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Dragons Season Thread 21/22

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chris_501
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Post by Guest Thu Aug 26, 2021 5:43 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 jimbopip Sun Dec 05, 2021 10:36 am

Well, I thought your forwards fronted up, Sam Davies is a very good 10 and was unlucky not to grab a try (or two).

The try just on half time where we shunted your scrum off their own ball was the decisive moment. A bad lapse in concentration there.


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Post by Guest Sun Dec 05, 2021 12:23 pm

I think we peaked too early this season (the away win vs Connacht)! Our work for the season is done Laugh

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Post by BigGee Sun Dec 05, 2021 1:45 pm

jimbopip wrote:Well, I thought your forwards fronted up, Sam Davies is a very good 10 and was unlucky not to grab a try (or two).




He could maybe do with a little bit of tackling practice though Run


Mind you I don't think many 10s would fancy tackling Dempsey once he gets up a head of steam!

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Mon Dec 06, 2021 10:21 am

This has been a terrible start to the season, and our next five matches are against Perpignan (A), Lyon (H), Ospreys (A), Cardiff (H), and the Scarlets (A). If we don't get at least a couple of wins from those fixtures then it's a disastrous start to the season, and I wouldn't bet on that happening. It's all well and good talking about effort and fight and all that, but this is professional sport and the crowds are only going to dwindle further if you're pretty much certain of watching another defeat.

Everything Glasgow did was sharper than when we had the ball, and it was the same when we played Edinburgh. At some point you have to look at the coaches because I don't accept that this is the best these players are capable of (though for some of them I'm sure it is). We don't look threatening at all with ball in hand. Aneurin Owen has stalled, but he's not getting the ball in space.

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Post by RiscaGame Mon Dec 06, 2021 10:35 am

I just don’t get how we can go from playing with attacking intent in the Mickey Mouse cup, to playing turgid rugby again. It’s not as if we played off a platform then.

For me, if we aren’t allowed to question Dean Ryan (which seems to be the case for some Dragons fans), then Gordon Ross should lose his job. I know the win last season up there was a bit of a fluke (missed easy kick at the end), but ultimately we’ve gone from a win to an away BP loss.

It’s very hard at the minute, as it’s hard to see where the next win is coming from and then the takeover seems further away than ever.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Mon Dec 06, 2021 10:57 am

Well exactly. This is what we're putting in the shop window.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon Dec 06, 2021 12:51 pm

Hello dragons fans, seeing as their in your pathway/region, I was wondering if any of you knew anything about the goings on at Ebbw Vale ?

They've sacked the lot and put Jason Strange and Geraint Lewis in charge. I was speaking to a season ticket holder on the weekend, and he told me there is absolute carnage over there.

Just wondering if any of you had any info ?

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Post by Welshmushroom Mon Dec 06, 2021 1:15 pm

I don't think its all doom and gloom. From what I am seeing every side has cranked up their performances at home as they all seem to know how vital winning at home will become in terms of qualifying for the last 8.

I know we were not great against at Edinburgh at home and that one did hurt but to be fair there will be a lot of sides heading to Glasgow and won't be able to pick up wins there.

The one thing I have noticed though is that at 15 we really lack pace. Jordan has flair but in my eyes pace is the better weapon. We really need to get a pacey bulky 15 to really challenge the attacking line.

The takeover has gone a bit quiet so god knows what will come of it and who knows if the new owners will actually increase the budget in any case.

What is clear is I'm happier than a Scarlets fan right now. If we had the Scarlet budget (almost double our payroll), I've no doubt in my mind we would be better than them. Their squad is totally over rated. Ryan's signing have been miles better and we seem to be producing a lot of next generation welsh internationals.

I don't think were even that far off giving most sides a run for their money. In my eyes were only a quality Loosehead, a couple of centre and a top draw full back away from being fairly competitive.

It will be interesting to see what Ryan does as we still have quite a few guys on payroll who he probably wouldn't have picked to renew contracts. I'd imagine its also the end for Hibbard, Roberts and a bunch of others in the summer. What is clear is that the summer signings this year will be critical to Ryan's long terms future.

The good news is that given the current agent issue with the PRL there are a awful lot of agents trying to find clubs for players so we could potentially get a couple of quality players we might not have been in the running for. Fingers crossed.

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Post by RiscaGame Mon Dec 06, 2021 2:00 pm

LordDowlais wrote:Hello dragons fans, seeing as their in your pathway/region, I was wondering if any of you knew anything about the goings on at Ebbw Vale ?

They've sacked the lot and put Jason Strange and Geraint Lewis in charge. I was speaking to a season ticket holder on the weekend, and he told me there is absolute carnage over there.

Just wondering if any of you had any info ?

It just seems to be the results they’ve had, doesn’t it? I’d have thought the ST holders may have more info.

I can’t say that Strange commuting as he is and double hatting with St Helens seems a great move though.

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Post by RiscaGame Mon Dec 06, 2021 2:16 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:I don't think its all doom and gloom.  From what I am seeing every side has cranked up their performances at home as they all seem to know how vital winning at home will become in terms of qualifying for the last 8.

I know we were not great against at Edinburgh at home and that one did hurt but to be fair there will be a lot of sides heading to Glasgow and won't be able to pick up wins there.

The one thing I have noticed though is that at 15 we really lack pace.  Jordan has flair but in my eyes pace is the better weapon.  We really need to get a pacey bulky 15 to really challenge the attacking line.  

The takeover has gone a bit quiet so god knows what will come of it and who knows if the new owners will actually increase the budget in any case.

What is clear is I'm happier than a Scarlets fan right now.  If we had the Scarlet budget (almost double our payroll), I've no doubt in my mind we would be better than them.  Their squad is totally over rated.  Ryan's signing have been miles better and we seem to be producing a lot of next generation welsh internationals.

I don't think were even that far off giving most sides a run for their money.  In my eyes were only a quality Loosehead, a couple of centre and a top draw full back away from being fairly competitive.

It will be interesting to see what Ryan does as we still have quite a few guys on payroll who he probably wouldn't have picked to renew contracts.  I'd imagine its also the end for Hibbard, Roberts and a bunch of others in the summer.  What is clear is that the summer signings this year will be critical to Ryan's long terms future.

The good news is that given the current agent issue with the PRL there are a awful lot of agents trying to find clubs for players so we could potentially get a couple of quality players we might not have been in the running for.  Fingers crossed.

This is fair, that we aren’t far off. I’m just not sure the right signing is available. I certainly don’t think Seiuli is the right signing at loosehead. At least Doge is offering a bit around the park etc. That’s what happens when you have to sign so late though, I guess. I would’ve kept hold of Brok and tried to develop Reynolds still. I just thought to look at the Dragons squad and Bevington isn’t a current or past player. If he is still in the squad, he should go. I think Bateman should go too. Hooker, I agree on Hibbs’ time is up. It’s interesting that Dai Sport think we are leading the chase for Bradley Roberts.

Centre, I would love a good 13. I would prefer Owen to be playing 12. Honestly, with how badly we use Roberts (who is clearly on the wane anyway), I would prefer to play Owen 12, Warren 13 in the interim.

You are right that Ryan has made better signings. That is why I get more frustrated now with a lot of games. I can take losing away, it has been the home games I have been more annoyed about (and the Cardiff game). Though reading about how we lost on the weekend did little for my mood too. I suppose (as I’ve alluded to earlier), the uncertainty over the budgets hasn’t helped Ryan, in some ways.

It’s true that the Scarlets should be doing better, but then I would be more confident in them improving than us. We shall see.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Mon Dec 06, 2021 4:23 pm

Ultimately it's played 7, won 1, lost 6. It's true that these aren't the hidings we've had in seasons gone by, but it's not a good look to be 19-0 down at half time regardless of the opposition. I just feel like we've spent long enough looking on the bright side of things when that's not how anyone else looks at us.

I was thinking after Saturday whether we need to look again at Josh Lewis as a 10 rather than a 15, not because he can't do a job at full back but because I don't feel Sam Davies should be a shoo-in at outside half. He's not an 'emerging talent' any more, it feels like we tiptoe around him a bit.

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Post by RiscaGame Mon Dec 06, 2021 7:51 pm

I don’t really trust Josh Lewis, since he got injured. Maybe it’s because he was finding his feet again, when we have played him at ten post injury. But at the moment, I feel like we have to do something. We should look at Lewis the next two weekends and give Sam a rest. Then we can hopefully get him firing for the derbies.

It’s ironic really that Sam Davies for us is either really good at general play and rubbish at goal kicking or the opposite. At the minute we are more towards the opposite. He isn’t helped when there is pressure on him mind and obviously a misfiring pack isn’t the best of platforms to play behind, when he may be low on confidence.

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Post by Welshmushroom Tue Dec 07, 2021 10:27 am

The issue for me in recent seasons has been that up and coming talent has preferred to get zero game time at other regions instead of giving us a go.

I'm hoping with the massive increase in international representation that changes. Because in my mind there is enough young talent in wales to bring through but other regions would rather keep them on their books without developing than coming to us and potentially posing a threat to them.

Loosehead is a good example. We know there are some good young props around but we can't get hold of them.

I know Ospreys Academy is out of the question because Booth has shown that he will give youngsters game time. I'd would love to get someone like Hawkins who will no doubt become a quality player given time.

I don't think the Scarlets can turn it around. A lot of their top salaried players are well past their best. To me Peel really has a problem because I can see them not getting into the Champions Cup next season and potentially dropping quite low on international representation as well. That in turn will affect their budget - especially if we see more and more Dragons players getting chances.

And without the Budget and starting to develop youngsters straight away, they will have a bigger problem recruiting better players.

What i really hope does not happen is that they start poaching our players again in order to stay on top of the welsh pecking order. i was pleased Basham has stayed with us and hope a few more do the same.

If Ryan can keep the core together I've no doubt in 2-3 years we will see our funding increase because we probably will have more guys in the elite 32 to swing more funding our way.

What Ryan really needs to do now is really target those promising players who are not really getting enough time on the park. I'd happily take Tuipulotu, Blacker, Conbeer & Costelow off the Scarlets. And at Cardiff I would be targeting Domachowski, Davies-King, Lawrence, Ratti (now Falatau is coming in), Smith & Llewellyn.

I'd probably target a foreign loosehead and outside centre though with some experience as well.

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Post by Welshmushroom Tue Dec 07, 2021 10:32 am

I'd also make Taylor Davies a permanent move because he has been really good on loan. No doubt the Scarlets will keep him though.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Tue Dec 07, 2021 12:03 pm

RiscaGame wrote:I don’t really trust Josh Lewis, since he got injured. Maybe it’s because he was finding his feet again, when we have played him at ten post injury. But at the moment, I feel like we have to do something. We should look at Lewis the next two weekends and give Sam a rest. Then we can hopefully get him firing for the derbies.

It’s ironic really that Sam Davies for us is either really good at general play and rubbish at goal kicking or the opposite. At the minute we are more towards the opposite. He isn’t helped when there is pressure on him mind and obviously a misfiring pack isn’t the best of platforms to play behind, when he may be low on confidence.

No I don't think many outside halves would particularly enjoy playing behind our pack! I'm not saying we need to look beyond him, it just seems like he manages to avoid criticism somehow. He's had some great games and great moments for us in the past, maybe the derby games will bring the best out of him. And if we do play Josh Lewis at 10, please let someone else kick to the corner!

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Post by RiscaGame Fri Dec 10, 2021 12:57 pm

Was hoping the Argus would say how many changes they’ve made. We’ve made 7 from last week. Griffiths isn’t injured. Wondered if we would ever see Baker again Rolling Eyes

Perpignan: L Dubois; J Pujol, E Vaitulukina, E Sawaileau, N Seguela; P Fernandez, M Landajo; C Berguet, S Lam, A Fakatika, T Labouteley (captain), T Cavubati, N Ma'afu, E Bertheau, M Ugena.

Replacements: V Montgaillard, S Mavinga, V Jincharadze, A Mahu, G Montagne, T Ecochard, M Rodor, B Plana.

Dragons: J Holmes; R Dyer, A Warren, A Owen, J Olowofela; S Davies, T Knoyle; A Seiuli, E Dee, M Doge, J Davies, W Rowlands, H Keddie (captain), T Basham, A Wainwright.

Replacements: J Benjamin, J Reynolds, L Brown, B Carter, D Baker, D Babos, J Lewis, J Roberts.

Referee: Christophe Ridley (England)

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Post by RiscaGame Fri Dec 10, 2021 1:07 pm

Well it looks like they’ve made a lot of changes.

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri Dec 10, 2021 2:50 pm

That's not a strong Perpignan side.....

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Post by Guest Sat Dec 11, 2021 7:40 pm

I want to cry Sad

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Post by RiscaGame Sat Dec 11, 2021 10:12 pm

Never felt comfortable at 9-0 up. I know we got a bit Ridley’d, but another scoreless half is unforgivable.

We are becoming a bit of a parody now. I watched Newport v Bridgend earlier and it was much more enjoyable. They have a go at least. Then you see an ex Academy hooker in Will Griffiths play a blinder and then see a converted flanker/centre miss nearly all his throws and you have to wonder what we are doing.

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Post by Guest Sat Dec 11, 2021 10:56 pm

I’m usually one of the more positive regional fans (as in, keep the regions, 4 is better than 3, etc.) but I just cannot see the point now from a Dragons point of view. We have good players. Some really good ones. We can put out a pack when all fit that should be able to compete with most apart from the very big boys. Yet it’s been 20 YEARS of the same old, same old. 20 years mun! How many coaches have we been through in that time? Some with fairly decent reputations too. And none have been able to get us anywhere near mid table or anywhere in Europe. How many players? How many false dawns? We had two seasons, from memory, where we got to the quarters or beyond in the European 2nd tier. And that’s against sides that don’t even take it seriously half the time. Like today with a Perpignan side that by all accounts was very much 2nd string. Yes we had our own absences but you always get those. That was only a few players away from first choice for us. Time for a rethink.

I saw a twitter spat the other day (funnily enough shared by PhillBB - seems to be OK with Buttress now when previously he used to do everything to slate him!). Anyway, the spat was between Buttress and Walesonline who basically were slating us. Buttress replied with a number of things that we’d improved in the last few years such as more wins and more international selections. And he sounded passionate. But it all sounded a bit hollow and poor. Reading the interview in the Argus with Buttress the other day about the delays in the takeover sounded a bit like he was getting ready to leave. He kept talking about heart being in the region but head saying it was a loss making business and he needed to remember that. Almost sounded like he was laying the foundations for an exit. Along the lines of “My heart is hear and I love it to bits but I can’t continue from a business point of view”. Sad if so. But 20 years is a long enough ‘trial’ and for whatever reason nothing seems to work.

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Post by RiscaGame Sat Dec 11, 2021 11:16 pm

Yeah, this is why a reduction in teams is the only other option. I know you get those who say replace the dragons, but that would just be the same old (or worse).

I used to have a bit of faith in Buttress, but now I see him as a bit of a bluffer. He’s trying to put a spin on tonight on Twitter. Compare us v the Cardiff effort earlier and you might be forgiven for being confused as to who the team that got thrown together was.

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Post by Welshmushroom Mon Dec 13, 2021 12:38 pm

I dont think a reduction in teams will help Wales in the long run. What really needs to happen is to make funding fair. The 23 million from the WRU should simply be split 4 ways regardless of representation. If each regions only spent 5.75 million on players each region would have to make sure the bulk of the playing budget was on the pitch each week. Currently we are seeing scenarios where some of the regions have a surplus of players in certain positions without actually thinking about the best possible 23 they need to be competitive.

It would be better for Wales if our 4 best players in each position actually played regularly against each other which in turn would raise standards. Its how New Zealand do it.

The only other option is to go for a Ireland setup and just resource one side to become essentially a international side (like Leinster). But your basically killing the other 3 regions chances to become better. And the assumption is that the side that is funded properly actually spends the money wisely which the regions have a poor track record on.


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Post by mikey_dragon Tue Dec 14, 2021 10:47 am

If we get culled then so be it, we won’t be able to hold onto our top players at this rate anyway, but going to three teams or less won’t benefit Wales - Scotland have struggled often because they only have two teams. The other Welsh teams aren’t good either, are they?

It’ll be interesting to see if Butress, etc have a plan for the region if they get their way, but we would need significant investment and he isn’t that rich.

A few years ago the IRFU appointed top overseas coaches for every province, coming from NZ, Aus and SA. Within 2 years they had improved and continued to improve ever since. Munster and Leinster can make wholesale changes and then still convincingly beat teams away from home. Someone at the top needs to realise that this is the only way forward.

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Post by Guest Tue Dec 14, 2021 2:59 pm

Some people (LD?) say our academies are doing well because they point to some of the current top internationals and say that they came through the academy so that is proof of the academies working. But that is missing the point for me. The academies do churn out enough for an international squad, but not enough for 4 pro club squads. And that’s where we’re really struggling. Contrast that with Leinster and Munster who can ride out injuries, covid outbreaks, squad rotation, etc and still beat top quality opposition. It’s quality AND quantity that we need. Outside of the top 40 or so players in Wales the next lot are miles off the Leinster and Munster level. Just look at Munster beating Wasps away and Scarlets away when they had their 2nd sting teams out (ok, wasps were struggling a bit too). Then compare that with Cardiff in a similar position to Munster and people were applauding the valiant effort of a 40 point loss, at home! How can the academy products and ‘next cabs off the rank’ be so different between us? That’s one area (of many) that we need to focus on. No one denies that the academies produce talent. Just not enough at once to give us decent squad depth.

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Post by LordDowlais Tue Dec 14, 2021 3:37 pm

I will say this yet again, its the way the regions are being run, and it's not just Dragons. Scarlets have a raft of Welsh internationals on their books, but they still took a hiding off Sale last year, it's the whole ethos of everything with the regions. We still have amateurs trying to run professional outfits.

Warren Gatland had Wales constantly in the top 4/5 in the world, even higher, he had the right people around him, he addressed what he needed and he put the right people in place, he was professional, look at how the Welsh team are looking now....... it's not professional.

I do not know what all the answers are, running a region because you love it, is akin to Bryn Cartwright in the film Twin Town, and why he's sinking pennies into his club, because he loves it.

I honestly believe that the regions do not fear failure, because there is no reprimand for it. There is no relegation from the league they are in, there is no punishment for limping out of Europe, there is nothing, except the same thing year in year out, abject failure and more money being thrown at the regions.

I wish I knew the answers, I really do, I love the sport, I really do, and to see teams from my country under achieving, it saddens me. There is no way a country with the potential resources they have available to them should be getting hammered. There isn't. OK, you can accept losing to better teams, and teams with bigger resources, but the regions are not even making a fist of things for the most part.

Do I think culling a region is the answer ? Definitely not. I would hate to see a world where more people in Wales are taken away from the professional game. Perhaps, we need to put the WRU in charge, follow the Irish model where all four regions are run by the union. At least then they are putting their own money into the teams, at least it will make the people who the WRU put in charge answerable to somebody. I don't know. I do not know what to say, accept for the fact that we cannot keep going like this, season upon season, year upon year of plucky underdogs, or potential banana skins for the big boys.

Do we put more money into the regions ? What will that get us ? We will still have the same pathways, we will still have the same players coming through, they will still have the same very modern facilities available to them. Would more money mean better coaches ? Where do we get these better coaches from ? How much more money would it cost ?

Welsh professional rugby is broken at the minute, perhaps the divide between the regions and the WRU has now gotten to wide, what do the fans want ? What do the WRU want ? What do the regions want ?

There was supposed to be an inquest last season to what happened to the regions with their performances in Europe, what was the outcome of it ? Does anybody know ?

So many questions, and not enough answers, thats where the Pro game in Wales is at the moment.


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Post by Guest Tue Dec 14, 2021 4:04 pm

I really don’t think the WRU can afford to run the regions, LD. A lot of the funding that appears to come from the WRU is actually TV and competition money that just goes via the WRU. The regions would get it direct anyway even if the WRU didn’t exist. So how much do they really ‘give’ the regions? So for them to take it all on including purchasing the stadiums, taking on their debts (including that big covid loan they brokered for the regions), paying all the wages of coaches, physios, marketing staff, admin staff, bar staff, etc. then the players on top……I think it would bankrupt them! So I think the Irish model is a no go, which is why we’re in this situation in the first place. I.e. the WRU wanted a provincial style system 20 years ago but was not willing to take it on in itself so left us with a half ‘n half job.

I take you point about the regions not fearing failure. But if that was the case why does it not affect the Irish teams or the Scottish teams? They too shouldn’t fear failure as they cannot get relegated so would be poor too? Yet something still spurs them on to do well each year.

For me it’s coaching and funds available for top level coaches. The Irish and Scots have had the likes of Dave Rennie, Joe Schmidt, Rassie Erasmus. I suppose the Scarlets had Wayne Pivac……oh yeah, and they won the league with him! Took him a while though. But that level of coach eventually paid off. If we can’t afford top coaching as it stands then maybe 3 teams is the answer and then there’s more money available for coaching to be spread around 3 teams…… sort of. I always need to remind myself that dropping down from 4 to 3 won’t mean all that money gets split 3 ways instead of 4. The money the 4th team would have got for TV and competitions will just be lost. They’re not going to pay the same if one of the team drops out.

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Post by LordDowlais Tue Dec 14, 2021 4:27 pm

The Oracle wrote:I really don’t think the WRU can afford to run the regions, LD. A lot of the funding that appears to come from the WRU is actually TV and competition money that just goes via the WRU. The regions would get it direct anyway even if the WRU didn’t exist. So how much do they really ‘give’ the regions? So for them to take it all on including purchasing the stadiums, taking on their debts (including that big covid loan they brokered for the regions), paying all the wages of coaches, physios, marketing staff, admin staff, bar staff, etc. then the players on top……I think it would bankrupt them! So I think the Irish model is a no go, which is why we’re in this situation in the first place. I.e. the WRU wanted a provincial style system 20 years ago but was not willing to take it on in itself so left us with a half ‘n half job.

I thought the WRU was the richest out of all the nations in our league, I could stand to be corrected on that though.

The Oracle wrote:I take you point about the regions not fearing failure. But if that was the case why does it not affect the Irish teams or the Scottish teams? They too shouldn’t fear failure as they cannot get relegated so would be poor too? Yet something still spurs them on to do well each year.

Perhaps they have a better ethos, or perhaps it's because they are union run and if they fail, they have to actually answer to a bigger authority. I don't know, but I wish I did.

The Oracle wrote:For me it’s coaching and funds available for top level coaches. The Irish and Scots have had the likes of Dave Rennie, Joe Schmidt, Rassie Erasmus. I suppose the Scarlets had Wayne Pivac……oh yeah, and they won the league with him! Took him a while though. But that level of coach eventually paid off. If we can’t afford top coaching as it stands then maybe 3 teams is the answer and then there’s more money available for coaching to be spread around 3 teams…… sort of. I always need to remind myself that dropping down from 4 to 3 won’t mean all that money gets split 3 ways instead of 4. The money the 4th team would have got for TV and competitions will just be lost. They’re not going to pay the same if one of the team drops out.

Perhaps then, the regions should alter their thought process, instead of going for the big reputation signings, they should cut their losses, and spend their money on better coaches to get the best out of the players they have coming the through their academies ? How much is Leigh Halfpenny earning ? How much is Gareth Anscombe earning ? How much is George North earning ?

Perhaps their wages should go on coaches, who could in turn unearth the next Leigh Halfpenny, George North, Gareth Anscombe.

Look, I do not know what the answers are, if I did, I would not be doing what I am doing, I would be coaching the regions  laughing

But what I think we can agree on, is something needs to change and cutting the regions down to 3 is not the answer for me.  OK

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Post by Guest Tue Dec 14, 2021 5:07 pm

I think at the last check (possibly pre-COVID) the WRU had the highest turnover. Just ahead of Ireland and quite a bit more than Scotland. Not sure about Italy or SA.

Just did a quick google and the first article was from October 2020 and talked about the WRU posting a £5.3m loss. Turnover was £79m down from £90m due to COVID. So I guess you could conclude that the WRU costs are around £85m if £79m turnover leads to a £5m loss. So in normal times, when they were getting £90m they had about a £5m profit. That’s not going to go far buying up all the regions and their assets.

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Post by LordDowlais Tue Dec 14, 2021 5:21 pm

The Oracle wrote:I think at the last check (possibly pre-COVID) the WRU had the highest turnover.  Just ahead of Ireland and quite a bit more than Scotland.  Not sure about Italy or SA.  

Just did a quick google and the first article was from October 2020 and talked about the WRU posting a £5.3m loss. Turnover was £79m down from £90m due to COVID.  So I guess you could conclude that the WRU costs are around £85m if £79m turnover leads to a £5m loss.  So in normal times, when they were getting £90m they had about a £5m profit.  That’s not going to go far buying up all the regions and their assets.

Yeah, that sounds about right.

Perhaps the WRU should speak to the other unions and ask them how they manage it. Laugh

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Post by Guest Tue Dec 14, 2021 5:47 pm

It might be the debt. Not sure the others are in so much debt. Just found this. Wru £114m in debt!

https://amp.rugbypass.com/news/it-will-not-be-easy-wru-debt-increases-to-over-114m/

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Post by chris_501 Wed Dec 15, 2021 9:23 am

I think it ultimately does come down to finance. If 4 regions can be supported financially, then in my opinion we should keep 4. Restricting the opportunity for young players to get exposed to top level regional rugby will not help things. Imagine a world without the Dragons over the last 5 or 6 years, it's unlikely we'd see all of Leon Brown, Ben Carter, Aaron Wainwright and Taine Basham playing to the level they have. Ok the level below those guys are not quite good enough, but I believe the players are out there if they are brought up and coached correctly.

I do also agree that there is always an under current of amateurism that appears to run through regional rugby. My hope is that the further we head into regions as opposed to the old club system, the better. Those who are in decision making positions within these regions are products of the 'old' system. Give it another decade and the majority of people involved in Welsh rugby at this level will have only known regions.

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Post by RiscaGame Mon Dec 20, 2021 8:02 pm

No Ospreys v Dragons game on Boxing Day. On the upside, this will now be probably rearranged to a date, where trains are running etc. on the downside, I bet it’s rearranged to a weekend where the internationals are missing.

Hope the Ospreys guys are okay meanwhile though. Seems to be a high number of cases.

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Post by RiscaGame Wed Jan 12, 2022 4:25 pm

As per the Argus, Dai Richards has been added to Dragons European squad, in place of Richard Hibbard. Whilst I am excited to see a 15 get a shot,over Josh Lewis, I can't quite believe how Ryan is treating Hibbard. Admittedly, I would prefer Dee, Shipp and probably Taylor Davies to play overall, but he is likely to be the better scrummager than all three and I think I could currently throw a better lineout than James Benjamin (who is the 4th hooker in there).

In other news, we announced some fairly uninspiring re-signings today, plus Rio Dyer.

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Post by Guest Wed Jan 12, 2022 4:39 pm

Yes saw that. Some young props re-signing, Rio Dyer too, plus some back room regional staff coming in/coming back. Nothing stellar! But at least (in terms of the players) they’re not leaving!

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Wed Jan 12, 2022 5:01 pm

Yeah nothing against the players but I don't know what they were doing trailing the announcements on Twitter. That only gets people's hopes up and makes the news underwhelming.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Wed Jan 12, 2022 5:49 pm

Good news about Aneurin Owen though!

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Post by RiscaGame Wed Jan 12, 2022 6:15 pm

Yeah, that’s very good news.

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Post by Welshmushroom Thu Jan 13, 2022 3:05 pm

Max Clark, Londsdale and Bradley Roberts all linked with the Dragons.

But news now is that were after JJ Hanrahan is joining us. Never rated him. Aside from Roberts all the others all seem to be average signings at best

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Post by RiscaGame Thu Jan 13, 2022 3:08 pm

I hadn't heard that rumour. Just read it on the SWA now. I probably agree with what's said on that article, that he's probably a step up on Josh Lewis. Seems a little contradictory to Dean Ryan saying the other day, how we have to tap up the Exiles market though ha.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Thu Jan 13, 2022 3:11 pm

JJ Hanrahan kept Camille Lopez on the bench against Toulouse the other week, he must be in decent nick to do that.

I think it's a very good signing, if you consider our relative attractiveness and budget. Worth saying it's not confirmed yet though.

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu Jan 13, 2022 3:24 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:Max Clark, Londsdale and Bradley Roberts all linked with the Dragons.

But news now is that were after JJ Hanrahan is joining us.  Never rated him.  Aside from Roberts all the others all seem to be average signings at best

Max Clarke is very underrated, Roberts is being hyped up too much

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Post by RiscaGame Thu Jan 13, 2022 4:03 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:JJ Hanrahan kept Camille Lopez on the bench against Toulouse the other week, he must be in decent nick to do that.

I think it's a very good signing, if you consider our relative attractiveness and budget. Worth saying it's not confirmed yet though.

Hope it's not another Quade Cooper rumour again laughing

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Post by Guest Thu Jan 13, 2022 6:31 pm

Quade Cooper, Joost Van de Westhuizen (although that was Newport not Dragons I think), Declan Kidney……. I remember those rumours fondly! Crying or Very sad

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu Jan 13, 2022 6:35 pm

I knew about the others, JJ is a surprise. If he is available then an Irish team is bound to get him, otherwise it’s a very good signing for us and better than Josh Lewis, potentially better than Davies if he doesn’t stop being so erratic.

I don’t think Lonsdale is a good signing for us unless we are losing someone (like Williams and/or Taylor).

I wonder if we or the other 3 have been monitoring Lloyd Evans? That would make more sense.

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu Jan 13, 2022 6:36 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:Max Clark, Londsdale and Bradley Roberts all linked with the Dragons.

But news now is that were after JJ Hanrahan is joining us.  Never rated him.  Aside from Roberts all the others all seem to be average signings at best

Max Clarke is very underrated, Roberts is being hyped up too much

He probably is although Roberts wouldn’t step in and be first choice, but it should provide us with good cover in the position.

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Post by Guest Thu Jan 13, 2022 6:37 pm

The annoying thing about these rumours, but also about the players that we’re actually getting, is that we appear to be no better off performance-wise now we’re able to attract players than we were when no bugger would sign for us! We’ve got a 1st choice pack that is pretty much all current internationals! Backs perhaps lagging behind somewhat. But we’ve got to start winning some games to show that there was some point in splashing the cash and ‘bringing players home’.

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Post by Kingshu Thu Jan 13, 2022 7:47 pm

JJ i think is a bit of a coup for Dragons, he has played 13 games for Clermot (is that every game this season?) And been the starting FH in 7 of them.

Last season in the league he was the most accurate kicker there was, he is very accurate of the tee. However I do think he crumbles under pressure kicks, its happened on a few occasions when he has a last minute kick to win or draw the game. Kicking a conversion from the sideline, before halftime, he'll nail it. Kick from directly in front of the posts in the last minute to win the game and its different.

Overall though decent player, not really international class though.

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu Jan 13, 2022 9:32 pm

Hanrahan can play fly-half, centre and fullback to a high standard. That would be great for us, and even better if he can play 13 too. As I said, I would very surprised if an Irish team didn’t get him. Connacht at the very least. Maybe even Ulster as Madigan hasn’t really been a good signing for them.

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Post by geoff999rugby Fri Jan 14, 2022 6:42 pm

I’d be very surprised if Hanrahan goes to an Irish side

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