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Pro 14 Matches - 6th & 7th October 2017 
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Post Pro 14 Matches - 6th & 7th October 2017
Friday, October 6

Edinburgh v Zebre 7:35 PM Myreside, Edinburgh
Cardiff Blues v Dragons 7:35 PM Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff
Ulster v Connacht 7:35 PM Kingspan Stadium, Belfast
Cheetahs v Glasgow 7:35 PM Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein

Saturday, October 7

Leinster v Munster 2:00 PM Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Treviso v Kings 7:00 PM Stadio Comunale di Monigo, Treviso
Ospreys v Scarlets 7:35 PM Liberty Stadium, Swansea


Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:12 pm
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Post Re: Pro 14 Matches - 6th & 7th October 2017
Some interesting clashes this next weekend. A moment of truth for Glasgow, Scarlets, Munster, and Blues.
My money is on Cheetahs to take down Glasgow, Scarlets to take down Ospreys, Munster to take down Leinster and Dragons to take down Blues. I also think Connacht will take down Ulster & Treviso to take down Kings.
There you have it, I've put my balls on the line.
I don't think Zebra v Burgh is of any consequence, but for the record, I think Zebra will take it.


Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:25 pm
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Post Re: Pro 14 Matches - 6th & 7th October 2017
BigRed wrote:
Some interesting clashes this next weekend. A moment of truth for Glasgow, Scarlets, Munster, and Blues.
My money is on Cheetahs to take down Glasgow, Scarlets to take down Ospreys, Munster to take down Leinster and Dragons to take down Blues. I also think Connacht will take down Ulster & Treviso to take down Kings.
There you have it, I've put my balls on the line.
I don't think Zebra v Burgh is of any consequence, but for the record, I think Zebra will take it.


Those are a lot of leftfield predictions BG. What makes you think Munster will win in Dublin, Connacht in Belfast and Zebre in Edinburgh? I also think Dragons and Blues will be a draw or something close to one.


Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:09 pm
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Post Re: Pro 14 Matches - 6th & 7th October 2017
One week later will be the first round of the Euro Cups, how. might this coming round be potentially influnced by it e.g selections etc ...

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Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:27 pm
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Post Re: Pro 14 Matches - 6th & 7th October 2017
najbritcol wrote:
BigRed wrote:
Some interesting clashes this next weekend. A moment of truth for Glasgow, Scarlets, Munster, and Blues.
My money is on Cheetahs to take down Glasgow, Scarlets to take down Ospreys, Munster to take down Leinster and Dragons to take down Blues. I also think Connacht will take down Ulster & Treviso to take down Kings.
There you have it, I've put my balls on the line.
I don't think Zebra v Burgh is of any consequence, but for the record, I think Zebra will take it.


Those are a lot of leftfield predictions BG. What makes you think Munster will win in Dublin, Connacht in Belfast and Zebre in Edinburgh? I also think Dragons and Blues will be a draw or something close to one.

Leinster have gone off the boil and Munster are starting to rev. I liked the way Connaught took it to the Scarlets and probably deserved more. I think Burgh are overrated and I think the Dragons are an outfit that will surprise punters going forward. :D


Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:32 pm
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Post Re: Pro 14 Matches - 6th & 7th October 2017
Should the Dragons win at the Arms Park, then management changes will need to be made immediately, and not at the end of the season. The ' faithful few ' need to see some improvement in their team; many might exit the Arms Park in favour of the Cardiff City Stadium.


Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:29 pm
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Post Re: Pro 14 Matches - 6th & 7th October 2017
JOHNWALES wrote:
Should the Dragons win at the Arms Park, then management changes will need to be made immediately, and not at the end of the season. The ' faithful few ' need to see some improvement in their team; many might exit the Arms Park in favour of the Cardiff City Stadium.

I'm afraid that there is a distinct difference between the Blues and the Dragons. The Blues are relying on too many journeymen whereas the Dragons have mostly young up and coming players who are keen to impress plus an astute general in Henson. The Blues have one or two too many journeymen in their team including a 40-year-old? What message does that send out? Also, I think Matthew Rees and Nick Williams have passed their sell-by date.
I think Dragons will win, they may be bullied at scrum time which will cost them ground but the exuberance of youth will overcome that. Dragons by one or two scores, they have a potentially potent backline.


Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:58 pm
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Post Re: Pro 14 Matches - 6th & 7th October 2017
BigRed wrote:
JOHNWALES wrote:
Should the Dragons win at the Arms Park, then management changes will need to be made immediately, and not at the end of the season. The ' faithful few ' need to see some improvement in their team; many might exit the Arms Park in favour of the Cardiff City Stadium.

I'm afraid that there is a distinct difference between the Blues and the Dragons. The Blues are relying on too many journeymen whereas the Dragons have mostly young up and coming players who are keen to impress plus an astute general in Henson. The Blues have one or two too many journeymen in their team including a 40-year-old? What message does that send out? Also, I think Matthew Rees and Nick Williams have passed their sell-by date.
I think Dragons will win, they may be bullied at scrum time which will cost them ground but the exuberance of youth will overcome that. Dragons by one or two scores, they have a potentially potent backline.


Dragons have loads of journeymen too - the main difference is that they generally go for South Africans rather than Pacific Islanders. In any case, the Wales management will focus on the West Wales derby, as that is where most of the international selections shall derive from.


Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:58 pm
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Post Re: Pro 14 Matches - 6th & 7th October 2017
najbritcol wrote:
BigRed wrote:
JOHNWALES wrote:
Should the Dragons win at the Arms Park, then management changes will need to be made immediately, and not at the end of the season. The ' faithful few ' need to see some improvement in their team; many might exit the Arms Park in favour of the Cardiff City Stadium.

I'm afraid that there is a distinct difference between the Blues and the Dragons. The Blues are relying on too many journeymen whereas the Dragons have mostly young up and coming players who are keen to impress plus an astute general in Henson. The Blues have one or two too many journeymen in their team including a 40-year-old? What message does that send out? Also, I think Matthew Rees and Nick Williams have passed their sell-by date.
I think Dragons will win, they may be bullied at scrum time which will cost them ground but the exuberance of youth will overcome that. Dragons by one or two scores, they have a potentially potent backline.


Dragons have loads of journeymen too - the main difference is that they generally go for South Africans rather than Pacific Islanders. In any case, the Wales management will focus on the West Wales derby, as that is where most of the international selections shall derive from.



I wonder if Warren will revert to Bosh... ;)

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Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:50 am
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Post Re: Pro 14 Matches - 6th & 7th October 2017
I correctly predicted 4/4 for the Welsh regions for the second week in a row, but last week was pretty easy and these derbies will be much harder.

The Scarlets will want to win this if they want to look like champions, but the Ospreys will want to win if they want to look like a remotely credible team, and they have far more riding on the game than their opponents - Tandy's job should be riding on this game, even if he might well keep it even if they lose. Really it's too close to call, but as I have to nail my colours to the mast I think the Ospreys rot looks deep and the Scarlets will edge it. Scarlets by 3.

The Blues are in a similar position to the Ospreys but the Dragons are a weaker side and won't be labouring under the weight of expectations that the Scarlets will. That said they tend to do OK in derbies, especially in Cardiff, so this could also go either way. I do think the Blues will take it though. Blues by 3.

Elsewhere, I think the Kings have done nothing to convince me they can beat anyone in the competition and Treviso should beat them up; Edinburgh-Zebre will be very close; Munster should beat Leinster handily enough and Glasgow will fail like the rest of the Europeans did.


Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:08 am
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Post Re: Pro 14 Matches - 6th & 7th October 2017
najbritcol wrote:
BigRed wrote:
JOHNWALES wrote:
Should the Dragons win at the Arms Park, then management changes will need to be made immediately, and not at the end of the season. The ' faithful few ' need to see some improvement in their team; many might exit the Arms Park in favour of the Cardiff City Stadium.

I'm afraid that there is a distinct difference between the Blues and the Dragons. The Blues are relying on too many journeymen whereas the Dragons have mostly young up and coming players who are keen to impress plus an astute general in Henson. The Blues have one or two too many journeymen in their team including a 40-year-old? What message does that send out? Also, I think Matthew Rees and Nick Williams have passed their sell-by date.
I think Dragons will win, they may be bullied at scrum time which will cost them ground but the exuberance of youth will overcome that. Dragons by one or two scores, they have a potentially potent backline.


Dragons have loads of journeymen too - the main difference is that they generally go for South Africans rather than Pacific Islanders. In any case, the Wales management will focus on the West Wales derby, as that is where most of the international selections shall derive from.

Granted, but I would rather have the Dragons journeymen than the Blues journeymen. The Dragons have the journeymen in key positions such as Henson at 10. One who is renowned for bringing on youngsters. One just has to look at some of the England players who made it playing outside of Henson, Jonathan Joseph comes to mind, but there are others. I suspect that this will be the case with some of the youngsters in the Dragons backline, which IMHO can become a potent weapon for them. Of course, they will need the, mostly youngsters, in the pack to come to the party. Whereas the Blues look disjointed with their journeymen taking over completely some facets of their game such as the entire front row (apart from the occasional appearance of Brad Thyer). Landman I agree is also a journeyman for the Drags, but he is locking with three young Welsh qualified locks who can only improve from the experience.
I know I am swimming uphill against the swathe of anti Dragon opinions because of past performances, but this is a new era for them and I am quietly confident that they can cause more than a few surprises this year.
Dragons biggest problem, I think, is their lack of quality depth. A little bit like Scarlets a few seasons ago, they are having to rely heavily on youngsters. The plus side of relying on youngsters is that these youngsters gain experience and some eventually become good players.


Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:09 am
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Post Re: Pro 14 Matches - 6th & 7th October 2017
What are you defining as "journeymen"? If it's a category that includes Rynard Landman, Gavin Henson, Tau Filise and Matthew Rees then it's half the squad(s)?

The Dragons have some half decent NWQ players (Landman, Pretorius) and some that are average at best (Harris, Meyer, Pat Howard, Zane Kirchner).

The Blues have an excellent NWQ player (Lee-lo), some half decent ones (Scully, Halaholo) and some that are average at best (Filise, Earle, Nick Williams) (Filise was good in his day but is surely past it by now!).

I would actually say that the standard of the current NWQ players are the Blues is somewhat higher than at the Dragons (I wouldn't call Halaholo excellent but he's a better centre than e.g. Pretorius is a scrum-half).


Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:54 am
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Post Re: Pro 14 Matches - 6th & 7th October 2017
Figaro wrote:
What are you defining as "journeymen"? If it's a category that includes Rynard Landman, Gavin Henson, Tau Filise and Matthew Rees then it's half the squad(s)?

The Dragons have some half decent NWQ players (Landman, Pretorius) and some that are average at best (Harris, Meyer, Pat Howard, Zane Kirchner).

The Blues have an excellent NWQ player (Lee-lo), some half decent ones (Scully, Halaholo) and some that are average at best (Filise, Earle, Nick Williams) (Filise was good in his day but is surely past it by now!).

I would actually say that the standard of the current NWQ players is the Blues is somewhat higher than at the Dragons (I wouldn't call Halaholo excellent but he's a better centre than e.g. Pretorius is a scrum-half).

I've got to admit that I haven't been impressed with Kirchner, Pretorius, and Meyer. They have their moments but none of them set the Dragons on fire. Although Henson is 35 he is far from being a journeyman. He is still one of the best in controlling a game. Knowing when to hold and when to fold. Great kicking off the tee and kicking out of had or finding touch when necessary. There seems to be a good rapport between him and Cory Hill. The young man must be thankful to have Henson's experience to back him up.
Last Saturday against Kings, apart from Brock 32, and Thomas 27, the rest of the Drags pack were under 25. As were 11, 12, 13 & 14 in the back line. Amos 23 was the oldest of the four, the other three are all 22.


Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:43 pm
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Post Re: Pro 14 Matches - 6th & 7th October 2017
Kirchner looked very average to me before getting injured, especially considering his pedigree as a many-times-capped Springbok. He's probably one of the best paid members of the squad too. You can't help but feel there's no way that the WRU-Dragons would have signed him.

Pretorius is their best scrum-half at present and he has some occasional flashes, but agreed he's not outstanding and it's irritating that his arrival prompted the departure of Jonathan Evans who should have been the Dragons' first choice 9 for the past few years, instead of fighting to deputise for Gareth Davies.

The bar should be higher for NWQ players; if the regions can't afford multiple excellent players in every position then the padding should at least be Welsh-qualified. There's no point having mediocre foreign players.


Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:22 pm
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Post Re: Pro 14 Matches - 6th & 7th October 2017
Figaro wrote:
Kirchner looked very average to me before getting injured, especially considering his pedigree as a many-times-capped Springbok. He's probably one of the best paid members of the squad too. You can't help but feel there's no way that the WRU-Dragons would have signed him.

Pretorius is their best scrum-half at present and he has some occasional flashes, but agreed he's not outstanding and it's irritating that his arrival prompted the departure of Jonathan Evans who should have been the Dragons' first choice 9 for the past few years, instead of fighting to deputise for Gareth Davies.

The bar should be higher for NWQ players; if the regions can't afford multiple excellent players in every position then the padding should at least be Welsh-qualified. There's no point having mediocre foreign players.

I agree I don't see the point of it. Rather blood a few players from the Principality Premiership. There are a few players in that league that have been overlooked for higher honours some are better than the mediocre foreign players.


Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:34 pm
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