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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 Luckless Pedestrian Fri 26 Feb 2021, 12:40 pm

Really looking forward to seeing Bertranou. Highlights reels can make anyone look half decent!

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 26 Feb 2021, 12:53 pm

What's the weather like? I think our backs are good with ball in hand and it could benefit us, even though our defence is poor. If we score 29 points I'd say we have a good chance of winning (we'd probably concede a bit less than 29 points) Very Happy.

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Post by RiscaGame Sat 27 Feb 2021, 4:06 pm

Ross Moriarty in for Huw Taylor. Ffantastig.

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Post by RiscaGame Sat 27 Feb 2021, 7:10 pm

Was going to dodge the result. Couldn’t help it. So poor.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 27 Feb 2021, 7:18 pm

Didn’t see the game, wonder how that come about though. Shocking result. Something needs to change.

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Post by RiscaGame Sat 27 Feb 2021, 7:55 pm

Guess we got beaten up.

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 01 Mar 2021, 8:22 pm

Dewi Lake won't be signing for us (and probably didn't give it a second thought).

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 03 Mar 2021, 12:24 pm

Elliot Dee has signed anew long term contract.

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 03 Mar 2021, 4:06 pm

Just Hearing Aaron Wainwright has just signed one as well.

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Post by RiscaGame Wed 03 Mar 2021, 4:25 pm

Both were loosely rumoured to be going elsewhere.

Keeping them both for three years, is great news. It seems like everybody we want to keep, is going to stay. "No major departures" is how Dean Ryan has apparently described it, which I guess depends how he classes Screech, as to whether you believe that rumour has substance.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Thu 04 Mar 2021, 10:08 am

It's a vote of confidence in the Dragons, whichever way you slice it. I'm sure the WRU / Pivac has some kind of influence over where Test players play, and they do move from region to region, as we've seen with Cory Hill, so for these two to be staying is great. Homegrown, too.

So it's a derby at the Liberty on the weekend. Hard to be optimistic when we've lost eight games on the bounce.

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Post by Oakdene Thu 04 Mar 2021, 10:10 am

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:It's a vote of confidence in the Dragons, whichever way you slice it. I'm sure the WRU / Pivac has some kind of influence over where Test players play, and they do move from region to region, as we've seen with Cory Hill, so for these two to be staying is great. Homegrown, too.

So it's a derby at the Liberty on the weekend. Hard to be optimistic when we've lost eight games on the bounce.

It's at the Brewery field.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Thu 04 Mar 2021, 10:22 am

Damn, I thought it was a safe bet! OK

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Post by RiscaGame Thu 04 Mar 2021, 10:23 am

Yeah, would've been nice to have attended that game at the Brewery Field, instead of the Liberty.

My confidence in Dragons is shot again. Crazy how optimistic I was, after winning in Glasgow and Treviso. Our derby record is poor this season too, especially after the highs of last (two wins, one draw).

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Post by LordDowlais Thu 04 Mar 2021, 10:26 am

It's encouraging to see Dragons hold onto their better players than what has happened historically where they always seemed to lose their good uns.

Hopefully this will see an upturn in performances as well, if they can add more quality to the players they are tying down to longer contracts.

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Post by LordDowlais Thu 04 Mar 2021, 12:11 pm

Leon Brown is signed up as well, Dragons on a roll. Very Happy

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 04 Mar 2021, 12:23 pm

I don't think we were in any danger of losing those 3, they don't seem to be liked at other regions laughing. With Rowlands to come in, and our ability to put Carter, Screech or Taylor into the back-row we have a big team up front, which has been very useful in lineout drives. The first team 23 looks good on paper, but I said that about what we put out last week and look what happened there...

Tompkins will be off back to Sarries and I would rather he didn't return, I wonder if we are looking to recruit there or will we just keep hold of Owen and Warren. When injuries strike in midfield we won't look anywhere near as threatening.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Thu 04 Mar 2021, 12:50 pm

'Wales tighthead Leon Brown has signed a new three-year deal with the Dragons after turning down interest from England and France, including European champions Exeter.

'The 24-year-old from Newport has agreed fresh terms to stay at Rodney Parade and continue his 15-cap international career.

'Brown, who is currently hunting a Six Nations Grand Slam, is a prop with huge potential and that put him on the radar of clubs in the English Premiership and France’s Top 14.

'The Chiefs were looking at Brown as a contender to fill the void left by Tomas Francis, who is moving to the Ospreys next season to continue his Test career, and he was also chased by Gloucester.

'However, the Dragons have managed to convince him to stay in Newport, aided by his return to the Wales fold.'


https://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/sport/19135524.dragons-prop-leon-brown-turns-exeter-gloucester/


You've got to think the 60-cap rule has played a big part in their decisions to stay. Crazy that some people still don't see the value of it.

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Post by RiscaGame Thu 04 Mar 2021, 1:02 pm

Agree.

Great to see clubs like that interested though. Shows his development as a scrummager. Playing more has helped him and he would be likely to get more minutes at Dragons than elsewhere.

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 05 Mar 2021, 8:03 pm

Ospreys: D Evans; H Dirksen, T Thomas-Wheeler, K Williams, K Giles; S Myler, R Webb; N Smith, S Parry, T Botha, L Ashley, R Davies, W Griffiths, O Cracknell, M Morris.

Replacements: I Phillips, G Phillips, M Fia, G Evans, S Cross, R Morgan-Williams, O Watkin, D Cross.

Dragons: J Lewis; J Holmes, A Owen, J Roberts, A Hewitt; S Davies, G Bertranou; B Harris, E Shipp, L Fairbrother, J Davies, J Maksymiw, R Moriarty, H Keddie (captain), A Wainwright.

Replacements: R Hibbard, J Reynolds, A Jarvis, B Carter, D Baker, R Williams, J Dixon, J Williams.

Wonder if we have been told to play our backrow like that.

Don’t agree with resting players for a derby tbh (Carter and Fry), but then I guess Wainwright won’t be with us next weekend. I read Screech was fit, so maybe that may say something about whether he’s staying.

Wonder if Bateman is injured again.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Mon 08 Mar 2021, 10:47 am

Well I was worried in the first half, when it was all Ospreys and we seemed to be on the wrong side of the referee, but we dealt with the yellow card very well, and it was a good win in the end. We could have scored another couple of tries with better hands. Really quite impressive.

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 08 Mar 2021, 11:41 am

It's amazing what effective carrying can get you, maybe senior management are only just realising... It'll be interesting to see Griffiths and Baker start together before the end of the season. Again our team will look 'good on paper' next season, I think we still need another fly-half who has experience and is a good goal-kicker.

Is Bateman injured? He was a promising signing so if he is injured again it's a worry.

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Post by RiscaGame Mon 08 Mar 2021, 12:02 pm

The start was horrendous, with how we dealt with the kickoff. I was very impressed with how we managed the ten minutes Davies was off aye.

Was impressed with Josh Lewis, when he started to kick for corners. Was a bit worried by Sam off the tee again, but it didn't matter in the end.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Mon 08 Mar 2021, 3:58 pm

Credit to Hibbard too, I've been critical of him, but he started at short notice and had one of his best games for us, I thought.

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 08 Mar 2021, 4:05 pm

Don’t know what it is but players and coaches usually do well against their old teams! Would be ideal if we can get a hooker as big as Hibbard when we replace him.

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Post by RiscaGame Mon 08 Mar 2021, 4:20 pm

I did say that I didn't think Hibbard would go the full game. I am not convinced he put in an eighty minute performance, but he did last the game. I thought he looked out on his feet at times, but I guess his GPS or whatever showed he was doing enough.

To be fair to him, his lineouts have been very good recently.

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 09 Mar 2021, 9:53 pm

Keddie is also staying put, another back-rower and it turns out he's actually good across the back-row like all our other flankers. Good news, but we could do with some more front 5 investment perhaps?

It's no good stockpiling back-rows though which will be the case if Baker becomes permanent; him, Griffiths and probably Keddie are our most effective carriers (just guess work from spectating). Having this many out injured is an anomaly. I think we need to lose one and invest elsewhere. I would have said Moriarty but we might not pay that much for him? Perhaps Taylor is one you would like to keep because he is different from the other flankers and should be available all season.
So the back-row roster off the top of my head is Taylor, Moriarty, Keddie, Wainwright, Griffiths, Basham, Fry, Baker. I've excluded Greggains and Benjamin as I don't think they are at the level or size required. Do you need that many when we're bound to unearth another one from the academy soon?

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Post by RiscaGame Thu 11 Mar 2021, 12:00 pm

Looking forward to watching Dragons play on a decent pitch again. I hope they have a go at Ulster now.

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu 11 Mar 2021, 12:02 pm

With, realistically, nothing to play for Ulster may well be playing a number of kids on Saturday

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Post by RiscaGame Thu 11 Mar 2021, 12:04 pm

Interesting. Guess we will see what gets announced tomorrow.

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 11 Mar 2021, 1:19 pm

It would give us a good chance if they did... I haven't been too convinced by what we usually serve up without the internationals, though.

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Post by RiscaGame Thu 11 Mar 2021, 4:19 pm

Ollie Griffiths back this weekend. I guess the question is now, who starts 8 out of him and Baker? I assume it'll be Moriarty 6, Keddie 7 again.

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Post by geoff999rugby Fri 12 Mar 2021, 12:02 pm

Three big rests by Ulster for this match - Moore, Murphy and Cooney
Coetzee not fit
Lot of kids involved

Also Baloucoune rested as he easies himself back from injury.
He will, provided he stay injury free, be an Ireland regular after the World Cup.
He will reach higher heights than Lowe, Stockdale, Keenan and Larmour - you heard it here first.



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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 12 Mar 2021, 12:08 pm

Sooo, what’s the Ulster team? Very Happy

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Post by geoff999rugby Fri 12 Mar 2021, 12:11 pm

Team is
15-9) Jacob Stockdale, Craig Gilroy, Stewart Moore, Stuart McCloskey, Rob Lyttle, Michael Lowry, Alby Mathewson;

(1-8) Eric O'Sullivan, John Andrew, Ross Kane, Alan O'Connor (C), Kieran Treadwell, David McCann, Sean Reidy, Nick Timoney.

Replacements: Brad Roberts, Callum Reid, Gareth Milasinovich, Cormac Izuchukwu, Matty Rea, David Shanahan, Ian Madigan, Ethan McIlroy.

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 12 Mar 2021, 12:14 pm

So where are the kids exactly? Looks like a strong front 5, and some seasoned internationals in the backline. Reidy and Timoney are good players, don’t know McCann. Some unfamiliar people on the bench too but not a great deal.

Dragons back-row will be Keddie, Griffiths and Moriarty (for whose who were wondering). Carter and Screech must be back-row cover.

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 12 Mar 2021, 12:17 pm

Dragons (v Ulster): Josh Lewis, Jonah Holmes, Aneurin Owen, Jamie Roberts, Rio Dyer, Sam Davies, Rhodri Williams (c); Brok Harris, Richard Hibbard, Lloyd Fairbrother, Joe Davies, Joe Maksymiw, Harrison Keddie, Ollie Griffiths, Ross Moriarty

Replacements: Rhys Lawrence, Josh Reynolds, Aaron Jarvis, Matthew Screech, Ben Carter, Dan Baker, Gonzalo Bertranou, Nick Tompkins

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 12 Mar 2021, 12:19 pm

I wonder if Fry is injured, as it's a bit strange to go 6/2 and not go for Fry. Great to see Griffiths back. Hewitt will be a miss, but Dyer can be dangerous and elusive too should we get him the ball.


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Post by geoff999rugby Fri 12 Mar 2021, 12:21 pm

Well I would not describe Moore, MCann, Roberts, Reid, Izzy, or McIlroy as anything other than kids
I also would suggest Lyttle, Lowry, Timoney, O'Sullivan, Rea are still very much learning their trade
That's 10 players
McCann first ever start

The only old hands playing are McCloskey, Matthewson, O'Connor, Reidy and Madigan.

Strong front 5 - questionable, with everyone fit none would start - the only starters in that team Reidy, McCloskey and Stockdale but on the wing. No starters on the bench.

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Post by Pete330v2 Fri 12 Mar 2021, 12:25 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:So where are the kids exactly? Looks like a strong front 5, and some seasoned internationals in the backline. Reidy and Timoney are good players, don’t know McCann. Some unfamiliar people on the bench too but not a great deal.

Dragons back-row will be Keddie, Griffiths and Moriarty (for whose who were wondering). Carter and Screech must be back-row cover.

Stewart Moore, Michael Lowry at 10 (has been 15 for us almost exclusively but 10's his true home),  David McCann, Callum Reid, Cormac Izuchukwu and Ethan McIlroy.
These are the kids and each of them are exceptionally talented players. Keep an eye out for Moore who's fantastic centre, David McCann at blindside and Izzy. I hope I've not jinxed them now.


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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 12 Mar 2021, 12:38 pm

So O’Sullivan, Andrew and Treadwell aren’t first choice, or starters as you put them? I must have missed something.

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Post by geoff999rugby Fri 12 Mar 2021, 12:49 pm

Ulster starting 15 with everyone fit is

McGrath, Herring, Moore, Henderson, Carter, Reidy, Coetzee, Murphy, Cooney, Burns, Stockdale, McCloskey, Marshall, Baloucoune, Addison.

To be fair Addison/Lowry, O'Connor/Carter and O'Sullivan/McGrath are debatable.

If you are talking of those available, this weekend (which I think you are) I would say we 9 of first XV are starting and 1 is on the bench.
That is still 6 not starting

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 12 Mar 2021, 1:11 pm

McGrath really? That’s what we all thought, but he’s played like 2 games for Ulster and wasn’t good. And I had literally thought Treadwell had played his way in, but some could disagree (like the coaches for example).

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Post by geoff999rugby Fri 12 Mar 2021, 1:20 pm

As I say McGrath is now debatable due to this season, same for Addison.
If someone argued for O'Sullivan and Lowry instead I would have no complaints.
My team was what I understand was the first choice at the start of the season.
EOS and Lowry have put in performances to warrant a change of thinking for next year.

Treadwell on the other hand is definitely not a starter and remains 4th in the pecking order
behind Henderson, Carter and O'Connor
You will find very few Ulster fans disagreeing with that.
Also  Izuchukwu coming up on his blind side.
In a couple of years he will be alongside Henderson as the first choice second row combo.
Exceptional talent.

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Post by RiscaGame Sat 13 Mar 2021, 10:12 pm

Really frustrating for Dragons tonight. More points missed off the tee and failing to capitalise on all that pressure before halftime. Better than I expected probably, but still disappointing the way the game panned out.

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Post by Maine man Sat 13 Mar 2021, 11:18 pm

I think when Ulster brought on the raft of subs in the 2nd half they lost their control of the game. The Dragons will be kicking themselves for letting Ulster off the hook at the end of the 1st half. I would also like to say that the dragons number 8, was it Griffiths, is a cracking player.

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Post by geoff999rugby Mon 15 Mar 2021, 10:51 am

Dragons need to ditch Roberts - they threw him at Lowry repeatedly and the 5' 6" fella nailed him every time.

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Post by The Oracle Mon 15 Mar 2021, 11:21 am

geoff999rugby wrote:Dragons need to ditch Roberts - they threw him at Lowry repeatedly and the 5' 6" fella nailed him every time.


Really? He's been one of our standout players since signing him! An off-game perhaps.
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Post by RiscaGame Mon 15 Mar 2021, 11:26 am

They just seemed to use him wrong, for me.

I don’t think he was overly helped by Sam Davies not playing too well either.

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Post by geoff999rugby Mon 15 Mar 2021, 12:22 pm

I just wonder about his power when a 5' 6" guy can have such a comfortable defensive game against him.

To be fair you obviously have seen him a lot more this year than me.
I would worry a little about having old men like him and Hibbard in the side .
Maybe they are the exception.
Another thing I would say/ask is do Dragons have a reliable kicker lined up for next season.
50% - Sam Davies stats according to the TV is a joke..

I genuinely wish Dragons well....except when they play Ulster of course Very Happy

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