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End of season thoughts 
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Post End of season thoughts
What do people think about the season as a whole, players who stood out, players who disappointed, sack the coach etc.

I've seen some decent enough games when the top 6 or 7 played each other. Leinster and Munster went through their rebuilds and have come out looking good. Llanelli have competed very well, O's look like a house of cards and less said about the other 2 the better for this season. Edinburgh and Connacht gone back a few steps, Ulster and Glasgow poor season by their recent season's standards. Glasgow will have a new coach next season so they might have another fallow season as he takes charge. The Italians, well, err, umm.

Carbery is my stand out new player for this season, very skillful, very committed, an International star in the making. Steff Evans can finish, does he have an all round game? Not P12 but Welsh, Dai Youngs nipper, looks like a great future ahead for him.

Welsh coach's, Pivac, winning and has built a good side, no P45 for him. Danny Wilson, bigged up when he took over but show me the money, huge season for him next year, P45 is in the drawer not on the desk. Kingsley, holder of the poisoned chalice, nothing expected and nothing given, there must be serious improvement next season, P45 on the desk, envelope addressed and final written warning isued Tandy, P45 should be in his pocket, cheers mate, there's the door.

Of course, the start of next season will be hampered by the jolly boys piss up to new Zealand

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Sun May 07, 2017 8:36 pm
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Post Re: End of season thoughts
17 of the 23 who played for Scarlets yesterday are Wales qualified, 18 if you include Johnny McNicholl. Most of then still have years to go in the game. Then there are a few who were not there with injuries. So my end of season thoughts from a Llanelli point of view is positive, can't wait for next season. The moment of truth is still to come against Leinster on the 19th. Not sure if there are many teams in the Pro 12 with so many home country qualified players in their teams.

Johnny McNicholl, FB T (Still to qualify for Wales)
Liam Williams, W
Jonathan Davies, C T
Scott Williams, C T
Steffan Evans, W T
Rhys Patchell, FH 
Gareth Davies, SH
Rob Evans, P
Ken Owens, H
Samson Lee, P
Lewis Rawlins, L
Aaron Shingler, F T
Josh Macleod, F
Will Boyde, N8 T
Ryan Elias, R
Wyn Jones, R
Tom Price, R
Jonathan Evans, R


Sun May 07, 2017 9:34 pm
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Post Re: End of season thoughts
End of term report :

Scarlets : A+ . No1 Region. A great season, achieving above their means and solid potential to still go further.

Ospreys : B. A season where it could have offered so much, but have one last chance redeem themselves.

Blues : C-. Yet another season that slipped away, full of Jekyll and Hyde performances.

Dragons : U ( Unclassified). The worse season in their history. A truly abysmal season. Absolutely awful. Forza Italia.

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Sun May 07, 2017 10:13 pm
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Post Re: End of season thoughts
Munster have risen on an emotional tidal wave nd have retrieved a surprising amount of form. Foreign Coach done good.

Leinster considerable improvement and well coached off the training ground, Lancaster has found his niche and it has shown. Much more cohesive complete team and I love the back play, Fav player Ringrose, Lions have missed a trick.

Ulster big disappointment and sensibly will change their coach. They'll miss Peneaar big time. Need resusscitation.

Connacht.... like their play, will miss their Lamm .... makeweight and will continue so.

Scarlets one of the most improved sides ..Pivac to be complimented and impressively therés a bon espirit in that team now. I'd back further improvement but some injection of quality players in some depts if they can afford it ... that's their achilles heel that could orevent top class horizons. Given their promise their support levels are very poor.

Osps falling apart, one senses distress and a troubled dressing room. Coach suspect.

Cardiff, ... depends on the 'time of the month' it seems. Inconsistent and not complete. Difficult future imo.

Newport, ...all been said and most of it is true!

Glasgow, ...difficult futures ex Townsend and Intl calls add to doubts about consistency. I fear that they've peaked and wont overachieve current.

Edin ordinary and will stay so

Italian duo ...God only knows a negative influence on Pro12 whichever way you hack it.

Theme ....Coaches and key NWQs paramount influence!! on performance and consistency.

Financials not to be forgotten!,

Pro12 supports levels ....Regions continue to disappoint and the long term performance underlines it. Dont pretend ...they are poor but there shouldn't be that level of surprise other than Scarlets who really should be better supported.

PS I do like some of the current plans that include other country Pro12 inclusion especially SA

Unfortunately any truly progressive move to N Hemp sensible Conference organisation not feasible, franglais boat sailed a long time ago

Off the top of my head ^^^^^^^^^^

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Sun May 07, 2017 10:21 pm
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Post Re: End of season thoughts
Llew wrote:
End of term report :

Scarlets : A+ . No1 Region. A great season, achieving above their means and solid potential to still go further.

Ospreys : B. A season where it could have offered so much, but have one last chance redeem themselves.

Blues : C-. Yet another season that slipped away, full of Jekyll and Hyde performances.

Dragons : U ( Unclassified). The worse season in their history. A truly abysmal season. Absolutely awful. Forza Italia.

A very good summation. Dragons could improve considerably if taken over by WRU, depending on the vote 9th May. Their pitch has a lot to do with their awful performances. There were a number of games they should have won but let it slip, lack of belief had a lot to do with it. Some experienced cool heads coming in next year will help. They do have some good young talent.


Sun May 07, 2017 10:22 pm
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Post Re: End of season thoughts
The only genuinely excellent sides in the Pro 12 have been Munster and Leinster, who are not much if at all inferior in quality to teams like Wasps, Saracens, Toulon and Clermont. As for the others, Scarlets (mainly early season), Ospreys (mainly now) and Ulster (mainly mid-season) have been too vulnerable and inconsistent, Glasgow have limited strength-in-depth, Blues promised so much but delivered so little, Connacht have practically collapsed compared to last season, while Edinburgh, the Dragons and especially the Italians have been useless.


Mon May 08, 2017 1:09 am
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Post Re: End of season thoughts
All the regions - even the Dragons, relatively speaking - have a decent first XV but depth is an issue for all of them. All the regions but particularly the Ospreys have really missed out due to injuries to particular individuals - the Ospreys have really missed Arhip and AWJ, the Dragons would have been better with Amos and Hewitt, the Blues have missed Anscombe and Fish.

Looking forward, the Scarlets and Blues both seem to have strong cadres of younger players coming through which will do them good next year. The Ospreys don't seem to be producing like they used to. The Dragons are on life support and urgently need pretty much any decent player who'll agree to play for them, but especially props and a decent scrum half (does Rhodri Williams want to stay at Bristol in the championship or could he be tempted back with the promise of being first choice?).


Mon May 08, 2017 9:14 am
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Post Re: End of season thoughts
The Blues paid the price for poor recruitment.

A lot of players left and they said they wanted to emphasize quality over quantity. Nothing wrong with that, it made a lot of sense and I don't think anyone who left was really missed except Patchell. It would have been great to have him at full back instead of Morgan, if we could have got Shingler and kept Rhys it would have been perfect.

The problem was the failure to address the tight five forwards. Rhys Gill, Kirby Myhill and George Earle were the only arrivals in the summer, and we needed more. Then the Georgian guy comes in what looked like a panic buy after the Salesi Ma'afu fiasco, and pretty much the first thing he does is get himself banned.

If we can sort out the tight 5 the rest looks pretty good. Front row forwards are rugby royalty, it is worth investing.


Mon May 08, 2017 11:55 am
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Post Re: End of season thoughts
Stockholm Blue wrote:
The Blues paid the price for poor recruitment.

A lot of players left and they said they wanted to emphasize quality over quantity. Nothing wrong with that, it made a lot of sense and I don't think anyone who left was really missed except Patchell. It would have been great to have him at full back instead of Morgan, if we could have got Shingler and kept Rhys it would have been perfect.

The problem was the failure to address the tight five forwards. Rhys Gill, Kirby Myhill and George Earle were the only arrivals in the summer, and we needed more. Then the Georgian guy comes in what looked like a panic buy after the Salesi Ma'afu fiasco, and pretty much the first thing he does is get himself banned.

If we can sort out the tight 5 the rest looks pretty good. Front row forwards are rugby royalty, it is worth investing.


I think they recruited well in that all of their new signings have undoubtedly improved the team, except Ma'afu of course (if you consider him as part of this season's recruitment, though really he was in place by the middle of last season), and he *could* have turned out well; nominally at last a 12-cap Australian International *should* have been a real catch.

On the other hand I guess you could argue that the two obvious areas of weakness last season (Lock and TH) are still obvious areas of weakness now. Earle is the least bad option at Lock but can hardly carry it on his own, especially with dodgy and/or young props in the front row. Van de Merwe and Welch might shore up the pack a little but could just as easily turn out to be rubbish; I'd be much happier seeing a younger player having joined (e.g. any of the Ospreys' locks).

TH Prop is a massive issue. Do we know if Peikrishvili is staying?


Mon May 08, 2017 2:18 pm
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Post Re: End of season thoughts
As always, there signs for optimism - the next season will be good syndrome.

The Scarlets had a slow start but have looked excellent at times in the last 4 months. They may well yet win the whole thing if they can keep it up, good high tempo high intensity rugby too, kudos to the coach. They've got some good players coming through, some we've seen in the Welsh red already and some we will soon, but the key is they seem to be developing good all round games and are continually improving. Some of them pretty unheralded - I don't think that's a coincidence
Failure to make the knock out stages of Europe really dim the lights on how much of a success you can herald the season, even if they win the league. If they can carry the last 4 months into next season, they could very well do something. Overall C (B if they win it)

The Ospreys started well and have gone to rat shit. Inconsistent and frustrating. Some players think they are better than they are and are going backwards, at times they look like lost kids not multiple international cap winners. Some long term players really aren't up to the top level either, so recruitment must be questioned. Is it the coach or something more inherent? I don't know, I hope they get royally *fupped* in the play offs, otherwise the status quo will be in danger of continuing. Overall C (they won't win it)

Blues. Started off well looking like they may have made strides forward, then the wheels fell off and fell off a cliff into a river. A lack of depth and some players well passed their sell by dates. I like what they are trying to do. Put some good stuff together on occasion but it was fleeting. Will need good recruitment, not just go on reputation, actually see what a player is like, and it might all come together next season. Overall D-

Dragons. The ownership is key if they want to move forward. Ironically I think they have some decent recruitment done for next season, and they have some young players that could really come on if they don't play on a bog and don't play the game almost beaten before they get out of the changing room, short of moving elsewhere, they are stunted. At the moment they are failing, completely hamstrung in almost every way. They need this ownership change, otherwise it'll be more of the same. Currently the talent they have is being stunted and held back by the environment they are in. That's a failure to Welsh rugby as a whole. Overall F

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Mon May 08, 2017 3:06 pm
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Post Re: End of season thoughts
Scarlets - stand out Welsh side and only Welsh team with international front row options

Ospreys - a lot of flack but is an improvement on last year. Top 4 finish and champions cup. Could they have done a bit more though?

Blues - massively improved in terms of performance but still a way off in terms of results. Not sure how they will solve that one

Dragons - crap as always and not helped by kingsleys revolving door selection policy. Some decent players like griffiths and Morgan


Mon May 08, 2017 4:00 pm
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Post Re: End of season thoughts
I seem to be enjoying rugby at all levels less and less. This year is the first I can remember where I haven't watched at least 20 live games in a season that goes from Sundays up the park to Internationals, there just doesn't seem to be any respect left in the game, that goes for calling refs biased to calling players cowards. Everything I learnt growing up as a player about why rugby was special seems to have gone out the door

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Mon May 08, 2017 4:07 pm
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Post Re: End of season thoughts
One thing that must be taken in to consideration, when judging these teams on their season. ( Touched on above ). Is the matter of budgets. To cut Scarlets (and to a degree Ospreys) some slack here, they've been in the mix with and are in position to have a shot at Munster &/or Lenister. Scarlets came up against Toulon, and Saracens in the RCC, against who they acquitted themselves well. Those teams mentioned, particularly Saracens and Toulon are on a totally different planet financially to Scarlets. They are playing on a field that is no way level in the RCC. Credit, where credit is due, I think they have punched well above their weight. Of course to punch at an even higher level needs more money, but that's a whole other argument.

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Mon May 08, 2017 4:31 pm
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Post Re: End of season thoughts
One thing to note is how well the Ospreys did in the Anglo-Welsh Cup, missing out the semi-finals only due to try difference viz-a-viz Exeter. Compared to the other three regions, they fielded stronger squads and took it more seriously. (Ironically, that decision might have come back to bite to some extent now). I attended the match where they only lost to Harlequins by three points, and then they went on to beat the Blues convincingly, scraped past a full strength Bristol and, most notably of all, had a bonus-point victory over Wasps at the Ricoh Arena. (If I remember rightly, they are actually the only side to have beaten Wasps at home all season in any competition). Therefore, this shows that the Ospreys are indeed developing players, but the trouble is there is a gap between that and the Pro 12 and especially Europe that cannot be quickly bridged. Luke Price is a promising new fly-half, but could he handle the pressure of facing e.g. Leinster or Toulon? As for the Pro 12 knockout matches and next season, once they get AWJ and some of their first/second-choice wings and props back, they should be a better side again.


Mon May 08, 2017 8:16 pm
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Post Re: End of season thoughts
The anglo welsh is nothing to do with pro ruby, its an after thought for the Aviva A teams.

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Tue May 09, 2017 1:38 pm
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