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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 Mon 30 Nov 2020, 9:41 pm

We need a new 9 and 10 as well as a hooker and locks. Knoyle and Lewis aren’t really good enough to put the incumbents under pressure. Is there any news on Bateman and Reynolds? Poor Harris needs a rest.

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Post by RiscaGame on Mon 30 Nov 2020, 10:17 pm

Bateman is out for a while with a hamstring injury.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 01 Dec 2020, 11:30 pm

It seems like it’s been a while for a hamstring, must be a pretty severe one. Feel we need a LH who is similar to Harris, as Maguire and Reynolds are fairly similar to each other and perhaps more suited to a particular sort of game. I imagine Harris and Hibbard are done by the end of this season anyway, and Maguire might be keen to get back over to Ireland.

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Post by RiscaGame on Fri 11 Dec 2020, 1:32 pm

Dragons: J Lewis; J Rosser, N Tompkins, J Roberts, A Hewitt; S Davies, R Williams; B Harris, R Hibbard, L Fairbrother, B Carter, J Maksymiw, A Wainwright, H Keddie, O Griffiths.

Replacements: E Dee, J Reynolds, L Brown, M Screech, T Basham, T Knoyle, J Dixon, J Holmes.

Wasps: L Sopoaga, Z Kibirige, P Odogwu, J Gopperth, J Bassett, C Atkinson, D Robson, T West, T Cruse, K Brookes, J Launchbury (captain), W Rowlands, J Willis, T Young, A Barbeary.

Replacements: G Oghre, Z Khvania, J Toomaga-Allen, T Cardall, B Morris, W Porter, M Le Bourgeois, M Minozzi.

Referee: Romain Poite

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Post by RiscaGame on Fri 11 Dec 2020, 1:36 pm

It’s obvious what Dean Ryan has done here with this selection, in that he wants a big pack, but I really wouldn’t have started Hibbard and Maksymiw who have shown little to no form. It’s harsh to drop Jarvis and Shipp totally and I think it does little to boost Dee and Brown’s international prospects by having them on the bench, especially when they didn’t have too busy an international period.

Backline I have no real issue with, although I may have stuck with the same as Glasgow (ie Dixon instead of Tompkins) and I’m probably not convinced by Lewis at 15, despite the extra kicking option.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Fri 11 Dec 2020, 5:37 pm

Tompkins should have a field day against Odogwu at 13. Odogwu is a winger with an awesome step, he's not a centre and Dragons should be targeting his channel often.

Alfie Barbeary is a young hooker playing 8. The kid has an incredible loose game. If he can develop physically and play like that at hooker he'll be an international.for years.

Surprised Holmes is on the bench for this, has he not shown up well for Dragons?

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 11 Dec 2020, 5:48 pm

Holmes hasn’t had much chance to show what he can do yet, I would have picked him at 15 though. I don’t think we would better Wasps kicking game looking at their 9,10,12 and 15. I think we are just drip feeding some players back in. Good to see Carter keep his place, and also Morgan Jones on the bench for Scarlets - finally some Welsh locks!

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 11 Dec 2020, 5:49 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:Tompkins should have a field day against Odogwu at 13. Odogwu is a winger with an awesome step, he's not a centre and Dragons should be targeting his channel often.

Alfie Barbeary is a young hooker playing 8. The kid has an incredible loose game. If he can develop physically and play like that at hooker he'll be an international.for years.

Surprised Holmes is on the bench for this, has he not shown up well for Dragons?

And if he doesnt develop as a hooker he will be an internal for years at 6 or 8!

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Post by lostinwales on Fri 11 Dec 2020, 5:53 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:Tompkins should have a field day against Odogwu at 13. Odogwu is a winger with an awesome step, he's not a centre and Dragons should be targeting his channel often.

Alfie Barbeary is a young hooker playing 8. The kid has an incredible loose game. If he can develop physically and play like that at hooker he'll be an international.for years.

Surprised Holmes is on the bench for this, has he not shown up well for Dragons?

And if he doesnt develop as a hooker he will be an internal for years at 6 or 8!

To be honest I hope he develops as a hooker. We have had Dombrandt as the great new hope over the last couple of seasons and I know he's still a baby in rugby terms but I suspect he won't make it as an international.

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Post by RiscaGame on Fri 11 Dec 2020, 7:40 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:Tompkins should have a field day against Odogwu at 13. Odogwu is a winger with an awesome step, he's not a centre and Dragons should be targeting his channel often.

Alfie Barbeary is a young hooker playing 8. The kid has an incredible loose game. If he can develop physically and play like that at hooker he'll be an international.for years.

Surprised Holmes is on the bench for this, has he not shown up well for Dragons?

Thanks for the insight FKAS. I would’ve started a match thread, if I had known there would be some discussion. I guess in turn, people will look to target Tompkins’ defence too. I’ve also seen people going on about Roberts running at the inexperienced ten a bit too, to test him out.

Lewis is playing 15, because it seems like Dean Ryan likes us having the kicking option at the minute. To be fair to Ryan, he is consistent with keeping our returning internationals on the bench too. Tompkins was last week and he and Wainwright only start for varying reasons. I don't think Ryan is overly sold on Basham yet and we are struggling at 13.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Fri 11 Dec 2020, 10:27 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:Tompkins should have a field day against Odogwu at 13. Odogwu is a winger with an awesome step, he's not a centre and Dragons should be targeting his channel often.

Alfie Barbeary is a young hooker playing 8. The kid has an incredible loose game. If he can develop physically and play like that at hooker he'll be an international.for years.

Surprised Holmes is on the bench for this, has he not shown up well for Dragons?

And if he doesnt develop as a hooker he will be an internal for years at 6 or 8!

There's a ridiculous amount of ability in the backrow for England. The next cab off the rank at hooker is less decided. Dunn, LCD and George are in their later 20s. Playing in the backrow is a very good way for Barbeary to get up to speed in senior rugby but he could have a decade in the England squad if he can turn in rampaging displays in the loose like he does already and add some scrumming and lineout throwing work to his game. Backrow would be the easy option in the short term but he could end up regretting it in the long term.

Tompkins defence will look rock solid compared to Odogwu who's not a particularly strong defender when on the wing. Can step most people in a phonebooth mind.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 12 Dec 2020, 4:00 pm

We’ve made a number of changes but they haven’t said why. Prop Aaron Jarvis, wing Jonah Holmes and back row duo Lewis Evans and Taine Basham are all called into the starting team.

Joe Davies, Lennon Greggains, Owen Jenkins and Luke Yendle are named among the replacements.

Dragons (v Wasps): Josh Lewis, Jared Rosser, Nick Tompkins, Jamie Roberts, Jonah Holmes, Sam Davies, Rhodri Williams (c); Brok Harris, Richard Hibbard, Aaron Jarvis, Ben Carter, Joe Maksymiw, Lewis Evans, Taine Basham, Ollie Griffiths

Replacements: Elliot Dee, Josh Reynolds, Luke Yendle, Joe Davies, Lennon Greggains, Tavis Knoyle, Jack Dixon, Owen Jenkins.

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Post by RiscaGame on Sat 12 Dec 2020, 4:43 pm

2 COVID cases. That’s mad.

Must be under real pressure to play due to coverage or the fact most European games usually have to be played by the end of the weekend. This should really be postponed now.

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Post by RiscaGame on Sat 12 Dec 2020, 4:50 pm

Hard to say much about the Dragons team now. Tbh, I would probably have started Greggains over Evans, but it doesn’t really matter anymore.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 12 Dec 2020, 5:13 pm

Maksiymiw has played 6 and I’m sure Carter could too. Evans and Greggains are really outta nowhere.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sat 12 Dec 2020, 6:12 pm

Dragons causing all their own problems. Got to stop jumping out the line looking for the miracle interception. Cost them two tries.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 14 Dec 2020, 10:28 am

I thought we did well, considering how many changes we had to make and how late in the day we had to make them. Any side would suffer from losing their first- and second-choice tight heads, especially when one's a Wales international, I thought the commentary team could have stressed that a bit more when they were talking about Jarvis. That said, even when it was close on the scoreboard, you still got the sense that Wasps had quite a bit left in reserve and would probably pull away late on.

Sam Davies's kicking wasn't good enough once again, and it's a real concern.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 14 Dec 2020, 10:51 am

We can mention the changes, but the halfbacks weren't changed and I thought they really under-performed. Like Narraway said we had the advantage early on in the scrums and routinely got pinged, incorrectly. There was a time that their LH slipped and rather than penalise him or reset, he penalised Jarvis. The next scrum, Jarvis slipped and he gets a yellow card - Poite is truly awful.

Miaow is back lurking somewhere, not commenting yet but just logging in to dislike all my comments. How sad thinking you can get one over on someone by doing that.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 15 Dec 2020, 8:43 pm

Wonder if we'll see much activity on recruitment for next season, I guess it would depend if we get more than the 3M between four. Regions reportedly asking for 40M.

With regards to Dragons recruitment then the most vital positions where I see us losing some guys, and where we desperately need some back-up is hooker, tighthead, lock, scrum-half, outside-half. Harris should be off but hopefully Bateman and Reynolds are sufficient cover, and we might keep Maguire. We got a shocking injury record on the LH. Carter will likely get promoted but I still think we could do with an absolute unit at lock who will also be available on international weekends.

The half-backs aren't challenged for their positions. Even when they have a shocker they'll keep their place. We could always try and persuade Costelow to join us...

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 15 Dec 2020, 8:54 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
The half-backs aren't challenged for their positions. Even when they have a shocker they'll keep their place. We could always try and persuade Costelow to join us...

He seems to being wasted at Scarlets. Humourously a Tigers fan Tweeted a comment and tagged in Sam Costelow something along the lines of he left Leicester too soon and should come back and get more game time as Ford's understudy. One of the first to like it was Sam Costelow's dad. 

He should be getting more game time. The kid's a natural.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 15 Dec 2020, 11:38 pm

I think he might burn a few bridges if he moved out Sam, but the other 3 regions could do with another decent 10. As I said, Sam Davies needs competition, then there’s a serious drop-off behind Gareth Anscombe and Jarrod Evans. Costelow could easily make the 23. If he isn’t for us then I really hope we are looking at someone like Lloyd Evans, legit seems affordable and of course WQ... I can’t comment on how he feels though.

We are also in the process of getting Roberts to put pen to paper. What a player he is, no signs of being too old whatsoever.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Wed 16 Dec 2020, 11:41 am

Roberts has been fantastic for us, just what we needed. All his career, the opposition has known what's coming, but still he manages to get over the gainline. There's more than that to his game, but even just having that has been such a benefit. You can see he's enjoying being an old head with this squad too, because he'll know he doesn't have many seasons left as a player. Tompkins has been good in that respect too, obviously he's younger, but they both know the standards required.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 16 Dec 2020, 12:53 pm

Not sure Tompkins is having the impact expected, I don't think we'll miss him next season. If we manage to get funding then need to recruit in those positions, and hopefully the incoming lock is still Rowlands.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Wed 16 Dec 2020, 1:07 pm

Mikey, Sam Costelow was called up to train with the Wales first team whilst he was away with the Welsh under 20s. It appears at that point Tigers started looking at other options because the WRU were laying it on thick and he's a proud Welshman. If he's not getting a look in and the WRU are bringing over players in the Prem then moving back to Tigers (who will have space next season) or Dragons would do him no harm. If Sheedy is getting game time whilst at Bristol then the WRU won't be that picky should he break through.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 16 Dec 2020, 1:13 pm

That was the carrot to get him to come home really, but yeah it's Delaney's fault that he isn't getting enough game time. May as well left him at Tigers for another season - it would raise a few eye brows if he did return but no harm in that IMO. Scarlets either need to let him go to another Region, or see off AOB - I imagine he'd end up back at Dragons (sigh). Sheedy will be target for all four at the end of his contract I think, as one or both Patchell and Anscombe could retire early with the way the injuries are going.

Your other ex academy product is doing well at Scarlets, seems to have really come on well in the last 2 years.

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Post by RiscaGame on Wed 16 Dec 2020, 2:36 pm

Great news on Roberts, if we get that done.

Can’t see us signing a ten, when we still have players like Will Reed to bring through. Personally I would let Josh Lewis kick for a while and take the pressure off Davies a bit. Seems a bit mad to have Lewis in the team and him not be a kicking option.

Seeing as King Jason Tovey has fallen out of favour at Cardiff, maybe we will sign him again Wink

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Wed 16 Dec 2020, 2:40 pm

I can't remember what Lewis was like from the tee. I know he's kicked the ball dead when going for the corner plenty of times, but with kicks at goal, I don't see what harm it would do, when Sam Davies is faring so badly. It's not like we can afford to miss kicks at goal.

How many returns would that be for Tovey?

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Wed 16 Dec 2020, 2:42 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Not sure Tompkins is having the impact expected, I don't think we'll miss him next season. If we manage to get funding then need to recruit in those positions, and hopefully the incoming lock is still Rowlands.

With Tompkins, I was thinking more about his influence on the other players in the squad. Say what you like about Saracens, but they demanded high standards (on the field, at least). That's bound to rub off on our players, in training and in games.


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Post by RiscaGame on Wed 16 Dec 2020, 2:48 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:I can't remember what Lewis was like from the tee. I know he's kicked the ball dead when going for the corner plenty of times, but with kicks at goal, I don't see what harm it would do, when Sam Davies is faring so badly. It's not like we can afford to miss kicks at goal.

How many returns would that be for Tovey?

Haha. Four. I am very much joking though.

I just don’t think we can do much worse presently, than let Lewis kick. The missing touch from penalties has always been a Dragons thing, tbf.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Wed 16 Dec 2020, 2:51 pm

It seems daft not to at least turn to Lewis if Davies has missed a few, seeing as he's on the field.

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Post by RiscaGame on Sat 19 Dec 2020, 7:42 pm

Well Lewis gets a chance to kick tonight, after all then. Shame really. Hope Davies is ok for the derbies.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 19 Dec 2020, 7:43 pm

Was thinking that too. I don’t remember Lewis being much better, so will be interesting to see how this goes.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 19 Dec 2020, 11:15 pm

Well I say Davies is erratic, but now we know Josh Lewis isn’t the answer. Hopefully we have a full team available soon and this covid fecks off.

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Post by RiscaGame on Mon 28 Dec 2020, 2:11 pm

Both halfbacks were poor against Cardiff. I’ve seen Tavis Knoyle as highlighted as a positive, but I thought his passing was terrible and really stalled our players catching the ball.

But for us to not even fire a shot at them, was most disappointing. What annoyed me the most, is that I assume Dean Ryan must’ve been happy with our halfbacks as he changed neither. I maybe get why he wouldn’t bring a young ten on, but to have his own signing (Baldwin) on the bench and not use him, was poor.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 29 Dec 2020, 11:21 am

Pretty much what I’ve said about Knoyle for almost 10 years, beggars belief how he and Aled Davies still have contracts. The ref was very poor and contributed to a poor spectacle. The turning points were Turnbull’s try, Roberts getting tackled early and called as a knock-on, Lewis’ kick that missed touch.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Tue 29 Dec 2020, 11:31 am

It's not the first time he's kicked the ball dead when going for the corner, and I know conditions weren't great, but that was the worst kick to the corner I've ever seen.

No doubt this will sound like sour grapes, but there's no way we would have been warned - twice - for the number of penalties we'd conceded, concede another two or three, and not had someone sent to the bin. There's just no way. Even Gwyn Jones couldn't understand how the Blues avoided a card, and he's no Dragons fan. It occurred to me yesterday that the absence of a crowd might have been a factor there - a lot of these were in front of the noisiest bit of the Hazell terrace - but that still doesn't excuse it.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 29 Dec 2020, 11:36 am

I don’t get how a pro fly-half can miss a penalty kick to touch? It’s literally the most basic thing they have to do. We need to be looking at bringing someone else in, Costelow anyone? I suppose AOB will end up back here instead though.

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Post by RiscaGame on Fri 01 Jan 2021, 8:41 pm

Dragons really blunt again. As much as he can’t kick for toffee, we need Sam Davies back desperately for Ospreys. Can’t see us winning that game either, at the moment.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 02 Jan 2021, 4:08 pm

The blunt attack usually comes from Dixon and yesterday was no different. Man, Roberts looks world class in our midfield. Is there a place for Josh Lewis in the team other than 10 or 15? Can he play centre? Just thinking that he’s quick and is probably a bit better at kicking.

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Post by RiscaGame on Sun 03 Jan 2021, 12:36 am

Dixon has crashed as well as Roberts, to be fair. The worst centre on show was Tompkins again, with his defence missing again.


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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 03 Jan 2021, 1:29 am

Don’t disagree with that about Tompkins. And Dixon did work well with Roberts, I’d say he worked even better.

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Post by RiscaGame on Thu 07 Jan 2021, 9:26 pm

So Sam Davies thinks he’s fit, but Ryan won’t risk him. Fair enough, as he doesn’t want to break him further although I am not sure we have a more important game than this derby for a while, given we are out of Europe and under no pressure there?

Ryan also said that he’s happy with Knoyle and Lewis. I can’t say I agree with him.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 08 Jan 2021, 10:50 am

Ryan is happy with Knoyle and Lewis? I wholeheartedly disagree with him. I couldn't disagree with him more.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 08 Jan 2021, 10:54 am

Three derby defeats should lose Ryan a lot of goodwill among Dragons fans, but he seems to have avoided criticism quite well so far. I didn't see much in the last two games to give me much confidence.

One positive is that we don't leak tries like we used to, but we don't look like scoring any either, which is a real problem when your tens aren't reliable from the tee.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 08 Jan 2021, 11:03 am

Yeah there's all that, we've also had major squad interruptions with injuries and self-isolation. If we put out an interrupted team for once, I don't doubt we could pick up a few more wins home and away.

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Post by RiscaGame on Fri 08 Jan 2021, 1:20 pm

Dean Ryan wrote:while playmaker Davies has been out for the last three games.

"It's a soleus muscles injury which lays below the calf," said Ryan. "Sam is feeling ready to go but it's us saying that it's not right and that we can't afford to risk him.

"We really Josh Lewis and I thought that he played well last weekend; him and Tavis Knoyle were a good combination.

"For some time we have been dependent on Rhodri Williams and Sam, so this is a time when we need to grow some people underneath.

"Part of that is around getting some competition for Sam – I am not in a rush to get him back on the field. That's not in Sam's best interests and it's not doing justice to where Josh is at the moment."

I know he's mostly talking about Lewis, but I haven't seen anything from either halfback to say they were a good combination. A lot of Dragons fans were praising Knoyle from the Cardiff game for being all chippy, but that's not what I want from him. His passing is pretty poor. There's no consistency with it, as it either seems to loop/float or it's fast. I can't really judge Lewis fairly, when I am criticising Knoyle for his passing, but I don't know why all of a sudden Williams has now gone from Captain, to bench. There are better games to get depth, than in a pretty must win derby.

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Post by RiscaGame on Fri 08 Jan 2021, 1:32 pm

I am not overly happy with his selection for the Ospreys game either, as I feel he is shafting Dee a little by starting Hibbard, obviously my halfback stance is pretty well documented and I can't see Jenkins as a fullback. Then it's a bit strange to praise Carter and then bring Joe Davies in.

But what do I know laughing

Dragons: O Jenkins; J Rosser, N Tompkins, J Roberts, A Hewitt; J Lewis, T Knoyle; B Harris, R Hibbard, L Brown, J Davies, M Screech, H Taylor, H Keddie (captain), A Wainwright.

Replacements: E Dee, A Jarvis, L Fairbrother, B Carter, L Evans, R Williams, A Robson, J Dixon.

Ospreys: M Protheroe; G North, O Watkin, K Williams, L Morgan; S Myler (captain), R Webb; N Smith, I Phillips, M Fia, A Beard, R Davies, W Griffiths, S Cross, M Morris.

Replacements: S Otten, G Thomas, T Botha, L Ashley, G Evans, R Morgan-Williams, J Hawkins, K Giles.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 08 Jan 2021, 2:23 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Yeah there's all that, we've also had major squad interruptions with injuries and self-isolation. If we put out an interrupted team for once, I don't doubt we could pick up a few more wins home and away.

Yeah that's fair enough.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 08 Jan 2021, 2:26 pm

RiscaGame wrote:I am not overly happy with his selection for the Ospreys game either, as I feel he is shafting Dee a little by starting Hibbard, obviously my halfback stance is pretty well documented and I can't see Jenkins as a fullback. Then it's a bit strange to praise Carter and then bring Joe Davies in.

But what do I know laughing

Dragons: O Jenkins; J Rosser, N Tompkins, J Roberts, A Hewitt; J Lewis, T Knoyle; B Harris, R Hibbard, L Brown, J Davies, M Screech, H Taylor, H Keddie (captain), A Wainwright.

Replacements: E Dee, A Jarvis, L Fairbrother, B Carter, L Evans, R Williams, A Robson, J Dixon.

Ospreys: M Protheroe; G North, O Watkin, K Williams, L Morgan; S Myler (captain), R Webb; N Smith, I Phillips, M Fia, A Beard, R Davies, W Griffiths, S Cross, M Morris.

Replacements: S Otten, G Thomas, T Botha, L Ashley, G Evans, R Morgan-Williams, J Hawkins, K Giles.

I'm much happier seeing Roberts back, we definitely missed him against the Scarlets. I'd make the Ospreys favourites, but not by that much.

Just need to hope that tent thing over the pitch does the trick!

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Post by RiscaGame on Fri 08 Jan 2021, 6:07 pm

Yeah, it should but I can see it being damp and cut up a lot now, as I assume there’ll be moisture under it?

To be honest, Ospreys don’t look that strong, but they will probably have enough.

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