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URC The Magnificent Round 7

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geoff999rugby
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Post by neilthom7 Tue 28 Nov 2023, 3:04 pm

Last round before the European games with a table that is tight throught. The internationals are all back and it's time to really get this thing going.


Friday 1st December 2023

Munster v Glasgow Warriors
Musgrave Park, Cork – KO 19.35 IRE & UK / 20.35 ITA / 21.35 SA
Live on: TG4, Viaplay, SuperSport, Premier Sports, Flo Rugby & URC.tv


Saturday 2nd December 2023

Vodacom Bulls v Hollywoodbets Sharks
Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria – KO 13.00 IRE & UK / 14.00 ITA / 15.00 SA
Live on: SuperSport, Viaplay, Premier Sports, Flo Rugby & URC.tv

Cardiff Rugby v Scarlets
Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff – KO 15.00 IRE & UK / 16.00 ITA / 17.00 SA
Live on: Viaplay, SuperSport, Premier Sports, Flo Rugby & URC.tv

Emirates Lions v Dragons RFC
Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg – KO 15.05 IRE & UK / 16.05 ITA / 17.05 SA
Live on: SuperSport, BBC Wales, Viaplay, Premier Sports, Flo Rugby & URC.tv

DHL Stormers v Zebre Parma
Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch – KO 17.15 IRE & UK / 18.15 ITA / 19.15 SA
Live on: SuperSport, Viaplay, Premier Sports, Flo Rugby & URC.tv

Ulster v Edinburgh Rugby
Kingspan Stadium, Belfast – KO 17.15 IRE & UK / 18.15 ITA / 19.15 SA
Live on: Viaplay, Premier Sports, SuperSport, Flo Rugby & URC.tv

Connacht v Leinster
The Sportsground, Galway – KO 19.35 IRE & UK / 20.35 ITA / 21.35 SA
Live on: RTÉ, Viaplay, Premier Sports, SuperSport, Flo Rugby & URC.tv

Benetton v Ospreys
Stadio Monigo, Treviso – KO 19.35 IRE & UK / 20.35 ITA / 21.35 SA
Live on: Sky Italia, S4C, Viaplay, SuperSport, Premier Sports, Flo Rugby & URC.tv

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 28 Nov 2023, 3:09 pm

I wonder if Lions will continue the Dragons pile-on, probably.

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Post by thebandwagonsociety Wed 29 Nov 2023, 6:56 am

Could this be a weekend of all home wins? If so, cue the lazy journalism articles about teams not trying on the road and the league being a sham. These are likely pre-written tirades just waiting for a single opening sentence to reference a current fixture result.

Talking about lazy journalism.... the slapshot assembly of urc highlight videos is almost comical. I wonder could AI edit up a set of highlights better.

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Post by RiscaGame Wed 29 Nov 2023, 11:53 am

Probably won’t rush to get up before nights, for the Dragons game. Albeit, I don’t really want to miss another Viaplay game that I paid for, I suppose Very Happy

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Post by neilthom7 Fri 01 Dec 2023, 2:49 pm

Ulster: Addison, Baloucoune, Hume, McCloskey, Stockdale, Burns, Cooney; Kitshoff, Stewart, O'Toole; O'Connor (capt), Treadwell; Matty Rea, Timoney, McNabney.

Replacements: Andrew, Warwick, Moore, Izuchukwu, Ewers, Doak, Moore, Moxham.

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Post by TJ Sat 02 Dec 2023, 12:50 pm

I am fearing a gubbing for Edinburgh.

Munster really hate Glasgow don't they. gave 'em a real lesson yesterday

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Post by neilthom7 Sat 02 Dec 2023, 2:47 pm

Just to clarify for John Barclay and Steven Ferris the referee was right despite what they think. It's only a maul to the catching team if caught and maul formed directly from a kick in open play. Kick off's are not open play and so that does not apply, ergo maul means turnover if held up and unplayable from them.

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Post by carpet baboon Sat 02 Dec 2023, 2:50 pm

I have missed most this game. Have Ulster been this bad all game?

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Post by neilthom7 Sat 02 Dec 2023, 2:57 pm

Pretty much, too many missed chances.

Ben Moxham looks seriously hurt here, going to be stretchered off. A bad looking leg injury

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Post by carpet baboon Sat 02 Dec 2023, 3:07 pm

Yeah didn't look good.
Well at least we got a couple of points, possibly not deserved, but it's something

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Post by carpet baboon Sat 02 Dec 2023, 3:08 pm

Also congrats to Edinburgh

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Post by carpet baboon Sat 02 Dec 2023, 3:10 pm

Also just seen the Cardiff Scarlett's score. Where did they pull that performance from?

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Post by TJ Sat 02 Dec 2023, 3:12 pm

neilthom7 wrote:Just to clarify for John Barclay and Steven Ferris the referee was right despite what they think.  It's only a maul to the catching team if caught and maul formed directly from a kick in open play.  Kick off's are not open play and so that does not apply, ergo maul means turnover if held up and unplayable from them.

also if the maul moves 5m even if its a kick in open play the maul is a turnover if the ball does not come out. right call

the ref looked like he was stuggling a bit at times but it didn't favour either team

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Post by TJ Sat 02 Dec 2023, 3:14 pm

Edinburghs defense in keeping Ulster out when they had such pressure was what won it for me. Ulster only looked poor because Edinburgh made them look poor with great defense

first win there for 5 years for us. Letting Ulster get the bonus points might comeback to haunt us.

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Post by Kingshu Sat 02 Dec 2023, 3:42 pm

Well thats was the Ulster we fearedat the start of the season, rolling maul reliant. Where was the more attacking play with the backs we were promised?

I feared the same problems as last season would come back this season, Ulster at the very min need to add an top attack coach.

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Post by TAFKA The Oracle Sat 02 Dec 2023, 3:46 pm

Didn’t think Dragons could get any worse, but what a poor performance today. Again. Ironically, they were in it and it was fairly evenly matched until Lions had a player red carded on 25 mins. (Harsh red IMO). Then we played some of the worst rugby I’ve seen a pro side play. Played like a pub team. How do you do that when you are a man up? Couldn’t create anything near their try line when they went down to 14 but managed to concede a length of the field try instead.

Really poor game from Will Reed I felt. Really struggled at 10. Managed to get charged down nearly leading to a try in the first half when he was in acres of space and bags of time on his own line. Threw the worst forward pass I’ve seen in years. A couple of other errors too. Just error strew. Ashton Hewitt - just don’t think he’s up to this level any more. Bradley Roberts with one of the most blatant trips even and rightly got a yellow card. And Forwards generally were poor - don’t know how many times we got turned over with the jackal as we could just not get players to the tackle quick enough, even with a 1 man advantage.

Only bright moments were Rio Dyer yet again showing he’s a class act. And a really good showing from Aaron Wainwright. So the internationals proving their class. But a number of players suggesting that they’re not much better than semi pro, sadly.

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Post by RiscaGame Sat 02 Dec 2023, 4:53 pm

I thought it was a red card. He knew what he was doing. I don't see how you can elbow somebody in the head, with zero punishment. There is no way a South African lock needs to brace up to defend himself against a winger, so he deserved a red for that alone.

Very poor from majority of Dragons players. Time to drop to three teams, or things will only get worse too. I don't trust Reed at all. He had to be babysat by Matt O'Brien for Newport, so he was never going to be ready yet for pro level. Bradley Roberts' yellow was stupid. So brain dead and really killed a lot of any possible momentum for us.

Wainwright and Dyer good, but they need to get away from Dragons if we are to stay, or they will wreck their Welsh chances.

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Post by neilthom7 Sat 02 Dec 2023, 5:04 pm

TJ wrote:
neilthom7 wrote:Just to clarify for John Barclay and Steven Ferris the referee was right despite what they think.  It's only a maul to the catching team if caught and maul formed directly from a kick in open play.  Kick off's are not open play and so that does not apply, ergo maul means turnover if held up and unplayable from them.

also if the maul moves 5m even if its a kick in open play the maul is a turnover if the ball does not come out.  right call

the ref looked like he was stuggling a bit at times but it didn't favour either team

Agreed, he seemed to have an idea in his head of the breakdown which didn't seem to be correct however he applied it consistently across the game which to be fair is what you would ask, even if it's wrong if it's consistent it is then up to the teams to adapt.

Edinburgh with a very deserved win, they had a very good performance, more clinical in attack and excellent defence.

Ulster by contrast looked fairly devoid of ideas and had threw away too many opportunities.

Hope Ben Moxham's injury isn't as bad as it looked.

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Post by TAFKA The Oracle Sat 02 Dec 2023, 7:04 pm

RiscaGame wrote:I thought it was a red card. He knew what he was doing. I don't see how you can elbow somebody in the head, with zero punishment. There is no way a South African lock needs to brace up to defend himself against a winger, so he deserved a red for that alone.

Very poor from majority of Dragons players. Time to drop to three teams, or things will only get worse too. I don't trust Reed at all. He had to be babysat by Matt O'Brien for Newport, so he was never going to be ready yet for pro level. Bradley Roberts' yellow was stupid. So brain dead and really killed a lot of any possible momentum for us.

Wainwright and Dyer good, but they need to get away from Dragons if we are to stay, or they will wreck their Welsh chances.

Dropping to 3 just means a) the WRU probably gets fined for breaking their contractual obligations to enter 4 teams into the various tournaments, and b) we would lose a 1/4 of any TV and competition money the 4 currently generate. So would 3 teams actually have any more funding split between them? If not, I can’t see the point of dropping to 3. The only reason to go to 3 would be if the current £4.5m funding x 4 then gets split between 3. Plus, we’re just into a new 5 or 6 year deal so nothing’s going to happen for that period. After that, who knows!

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Post by RiscaGame Sat 02 Dec 2023, 11:28 pm

I don't know if there is such an obligation to provide four teams any more, with the league taking on the SA teams and "Europe" being a mess anyway. The TV contracts may all change again too, depending on what happens with Viaplay and Premier Sports etc?

Tbh, I have no idea whether dropping to three is really feasible. But I also can't see any other option. The Oakwell Report suggested it as one of a few options seemingly and they believe it would save money. The WRU Chair was a little contradictory, when he was asked about keeping four too. For me, it would drive standards up so much more. There are so many at Dragons who shouldn't be pro level players. Maybe the new loan system in the PRA might help and Dragons can get some talent in.

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Post by geoff999rugby Sun 03 Dec 2023, 8:01 am

There is an obligation to provide 4 teams to the URC which runs out either at the end of 24/25 or 25/26 not sure which.
Failure will incur significant finds.

Wales dropping to 3 would create a problem with respect to fixtures

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Post by geoff999rugby Sun 03 Dec 2023, 8:01 am

There is an obligation to provide 4 teams to the URC which runs out, I think, at the end of 24/25.
Failure will incur significant finds.

Wales dropping to 3 would create a problem with respect to fixtures

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 03 Dec 2023, 1:54 pm

carpet baboon wrote:Also just seen the Cardiff Scarlett's score. Where did they pull that performance from?

Cardiff had a red card. Having said that, a red card to Dragons’ opposition did us absolutely no favours Very Happy

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Post by thebandwagonsociety Mon 04 Dec 2023, 5:33 am

geoff999rugby wrote:There is an obligation to provide 4 teams to the URC which runs out, I think, at the end of 24/25.
Failure will incur significant finds.

Wales dropping to 3 would create a problem with respect to fixtures

That action would give the chance to Scotland to propose a third team or for SARU to put forward a 5th team? While there aren't monstrous crowds at SA games (from the tv angles, conscious a good crowd could be in the same stand as the camera setup), the tv market is the largest and best chance at expanding that income. Teams spending a 3rd week in SA after already having flown down there versus a trip to Newport? Toss of a coin really. Would be good value fan trips, catch three games (sun-sat-fri) over a 2 week jolly. If they were smart and put one of those as a double header also.. that would become very tempting.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Mon 04 Dec 2023, 7:08 am

SRU would struggle to fund a third team without finding a financial backer to subsidise it. Maybe if the TV money goes up by a healthy sum at international and/or club level, we could begin to think about it.

Not sure what state Italy, Spain or Portugal are in financially. A team in Rome, Barca or Lisbon would probably be a better step forward than Aberdeen.

Saying all that, I expect another run at a B&I league before Wales gives up a region.

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Post by BigGee Mon 04 Dec 2023, 7:43 am

I think there would be a much better chance of Italy putting out a 3rd team than Scotland, There is a decent semi pro setup in Italy already and good youth setups with plenty young players coming through, eventually they will need a pro club to go to. There is a lot of potential for the game to grow in Italy.

Scotland, with the playing numbers they have and the lack of an obvious place to base another team, will probably just stick with 2 well funded teams. It's not ideal in terms of producing potential internationals, but it is probably all that will work for the foreseeable future.

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Post by Oakdene Mon 04 Dec 2023, 9:47 am

carpet baboon wrote:Also just seen the Cardiff Scarlett's score. Where did they pull that performance from?

Our forwards actually made ground when in contact & we gave the ball width for a change. Ioan Lloyd looks a very good signing for us.

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 04 Dec 2023, 3:28 pm

Oakdene wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:Also just seen the Cardiff Scarlett's score. Where did they pull that performance from?

Our forwards actually made ground when in contact & we gave the ball width for a change. Ioan Lloyd looks a very good signing for us.

Scarlets were getting munched up front, they upped their intensity significantly after the red card and they plowed through Seb Davies and Teddy Williams, neither of which are pro standard. It might be a bit too soon to write off Teddy, but for me he is just too similar to Seb. Morgan Jones showed up well when he came on. I think Scarlets could do with another bruiser from overseas, that would complement Jones and Lousi very well. Fifita is fantastic every week. Carwyn is very promising. I thought Rogers was poor as usual, McNicholl average and a much better winger for me.

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 04 Dec 2023, 3:29 pm

BigGee wrote:I think there would be a much better chance of Italy putting out a 3rd team than Scotland, There is a decent semi pro setup in Italy already and good youth setups with plenty young players coming through, eventually they will need a pro club to go to. There is a lot of potential for the game to grow in Italy.

Scotland, with the playing numbers they have and the lack of an obvious place to base another team, will probably just stick with 2 well funded teams. It's not ideal in terms of producing potential internationals, but it is probably all that will work for the foreseeable future.

Then in theory, Zebre should get better. They’re already better than Dragons tbh as we have too many semi-pro types.

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Post by BigGee Mon 04 Dec 2023, 3:35 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
BigGee wrote:I think there would be a much better chance of Italy putting out a 3rd team than Scotland, There is a decent semi pro setup in Italy already and good youth setups with plenty young players coming through, eventually they will need a pro club to go to. There is a lot of potential for the game to grow in Italy.

Scotland, with the playing numbers they have and the lack of an obvious place to base another team, will probably just stick with 2 well funded teams. It's not ideal in terms of producing potential internationals, but it is probably all that will work for the foreseeable future.

Then in theory, Zebre should get better. They’re already better than Dragons tbh as we have too many semi-pro types.

I think in all honesty, Zebra have been improving year on year, but so has the general standard of the league and it is not easy to win games now.

They are certainly not rolling over any more and sides need to be careful thinking about the composition of the teams they send over there.

I'd be very surprised if they don't pick up a few more wins before this season is done.

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Post by Welshmushroom Tue 05 Dec 2023, 10:39 am

I thought Leinster dodged a bullet this weekend. Should have lost one there.

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Post by Oakdene Tue 05 Dec 2023, 10:43 am

Welshmushroom wrote:I thought Leinster dodged a bullet this weekend.  Should have lost one there.

Very much so, thought Connaught had it in the bag but poor lineout in the dying stages gave Leinster a chance.

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Post by thebandwagonsociety Tue 05 Dec 2023, 6:03 pm

Oakdene wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:I thought Leinster dodged a bullet this weekend.  Should have lost one there.

Very much so, thought Connaught had it in the bag but poor lineout in the dying stages gave Leinster a chance.

Daylight robbery occurred at the Galway Sportsground last weekend.

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Post by Oakdene Wed 06 Dec 2023, 4:55 am

thebandwagonsociety wrote:
Oakdene wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:I thought Leinster dodged a bullet this weekend.  Should have lost one there.

Very much so, thought Connaught had it in the bag but poor lineout in the dying stages gave Leinster a chance.

Daylight robbery occurred at the Galway Sportsground last weekend.

How so? I'll be honest I only caught the last 5 mins or so.

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Post by thebandwagonsociety Wed 06 Dec 2023, 5:45 am

Oakdene wrote:
thebandwagonsociety wrote:
Oakdene wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:I thought Leinster dodged a bullet this weekend.  Should have lost one there.

Very much so, thought Connaught had it in the bag but poor lineout in the dying stages gave Leinster a chance.

Daylight robbery occurred at the Galway Sportsground last weekend.

How so? I'll be honest I only caught the last 5 mins or so.

A tired Leinster team playing towards the end were better focused and more attacking to go for the win. But the preceding 75 minutes, Connacht were by far the better side. They usually up their game when Leinster are in Galway in their shiny white jerseys. Connacht should have been 12-15 points ahead by the end of the game, easy win with Leinster scrambling for a LBP. Instead they didn't build the gap enough and gave Leinster a punchers chance to win the fight at the death.

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