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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 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 Fri 05 Feb 2021, 9:40 pm

You really want to go back and watch that? Couldn’t pay me to go there, let alone go there and pay to watch. Roberts aside that backline needs to hand in their resignation. Yes I include Sam Davies in that. No words for Dixon...

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Post by RiscaGame Sat 06 Feb 2021, 1:18 pm

I never thought I’d see the day, where we would have a pack who have scrum parity and a driving lineout, but our backs be so garbage.

I guess we were going to be slightly rusty, but the backs were so poor last night, it’s as if they haven’t been training together either. So frustrating.

Have to be fair to Hibbard for once and say his lineout was spot on. Obviously the hat trick gets the headlines, but anybody could’ve scored all three.

Stupid mistakes last night, cost us. Maksymiw piggybacking penalties really annoyed me.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 06 Feb 2021, 1:25 pm

There doesn’t seem to be an advancing defensive line, Connacht’s was much better. Their back are a bit light though, yet in attack we kept missing out Roberts.

Maksymiw is a good lineout target and does well there, probably doesn’t offer enough elsewhere though. Carter and Taylor are very good lineout operators too.

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Post by RiscaGame Sat 06 Feb 2021, 2:23 pm

Yeah, their defence gave Davies no time, that’s why I am trying not to be critical of him, as I don’t think any other ten of ours would’ve done any better.

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 15 Feb 2021, 1:21 pm

We've signed Dan Baker laughing

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Post by RiscaGame Mon 15 Feb 2021, 1:30 pm

In two minds about this. Wonder how fit he is. Obviously he's fitter than a few of our other backrow forwards at the minute  Sad , but I am not sure if he will be in good nick now having been injured, then playing D2 in France (or whatever it was).

Big start for him anyway, with Leinster his first game after the Edinburgh game was postponed.

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 16 Feb 2021, 1:53 pm

We’ve signed Argie scrum-half Gonzalo Bertanou. Sounds like he’s available right away. I heard the commentators link us with him during the Connacht game but I didn’t really catch the name. Great signing, we need more control at 9. Now we can hopefully offload Knoyle.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Tue 16 Feb 2021, 2:02 pm

I saw it was mooted, but fair play, that's a good signing for us.

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 16 Feb 2021, 2:11 pm

You've also signed that young full back from Cardiff Ioan Davies.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Tue 16 Feb 2021, 2:25 pm

Yeah apparently some Blues fans aren't happy about that, they think it might lead to a full-time deal.

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Post by RiscaGame Tue 16 Feb 2021, 2:49 pm

Pretty handy 9. To be honest, the 15 is handy too as we do tend to pick up injuries in our back three.

Knoyle has another season yet. Baldwin is likely to leave, seeing as he's only on loan.

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 16 Feb 2021, 4:28 pm

What about Daf Howells? He was a good player but isn't now, and we've given him plenty of chances.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Tue 16 Feb 2021, 4:43 pm

He's been injured a lot, hasn't he?

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 16 Feb 2021, 4:54 pm

Yes, a lot. When not injured I think he failed the test. A shame as he did look promising early in his career. I don't think he's needed if we have Hewitt, Holmes, Williams, with Jenkins and Talbot-Davies behind them. Too bad Glaws won't get relegated as we could have swooped in for LRZ...

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Tue 16 Feb 2021, 5:21 pm

I'm pretty sure we would have been outswooped, in fairness!

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Post by RiscaGame Thu 18 Feb 2021, 12:35 pm

Dragons: J Williams; J Holmes Very Happy , A Owen, J Dixon, A Hewitt; S Davies, R Williams; B Harris, R Hibbard, L Fairbrother, J Davies, B Carter, M Screech Shocked , B Fry, H Taylor.

Replacements: E Shipp, G Bateman, C Coleman, J Maksymiw, D Baker, L Baldwin, J Lewis, C Edwards.

Leinster: M O'Reilly; C Kelleher, R O'Loughlin, R Byrne, D Kearney; H Byrne, L McGrath (captain); P Dooley, J Tracy, M Bent, R Molony, R Baird, J Murphy, S Penny, J Conan.

Replacements: D Sheehan, M Hanan, T Clarkson, D Toner, S Fardy, R Osborne, D Hawkshaw, J Osborne.

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales) steam

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Thu 18 Feb 2021, 12:59 pm

Eight back rowers unavailable, seven through injury, that's not what you want when Leinster are coming to town. You'd never start Screech in the back row if you had a choice.

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 18 Feb 2021, 8:00 pm

I thought Carter might have been the obvious choice at 6.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Fri 19 Feb 2021, 11:27 am

I'm happy that Sam Davies is staying, but I'll be happier again if his goalkicking improves. We're never likely to score so many tries that kicks at goal aren't significant. I'm sure he is working on it, I just want that work to bear fruit!

Apparently Bertranou is already in Newport and working / training with the squad. I don't know how that works lockdown-wise, but there we are. I watched a highlights reel of him yesterday, he looks a good player.

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 19 Feb 2021, 11:36 am

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:I'm happy that Sam Davies is staying, but I'll be happier again if his goalkicking improves. We're never likely to score so many tries that kicks at goal aren't significant. I'm sure he is working on it, I just want that work to bear fruit!

Apparently Bertranou is already in Newport and working / training with the squad. I don't know how that works lockdown-wise, but there we are. I watched a highlights reel of him yesterday, he looks a good player.

Davies is such a good player for us obviously. I have seen lots of his videos, where he does work on his kicking etc so maybe it's just the general pressure associated with it during live games?

He does look a good player. I assume he is living in that house thing within the grounds, if he's close to RP as the SWA suggest. Regardless, good to see he is being integrated already.

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 19 Feb 2021, 12:00 pm

Davies needs to up his whole game, not just goal-kicking. I had hoped for another fly-half to come in too seeing as all 3 aren't very good.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Fri 19 Feb 2021, 12:24 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Davies needs to up his whole game, not just goal-kicking. I had hoped for another fly-half to come in too seeing as all 3 aren't very good.

It's one of those positions where good players are very highly valued, so we're always going to struggle to get the real quality players with the budget (and image) we've got. We're lucky that Leon Brown is home grown because good tight heads don't come cheap either. Having said that, I did hear a rumour that Jarrod Evans might be on the cards for us, if the Blues bring Priestland back from Bath.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Fri 19 Feb 2021, 12:24 pm

RiscaGame wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:I'm happy that Sam Davies is staying, but I'll be happier again if his goalkicking improves. We're never likely to score so many tries that kicks at goal aren't significant. I'm sure he is working on it, I just want that work to bear fruit!

Apparently Bertranou is already in Newport and working / training with the squad. I don't know how that works lockdown-wise, but there we are. I watched a highlights reel of him yesterday, he looks a good player.

Davies is such a good player for us obviously. I have seen lots of his videos, where he does work on his kicking etc so maybe it's just the general pressure associated with it during live games?

He does look a good player. I assume he is living in that house thing within the grounds, if he's close to RP as the SWA suggest. Regardless, good to see he is being integrated already.

There'll be a blue plaque up from when Dorian lived there Laugh

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 19 Feb 2021, 12:49 pm

laughing

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 19 Feb 2021, 5:04 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Davies needs to up his whole game, not just goal-kicking. I had hoped for another fly-half to come in too seeing as all 3 aren't very good.

It's one of those positions where good players are very highly valued, so we're always going to struggle to get the real quality players with the budget (and image) we've got. We're lucky that Leon Brown is home grown because good tight heads don't come cheap either. Having said that, I did hear a rumour that Jarrod Evans might be on the cards for us, if the Blues bring Priestland back from Bath.

RP is there from Bath, and Dai says they want to keep Jarrod too. I can't see it happening even if he was available anyway. If we get an additional fly-half I imagine it would be someone like AOB. Would like to see regional movement of a Scarlets LH and an Ospreys hooker too, not necessarily to us but it would be nice.

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Post by thebandwagonsociety Fri 19 Feb 2021, 5:27 pm

RiscaGame wrote:Dragons: J Williams; J Holmes Very Happy , A Owen, J Dixon, A Hewitt; S Davies, R Williams; B Harris, R Hibbard, L Fairbrother, J Davies, B Carter, M Screech Shocked , B Fry, H Taylor.

Replacements: E Shipp, G Bateman, C Coleman, J Maksymiw, D Baker, L Baldwin, J Lewis, C Edwards.

Leinster: M O'Reilly; C Kelleher, R O'Loughlin, R Byrne, D Kearney; H Byrne, L McGrath (captain); P Dooley, J Tracy, M Bent, R Molony, R Baird, J Murphy, S Penny, J Conan.

Replacements: D Sheehan, M Hanan, T Clarkson, D Toner, S Fardy, R Osborne, D Hawkshaw, J Osborne.

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales) steam

Hometown referee, is what it is really? Starting front row is Pro14 quality (will be interesting to see how the replacement front row get on). Leinster backrow of Josh, Penny and Jack should have a high energy level and good competition in it, almost looks like a team that wants that trio to play the full 80 minutes with two lock replacements on the bench (decent if aging options). It would be nice to see Jamie Osborne get a decent run out in this match. Playing the game with two outhalfs, will be curious how that turns out.

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 19 Feb 2021, 9:40 pm

Well Baker’s going to be a good signing...

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 19 Feb 2021, 10:12 pm

When he’s got a few more minutes under his belt, he will be good. Be interesting to see what we do, when we have Moriarty back very soon. I guess they’ll play Moriarty 6.

Good to see players like Shipp and Bateman doing bits too. I was pretty frustrated with our starting front three in comparison to theirs, as they don’t offer much around the park. Leinster’s pack are so mobile and good carriers.

Pretty good game. Defence was a bit soft at times, but you have to give Dragons credit for sticking in there.

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 19 Feb 2021, 11:33 pm

Yeah I was pleased with the amount of points we scored. Leinster are always going to score 4 tries or more I guess; they’re unstoppable. Their front 5 isn’t massive, but they were very mobile and powerful in contact. Shall we mention Sam Davies’ evening with the kicking tee?

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Post by RiscaGame Sat 20 Feb 2021, 6:19 am

Fair play to him aye. I know he seemingly had the wind for most of the harder kicks, but he didn’t shirk from taking them on.

Hope it continues.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 20 Feb 2021, 12:16 pm

Too bad Ben Shi*tehouse got it wrong with the first yellow. Big call.

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Post by RiscaGame Sat 20 Feb 2021, 5:05 pm

I can’t believe Ben Fry has only had 11 games. I know he’s new, but that seems low still. Fair play to him.

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Post by RiscaGame Sat 20 Feb 2021, 5:05 pm

I thought the yellow was fair, but I know you’re not alone in thinking it was a poor call.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Mon 22 Feb 2021, 10:42 am

mikey_dragon wrote:Yeah I was pleased with the amount of points we scored. Leinster are always going to score 4 tries or more I guess; they’re unstoppable. Their front 5 isn’t massive, but they were very mobile and powerful in contact. Shall we mention Sam Davies’ evening with the kicking tee?

Yep, much more like it from the tee, really good to see.

Even though we led at half time, you would still have made Leinster favourites, firstly because they would have the wind, and secondly because their first-half tries came relatively simply. Even with their Test players away, they're so well-drilled, and I mean this as a compliment, but they're very good at sussing out referees and figuring out what they can get away with. (Having said that, they conceded 16 penalties, and there wasn't a peep of a warning from Whitehouse.)

There were plenty of positives to take from that, it's just a shame we had that 10 - 15 minutes after half time where we didn't seem fully switched on. You might get away with lapses against some sides, but not this lot. Aneurin Bevan Bowen Owen (Eddie Butler got it right eventually) looks very promising in midfield, and clearly Ben Fry was very prominent. I noticed Ross Harries listed some of the players we were missing in the back row - Wainwright, Griffiths, Moriarty, Basham, plus Keddie who he didn't mention - and we really are so well stocked there.

On Sam Davies kicking the ball out at the end, I heard Dean Ryan's reasoning, and I do understand it, but for me, it might be a long time until we next find ourselves in a match with possession of the ball, the clock in the red, and a chance of nicking a game we looked like we were out of. Throw in how relatively rare home wins are for us, how much rarer again wins against Irish provinces are, and part of me wishes we'd gone for it. We're not going to win the league, and we can't get relegated, so a losing bonus point isn't worth much to us in the grand scheme of things.

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 22 Feb 2021, 11:18 am

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:There were plenty of positives to take from that, it's just a shame we had that 10 - 15 minutes after half time where we didn't seem fully switched on. You might get away with lapses against some sides, but not this lot. Aneurin Bevan Bowen Owen (Eddie Butler got it right eventually) looks very promising in midfield, and clearly Ben Fry was very prominent. I noticed Ross Harries listed some of the players we were missing in the back row - Wainwright, Griffiths, Moriarty, Basham, plus Keddie who he didn't mention - and we really are so well stocked there.

Yeah that was my only gripe with the yellows, how they were issued. He was quite hot on the whistle but there was definitely no consistency with that first yellow.

I've noticed that with Eddie Butler, if he's not getting the players' name wrong, he'll get them mixed up. For example, Jack Dixon will take the ball up - "Jonah Holmes takes the ball and gets stopped on the advantage line." He's been doing it for a couple seasons now. It's annoying and really amateur.

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Post by RiscaGame Mon 22 Feb 2021, 12:02 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
There were plenty of positives to take from that, it's just a shame we had that 10 - 15 minutes after half time where we didn't seem fully switched on. You might get away with lapses against some sides, but not this lot. Aneurin Bevan Bowen Owen (Eddie Butler got it right eventually) looks very promising in midfield, and clearly Ben Fry was very prominent. I noticed Ross Harries listed some of the players we were missing in the back row - Wainwright, Griffiths, Moriarty, Basham, plus Keddie who he didn't mention - and we really are so well stocked there.

On Sam Davies kicking the ball out at the end, I heard Dean Ryan's reasoning, and I do understand it, but for me, it might be a long time until we next find ourselves in a match with possession of the ball, the clock in the red, and a chance of nicking a game we looked like we were out of. Throw in how relatively rare home wins are for us, how much rarer again wins against Irish provinces are, and part of me wishes we'd gone for it. We're not going to win the league, and we can't get relegated, so a losing bonus point isn't worth much to us in the grand scheme of things.

The third quarter definitely didn't help. Sometimes we don't help ourselves with that, especially with currently playing two people who are probably at the edge of their fitness (Harris and Hibbard) and having played for a bit with 13 men too. I wonder now, if we may start looking at Bateman to start? I would start Shipp too, as I feel like we will get more out of him but Ryan doesn't seem willing to do that.

I think Davies must've been knackered personally. I thought he didn't look overly comfortable towards the end, as if he was struggling with something. The pitch would certainly have tested his calf issue too. I would still have gone for it tbh, but it is what it is.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Mon 22 Feb 2021, 12:15 pm

It's certainly true to say that we'd have taken a losing bonus point before the game.

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Post by RiscaGame Mon 22 Feb 2021, 12:44 pm

Yeah and I never really envisaged us getting one at most points of the game, even say at 15-14 up at HT.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 22 Feb 2021, 2:38 pm

I try not to say these things on here anymore as it upsets too many people, but I felt Dragons had a very harsh ride from the ref.

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 23 Feb 2021, 8:34 pm

Ummm yeah we've given Coleman a contract extension.

Carter and Owen commit too which is good. The last of the 4 is Will Reed, don't think he's played much if any senior rugby. Strikes me as "we hope this guy is better than Josh Lewis."

Roberts and Moriarty could feature in the next match which is against Zebre I believe.

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Post by RiscaGame Tue 23 Feb 2021, 9:21 pm

Coleman is a bit like Leon Brown was, to be fair. He needs to play like Brown did, but he’s not really going to get that opportunity without a decent As setup first.

Reed is so highly rated amongst a few Dragons supporters. I remember him featuring in that A game against Scarlets this season and doing alright (I think). Don’t really like tens with scrum caps mind, as they remind me of Catflap Morgan ha.

Great that those two are back. Great that Keddie is fit too. I suspect as Screech is out with a head injury, Keddie will start 6 and I think they may start Baker 8 this week too. Fry 7, Moriarty impact. Always happy to see a Dragons side with Doc at 12 too.




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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Wed 24 Feb 2021, 12:03 pm

I assume Zebre will be missing a hell of a lot more players to the Six Nations than we are, so we really shouldn't be losing over there.


Last edited by Luckless Pedestrian on Wed 24 Feb 2021, 12:32 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by RiscaGame Wed 24 Feb 2021, 12:24 pm

Not after our great win there last season too Wink

In fact we haven't lost in Italy for two years. Never mind about how many games we have played during that time, it's a great record.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Wed 24 Feb 2021, 12:32 pm

Oh I didn't know that, that's much better than I thought.

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Post by RiscaGame Wed 24 Feb 2021, 12:36 pm

I didn't know it was that long, I just knew we had beaten both Zebre and Benetton away fairly recently.

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 24 Feb 2021, 4:26 pm

Zebre looked quite tough up front against Ospreys, I imagine we'd find it tough too. Hopefully it's decent weather and they get a Red Card.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Wed 24 Feb 2021, 4:35 pm

I watched the last 20 minutes or so of that match, they kept hold of the ball quite well, and they like to keep it alive, but there wasn't much of a cutting edge*. Rhys Webb's try was a horrible one to concede, they would have been fancying their chances before that.

* - I realise we don't have much of a cutting edge ourselves!

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 26 Feb 2021, 12:10 pm

Looks like the strongest team we’ve put out for a while. Looking forward to seeing the Argie.

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 26 Feb 2021, 12:19 pm

It really does seem a good side. I was pleasantly surprised with it. Bit of impact off the bench too, in Baker, Williams, and Doc. I probably would've started Roberts over Dixon and Baker over Taylor, but I can't be too greedy.

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 26 Feb 2021, 12:20 pm

Dragons (v Zebre): Jordan Williams, Jonah Holmes, Aneurin Owen, Jack Dixon, Ashton Hewitt, Sam Davies, Gonzalo Bertranou; Greg Bateman, Ellis Shipp, Lloyd Fairbrother, Ben Carter, Joe Maksymiw, Harrison Keddie (c), Ben Fry, Huw Taylor

Replacements: Richard Hibbard, Josh Reynolds, Aaron Jarvis, Joe Davies, Dan Baker, Rhodri Williams, Josh Lewis, Jamie Roberts

Shame about the awful kick off time though. What kind of scheduling is that?

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