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Team v Sarries
23Shark (IP Logged)
03 January, 2019 12:06
Steve Diamond has named his squad to face Gallagher Premiership Champions Saracens in Round 12 of the competition on Friday evening.

The Sale Sharks Director of Rugby has made one personnel change to his matchday 23 with Scotland International Josh Strauss moving to number 8 in place of Jean Luc Du Preez, who sustained a groin injury during the Sharks emphatic win at Kingholm last Saturday.

Sharks Academy winger Arron Reed will take up a position on the bench in place of Strauss.

STARTING XV: 15. Chris Ashton, 14. Denny Solomona, 13. James OíConnor, 12. Sam James, 11. Byron McGuigan, 10. Robert Du Preez, 9. Faf De Klerk, 1. Ross Harrison, 2. Rob Webber, 3.Will-Griff John, 4. Josh Beaumont, 5. James Phillips, 6. Jono Ross (Capt.) 7. Tom Curry, 8. Josh Strauss.

REPLACEMENTS: 16. Curtis Langdon, 17. Tom Bristow, 18. Joe Jones, 19. Bryn Evans, 20. Ben Curry, 21. Will Cliff, 22. Luke James, 23. Arron Reed.



FORWARDS: Mako Vunipola (155), Tom Woolstencroft (10), Vincent Koch (50), Will Skelton (42), George Kruis (168), Nick Isiekwe (47), Schalk Burger (64), Billy Vunipola (93).

BACKS: Alex Goode (276), Liam Williams (21), Nick Tompkins (84), Alex Lozowski (73), David Strettle (144), Owen Farrell (185), Richard Wigglesworth (221).

REPLACEMENTS: Christopher Tolofua (26), Richard Barrington (151), Titi Lamositele (62), Calum Clark (28), Jackson Wray (210), Ben Spencer (141), Marcelo Bosch (126), Sean Maitland (53).

 
Re: Team v Sarries
highland sarrie (IP Logged)
03 January, 2019 12:17
and here's our lot Ö

Billy Vunipola and Liam Williams will make their return from long-term injuries when Saracens head to Sale Sharks in the Gallagher Premiership on Friday night.

Number 8 Vunipola has been absent since breaking his arm against Glasgow Warriors in October while Wales international Williams, who scored in this fixture last year, has been out with a hamstring problem.

David Strettle comes in on the wing after dotting down in his first match in two months last weekend and Richard Wigglesworth has recovered from a groin strain to start at nine.

Alongside Vunipola in the pack, prop Vincent Koch is fit to play and is joined in the front row by hooker Tom Woolstencroft with Jamie George rested.

Schalk Burger is reinstated on the flank in Sarries seventh change.

Saracens team to face Sale Sharks at AJ Bell Stadium on Friday 4th January (KO 19H45):

15 Alex Goode
14 Liam Williams
13 Nick Tompkins
12 Alex Lozowski
11 David Strettle
10 Owen Farrell (c)
9 Richard Wigglesworth

1 Mako Vunipola
2 Tom Woolstencroft
3 Vincent Koch
4 Will Skelton
5 George Kruis
6 Nick Isiekwe
7 Schalk Burger
8 Billy Vunipola

Replacements

16 Christopher Tolofua
17 Richard Barrington
18 Titi Lamositele
19 Calum Clark
20 Jackson Wray
21 Ben Spencer
22 Marcelo Bosch
23 Sean Maitland

 
Re: Team v Sarries
Chris1850 (IP Logged)
03 January, 2019 12:18
Good to see the same side for the third consecutive week, JLDP excepted. Real shame he is missing as he has brought so much to our 'go forward'.

That Sarries side is serious quality though. Let's just hope that Farrell maintains his recent form!!

 
Re: Team v Sarries
Olyy (IP Logged)
03 January, 2019 12:31
Strauss has looked good off the bench, and for Scotland in the autumn, so hopefully his form continues. He's a top class player, so while JLDP is a loss Strauss is a fine replacement.


Like the side a lot (hard not to when it was so successful last week) - and I'm a fan of reed so it's good to see him in the mix

 
Re: Team v Sarries
Crutch (IP Logged)
03 January, 2019 12:36
Strong team but the Sarries side is ridiculously good - I think possibly the strongest I can remember them bringing to Sale. Hope that Billy takes a few games to get up to speed as heís close to unplayable when fit and firing.

 
Re: Team v Sarries
Monty9 (IP Logged)
03 January, 2019 13:18
They are such a strong team and squad its hard to bet against them, but also not many predicted us to win last week and we have a settled team playing well and with confidence.

They are still missing a few and Farrell has been poor recently (by his own incredible standards) so Friday night, at home, Iīm going for a sale win with Sarries to leave with a LBP.

 
Re: Team v Sarries
thekeg (IP Logged)
03 January, 2019 14:45
Such a shame we have been deprived of JLDP vs Vunipola, that would have been some rumble!

 
Re: Team v Sarries
SarrieSaint (IP Logged)
03 January, 2019 15:39
Looking forward to this game with some trepidation. Looks like an excellent Sale squad to me and whilst I would normally be first in the queue for two Currys I think Sarries might regret them tomorrow.

Hope its a great game.

 
Re: Team v Sarries
philthefluter (IP Logged)
03 January, 2019 16:02
They are obviously taking us seriously putting that team out. I think we'll give them a game but their bench looks far superior to ours.
We need to bring our `A` game and they need to be `off a bit` for us to get anything out of this.

 
Re: Team v Sarries
Grumpy Old Shark (IP Logged)
03 January, 2019 19:04
Think that Faf needs to watch out for no arms Farrell.....

 
Re: Team v Sarries
Pappje Shark (IP Logged)
03 January, 2019 19:17
I think losing JLDP could provide the difference - Strauss is a very strong carrier but the offloading ability of JL makes a huge difference to keeping moves going and creating space. His absence with Billy V back could be a huge swing in the outcome.

Before that news I was giving us a chance; after that, although we can win, I think a Sarries win is more likely on balance.

 
Re: Team v Sarries
yukon (IP Logged)
03 January, 2019 23:01
Quote:
Pappje Shark
I think losing JLDP could provide the difference - Strauss is a very strong carrier but the offloading ability of JL makes a huge difference to keeping moves going and creating space. His absence with Billy V back could be a huge swing in the outcome.
Before that news I was giving us a chance; after that, although we can win, I think a Sarries win is more likely on balance.

I have to disagree, I donít think heís the difference. Sarries are a fantastic side and to beat them we need to play out of our skins. Thatís a full squad job, not a single player

 
Re: Team v Sarries
ashtonshark (IP Logged)
04 January, 2019 08:27
It would have been a mouthwatering clash though

From what we saw I'd expect JLdP to be getting a few more Springbok caps fairly soon. Very impressive. I'd make getting home back a priority. Issue may be that we would have to take 2 other brothers who may or may not be surplus to requirements when all are fit. If we need them then we should go for it big style

 
Re: Team v Sarries
Pappje Shark (IP Logged)
04 January, 2019 18:23
Quote:
yukon
Quote:
Pappje Shark
I think losing JLDP could provide the difference - Strauss is a very strong carrier but the offloading ability of JL makes a huge difference to keeping moves going and creating space. His absence with Billy V back could be a huge swing in the outcome.
Before that news I was giving us a chance; after that, although we can win, I think a Sarries win is more likely on balance.

I have to disagree, I donít think heís the difference. Sarries are a fantastic side and to beat them we need to play out of our skins. Thatís a full squad job, not a single player

Of course Yukon, it will take a team effort - all I was voicing was an opinion that where fine margins matter, his absence and Billy Vís inclusion both feel like marginal swings against to me.

 
Re: Team v Sarries
Monty9 (IP Logged)
04 January, 2019 21:44
Quote:
Monty9
Iīm going for a sale win with Sarries to leave with a LBP.

 
Re: Team v Sarries
romanfaithfull (IP Logged)
04 January, 2019 21:44
Wow. I am so so happy right now.

 
Re: Team v Sarries
Olyy (IP Logged)
04 January, 2019 21:45
Lucky pants: On.
Game: Won.

I'm telling you, it's not a coincidence!


What a brilliant win - intensity sky high, Mike Forshaw take a bow.

The interplay between James and Denny in the first half for both tries - completely on the same wave length.
Denny with a try saving tackle in the first half as well, he had a great game despite looking to have picked up an ankle injury when scoring his try.


Five premiership games on the trot is it?
That's some form to carry into 2019!

 
Re: Team v Sarries
MarchingIn (IP Logged)
04 January, 2019 21:48
Excellent performance, got some great young players there in Curry & James, congrats on a well deserved win.

 
Re: Team v Sarries
Braz (IP Logged)
04 January, 2019 21:49
Absolutely fantastic performance. Rattled Sarries to the last play.

 
Re: Team v Sarries
Crutch (IP Logged)
04 January, 2019 21:57
Wow. Stadium was rocking. Not been like that since the Prem winning days.

Rolling maul aside (and tactical kicking which was v,good from Farrell) I think we were better in all departments which is pretty amazing.

 
Re: Team v Sarries
Olyy (IP Logged)
04 January, 2019 22:01
Do you reckon we can get the Curry twins and Faf to sign further extensions - tie them down until 2030?

 
Re: Team v Sarries
w4rriorz1980 (IP Logged)
04 January, 2019 22:02
Well done from Warriors!

Great for one of the smaller teams to beat them.

Bit galling for Warriors after we blew them away 1st half last week like you did in parts this game.Shows if we kept that intensity we would've beat them last week.
Really thought Faf would've gone to a big team when his contract finished so well done for hanging on to him!


Sarries were not @ their best by a long shot but credit to Sale.



Eats,Shoots And Leaves

 
Re: Team v Sarries
MarchingIn (IP Logged)
04 January, 2019 22:03
Quote:
Crutch
Wow. Stadium was rocking.

Sounded it on TV too!

 
Re: Team v Sarries
SarrieSaint (IP Logged)
04 January, 2019 22:09
Excellent performance Sale. Fantastic attack from your backs in the first half and I thought that James looked brilliant. We've played home and away so I can now wish you all the best for the rest of the season and hope if we meet again we can play at your level!

 
Re: Team v Sarries
LJK (IP Logged)
04 January, 2019 22:15
Fantastic defence again which clearly got to some of the Sarries players inc. Farrell. Could have been comfortable if the ref. had allowed play to continue when someone from Sale was clear on the left. Anyway really proud of being a Sale fan these days, as in the past we may have blown that lead entirely in the last few mins.

 
Re: Team v Sarries
ashtonshark (IP Logged)
04 January, 2019 22:21
Some bullying at the AJB tonight
Sarries tried it and failed and got given it back with interest

Awesome display all round

 
Re: Team v Sarries
Pappje Shark (IP Logged)
04 January, 2019 22:45
Just back. That was utterly brilliant. The performance, the result, the atmosphere.

I think this is my fifth season of watching the team and this has to be up there as one of, if not the, best matchdays Iíve witnessed. Miles better than the thrashing of Gloucester and the amazing finish against Wasps last season. It felt like the strongest Sarries team Iíve seen run out at the AJB and yet despite conceding the early score, we were deserved victors. The atmosphere was brilliant and it felt like much more than the official attendance. Just awesome. And was Farrell so rattled he kicked the ball out to end play rather than try and keep going upfield?!

 
Re: Team v Sarries
H's D (IP Logged)
04 January, 2019 22:50
Sam well deserved MOM. Rugby brain, rugby hands.
Wonderful level of understanding and execution with Denny tonight.
Called for FAF to use the switch move for their second try at the next possible opportunity whilst waiting for the conversion for his try.
Now that is a cool-headed player!
Had a quick word with him post match: he was annoyed with himself for shafting the kick ahead straight into touch when both his support runners were covered.winking smiley
His best game in a Sale shirt I reckon.

 
Re: Team v Sarries
Crutch (IP Logged)
04 January, 2019 22:51
Yeah he kicked to ensure the losing bonus rather than risk an intercept try or to give away a kickable penalty.

A very cool and calculated decision which is partly why Sarries are such an organised and composed team (usually).

 
Re: Team v Sarries
Olyy (IP Logged)
04 January, 2019 23:00
Quote:
Crutch
Yeah he kicked to ensure the losing bonus rather than risk an intercept try or to give away a kickable penalty.
A very cool and calculated decision which is partly why Sarries are such an organised and composed team (usually).

Aye, I thought it was the smart move as well.
Likelihood of them going 80m for a converted try, given the measure of the game, was very unlikely - best to take the point rather than roll the dice and ending up conceding a penalty.

 
Re: Team v Sarries
RugbyMarvel (IP Logged)
04 January, 2019 23:00
It just gets better considering...

Saracens fielded a pack containing:
4 England Internationals (two of which are Lions), 2 South African Internationals and an Aussie International.

They fielded a back line containing:
5 England Internationals (one of which is a Lion)
A Welsh International who is also a lion.

Not to mention a bench containing:
A French International
An American International
Two England Internationals
An Argentinian International
A Scotland International who is also a lion.

WOW.


Power, niggle, confidence, skill, bullishness, intelligence, guts. A brilliant performance.

 
Re: Team v Sarries
Pappje Shark (IP Logged)
04 January, 2019 23:04
Quote:
Crutch
Yeah he kicked to ensure the losing bonus rather than risk an intercept try or to give away a kickable penalty.
A very cool and calculated decision which is partly why Sarries are such an organised and composed team (usually).

Reckon you could get insert the ďusuallyĒ in front of ďveryĒ..... I mentioned it as they gave it a fair few phases before he kicked it out, and immediately afterwards he seemed to react as if heíd not meant to. And also because the general consensus around me was that they were rattled. But certainly ultimately sensible as you say for securing the LBP.

The forwards put in a monumental shift, and as I drove home I couldnít help but think that we have Yarde, Rohan and AJ all absent from the backs. Thereís some strength in depth there! What a brilliant night.

 
Re: Team v Sarries
Pappje Shark (IP Logged)
04 January, 2019 23:07
Quote:
Olyy
Quote:
Crutch
Yeah he kicked to ensure the losing bonus rather than risk an intercept try or to give away a kickable penalty.
A very cool and calculated decision which is partly why Sarries are such an organised and composed team (usually).

Aye, I thought it was the smart move as well.
Likelihood of them going 80m for a converted try, given the measure of the game, was very unlikely - best to take the point rather than roll the dice and ending up conceding a penalty.

Yeah, it was unlikely. Iíll have to watch the replay, I probably thought I saw something that didnít. It might even have been him saying just that to a teammate but in my euphoria, I saw him as being dazed and confused (Sm100)

 
Re: Team v Sarries
alas (IP Logged)
04 January, 2019 23:09
Burger is way below international standard these days and the back-row selection was unbalanced and ponderous. A good and deserved win by Sale, but a poor and petulant showing from Saracens who have gone off the boil in the last three or four games.

 
Re: Team v Sarries
RugbyMarvel (IP Logged)
04 January, 2019 23:20
Quote:
alas
Burger is way below international standard these days and the back-row selection was unbalanced and ponderous. A good and deserved win by Sale, but a poor and petulant showing from Saracens who have gone off the boil in the last three or four games.

Still a bloody strong and big side that got beaten up. I donít think Iíve seen a Sale pack beat up two opposing backs before in consecutive weeks. Tom Curry and Jono Ross in the Sarries faces at every opportunity and it really riled them

 
Re: Team v Sarries
ashtonshark (IP Logged)
04 January, 2019 23:22
Tom Curry is a bloody nuisance. ...to the opposition. Absolutely great

 
Re: Team v Sarries
45jumper (IP Logged)
04 January, 2019 23:31
Curry was monstrous today, an absolutely brilliant performance. Pocock-esque around the tackle area, he properly wound up the Saracens pack for the entire game.
Sam James was also superb, I'll forgive him the bad kick because he's usually Mr Reliable in that situation, and was brilliant for the tries. Everyone to a man had a fantastic game, well done to all involved (Sm152)

 
Re: Team v Sarries
Surbiton Shark (IP Logged)
04 January, 2019 23:37
Quote:
ashtonshark
Tom Curry is a bloody nuisance. ...to the opposition. Absolutely great

He really wound up Wrigglesworth when they had a lineout close to our line which they then got penalised for

 
Re: Team v Sarries
45jumper (IP Logged)
04 January, 2019 23:44
Quote:
Surbiton Shark
Quote:
ashtonshark
Tom Curry is a bloody nuisance. ...to the opposition. Absolutely great

He really wound up Wrigglesworth when they had a lineout close to our line which they then got penalised for

I saw that, god knows what he said but Wiggy wouldn't let it drop smiling bouncing smiley

 
Re: Team v Sarries
RugbyMarvel (IP Logged)
04 January, 2019 23:51
Thatís a thing Tom Curry really has over Underhill, an ability to get in the opposition faces and really get up their noses.

I remember Curry in one of his first ever games was grappling with Burger off the ball, and immediately you knew he was going to be a combative lad

 
Re: Team v Sarries
Olyy (IP Logged)
04 January, 2019 23:56
Quote:
RugbyMarvel
I remember Curry in one of his first ever games was grappling with Burger off the ball, and immediately you knew he was going to be a combative lad

Away in Toulon always sticks out in my memory - can't have played more than a handful of senior games, was barely 18, yet was trying to pick a fight with half their pack at once.

Really never takes a step back.



Though Ben made an impact off the bench as well - deserves a look in in the EPS, with Underhill injured. He's been excellent all season as well, would be a nailed on starter if it weren't for Tom.

 
Re: Team v Sarries
RugbyMarvel (IP Logged)
05 January, 2019 00:17
With the way Jono has added to his carrying game and Beaumont being at lock, I think we could see double Curry in the flanks and Jono at 8 a few times this season, with Strauss on the bench...

I donít think we would actually lose that much from doing that, especially as the Curry boys are actually very intelligent runners and are adding some good footwork to their game

 
Re: Team v Sarries
Crutch (IP Logged)
05 January, 2019 00:35
Looking at the remaining fixtures this weekend, weíll be best case 4th and worst case 7th.

Depending upon Falcons v Quins and Worcs v Bath, the league will either compress right up again, or the bottom 2 will start to be cut adrift.

 
Re: Team v Sarries
Penalty Try (IP Logged)
05 January, 2019 07:45
This Stat that stood out to me was prior to this game, Sarries had only given away 3 penalties at the scrum in the Premiership, we got 4 scrum penalties off them in 1 game. Both Mako and Kock were struggling against Ross & Will-Grif which is fantastic, but we are still short of quality replacement props. Ross can't continue to play 70 plus minutes every game! We need to strengthen our bench options in the front row, I did expect Sarries to come back at us in the last 20 due to our front row fatigue or replacements but luckily it never really happened.

 
Re: Team v Sarries
SarrieSaint (IP Logged)
05 January, 2019 09:44
Quote:
Pappje Shark
And was Farrell so rattled he kicked the ball out to end play rather than try and keep going upfield?!

I think maybe a bit rattled through the game but felt that was a good call and both a mark of respect for the fact that Sale could still force a mistake or that Sarries might do something silly and that "banking" the LBP was the way to go.

As the game was refereed the niggle and tenacity of your backrow Curry(s) and Ross in particular was rewarded and was a significant part of the win. The best teams play the game the referee allows them to play and in that regard Sale were outstanding.
I will be very interested to see how you adapt when a referee takes against that style of play and legality of the breakdown though. If Curry adapts when that happens then he will prove to be an outstanding player.

 
Re: Team v Sarries
H's D (IP Logged)
05 January, 2019 09:57
Quote:
Pappje
The forwards put in a monumental shift, and as I drove home I couldnít help but think that we have Yarde, Rohan and AJ all absent from the backs. Thereís some strength in depth there! What a brilliant night
.
Well said.

Add Luke James to those who could have contributed something to our backline Pappje Shark.
He remained unused; he seldom lets us down and runs some superb lines.
Several on here thought him unlucky to lose out to his brother in starting 3 games ago.
He won't begrudge Sam that 101st performance though...

 
Re: Team v Sarries
Pappje Shark (IP Logged)
05 January, 2019 10:16
Of course, Hís D. (On a side note, he seems very unfortunate not to have been called up for the England U20 squad along with Redpath. But with Dingwall & Lawrence (I think), Alex Shaw has commented itís a well-stocked area).

I see that both Alistair Ekykn and Ben Ryan have commented at their surprise over the ball being kicked out. Ryan in particular makes a series of comments as to why he thought it was the wrong thing to do.

SarrieShark - the team are sometimes questioned for not adapting to the way certain refs manage the game, so in that respect itíd be a good thing of Tom Curry did just that last night.

RugbyMarvel - not sure how often double Curry could work as the main thrust of a match strategy. Our upper hand at the scrum evaporated when Strauss and Phillips were replaced.

 
Re: Team v Sarries
Crutch (IP Logged)
05 January, 2019 10:20
Sam was absolutely superb but I did think he looked tired towards the end and thought it would be a good move to bring on Luke for the last 10 as heís so solid.

 
Re: Team v Sarries
Surbiton Shark (IP Logged)
05 January, 2019 10:40
Belter of a game. Some highlights for me....

Sarries first try was fantastic, the movement from the lineout to create the space for the break was absolutely lovely. Took a few replays for me to work out how they did it - some superb dummy running lines

Sam James showing his talent we know he has on the TV for a big game

The entire forward pack and Faffís utter commitment

Around the 60-70 minute mark we had possession near their 22 and seemed to run out of ideas. Time and time again Captain Ross offered himself to Faff as a ball carrier - amazing

Seeing and hearing a really good crowd at the AJ Bell

JOC is a real assets - number of carriers into contact. Lord above knows what we do when Rohan is back. Move JOC to 10? Canít drop Sam or JOC

Lastly I donít think Farrell panicked or anything like that. Sarries were being pushed back and he kicked it out to preserve their losing BP - it seems that most like to have a pop at Sarries if they donít win and the media really make a big deal of it

 
Re: Team v Sarries
45jumper (IP Logged)
05 January, 2019 10:43
I thought it was smart play from Farrell as well - they were going nowhere and conceding a penalty would've cost them the game. thumbs down

 
Re: Team v Sarries
2007dwain (IP Logged)
05 January, 2019 11:22
When is van cannonball back? Be hard getting in the team

 
Re: Team v Sarries
skip mcskipper (IP Logged)
05 January, 2019 11:46
Falcons fan here, just wanted to come on and say how much I enjoyed your teams performance and win. Well done!! Hope we do the same to quins!

 
Re: Team v Sarries
RugbyMarvel (IP Logged)
05 January, 2019 11:47
I expect RJVR will start in the 23 shirt for a couple of games, and potentially Ashton slip into Byronís slot on the wing and Sam James to push back to 15.

RJVR would offer a slightly different dimension to the attack, that might be helpful when reintroducing AJ back at 10. Heís the perfect pressure release valve for a 10 getting back his matchday fitness...

Then I suppose the inclusion of RJVR vs the current lads would be how we intend to manipulate defences. Itís obvious we found the gaps between Lozowski / Tompkins / Strettle / Williams this weekend, and we manipulated Williams / Twelvetrees / Trinder very well last week.

Against a side with a settled 10/12/13 set up, say Saracens when Brad Barritt is included, that physical presence of RJVR is needed to offer the route 1 option and draw defenders in a more simple and brutal way.

Currently we are almost employing an attack which picks the lock, RJVR will give the option to just smash the door down

 
Re: Team v Sarries
clutch (IP Logged)
05 January, 2019 12:23
No no no!!! Ashton has been great at 15. Both the centres have been improving week after week. The only move I would advocate is bringing O Connor to wing in place of McGuigan. Other than that we should rotate all 3 centres. Especially when Van Cannonball has injury issues.
Although James played well he wasnít mom. He missed a few tackles including a poor attempt on Billy for the try. The second try was gorgeous but it was as much Solomona and the coaches as it was James.

Great to have genuine selection headaches.

 
Re: Team v Sarries
Crutch (IP Logged)
05 January, 2019 12:26
Totally agree with the above. RJVR would give us options of how to play, and genuine rotation without losing quality from 12-15. Plus, the likelihood is that someone else will be unavailable at any one time.

E.g. Byron went off with an injury. Ashton to wing, Sam to 15, RJVR to centre.

I think weíre benefiting from a settled side at the moment, but what we need to learn is to rotate without losing the cohesion.

 
Re: Team v Sarries
thekeg (IP Logged)
05 January, 2019 12:33
Itís a big positive that we can ease the cannonball back in rather than try and rush him back. I thought oíconnor was also great last night as a foil to James, who has understandably got plenty of attention. Iím impressed by how physical he has been in adapting to the teamís needs at 12.

So many positives last night. Tom curry was absolutely heroic in that second half, not sure I can recall a better 40 minutes from a sale flanker. I also thought the front row were really outstanding and they have been for a while now. They arenít a flashy trio, but the scrum is so solid at the moment and they work incredibly hard around the pitch. WGJ has become a really outstanding defensive player

 
Re: Team v Sarries
Olyy (IP Logged)
05 January, 2019 12:33
Going off of Jono Ross's Instagram last night was RdP's final game

What an impact and what a way to sign off!



Someone mentioned AJ is aiming to he back in the next two weeks, so presumably Wilkinson at 10 for the European games with AJ from the bench

 
Re: Team v Sarries
RugbyMarvel (IP Logged)
05 January, 2019 12:41
Shame RDP has gone, but hoping we see him and JLDP and DDP next season...

Perfect opportunity to put Wilkinson in at 10 and get him some vital experience for us AJ goes down. Iíd be tempted to get Redpath some minutes also...

I saw a mention of preferring to move JOC to wing than have James replace Ashy at fullback. I think JOC has bulked up so he can effectively be a centre in the Prem, and in doing so doesnít quite have the same gas as he used to have. Donít think he would quite be up to pace out on the wing, and Iíd rather use his creativity in the midfield. Ashy is going to hit shoulders and cause problems from wherever he is on the park, heís not the classic winger.

Iíd be excited to see a similar pack go out in the Euro games, although I would like to see Moore come in for Strauss for one of them - just to see if he can keep up with the pace and quality. Itís a great chance to keep the side similar, but just make a couple of changes. Then wholesale rotation and resting of players come the Prem Cup. Give the boys a week away in the sun.

 
Re: Team v Sarries
thekeg (IP Logged)
05 January, 2019 12:51
I think we have two gap weeks after the prem cup match, assuming we donít qualify, so the squad should mostly get a good three week break

 
Re: Team v Sarries
FlyingFin (IP Logged)
05 January, 2019 16:57
Amongst the many positives Iíd like to give a shout for Denny who I thought also had a claim for mom. One try, an assist and a try saving tackle along with an impressive work rate off the ball, clearing out and defence included. What an atmosphere last night. Loved the emotion from the team too. Massive win.

 
Re: Team v Sarries
Pappje Shark (IP Logged)
05 January, 2019 17:40
I concur that JOC to wing wouldnít be the best move - clutch, I think youíre on the wrong track there. Heís been so effective in the centre and I agree with rugbyMarvel that heíd be less effective out on the wing. The best bit is the depth weíre building - what a difference to know that when fully fit, thereís many more coherent permutations than thereís been for a long time. Jennings will be fit again at some point too. Being able to rotate should help keep the backs fresh - then we can think about the forwards!

 
Re: Team v Sarries
PoyntonShark (IP Logged)
05 January, 2019 17:53
Superb performance all round. Almost nonsensical to pick a MOM. We did get the rub of the green from the ref, for a change, but deserved the win on merit anyway. Was worried when Sarries scored that excellent opening try, but after that we pretty much controlled the game. The most complete,composed performance I have seen form us in a long time.



Unhappiness, where's when I was young
And we didn't give a damn
'Cause we were raised
To see life as a fun and take it if we can

 
Re: Team v Sarries
MartWhit (IP Logged)
05 January, 2019 18:33
For me, the game changing difference in recent weeks has been the pack. We've won occasional games like this in the past, but usually stolen it with opportunistic tries backed up by heroic tackling. This past 2 weeks, the wins have been thoroughly merited on the back of solid forward play and cool tactical execution. Off that platform, Faf and RdP are more than able to control a game a d the backs have always been capable of this, but largely denied the opportunity by scarce posession and territory.

The scrum, at least the first choice version, has been very solid. Beaumont is calling a good game, and Phillips is a player transformed. He's visibly shed weight and become a lineout option as well as his strong short carrying. Jono has redoubled his workrate, and his 2nd phase carries where he gets around the corner ahead of the defence have been superb. Both Curries have matured as players and are true opensides of class. Our only concern is the dropoff when replacements come in. We lose a lot of bulk and with it our front foot ball.

 
Re: Team v Sarries
M5 Shark (IP Logged)
05 January, 2019 18:37
Dorian West seems like a good signing!!!

 
Re: Team v Sarries
ashtonshark (IP Logged)
05 January, 2019 18:43
Agree re Phillips. Definitely delivering more than expected. I wasn't convinced when announced but another wise signing by Dimes.

 
Re: Team v Sarries
ageinghoody (IP Logged)
05 January, 2019 18:45
Is there a case, especially if AJ isn't ready yet, of a 10, 12, 13b of JOC, Rohan, Sam James?

 
Re: Team v Sarries
romanfaithfull (IP Logged)
05 January, 2019 18:57
Depends how much longer AJ is out for. I imagine RJVR will be in the 23 shirt for the first few games, so I'd stick Wilkinson in the 10 shirt. He's not let himself down at all, and JOC and SJ been playing too well in the centres to move them around.

 
Re: Team v Sarries
Crutch (IP Logged)
05 January, 2019 19:06
Absolutely. This is the same pack that was being regularly pilloried as not good enough on the board not that long ago.

 
Re: Team v Sarries
thekeg (IP Logged)
05 January, 2019 21:48
Think AJ is pretty much due back in the next couple of games. No way would I play OíConnor at 10, completely different role, if we were forced into it Iíd rather go James at 10 and RJVR/ OíConnor in the centres

 
Re: Team v Sarries
PoyntonShark (IP Logged)
06 January, 2019 03:17
I'm with Keg, if forced then Sam James into 10, but would prefer, assuming AJ not ready to go, that Wilkinson get a couple of games.



Unhappiness, where's when I was young
And we didn't give a damn
'Cause we were raised
To see life as a fun and take it if we can

 
Re: Team v Sarries
M5 Shark (IP Logged)
06 January, 2019 09:52
Mcguigan looked to have injured his ankle against Sarries, so depending on the severity, we could have

AJ
Denny, Ashton - Wings
O'Connor, Rohan - Centres
Sam James - FB

I'd prefer Ashton at full back, but not sure where that puts Sam James.

In a couple of weeks, our options will be

Faf, Will
AJ, Wilkinson
Denny, Reed, Odogwu, McGuigan, Yarde (?)
JOC, Rohan, L James, Jennings
Ashton, S James

Any others?

 
Re: Team v Sarries
Crutch (IP Logged)
06 January, 2019 11:15
Yarde will be a long way off playing. Doubtful this season really.

Redpath could come into the reckoning but not sure how with options ahead of him.

 
Re: Team v Sarries
FarnhamShark (IP Logged)
06 January, 2019 11:42
Gus Warr at 9 - given a chance I could see him moving ahead of Will as our no. 2 scrum half in the not-too-distant future.

 
Re: Team v Sarries
FarnhamShark (IP Logged)
06 January, 2019 11:45
Quote:
Olyy
Lucky pants: On.
Game: Won.

I'm telling you, it's not a coincidence!


Five premiership games on the trot is it?
That's some form to carry into 2019!

Five games unbeaten, but not 5 wins - one was the 7 - 7 draw at Bath.

 
Re: Team v Sarries
clutch (IP Logged)
06 January, 2019 12:22
Iíd only suggest O Connor on the wing as a means of getting our best players in the team with the least disruption. Much rather him at 13 but that means James misses out.

 
Re: Team v Sarries
Pappje Shark (IP Logged)
06 January, 2019 13:22
Byron was clutching his hamstring for most of the first half. He was taken off shortly after clearly not being able to go at full tilt on a kick chase.

 
Re: Team v Sarries
PoyntonShark (IP Logged)
06 January, 2019 16:01
IIRC after leaving the field Byron was shown with ice strapped to his upper leg.



Unhappiness, where's when I was young
And we didn't give a damn
'Cause we were raised
To see life as a fun and take it if we can

 
Re: Team v Sarries
thekeg (IP Logged)
06 January, 2019 16:20
Quote:
PoyntonShark
IIRC after leaving the field Byron was shown with ice strapped to his upper leg.

Yes on his hamstring

 
Re: Team v Sarries
Olyy (IP Logged)
06 January, 2019 17:33
5th place to end the round (joint on 29pts with Wasps and Tigers)

 
Re: Team v Sarries
Crutch (IP Logged)
06 January, 2019 18:37
Looking at the remaining league fixtures, I think the next 3 will make or break the season between challenging top 4 and hovering above those fighting it out at the bottom.

Although theyíre not actually for a while now, next 3 are Saints and Wasps away then Exeter home, which are our toughest away and home fixtures remaining respectively.

After that we have the bottom 3 away and Leicester, Bath, Quins and Glos at home, all winnable if we still have confidence and momentum...


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