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The next 4 games
Crutch (IP Logged)
10 February, 2019 10:28
The next batch of games are interesting in that we have a decent chance of winning or losing any of them (I know in this tightest of seasons that probably applies to most games). However, usually there are some home bankers youíre pretty confident about, and some away games that you only hope for a losing bonus.

Saints have been very patchy and we won there last year, but at times have looked much better than last season. Wasps away you normally wouldnít be confident about, but theyíre on a poor run of form. Exeter are clearly class but weíre at home and last year only went down to the late penalty call. Leicester at home should be winnable but last year was probably our poorest home performance. However theyíve improved lately.

We only got one win from these fixtures last year so hoping for improvement year on year, but what do we think would realistically be the points target from these games?

 
Re: The next 4 games
thekeg (IP Logged)
10 February, 2019 11:14
Completely agree, very much a season defining set of games. Our run in after that is pretty favourable.

One other factor here is that a few of them are during 6N which makes them even less predictable.

I think we need to be aiming for 10 - 14 points from the 4 games. If we do that then top 6 looks very achievable, perhaps sneak into 4th.

 
Re: The next 4 games
Olyy (IP Logged)
10 February, 2019 11:30
What's the USA eagles schedule like during the 6N?

Having AJ back would definitely improve our chances, especially as I imagine Sam James will be filling in at 15 for Ashton so couldn't cover 10 (though my personal preference would be a Rohan/James midfield and JOC moving back to 15)

 
Re: The next 4 games
MikeGC (IP Logged)
10 February, 2019 11:44
Eagles schedule

[www.usarugby.org]

 
Re: The next 4 games
Crutch (IP Logged)
10 February, 2019 11:49
Dimes has said that theyíve agreed with the US that AJ returns after this weekend, so heíll have had 2 games with them to help with match fitness, and then heís available for us for all 4 league fixtures.

 
Re: The next 4 games
Olyy (IP Logged)
10 February, 2019 12:04
Quote:
Crutch
Dimes has said that theyíve agreed with the US that AJ returns after this weekend, so heíll have had 2 games with them to help with match fitness, and then heís available for us for all 4 league fixtures.

Excellent news

 
Re: The next 4 games
StalyShark (IP Logged)
10 February, 2019 12:31
9. Faf
10. AJ
11. Byron
12. RJVR
13. S James
14. Solomona
15. JOC

21. Cliff
22. L James
23. Odogwu

Pack picks itself with Ben playing 7, Evans to 4 and Beaumont at 8.

 
Re: The next 4 games
thekeg (IP Logged)
10 February, 2019 14:53
Is OíConnor fit? Strong back line if he is.....

Who will be bench back rower if we are lining up with curry Ross Beaumont? Nield seems most obvious option, thought he did well last week

 
Re: The next 4 games
clutch (IP Logged)
10 February, 2019 17:40
Makes the most sense I guess. Back row will be playing long minutes.

 
Re: The next 4 games
Crutch (IP Logged)
10 February, 2019 17:54
Agreed was thinking with Strauss and Curry away most likely see Josh at 8.

Are any internationals able to return next week or through the 6 nations at all?

If not, Laws and Biggar are big misses for Saints. We always struggle with Robson so good heís with England, along with Hughes and Daly. Exeter missing Moon, LC-D, Slade, and Leicester Cole, Youngs, Ford and Tuilagi, so overall I think weíre at advantage.

 
Re: The next 4 games
Olyy (IP Logged)
10 February, 2019 18:35
Lawes won't be released by England after playing the last two weekends,
Unsure on Biggar, not sure whether it's Wales' call whether he goes back to his club or not. I imagine they'd keep him in training if they can.

 
Re: The next 4 games
Barend (IP Logged)
10 February, 2019 18:49
Sam Moore?

 
Re: The next 4 games
Crutch (IP Logged)
10 February, 2019 19:37
On the bench perhaps, but too important a game for him to start IMO.

Bryn and Phillips in 2nd row with Josh B to 8. Not ideal but I think itís the best combination with Tom and Strauss missing.

I think 2 wins from the 4 would be enough to keep our momentum going, so about the 10 Pts mark - but have no idea which games! Ideally Leicester I suppose to then follow on the the remaining games that are all more winnable.

 
Re: The next 4 games
Yareet (IP Logged)
11 February, 2019 07:27
Wouldnít Prem Rugby fine any club who agreed to rest their non-English 6N players? Thought they fined Saints for North.

On that basis, next weekend we should have Strauss but Saints will have Biggar.

 
Re: The next 4 games
Grumpy Old Shark (IP Logged)
11 February, 2019 09:35
Quote:
StalyShark
9. Faf
10. AJ
11. Byron
12. RJVR
13. S James
14. Solomona
15. JOC

21. Cliff
22. L James
23. Odogwu

Pack picks itself with Ben playing 7, Evans to 4 and Beaumont at 8.

Not sure that McGuigan is fit??

also, I suspect that Ashton might be released back for some game time

 
Re: The next 4 games
StalyShark (IP Logged)
11 February, 2019 09:57
According to his twitter he says he is.

Quote:
Grumpy Old Shark
Quote:
StalyShark
9. Faf
10. AJ
11. Byron
12. RJVR
13. S James
14. Solomona
15. JOC

21. Cliff
22. L James
23. Odogwu

Pack picks itself with Ben playing 7, Evans to 4 and Beaumont at 8.

Not sure that McGuigan is fit??

also, I suspect that Ashton might be released back for some game time

 
Re: The next 4 games
45jumper (IP Logged)
11 February, 2019 10:26
IMO, I'd pick...

JOC, Solomona, James, Rohan, McGuigan, AJ, Faf
Harrison, Webber, John, Evans, Phillips, Ross, Curry, Beaumont

Reps - Langdon, Bristow, Jones, Ostrikov, Neild/Moore, Cliff, Wilkinson/L James, Reed/Odogwu

Tough call on whether to start Rohan or Luke James, there's certainly an argument that Rohan would be a beast of an impact player to bring on. I'd also play JOC at 15, James has been brilliant at 13 and needs to stay there.

 
Re: The next 4 games
Olyy (IP Logged)
11 February, 2019 11:16
Quote:
Yareet
Wouldnít Prem Rugby fine any club who agreed to rest their non-English 6N players? Thought they fined Saints for North.
On that basis, next weekend we should have Strauss but Saints will have Biggar.

It was an out of window November international that saints got the fine for
I have a feeling it's on the discretion of the club with regards to rest weekends during the six nations.
They're technically within the window so the international sides don't have to release the players back to their clubs - however I think the club's will probably expect them. When I googled the North situation I came across an article about Saints disciplining North for him not turning up to training during a Six nations rest week, but the PRL weren't involved, it was an internal thing.

I imagine it might come down to whether Garland wants Biggar to start vs England, if he's benching or not involved at all then I suspect he'll be sent back to Saints

 
Re: The next 4 games
Surbiton Shark (IP Logged)
11 February, 2019 11:41
Was discussing the 15 option with my lad. I would also stick JOC at 15, seems to be the best there. McGuigan seemed to struggle changing to 15 at the start of the season and Sam James although great under the high ball and kicks well can get exposed on those one on one tackles that the 15 normally has to deal with.

Other option at 15.............Look at playing Wilkinson there? - lots of other clubs with young 10 tend to start them at 15 initially so just a thought.

 
Re: The next 4 games
Pappje Shark (IP Logged)
11 February, 2019 12:49
If heís fit, I canít see JOC playing 15 personally. He had such a good rapport with Rohan in the centres and with Sam J coming into the line that Iíd expect us to revert to that. Iíd see us lining up:

Harrison
Webber
WillGriff John
Ostrikov
Phillips
Ross
B Curry
Beaumont

Faf
AJ
Byron
Rohan
JOC
Solomona
Sam J

Assuming Andrei is around, I think heíll start over Bryn. Benching Iíd see:

Bristow
Langdon
Jones
Evans
Neild
Cliff
Luke J
Odogwu

However, itís not beyond the realms that either Reed or Redpath might be recalled from U20 duty to sit on the bench.

Iíve no idea how these games will go. Our losing Ashton and Tom C canít be understated, especially since our hot streak came with the du Preez brothers around for most of it and itís been ages since AJ played for us and might have some ring rust relating to actual pitch time with our play book. Whilst we have Ben C, we donít have the double impact of sending the second one on just when the opposition is getting knackered. I could see us winning all of them and losing all of them! (I donít think weíll do either of those, but I donít feel confident enough to say that we *should* win any of them).

Question - given EJ is rotating his bench places, would we rather face Genge or Cole? I might say the latter personally. Either way, one of them absent plus Ford, May, Youngs and Tuilagi is no bad thing. Jonah Holmes too?

 
Re: The next 4 games
Yareet (IP Logged)
11 February, 2019 14:32
Quote:
StalyShark
According to his twitter he says he is.
Quote:
Grumpy Old Shark
Quote:
StalyShark
9. Faf
10. AJ
11. Byron
12. RJVR
13. S James
14. Solomona
15. JOC

21. Cliff
22. L James
23. Odogwu

Pack picks itself with Ben playing 7, Evans to 4 and Beaumont at 8.

Not sure that McGuigan is fit??

also, I suspect that Ashton might be released back for some game time

About to say the same

[twitter.com]

 
Re: The next 4 games
Chris Hoddle (IP Logged)
11 February, 2019 19:58
Will be a close and interesting game on Saturday.

The battle of the scrum halves could decide who goes to the world cup in Japan. Faf holds it at the moment but Corbus is on form?
Dont worry that Dan Biggar is not playing James Grayson has easily filled his boots. Saints have scored 39 tries? in their last 4 games.

I think you will find that we play a completely different game from the last couple of season. Of course as always that will depend on if the team turns up!

Dont forget it is a 2pm KO



http://chrishoddle.smugmug.com/photos/i-TsCHdzK/0/M/i-TsCHdzK-M.gif

 
Re: The next 4 games
Olyy (IP Logged)
11 February, 2019 20:58
You really think one of Faf and Corbus won't go to the world cup?!

 
Re: The next 4 games
Chris Hoddle (IP Logged)
11 February, 2019 21:07
Nic Groom left Saints last year to try and get back in the SA team. He was on the verge when he was injured. He may be in contention along with last summers back up. not sure they would take 4 scrum halves?



http://chrishoddle.smugmug.com/photos/i-TsCHdzK/0/M/i-TsCHdzK-M.gif

 
Re: The next 4 games
PoyntonShark (IP Logged)
12 February, 2019 03:55
If you play like the first 20 against Newcastle, then we should be able to do enough damage to be out of sight. If you play 80 like the last 60 against Newcastle then we are in for a treat, though hopefully our defence won't be so amenable. Grayson looks a decent find, hasn't Alex King got a son to come along and usurp him?



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: The next 4 games
Chris Hoddle (IP Logged)
12 February, 2019 08:50
You will see how much James Grayson looks like his dad. I plays a little like Dan Biggar after being in the same team.
See you all Saturday, I shall be on the 9.15 train from Manchester.(Sm128)



http://chrishoddle.smugmug.com/photos/i-TsCHdzK/0/M/i-TsCHdzK-M.gif

 
Re: The next 4 games
Timperley Shark (IP Logged)
12 February, 2019 10:10
10.15 train for us.
Should be in the Thomas Beckett for 12.20

 
Re: The next 4 games
Chris Hoddle (IP Logged)
12 February, 2019 10:29
Keep a look at on Saturday for the trains. Last sat that 10.15 was cancelled due to "Damaged overhead cables". However all the other trains to Euston had left on time! They usually make the 10.35 stop at MKC but then you would have to catch a later train to Northampton.
Enjoy the TAB it will be quite full!(Sm128)



http://chrishoddle.smugmug.com/photos/i-TsCHdzK/0/M/i-TsCHdzK-M.gif

 
Re: The next 4 games
Chris Hoddle (IP Logged)
12 February, 2019 16:50
Looks like Saints will have Dan Biggar available. Also Piers Francis and Tei Harrison back from injury.



http://chrishoddle.smugmug.com/photos/i-TsCHdzK/0/M/i-TsCHdzK-M.gif

 
Re: The next 4 games
Chris1850 (IP Logged)
12 February, 2019 19:23
According to Dimes, we only have Sam Moore and George Nott unavailable due to injury. No mention of JOC so presumably he is fit. Byron recovered and available. Ash and Tom not available with England. No mention made of Josh not being available though?

These aside, we should be pretty well at full strength albeit with a couple still only just recovered from injury. It will be a good test of where we are against an in-form Saints team

 
Re: The next 4 games
thekeg (IP Logged)
12 February, 2019 23:18
Sam Moore is injured again??!!

 
Re: The next 4 games
Pappje Shark (IP Logged)
15 February, 2019 12:08
Quote:
Pappje Shark
If heís fit, I canít see JOC playing 15 personally. He had such a good rapport with Rohan in the centres and with Sam J coming into the line that Iíd expect us to revert to that. Iíd see us lining up:
Harrison
Webber
WillGriff John
Ostrikov
Phillips
Ross
B Curry
Beaumont

Faf
AJ
Byron
Rohan
JOC
Solomona
Sam J

Assuming Andrei is around, I think heíll start over Bryn. Benching Iíd see:

Bristow
Langdon
Jones
Evans
Neild
Cliff
Luke J
Odogwu

However, itís not beyond the realms that either Reed or Redpath might be recalled from U20 duty to sit on the bench

14/15. Close, but no cigar.

 
Re: The next 4 games
StalyShark (IP Logged)
24 February, 2019 14:38
Tigers are giving us absolutely nothing to worry about today.

 
Re: The next 4 games
clutch (IP Logged)
24 February, 2019 17:03
Yeah. I wasnít that worried last year either. They are without Ford. Will he be back?

 
Re: The next 4 games
Pappje Shark (IP Logged)
24 February, 2019 20:32
Doubt it as itís a 6N weekend is it not?

Next weekend a rest week so interesting who Exeter get back, if any. Williams for game time? Will we have Ashton if fit?

 
Re: The next 4 games
Crutch (IP Logged)
25 February, 2019 09:00
4 pts from the 2 away games will certainly do, although slightly strange way to get them.

Now just need about 5-6 from the 2 home games...

 
Re: The next 4 games
ale shark (IP Logged)
25 February, 2019 10:19
A bit disappointed to see we're still in 8th, lack of bonus points is killing us, only 3 from 14 games, the fewest in the league.

I think weíve got very favourable fixtures all the way through until the end of the season now. The only away games left are against the bottom 3. The 5 home games are all eminently winnable if we turn up. I think I said before that historically 14 wins gets you top 4, we need 7 out of 8!

 
Re: The next 4 games
clutch (IP Logged)
25 February, 2019 10:21
Top 4 is a pipedream. Letís aim for 6th.

 
Re: The next 4 games
Surbiton Shark (IP Logged)
25 February, 2019 11:34
What we have proved is that if we "turn up" we can take anyone on - however you can pretty much say that about the majority of the Prem teams this season. The challenge is how we get performances like last week against Wasps versus the Northants/Quins away games plus a few other games where we struggle to get going.

Looking forward as the grounds harden up can we still play someone like Phillips in the second row or do we look to go more mobile? BTW - fair play to Evans in the last few mins versus Wasps dragging down (just ...) their winger. Could we look at both curry's at 6/7 - Ross at 8 and use Strauss in the last 20?

It seems our first choice centres are Rohan & JOC - on the basis Ashton is back do we just make the call to play Sam at 10 - for whatever reason we can't seem to get a steady run with AJ plus Sam does a grand job at 10 when he plays - against this is this means Faf is our kicker - I got the impression he blows a bit hot/cold with his kicking, but I think recently he's been pretty consistent - dunno if anyone has any facts. He was good versus Connaught away and against Wasps.

 
Re: The next 4 games
PoyntonShark (IP Logged)
25 February, 2019 15:05
Quote:
Clutch
Top 4 is a pipedream. Letís aim for 6th.

Whilst I don't necessarily disagree with the first part, I certainly do with the second. Why on earth would we aim for lower than it is possible to finish? Doesn't make sense to me. Just because an outcome is unlikely shouldn't stop it being an aim.


I would say no on making the call to play Sam at 10. If AJ is fit anytime soon then I would like to see him back. I'm not sure that van cannonball and JOC are necessarily far ahead of Sam when Sam is available to play centre. I think there would be a horses for courses rotation when all 3 are available, with Luke James and possibly Redpath chipping in too. Of course if AJ struggles for fitness, hen we are pretty much forced down that route anyway.



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: The next 4 games
clutch (IP Logged)
25 February, 2019 15:22
I suppose it depends on the opposition. Personally I think we have to play Van Cannonball. Not because heís our best centre, but because he gives us that much needed go forward. If heís playing there may be an argument for playing both Curryís. Iím not against playing O Connor on the wing, when everyone is fit. He can pop up whenever he feels like Addison used to.

 
Re: The next 4 games
emerging shark (IP Logged)
27 February, 2019 17:48
I agree with you clutch about VC but I'd play O Connor at full back and Ashton on the wing. With VC and James S at centre we can always mix and match depending on the situation.As a matter of interest, has Ashton played much at outside centre?

 
Re: The next 4 games
thekeg (IP Logged)
27 February, 2019 17:59
Given it appears that AJ is out with ankle ligament damage, we might not need to debate our centre combo quite as much....

 
Re: The next 4 games
clutch (IP Logged)
27 February, 2019 18:02
Unless Wilkinson gets a chance, which is unlikely.

 
Re: The next 4 games
Crutch (IP Logged)
01 March, 2019 23:01
In terms of year on year comparison (swapping Bristol for Irish):

Of the games played so far weíve had 7 results the same, 4 wins from losses last year (Wasps A, Falcons H, Glos A, Sarries H, 1 draw from a loss, Bath A, and 2 losses from wins, Wasps H and Saints A)

The next 2 games are good opportunities to improve that further as we lost at home to both Exeter and Leicester.

Then of the final block of 6 we won 5 last time out and lost only 1 (away to Newcastle), so our run in definitely looks good, although Bristol A likely to be far tougher than Irish.

 
Re: The next 4 games
clutch (IP Logged)
02 March, 2019 10:44
Newcastle will be tough as well. They arenít a bad side.

 
Re: The next 4 games
Crutch (IP Logged)
02 March, 2019 10:58
Agreed, thereís no bad sides this year.

Newcastle was a loss though so would be no change.

 
Re: The next 4 games
clutch (IP Logged)
02 March, 2019 11:08
True. Quins and Gloucester will be tougher opponents this year. Leicester should be very winnable.
Today is key, but I donít feel especially confident.

 
Re: The next 4 games
tigerburnie (IP Logged)
05 March, 2019 09:19
Tigers have never done very well at yours on a Friday night, we need the win and maybe we are throwing a performance together now, but it ain't going to easy.

 
Re: The next 4 games
Crutch (IP Logged)
09 March, 2019 17:34
Quote:
Crutch
I think 2 wins from the 4 would be enough to keep our momentum going, so about the 10 Pts mark - but have no idea which games! Ideally Leicester I suppose to then follow on the the remaining games that are all more winnable.

Well that worked out ok in the end!

A couple of surprise away wins for Falcons and Bears keeps us in 5th going into our final run of (relatively) easy games. Not so confident of winning away against them now though!

 
Re: The next 4 games
Pappje Shark (IP Logged)
09 March, 2019 17:56
Thatís it in a a nutshell, Crutch. Our remaining games are all eminently winnable or eminently losable!

 
Re: The next 4 games
thekeg (IP Logged)
09 March, 2019 18:39
Weíd have taken this at the start of the year, too 4 finish is pretty much in our own hands now if Quins bear Gloucester tomorrow. I still think 4th is a stretch, but finishing outsudevthe too 6 from here would be hugely disappointing with our run in. We really should be able to take 20 points from these games


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