Mon 24 Aug 2020, 5:53 pm

Even the Championship would be bad for him. It’s much more attritional, isn’t it?

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 24 Aug 2020, 6:35 pm

Not sure if more attritional, they definitely have a good pack here and there. Most of teams I’ve watched play a fast and high intensity, which is his (Griffiths) game - plus it’ll still be a level down from what he’s playing now. Alternatively Japan, great healthcare (so I’m told) and a shorter season.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 26 Aug 2020, 10:19 pm

Anyone notice how crap Beard was on the weekend again? Looks like a big useless donkey and a shadow of his former self. Rowlands on the other hand has looked very good. Time for Beard to be bumped out of the 38 (you too Dillon Lewis).

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Post by Stone Motif on Thu 27 Aug 2020, 7:45 am

I posted a while back after a conversation with a guy who trains with Ollie that although he is a ridiculous athlete he has Sam Warburton syndrome - carrying too much unnatural weight, in an attritional position, yet ruthlessly committed and too often relied on to save the day because he's head and shoulders above his peers. He should have been a back.
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Post by RiscaGame on Thu 27 Aug 2020, 10:42 am

Agreed. At least Dean Ryan seems a bit more sensible with getting people back playing after injury (Josh Lewis/Jordan Williams etc).

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 28 Aug 2020, 9:34 am

I wonder if we bothered to enquire about Steve Cummins, who's now left Scarlets for Pau.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 28 Aug 2020, 1:47 pm

Dragons: Will Talbot-Davies; Jared Rosser, Adam Warren, Nick Tompkins, Ashton Hewitt; Sam Davies, Rhodri Williams (capt); Josh Reynolds, Elliot Dee, Chris Coleman, Max Williams, Matthew Screech, Aaron Wainwright, Taine Basham, Harrison Keddie.

Replacements: Ellis Shipp, Conor Maguire, Leon Brown, Joe Maksymiw, Huw Taylor, Luke Baldwin, Arwel Robson, Jack Dixon.

Scarlets: Angus O'Brien; Johnny McNicholl, Steff Hughes, Johnny Williams, Steff Evans; Dan Jones, Kieran Hardy; Wyn Jones, Ken Owens (capt), Samson Lee, Jake Ball, Lewis Rawlins, Ed Kennedy, James Davies, Sione Kalamafoni.

Replacements: Ryan Elias, Phil Price, Javan Sebastian, Josh Helps, Josh Macleod, Dane Blacker, Paul Asquith, Tom Rogers.

I don't particularly rate their prop and lock replacements, but there is a clear gulf in squad depth - I would be surprised if Max can even compete. They still have a Tongan and Fijian lock to come back in too.

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Post by RiscaGame on Fri 28 Aug 2020, 1:56 pm

Backline pretty decent. Very worried about the front five. Coleman has had issues against Scarlets before, I think (albeit I think he was okay last time he faced them).

Forgot Blacker was there. I would probably have kept Jon Evans over him and I quite liked Blacker when he was with us. Bit of a shame for Morgan not to face us.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 28 Aug 2020, 2:04 pm

Yep Jon Evans had to go find a new career. I wonder why Scarlets didn't bring him back, didn't they just temp sign someone from an English team?

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