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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:49 am 
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Raggs wrote:
happyhooker wrote:
I've just seen the clip of mercer chasing down Marcus Smith. Jesus the lad has wheels and some engine


It looked like half of Bath were chasing Smith down, I suspect Smith just isn't that fast, he still looks very physically young, and probably hasn't had much sustained sprint training. Faletau arguably covers a greater distance than Mercer. As someone more cynical than myself pointed out, Bath coaches may be a bit more annoyed that two key players still had enough energy to do that, and perhaps should have been putting more into the previous 78 minutes. I think that's a bit harsh myself though! Haven't seen the game however.


Agree with that, mentioned a while back that he's great for making breaks but his top end speed is nothing to write home about. Pretty funny how many comments I've read saying how it proves he's not ready for top flight rugby though!

That rugbypass article is alright but strangely neglects to mention all the times we've smashed teams at the breakdown - plenty of England wins came with more turnovers and clean ball for us vs messy ball for the opposition.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 5:55 am 
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JM2K6 wrote:
Raggs wrote:
happyhooker wrote:
I've just seen the clip of mercer chasing down Marcus Smith. Jesus the lad has wheels and some engine


It looked like half of Bath were chasing Smith down, I suspect Smith just isn't that fast, he still looks very physically young, and probably hasn't had much sustained sprint training. Faletau arguably covers a greater distance than Mercer. As someone more cynical than myself pointed out, Bath coaches may be a bit more annoyed that two key players still had enough energy to do that, and perhaps should have been putting more into the previous 78 minutes. I think that's a bit harsh myself though! Haven't seen the game however.


Agree with that, mentioned a while back that he's great for making breaks but his top end speed is nothing to write home about. Pretty funny how many comments I've read saying how it proves he's not ready for top flight rugby though!

That rugbypass article is alright but strangely neglects to mention all the times we've smashed teams at the breakdown - plenty of England wins came with more turnovers and clean ball for us vs messy ball for the opposition.


Only going back to the Lancaster era, but the only time I remember us actually winning the breakdown battle to the point it won us the game, was against the ABs in 2012. Other than that, we've varied in success of generating our own quick ball, and rarely bothered the opposition, mostly settling for disrupting them with aggressive defense. And then as pointed out, the losses have come when we've failed to secure our own clean ball.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:06 am 
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Gut feeling is that Ford is going to be dropped.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:44 am 
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crash 669 wrote:
45jumper wrote:
Thought Sale were going to throw it away in the second half but thankfully we held on. :o
Some brilliant scores in the first half, the counterattack started by Yarde was especially good. Excellent to see Solomona back scoring tries, just a shame we couldn't have held on against Bath or we'd be in a really strong position coming into the home stretch. Unfortunately I think our remaining fixtures are a bit tricky to make it into the top six, which is really disappointing. :frown:


I saw the highlights of this last night - how the fudge did Sale manage to win with 30% possession and even less territory (according to Channel 5's stats)? I know you've got to be able to aggressively defend but those sort of numbers suggests they were deliberately playing without the ball, which against a decent team (I know it was only Tampon, but still) is suicide.

I was saying to Brazil that I think it's Diamond's time to move on. He's built a great side, but has taken it as far as he can. Now we need someone getting them playing to their potential and they'll be genuine top 4 contenders, where right now they're less than the sum of their parts.


It was a bizarre game. Saints actually didn't play too badly, Sale's counterattacking was superb though. We seem happy to rope-a-dope teams, fanning across the pitch, leaving the breakdown well alone, waiting for a mistake to come and capitalising. The problem comes when you face a team like Sarries who just do not make mistakes, leaving us tackling ourselves to a standstill without the ball and looking completely clueless on how to break them down when we do have it.


Raggs wrote:
Diamond should get another season or two, now he has money, to see if he can make it work.

I get the feeling his specialty is getting the best out of youngsters for a few seasons, and then moving on to the next one, whilst rarely getting them to the absolute top level. However, he's not had the luxury of having those players surrounded by talent to drive them further, now he has that, and that may well be the difference. If those young players have serious talent to learn off of, they may be able to totake it to the next level.


I'm torn about Diamond. The second half at the weekend was a complete shambles and our inability to press home an advantage or hold onto a lead has long been a problem. We lose discipline, become passive and his use of the subs is frankly abysmal. Our away record - the weekend excepted - has also been pathetic and you get the impression Dimes doesn't really care about those games, though that does seem to be changing.
However, as you say, I reckon he deserves a proper shot now he has proper backing. He's performed near miracles with such a limited budget for a while and his signings have generally been superb. The point about the youngsters is a good one and we have a hell of a good crop coming through. For the first time in a long time we seem to have some forward planning with Moore ready to deputise for Strauss, the Currys fighting for the 7 shirt, Nott in the second row (though his limited gametime is disappointing) and Neild moving to Hooker.
He's said we won't sign any backs this summer (though I still remain hopeful for Van Rensburg at the end of the Super Rugby season) and even with Haley leaving, I'm not entirely sure we need anyone. I can see Addison moving to fullback with Redpath/Wilkinson stepping up from the academy to compete in the senior squad. The lack of a backup ten is a concern but if JOC beds in a bit more we should be alright there. All in all we're in really good shape. If we don't make the top 6 next season then I'd definitely be asking questions though.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:13 am 
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DragsterDriver wrote:
Gut feeling is that Ford is going to be dropped.


And pay the price for us having a dysfunctional backrow and two front rowers who do F.all in the loose. :x


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:14 am 
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ovalball wrote:
DragsterDriver wrote:
Gut feeling is that Ford is going to be dropped.


And pay the price for us having a dysfunctional backrow and two front rowers who do F.all in the loose. :x


Define loose?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:20 am 
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I have no basis for my guess tbf.

The return of the manu thing- I don’t think he’s a better player than teo, is he better than basteraud?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:22 am 
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Raggs wrote:
ovalball wrote:
DragsterDriver wrote:
Gut feeling is that Ford is going to be dropped.


And pay the price for us having a dysfunctional backrow and two front rowers who do F.all in the loose. :x


Define loose?



Like lose but with more oo


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:18 am 
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45jumper wrote:
It was a bizarre game. Saints actually didn't play too badly.


We were absolute shite in the first half, embarrassingly bad. By the time we started to play a bit in the second half you were 31-6 up.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:17 pm 
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Sam Vesty announced as attack coach at Saints for 2018-19


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:43 pm 
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That's a great signing, he's been really impressive at Worcester :thumbup:


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:23 pm 
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Raggs wrote:
JM2K6 wrote:
Raggs wrote:
happyhooker wrote:
I've just seen the clip of mercer chasing down Marcus Smith. Jesus the lad has wheels and some engine


It looked like half of Bath were chasing Smith down, I suspect Smith just isn't that fast, he still looks very physically young, and probably hasn't had much sustained sprint training. Faletau arguably covers a greater distance than Mercer. As someone more cynical than myself pointed out, Bath coaches may be a bit more annoyed that two key players still had enough energy to do that, and perhaps should have been putting more into the previous 78 minutes. I think that's a bit harsh myself though! Haven't seen the game however.


Agree with that, mentioned a while back that he's great for making breaks but his top end speed is nothing to write home about. Pretty funny how many comments I've read saying how it proves he's not ready for top flight rugby though!

That rugbypass article is alright but strangely neglects to mention all the times we've smashed teams at the breakdown - plenty of England wins came with more turnovers and clean ball for us vs messy ball for the opposition.


Only going back to the Lancaster era, but the only time I remember us actually winning the breakdown battle to the point it won us the game, was against the ABs in 2012. Other than that, we've varied in success of generating our own quick ball, and rarely bothered the opposition, mostly settling for disrupting them with aggressive defense. And then as pointed out, the losses have come when we've failed to secure our own clean ball.


We've comprehensively won the breakdown battle under both Eddie and Lancaster against Australia, for a stay, even with the Aussie sides having the kind of fetcher that gets used as a stick to beat English rugby with.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:26 pm 
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JM2K6 wrote:
We've comprehensively won the breakdown battle under both Eddie and Lancaster against Australia, for a stay, even with the Aussie sides having the kind of fetcher that gets used as a stick to beat English rugby with.


I'd say that was more we didn't lose it. I don't recall us making life particularly hard for the Aussies, but we did secure our own ball well.

We don't need to screw other teams up at the breakdown to beat them, but we do need our own good ball, which is what we were missing against Scotland.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 4:06 pm 
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Raggs wrote:
JM2K6 wrote:
We've comprehensively won the breakdown battle under both Eddie and Lancaster against Australia, for a stay, even with the Aussie sides having the kind of fetcher that gets used as a stick to beat English rugby with.


I'd say that was more we didn't lose it. I don't recall us making life particularly hard for the Aussies, but we did secure our own ball well.

We don't need to screw other teams up at the breakdown to beat them, but we do need our own good ball, which is what we were missing against Scotland.


We've had games where we've run over them at the breakdown, giving them static ball to get eaten up with, and where our own rucks have been so accurate we've rarely had to commit more than a single supporting player. Under both coaches we've emphasised being highly judicious with how many players go into rucks and it's worked pretty well. It's hard to get away with that if you're not good at the breakdown and when it fails it tends to fail spectacularly.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 4:13 pm 
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Lawes and robshaw doesn’t compare well with Haskell and robshaw- and they’re now a couple of years older than the 3-0 demolition of Australia.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:30 pm 
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Oh, totally. Not saying we don't currently have a problem, just disagreeing with the idea that we managed to win a bucket load of games in the last six years while never beating teams at the breakdown


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:46 pm 
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We do seem more focused on winning contact than the breakdown, though there are always trade offs on how a given strategy is resourced, and that feeds into our selection too.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:48 pm 
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Saint wrote:
Sam Vesty announced as attack coach at Saints for 2018-19


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:49 pm 
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We need mobile back rows who make ground using footwork. Teams chop carriers too well now.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:36 pm 
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DragsterDriver wrote:
We need mobile back rows who make ground using footwork. Teams chop carriers too well now.


Hopefully what we'll be doing to Basteraud at the weekend.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:44 pm 
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Underhill out for the rest of the season, Mercer 2-4 weeks. Bath's insane injury curse keeps on trucking


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:53 pm 
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ovalball wrote:
DragsterDriver wrote:
We need mobile back rows who make ground using footwork. Teams chop carriers too well now.


Hopefully what we'll be doing to Basteraud at the weekend.


He’s been playing really well!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:54 pm 
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matta25 wrote:
Underhill out for the rest of the season, Mercer 2-4 weeks. Bath's insane injury curse keeps on trucking


Well that’s a shit! Underhill is going full on Tom Rees at the moment.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:54 pm 
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Would like to see how good Basta is with an excellent defence up in his face - he's crumbled against us before. Wouldn't want him on the front foot too often.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:57 pm 
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JM2K6 wrote:
Would like to see how good Basta is with an excellent defence up in his face - he's crumbled against us before. Wouldn't want him on the front foot too often.


He seems to be playing a bit of rugby as well these days, think teo will start anyway.

When is the team announced?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:58 pm 
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What's up with mercer? He looked fine at 78mins last week


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:01 pm 
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happyhooker wrote:
What's up with mercer? He looked fine at 78mins last week


Neck strain from that game.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:01 pm 
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happyhooker wrote:
What's up with mercer? He looked fine at 78mins last week


"Strained his neck" apparently


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:12 pm 
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Premiership Player of the Month Jack Willis


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:23 pm 
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matta25 wrote:
Underhill out for the rest of the season, Mercer 2-4 weeks. Bath's insane injury curse keeps on trucking


Oh ffs! We’ve already got a team full of injury jokers!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:00 pm 
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Petros wrote:
Premiership Player of the Month Jack Willis




Fully deserved. :thumbup:


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:14 am 
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Yep, Willis has been superb. Reckon he'll be in the England fold before too long :thumbup:
Sam James has signed a new 4 year deal with Sale, good to see us signing all our young talent up. Only questions marks about contracts now are Charnley and Webber, the former is rumoured to have already put pen to paper which is good news. Would sign Webber up too but the Taylor rumours continue to swirl. I'd be delighted but surprised if he left Wasps for us.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:22 am 
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George, Teo and Watson starting at 2, 13 and 15.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:23 am 
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Hartley out, Brown dropped and Watson to full back, Daly on the wing. Good old Eddie.


Last edited by Oxbow on Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:23 am 
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:25 am 
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Ignore the backrow and I like most of it (apart from Wiggles).

Don't understand what Eddies trying to do with the backrow and bench though.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:33 am 
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That’s a stubborn back row selection, I guess he’s given them some faith and a lifeline.

Glad he didn’t throw ford under the bus- massive dropping brown though, for all his critics it’s still a big one.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:40 am 
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Teo OK, not convinced but I can see the benefit. Watson OK, need someone to get time in the shirt, Daly - just hope he's match ready - he's our best back.

But Fck knows what's with Eddie and the back row - it's just madness - they were awful v the Scots and aren't going to, suddenly, become an international quality unit - even if they manage to do enough against France.

At least he's had to give George a start, so there'll be a little more pace in the pack.


I remain, utterly unconvinced about Eddie. We've made zero progress in the last 18 months and there's precious few signs that he is acknowledging/tackling the real problems in the team.

Another loss would be no bad thing.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:42 am 
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I'll be doing ruck marks for this one. Different challenge to Scotland I suspect, but still hopefully informative.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:42 am 
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It's seems ironic that Brown gets dropped when heavy rain on a bog pitch are predicted, but let's hope Watson has a good game and then Brown's exclusion becomes permanent.

Everything is a horses for courses selection - France have a huge pack and an even bigger centre. Ypres 2018.


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