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2017-18 end of season thoughts? 
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Post 2017-18 end of season thoughts?
Here are mine:

Welsh teams

Scarlets continue to be one of the fastest-improving teams in Europe, and their progress has been confirmed by them reaching the European semi-finals and yet again reaching the Pro 12/14 play-offs.

Ospreys seem to be plumbing new depths. To a lesser extent so have the Dragons. Both need a lot more care and investment.

Blues, after a poor start to the season, have subsequently been playing well and I think they will win the Challenge Cup. It is good they have lots of promising younger players coming through.

Irish teams

Leinster and to a lesser degree Munster have continued to show their European prowess, even though second-string versions of the former in particular have sometimes produced quite shocking and embarrassing results in the league.

Ulster yet again have grossly under-achieved relative to their players and budget. What chances they could win something next season for the first time since 2006?

Connacht are very much makeweight and I don't see them even coming close to winning the league again in the near-future.

Scottish teams

Both Glasgow and especially Edinburgh have improved drastically this season. However, their impact is still relatively limited at European level and time will tell whether they can make that step up (Ospreys never really did, and Exeter have been struggling to do so).

Italian teams

As with the Scottish teams, they have also improved drastically this season albeit, of course, from a rather lower base. Ironically, thanks to the new conference system, Benetton might unfairly miss out on a Champions Cup spot. However, perhaps that might be a blessing, because they can show their improvement by winning lots of matches in the Challenge Cup and become the first Italian team to reach the KOs in either European competition.


Thu May 03, 2018 3:25 pm
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Post Re: 2017-18 end of season thoughts?
I've been very impressed and pleased with the improvement of the Italians this year, a factor which has made the Dragons' decline look a lot worse than it really is. Long may it continue.

The Ospreys are in a right muddle


Thu May 03, 2018 4:56 pm
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Post Re: 2017-18 end of season thoughts?
No comment on the SA teams?


Thu May 03, 2018 7:55 pm
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Post Re: 2017-18 end of season thoughts?
Pot Hale wrote:
No comment on the SA teams?


Too soon to tell. Next season, once they have had a full pre-season and are more stable, we will be able to make much more sound judgements about them.


Fri May 04, 2018 12:50 am
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Post Re: 2017-18 end of season thoughts?
The season isn't over yet

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Fri May 04, 2018 3:36 am
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Post Re: 2017-18 end of season thoughts?
najbritcol wrote:
Here are mine:

Welsh teams

Scarlets continue to be one of the fastest-improving teams in Europe, and their progress has been confirmed by them reaching the European semi-finals and yet again reaching the Pro 12/14 play-offs. THEY'LL BE ASKING FOR MORE MONEY FROM THE WRU AS THE STARS MOVE ON OR FADE - RUGBY IS A CYCLICAL GAME AND MORE MONEY WILL BE NEEDED SHORTLY.

Ospreys seem to be plumbing new depths. To a lesser extent so have the Dragons. Both need a lot more care and investment. SHOCK. THEY NEED MORE MONEY MEN.

Blues, after a poor start to the season, have subsequently been playing well and I think they will win the Challenge Cup. It is good they have lots of promising younger players coming through. THEY MAY BE AT THEIR PEAK RIGHT NOW.



Fri May 04, 2018 8:45 am
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Post Re: 2017-18 end of season thoughts?
Bouch wrote:
najbritcol wrote:
Here are mine:

Welsh teams

Scarlets continue to be one of the fastest-improving teams in Europe, and their progress has been confirmed by them reaching the European semi-finals and yet again reaching the Pro 12/14 play-offs. THEY'LL BE ASKING FOR MORE MONEY FROM THE WRU AS THE STARS MOVE ON OR FADE - RUGBY IS A CYCLICAL GAME AND MORE MONEY WILL BE NEEDED SHORTLY.

Ospreys seem to be plumbing new depths. To a lesser extent so have the Dragons. Both need a lot more care and investment. SHOCK. THEY NEED MORE MONEY MEN.

Blues, after a poor start to the season, have subsequently been playing well and I think they will win the Challenge Cup. It is good they have lots of promising younger players coming through. THEY MAY BE AT THEIR PEAK RIGHT NOW.




As pig ignorant as ever :thumbdown:

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Fri May 04, 2018 6:58 pm
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Post Re: 2017-18 end of season thoughts?
The reduced volume of comment from outside the Sospanland supporters is skewing what can be a very entertaining Forum.

This is regrettable but was inevitable perhaps. Like Australia's supporters, their ability to beat their pecs when they're on the up has been a feature over the last few seasons and they jumped off their horse demanding equal money for all once it was their turn to get some young players blossoming into top quality internationals.

All will change again should the regions have another shakeup and the WRU removes their deeply flawed administrators from office.

That cataclysmic event can't come soon enough as their dabbling with the Premiership has been a scabby effort indeed.

Things need to improve in Welsh Rugby and next season will be a test of the clubs' resolve to improve matters.


Sun May 06, 2018 7:49 am
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Post Re: 2017-18 end of season thoughts?
So the Blues won the Challenge Cup in what was an even bigger comeback than when Leinster beat Northampton a few years ago. A lot of good youngsters in that team - not all of them on tour. Hopefully they can kick on next season.

Scarlets reached the European semi-final and the Pro 14 final - both times outclassed by an exceptional Leinster team. Wales' standout team and, even taking into account the players they are losing, with their coaching set-up are very much on the up.

Will the Dragons truly improve with their new signings? Time will tell. Whatever else, they surely cannot get any worse...

However, the main worry for Welsh rugby is the Ospreys, who used to be the strongest team whatever their deficiencies in European competition. Granted, they have North and Scott Williams coming in, but compared to the Dragons they have rather fewer signings that would genuinely improve the team. With Tandy gone at least, can they be a proper force again?


Sat May 26, 2018 10:22 pm
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Post Re: 2017-18 end of season thoughts?
Cardiff:

I think will go a little backwards as Wilson was a really good coach

Newport

Some good players in their early 20's but...

Ospreys

Will continue to slide, no leadership, a slow death. Good on paper, not on the field..

Scarlets

Pro 14 results will improve with a deeper squad, especially during international windows . First 23 not as good as in 2017-18

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Sat May 26, 2018 11:14 pm
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Post Re: 2017-18 end of season thoughts?
Langland Exile wrote:
Cardiff:

I think will go a little backwards as Wilson was a really good coach

Newport

Some good players in their early 20's but...

Ospreys

Will continue to slide, no leadership, a slow death. Good on paper, not on the field..

Scarlets

Pro 14 results will improve with a deeper squad, especially during international windows . First 23 not as good as in 2017-18


Who would you rate more as a coach: Wilson or Pivac? (This is a serious question). After all, the Blues squad the former inherited was clearly in an even worse state than the Scarlets squad the latter inherited, so who would you say got more out of what they have had?


Sat May 26, 2018 11:35 pm
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Post Re: 2017-18 end of season thoughts?
OK, Sexton is pretty good. There, I said it.


Sun May 27, 2018 9:49 am
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Post Re: 2017-18 end of season thoughts?
Stockholm Blue wrote:
OK, Sexton is pretty good. There, I said it.


Sexton is a great o/h without doubt, let’s not lose sight of the fact that for years he has played behind dominant forwards who provide him the luxury of time and space to create. He is brave in the tackle, has great hands, killls teams with his kicking from hand ability and is up there with many of today’s top place kickers. The likes of Biggar, Patchell and Priestland would have loved to play behind a front 8 of the Irish capability of recent years.
How good he would be behind a beaten lack, starved of possesiion and constantly on the back foot counter attacking is another story. Best in the NH no doubt about it.


Sun May 27, 2018 10:30 pm
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Post Re: 2017-18 end of season thoughts?
cosh wrote:
Stockholm Blue wrote:
OK, Sexton is pretty good. There, I said it.


Sexton is a great o/h without doubt, let’s not lose sight of the fact that for years he has played behind dominant forwards who provide him the luxury of time and space to create. He is brave in the tackle, has great hands, killls teams with his kicking from hand ability and is up there with many of today’s top place kickers. The likes of Biggar, Patchell and Priestland would have loved to play behind a front 8 of the Irish capability of recent years.
How good he would be behind a beaten lack, starved of possesiion and constantly on the back foot counter attacking is another story. Best in the NH no doubt about it.


Hard to tell re him being behind a retreating pack. But given that he has been chosen ahead of the Welsh players for the Lions kind of indicates he is cons8dered better behind any pack.


Mon May 28, 2018 7:47 am
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Post Re: 2017-18 end of season thoughts?
Ospreys... need to get back to being physical and direct. The switch of Rhodri Jones to LH could be one of the signings of next season... if there was a game next week I would start him over smith

Still waiting for Beard and Thornton to come through and would help enormously if they could start to deliver on that potential

Scarlets.... good season and have a few areas to work on... but thats in relation to a much higher benchmark than the other regions

Dragons.... I’m not going to bother

Blues... good season and have a team spirit it seems.


Mon May 28, 2018 8:06 am
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