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Rugby - Pre Binding Edition


339 replies to this topic

#1 ljkeane

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 10:08 AM

With the new season here in the UK starting this weekend and another round of the Rugby Championship as well I thought it was time for another thread.

It looks like it could be a good Premiership season this year although I'll probably watch a lot less of it since I don't have BT Sport. It does look pretty competitive at both ends of the table with Newcastle looking like a solid side coming up from the Championship and a the top a few sides have made some good signings a could improve.

With the sides in the running for the play offs Leicester were the best side last year and look very strong again with all their Lions, they're still probably favourites. Saracens look to have addressed their major weakness, a slight lack of power in the big games, with the signings of Johnston and Billy Vunipola and should push Leicester close. Northampton have made on paper three brilliant signings in Fotuali'i, North and Corbisiero but there has to be a question mark how much North and Corbisiero will play.

The one side from last year's play offs that does look weaker is Quins, they ran out of steam last year and they've lost some ballast with Kohn retiring and Johnston leaving. They still have a pretty smart side though so they could still do well. They are the most vulnerable to miss out this year for me though.

The two sides that look to have the best chance of catching them are Gloucester and Bath. Gloucester have a quality backline plus great depth in the back row now they've signed Kvesic to go with the likes of Morgan, Qera, Savage and Kalamafoni. The issue is whether the tight five will be strong enough. On paper Bath are pretty strong, they provided most of the key players in a very good tight five performance for England over the summer, they have the Springbok openside and a lot of talent out wide. There's some issues in the halfbacks but there's talent there, they should be a good side but I can't help but think they should have been better than they were last year so who knows?

Down at the bottom Newcastle look like a solid side and Dean Richards is a good coach so while I think they'll be in the mix I don't think they'll go down. Sale have made some ok signings but nothing spectacular. I honestly don't really know how they'll play, probably depends who's coach that week. I have to say that Irish look favourites to go down, they've lost a lot of their better players without a lot coming in. Unless their academy side has some undiscovered gems ready to step up I think they may well struggle.

#2 Which Tyler

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 12:32 PM

FWIW it looks like the Aviva site will still be showing all the matches a couple of hours delayed; free and legally online.


As for the new scrum procedures, I just hope the ref.s and IRB have the guts to see it through properly; rather than give in and allow the cheats to continue cheating for all the world to see. If that happen, I may even advocate rugby league style scrums, and kiss or game goodbye

#3 Heerad Farkhoor

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 12:50 PM

I think we'll go down as well. Our academy gems have also been poached. Our only chance is Worcester.

#4 ljkeane

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 01:13 PM

FWIW it looks like the Aviva site will still be showing all the matches a couple of hours delayed; free and legally online.


Thanks for that, I wasn't sure if they were still doing that this year.

Interesting Bath midfield selection for the game tonight, two hobbits and a not massive 13 in Joseph. There's a lot of skill but whether they can match up physically will be the question.

It'll be good to see how Dom Barrow steps to Premiership level rugby for Newcastle as well after putting in some good performances for the under 20's.

#5 Which Tyler

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 01:37 PM

It's alright, we've put our beef out wide today...

We don't know for sure if premiershiprugby will still be doing match replays, but it's looking hopeful.

Personally just sitting down in front of my illegal stream, first beer in hand, and getting very excited

Edited by Which Tyler, 06 September 2013 - 01:38 PM.


#6 ljkeane

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 03:46 PM

Decent win for Bath first up. Conditions meant it was never going to be flash but away to Newcastle in conditions like that was a potential banana skin. We'll have to see how they go for the rest of the season but I don't think that's a bad Newcastle pack but the Bath pack just squeezed them out of the game, if they can keep that up with Louw still to come back that a solid foundation for a good side.

From the Newcastle point of view I think it looks pretty clear Godman is a step down from Gopperth, that's not really a surprise but it's not ideal.

#7 Which Tyler

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 01:53 AM

Yep, match is up on http://www.premiershiprugby.tv/Home and a very entertaining wet-weather match it was too; with a good game from Barnes with the whistle

#8 Top Notch Balanter

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 01:34 PM

Nice for Leinster to win on the 1st day for once and with both a poor performance and a weakened team. Gopperth looks like a good buy and may even be the future starting 10 with Madigan slotting in at 12. Odd enough that it was an Irish ref but it's not like you can complain with Scarlets getting a try that should have been disallowed for 2 reasons

#9 ljkeane

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 10:00 AM

Leinster have signed Lote Tuqiri on short term deal as well. He was good doing the same for Leicester a few years ago although he is a few years older. If he is still up to it he should be a decent addition as he should commit some defenders to open up some space for the Leinster midfield.

Tom Croft is out for the rest of a season with a knee injury which is a shame for him after missing most of last season. I have to admit I do prefer Wood at 6 for England though, so hopefully England should be ok.

It's starting to look like this season might be the last season of the Heineken Cup in it's current format at least. I can see the point of the English and French clubs that it's not a level playing field but I'd be concerned about the potential impact on some of the smaller provinces and the Heineken Cup is my favourite club/provincial tournament so it'd be a shame to lose a good advert for the game. It doesn't reflect well on either side that they haven't been able to sort something out.

Finally in the Rugby Championship Australia have dropped Genia for the Argentina game. He hasn't been playing particularly well since the end of the Lions tour but he's their best player so it's a brave call from McKenzie.

#10 Which Tyler

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 12:34 PM

There were some unkind rumours that Leicester would look to Tuqiri as a like-for-like replacement for Croft (seriously though, gutted for the guy)


Agreed - PRL have some really valid points about qualification, and probably about voting and money distribution; but they've behaved (as ever) like utter, utter turds, and it's just impossible to actually back them, however I much I agree with a lot of what they say.


Dropping Genia is really brave; I fancy Argentina to nick this one.

#11 Top Notch Balanter

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 01:40 PM

Hopefully i will be awake for SA vs NZ because this one looks like it could be a cracker

Also there have been rumors that English and French teams are leaving the Heiniken Cup and setting up their own European cup which is pathetic if true. Not only would it not be a European cup if only two countries are available and secondly the team who have really dominated Europe in the last 5 years Leinster are not in either France or Europe. 5 of the last 8 winners have been Irish which makes it ridiculous that English or French teams feel like they have the right to just leave

#12 Which Tyler

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 02:22 PM

Well, they do have the right to leave - they served notice of their departure last year; giving the required 2 years notice.

They're also not going it alone - they are for the time being and are inviting other nations to join them. The South Africans have already expressed an interest (probably Currie Cup teams to allow for logistics); The Scots will go where BT (their main sponsors) tell them to go; and the Welsh will sign up to whatever competition the English are playing in - so long as they play the English, they don't care. This leaves the Irish and Italians on the outside, either trying to get in, or trying to make a go if things on their own. It's shit, but that's life.
They've handling things appallingly, but then, so have the Celts by refusing to acknowledge the concerns PRL and LNR have been raising for the last decade or so.

There was hope that the Celts had found a compromise with the French; leaving ERC in place, with the English on the outside; getting upset about all that money they weren't making on 9 fallow weekends with no-one to play against (Lancaster on the other hand, was looking forward to players who may actually have been fit to play come the RWC).

I'm looking forward to both 4N matches this weekend; but no way I'll stay awake for the NZ-SA match-up; probably catch it midweek if I can find a host.

#13 The Anti-Targ

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 04:19 PM

So any takers on Argentina beating Australia this year? I'm thinking, unless Aussie starts to get more coherent as a team, Arg could win at home.

#14 ljkeane

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 04:27 PM

So any takers on Argentina beating Australia this year? I'm thinking, unless Aussie starts to get more coherent as a team, Arg could win at home.


Yeah, unlike WH I don't quite see the Pumas winning in Australia but I could definitely see them winning at home with the Wallabies looking a bit disorganised, even if they do improve Argentina away is usually a tough game. Having said that I don't actually think Argentina are playing quite as well as they did last year before they ran out of steam either.

#15 The BlackBear

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 05:24 PM

Worcester! /communist.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':commie:' />

Right, actually going to try and keep up with this season.

#16 The Anti-Targ

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 03:42 AM

Non-legit yellow card against Bismark in first half. Pretty legit yellow in the second. Ref had to red card him because 2 yellows=red, but he was really hard done by. Shame that, kind of ruined the game a bit.

#17 ljkeane

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 05:27 AM

It definitely ruined the game for me, which is a shame as it was shaping up to be a good contest but the Springboks were never going to come from behind to win a man down for half the game. As you said the second yellow was fair enough but the first yellow was a shocking decision, it wasn't even a penalty for me.

#18 The Anti-Targ

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 06:25 PM

It definitely ruined the game for me, which is a shame as it was shaping up to be a good contest but the Springboks were never going to come from behind to win a man down for half the game. As you said the second yellow was fair enough but the first yellow was a shocking decision, it wasn't even a penalty for me.


Even watching at live and as it happened It just looked like a really well timed hit and nothing wrong with it. I was really surprised by the penalty. I think the ref called it a no arms penalty not a high tackle. Possibly because he was on Du Plessis' left he didn't see that he used his right arm to make the tackle, so from the refs angle maybe it did look like no arms were used. The decision is otherwise inexplicable.

SA did very well to keep the ABs to 29 points and end on 15 themselves. I think the ABS are in for a very hard game at Ellis Park and I think the Boks will be definite favourites. The main flaw in the Bok's game is they don't look like much in the backs attack-wise.

#19 ljkeane

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 06:57 PM

Even watching at live and as it happened It just looked like a really well timed hit and nothing wrong with it. I was really surprised by the penalty. I think the ref called it a no arms penalty not a high tackle. Possibly because he was on Du Plessis' left he didn't see that he used his right arm to make the tackle, so from the refs angle maybe it did look like no arms were used. The decision is otherwise inexplicable.


Fair enough refereeing rugby games is a tough job and people are going to make mistakes but the weird thing was he had the video ref review everything about the incident except the tackle he was about to sin bin someone for. If you're stopping the game anyway I don't understand not making sure you're right on a call that big.

The main flaw in the Bok's game is they don't look like much in the backs attack-wise.


They're not exactly playing Barbarians rugby but in fairness to South Africa they have brought in Le Roux to offer a bit more invention out wide. They still rely on the big forward runners consistently getting over the gainline coming round the corner to generate quick ball before they give out to the backs though.

I actually thought while the Springboks had a full team the All Blacks did a quite good job of slowing down their breakdown ball enough to disrupt their game plan, whether they could do that was a bit of a concern but I thought Messam and Cane did reasonably well.

Edited by ljkeane, 14 September 2013 - 06:58 PM.


#20 Free Northman

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 04:12 AM

A great game ruined by poor officiating. A red card in rugby is basically game over.

Especially with half the game left. Might as well have ended it there and then.

The fact that the red card was unjustified makes it all the worse.



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