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Dragons Season Thread 21/22

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Old Man
LeinsterFan4life
Luckless Pedestrian
PhilBB
Welshmushroom
LordDowlais
formerly known as Sam
mikey_dragon
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Post by The Oracle Thu 26 Aug 2021, 6:43 pm

First topic message reminder :

James Benjamin has been turned into a hooker! We do have too many back rowers so this might be good for him from a personal point of view in terms of getting game time, but will be interesting to see if he's able to become a top level player in that position.

https://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/19540310.james-benjamin-moves-flanker-hooker-dragons/
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Mon 11 Oct 2021, 12:18 pm

It's the discipline in defence as well, Ashton Hewitt mentioned it on Scrum V, they're not conceding the penalties further up the pitch to give the opposition the chance to kick to the corner. It's early days, but it's been very impressive.

Speaking of Scrum V, I couldn't believe they started the highlights of their first featured match, Scarlets v Munster, after the first try had been scored. They also didn't show Doge's try in our game. What kind of highlights show leaves out actual tries from their featured matches?

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Post by RiscaGame Mon 11 Oct 2021, 12:19 pm

Great stuff. Good day all round on Sat, with Newport winning at Fortress Spytty too.

Hope we keep Williams fit now.

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Post by RiscaGame Mon 11 Oct 2021, 12:24 pm

I’ll probably be able to go this Friday as well, for Brok Harris appreciation night. First one this season. Not holding out much hope, now the SA sides are finding their feet, but hopefully we keep this attacking mindset now.

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 11 Oct 2021, 3:01 pm

Harris still looks pretty good mind.

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 15 Oct 2021, 10:09 am

Dragons: Jordan Williams; Jonah Holmes, Jack Dixon, Aneurin Owen, Jordan Olowofela; Sam Davies, Gonzalo Bertrano; Greg Bateman, Elliot Dee, Mesake Doge, Will Rowlands, Ben Carter, Ross Moriarty (capt), Taine Basham, Aaron Wainwright.

Replacements: Taylor Davies, Aki Seiuli, Chris Coleman, Joe Davies, Joe Maksymiw, Ollie Griffiths, Rhodri Williams, Josh Lewis.

A 5-2 split for us.

The Stormers line up as follows (our squad would look much better if Harris was still a part of it).

Stormers: Warrick Gelant; Leolin Zas, Ruhan Nel, Dan du Plessis, Edwill van der Merwe; Manie Libbok, Stefan Ungerer; Brok Harris, Scarra Ntubeni, Neethling Fouche, Ernst van Rhyn, Salmaan Moerat (capt), Junior Pokomela, Willie Engelbrecht, Evan Roos.

Replacements: JJ Kotze, Kwenzo Blose, Sazi Sandi, Justin Basson, Marcel Theunissen, Paul de Wet, Tim Swiel, Juan de Jongh.

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 15 Oct 2021, 2:48 pm

Hope it’s a good game. Been a bit on the bus, off the bus this week with going, after lateral flow scare. Thankfully PCR is negative. If it wasn’t for giving Brok a cheer, I probably would’ve missed it anyway. I’ve already sold one ticket and had to buy another today.

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 15 Oct 2021, 6:21 pm

Ah, the Dodger have Madri now. Not a bad start to the evening.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Fri 15 Oct 2021, 6:43 pm

Best of luck tonight, I'll be watching as I'm interested to see how the Dragons go this season. Yous have been impressive so far.

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 15 Oct 2021, 6:50 pm

Ta. I’m a little surprised to see us as favourites. I don’t like us being underrated (especially at home), but would’ve thought the Stormers may be favourites now the SA teams are finding their feet too.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Fri 15 Oct 2021, 7:05 pm

RiscaGame wrote:Ta. I’m a little surprised to see us as favourites. I don’t like us being underrated (especially at home), but would’ve thought the Stormers may be favourites now the SA teams are finding their feet too.
That surprises me too as the stormers have been impressive so far. This is a big test for you boys.

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 15 Oct 2021, 7:39 pm

Few changes for Dragons. Mixed bag really. Warren in for Dixon at 13, Josh Lewis for Jordan Williams at 15. On the bench Ioan Davies replaces Lewis and Jared Rosser replaces Joe Maksymiw. Back to a 5/3 split.
So if Rosser is fit, I wouldn’t be playing the poophouse on the left wing.

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Post by The Oracle Fri 15 Oct 2021, 8:34 pm

Shame about Jordan Williams. He brought so much to the backline against Connacht. Will be missed.
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Post by The Oracle Fri 15 Oct 2021, 8:45 pm

Some poor kicking so far. A bad missed touch finder on a penalty for Josh Lewis. We’re struggling to get over the gain line too.
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Post by Old Man Fri 15 Oct 2021, 8:59 pm

Looking for a reason to card that

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Post by Old Man Fri 15 Oct 2021, 9:00 pm

Yep, rugby is going soft

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Post by Old Man Fri 15 Oct 2021, 9:01 pm

Pathetic call

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Post by The Oracle Fri 15 Oct 2021, 9:18 pm

Missed a load as I had to go pick my daughter up! Some contentious calls then it would seem?
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Post by Old Man Fri 15 Oct 2021, 9:23 pm

Another tackle deemed high, the Stormers prop literally ducks and Dragons concede a penalty for high tackle.

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Post by Old Man Fri 15 Oct 2021, 9:24 pm

The Oracle wrote:Missed a load as I had to go pick my daughter up! Some contentious calls then it would seem?


Just the tackles, Stormers conceded a yellow card for a tackle which at ultra slow motion still hits below the neck

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Post by The Oracle Fri 15 Oct 2021, 9:29 pm

Poor discipline from Dragons at the end of the half. Gonna be a tight game I think.
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Post by Old Man Fri 15 Oct 2021, 9:31 pm

Stormers defence has been aggressive, but they just can't hold onto the ball. Too many players want to do it on their own.

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 15 Oct 2021, 9:32 pm

Can’t see how the high shot can be anything other than nothing or red. I would lean towards nothing, from in the ground, as only one angle on the screen showed potentially anything.

Long old half that. Good job it’s not cold. £4.30 a thatchers in the ground though. Daylight robbery.

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Post by The Oracle Fri 15 Oct 2021, 9:37 pm

RiscaGame wrote:Can’t see how the high shot can be anything other than nothing or red. I would lean towards nothing, from in the ground, as only one angle on the screen showed potentially anything.

Long old half that. Good job it’s not cold. £4.30 a thatchers in the ground though. Daylight robbery.

Crikey! It used to be cheaper in the ground than in the pubs, or at least around the same. I’ll pay that in nice pubs, but over the Dragons it’s a bit of a stretch!
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Post by RiscaGame Fri 15 Oct 2021, 9:40 pm

Compared to the dodger which a premium lager is £3.50, it’s not good. Considering us terrace dwellers aren’t allowed in the better bar too, there’s little benefit to drinking here.

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Post by The Oracle Fri 15 Oct 2021, 9:53 pm

That’s the most ridiculous penalty against the Dragons I’ve seen in a long time. He was trying to get a Stormers player off our scrum half!
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Post by Old Man Fri 15 Oct 2021, 9:57 pm

Flicking between matches din't see that

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 15 Oct 2021, 10:12 pm

Disgraceful pen that. Turned into pure pressure, as a result. Ref has made his mind up here and is pure Stormers in the scrums too.

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Post by Old Man Fri 15 Oct 2021, 10:16 pm

Gelant doing too much on his own

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Post by The Oracle Fri 15 Oct 2021, 10:29 pm

Well done Stormers. Dragons.... meh Sad
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Post by RiscaGame Fri 15 Oct 2021, 11:48 pm

Stormers physicality in defence was great, ably assisted by another poor Dragons attacking performance.

Taine Basham pretty much our only positive?

It’s very frustrating that Dragons have now lost three at home. Only three tries scored too. So much for buzzing off the fans being back.

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 15 Oct 2021, 11:51 pm

Think we have to cut our losses on the left winger we have on loan. He doesn’t look like we will make a player out of him and he’s hampering our own players by getting selected.

Also, if we are serious about entertaining at home, then don’t play Josh Lewis. Yes he was MOTM against Ospreys, but it’s looking very much like a one off. Again, we could be playing or developing somebody. We actually signed that Ioan Davies and for what?

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Post by The Oracle Sat 16 Oct 2021, 9:06 am

There was very little invention in the backs. Watched the fist half with my 7 year old son and he kept saying ‘stop kicking it!’. We’re rewatching it now and he’s saying the same! If he’s noticing it with 7 year old eyes then that speaks volumes. We sort of had to kick it in the end because we couldn’t break the defence. Credit to Stormers for that but also because our attacking moves were very basic. Stormers tried to be more inventive and got the offloads going and that was more effective. We did get some decent moves going with the forwards(first half), in particular our back row did some nice inter play. But it was more abrasive than free flowing and it never ended with a try. We scored nothing after the 1st quarter of the game, roughly. Again, credit to Stormers for that but we’re going to really struggle this season without a batter attacking game. Let’s not forget that this is the SA teams without their internationals, and away from home. Dread to see what happens in SA when they’re fully loaded! Lots of people called the SA teams to struggle this season but I said ‘give them a few weeks and they’ll be fine’. I stand by that and I think we’re starting to see it.
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Post by Old Man Sat 16 Oct 2021, 9:14 am

Oracle, I still think the SA teams lack in their attack, I was screaming the same thing last night "stop kicking"

Whilst Gelant may have recieved the MOTM, I felt he was also part of the problem, he tried too much on his own.

Stormers lacked cohesion on attack and didn't look like they could put their support players in space

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Post by The Oracle Sat 16 Oct 2021, 9:26 am

Without knowing the Stormers too well I’d guess that the Stormers ‘ceiling’ is a lot higher than the Dragons! So lots of scope for improvement with Stormers but unfortunately Dragons don’t get much better than this! A bit but not much. Our forwards are getting better year on year though. Which is a good start. We’ve brought in some good signings and brought through some good players from youth. We’re at the point now where Wales is selecting 6 of our starting 8 for the international squad. That’s big progress for us as it wasn’t too long ago when we’d have none. But we need to worms to recruit better backs. Our forwards should be able to provide them a decent platform now. Just need the quality outside them to be able to use the ball well.
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Post by The Oracle Sat 16 Oct 2021, 9:32 am

On the subject of the backs, I know he ended up not playing but I notice that they keep selecting Jack Dixon at outside centre? I just can’t see the point of that. He was always described as being in the mould of Jamie Roberts, and a poor one at that. Big, pretty slow and abrasive. Never really kicked on and doesn’t seem to offer much. So why put him at 13??? He hasn’t got the pace for 12 let alone 13 and I just think it’s going to slow everting down when the ball is moved wide. Much preferred seeing Warren there. Going forward though if you have to have Dixon in then wouldn’t it be better to have Dixon at 12 and Aneurin Owen at 13? Owen seems like the faster more elusive runner of the two. No problem with him at 12 either, but for me the 13 then needs to be another elusive slippery player and not a crash ball merchant.
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Post by RiscaGame Sat 16 Oct 2021, 11:41 am

The Oracle wrote:On the subject of the backs, I know he ended up not playing but I notice that they keep selecting Jack Dixon at outside centre? I just can’t see the point of that. He was always described as being in the mould of Jamie Roberts, and a poor one at that. Big, pretty slow and abrasive. Never really kicked on and doesn’t seem to offer much. So why put him at 13??? He hasn’t got the pace for 12 let alone 13 and I just think it’s going to slow everting down when the ball is moved wide. Much preferred seeing Warren there. Going forward though if you have to have Dixon in then wouldn’t it be better to have Dixon at 12 and Aneurin Owen at 13? Owen seems like the faster more elusive runner of the two. No problem with him at 12 either, but for me the 13 then needs to be another elusive slippery player and not a crash ball merchant.

Agree totally on how we use our centres.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 16 Oct 2021, 4:25 pm

I’ve been saying that about the centres, especially Dixon, for a while now. I’ve only seen bits of the game so far, but from what I seen Josh Lewis wasn’t good at all. We really need to be putting out our best team for occasions like this.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Mon 18 Oct 2021, 12:55 pm

The Oracle wrote:There was very little invention in the backs. Watched the fist half with my 7 year old son and he kept saying ‘stop kicking it!’. We’re rewatching it now and he’s saying the same! If he’s noticing it with 7 year old eyes then that speaks volumes. We sort of had to kick it in the end because we couldn’t break the defence. Credit to Stormers for that but also because our attacking moves were very basic. Stormers tried to be more inventive and got the offloads going and that was more effective. We did get some decent moves going with the forwards(first half), in particular our back row did some nice inter play. But it was more abrasive than free flowing and it never ended with a try. We scored nothing after the 1st quarter of the game, roughly. Again, credit to Stormers for that but we’re going to really struggle this season without a batter attacking game. Let’s not forget that this is the SA teams without their internationals, and away from home. Dread to see what happens in SA when they’re fully loaded! Lots of people called the SA teams to struggle this season but I said ‘give them a few weeks and they’ll be fine’. I stand by that and I think we’re starting to see it.

At least three times in the match, we had an overlap in our own 22, and either we didn't notice, or we kicked anyway. You can't let opportunities like that go and still expect to win matches.

The biggest disappointment to me was the needless penalties we conceded, and from players who should know better, two from Will Rowlands and one from Wainwright, right in front of the posts. It was such a regression from the last few games.

In terms of positives, it was so good to see players properly running onto to the ball, I've been crying out for us to do this when we had season after season of forwards taking the ball standing still.

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 18 Oct 2021, 1:34 pm

Our halfbacks do kick a lot. Not sure about Bertrano, but Williams definitely. The attack from the backs has been at it's best when we have our best wingers available, and when we have pace at 13 - this isn't Dixon. Again I don't see why we won't put Owen there. Or Warren now that he's back.

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Post by Welshmushroom Mon 18 Oct 2021, 3:54 pm

Have to say our pack is looking good though. I think we just are missing that little bit of x factor in the backs.

I'd love to see us pick up someone like Garyn Smith off Cardiff (they hardly ever use him and he looked great in preseason). Besides Cardiff owes us a couple of backs given the amount of players they have had off us.

The good news though is were in a better spot than the Scarlets. Their pack is woeful. Half their squad can count themselves lucky to have as many selected for the Autumn internationals.

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 18 Oct 2021, 5:52 pm

That's Pivac for you, Scarlet until he dies. I think Parry was unlucky, but may get in if Dee doesn't recover. I'm not sold on Rhodri Jones at LH, Nicky Smith might have been the better option but not sold on him at international level either tbh. Our pack is decent yes, as now we can actually compete with people up front. It just turns out that a lot of other teams also have decent if not better packs!

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Post by Welshmushroom Wed 20 Oct 2021, 11:22 am

Having as many internationals selected for Wales will hopefully start turning our reputation for players getting selected for international duty around.

If Ryan is smart now he will start targeting some of the real quality youngsters who simply are not getting blooded by other regions. Cardiff have a few youngsters I would be going after as well as the Scarlets. Granted Booth is doing a fine job of giving their younger players game time so I don't see any chance of poaching players from there.

I'd also start going after Tshiunza now as well so when he comes out of contract as strengthening our lock & blindside options won't hurt either. Granted I'd imagine some of the other Welsh Regions will be after him assuming he continues to play well for Exeter.

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 20 Oct 2021, 4:57 pm

If shopping for a centre, then I'd rather it be a big centre who can do more than just smash people up, so sort of like Dixon but much better. I'd definitely be up for trying to get Tshizuna in the near future.

What's happened to Leon Brown anyway? I didn't think his injury was this bad. We'll need him over the next few weeks. We'll definitely struggle at 2nd row, so maybe Huw Taylor will be around the squad.

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Post by Welshmushroom Wed 20 Oct 2021, 5:07 pm

Yeah I do wish they would release lineups earlier than 24 hours before the match. Going to have to wait till then to see what kind of side we can put out.  

Huw Taylor has been a bit of a disappointment.  Fry on the other hand I hope is fit and well and starts at Blindside.  I'd imagine Keedie and Griffiths will be the other available back rows.  

Honestly I'd be after Garyn Smith - I dont know what he did in the off season but he came back a beast.  Was gaining meters for fun in pre season. Totally wasted at Cardiff at the moment.


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Post by RiscaGame Wed 20 Oct 2021, 5:32 pm

Just saw the Argus say that Brown is out until late Nov. That's some stinger.

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Post by Welshmushroom Thu 21 Oct 2021, 9:53 am

Damn - we need him back. I'm guessing Doge will be available though as I don't think Fiji play any matches until mid Nov. Fingers crossed.


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Post by RiscaGame Thu 21 Oct 2021, 11:03 am

Yeah, they've said we have Doge this weekend.

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 21 Oct 2021, 11:10 am

And when he's gone, we just have Coleman... Is there anyone good from the academy? We could also give Joe Peard a test to see if he can do it at this level. He's a big unit and they usually get picked up.

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Post by Welshmushroom Thu 21 Oct 2021, 11:17 am

Yeah big second rows are a premium. Developing Peard over the next season or two would make sense. They don't grow on trees.

I'd like us to get Bartlett a couple of run outs too as we do need to start thinking about covering loosehead options where some of our options there are past their best.

I would like to see us look at the Welsh Premiership as well for some options as there are some guys playing at that level who could make the step up. There are some good props in that league. Granted the step up is big and it would take a couple of seasons before those players can properly be judged.

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Post by RiscaGame Thu 21 Oct 2021, 11:36 am

I would be surprised to see them look at Dylan Bartlett, tbh. As much as I would love to see a Risca boy come through.

I think we will be relying on Coleman and Jarvis. Not sure who we could look at from the Prem, if anybody. I guess Garrett at Ebbw and Suter at the Port have experience, but there never seems to be much conversation that we are missing out on anybody.

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