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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 mikey_dragon Sat 30 Jan 2021, 11:05 pm

Didn’t see all of the game but Benetton were close to pipping Munster. The Italians were awful during the first quarter though. Not much positives to take from Scarlets getting bolloxed by Leinster, except for Morgan Jones and Sam Costelow I guess.

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Post by RiscaGame Sun 31 Jan 2021, 8:16 am

Costelow was very good, considering how much he was on the back foot.

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Post by Pete330v2 Mon 01 Feb 2021, 9:13 am

I missed the Munster game, did Munster play badly or had Benetton turned things up a few steps. They've been awful and I expected them to be steamrollered so was surprised to say the least when I heard it took a late drop goal to win it. WOW!

Leinster showed that their 2nd string of young guns can do what the 1stXV can do. They just keep doing it time and time again. I had hoped that the Scarlets would have done Ulster a huge favour but the second half showed why Leinster are one of the best teams in Europe. It was great to see Furlong back on the pitch, any team would feel the impact of his loss and I can't wait to see him back in a green kit very soon.

6 Nations next folks!!!!!

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Post by Brendan Mon 01 Feb 2021, 11:37 am

Bennetton's season has been a strange one
Walking Europe (though drawn to play two French teams)
Lost to Ulster and Leinster in the first two games having scored 3 tries in each but getting no LBP due to late tries
LBPs at home v Scarlets, Munster, Dragons
LBPs away v Ospreys, Zebre

Got nothing v Zebre at home. Nothing away to Blues and Connacht.

I think this year might be focus on Europe if it goes ahead. If things all for them they could get a quarter final.

It's hard to tell how much the international games have affected their team.

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 01 Feb 2021, 11:56 am

RiscaGame wrote:Costelow was very good, considering how much he was on the back foot.

I would certainly start him for the next game. Kelmsley Mathias the LH is a promising prospect so hopefully he'll remain in the 23 too, I would like to see him ahead of Price when Rob Evans and Wyn Jones return.

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Post by RiscaGame Sat 20 Feb 2021, 5:06 pm

Pretty good win for the Turks, bar the 3rd quarter. Jac Morgan is quality.

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Post by RiscaGame Sat 20 Feb 2021, 5:32 pm

This Zebre 11 is awful. Been greedy twice, blowing two reasonable chances and giving away an off your feet penalty in 12 minutes.


Last edited by RiscaGame on Sat 20 Feb 2021, 7:05 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 20 Feb 2021, 6:44 pm

Ospreys-Zebre is not the most action packed match, is it?

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 20 Feb 2021, 7:04 pm

Bloody awful match, but wasn’t Webb MOTM again?

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Post by RiscaGame Sat 20 Feb 2021, 7:06 pm

One for the purists.

Have to be honest, I don’t see Webb’s passing issue.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 20 Feb 2021, 9:55 pm

Brace’s performance hasn’t gone down too well. I didn’t pay much attention to the game tbh, skipped through a lot of it as I did the Ospreys game. Irish are undefeated this weekend.

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Post by Pot Hale Sat 20 Feb 2021, 10:07 pm

Usual whinging about Irish refs about Cardiff loss to Connacht. Great match to watch though for the neutrals.
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Post by RiscaGame Sat 20 Feb 2021, 10:27 pm

Some things like the lineout are bad calls, but hard to pin on being biased. He’s Cardiff born anyway.

I don’t agree with an ex Connacht player officiating in a game featuring his former side though.

But most officials are generally garbage in the league. Even the World’s Best Ref seemed to miss a lot in Ospreys favour earlier.

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Post by RiscaGame Sat 20 Feb 2021, 10:34 pm

Steffan Thomas wrote: Exclusive: It’s my understanding the Jaguares are keen to base themselves in Bilbao and join the PRO16.

Any deal is a long way off but overtures have been made. CVC are also keen on further expansion.

https://twitter.com/steffan_thomas1/status/1363249231599919105?s=21

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Post by y ddraig goch Sun 21 Feb 2021, 12:59 pm

Rhys Webb should be starting for Wales hope he gets a recall.

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Post by Kingshu Sun 21 Feb 2021, 6:35 pm

RiscaGame wrote:Some things like the lineout are bad calls, but hard to pin on being biased. He’s Cardiff born anyway.

I don’t agree with an ex Connacht player officiating in a game featuring his former side though.

But most officials are generally garbage in the league. Even the World’s Best Ref seemed to miss a lot in Ospreys favour earlier.

He also played for Munster, and was a ref through the Munster branch. Connacht fans don't like him refing their games.

The Pro 14 have done a lot to introduce neutral refs. But with covid we will have to accept, refs from the home teams country. Even Nigel Owens has reffed his nephew before. You just have to accept that refs are neutral and will do their job impartially.

There have been more complaints from Welsh fans about non neutral refs, and when these were introduced it moved onto non neutral assistents and 4th officials. A section of fans will always blame the ref team when they lose and becuase Welsh teams lose a lot there is more oppurtunties for the fans to complain.

In the past we couldn't have neutral refs, as Scotland and Italy haven't provided enough quality refs (This year was the first time in nearly 2 decades that a Scottish Ref, refed a game in the 6 nations). If there are 2 or 3 provinical v regions games on a weekend are you really going to get 8-12 Scottish and Italian officials up to standard?

With SA joining the Pro 14 it will provide us with a pool of quality refs so hopefully we can have neutral refing teams at games. Scotland and Italy also need to contribute more in terms of quality referees.

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Post by doctor_grey Sun 21 Feb 2021, 9:17 pm

In the Premiership, Karl Dickson, former scrum half for Quins has refereed Quins games and I haven't noticed any bias. And I would have no problem if he reffed a Quins Saints match.

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Post by Brendan Mon 22 Feb 2021, 11:39 am

Team loses by 15 points, is given no cards but the fans blame the ref for being non-neutral.

Players and coaches must love it as it lays no blame at the players and coaches. Blues are poor and where going to get beat in Connacht. Fans need to lay blame where it lies. Might be by the Blues constantly fall off.

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 22 Feb 2021, 11:41 am

Brendan wrote:Team loses by 15 points, is given no cards but the fans blame the ref for being non-neutral.

Players and coaches must love it as it lays no blame at the players and coaches.  Blues are poor and where going to get beat in Connacht.  Fans need to lay blame where it lies.  Might be by the Blues constantly fall off.

I didn't pay much attention to the game, but people commenting on the awful standard of refereeing in this league is nothing new and something I happen to agree with. Irish blame the ref's too but apparently it's okay when you lot do it.

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Post by Brendan Mon 22 Feb 2021, 12:00 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
Brendan wrote:Team loses by 15 points, is given no cards but the fans blame the ref for being non-neutral.

Players and coaches must love it as it lays no blame at the players and coaches.  Blues are poor and where going to get beat in Connacht.  Fans need to lay blame where it lies.  Might be by the Blues constantly fall off.

I didn't pay much attention to the game, but people commenting on the awful standard of refereeing in this league is nothing new and something I happen to agree with. Irish blame the ref's too but apparently it's okay when you lot do it.

Happy to call out bad calls or bad decisions.  Blame ref for bias based on the teams playing is a different situation to saying bad refs.  If the ref was poor fair enough but let's hear issues and that aren't a result of being the weaker team and so working on the back foot and thus make more mistakes.

Like the Munster v Kings game a few years ago everyone complained that the ref never penalized Munster but none highlighted unfair calls or biased calls. Some refs are good, some bad, some make it up as they go along but none (except maybe a B6N game) where the ref has been shown to be bias.

As a Munster/Ireland Fan I would have taken Nigel for every game regardless of opposition including Welsh.  Munster knew how to play with him.  Other refs not so much.  The breakdown Munster use work for Nigel.  Other refs will ping Munster when they are struggling which ou usually lose if you are the weaker team.  But the ref is not penalizing Munster unfairly they just aren't getting the dominance so make more mistakes.

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Post by Brendan Wed 24 Feb 2021, 11:43 am

No more news that I can see about the Jaguares but I would say that it is happening just a matter of more details to come out.

If the Jags are funded like they were for SR (can't see why they wouldn't be) then they are financially viable.
It allows the Cheetahs to be brought back in so 18 teams so everyone plays each week.
It makes Pro Rugby a political block as strong as the 6N and maybe stronger if they work well with the regional powers.
It allows for other Nations to partner with other nations to help build up rugby.  You would think that Fiji, Samoa and Tonga would happily partner with Euro countries to up playing standards.

One thing I hope is included is that the Spainish league is part of the talks and the better players from the league can use it as a path rather then it just being little Argentina and only Argentines in the squad.

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Post by asoreleftshoulder Wed 24 Feb 2021, 6:53 pm

Brendan wrote:No more news that I can see about the Jaguares but I would say that it is happening just a matter of more details to come out.

If the Jags are funded like they were for SR (can't see why they wouldn't be) then they are financially viable.
It allows the Cheetahs to be brought back in so 18 teams so everyone plays each week.
It makes Pro Rugby a political block as strong as the 6N and maybe stronger if they work well with the regional powers.
It allows for other Nations to partner with other nations to help build up rugby.  You would think that Fiji, Samoa and Tonga would happily partner with Euro countries to up playing standards.

One thing I hope is included is that the Spainish league is part of the talks and the better players from the league can use it as a path rather then it just being little Argentina and only Argentines in the squad.

On the recent Under the Stix podcast (the official Pro14 podcast) the producer who is high up in the organisation said the Jaguares rumour is not gonna happen.

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Post by Brendan Wed 24 Feb 2021, 9:12 pm

I had heard it would take at least to years.

The Union currently is being funded by WR and without Pichot on the board they probably realize that other unions will be looking to take that money so need something.

While the national team might have regressed it was a professional team for all aspiring young players. That is something they won't be quick to give up.

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Post by LordDowlais Thu 25 Feb 2021, 12:27 pm

Dai Young says neutral PRO14 officials needed to end suspicion amid fans fury:-

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/dai-young-says-neutral-pro14-19900897

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu 25 Feb 2021, 1:23 pm

We all agree with that, and things are slowly improving, but the realities of Covid means it is not currently possible

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Post by Brendan Thu 25 Feb 2021, 10:58 pm

LordDowlais wrote:Dai Young says neutral PRO14 officials needed to end suspicion amid fans fury:-

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/dai-young-says-neutral-pro14-19900897

As was previously said ex-Quinn's player refs Quinns and no one questions it. Irish ref refs game between Irish and Welsh team where Irish team wins and some fans are upset.

Blues have fallen off and need to accept it. It's easy for Dai to talk about the ref but Blues lost because of two easy tries due to bad defence meaning that Connacht had a bigger lead and so things get harder and more decisions seem to go against you.

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 26 Feb 2021, 8:50 pm

Not a bad half for Cardiff. Disappointing the Welsh officials missed a clear out on Jenkins, that sent him flying yet chose to yellow card Seb Davies.

Ben Thomas going well. As is Jenkins. In fact, Ellis Jenkins looks ready to return to international rugby already.

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 26 Feb 2021, 9:25 pm

Don’t know if any Welsh have been watching Seb Davies the last few weeks, but in his own words he’s bulked up, and also he looks as if he’s trying to hurt people. Now didn’t I say he really need to bulk up and stop being so soft? Very Happy He actually looks decent now, not quite international standard yet but still an improvement.

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Post by RiscaGame Sat 27 Feb 2021, 10:39 am

He took his try well. Yellow was a bit needless, but then it wasn’t worse than the one that didn’t get penalised.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 27 Feb 2021, 11:32 am

Some more observations from last night is that Rhys Webb is still better than certain 9’s in and around the Wales squad. Premier sports coverage is crap, can we go to BT?

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Post by RiscaGame Sat 27 Feb 2021, 11:52 am

I didn’t have any issues on the Cardiff game, but I don’t really enjoy Butler this week and Shanklin last.

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Post by asoreleftshoulder Sun 28 Feb 2021, 11:08 am

LordDowlais wrote:Dai Young says neutral PRO14 officials needed to end suspicion amid fans fury:-

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/dai-young-says-neutral-pro14-19900897

That's great,now make it work when 3 Irish teams are playing 3 Welsh teams. 3 up to standard refs,6 TJ's and 3 T.M.O's from Scotland and Italy.

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Post by RiscaGame Sun 28 Feb 2021, 11:13 am

Dean Ryan is complaining to Greg Garner, about the referee yesterday.

Does Greg Garner actually do anything? He has the easiest job ever. Majority of the refs are bad, yet nothing gets done to improve the standards.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 28 Feb 2021, 12:09 pm

asoreleftshoulder wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:Dai Young says neutral PRO14 officials needed to end suspicion amid fans fury:-

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/dai-young-says-neutral-pro14-19900897

That's great,now make it work when 3 Irish teams are playing 3 Welsh teams. 3 up to standard refs,6 TJ's and 3 T.M.O's from Scotland and Italy.

I think that’s the point.

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Post by geoff999rugby Sun 28 Feb 2021, 2:28 pm

The two 9s at Ravenill on Friday are better 9s than anyone playing an International this weekend

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Post by Old Man Sun 28 Feb 2021, 5:29 pm

Latest news from SA

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Post by Brendan Sat 06 Mar 2021, 1:09 pm

Munster the finalist from Conference B with their win against Connacht giving them a 12 point lead with two games left.

It is their first league final in 4 years (when they lost to Scarlets).  Connacht remain 8 pts clear of Scarlets.

Leinster can all but confirm their place today with a win v Ulster.  If Ulster were to win with 5pts they would still need 10pts which they should get at Zebre and Dragons.  They would still need Ospreys and Zebre realistically to only give up a 4pt win to Leinster.

Munster seem to be good enough to beat Leinster but can't close out games much like Leinster of the 00s.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 06 Mar 2021, 9:37 pm

Bonus point win for Dragons in Bridgend. Ospreys should be very strong, but they look very poor up front without Beard, and Tipuric. Morgan Morris has been terrible for the last few weeks. They aren’t really offering an attacking threat aside from Keiran Williams. I’ve been watching Thomas-Wheeler closely for a few weeks and I held back, but now I can honestly say he’s very poor. I can’t believe someone on here wanted him for Wales honours...

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Post by RiscaGame Sat 06 Mar 2021, 9:48 pm

Dragons were reffed off the park at first. Then engaged in kick tennis. Finally decided to have a go at them and shredded them. Good to see our wingers with a rugby ball in their hands.

Dragons also improved when certain players came on. Dan Baker made a great impact.

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Post by RiscaGame Sat 06 Mar 2021, 9:49 pm

To be fair, some people push Dan Evans for Wales honours, but his defence was poor again.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 06 Mar 2021, 11:41 pm

Dan Evans just wasn’t international quality, nothing has changed. Can also see why they want an open-side like Jac Morgan; Cracknell and Cross don’t really offer much at the breakdown. Cracknell used to be a good flanker but he doesn’t look it now. Lloyd Ashley is also terrible.

Our YC was harsh. Some poor defence for their first try. I was worried we’d lose when the game was tied and was ready to blame it on Sam Davies who somehow got MOTM.

Should Wales give Holmes a run against Italy? Perhaps from full-back. Seems pointless otherwise, given that’s what he was imported over for Very Happy.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 06 Mar 2021, 11:43 pm

Would agree on Baker, he’s always been a solid carrier. Just not sure we can fit him in long-term, unless we lose someone.

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Post by RiscaGame Sat 06 Mar 2021, 11:54 pm

I think we will sign him. His go forward is class and our backrow aren’t very durable really (bar one currently).

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 07 Mar 2021, 12:29 am

I think we need to lose one back-row then, and that would likely come down to Moriarty or Wainwright. If it did then I imagine it would be the one who isn’t interested in playing for us...

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 07 Mar 2021, 3:24 pm

Good to see Ulster fans complaining about the officials. Nice to know it isn’t just the Welsh, as some put it Wink. #SUFTUM

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 08 Mar 2021, 8:21 am

RiscaGame wrote:Dragons were reffed off the park at first. Then engaged in kick tennis. Finally decided to have a go at them and shredded them. Good to see our wingers with a rugby ball in their hands.

Dragons also improved when certain players came on. Dan Baker made a great impact.

Come on. Seriously ?

Dragons had two tries that should never have stood.

Never the less, it was a good win for Dragons, and they have halted the losing streak. I thought it was a good game when all is said and done, with some sublime running rugby. The centers for both sides looked very sharp, especially the youngsters.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 08 Mar 2021, 8:25 am

mikey_dragon wrote:Would agree on Baker, he’s always been a solid carrier. Just not sure we can fit him in long-term, unless we lose someone.

I thought Baker was man of the match for me. He was a menace with the ball in hand always busting through the gain line with multiple players hanging off him. In my opinion, I always thought you were harsh on him.

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 08 Mar 2021, 9:06 am

LordDowlais wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Would agree on Baker, he’s always been a solid carrier. Just not sure we can fit him in long-term, unless we lose someone.

I thought Baker was man of the match for me. He was a menace with the ball in hand always busting through the gain line with multiple players hanging off him. In my opinion, I always thought you were harsh  on him.

Oh dear you're actually serious... Only you could award MOTM to a cameo. He was good off the bench but nothing more. The best back-row out there was Wainwright. Keddie was good again too. In my opinion, you always had a big ginger crush.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 08 Mar 2021, 9:23 am

Game changed when he came on. OK

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 08 Mar 2021, 10:07 am

I wouldn't put it down to Dan Baker, he didn't have that sort of impact, I would have noticed. If he was as good as you believe I'm sure Toulon would have nabbed him. I don't have an issue with Baker, no Dragons' fans here do. What we took issue with was you going on about him all the time even when he was injured, demanding he was thrust into the Wales team. Now you're starting back up Rolling Eyes, just give it a rest.

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