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European games round 4

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Hazel Sapling
Duty281
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Post by lostinwales Thu 20 Jan 2022, 3:44 pm

First topic message reminder :

I guess...

Anyway thanks to the BBC tables I will summarize below

Friday 21/1/22 all 20:00
Championship
Harlequins v  Castres

Challenge
Lyon v Benetton
Edinburgh v Brive

Saturday 22/1/22
Championship
Bath v Leinster 13:00
Ulster v ASM Clermont Auvergne 17:30
Glasgow Warriors v La Rochelle 20:00
Toulouse v Cardiff Rugby 13:00  Guess what... Toulouse defeated by the bug 28-0 win for Cardiff
Leicester Tigers v Bordeaux Bègles 15:15  And another one bites the dust. Covid at Bordeaux and Leicester win 28-0
Scarlets v Bristol  17:30

Challenge
Zebre v Worcester Warriors 15:15
Toulon v Newcastle Falcons 20:00  Covid at Falcons
Gloucester v Perpignan 17:30

Sunday 23/1/22
Championship
Sale v Ospreys 13:00
Racing 92 v Northampton Saints 15:15 And another one has gone - Racing with the 28-0 win
Montpellier v Exeter Chiefs 17:30
Stade Francais v Connacht 13:00
Munster v Wasps 15:15

Challenge
Saracens v London Irish 15:15


Last edited by lostinwales on Sat 22 Jan 2022, 1:42 pm; edited 6 times in total

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 22 Jan 2022, 4:41 pm

Duty281 wrote:Referees absolutely can decide matches, though players do have greater overall influence. We saw that yesterday - the incorrect decision to penalise Castres, followed by the incorrect decision to award a try to Quins, decided the result of the game. Up to then the efforts of the players had made it a 33-29 Castres win, but the referee's incorrect interventions changed the result.

The referee giving an incorrect red card, or failing to give a red card where required, can also decide the outcome of a game because of how devastating a red card can be to the opposition (for example the Lions would have won the second test v South Africa in 2009 if Burger had been correctly sent off in the 1st minute).

A slightly more obscure example would be incorrect interpretations at the scrum - if this happens consistently a team can lose a match undeservedly. This nearly happened during the 2003 WC final and sent the game into ET and nearly cost England a deserved win.

It decided the game only in the minds of people who are happy to ignore the rest of the match.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Sat 22 Jan 2022, 4:56 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
Rugby Fan wrote:I know Leinster can be hard for anyone to defend but Bath are making it easy for them at times.

Bath are the worst team in the Prem by a distance this season. This result isn't a surprise, particularly because they are missing a host of players.

Just in terms of internationals there's no Obano, Dunn, Falatau, Cipriani, Joseph, Watson, Cockasiga and Roko. Half a team of internationals missing will hamper most teams let alone one with no confidence or momentum.

Lost Mercer in the offseason as well as Judge, Thomas, Stooke, Chudley, Matavesi and Priestland. Coming in of any note were Rae and Jonker, and eventually Morozov.

Looking at the list of ins and outs, Bath lost a starting backrower and several solid back-ups without really replacing them. Relying on an oft injured Faletau without any real back-up at 8 was not the best way forward (Bayliss tries but is really a flanker). Redpath was due to be out for much of the first half and they did not sign any cover at centre with Clark not known as the picture of health to go along with an also regularly injured Joseph. After Spencer, the SH's are inexperienced and played a total of 22 games of top-tier professional rugby judging by Wiki which may include this season and PRC games.

Long shopping list for next season looking for a LH, another lock (3 locks listed in the squad), a couple of decent 8's, a back-up SH, a mentor FH and a solid, consistent centre.

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Post by Poorfour Sat 22 Jan 2022, 5:10 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
I think he's about there but under the letter of the law says you have to show the ball touching the line or beyond and you can't see that because there's a boot in the way. Had the ref said on field try then no worries but as the ref had said on field no try I think it's poor from the TMO as he's guessed rather finding definitive footage. Well unless he had an angle that wasn't shown on TV.

The TMO clearly says that he has a freeze frame showing it touching the line. I am not sure what that freeze frame was - I don’t think it’s what was on screen at the time - but he was very certain about it.

I watched most of the match again because it was reshown, and on tv Adamson had a much better game than it looked in the stadium. His arm signals are confusing, but his explanations were clear and consistently justified. It was sometimes hard to tell because of Austin Healey spouting over the top of his explanations, but Austin was almost invariably talking about something other than what Adamson was actually reacting to.
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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 22 Jan 2022, 6:21 pm

Patchell, Scott Williams and Ioan Lloyd playing well. None of them in the Wales squad. Pivac must be the worst selector in world rugby.

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Post by neilthom7 Sat 22 Jan 2022, 6:22 pm

Ulster v Clermont a good wee game to watch so far, Mike Lowry is some player.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 22 Jan 2022, 6:55 pm

Bad call that one.

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Post by neilthom7 Sat 22 Jan 2022, 7:18 pm

What a game that was, Clermont very nearly managing a comeback but Ulster hold on the get the bonus point win

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Post by Jimmy Moz Sat 22 Jan 2022, 7:24 pm

Bristol against the Scarlets showing the huge gulf in class between the English and Welsh clubs. Time for a Scarlets/Ospreys and Cardiff/Dragons merger to create West Wales and East Wales teams I think.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 22 Jan 2022, 7:24 pm

Excellent play from Bristol in the last 12 mins.

Scarlets defence doesn’t look good at all, it hasn’t for a while now… Costelow being their worst defender. It’s looking very bleak for them. How can they be so awful with a great set of forwards and halfbacks.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 22 Jan 2022, 7:24 pm

Jimmy Moz wrote:Bristol against the Scarlets showing the huge gulf in class between the English and Welsh clubs. Time for a Scarlets/Ospreys and Cardiff/Dragons merger to create West Wales and East Wales teams I think.

No thanks.

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Post by Jimmy Moz Sat 22 Jan 2022, 7:29 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
Jimmy Moz wrote:Bristol against the Scarlets showing the huge gulf in class between the English and Welsh clubs. Time for a Scarlets/Ospreys and Cardiff/Dragons merger to create West Wales and East Wales teams I think.

No thanks.
Too much sense in the idea for you?

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 22 Jan 2022, 7:39 pm

Typical ignorant reply. This has been done to death and it was brought up again recently actually. We know you don’t like the regions because you’re from some insignificant valley, but what you suggest and have suggested in the past has been debunked. They’re not viable options.
If you want to talk about it again I suggest moving it to the appropriate thread.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 22 Jan 2022, 7:53 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Patchell, Scott Williams and Ioan Lloyd playing well. None of them in the Wales squad. Pivac must be the worst selector in world rugby.

To be fair Lloyd was pretty dire until after Christmas. Has come good in the last few weeks but he's a young player that's still developing. With Sheedy away he should get some chances at flyhalf which will be good for him.

Interesting that Pivac has said that Reffell playing in England has counted against him in terms of selection. I wonder if he compares the stalled development of Costelow who was lured back to Wales early against the development of one of the best defensive 7s in the Prem. 

Bristol are getting most of their big names back now so should start showing up better in the second half of the season.

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Post by Guest Sat 22 Jan 2022, 8:01 pm

Jimmy Moz wrote:Bristol against the Scarlets showing the huge gulf in class between the English and Welsh clubs. Time for a Scarlets/Ospreys and Cardiff/Dragons merger to create West Wales and East Wales teams I think.

When the English teams were not so good (relatively speaking) in Europe in the recent past, did they go from 12 teams in the premiership to 6? Did they merge to make better use of the player pools? Or did they work with the 12 clubs they had, bring in better coaches and end up getting teams like Bristol from the Championship up to the level they are now, teams like Exeter up at the top of the Premiership consistently, a team like Leicester back from the brink to the top of the league? We’ve slashed from 12 to 5 around 20 years ago. Hasn’t worked. Halving again from 4 to 2 teams? Who says that will work? The players aren’t suddenly and magically going to be awesome just because they’ve been chucked in with another group of players and they’ve got a new badge on their jerseys. We’ll end up having too many players warming benches and they’ll just leave for 1st team rugby somewhere else.

Apologies everyone else, appreciate this is probably not the place for it. As you were Smile

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 22 Jan 2022, 8:13 pm

The Oracle wrote:
Jimmy Moz wrote:Bristol against the Scarlets showing the huge gulf in class between the English and Welsh clubs. Time for a Scarlets/Ospreys and Cardiff/Dragons merger to create West Wales and East Wales teams I think.

When the English teams were not so good (relatively speaking) in Europe in the recent past, did they go from 12 teams in the premiership to 6? Did they merge to make better use of the player pools? Or did they work with the 12 clubs they had, bring in better coaches and end up getting teams like Bristol from the Championship up to the level they are now, teams like Exeter up at the top of the Premiership consistently, a team like Leicester back from the brink to the top of the league? We’ve slashed from 12 to 5 around 20 years ago. Hasn’t worked. Halving again from 4 to 2 teams? Who says that will work? The players aren’t suddenly and magically going to be awesome just because they’ve been chucked in with another group of players and they’ve got a new badge on their jerseys. We’ll end up having too many players warming benches and they’ll just leave for 1st team rugby somewhere else.

Apologies everyone else, appreciate this is probably not the place for it. As you were Smile
Actually, we complained a lot.....

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 22 Jan 2022, 8:20 pm

And soon you’ll be going to 13/14 teams…

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Post by Guest Sat 22 Jan 2022, 8:21 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
The Oracle wrote:
Jimmy Moz wrote:Bristol against the Scarlets showing the huge gulf in class between the English and Welsh clubs. Time for a Scarlets/Ospreys and Cardiff/Dragons merger to create West Wales and East Wales teams I think.

When the English teams were not so good (relatively speaking) in Europe in the recent past, did they go from 12 teams in the premiership to 6? Did they merge to make better use of the player pools? Or did they work with the 12 clubs they had, bring in better coaches and end up getting teams like Bristol from the Championship up to the level they are now, teams like Exeter up at the top of the Premiership consistently, a team like Leicester back from the brink to the top of the league? We’ve slashed from 12 to 5 around 20 years ago. Hasn’t worked. Halving again from 4 to 2 teams? Who says that will work? The players aren’t suddenly and magically going to be awesome just because they’ve been chucked in with another group of players and they’ve got a new badge on their jerseys. We’ll end up having too many players warming benches and they’ll just leave for 1st team rugby somewhere else.

Apologies everyone else, appreciate this is probably not the place for it. As you were Smile
Actually, we complained a lot.....  

But the clubs didn’t get together and decide to merge into 6 teams, to pool ‘resources’, right?

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 22 Jan 2022, 8:23 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Patchell, Scott Williams and Ioan Lloyd playing well. None of them in the Wales squad. Pivac must be the worst selector in world rugby.

To be fair Lloyd was pretty dire until after Christmas. Has come good in the last few weeks but he's a young player that's still developing. With Sheedy away he should get some chances at flyhalf which will be good for him.

Interesting that Pivac has said that Reffell playing in England has counted against him in terms of selection. I wonder if he compares the stalled development of Costelow who was lured back to Wales early against the development of one of the best defensive 7s in the Prem. 

Bristol are getting most of their big names back now so should start showing up better in the second half of the season.

Dire is a bit harsh but yeah I suppose he had a dip in form. There are other players in poor form who still got picked. Lloyd has that ‘x-factor’ which Wales desperately need.

Reffell I’m sure is a good player but we just have too many 7’s. Young, Tipuric and Navidi will also be back next season. He and Dan Thomas are going to have to miss out.

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Post by tigertattie Sat 22 Jan 2022, 8:26 pm

You can’t just merge teams and go chucking wild ideas about when some teams don’t win.

Cardiff pumped Toulouse today so does that mean the French teams all need to merge now?
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Post by Guest Sat 22 Jan 2022, 8:27 pm

tigertattie wrote:You can’t just merge teams and go chucking wild ideas about when some teams don’t win.

Cardiff pumped Toulouse today so does that mean the French teams all need to merge now?

Cheeky Wink

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 22 Jan 2022, 8:33 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Patchell, Scott Williams and Ioan Lloyd playing well. None of them in the Wales squad. Pivac must be the worst selector in world rugby.

To be fair Lloyd was pretty dire until after Christmas. Has come good in the last few weeks but he's a young player that's still developing. With Sheedy away he should get some chances at flyhalf which will be good for him.

Interesting that Pivac has said that Reffell playing in England has counted against him in terms of selection. I wonder if he compares the stalled development of Costelow who was lured back to Wales early against the development of one of the best defensive 7s in the Prem. 

Bristol are getting most of their big names back now so should start showing up better in the second half of the season.

Dire is a bit harsh but yeah I suppose he had a dip in form. There are other players in poor form who still got picked. Lloyd has that ‘x-factor’ which Wales desperately need.

Reffell I’m sure is a good player but we just have too many 7’s. Young, Tipuric and Navidi will also be back next season. He and Dan Thomas are going to have to miss out.

Hopefully Eddie talks him into changing his allegiance. Whilst he's uncapped he also counts for EQ credit at Tigers so I'm not desperate for him to be capped.

Dire wasn't harsh for either Lloyd or Bristol in the first half of the season. Lloyd ended up out the team, picked up an injury but looks to have come back strong now. He can have big impact in the more open games but I'm not sure whether that would translate to international rugby. The question over his best position still hovers over him as well.

On a separate note. Glasgow Vs La Rochelle is fun. Any game where Glasgow aren't the most attacking team on the pitch should be fun. La Rochelle are throwing it around like it's a training game.

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Post by Guest Sat 22 Jan 2022, 8:41 pm

Last thing I’ll post on this thread as it’s a bit too off topic, but.........

The whole idea behind these mergers is based on the theory that we can pool resources and then increase the money available to the 2 teams left compared to that available to the original 4.  However;

1. Most of the region’s money comes from TV and competition money.  That will not change whether we’ve got 4 or 2 teams.  The TV people and ERC/URC are not going to pay the remaining two regions double.  They will not give the combined Cardiff/Dragons team the monies that Cardiff and Dragons got separately as they’re now just one team. So no change in fortunes there then.
2. Teams also get income from fans turning out to support a team. Footfall at the stadium, in the bars, etc.  How and why would that suddenly increase with yet another made up team?  CarPort Blue Dragons will not get the combined crowds of Cardiff and Dragons.  So we’ll be in the same mess as when we tried mergers originally.
3. Without a large supporter base and with a lack of clear identity it will be very difficult to attract the millionaire investors everyone hopes are just around the corner.  So how do make up for low income from ticket and sales takings and just 1 lot of TV and competition money?  In no time we’ll just be the same as the current regions but with half the teams and fewer spaces for players to break though.

And breathe Very Happy


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Post by doctor_grey Sat 22 Jan 2022, 8:50 pm

The Oracle wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
The Oracle wrote:
Jimmy Moz wrote:Bristol against the Scarlets showing the huge gulf in class between the English and Welsh clubs. Time for a Scarlets/Ospreys and Cardiff/Dragons merger to create West Wales and East Wales teams I think.

When the English teams were not so good (relatively speaking) in Europe in the recent past, did they go from 12 teams in the premiership to 6? Did they merge to make better use of the player pools? Or did they work with the 12 clubs they had, bring in better coaches and end up getting teams like Bristol from the Championship up to the level they are now, teams like Exeter up at the top of the Premiership consistently, a team like Leicester back from the brink to the top of the league? We’ve slashed from 12 to 5 around 20 years ago. Hasn’t worked. Halving again from 4 to 2 teams? Who says that will work? The players aren’t suddenly and magically going to be awesome just because they’ve been chucked in with another group of players and they’ve got a new badge on their jerseys. We’ll end up having too many players warming benches and they’ll just leave for 1st team rugby somewhere else.

Apologies everyone else, appreciate this is probably not the place for it. As you were Smile
Actually, we complained a lot.....  

But the clubs didn’t get together and decide to merge into 6 teams, to pool ‘resources’, right?
You are right, mate. But not so much by design as a group - it's hard enough for the Premiership clubs to agree to very much. Whilst complaining, most of the clubs went out and invested in infrastructure and better coaches, and got better. I can't understand how reducing the number of clubs will help. The talent is there for four teams.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 22 Jan 2022, 8:54 pm

Glasgow-La Rochelle is a good match. Let's see how Glasgow responds after half time.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 22 Jan 2022, 9:12 pm

doctor_grey wrote:Glasgow-La Rochelle is a good match.  Let's see how Glasgow responds after half time.

Glasgow come out firing, then La Rochelle come straight back. One try a piece after half time. I've seen pre season games more cagey than this.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 22 Jan 2022, 9:18 pm

Would like to see Glasgow get back into this. But what a try by the French O'Garas.....

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Post by Jimmy Moz Sat 22 Jan 2022, 11:53 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:We know you don’t like the regions because you’re from some insignificant valley
Not at all. I am mature enough to understand that ALL the valleys in south Wales are significant in the development of Welsh rugby in some shape or form.

Feel free to post a list of all the "insignificant" ones by all means though (on the appropriate thread). I am intrigued.

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Post by lostinwales Sun 23 Jan 2022, 12:18 am

Poorfour wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
I think he's about there but under the letter of the law says you have to show the ball touching the line or beyond and you can't see that because there's a boot in the way. Had the ref said on field try then no worries but as the ref had said on field no try I think it's poor from the TMO as he's guessed rather finding definitive footage. Well unless he had an angle that wasn't shown on TV.

The TMO clearly says that he has a freeze frame showing it touching the line. I am not sure what that freeze frame was - I don’t think it’s what was on screen at the time - but he was very certain about it.

I watched most of the match again because it was reshown, and on tv Adamson had a much better game than it looked in the stadium. His arm signals are confusing, but his explanations were clear and consistently justified. It was sometimes hard to tell because of Austin Healey spouting over the top of his explanations, but Austin was almost invariably talking about something other than what Adamson was actually reacting to.

I have not seen the game but from reading about it, seeing the breakdown of the scores and of course that clip of Botica playing beautifullly to break the Quins line then feeling sorry for his former team mates (obviously what happened) Castres had multiple chances to win the game without input from the referee. They didn't, and sometimes sh!t happens like that. For whatever reason Quins these days are on the right side of such games far far too often, but they keep winning.

The referee played a part. The TMO played a part, but most importantly Castres blew it.

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Post by Heaf Sun 23 Jan 2022, 1:15 pm

Sale try chalked off due to foul play by Ross - he seems a bit of a liability to me with his track record of poor discipline ...

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Post by Duty281 Sun 23 Jan 2022, 2:13 pm

Superb officiating from Wayne Barnes.

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Post by Heaf Sun 23 Jan 2022, 3:50 pm

Not sure how advancing 15m and getting in range of the try-line isn't advantage over for a knock on?

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Post by Jimmy Moz Sun 23 Jan 2022, 3:52 pm

What was the final score in the Sale v Ospreys match? I missed the second half.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 23 Jan 2022, 3:59 pm

Got battered as usual.

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Post by Jimmy Moz Sun 23 Jan 2022, 4:13 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Got battered as usual.
Yeah just seen the score now. Ah well at least they avoided conceding 50 points. Unlike their counterparts just down the road. Small mercies and that.

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Post by Heaf Sun 23 Jan 2022, 6:27 pm

TMO in the Chiefs match making his presence felt - called a neck roll which wasn't, leading to a try to Montpellier and then overruling a try given to Chiefs for a non-existent knock-on ... so a 14 point bonus to Montpellier courtesy of the TMO.

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Post by lostinwales Sun 23 Jan 2022, 8:51 pm

Stolen from Twitter last 16 games are as follows

Racing 92 vs Stade Francais
Ulster vs Toulouse
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux
Leinster vs Connacht
Bristol vs Sale
Munster vs Exeter
Harlequins vs Montpellier
Leicester vs Clermont

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Post by neilthom7 Sun 23 Jan 2022, 9:32 pm

4 wins from 4, 3 try bonus points out of 4 games, 2nd in the group and Ulsters reward is Toulouse and due to the 2 legs having to go visit them in France as well, gee thanks lol

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Post by Guest Sun 23 Jan 2022, 10:34 pm

neilthom7 wrote:4 wins from 4, 3 try bonus points out of 4 games, 2nd in the group and Ulsters reward is Toulouse and due to the 2 legs having to go visit them in France as well, gee thanks lol

You’ll probably have to beat them at some point if you want to win the thing. May as well get it out the way early! Smile

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Post by Hazel Sapling Sun 23 Jan 2022, 11:37 pm

Quins, Leinster and Racing are probably the happiest teams. Even then Racing will point to the fact that Stade is a local derby.

Quins vs Montpellier will be interesting due to the variation in what Montpellier side shows up. The side that outmuscled Exeter at home or the side that capitulated badly to Leinster and Exeter away. Hard to know as they also benefitted from a 28-0 home win against Leinster who would have been a stiff test. I think Quins will fancy themselves to get what they need at home.

Munster, Ulster and La Rochelle will be wondering how they ended up with such brutal match-ups.

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Post by MichaelT Mon 24 Jan 2022, 9:57 am

I know people will complain about representation, but I think a starting point of these 16 teams would have been much better than some of the games so far. Four pools of four teams with top two as quarter finalists.

Another 16 team tournament for the challenge cup and another for a shield or something. Teams could play teams who are actually at their level, and therefore have a better chance of winning something. Have Bath or Ospreys really been helped by their defeats so far?

There must be 48 teams around by now.

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Post by Welshmushroom Mon 24 Jan 2022, 11:05 am

The Oracle wrote:Last thing I’ll post on this thread as it’s a bit too off topic, but.........

The whole idea behind these mergers is based on the theory that we can pool resources and then increase the money available to the 2 teams left compared to that available to the original 4.  However;

1. Most of the region’s money comes from TV and competition money.  That will not change whether we’ve got 4 or 2 teams.  The TV people and ERC/URC are not going to pay the remaining two regions double.  They will not give the combined Cardiff/Dragons team the monies that Cardiff and Dragons got separately as they’re now just one team. So no change in fortunes there then.
2. Teams also get income from fans turning out to support a team. Footfall at the stadium, in the bars, etc.  How and why would that suddenly increase with yet another made up team?  CarPort Blue Dragons will not get the combined crowds of Cardiff and Dragons.  So we’ll be in the same mess as when we tried mergers originally.
3. Without a large supporter base and with a lack of clear identity it will be very difficult to attract the millionaire investors everyone hopes are just around the corner.  So how do make up for low income from ticket and sales takings and just 1 lot of TV and competition money?  In no time we’ll just be the same as the current regions but with half the teams and fewer spaces for players to break though.

And breathe Very Happy

I don't agree that merging will fix things. Sure they will have bigger budgets but money is not the issue here. The Regions are suffering because they have made a poor job of developing their own squads. Instead they have bloated their squads. Dragons are spending 5 million on their squad players currently. That's essentially the same as each PRL team minus the marquee player for next season. Cardiff are at 6, Scarlets as high as 9 currently and Ospreys are around the 7 mark.

That means 2 of our regions are already outspending the 2 scottish sides and connacht but far worse teams. So that tells you one thing. The money they get is seriously miss spent. The goal for each team shouldn't be to hold on to welsh players at whatever costs. It tells you something when the stats for highest paid positions varies in the URC compared to both the PRL and Top14. I doubt either of those leagues don't at this stage understand where the real value in player positions lies.

There's dozens of players on good money at regions despite them clearly being past international rugby at this stage. Surely the idea should be to develop the regions to play at a international level - similar to what ireland have done. If that is the goal you cant simply have rosters full of players past their prime. Also none of the regions at present develop players required properly. I'll give an example to highlight this. At lock Wales has serious issues. You would therefore think that each of the regions must be developing at least 3 players each with the goal of 1 of those 3 making it as a senior. Scarlets, Cardiff and Dragons all only have 1 each. Ospreys have 2. That's simply poor planning for the future. Even if the Welsh talent isn't available they should at least then try to bring in age grade players to try to qualify them for Wales by the time they are senior players. Problem is they are not thinking about the long term. Instead opting for spending money on areas that will neither bring them success currently or develop their sides in the future.

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 24 Jan 2022, 12:12 pm

I think the reasoning behind getting all Welsh internationals to a region is to stregnthen the team, and bring in supporters to live games. Granted they don't play every game, but that is where balance comes in. You need some decent club players and if they aren't here, you find someone from overseas. Marquees are a luxury we don't have any more, but one is on his way to Scarlets.

If I can take Cardiff as an example, well stocked in the back-row and continuing to recruit there, and always procuding good ones in the academy. Their front-row players from the academy do have potential but we require more experitse in that area (overseas players and top coaches). It isn't worth keeping Arhip who hasn't been good in the scrum for about 3 years, Scott Andrews is also still contracted... Dillon Lewis and Seb Davies are good club players; neither should be picked for Wales but they will be very useful to Cardiff. Cardiff aren't far away from having the right balance in their squad. Their overall squad and probably ours (Dragons) could do with gutting and replacing if it is to improve.

Scarlets and Ospreys have good teams, their forward packs especially. Something isn't quite right there. On the lock front... we're all struggling to produce there since the days of AWJ, Evans and Davies; although if you look at recent U20s then there is some promise.

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Post by Welshmushroom Mon 24 Jan 2022, 1:28 pm

If you look at any successful side in the league most of a descent turnover of players. The tried and proven performers tend to be kept and they cut loose the guys that didn't make it. That turnover is vital as part of development. Not least as it sends the message performance matters.

Welsh sides seem to keep players on roster long after it is clear they are not good enough to break into the first team. Surely at the point a player is deemed not good enough the search should be starting with the next generation to give them game time to find out if they are good enough. Regions are losing young players because they can't get game time. My issue isn't about the very best players being kept but why exactly would you want to keep an average player around?

Scarlets don't have a good team. They are seriously underpowered upfront. You can't win games without a descent pack. Aside from AWJ and Elis there are serious doubts over the remaining pack quality. It's damming to the point they have been fielding 3/4 non welsh qualified players in their pack. They have problems at openside (due to injury), blindside, tighthead, both lock and I question if Rob Evans at loosehead is good enough at this stage either. That entire side needs a overhaul. They currently have 60 odd players on their main roster. In reality they need to get that down to 40 and i would say 10 of those need to be promising youngsters.

My question to you is, what is the point of signing an overseas players if you already know they cannot perform at a international level and as such inspire young talent around them? I never had an issue when the imports we had where of top level from places like New Zealand. But just look at the amount of overseas guys we have now and their standards. Surely at that stage you may as well start giving younger players a chance. Sub standard overseas players do nothing to develop welsh rugby - they just block chances for others.

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 24 Jan 2022, 1:38 pm

It would help to have examples if you think the top sides are cutting loose players? I would think most teams are smart enough to do that.

Definitely agree with your second paragraph here. Examples being Arhip, Andrews and last but not least Turnbull! There's also a few at Dragons for sure. Ospreys and to an extent Scarlets have some poor players in their back 3 in addition to the obviously good players in those positions.

Scarlets aren't playing well but they have the front 5, all internationals. Even their academy props look good, not sure about Rob Evans tbh - it would be strange if he is already past it. Their NWQ are in the back-row; Thomson was cover for Shingler (then he got capped by Scotland) and Kalamafoni was their big carrier and perhaps marquee until Carwyn broke in. I've no clue why they signed Lesanza given the amounth of Welsh open-sides everywhere. It's been noted that we struggle with locks but they do alson have Morgan Jones as a good Welsh prospect.

How would I already know that with an overseas signing? Which players are you referring to? And which overseas players are about that aren't at the standard required? I think the signing of average Welsh players are the ones blocking chances for others.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 25 Jan 2022, 10:46 am

Good to see Thomas Young released from hospital, looked really serious at the time.

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue 25 Jan 2022, 10:50 am

Any Welsh team wants to make a offer for Aussie Sam Carter.

I would drive him over - he is useless

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Post by Guest Tue 25 Jan 2022, 10:58 am

geoff999rugby wrote:Any Welsh team wants to make a offer for Aussie Sam Carter.

I would drive him over - he is useless

In that case yes I’m sure he’ll fit right in! Where do we sign?! Very Happy

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Post by Welshmushroom Wed 26 Jan 2022, 8:26 am

Hey Mikey. Sorry if my post came across as being argumentative. I wasn't trying to be.

Part of me wonders if part of the selection process for Wales is part of the problem. By naming essentially the elite 36 players, what essentially happens is that the players selected know they are in the national plans. Personally my view here is funding shouldn't be based on this nor should funding be supplied based on how many you have that are selected. In a perfect world you would have your 4 best players in each position playing against each other and the other best players in the URC. The form guys should then be selected. That would teach any welsh international that playing well the URC matters.

I don't think a region having certain positions well stocked with internationals helps team Wales in the long term. But given the current funding model you can see why the Regions try hard to make sure they out do each other for getting players selected in the elite 36.

If your looking at overseas guys the list is fairly long. Scarlets have Javan Sebastian, Sam Lousi, Tom Price, Blade Thomson, Kalamafoni, Lezana & Baldwin. Out of that bunch Kalamafoni has played well but is the wrong side of 30 so probably only has another season or two in him at this level. The rest just are not good enough.

Ospreys have Taione, Fia, Regan, Roots, Hickey, Myler, Nagy, Collins, Botha. Taione has been ok but not great. Nagy & Roots are ok development wise. The rest completely untested or sub standard. Granted I like Booth and I think he will sort the Ospreys youth systems out given time. He clearly is building for the future.

Cardiff have Arhip, Robinson, Lee-Lo. Arhip not good enough, Robinson is a good player but opensides is well stocked. And Lee-Loo is coming to the end of his journey.

Dragons have Seiuli, Doge, Fairbrother, Maksymiw, Taylor, Bertranou, Griffiths. Of those Doge and Bertranou but i wouldnt be keeping any of the others.

You make an excellent point regarding sub standard welsh players as well. Dan Jones at the Scarlets at 26 has had plenty of time at regional level and has been average at best. Halfpenny has been dire value as well. Morgan has been a poor signing for them as well. Dan Davies and Shaun Evans are not up to this level either given the amount of seasons they have had at the Scarlets. Shingler, Price and Marc Jones are even more sub standard players. I even have issues with Rob Evans based on his injury record and given his recent form at club level. He just doesn't look the same player he once was. In his case he could get back to form so maybe you give the game a chance but given what the Scarlets are paying him would probably make more sense to just get a proven league performer in. I also think the Will John project hasn't worked out and I also have question marks over Lee as well. Again some of those props are on big money and based on form I dont think they are earning their wages.

I could keep going with each region as pretty much all of them have a massive amount of sub standard welsh players that probably need culling. Given the new structure of the URC keeping 60 player squads are not needed. 36 per region should be more than enough. That way they can pump some more money into getting academy and project players.

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Post by Welshmushroom Wed 26 Jan 2022, 8:33 am

If we are being brutally honest though the level of coaches have been a major factor. Scarlets should have put a good amount of money into getting the best possible coaching team who have experience at that level. Currently you have guys learning their trade and have no track record of being astute at signing players. Peel could turn it around but he would need to completely overhaul the playing roster.

Ryan and Booth I like as head coaches so they are at least bucking the trend of the last 10 years of head coaches we have hired.

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