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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 Thu 9 Jan - 1:56

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 RiscaGame on Sat 29 Aug - 1:09

Yeah, Homer I think?

He's pretty rated by the people that I have seen speak of him. Can't say I have really watched too much Premiership rugby really though.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 30 Aug - 7:27

Coleman hooked at half time, he had a very bad day at the office. But all things considered some of those guys did well. The disallowed try was absolute BS and turned out to be the momentum swing... oh well onto Bristol.

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Post by RiscaGame on Sun 30 Aug - 19:19

No surprise to see Coleman struggle. Everybody anticipated it before the game. I guess Ryan really doesn't rate Fairbrother, to not even have him on the bench. I get why Ryan did what he did, but he could've done it a bit better for yesterday and not had the three of the young front five playing at once.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 30 Aug - 19:47

Yeah pretty much, there was only one winner in that front 5 contest. Hard to know how it would have gone if we put out our full team, I think we could have won it with both teams scoring 4 or more tries. I like how we’re trying things in attack, even if it doesn’t work at least we aren’t too conservative. Tompkins is such a good play-maker in the midfield, I really hope we get him back after his time is up with Sarries.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 2 Sep - 0:07

Greg Bateman confirmed. Great signing. Bench for Bristol Wink

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Post by RiscaGame on Wed 2 Sep - 1:16

Tighthead cover, I reckon Laugh

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 2 Sep - 1:35

Covers all 3 to be fair. Fastly but surely Harris is becoming a non-starter, would be good off the bench though - will likely be sharing with Josh Reynolds if Bateman becomes our starting LH.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 2 Sep - 5:22

I said this elsewhere but I’ll post here too. Bateman has an impressive ‘highlight reel’ but I’m hoping he will play mostly at LH alongside Dee and Brown. Harris is getting too old and Reynolds is promising but it’s too soon for him, he’ll have another good mentor I guess. We could actually do with another TH for cover though, and a lock (Will Rowlands). It would be the first time in nearly 10 years where we’ve put out a good starting pack. 

The last good pack we had was Price, Burns, Way, Charteris, Lydiate/Coombs, Evans, Faletau. Several internationals and within 2 seasons from here we’d lost them all to other teams.

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Post by Stone Motif on Wed 2 Sep - 7:33

mikey_dragon wrote:I said this elsewhere but I’ll post here too. Bateman has an impressive ‘highlight reel’ but I’m hoping he will play mostly at LH alongside Dee and Brown. Harris is getting too old and Reynolds is promising but it’s too soon for him, he’ll have another good mentor I guess. We could actually do with another TH for cover though, and a lock (Will Rowlands). It would be the first time in nearly 10 years where we’ve put out a good starting pack. 

The last good pack we had was Price, Burns, Way, Charteris, Lydiate/Coombs, Evans, Faletau. Several internationals and within 2 seasons from here we’d lost them all to other teams.
Shocking disrespect for Rob Sidoli.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 2 Sep - 18:26

Forgot about him actually, I looked at this team from the 2011 or 12 EDF Cup game against Glaws, as that was when we had all the Wales starters from 2011 RWC.

* Also meant to include Adam Jones (the lock).

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 11 Sep - 8:49

Anyone know what’s happened to Bevington and Jarvis? Hopefully we’ve got shot of Bev, I imagine that’s the case with Bateman coming in. Think Jarvis would be the better bench option versus Bristol. Dee to start and Shipp on the bench, as I think Hibbard’s time is also up.

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Post by Stone Motif on Fri 11 Sep - 17:17

mikey_dragon wrote:Anyone know what’s happened to Bevington and Jarvis? Hopefully we’ve got shot of Bev, I imagine that’s the case with Bateman coming in. Think Jarvis would be the better bench option versus Bristol. Dee to start and Shipp on the bench, as I think Hibbard’s time is also up.
Think Bevington signed on a two year deal which would be up this year. He's probably cheap though and we saw how ready for first team action the young uns are against the Scarlets. Our squad is still paper thin.
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Post by RiscaGame on Fri 11 Sep - 18:19

Jarvis was re-signed for next season. We haven't had an update on injuries for a while, so he may be fit and Ryan obviously wanted to play the youngsters against Scarlets.

Bevington was in discussions, as his contract was up. I remember seeing Chris Kirwan talk about him and saying that he may be re-signed depending on what happens with the Bateman signing. So perhaps he is now released? The only article I could find was when they were discussing Conor Maguire as also chasing a deal, but it didn't really elaborate too much in that article.

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Post by Stone Motif on Fri 11 Sep - 18:32

RiscaGame wrote:Jarvis was re-signed for next season. We haven't had an update on injuries for a while, so he may be fit and Ryan obviously wanted to play the youngsters against Scarlets.

Bevington was in discussions, as his contract was up. I remember seeing Chris Kirwan talk about him and saying that he may be re-signed depending on what happens with the Bateman signing. So perhaps he is now released? The only article I could find was when they were discussing Conor Maguire as also chasing a deal, but it didn't really elaborate too much in that article.
I can understand him being let go, we don't have to serve so many competitions this year but even so if we can keep him on a cheap deal it might be worth it. Jarvis is hardly bulletproof and Bateman might end up away with Wales if he starts strong.
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Post by RiscaGame on Fri 11 Sep - 21:18

I would keep him. We can’t rely on any of our props (who aren’t with Team Wales anyway) for durability really. Possibly Barrel, but he’s a bit out of favour now. We definitely need a bit of experience at certain times, especially if we are to lose two props to the ridiculous international calendar. Ryan obviously agrees, or he wouldn’t have lasted the summer.

It seems slightly unlikely we will cut him now anyway. He’s on the squad page too, which might not mean much.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 11 Sep - 22:48

Honestly, I think Bev has been a waste of space even when not injured (seems rare). I wouldn't mind keep Conor Maguire for another season because he's at least fit. I would have signed several more players in the front 5 but I guess we can't afford it.

We could get Rowlands for the 2021/22 season as he seems to be flourishing within a good Wasps team. On current form, I would have him as starter with AWJ, Ball on the bench, but team Wales won't have access to Rowlands anway if Wasps reach the final. Same for Francis who surely has to be a starter since the 'rise of Dillon Lewis'... John with Sale too. I see why Pivac wants them all in Wales.

Bateman might get capped, but that's likely just to tie him in, unless he suddenly turns world class (unlikely).

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 11 Sep - 22:49

Anyway, thought on the team you'd hope takes to the field in Bristol?

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Post by PhilBB on Sun 13 Sep - 22:53

mikey_dragon wrote:Anyway, thought on the team you'd hope takes to the field in Bristol?

A losing one

Thanks
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Post by RiscaGame on Mon 14 Sep - 0:30

laughing

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Post by RiscaGame on Mon 14 Sep - 0:36

I wish I could dispute that.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 14 Sep - 6:41

Bristol are good at scoring tries that’s for sure! It’ll take something special from Deano and the team to pull this one off.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 16 Sep - 3:58

Dean seems to be hinting at selecting the new guys, which is what I would also do. I think our young backline could benefit from the experience of Roberts starting at 12. Bateman and Holmes have a lot of premiership experience and experience of playing against Bristol. All three start for me. 

Rowlands looks awesome for Wasps right now. It would be a great coup to get him on board as soon as it’s possible.

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Post by PhilBB on Thu 17 Sep - 21:15

Dragons (v Bristol Bears): Jordan Williams, Jonah Holmes, Nick Tompkins, Jamie Roberts, Ashton Hewitt, Sam Davies, Rhodri Williams (c); Brok Harris, Elliot Dee, Leon Brown, Joe Davies, Matthew Screech, Aaron Wainwright, Harrison Keddie, Ross Moriarty

Replacements: Richard Hibbard, Josh Reynolds, Lloyd Fairbrother, Joe Maksymiw, Taine Basham, Luke Baldwin, Josh Lewis, Adam Warren


This could be quite an open game with lots of tries. Bristol are one of the teams who offer a high "pass per ruck" ratio:

https://twitter.com/CRFCFans/status/1305421410018291712?s=20

so fitness will be key and, potentially, so will the strength of the benches. That Dragons front five is clearly it's weakness (as underlined by the weakness on the bench in that area) and I can see Bristol trying to put pressure on the scrums

15. Charles Piutau; 14. Luke Morahan, 13. Semi Radradra, 12. Piers O’Conor, 11. Henry Purdy; 10. Callum Sheedy, 9. Andy Uren; 1. Jake Woolmore, 2. Harry Thacker, 3. Kyle Sinckler, 4. Dave Attwood, 5. Chris Vui, 6. Steven Luatua (c), 7. Ben Earl, 8. Nathan Hughes.

System players: 16. Will Capon, 17. Yann Thomas, 18. John Afoa, 19. Joe Joyce, 20. Dan Thomas, 21. Harry Randall, 22. Max Malins, 23. Alapati Leiua.

So can the Dragons handle the tempo and the ball carrying options from Bristol? Will Piutau punish any poor kicking from Davies? As Sam Davies is so key to the Dragons, can Roberts protect him from Hughes, Luatua and Radrada?
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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 17 Sep - 21:23

Not sure what Dean was thinking when he selected Joe Davies and didn't select Bateman. Oh well. The make up of our back-row is a little unexpected. Backline is probably the strongest available.

O'Connor is their weak link.

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Post by RiscaGame on Thu 17 Sep - 21:39

I am worried that our backline for all it's talent, hasn't played together in key positions. Our front five is undoubtedly going to get squeezed and it's fair to highlight the pressure on Doc to protect Davies.

To be honest, I kind of wondered whether Dean Ryan might bench Basham, but I thought he may start Fry to try and have an abrasive backrow.

Interesting that Fairbrother comes back in from the cold too. I guess needs must, as obviously Coleman isn't ready and perhaps there is something wrong with Bateman.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 17 Sep - 23:34

I like the thinking of keeping Basham back for later in the game. I think that's better than Keddie off the bench. Dean Ryan was full of praise for Ben Fry the other week, but I think he's gone for as much size in the back row as he can, to try to stop them as close to the gainline as possible. I worry about Keddie's temperament though.

There are some real footballers in both sides, so I'm sure it'll be a good game to watch, but I doubt the scrums will be pretty from a Dragons perspective.

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Post by RiscaGame on Thu 17 Sep - 23:41

There is potential impact on our bench, if the game was to break up. Reynolds, Basham and to an extent our back replacements. It is obviously weaker in comparison to Bristol, but some of our bench can sure make an impact.

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Post by PhilBB on Thu 17 Sep - 23:45

RiscaGame wrote:There is potential impact on our bench, if the game was to break up. Reynolds, Basham and to an extent our back replacements. It is obviously weaker in comparison to Bristol, but some of our bench can sure make an impact.

The Dragons need 80 minutes from both half backs, don't they?
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 17 Sep - 23:47

I was thinking this morning that Ellis Shipp wight edge out Hibbard for a bench spot, but obviously not. I'm not sure what Hibbard adds exactly now.

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Post by RiscaGame on Thu 17 Sep - 23:58

I suspect so. I don't mind Baldwin as such, but there is a clear drop in quality. If Josh Lewis was to regain his form around the Judgement Day win Dragons had, it wouldn't be as bad a drop. The trouble is, it's a big ask after such an injury and Lewis has obviously not carried Dragons to the extent Davies has (occasional goal kicking issues aside).

Realistically, I expect Ryan will look for a lot of the starters to go the distance, with players like Harris Keddie and maybe Roberts and Jordan Williams unlikely to do so. As I don't expect Dragons to be that close, the bench probably won't really have to impact things.

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Post by RiscaGame on Fri 18 Sep - 0:00

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:I was thinking this morning that Ellis Shipp wight edge out Hibbard for a bench spot, but obviously not. I'm not sure what Hibbard adds exactly now.

Not too chuffed about that really. I guess he'll want physicality off Hibbard, chasing his big hits etc (although we don't really see those nowadays). I would've gone Shipp.

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Post by Stone Motif on Fri 18 Sep - 2:32

PhilBB wrote:
RiscaGame wrote:There is potential impact on our bench, if the game was to break up. Reynolds, Basham and to an extent our back replacements. It is obviously weaker in comparison to Bristol, but some of our bench can sure make an impact.

The Dragons need 80 minutes from both half backs, don't they?

Same as it ever was
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Post by Stone Motif on Fri 18 Sep - 2:34

PhilBB wrote:Dragons (v Bristol Bears): Jordan Williams, Jonah Holmes, Nick Tompkins, Jamie Roberts, Ashton Hewitt, Sam Davies, Rhodri Williams (c); Brok Harris, Elliot Dee, Leon Brown, Joe Davies, Matthew Screech, Aaron Wainwright, Harrison Keddie, Ross Moriarty

Replacements: Richard Hibbard, Josh Reynolds, Lloyd Fairbrother, Joe Maksymiw, Taine Basham, Luke Baldwin, Josh Lewis, Adam Warren


This could be quite an open game with lots of tries. Bristol are one of the teams who offer a high "pass per ruck" ratio:

https://twitter.com/CRFCFans/status/1305421410018291712?s=20

so fitness will be key and, potentially, so will the strength of the benches. That Dragons front five is clearly it's weakness (as underlined by the weakness on the bench in that area) and I can see Bristol trying to put pressure on the scrums

15. Charles Piutau; 14. Luke Morahan, 13. Semi Radradra, 12. Piers O’Conor, 11. Henry Purdy; 10. Callum Sheedy, 9. Andy Uren; 1. Jake Woolmore, 2. Harry Thacker, 3. Kyle Sinckler, 4. Dave Attwood, 5. Chris Vui, 6. Steven Luatua (c), 7. Ben Earl, 8. Nathan Hughes.

System players: 16. Will Capon, 17. Yann Thomas, 18. John Afoa, 19. Joe Joyce, 20. Dan Thomas, 21. Harry Randall, 22. Max Malins, 23. Alapati Leiua.

So can the Dragons handle the tempo and the ball carrying options from Bristol? Will Piutau punish any poor kicking from Davies? As Sam Davies is so key to the Dragons, can Roberts protect him from Hughes, Luatua and Radrada?

I'd say that front five can handle a high tempo game whatever their other limitations to be fair
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Post by PhilBB on Fri 18 Sep - 18:52

Stone Motif wrote:

I'd say that front five can handle a high tempo game whatever their other limitations to be fair

https://www.cardiffrfcfans.com/preview.php?matchID=925207

Bristol offload and pass much more than do the Dragons. Will an 85% tackle completion rate be enough for the Dragons?
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Post by Stone Motif on Fri 18 Sep - 23:43

PhilBB wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:

I'd say that front five can handle a high tempo game whatever their other limitations to be fair

https://www.cardiffrfcfans.com/preview.php?matchID=925207

Bristol offload and pass much more than do the Dragons. Will an 85% tackle completion rate be enough for the Dragons?

This board needs more of this.

Unsurprisingly they also run more metres. Surprise stat in that is how close our try scoring records are (and off far fewer line breaks) so I'm not ready to wave the white flag just yet. Particularly as their tackle completion is pretty close to ours too...
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Post by PhilBB on Fri 18 Sep - 23:45

Stone Motif wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:

I'd say that front five can handle a high tempo game whatever their other limitations to be fair

https://www.cardiffrfcfans.com/preview.php?matchID=925207

Bristol offload and pass much more than do the Dragons. Will an 85% tackle completion rate be enough for the Dragons?

This board needs more of this.

Unsurprisingly they also run more metres. Surprise stat in that is how close our try scoring records are (and off far fewer line breaks) so I'm not ready to wave the white flag just yet. Particularly as their tackle completion is pretty close to ours too...

My thought is that the selection of Jordan Williams indicates that Ryan is going to try to keep up with Bristol rather than stop them at source.
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 18 Sep - 23:59

I really hope we strike the right balance between kicking and running the ball back. I'm not convinced we'll win an open game, but I'm not convinced we'll win any other kind of game either, and we have enough good broken-field players of our own to trouble Bristol. I'd hate this to be one of those games that you lose and feel like you didn't give it a proper crack. Containment is going to be a big part of it, but that won't win the game on its own.

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Post by RiscaGame on Sat 19 Sep - 1:32

Stone Motif wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:

I'd say that front five can handle a high tempo game whatever their other limitations to be fair

https://www.cardiffrfcfans.com/preview.php?matchID=925207

Bristol offload and pass much more than do the Dragons. Will an 85% tackle completion rate be enough for the Dragons?

This board needs more of this.

Unsurprisingly they also run more metres. Surprise stat in that is how close our try scoring records are (and off far fewer line breaks) so I'm not ready to wave the white flag just yet. Particularly as their tackle completion is pretty close to ours too...

Agree with the first part of the post.

The try scoring records are giving me a hint of hope Wink

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 19 Sep - 1:35

We were decent enough at scoring tries in our last two games whilst understrength, and the performances gave us plenty to work on. I just hope we’ve done enough work on it...

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Post by Stone Motif on Sat 19 Sep - 2:28

PhilBB wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:

I'd say that front five can handle a high tempo game whatever their other limitations to be fair

https://www.cardiffrfcfans.com/preview.php?matchID=925207

Bristol offload and pass much more than do the Dragons. Will an 85% tackle completion rate be enough for the Dragons?

This board needs more of this.

Unsurprisingly they also run more metres. Surprise stat in that is how close our try scoring records are (and off far fewer line breaks) so I'm not ready to wave the white flag just yet. Particularly as their tackle completion is pretty close to ours too...

My thought is that the selection of Jordan Williams indicates that Ryan is going to try to keep up with Bristol rather than stop them at source.

Agreed, Dragons have always been best in a high scoring rope a dope type affair. Have to say I'm surprised at how efficient we seem to have become at converting try opportunities, but then the recent antics of mssrs Hewitt and Brown in particular probably skew the data.
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Post by Stone Motif on Sat 19 Sep - 2:31

PhilBB wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:

I'd say that front five can handle a high tempo game whatever their other limitations to be fair

https://www.cardiffrfcfans.com/preview.php?matchID=925207

Bristol offload and pass much more than do the Dragons. Will an 85% tackle completion rate be enough for the Dragons?

This board needs more of this.

Unsurprisingly they also run more metres. Surprise stat in that is how close our try scoring records are (and off far fewer line breaks) so I'm not ready to wave the white flag just yet. Particularly as their tackle completion is pretty close to ours too...

My thought is that the selection of Jordan Williams indicates that Ryan is going to try to keep up with Bristol rather than stop them at source.

Oh and Bristol pass and run more than us based on the stats 😉 so if you're going to chance your arm with Jordan Williams...

Not as if Will Talbot Davies is going to stop Radrada either tbh.
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 19 Sep - 5:09

No thread so I hope you dont mind me posting here but looks a good game so far. Loose from Bristol so far and dragons look the better side. Second Bristol get a few phases look very dangerous though.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 19 Sep - 5:13

And then 3 tries in about 6 mins.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 19 Sep - 5:24

Yeah the tactic worked for a little while, but we still look like a 2nd rate team.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 19 Sep - 5:32

Bad decisions as well. Tale 3 in front of the posts.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 19 Sep - 5:34

Kicking loosely on advantage ball (therefore advantage over), you should mostly always try and run it. Plus we can’t contain Radrada.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sat 19 Sep - 5:48

mikey_dragon wrote:Kicking loosely on advantage ball (therefore advantage over), you should mostly always try and run it. Plus we can’t contain Radrada.

Based on his start to Premiership rugby there doesn't appear to be many if any that can contain Radrada.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 19 Sep - 6:01

Malins on may well offer a little loosener for Bristol. Clearly second choice but a class operator who wants to make a mark ahead of the AIs for Eddie Jones.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 19 Sep - 6:30

Pretty comfortable in the end. Earl has had a really good game in the loose.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 19 Sep - 6:37

Not sure if it’s some of the coaches, or the players (or both?), but we are too slow and unfit. This will be the norm in the top European comp next season unless we do something.

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