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URC Round 18- One Final League Round

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Post by neilthom7 Sun May 19, 2024 9:49 pm

It's permutations time with the race for the top 2 and top 8 still very much on.  Sharks could still knock one of the top 8 out of Champions Cup rugby with a win in the Challenge Cup final too.  Should be a brilliant final league weekend of rugby.

Munster- Guaranteed top 4- Any win for Munster will see them win the league but a loss could drop them out of the top 2 and make an away semi depending on other results.
Bulls- Guaranteed top 4- Could win league if Munster slip up, may need a bonus point victory to guarantee second place depending on other results.
Leinster/Glasgow- Guaranteed top 4- Either could still win league or get a top 2 spot for a potential home semi final if Munster/Bulls both slip up.  If Munster and Bulls both win then a bonus point win would be required to dislodge them.
Stormers/Ulster- Both have guarantee themselves a play off spot and can’t make top 4.  Ulster however may still need a point though to be in the top 7 and ensure Champions Cup rugby next year.
Edinburgh/ Benetton- Play each other on final day in Italy.  The winner of that will make the play offs.  The loser could also make the play offs depending on the Lions result
Lions- A win would take them into the play offs, if they lose it will come down to how many points they and the loser of the Edinburgh v Benetton game get.
Connacht/Ospreys- Still possible for them to make the play offs although probably unlikely.  Will require a bonus point win to give them the chance.  Would also require a Lions loss and the loser of Benetton v Edinburgh to get no bonus points.
Cardiff/Scarlets/Sharks- Really nothing to play for other than pride.  
Dragons/Zebre- Playing to see who finishes bottom of the league. Dragons ahead by 1 point at the moment.

Friday 31st May 2024


Glasgow Warriors v Zebre Parma
Scotstoun Stadium, Glasgow – KO 19.35 IRE & UK / 20.35 ITA & SA
Live on: Premier Sports, SuperSport, Flo Rugby & URC.tv

Leinster v Connacht
RDS Arena, Dublin – KO 19.35 IRE & UK / 20.35 ITA & SA
Live on: TG4, Premier Sports, SuperSport, Flo Rugby & URC.tv

Saturday 1st June 2024

DHL Stormers v Emirates Lions
DHL Stadium, Cape Town – KO 12.45 IRE & UK / 13.45 ITA & SA
Live on: SuperSport, Premier Sports, Flo Rugby & URC.tv

Benetton v Edinburgh Rugby
Stadio Monigo, Treviso – KO 13.00 IRE & UK / 14.00 ITA & SA
Live on: Sky Italia, Premier Sports, SuperSport, Flo Rugby & URC.tv

Scarlets v Dragons RFC
Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff – KO 15.00 IRE & UK / 16.00 ITA & SA
Live on: S4C, Premier Sports, SuperSport, Flo Rugby & URC.tv

Hollywoodbets Sharks v Vodacom Bulls
Hollywoodbets Kings Park, Durban – KO 15.10 IRE & UK / 16.10 ITA & SA
Live on: SuperSport, Premier Sports, Flo Rugby & URC.tv

Munster v Ulster
Thomond Park, Limerick – KO 17.15 IRE & UK / 18.15 ITA & SA
Live on: RTÉ, Premier Sports, SuperSport, Flo Rugby & URC.tv

Cardiff Rugby v Ospreys
Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff – KO 17.30 IRE & UK / 18.30 ITA & SA
Live on: BBC Wales, Premier Sports, SuperSport, Flo Rugby & URC.tv


Last edited by neilthom7 on Wed May 29, 2024 3:49 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Welshmushroom Mon May 20, 2024 4:13 am

I suppose the one interesting thing this season is the URC playoffs take place after the European Finals. That should mean that Leinster will have no excuses to play their best teams in those rounds.

I dont see Glasgow, Munster or Bulls losing those games in R18 so Leinster will be probably looking at 4th spot. They therefore will probably have the toughest run to the finals.

Benetton score tries at home and I think that is something Edinburgh are not doing much of. Plus home advantage I can only see a Benetton win. But Edinburgh may get a BP or two if Benetton did take their foot of the peddle at some stage. Probably not though.

Connacht might be in with a shout if Leinster send a weaker team out after the Toulouse final but its away so even then unlikely.

Benetton vs Edinburgh is probably the most key game in R18 and then followed by Munster vs Ulster. Rest should be relatively academic.

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Post by carpet baboon Mon May 20, 2024 4:50 am

It's a long shot but I think Ulster could get a narrow win down in Thomond.
The team seems to be gaining confidence week on week, and the young lads have been backed and are showing what they are capable of doing.
Our front row is an weakness, but if we come out the traps fast get a score or two early I think we could do it

It's unlikely but not impossible

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Post by RiscaGame Mon May 20, 2024 6:20 am

Ah, I thought it was next weekend, as I completely forgot about the European games. Guess that's the perks of being a Dragons supporter, that you don't have to plan your lives around finals.

Even though it doesn't make a difference to our position (in terms of not being worst Welsh side again), it would be nice to beat Scarlets just so we have doubled a Welsh team. I don't see it though, as it stands.

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Post by Welshmushroom Mon May 20, 2024 6:42 am

carpet baboon wrote:It's a long shot but I think Ulster could get a narrow win down in Thomond.
The team seems to be gaining confidence week on week, and the young lads have been backed and are showing what they are capable of doing.
Our front row is an weakness, but if we come out the traps fast get a score or two early I think we could do it

It's unlikely but not impossible

The way Munster have been playing the last few weeks - honestly Ulster don't have a chance. Munster are playing like a Champion team at the moment.

Ulster have improved and they did well to get their Leinster win. But one area is killing them and has been all season. They are not on a good conversion rate on the chances they create. I don't think that is the sort of thing you can fix in 2 weeks and to stand any possible chance of beating Munster they will need to convert everything because Munster will take theirs. Plus they will need the win to secure top 2.

Sure they may have the smallest of chances, but in all honesty as a neutral I'd not even be tempted by a long shot odds on Ulster in this match in terms of betting.

I'm all about being optimistic as a Dragons fan I have to be at times Smile but I think you may have to prepare yourself for a defeat on this one.

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Post by Welshmushroom Mon May 20, 2024 6:43 am

RiscaGame wrote:Ah, I thought it was next weekend, as I completely forgot about the European games. Guess that's the perks of being a Dragons supporter, that you don't have to plan your lives around finals.

Even though it doesn't make a difference to our position (in terms of not being worst Welsh side again), it would be nice to beat Scarlets just so we have doubled a Welsh team. I don't see it though, as it stands.

I hope so too.

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Post by Pete330v2 Mon May 20, 2024 7:41 pm

carpet baboon wrote:It's a long shot but I think Ulster could get a narrow win down in Thomond.
The team seems to be gaining confidence week on week, and the young lads have been backed and are showing what they are capable of doing.
Our front row is an weakness, but if we come out the traps fast get a score or two early I think we could do it

It's unlikely but not impossible

A long shot indeed but certainly not impossible although Munster will be at full strength with as strong a desire to win than at any time this season in their effort to finish at the top of the league.
Ulster on the other hand don't benefit from a win really when you look at the teams around us. It could men the difference between 6th and 7th and therefore who we face in the playoffs but ultimately it's pretty much job done for Ulster. We've solidified probably 7th place and therefore our champions cup place next season. Can we actually go on to win the coming playoff game? Possibly, it'd be another very long shot but still possible. Can we lift the title? That shots so long it defies logic.

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Post by neilthom7 Sat May 25, 2024 6:49 am

Sharks win the Challenge Cup final and so only the top 7 in the URC will make the Champions Cup next season.

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Post by Welshmushroom Sat May 25, 2024 8:30 pm

Yeah looks like now the Benetton vs Edinburgh game will play even more importance as the winner from there is probably 7th. The bad news is anyone finishing 7th gets Bulls away for me makes it the hardest fixture in the Quarters as even if you win that the travel will make the semi's a nightmare for you. That's not to say your chances are any better against Leinster, Munster or Glasgow but at least the travel won't wreck you chances if you happen to win and make the semi's.

I actually think Sharks qualifying this year isn't the worst thing in the world given the massive amount of stars that are arriving there in the summer. On paper at least they should be a really hard team to beat with their front line players out.

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Post by geoff999rugby Sat May 25, 2024 10:42 pm

So..
Ospreys and Connacht will be in the Challange cup next year unless a miracle occurs.

Benetton v Edinburgh is, effectively, a winner takes all match
The only way that is not the case would be if the winner doesn't get a bonus point or its a draw and Lions get 5 points.

Ulster need 1 point to be sure of finishing above Lions.

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Post by neilthom7 Wed May 29, 2024 3:56 am

uhhh Frank Murphy in charge of Munster v Ulster again Rolling Eyes

Apart from the fact he is just generally a poor referee why do we have a person who grew up in Cork and played for Munster refereeing a Munster game.

Brace is right there, he is the TMO, why not just put him in and while he worked for Munster for quite some time at least he wasn't born or grew up there or played for them.

Regardless of what Murphy does this weekend the first time he makes a mistake he will be crucified for being biased or for trying to voer compensate for his Munster bias or something like that.

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Post by Welshmushroom Wed May 29, 2024 6:34 am

geoff999rugby wrote:So..
Ospreys and Connacht will be in the Challange cup next year unless a miracle occurs.

Benetton v Edinburgh is, effectively, a winner takes all match
The only way that is not the case would be if the winner doesn't get a bonus point or its a draw and Lions get 5 points.

Ulster need 1 point to be sure of finishing above Lions.

Doing the maths on this Ospreys & Connacht cannot qualify for Champions Cup rugby as due to the Sharks win they have to make top 7. Both still have a shot at 8th place but that is it. Benetton vs Edinburgh will determine (providing it is not a draw) who gets that last champions cup spot. Whoever wins that will be in but the drawback is they finish 7th and probably are looking at Bulls away in the quarters so that will end their URC campaign.

Lions will be hoping for a draw as that would allow them to slide in to 7th providing they can actually win their game.

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Post by Welshmushroom Wed May 29, 2024 6:36 am

neilthom7 wrote:uhhh Frank Murphy in charge of Munster v Ulster again  Rolling Eyes

Apart from the fact he is just generally a poor referee why do we have a person who grew up in Cork and played for Munster refereeing a Munster game.

Brace is right there, he is the TMO, why not just put him in and while he worked for Munster for quite some time at least he wasn't born or grew up there or played for them.

Regardless of what Murphy does this weekend the first time he makes a mistake he will be crucified for being biased or for trying to voer compensate for his Munster bias or something like that.  

In all honesty I don't think Ulster stand a chance in this one but not having a neutral ref is not a good look for the league. The way Munster are playing I don't think the ref will play that bigger role in this match.

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Post by Unclear Wed May 29, 2024 6:43 am

I don't care where Frank hails from or who he played for, he's just a poor referee. I won't say I could better, because that is obviously rubbish, but even I can see him getting stuff wrong and inconsistent. The only positive is that he is as bad for both sides.

Frank aside I have no expectations from the game, as Munster need to go for the win and we really need a point. I'm just hoping for a performance of heart and commitment, and an entertaining game.

One thing to remember is that these are derby games (although I can't get that for the Scots/Italian games) and throws in some extra surprises. There could well be a couple of underdog wins.

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Post by Welshmushroom Wed May 29, 2024 6:54 am

I'm basing it purely on the form of Munster the last 3 weeks. They are playing like last seasons Champions at the moment. Throw in the incentive for a home semi if they win and I actually think Ulster could take a pasting in this one by 20 points. Hopefully it stays close though.

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed May 29, 2024 7:27 am

The South African games look like they’ll be pretty good, assuming the Sharks put their best out against Bulls. Edinburgh vs Benetton is possibly the most interesting, and neither of them look amazing right now.

And in the Welsh games, expecting Ospreys and Dragons wins!

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Post by Pete330v2 Wed May 29, 2024 9:47 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:So..
Ospreys and Connacht will be in the Challange cup next year unless a miracle occurs.

Benetton v Edinburgh is, effectively, a winner takes all match
The only way that is not the case would be if the winner doesn't get a bonus point or its a draw and Lions get 5 points.

Ulster need 1 point to be sure of finishing above Lions.

The Stormers have their position to play for and are at home v Lions so I hope they play like their lives depend upon it. Ulster could score 4 tries v Munster to get that valuable point to guarantee things but I hope they don't need it, I don't think I could take it.

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Post by Kingshu Thu May 30, 2024 1:30 am

BKT United Rugby Championship (URC)
@URCOfficial
24 HOURS TO GO 🚨 The 2024/25 Fixtures will be released tomorrow at 10:00am BST URC Round 18- One Final League Round 3754190863

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Post by neilthom7 Thu May 30, 2024 6:30 am

That quite early isn't it? It is good to have it released well in advance though

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Post by Kingshu Thu May 30, 2024 7:11 am

Yeah was thinking it very early, but I suppose they want them out as ealry as possible so fans can strat making travel plans, so if have them why wait untill after the final to release them, now seams to be the best time when all teams have intrest in the last round, and would get maximum exposure. Think URC have done very well here and have to give credit where its due.

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri May 31, 2024 5:50 am

Pete330v2 wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:So..
Ospreys and Connacht will be in the Challange cup next year unless a miracle occurs.

Benetton v Edinburgh is, effectively, a winner takes all match
The only way that is not the case would be if the winner doesn't get a bonus point or its a draw and Lions get 5 points.

Ulster need 1 point to be sure of finishing above Lions.

The Stormers have their position to play for and are at home v Lions so I hope they play like their lives depend upon it. Ulster could score 4 tries v Munster to get that valuable point to guarantee things but I hope they don't need it, I don't think I could take it.

Guess the plus side is Ulster will at least know the outcome of the Stormers vs Lions game prior to their start so will know what they need to do. If Lions do lose it won't matter for them as they will qualify.

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri May 31, 2024 5:59 am

I know people have said maybe it would be good if R18 is played all at the same time but from a totally selfish standpoint I do like being able to watch most the games as I rarely watch them on playback if I know the score.

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Post by Welshmushroom Sat Jun 01, 2024 5:57 am

Crikey Glasgow losing to Zebre at the moment - not sure what is going on there

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Post by RiscaGame Sat Jun 01, 2024 7:43 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:I know people have said maybe it would be good if R18 is played all at the same time but from a totally selfish standpoint I do like being able to watch most the games as I rarely watch them on playback if I know the score.

I have thought that it was a bit strange, with teams theoretically having an advantage of knowing what they can do.

But now Dragons know they can't finish bottom already, I fully support it laughing

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Post by Welshmushroom Sat Jun 01, 2024 10:20 pm

Benetton have started really well. Probably should have scored a second try a few minutes ago.

Edinburgh are in a game that's for sure. Looks a lovely day in Italy too. Lots of running rugby happening already.

Some big hits in this game. Not for the faint hearted this one.

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Post by Welshmushroom Sat Jun 01, 2024 10:21 pm

Edinburgh making some key errors in promising positions. Down to Benetton pressure though who are totally up for this one. So far a much better game than last nights Leinster vs Connacht showing.

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Post by Welshmushroom Sat Jun 01, 2024 10:23 pm

Lions are ahead of Stormers at the moment too so that's not good news for the loser of this one.

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Post by Welshmushroom Sat Jun 01, 2024 10:24 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:Lions are ahead of Stormers at the moment too so that's not good news for the loser of this one.


Scratch that - Stormers ahead again

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Post by Welshmushroom Sat Jun 01, 2024 10:28 pm

How on earth are Benetton keeping hold of Menacello - Behind Ringrose (pre injury) he has to be the best 13 in Europe at the moment. He really is class both sides of the ball.

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Post by Welshmushroom Sat Jun 01, 2024 10:35 pm

Edinburgh take the lead with another penalty 6-5

Benetton probably will be kicking themselves for not having a bigger lead at this point. But they are playing well and really are very good at home.

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Post by Welshmushroom Sat Jun 01, 2024 10:38 pm

Incredible 50-22 from Treviso. Good attacking position for them now. Edinburgh need to defend well now.

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Post by Welshmushroom Sat Jun 01, 2024 10:40 pm

Edinburgh strip and get out but minutes later lose the ball in a attacking move and Benetton run the length.
10-6 with a conversion to come.

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Post by Welshmushroom Sat Jun 01, 2024 10:49 pm

Benetton look like their backline is a lot better than Edinburgh. Lang's not having a great game for them.

Edinburgh forwards are keeping them in this game though. Good turnover there by Edinburgh in their own 22 so they kick it out and go to half time.

Benetton will be kicking themselves as they probably should be further in front with the amount of entries in the 22 they have had.

Edinburgh don't look like a side capable of scoring many tries. Hopefully Moses will add something for them next season at 12.

Going to be some devastatingly large 12's in the league next season in almost every side.

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Post by Welshmushroom Sat Jun 01, 2024 10:52 pm

Lions are also leading Stormers again 21-15 but only have 2 tries at the moment. Edinburgh's season might be over if the scores stay the same.

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Post by Welshmushroom Sat Jun 01, 2024 11:03 pm

Treviso knock on in Edinburgh in the 22 so Edinburgh can try to clear here.

Edinburgh probably do need to score next because Benetton look like they will score tries.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat Jun 01, 2024 11:05 pm

Roos is a great player.

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Post by Welshmushroom Sat Jun 01, 2024 11:26 pm

Benetton score another as Albanoz finds a weak shoulder and goes through.

19-6. Edinburgh really need to score soon and a try at that......

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Post by Welshmushroom Sat Jun 01, 2024 11:28 pm

And another - Edinburgh totally in disarray and they go through phases through the middle. Edinburgh could never regroup. Thats the BP for Benetton.

Unless Edinburgh have some miracle run now this game is over...

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Post by Welshmushroom Sat Jun 01, 2024 11:29 pm

He makes the conversion so its 26-6.

Meanwhile Lions take the lead over Stormers with just 15 minutes to go there. They lead 24-22.

That might spell the end for Edinburgh.

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Post by Welshmushroom Sat Jun 01, 2024 11:36 pm

So this one is over as the 5th goes in and Benetton have 31-6 lead.

Its the other game now critical to Edinburgh. Stormers have a 5 point lead at 29-24. Edinburgh need Stormers to score another 3 points if they are going to qualify.

Actually even if that happens they still need to hope some of the other teams dont get 5 pointers.

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Post by Welshmushroom Sat Jun 01, 2024 11:37 pm

Thats it in the other game - Lions pick up a BP.

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Post by Welshmushroom Sat Jun 01, 2024 11:41 pm

So Edinburgh will finish outside the top 8 no matter what happens next...

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Post by Welshmushroom Sat Jun 01, 2024 11:50 pm

Final score Benetton 31-6.

Next up is Scarlets-Dragons and Sharks-Bulls.

Bulls probably want a big win to make the top2. But ill watch Dragons play Scarlets.

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Post by Welshmushroom Sat Jun 01, 2024 11:54 pm

So Ospreys if they pick up a 5 pointer will qualify as they will have gotten more win that the Lions on the same points. Would make a hell of a story.

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Post by Welshmushroom Sun Jun 02, 2024 12:27 am

opph this Scarlets - Dragons game is a bit of a dire watch after that last one....

Not a lot on show here at the moment. Hopefully things get better in the next 60 mins.

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Post by RiscaGame Sun Jun 02, 2024 1:05 am

Scrum killing us a bit again. I thought the first one was maybe a bit harsh on Coleman, but ultimately he does have a poor rep now.

Poor use of the sin bin period for Dragons.

I was about 30 mins behind on iPlayer and have now caught up as the first half dragged and I could then skip a lot.

Scarlets worth their lead.

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Post by Welshmushroom Sun Jun 02, 2024 1:05 am

Well the main difference is 10 and the pack.  Been saying it all season.  If a scarlets pack is getting the better of us we really are in trouble because they have been getting battered in the front 5 all season.

I also dont get Hollis on the wing.  Stick him at 12.  Westwood has looked good at 13.  Owen might be to small at 12 especially considering how many teams will have monsters there next season.

I hope we put wilson at 15 next year and then we can alternate dyer and the rosser brothers on the wings.

Mikey and some other forum posters had said Reed isnt up to it and based on this showing they are probably right.  

Until the Dragons can put 4 really solid props 2 starter and 2 on the bench we will never do better than where we are at the moment.  Our locks are a bit powderpuff as well.  They might be big but none of them look like they have any real power........

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Post by RiscaGame Sun Jun 02, 2024 1:13 am

Oh Rio.

Agree on the locks. Made a big deal about Carter bulking up, but he is one that's underpowered still. Screech has always been like that, for me.

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Post by RiscaGame Sun Jun 02, 2024 1:13 am

Lydiate on for Wainwright is not ideal either.

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Post by Welshmushroom Sun Jun 02, 2024 1:21 am

Usually if your pack is underpowered they tend to be more mobile but Dai has managed to get a pack that is neither. Theres just not many forwards I would be keeping if i was managing that squad. Coughlan has been ok - lost some lineout but i put that more down to the locks and props. I'd keep him for development. But there wouldnt be to many.

Granted Dragons would have to replace with a full overseas 8 because right now there a massive issue in wales with good forwards.


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