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Pro 12 plus maybe Friends 20/21

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Post by Brendan Sat 19 Sep 2020, 1:51 pm

First topic message reminder :

As one season finishes it seems the new one seems to start sooner each year.  Here is the breakdown of teams over the last three years. Places (based on league points) and points are order 19/20, 18/19, 17/18

Leinster (Champions and clearly the team to beat)
Place 1, 3, 2, Average 2
Points 69, 76, 70 total 215
Always have finished top of their conference and winners for the last three years
Goal - Win, anything else is failure

Munster
Place 3, 2, 4 Average 3
Points 51, 77, 69 Total 197
Yet another table where Munster fall short yet again.  Each of the last three years have been knocked out by Leinster
Goal - Top Conference (2nd in league) to finally avoid Leinster in the playoffs to make the final

Glasgow
Place 7, 1, 1 Average 3
Points 38, 81, 76 Total 195
Was this year a WC hangover or is it the start of the slide back to the chasing pack.  Losing key players is taking it's toll. No longer the best team in Scotland.
Goal - Win back dominance in Scotland

Ulster
Place 4, 4, 6 Average 4.33
Points 44, 63, 62 Total 169
Improving each year and seem like one of the teams to challange Leinster.
Goal - Get back to the final

Scarlets
Place 4, 9, 3 Average 5.33
Points 47, 52, 70 Total 169
Last year killed them but on their day a match of anyone. Best team usually in Wales.
Goal - make the final

Edinburgh
Place 2, 10, 5 Average 5.66
Total 51, 51, 68 Total 170
Like Scarlets last year killed them.  Have conquered Scotland and have one of the best coaches in the league.  Possibly the 2nd best team for next season if Cockers has cracked rotation.
Goal - make the final

Connacht
Place 6, 5, 10 Average 7
Points 40, 61, 39 Total 140
Excluding the first year under Keane have been playoff contenders each year.  But they need to push on and not just be happy fighting for a playoff sport.
Have to push for Top 4

Benetton
Place 8, 7, 7 Average 7.33
Points 36, 57, 55 Total 148
Consistency has got them middle of the table which is a good place to build from rather than just the place to stay.
Goal - time to push for Top 6

Blues
Place 9, 8, 8 Average  8.33
Points 33, 54, 54 Total 141
Again consistent in their place but have fallen down and past by their peers.  Have to be looking over their shoulders at Dragons and Zebre.
Goal - time to get above 8th.

Ospreys
Place 12, 6, 9 Average 9
Points 17, 58, 54 Total 119
Which year was the anomaly, when they finished 6th or 12th.  An old team who live on past glories. Last year 6th may have been down to the drop in form of Scarlets and Edinburgh.
Goal - stop the rot

Dragons
Place 10, 11, 12 Average 11
Points 24, 26, 20 Total 70
Slowly improving.  No longer unable to win away from home and building nicely.
Goal - has to be 9th

Zebre
Place 11, 12, 11 Average 11.33
Points 21, 19, 36 Total 76
Have alot of young players coming through.  Last year wasn't great but the other two were improvements on previous years.
Goal - Finished 10th and pick up some big wins.


Last edited by Brendan on Mon 21 Sep 2020, 12:38 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Brendan Sat 02 Jan 2021, 11:49 pm

Ulster the final team on 100% as they defeat Munster while Connacht become the first Pro14 in too long to beat Leinster and beat them at home.  The Conspiracy theorists will say it's so there can be an Irish top 2 but Connacht take great pleasure in beating Leinster.  Munster continue to be the 3rd best province in the inner pros but their big game knowledge makes them better in Europe.

Scarlets come out as the number 1 Welsh team but Ospreys finally seem to be getting their stuff together and may be turning the corner.  Blues continue their flattery to deceive, having a good team in there somewhere but unable to bring it when it matters.  Dragons again noble in defeat against the Blues but beaten well the following weekend.

Edinburgh let Glasgow get a late try to make it look like they have hope next week but it's been a while since Glasgow landed a meaningful win in the 1872 cup in what seems forever. Edinburgh continue to believe that the back 3 are only defensive players while Glasgow fans must worry that the wheels have fallen off as the slide down the table. Zebre looking over their shoulder takes them back to the 10/11 season.

Zebre continue to play above themselves in the Italian Derby and are now putting pressure on Glasgow.  Benetton continue their season of rebuilding as they develop their squad players while occasionally get their internationals on the field.  After the last few seasons of good work this year is quickly becoming one to forget.  It's the Challagne cup for them already which might not be the worse thing in the world.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 03 Jan 2021, 1:30 am

Ospreys still look pretty poor to me, but the coach has them playing to their strengths. They’re a set piece team, nothing more.

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Post by RiscaGame Sun 03 Jan 2021, 1:39 am

They never needed to be much more, to be fair. But now they have a steady ten, a half decent 12 by the looks and George North is finding form, there are a lot of positives there.

Booth seems to be what I took Dean Ryan to be at first, but the two derbies are changing my mind a bit. I can see why we get hammered for not doing much for Team Wales, when Knoyle is our starting 9 and our backrow seems pretty bare with our injuries. I would probably rather us play Rhodri and the young ten against Ospreys, as it stands. I would also start somebody like Benjamin, just to offer a hint of a jackal threat against Tipuric and Parry especially.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 03 Jan 2021, 1:53 pm

We seen how ‘good’ Ospreys were against Wuss, head in hands moment from Booth. The set piece is their strength, if they become a more clinical team then they could be really good. Myler isn’t really a flair type of player but he’s a good, consistent player. He will also be useful for the other 10’s to learn off seeing as Anscombe might not be back this season, if at all. Kieran Williams is a great player, somehow I think he could be better at 13. Scott Williams has looked very poor and got injured again, despite this someone will still call for him to be in the Wales team; he’s set for early retirement at this rate. They’re utilising North well, finally. Don’t really rate Luke Morgan, but Protheroe is a good player.

Dragons lack of depth at front row and halfback is finally exposed, not a surprise. I hope we recruit there. If we actually get an injury-free / covid-free squad, we could go on a good run and get a few wins.

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Post by Brendan Mon 04 Jan 2021, 9:01 am

I didn't expect Ospreys to be as compeditive against the Scarlets.

Maybe there are issues with injuries (like every year) and covid but this is the team that have lost to Zebre and have been poor when not playing Scottish teams.

A solid set piece is the biggest thing a team needs a 10 who can kick your penalties

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 04 Jan 2021, 12:56 pm

Almost forgot about the Zebre loss, they looked absolutely awful for a lot of that game but there set piece gained the upper hand in the end. A work in progress perhaps, but a lot of work to do. I would recruit in the front-row, fly-half and back 3 positions for next season; they look alright elsewhere. Playing without an open-side in the team has proven to be a bad call on more than one occasion. Morgan Morris and Morgan Strong from the academy can provide good back-up to Tips though.

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Post by RiscaGame Sat 09 Jan 2021, 9:09 pm

Liam Williams probably in big trouble. Not just for the lower end (probably) scale of the red card, but the moronic comment to the ref.

Two better Welsh derbies. More intent to attack. Bit less aimless kicking. Jamie Roberts for Wales Wink

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Post by BigGee Sat 09 Jan 2021, 9:19 pm

RiscaGame wrote:Liam Williams probably in big trouble. Not just for the lower end (probably) scale of the red card, but the moronic comment to the ref.

Two better Welsh derbies. More intent to attack. Bit less aimless kicking. Jamie Roberts for Wales Wink


Liam has got some form as well unfortunately, so not likely to much off for good behaviour.

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Post by RiscaGame Sat 09 Jan 2021, 9:32 pm

Can see why Gatland didn't fully trust him. He does have these brain lapses, that you don’t get with somebody like Halfpenny.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 09 Jan 2021, 9:47 pm

That was a blatant red card as it was a dull challenge, compared to Helps’ previous red card which I didn’t think was a RC (more of an accidental head clash when the tackle was made). Looks like he’ll be unavailable for Wales then.

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Post by Brendan Sat 09 Jan 2021, 10:00 pm

Good end to the Connacht Munster game. Connacht score a late try to get the LBP. They then make it back up to the try line with Munster getting 2 players binned and clock well into the red. After some great work they knock on 2 meters from the line.

Connacht yet again good but just still that little bit short.

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Post by Pot Hale Mon 11 Jan 2021, 1:26 pm

So with GB teams likely barred from playing French teams in the European Cup matches over next two weeks, will the PRO14 move up the postponed Covid matches and play them over the next two weekends instead?

Hope so. Or alternatively, shift some of the Round 12-16 matches into those weekends to avoid teams being without their internationals.
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Post by Brendan Mon 11 Jan 2021, 2:47 pm

I am sure that they will have some plan to use the weekends wisely.

My Slogan for 2021 is "2021 the year we appreciate 2020"

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Thu 14 Jan 2021, 8:48 am

RiscaGame wrote:Liam Williams probably in big trouble. Not just for the lower end (probably) scale of the red card, but the moronic comment to the ref.

Two better Welsh derbies. More intent to attack. Bit less aimless kicking. Jamie Roberts for Wales Wink

I havent heard anything yet about any action on Williams. Not a great weekend for respecting the authority of the ref.
Sinkler has got a 2 week ban for swearing at the ref but the panel concluded he
"disrespected the authority of the referee" and was "in breach of a core value of rugby".

I would be surprised, as you say Risca, if there is any consistency, that the same values aren’t applied to LW.

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 14 Jan 2021, 9:12 am

BigTrevsbigmac wrote:
RiscaGame wrote:Liam Williams probably in big trouble. Not just for the lower end (probably) scale of the red card, but the moronic comment to the ref.

Two better Welsh derbies. More intent to attack. Bit less aimless kicking. Jamie Roberts for Wales Wink

I havent heard anything yet about any action on Williams. Not a great weekend for respecting the authority of the ref.
Sinkler has got a 2 week ban for swearing at the ref but the panel concluded he
"disrespected the authority of the referee" and was "in breach of a core value of rugby".

I would be surprised, as you say Risca, if there is any consistency, that the same values aren’t applied to LW.

You suggesting there's inconsistency? Fair, why didn't you mention it in previous weeks when we were on the receiving end? There's like 10 examples in the Pro 14 you could have used.....

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 14 Jan 2021, 3:58 pm

Well Williams' dissent was completely ignored.he even had it reduced by a week due to his remorse. That I think is called taking the p*#&.

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Post by RiscaGame Thu 14 Jan 2021, 4:03 pm

Very poor that.

The annoying thing is, that Scarlets are likely to have a rearranged game next week too that helps take a game off the ban.

This sends the wrong message out. I am a bit fed up of the weeks off for remorse nonsense anyway, but then to not punish the backchat is not great. At the very least, you can't take a week off the ban for remorse due to that comment alone, whether he did a lot of apologising to the player and others, or not.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 14 Jan 2021, 4:07 pm

Meaningful games so these fallow weeks dont count.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Thu 14 Jan 2021, 4:21 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Well Williams' dissent was completely ignored.he even had it reduced by a week due to his remorse. That I think is called taking the p*#&.

Head in the sand by the committee. Everyone heard it and everyone was talking about the back chat.

As for showing remorse , yes he shook the players hand but that was AFTER the backchat to the ref. Cop out.

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 14 Jan 2021, 7:29 pm

Don’t disagree with anything that’s been said, but at least we had one go in our favour for a change - if that’s any consolation. Hilarious to see some Irish complaining about this on all the other platforms.

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Post by Gooseberry Thu 14 Jan 2021, 9:56 pm

TBF the way things are going they might have to ban touching too is it

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 22 Jan 2021, 3:17 pm

Tonight's fixture: Scarlets vs Blues. Both are close to being fully loaded for the first time in a while. Blues halfbacks and Scarlets midfield will be the ones to watch for anyone not supporting Wales.

Scarlets: Leigh Halfpenny; Johnny McNicholl, Jonathan Davies (capt), Johnny Williams, Steff Evans; Dan Jones, Gareth Davies; Wyn Jones, Ryan Elias, Javan Sebastian, Jake Ball, Sam Lousi, Blade Thomson, Ed Kennedy, Sione Kalamafoni.

Replacements: Ken Owens, Phil Price, Werner Kruger, Tevita Ratuva, Uzair Cassiem, Kieran Hardy, Angus O'Brien, Steff Hughes.

Cardiff Blues: Matthew Morgan; Josh Adams, Rey Lee-Lo, Willis Halaholo, Hallam Amos; Jarrod Evans, Tomos Williams; Corey Domachowski, Liam Belcher, Dmitri Arhip, Seb Davies, Cory Hill (capt), Josh Turnbull, James Botham, Alun Lawrence.

Replacements: Kristian Dacey, Rhys Carré, Dillon Lewis, Rory Thornton, Josh Navidi, Lloyd Williams, Ben Thomas, Aled Summerhill.

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 22 Jan 2021, 8:14 pm

Bad start for it Scarlets’ lineout. Elias needs to take a bit off his throw.


Last edited by RiscaGame on Fri 22 Jan 2021, 8:33 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 22 Jan 2021, 8:16 pm

Catflap in for the first try. Cardiff have started better out of the two teams definitely, but the missed lineouts haven’t helped Scarlets.

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Post by BigGee Fri 22 Jan 2021, 8:59 pm

Still waiting for this game to catch fire, both sides seem strangely subdued and are both making so many mistakes.

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 22 Jan 2021, 9:19 pm

Lots of Welsh players on show, so probably haunted still from their experiences playing at that ground for Wales.

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Post by BigGee Fri 22 Jan 2021, 9:27 pm

The Scarlets centres both keep getting caught behind the gain line. Very good defence from Blues but JD2 in particular just looks half a yard off the pace. He does not look as if he is back at pre injury level yet.

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 22 Jan 2021, 9:28 pm

Arhip should’ve had at least a yellow for me, btw.

Injuries haven’t helped this game. Just added to the stop start nature of it.

Makes you worry for Pivac’s squad really, given how many of his players haven’t been great tonight anyway and then having more injury doubts.

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Post by BigGee Fri 22 Jan 2021, 9:29 pm

No try, clear push from McNicholl.

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 22 Jan 2021, 9:31 pm

BigGee wrote:The Scarlets centres both keep getting caught behind the gain line. Very good defence from Blues but JD2 in particular just looks half a yard off the pace. He does not look as if he is back at pre injury level yet.

I can’t see him getting back to it really. I don’t think he did himself any favours, playing injured as he did.

He’s lucky he has no real competition for Wales.

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Post by BigGee Fri 22 Jan 2021, 9:33 pm

Botham is playing very well for the Blues. Might be a big mistake to leave him out

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Post by BigGee Fri 22 Jan 2021, 9:38 pm

Thompson scores for Scarlets to make the game interesting now.

He has been one of the better Scarlets on the pitch, which will please Toonie more than Pivac!

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 22 Jan 2021, 9:42 pm

BigGee wrote:Botham is playing very well for the Blues. Might be a big mistake to leave him out

Pivac is an idiot. It’s just another one of his contradictions. Picking a squad on form and due to the importance of the tournament, but drops a player who probably doesn’t warrant it. All these work ons he has given apparently and it looks like he will have to call some of these players he has cut, before they can do them. Same as the nonsense with Elliot Dee in the Autumn.

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Post by BigGee Fri 22 Jan 2021, 9:46 pm

McNicholl has had a horror show, at least he has got that selection right!

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Post by BigGee Fri 22 Jan 2021, 9:48 pm

Botham MoM, seems a good call and he will be glad to have made a point!

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Post by BigGee Fri 22 Jan 2021, 9:55 pm

Well deserved win for the Blues. Scarlets look really in the doldrums at the moment with a few of their wales stars just not performing well.

Such an odd season this one, it is very hard for players hit their straps with its on off nature. Hopefully they will find their form in the Wales camp.

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 22 Jan 2021, 10:01 pm

BigGee wrote:McNicholl has had a horror show, at least he has got that selection right!

He started ok. But I think maybe Pivac was uncertain of his fitness or he would’ve selected him. He’s a scarlet after all. Probably would’ve done so over Amos.

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 22 Jan 2021, 10:33 pm

Elias’ first two throws go awry, he was overthrowing. After that he might have hit his jumper twice and overthrown another two times. That’s just not international quality and he has no right to be in that squad. Pivac is a Turk at heart. Here you go miaow, another truthful comment for you to dislike.

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 22 Jan 2021, 10:40 pm

RiscaGame wrote:
BigGee wrote:The Scarlets centres both keep getting caught behind the gain line. Very good defence from Blues but JD2 in particular just looks half a yard off the pace. He does not look as if he is back at pre injury level yet.

I can’t see him getting back to it really. I don’t think he did himself any favours, playing injured as he did.

He’s lucky he has no real competition for Wales.

Yeah that’s a bit concerning (JD2). Jake Ball was good and should be a starter. Hill going off was also a concern. I wonder if Hapless Pivac will put Lydiate to second row? After all, Lydiate clearly doesn’t have to play blindside to be dubbed ‘the form 6 in Wales / the competition.’ - so the best 6 could possibly even end up in the centre thumbsup.

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Post by Blueschief Fri 22 Jan 2021, 11:09 pm

Wouldn’t like to be in Pivac’s shoes right now, he’s watched Botham top the tackle count and get MOM, Halaholo show his class and pee over what’s likely to be Wales first choice centres, and was second in the tackle stats behind Botham before he was replaced. Add Elias’ woeful darts and Gareth Davies flapping and its no wonder Pivac looked worried behind his mask, injuries notwithstanding.

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 22 Jan 2021, 11:21 pm

Blueschief wrote:Wouldn’t like to be in Pivac’s shoes right now, he’s watched Botham top the tackle count and get MOM, Halaholo show his class and pee over what’s likely to be Wales first choice centres, and was second in the tackle stats behind Botham before he was replaced. Add Elias’ woeful darts and Gareth Davies flapping and its no wonder Pivac looked worried behind his mask, injuries notwithstanding.

laughing clap

What a difference a coach makes, right Dai? The blitz was good.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 24 Jan 2021, 5:09 pm

You’ll love this Blueschief. Parry and Webb each having a great game, nothing the matter with Webb’s passing like we already knew. Rhodri Jones was meh, doesn’t seem international quality. Lydiate to his credit was pretty good; not amazing like everyone seems to think and certainly not the form 6 in the competition (he didn’t play 6 again). Beard also pretty good. With the Scarlets midfield having a mare, we just seen the Ospreys centres continually go through the opposition like a knife through butter.

Credit to Ospreys for getting the win. If they cut out the mistakes and got a bit more momentum they probably would have scored over 40 points.

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Post by BigGee Sun 24 Jan 2021, 5:25 pm

Ospreys played well. this was the best game of the weekend by far.

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Post by RiscaGame Sun 24 Jan 2021, 5:36 pm

Pivac really doesn’t help himself, in interviews.

Good to hear about Beard again. For a guy his size, he should really be a force for us.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 24 Jan 2021, 6:09 pm

Haven’t seen the latest interview, I think. I read the last one though, it convinced me that he doesn’t watch rugby or doesn’t understand it. Quite a feat for a pro rugby coach.

Beard actually put himself about and didn’t look like an oversized donkey. Needs to improve his passing out of the tackle though Smile. Rhys Davies and Lloyd Griffiths have bright futures. Good news as we’re lacking lock options.

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Post by Brendan Mon 25 Jan 2021, 9:06 pm

Ospreys really are turning things around. In a normal season you would say they are peaking at the right time. Blues also doing better.

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 25 Jan 2021, 9:34 pm

They looked good in the backs too, not just at the set piece. Connacht’s backline was good in attack, not so good in defence... Aki probably would have nailed his opposite number. Aside from that, it’s never easy when you have backs as big as forwards.

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Post by Kingshu Mon 25 Jan 2021, 11:07 pm

If the Rainbow cup doesn't go ahead the likelyhood is the top 4 play off instead of top 2, to get more games I could see the the Pro 14 will have top 3 in each conference play off to generate more matchday weekends, if that were to happen Ospreys may well have got themselves a playoff spot after this seasons poor start.

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Post by Brendan Tue 26 Jan 2021, 10:10 am

If the rainbow cup doesn't happen they will do something for sure.

If covid numbers are high and travel is hard they might just go for domestic cup/league. From an Irish point of view I think I would like to see 6 straight weeks of inter pros and have the Irish squad for the summer based solely off the performances.

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue 26 Jan 2021, 12:24 pm

Why would the summer selection solely be based on performances - the 6N squad isn't.
Performance is only one of many factors taken into consideration

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