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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 Wed 02 Jun 2021, 11:04 am

Same old, we still need a raft of new players (then maybe Dean could justify his rotation). Whilst our attack has improved a lot, our defence hasn't so a good defence coach would be grand as well.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Wed 02 Jun 2021, 11:40 am

He does seem to have been shown more patience than previous coaches, and I'm not entirely sure why that is. Partly it'll be because even though we still lose more games than we win, it's not often that we get a hiding any more, and when you've been used to fairly frequent heavy defeats, you're going to be grateful for that. I'd also say that the absence of supporters has made things easier for him - it's been a weird period where results and performances still matter, and count for as much, yet at the same time they seem not to. (Maybe that's just me!) But once crowds are back, I don't think regular defeats, narrow or not, will be tolerated for much longer. We can't accept being a perpetual work in progress.

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 02 Jun 2021, 5:46 pm

I hope we're not really going to sign Cory Allen too though. We did play Rosser at 13, I can only remember the one time but he attacked from that position incredibly well. I've never seen Allen attack that well and he spends huge chunks of every season injured.

I heard this from word of mouth via a person who has worked at RP for some time so I took it with a pinch of salt. Moriarty is our highest paid player, Hibbard the second highest. Sam Davies was also quite well paid. I already knew Moriarty was our highest paid player, but if the other two are remotely true then I'm absolutely speechless.

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Post by PhilBB Thu 03 Jun 2021, 10:00 am

mikey_dragon wrote:I hope we're not really going to sign Cory Allen too though. We did play Rosser at 13, I can only remember the one time but he attacked from that position incredibly well. I've never seen Allen attack that well and he spends huge chunks of every season injured.

I heard this from word of mouth via a person who has worked at RP for some time so I took it with a pinch of salt. Moriarty is our highest paid player, Hibbard the second highest. Sam Davies was also quite well paid. I already knew Moriarty was our highest paid player, but if the other two are remotely true then I'm absolutely speechless.

I think that Baywatch would have been under his old contract but I can't believe that would be the case under the new deal.

Sam Davies was signed after he turned down offers from the Waratahs and Bath. He's also a one man team, so I'm not sure why that would surprise you.
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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 03 Jun 2021, 10:17 am

It would make sense under his old contract, not under the new one. I thought he was going to retire 2 years ago... I'm not sure what you mean by one-man team, but it surprises me because I don't think Davies carries a great deal of worth (he is a step-up on Josh Lewis but that shouldn't be difficult).

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Post by PhilBB Thu 03 Jun 2021, 10:25 am

mikey_dragon wrote:It would make sense under his old contract, not under the new one. I thought he was going to retire 2 years ago... I'm not sure what you mean by one-man team, but it surprises me because I don't think Davies carries a great deal of worth (he is a step-up on Josh Lewis but that shouldn't be difficult).  

Look back at the records to see how many games the Dragons have won without Sam Davies playing
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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 03 Jun 2021, 10:52 am

PhilBB wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:It would make sense under his old contract, not under the new one. I thought he was going to retire 2 years ago... I'm not sure what you mean by one-man team, but it surprises me because I don't think Davies carries a great deal of worth (he is a step-up on Josh Lewis but that shouldn't be difficult).  

Look back at the records to see how many games the Dragons have won without Sam Davies playing

I'm pleased we have him and think we are better with him despite the flaws, I'm just questioning the salary on a tight budget that's just got a bit tighter. Perhaps 10's are just the better paid players. You've even criticised him so you must agree with me to an extent.

I was actually hoping we could nick Ben Thomas off you with RP incoming. Thomas is a cracking little player. It looks as though Dai wants him for 10/12 cover with Jarrod and Willis away though. Are you making any signings in the pack? With Ratti now at 8 I imagine you are no longer looking to recruit there.

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 10 Jun 2021, 12:44 pm

Leinster: Keenan; Larmour, Ringrose, O'Loughlin, O'Brien; R Byrne, Gibson-Park; Healy, R Kelleher, Bent, Baird, Ryan; Fardy, Penny, Doris.

Replacements: Tracy, Milne, Abdaladze, Toner, Van der Flier, L McGrath, H Byrne, C Kelleher.

Dragons: Josh Lewis; Owen Jenkins, Aneurin Owen, Jamie Roberts, Rio Dyer; Sam Davies, Rhodri Williams (capt); Brok Harris, Elliot Dee, Aaron Jarvis, Joe Davies, Ben Carter, Harrison Keddie, Ollie Griffiths, Ross Moriarty.

Replacements: Richard Hibbard, Josh Reynolds, Chris Coleman, Joe Maksymiw, Taine Basham, Gonzalo Bertranou, Jack Dixon, Ioan Davies.


Holmes out of what should be considered a big game, when you consider who the opposition are.

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Post by RiscaGame Thu 10 Jun 2021, 1:06 pm

I guess they just want to make sure he's fit for Team Wales.

The things that annoy me with the selection are;

Considering we have recently signed/re-signed Dan Baker and Ioan Davies, I don't get why neither are involved/starting. Dean Ryan has been talking about what Baker can bring and given where we are going, I would've thought you would probably want as physical a backrow as possible. Ioan Davies has been signed and praised, then we play Josh Lewis, who doesn't really need the experience etc. It's obvious that Ryan probably wants to kick for territory or whatever, but it's still a wasted opportunity for what is a nothing end of season game. Whilst Davies will probably get time off the bench, I would just let him start.

Obviously I am pretty peeved at the Brok Harris situation, but the above are an example of two players we found money for. When you also then consider they gave players like Tavis Knoyle a 2 year contract last time round and Brok only one, that also gripes me. Whilst we are being shafted by the WRU, we also don't help ourselves.

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 10 Jun 2021, 2:21 pm

RiscaGame wrote:I guess they just want to make sure he's fit for Team Wales.

The things that annoy me with the selection are;

Considering we have recently signed/re-signed Dan Baker and Ioan Davies, I don't get why neither are involved/starting. Dean Ryan has been talking about what Baker can bring and given where we are going, I would've thought you would probably want as physical a backrow as possible. Ioan Davies has been signed and praised, then we play Josh Lewis, who doesn't really need the experience etc. It's obvious that Ryan probably wants to kick for territory or whatever, but it's still a wasted opportunity for what is a nothing end of season game. Whilst Davies will probably get time off the bench, I would just let him start.

Obviously I am pretty peeved at the Brok Harris situation, but the above are an example of two players we found money for. When you also then consider they gave players like Tavis Knoyle a 2 year contract last time round and Brok only one, that also gripes me. Whilst we are being shafted by the WRU, we also don't help ourselves.

Perhaps, then again Dee is starting and likely to be involved with the Wales 23.

I agree with you on that. I do think we have a physical back-row and physical replacement, however two of the starters are open-sides, with another (physical) one on the bench. Surely you'd want something different there, someone like Dan Baker.

Harris is a legend who could have probably played until 40. I understand why we didn't take the risk, but don't understand why we took the risk with Hibbard. Still, you've got to feel for Harris on that one. I was annoyed at Knoyle getting signed in the first place and since then I haven't stopped being annoyed at it. As I alluded to before, someone needs to have a word with the person in charge of recruitment and retention.

Theoretically the team should look better next season so long as the best players are picked.

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Post by RiscaGame Thu 10 Jun 2021, 2:57 pm

Yeah, but Ryan reckons Dee needs the game time (but benched him last game;)). I get why he is resting Holmes, especially as Jenkins hasn't featured for ages. Wouldn't be my choice, but there we go.

Should look better, but then our pretty weak stable of props is now looking even worse. Was interesting looking at the squad list (as it stands) and seeing Bevington (not announced as leaving either) and Harry Fry (totally forgot about him) on there. Wonder how much wage they command, for not a lot in return.

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Post by BigGee Sat 19 Jun 2021, 12:00 pm

https://www.rugbypass.com/news/rugby-injury-jack-cosgrove-disfigured-and-discarded-the-training-ground-incident-that-claimed-a-young-props-career/


This is a bit of a harrowing tale. God forbid he had an accident while driving blind to the doctors!

Hopefully Dragons learn a few lessons about managing injuries here.

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Post by RiscaGame Sat 19 Jun 2021, 11:24 pm

That’s not a good read at all. Shocking about letting him drive.

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Post by The Oracle Sun 20 Jun 2021, 5:11 pm

Good that we paid his salary until the end of his contact, but I can’t believe no one got in touch with him?! I mean, by the sounds of it he was out for over a year but still contracted and absolutely no one made any contact whatsoever. No coaches, no physio, no DoR (Dean Richards). I find that hard to believe. But if true then it’s staggering.
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Mon 21 Jun 2021, 10:03 am

I felt ashamed reading that as a Dragons supporter.

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 23 Jun 2021, 11:55 pm

I’m keeping an eye on a few U20s, but especially Joe Peard. If he comes good then bring him on through.

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Post by The Oracle Fri 09 Jul 2021, 8:41 am

Barry Maddocks the skills coach leaving Dragons for Biarritz. How does that happen?! Nothing against the guy. I’d jump at the chance too. But I always wonder how coaches and sometimes players go from pretty low level clubs to the big time. I know they’ve only just been promoted back to the Top 14 but you’d think they have a lot of resources and could go for a big name (sorry Barry!). Wonder if he has a contact there or something? Maybe a good agent?! Not sure he really put himself in the shop window with the Dragons? Headscratch
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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 09 Jul 2021, 9:37 am

Maybe they'll buy our defence coach next.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Fri 09 Jul 2021, 9:52 am

Have they announced his replacement?

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 09 Jul 2021, 10:52 am

It's a bit mad. I didn't think our attack was great, when he had that gig.

I am not sure there'll be any other replacement? Seems like Gordon Ross is doing ok as attack and probably won't need a skills back up.

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Post by Welshmushroom Tue 13 Jul 2021, 3:42 pm

Biarritz only just got promoted. This happens every year in the TOP14. Newly promoted sides scamper round to buy any coaches and players they can to give them a chance of staying up. Most of the time though they can't really compete and end up getting relegated again. Looking at their squad i cant see them staying up so its a risky move taking a job with them on the coaching front. If they get relegated they will no doubt get rid of all the coaching staff.

Then again he might have felt like Dean Ryan was looking to make a change anyway in which case it might have been his only move.

On a side note our squad looks pretty good in certain areas. Back Row we have some serious quality. Think the backline is looking pretty tasty too. The real issue will be in our front 5. Reckon Ryan needs to pick up a quality loosehead and a backup lock.

Probably fair to say Bateman, Jarvis & Maksymiw haven't worked out.
You can probably add Huw Taylor to that list as well.

Rowlands will be a cracking signing though. If we could replace the above 3 with a quality loosehead we really look good on paper and I reckon we might have a good season ahead.

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Post by RiscaGame Tue 13 Jul 2021, 4:39 pm

I think Maksymiw could be our Beard really. Kind of does a lot of things that maybe people don’t appreciate like maul disruption etc. I’m not convinced by him yet, but he hasn’t really been able to get a run of games yet either.

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 14 Jul 2021, 8:30 am

Maksymiw doesn't seem to play much, but he brings a lot more than Joe Davies. Bateman has a good playing record for other teams, we just haven't seen it yet.

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Post by Welshmushroom Thu 15 Jul 2021, 9:17 am

I quite like Joe Davies. He's still learning his trade and he was better last season than the season before so he is getting better at Pro level. Most players take anywhere from 2-3 seasons before they get fully up to speed with the league and he is still young. He's probably a couple of years off still from playing his best ruby.

I think the Bateman project is a bust, same as Jarvis was. Think both those need to go. I hope Ryan can find a quality up and coming loosehead. Personally I would be looking at some Georgians/Italians or Argys. They always produce good set piece props. Plus Georgians tend to not be that expensive.

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 15 Jul 2021, 9:27 am

Funny how Ben Carter didn't take that long. I don't think we can afford to wait a few years, sadly.

I would never have signed Bevington, and it didn't seem wise at the time to extend Jarvis either. I would still offload a back-rower, whoever we can save the most money on.

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Post by Welshmushroom Thu 15 Jul 2021, 9:33 am

I just hope Ryan parks a lot of our keys players and uses the challenge cup as a development tool for fringe players only.

I hope we only start our best 15's in the league and ignore Europe. If he does that I am feeling fairly confident we can roll some of the big teams at home. I don't really see the point in running out our best team for the Challenge cup as I doubt we can win it at any rate. I'd rather us keep 100% focus on the league to see if we can try to get one of those 8 HC spots next season.

I just hope if he does then end up fielding all his stars for the league matches we might be able to roll some of the big teams who probably still look at us as a chance to rest players. Hopefully that will see some upsets along the way especially at home.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Thu 15 Jul 2021, 9:54 am

Yeah the priority has to be the league. We're not going to win that either of course, but you can build up momentum a bit better in the league, even if the structure of the season is still shocking. All teams are going to get a boost from having crowds back, but imagine if we got off to a good start with a home win over one of the big sides, like when we beat Ulster on the opening weekend (many moons ago now!).

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Post by Welshmushroom Thu 15 Jul 2021, 12:50 pm

Yeah it would great if we could start well.

The one thing I will say is that there are going to be a lot of the big teams under pressure to perform early. The one major plus point Dean has is that nobody is talking the Dragons up so they will go into the season with less pressure on them. Sides like Ulster, Glasgow, Scarlets, Ospreys and Connacht will all be desperate to start well as nobody knows what the SA sides will bring to the league.

Pretty excited for the new season now though I must say...

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Thu 15 Jul 2021, 2:43 pm

It'll be so good to be back at Rodney Parade, after so long. Having said that, I hope the pitch is ready in time.

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 16 Jul 2021, 11:22 am

Yeah I can't wait. Hopefully they will get it sorted in time.

On a side note we may not have much to boast about but I reckon we have the best back row of all the welsh regions.

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Post by The Oracle Tue 20 Jul 2021, 11:02 am

Fijian prop incoming! Mesake Doge, a current Fijian international, has signed for us. He started both fixtures against NZ recently.

https://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/19453498.dragons-sign-fiji-international-mesake-doge/
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Post by Oakdene Tue 20 Jul 2021, 11:14 am

Is this a short term deal? No mention of contract length.

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Post by RiscaGame Tue 20 Jul 2021, 11:34 am

Oakdene wrote:Is this a short term deal? No mention of contract length.

Strange that aye. Guess it's the standard two year deal, given they normally report it as short (one year) or long (three year) otherwise.

A needed signing anyway. Can't pretend to know too much about him, but we do need TH cover as the Argus highlights. One thing I will say, is it does seem he tackles quite high from the video Dragons released.

I would imagine signing a loosehead is still a priority too.

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Post by RiscaGame Tue 20 Jul 2021, 12:08 pm

Just saw on Sam Davies' Insta story, Ben Fry wearing what looked like a new Dragons training top. Looked pretty decent.

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Post by Welshmushroom Tue 20 Jul 2021, 12:36 pm

Yeah I hope this hasn't come at the expense of a experienced loosehead. I just hope he's not planning on Jarvis or Bateman being our starters. Neither of them have worked out for us.

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 20 Jul 2021, 1:27 pm

From what i could gather, this is to plug the gap left by injured Fairbrother. I couldn't find many playing stats fro Doge. As we've managed to get him, shall we assume he's always injured or unfit? Very Happy

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Post by The Oracle Tue 20 Jul 2021, 9:34 pm

That’s always the worry Mikey! From the Argus report (sometimes questionable accuracy) they say he was a regular for Brive but then said 24 appearances in 2 years….. so not too regular as the French play about 1000 games a season don’t they?! So could be 12 a season spread out over 2 years or 24 games on the bounce and then injured ever since! Anyway, the highlights real looks ok. Looks like a ball carrier, but as always highlights are as they say on the tin so it’s hard to judge. Fingers crossed for a good scrummager who is mobile and can carry. Asking too much? The elephant in the room is always…..why swap Brive for Dragons??? Shocked
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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 20 Jul 2021, 9:39 pm

You can never tell with the French, they usually buy a bunch of good players, enough for 3 teams and then rotate a bit. TBH with you, I didn’t think Brive were in the Top 14. We need a LH for sure, and then everything else.

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Post by RiscaGame Tue 20 Jul 2021, 9:56 pm

Well, they didn’t take long to announce the loosehead, did they? Wink

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 20 Jul 2021, 10:10 pm

aki seiuli, think I seen him at Glasgow a few times. Decent player. Wonder if the one of the other Welsh teams will send a LH our way though. Ospreys and scarlets are well stocked there.

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Post by RiscaGame Thu 22 Jul 2021, 2:31 pm

Another signing being announced later, according to a reply I saw on twitter from Dragons to a supporter. How exciting.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Thu 22 Jul 2021, 2:41 pm

RiscaGame wrote:Just saw on Sam Davies' Insta story, Ben Fry wearing what looked like a new Dragons training top. Looked pretty decent.

Are you talking about the white one? It's nice, isn't it?

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Post by RiscaGame Thu 22 Jul 2021, 2:57 pm

Yeah, that's it. That and the white singlet look very nice.

Every season, I promise I will not buy any more rugby stash and VX3 keep on forcing my hand.

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 22 Jul 2021, 5:44 pm

Well that was underwhelming.

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Post by RiscaGame Thu 22 Jul 2021, 6:24 pm

I thought he had a deal already. What a load of rubbish.

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Post by Oakdene Fri 23 Jul 2021, 8:41 am

mikey_dragon wrote:Well that was underwhelming.

I feel like I have known about this deal for ages & I'm not even a Dragons supporter.

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Post by The Oracle Fri 23 Jul 2021, 7:57 pm

Just read in the Argus that Cory Allen is training at RP in a bid to prove fitness ahead of a potential move to join us. Always thought he was ok as a player but too injury prone. I suppose we’re doing the right thing in letting him show what he can do (and can’t do) injury wise in training before we offer a contract, rather than taking a punt and ending up with an injured player and 2 years of contract to pay for little return. If he can show fitness, what’s people’s thoughts on him joining? Is he needed? Could he add much if fit and firing?
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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 24 Jul 2021, 11:00 am

I don’t think he’s ever put enough of a good run of games together to impress me. He obviously did enough for Gats, and Allen looked decent at that level. I can’t help but think he won’t be as good any more.

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Post by RiscaGame Sat 24 Jul 2021, 4:38 pm

It’s kind of funny that we sent Griffiths out on loan and are letting Allen prove his fitness with us. Different class of player obviously, but I’m not sure I would take a punt on him.

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Post by The Oracle Thu 26 Aug 2021, 5:43 pm

p.s. I guess we could do with a new thread! This one's looking a bit 'old'.
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