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Season 2021 / 2022 - Hopes and Expectations...

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Sgt_Pooly
No 7&1/2
Welly
Margin_Walker
lostinwales
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Cumbrian
mikey_dragon
BigTrevsbigmac
geoff999rugby
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formerly known as Sam
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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 03 Aug 2021, 4:05 pm

First topic message reminder :

Well the season isnt too far away....

Whats your thoughts for your club for the season ahead...

Whats your Expectations for the league position, Europe, and how you want to see them perform tactically etc...

Whats your thoughts on the squad, your clubs recruitment...going in to the season

Do you have any hopes...ie seeing young players getting a game, or maybe older out of form / long term injured players players coming back to their best?

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 13 Aug 2021, 1:42 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Are the new law trials part of the prem? Exeter may well be impacted by that as they're pretty much designed to negate their driving game.
I thought the new laws are being employed everywhere.  They are even being played at my local club level.  A good mobile defensive back three will be important. Hopefully we don't see even more pens than before....

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Fri 13 Aug 2021, 6:50 pm

Betting Odds for Premiership

https://www.oddschecker.com/rugby-union/england/gallagher-premiership/winner

Saracens
Exeter
Bristol
Sale
Quins
Wasps
Leicester
Bath
Northampton
Gloucester
Worcester
London Irish
Newcastle

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Post by Margin_Walker Fri 13 Aug 2021, 7:28 pm

Don't see Newcastle as favourites for last for me.

It's a hard league to call though.

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Post by geoff999rugby Sat 14 Aug 2021, 9:39 am

Cowan gone from LI.

I know back row isn't the entire team but Gloucester are far stronger

Ludlow, Polledri, Ackerman
Clark, Reid, Morgan - totally accepting Morgan is way past his best
Five Academy players listed - 3 have have played for the first XV and Clements has played 11 times


Mafi, Rodgerson, Tuisue
SOB - if Morgan is passed his best so is SOB and more (14 appearances in 2 1/2 years)
Donnell and 2 others are still listed as Academy players


Seems to me Irish are serious short in the backrow

Information taken from team Websites

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Post by Margin_Walker Sat 14 Aug 2021, 10:18 am

Cowan going will definitely be a blow, although on the silver lining front probably gives an opportunity for someone else and having yur two options at 7 deep into their 30s is never ideal.

We actually do have plenty of back rows on the books, although relatively few you'd describe as proven at this level.

On senior contracts - Mafi, Rogerson, Tuisue, SOB, Donnell (signed one recently), Cooke and Curtis-Harris

Senior academy - Pearson, Smart, Brooke, Rhodes, Moore-Aiono

Senior academy front rows who have spent a lot of time in the back row - Haffar, Davis

Brooke, Rhodes and Haffar have all had Eng U20 involvement this season. Moore-Aiono has in the past

Will be interesting to see if they do look to replace Cowan directly or use it as a development opportunity.

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Post by geoff999rugby Sat 14 Aug 2021, 10:53 am

Thanks for the update

Irish need to update their website the Academy players listed are
Donnell, Cooke and Curtis-Harris

Given SOBs age and fitness level it  seems to me they are dangerously reliant on a back three of
Mafi, Rogerson, Tuisue

Take one of them out + Jackson and they are screwed

Of course all teams suffer injuries but Irish do seem particularly exposed in certain positions

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Post by Margin_Walker Sat 14 Aug 2021, 11:12 am

They tend to update the website sporadically over the off season. Honestly Wiki's the best bet in terms of accuaracy at the moment. Although have just looked and Cooke and Curtis-Harris are on the first team page. Donnell hasn't been moved over and the 1st year academy intake hasn't been added yet.

In terms of experience, we are definitely reliant on certain players staying fit. Tuisue is actually more of an issue than SOB for me, as the drop off at 8 is a big one. Donnell is more than capable on the flank. Already racked up 28 premiership appearances before turning 21 and looks very comfortable at either 6 or 7.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 14 Aug 2021, 11:47 am

Cowan is a real blow for LI. That's a serious workhorse out of their backrow and he's a leader for them as well. They'll have to go into the market and get someone you'd have thought, even with Brooke coming into first team contention and Mafi able to slot in at 6 they are a couple of injuries away from problems otherwise.

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Post by Welly Sat 14 Aug 2021, 11:49 am

Cowan was the one Irish forward that always got me worried as a Tigers fan.
Was one of the best 7's in the league and Tigers always struggled against him

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 14 Aug 2021, 8:00 pm

LI could find a decent like-for-like in Wales and he would be cheaper.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 14 Aug 2021, 8:49 pm

[quote="mikey_dragon"]LI could find a decent like-for-like in Wales and he would be cheaper. [/quote]

Cowan isn't a fancy player but he did set the record for the most tackles in a game last season. 34 if I remember rightly. Some flyhalfs don't make that many in their entire career. Not sure how many flankers will be available immediately to leave Wales as well. Wales are never short of backrows but  not sure they are that skint to give them away.

The Championship is a more likely hunting ground though I'm unsure who they'd go after. ProD2 or South Africa also.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 14 Aug 2021, 9:28 pm

Was thinking more of the fetcher type 7, and we have a few of those. There seems to be an elite list emerging and there are some guys who will never get near there and should probably move away if they want to a career in pro rugby. Dragons have ridiculous strength in the back-row somehow. I’m hoping someone will eventually move on so we can put the money elsewhere.

Also Thomas Young will surely end up at Scarlets or Ospreys at some point.

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Post by Welly Sat 14 Aug 2021, 9:53 pm

I would be surprised if Young returns to wales.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 14 Aug 2021, 11:09 pm

Welly wrote: I would be surprised if Young returns to wales.

Not any time soon, but he has to at some point if he wants to play for Wales, or he’ll get pushed further out of the reckoning by the up and coming’s. Wasps have some good back-row players and I imagine their main focus is England players.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sun 15 Aug 2021, 5:27 am

I'm a bit surprised with the low expectation of Sarries. It's still a very good squad and they always get a bit more from players....it's a squad with a winning mentality which counts for a lot.

I'm going for mini-leagues within the league.

Top:
Saracens
Exeter
Bristol
Sale
Quins

Middle pushing:
Saints
Tigers

Bottom half but could move up:
Bath
Wasps

Will most likely be here but could surprise:
Irish
Falcons
Gloucester
Worcester

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sun 15 Aug 2021, 5:31 am

Geoff, Gloucester are definitely less than the sum of their parts. Their squad is older and certainly worse than years gone by and they never really seem to get things together with the better squad.....I can't see this being any different now.

I can't see the bottom 4 being any different from Irish, Falcons, Gloucester and Worcester....unless one side goes on an amazing run, ala Falcons a few years back.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 15 Aug 2021, 8:09 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
Welly wrote: I would be surprised if Young returns to wales.

Not any time soon, but he has to at some point if he wants to play for Wales, or he’ll get pushed further out of the reckoning by the up and coming’s. Wasps have some good back-row players and I imagine their main focus is England players.

As Young is now 29 I can't see him looking to return to Wales again. The boat has sailed on that one. I imagine he'll finish his career at Wasps unless he does one last contract over in Japan.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 15 Aug 2021, 11:19 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
Welly wrote: I would be surprised if Young returns to wales.

Not any time soon, but he has to at some point if he wants to play for Wales, or he’ll get pushed further out of the reckoning by the up and coming’s. Wasps have some good back-row players and I imagine their main focus is England players.

As Young is now 29 I can't see him looking to return to Wales again. The boat has sailed on that one. I imagine he'll finish his career at Wasps unless he does one last contract over in Japan.

I didn’t realise he was 29. Maybe they’ll be an SOS for him, especially if Ellis Jenkins doesn’t recover.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 15 Aug 2021, 1:56 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
Welly wrote: I would be surprised if Young returns to wales.

Not any time soon, but he has to at some point if he wants to play for Wales, or he’ll get pushed further out of the reckoning by the up and coming’s. Wasps have some good back-row players and I imagine their main focus is England players.

As Young is now 29 I can't see him looking to return to Wales again. The boat has sailed on that one. I imagine he'll finish his career at Wasps unless he does one last contract over in Japan.

I didn’t realise he was 29. Maybe they’ll be an SOS for him, especially if Ellis Jenkins doesn’t recover.

He'd need some assurances from Pivac first as without international rugby there's no incentive for him to return. He's a key man at Wasps and isn't going to be on peanuts. Plenty of Prem teams would take him tomorrow.

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Post by SirBurger Tue 17 Aug 2021, 8:24 am

Definitely less confident with Cowan leaving. Heartbeat of the side and still just such a good all-round player. Back row was already the area I was probably most concerned about, not because of quantity, but because of quality. Of the young lads, Donnell and Cooke look like they can probably make the step up, but they are both more in the blindside mould longer-term. The options we have coming through at 7 are yet to convince me.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 03 Sep 2021, 7:54 am

Sales new kit....oh dear. I thought our away kit was bad....but theirs has a smiling face on it...

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Fri 03 Sep 2021, 8:15 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
Welly wrote: I would be surprised if Young returns to wales.

Not any time soon, but he has to at some point if he wants to play for Wales, or he’ll get pushed further out of the reckoning by the up and coming’s. Wasps have some good back-row players and I imagine their main focus is England players.

As Young is now 29 I can't see him looking to return to Wales again. The boat has sailed on that one. I imagine he'll finish his career at Wasps unless he does one last contract over in Japan.
https://www.coventrytelegraph.net/sport/rugby/wasps-rugby-thomas-young-wales-18281916

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Fri 03 Sep 2021, 1:49 pm

I can see Saints pushing for a top 4 spot this year, they have signed well, will not have that many international call ups and in the positions they will have, they have quality cover. Thinking lock (Lawes), Flanker (Ludlam), Fly Half (Biggar) possibly Centre (Hutchinson). They need a young prop to come through but everywhere else they have depth.

What they do need to do is play for 80 minutes, they lost so many games in the last 10-15 minutes last season and just be consistent. When they play their game they are a force to be reckoned with.

I am very keen to see how Juarno Augustus goes, he has the same sort of build and skill set as Picamoles, we just need to find out if he has the ability.
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Post by doctor_grey Fri 03 Sep 2021, 3:50 pm

Great comments, though I think you might be a tad optimistic.   I agree they have the potential to challenge for top 4, but their (our) frustrating ability to give away leads late undid what was usually a strong 60-70 minutes of good Rugby in most games.  Taking last season all together, unfortunately I don't think there was much between Saints in 5th and Gloucester in 11th, though.  Especially as Gloucester gave Saints one of the worst defeats of the season late on.  I don't think that was conditioning, so I put that on the coaches.  

On the other hand, when Saints were clicking, they did play some good Rugby.  And if the younger players and the new signings come good, then Saints will be marching home all over England!!!

And the madness starts today at Bedford, streamed on both Saints and Bedford web sites:  https://www.northamptonsaints.co.uk/saintstv

Goldington Road
Kick-off: 7.45pm

15 Tom Collins
14 Dani Long-Martinez
13 Tom Litchfield
12 Rory Hutchinson
11 Taqele Naiyaravoro
10 George Furbank
9 Alex Mitchell

1 Alex Waller
2 James Fish
3 Ehren Painter
4 Alex Moon
5 Tom Wood
6 Lewis Ludlam (capt)
7 Ollie Newman
8 Juarno Augustus

Replacements:
Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi
Emmanuel Iyogun
Nick Auterac
Karl Garside
Oisin Hefferenan
Paul Hill
Geordie Irvine
Teimana Harrison
Jake Garside
James Grayson
Fraser Dingwall
Matt Proctor
Josh Gillespie
George Hendy

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Fri 03 Sep 2021, 6:41 pm

We have quality cover in all places except front row and fly half, but Grayson or Furbank will not let you down. If any of the props get injured though we either throw in a talented youngster or go down a notch.

A lot of kids going to get a bit of experience tonight.
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Post by Cumbrian Fri 03 Sep 2021, 7:21 pm

Saracens looking ominously good in their preseason friendly against Ulster so far. Only 20 minutes gone and they are 26-7 up. Granted, I don't know the strength of the Ulster side though.
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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 03 Sep 2021, 8:06 pm


Season 2021 / 2022 - Hopes and Expectations... - Page 2 SsWRL6FT_x96




[size=14]Saracens Rugby Club

@Saracens


·
1h


???????????????????????????????? ????????:

1 Adams-Hale
2 Woolstencroft
3 Riccioni
4 Isiekwe
5 Swinson
6 Wray (c)
7 Earl
8 Vunipola
9 Davies
10 Goode (c)
11 Segun
12 Tompkins
13 Morris
14 Lewington
15 Obatoyinbo



Ulster team to play Saracens, Bank of Ireland Pre-Season Friendly, Friday 3 September at Kingspan Stadium (kick-off 7.00pm, live on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport NI online):

(15-9) Aaron Sexton, Craig Gilroy, Stewart Moore, Angus Curtis, Ben Moxham, Ian Madigan, Nathan Doak;

(1-8) Callum Reid, John Andrew, Ross Kane, Mick Kearney, Sam Carter (Capt.), Matty Rea, Marcus Rea, Greg Jones.

Replacements: Brad Roberts, Gareth Milasinovich, Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor, Sean Reidy, David Shanahan, Jude Postlethwaite, Ben Carson, Azur Allison, David McCann, Harry Sheridan, Andrew Warwick, Lewis Finlay, Conor Rankin.

I'd expect that Sarries team to win though pre season isn't always the best gauge as a team's first friendly can be quite rrusty and be made to look worse if the opposition are playing their second game.[/size]

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Fri 03 Sep 2021, 8:41 pm

Saints are not going to lose this one, but their lineout is awful, probably less than 50% on their own ball. Also they keep losing the ball in the tackle far too many turnovers.

Pluses, Augustus looks the real deal, goes forward every time he gets the ball and makes good ground. Litchfield should not be going to Bedford this season, he is just what Saints need, a powerful centre with good hands and a great offload. Not quite Manu but a slimmed down version with better ball skills.

Lets hope for a better showing from the lineout in the second half. A back row of Harrison, Ludlam and Augustus with Woods playing lock should decimate a championship side.
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Post by doctor_grey Fri 03 Sep 2021, 8:53 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:Saints are not going to lose this one, but their lineout is awful, probably less than 50% on their own ball. Also they keep losing the ball in the tackle far too many turnovers.

Pluses, Augustus looks the real deal, goes forward every time he gets the ball and makes good ground. Litchfield should not be going to Bedford this season, he is just what Saints need, a powerful centre with good hands and a great offload. Not quite Manu but a slimmed down version with better ball skills.

Lets hope for a better showing from the lineout in the second half. A back row of Harrison, Ludlam and Augustus with Woods playing lock should decimate a championship side.
Agree 100%. Lineout is awful. Ludlum was everywhere playing great. Too much of the quick pace off loading game, results in a lot of turnovers.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 03 Sep 2021, 8:56 pm

Over 3000 fans in Goldington Road. Great numbers for the pre-season. Especially on the back of Covid.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Fri 03 Sep 2021, 9:41 pm

Spoilt as a spectacle really, Saints with 4 props on the pitch, two playing flanker.

Far too many errors, Fish needs his contract terminating did very little and such poor throwing in. Having said that Bedford seemed to know where it was going every time. Snitch in the camp?

Garside, the larger looked okay, we need another capable TH. Garside the smaller, looked very nippy, but passed like a 4 year old, along the floor.

Collins showed he still has pace to burn but very few other positives, too much trying to force the pace rather than do the hard work and then go for it it when opportunity comes. Same as last year really.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 03 Sep 2021, 9:48 pm

That's exactly the way I saw it. But loved the stream despite only one camera.
Fish trying to play his way out of Northampton.
Collins always an attacking threat.
Far too many turnovers and silly passes and offloads (are they paid by the offload?)
Lineout poor.
As you said, just like last year.

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Post by Poorfour Sat 04 Sep 2021, 7:45 pm

Based on today’s showing against Cardiff, admittedly in a very loose friendly, I am hopeful that Tommaso Allan will prove to be a pretty decent alternate to Marcus Smith. He doesn’t have quite the same bag of tricks, but he seems to have good vision, the ability to throw cut-out passes over the defence and has settled in well.

On the flip side, the starting XV today, which admittedly was mostly a mix of 3rd string and Academy players who’d never played together before did not look ready for prime time yet. The difference when a handful of regular starters came on was pretty dramatic.
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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Tue 07 Sep 2021, 12:21 pm

It was along time coming but this is a massive investment by Wasps and should be a draw for players coming into the club apart from all the advantages Joe outlines below.

https://www.coventrytelegraph.net/sport/rugby/joe-launchbury-wasps-rugby-21479565

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 07 Sep 2021, 12:30 pm

That looks like my perfect gym....

Powerlifting racks, kettlebells, and a sled track...

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Post by doctor_grey Tue 07 Sep 2021, 5:00 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:That looks like my perfect gym....

Powerlifting racks, kettlebells, and a sled track...
where is the bar?

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 09 Sep 2021, 11:46 am

I see Alfie Barbeary suffered a hamstring tear warming up on Saturday against Coventry. couple of months out...

Are all these injuries a concern?

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Thu 09 Sep 2021, 2:35 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:I see Alfie Barbeary suffered a hamstring tear warming up on Saturday against Coventry. couple of months out...

Are all these injuries a concern?

A bit but as the defence coach says he is on a managed individual recovery and he is still only 20 with a very large growing frame.

Charlie Atkinson also picked up a knock against Cov and is waiting to see a knee specialist this week.
It never rains……

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Thu 09 Sep 2021, 3:18 pm

My view on the best 23 for Saints when all available, should cause most teams a lot of trouble both upfront and in the backs, both pace and size a plenty everywhere. I suspect though that with the locks Saints have Lawes will play 6. I want to see Willemsen play; just based on reputation, a 20 st+ mobile 8 (also EQ holds a British passport) is not something we have seen around for a while, not since BV in his heyday anyway. He could be a bit of competition for Dombrandt. Cousin of Nadolo, so comes with a pedigree.

Front row is my only worry, especially LH. None strikes me to be of a any great class, some young potential, but Waller hasn't been as good as he used to be for a couple of seasons.

Waller
Haywood
Hill
Ribbans
Lawes
Harrison/Augustus
Ludlam
Willemsen/Augustus
Mitchell
Biggar
Naiyaravoro
Proctor
Hutchinson
Sleightholme
Freeman

Hobbs-Awoyemi
Matavesi
Painter
Moon/Willemsen
Wood/Harrison
James
Grayson
Tuala/Furbank
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Post by doctor_grey Thu 09 Sep 2021, 5:38 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:My view on the best 23 for Saints when all available, should cause most teams a lot of trouble both upfront and in the backs, both pace and size a plenty everywhere.  I suspect though that with the locks Saints have Lawes will play 6.  I want to see Willemsen play; just based on reputation, a 20 st+ mobile 8 (also EQ holds a British passport) is not something we have seen around for a while, not since BV in his heyday anyway. He could be a bit of competition for Dombrandt. Cousin of Nadolo, so comes with a pedigree.

Front row is my only worry, especially LH. None strikes me to be of a any great class, some young potential, but Waller hasn't been as good as he used to be for a couple of seasons.

Waller
Haywood
Hill
Ribbans
Lawes
Harrison/Augustus
Ludlam
Willemsen/Augustus
Mitchell
Biggar
Naiyaravoro
Proctor
Hutchinson
Sleightholme
Freeman

Hobbs-Awoyemi
Matavesi
Painter
Moon/Willemsen
Wood/Harrison
James
Grayson
Tuala/Furbank
I agree in general. Only real personnel weaknesses are LH who have issues scrummaging and hookers who can't throw. The rest is on the coaches to have the defense prepared to avoid giving away games late on.

And only with Saints logic do de have a winger, Taqele Naiyaravoro, known as Big T and a back row forward, Teimana Harrison, known as Little T.

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Post by Poorfour Thu 09 Sep 2021, 7:05 pm

I suppose a Quins 23 would look like:

Marler Head Louw
Symons Lewies
Evans Chisholm Dombrandt
Care Smith
Esterhuizen Marchant
Murley Green Lynagh

Botta Walker Collier
Lamb Kenningham
Steele Allan Northmore

The starting team's biggest weaknesses are the "don't bother, we'll just score right back" defence and Andre the Giant's magnetic elbow, which is seemingly irresistably attracted to opposing players' fillings.

The bench is a bit unsettled at LH and Hooker - many of us are hoping that Els and/or Baxter will supplant Botta, and Walker is an unknown quantity and could be overtaken by Musk. Beyond that, though, that's the strongest bench we've had for a long time. Kenningham in particular is arguably first choice anyway and Evans will have to win his place back on return from injury.

What's really pleasing is the depth beyond that - the aforementioned Els, Baxter and Musk, Kerrod, Tizard and Hammond, Lawday, Jones and David are all players who could be pushing for regular starts. I hope the coaches feel confident enough to rotate a couple of players each week to keep things fresh and reduce the risk of injury.

It's going to be a tough season with more teams looking capable of challenging for the playoffs than we have seen in a long time, but this is a Quins squad that I am genuinely excited about across the park.
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Post by hugehandoff Thu 09 Sep 2021, 7:53 pm

Any Sale fans know if Manu is fit for the start of the season?

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 09 Sep 2021, 8:03 pm

Cor that Quins backline is going to be fun to watch this season. Green really stepped up over the course of last season and looked pretty special in the playoffs.

For Tigers we're looking at a best 23 of;

Genge, Montoya, Cole
Wells, Green
Liebenburg, Reffell, Weise
Youngs, Ford
Scott, Moroni
Nadolo, Potter, Steward

Youngs, Leatigaga, Heyes, Martin, van Staden, JVP, Burns, Saumaki.

There's some really good squad depth this year particularly in the back three. Lock is an area of weakness and we could really do with one of the young guns to take a step up and push out an incumbent. Chessum has looked very good in pre season and Henderson finished last season well so there's good possibilities.

Kelly will rotate with Scott and Moroni as per last season and could push out of the more experienced guys to the bench. Looking forward to the Fijian flyer Saumaki play on the Prem because he scored a lot of tries in Japan and he's a big lad. JVP has been looking very good in pre season and really tore Dragons apart last weekend. Benny will be looking over his shoulder.

Backrow options have been boosted by some Bok physicality so I'm hoping for a lot of very aggressive defence. Hopefully having Ford available for a bit more of the season after the ANC and 6N meant he barely played before the second half of the season last time should mean we offer more in attack. Burns will help during the international periods.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Fri 10 Sep 2021, 9:04 am

doctor_grey wrote:
WELL-PAST-IT wrote:My view on the best 23 for Saints when all available, should cause most teams a lot of trouble both upfront and in the backs, both pace and size a plenty everywhere.  I suspect though that with the locks Saints have Lawes will play 6.  I want to see Willemsen play; just based on reputation, a 20 st+ mobile 8 (also EQ holds a British passport) is not something we have seen around for a while, not since BV in his heyday anyway. He could be a bit of competition for Dombrandt. Cousin of Nadolo, so comes with a pedigree.

Front row is my only worry, especially LH. None strikes me to be of a any great class, some young potential, but Waller hasn't been as good as he used to be for a couple of seasons.

Waller
Haywood
Hill
Ribbans
Lawes
Harrison/Augustus
Ludlam
Willemsen/Augustus
Mitchell
Biggar
Naiyaravoro
Proctor
Hutchinson
Sleightholme
Freeman

Hobbs-Awoyemi
Matavesi
Painter
Moon/Willemsen
Wood/Harrison
James
Grayson
Tuala/Furbank
I agree in general.  Only real personnel weaknesses are LH who have issues scrummaging and hookers who can't throw.  The rest is on the coaches to have the defense prepared to avoid giving away games late on.  

And only with Saints logic do de have a winger, Taqele Naiyaravoro, known as Big T and a back row forward, Teimana Harrison, known as Little T.  

I was thinking beyond the starting 23 and who we have as cover for injuries and international call ups, we are going to have to put faith in the kids in a lot of slots.

Auterac/Iyogun
Marshal
Heffernan/Garside (the larger)
Ratuniyarawa
Cole (needs to put on two stone)/Nansen
Wood/Harrison/Augustus (whoever is not in the current 23)
Newman/Tonks
Willemsen/Harrison/Wood (see 6)
Tupai
Furbank/Arden
Collins
Francis
Dingwall
Dani Long-Martinez
Tuala/Hendy

Those in bold are all squeaky clean to the game.

However, they must be a lot of strength in depth when you can leave Ratuniyarawa, Collins, Francis, Dingwall plus possibly Tuala of of the 23.

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Post by Recwatcher16 Fri 10 Sep 2021, 9:13 am

The Bath first XV is probably something like;
1. Obano
2. Dunn
3. Stuart
4. Ewels
5. McNally
6. Reid
7. Underhill
8. Faletau
9. Spencer
10. Cipriani
11. McConnochie
12. Redpath
13. Joseph
14. Cokanasiga
15. Watson

Only problem being we will be lucky to see that combination more than once this season. Bath are hitting their stated internal targets of 50% of the senior squad coming from the academy and I count 32 of the slim 40 man squad being EQ, not helped by Scotland picking off Redpath and Bayliss in relatively recent times and four SA players coming in to fill gaps.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 10 Sep 2021, 9:30 am

Falcons will probably something like:

1 Davison
2 McGuigan / Blamire
3 Mulipola
4 Peterson
5 Fuser
6 Wilson
7 Welch / Graham
8 Chick

9 Schrueder
10 Connon
11 Stevenson
12 Burrell
13 Orlando
14 Radwan
15 Brown / Penny


Last edited by GeordieFalcon on Fri 10 Sep 2021, 12:22 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Fri 10 Sep 2021, 10:32 am

Saints have 67% of there senior squad home grown and through the accedemy according to their website, but that is a big squad and has 12 players elevated this year. Quite a few of them have already played in the Prem mind you.
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Post by geoff999rugby Fri 10 Sep 2021, 10:38 am

Some feedback from the Ulster Saracens friendlies.
To be clear I watched the first game, have yet to watch the second but have spoken to a number who did.

Ulster lack true power and as consequence are trying to play a fast paced game - in the Premiership the best comparisons would be Quins and Saints.

Saracens looked ponderous by comparison and didn't seem to adapt to the pace of the game.
They did run away with the first game but only because of three late tries when they exposed a couple of youngsters who came on.
Also in both games they sailed very close to the wind with respect to dangerous play - this will get them in trouble.
Only friendlies I know but from what I've seen, and what I have heard, I would downgrade my prediction for them.

I would put them with Tigers, Bath, Saints in the 5 to 8 bracket rather than the top 4 bracket

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 10 Sep 2021, 10:56 am

Not sure what to except of Saracens this season, but they still have a very strong squad and a good head coach.

Might be a little undercooked initially, but they'll sharp get back to it after a few games.

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Post by Poorfour Fri 10 Sep 2021, 11:07 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:Not sure what to except of Saracens this season, but they still have a very strong squad and a good head coach.

Might be a little undercooked initially, but they'll sharp get back to it after a few games.

Sarries still have a 1st XXIII that would go into every match with a realistic chance of winning it. The return of their loan players will strengthen them and at the same time weaken some important competitors a little. What is going to be harder for them is:

1) Getting back up to speed in the Premiership. Several of their best players were demonstrably undercooked when we saw them at international level. They may be unexpectedly vulnerable - probably 3-4 games in when the initial "let's hit the ground running" starts to fade a little
2) They don't have the same squad depth they had before. They can no longer just throw in another international player when injuries or international call ups hit them
3) It's possible - though we won't know til the season starts - that the style of the game has evolved away from them. Their style of grinding power game served Sharks well last season, and Exeter have an element of it too, but ultimately the team that topped the table played an open, attacking game, and the team that won the premiership played an even more open, even more attacking game. And the rule changes may accelerate this: the goal line dropout, in particular, makes the ability to camp on the 5m line and hammer away less valuable.

I've got no doubt that they will be very competitive. I think last year's top 4, plus Sarries, plus Tigers and Saints will all go into the season thinking they have a realistic ambition of reaching the playoffs.
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