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Mr Sheens
Unfancied already
Mr Sheens (IP Logged)
07 May, 2018 22:22
[www.theguardian.com]

Brisk season review from the Guardian. Opens on us being relegation favourites for 2018/19. Too early for actual odds but this is likely. Why, why, why? I fundamentally don't understand why our combination of (poor) finances (as for most), (decent) infrastructure and (promising) squad can already be so unfancied. What - to pick on someone else - do the likes of Sale have to look forward to so much in contrast?

 
Warrior7
Re: Unfancied already
Warrior7 (IP Logged)
07 May, 2018 22:51
They've got a settled squad and did better than us this season, and beat us home and away. Sale are nowhere near the drop in terms of form or prospects at the moment.

Bristol for me are still favorites to go down, as their pack is losing its best prop (Cortes I think is going), and has been shown up a fair few times by Championship teams - the pack IMO is the most important part of the team for Prem survival. But other than Bristol, we are the most logical choice to predict for relegation as we are in the battle every season, so looking at the evidence it's a fair conclusion?

 
WorcesterSauce
Re: Unfancied already
WorcesterSauce (IP Logged)
07 May, 2018 23:05
It's between us an Bristol IMO. Things may pan out differently but from a neutrals viewpoint we have just finished in 11th and are losing our two best players. We are always struggling and despite two away wins this season don't seem to have completely got over our away day hoodoo, particularly when playing clubs around us. It may play out differently but I can see their logic

 
Whispering_Death
Re: Unfancied already
Whispering_Death (IP Logged)
08 May, 2018 06:55
I think it will be between us, Bristol and Saints. Given our history of consistent failure itís hardly surprising we are one of the favourites. Unless our new coaching set up can get us playing to our potential consistently we wonít be any higher than we always have been.

 
Southstand(again)
Re: Unfancied already
Southstand(again) (IP Logged)
08 May, 2018 07:01
We have a reputation as perennial relegation strugglers so we would have to be in the mix for relegation for any follower of form.

That said the Guardian's assessment is far from negative.

"Will be favourites for relegation next season, but donít be surprised if they avoid it. On the field, they play with increasing confidence and will be bolstered by astute signings, particularly among the backs, who should be as deadly as any."

I'm inclined to agree.

 
Bevere Warrior
Re: Unfancied already
Bevere Warrior (IP Logged)
08 May, 2018 07:43
For what itís worth I think that next year will be one of the most competive seasons there has been but we will be just fine (injuries permitting).

We now have one of the best backlines in the country with real depth in key areas. This includes two quality 10s which is something we have been devoid of for some time.

We have an embarrassment of riches in the centre and a very dangerous back three. I am very much looking forward to seeing what Van Breda looks like in the team. From what I have heard big things were expected from him when he first came on the scene in SA but it didnít fully work out for whatever reason. Since then he has come over to Jersey where he has been getting conistintly better in a joint captaincy role.

At scrum half we now have Hougarrd available for the full season following his international retirement.
This position is my only slight concern in the backs as I do feel we lose so much when heís not playing and due to his abrasive style he does tend to get injured on a semi regular basis.

Bar this weekend end the front row have been extremely competitive and I expect players like Kerrod and Milasinovich to push on. Singleton will be a year better off and Annett should be back for additional competition.

The second row is another area of slight concern however I am quietly optimistic we will be surprised by the quality we have.
Barry seems to be finally playing to his potential (and not getting carded every game), Bresler looks a solid acquisition and Kitchenerís potential has been highlighted by both DOC and Solly.
Add to that the signing of a player that has been knocking on the door of the Allblacks recently and who had another quality game at the weekend for the Canes, I feel positive.

The back row remains largely unchanged with the exchange of Du Preez for Denton.
If players like Mama, Lewis and Potgeiter can remain fit and we can get Kirwan back fit this is an area of real strength.

I can see us ending up in 7th or 8th next year.

My prediction is relegation will be between Saints, Bristol, Quins and an outsider.

Saints have lost lots of players and donít seem to have recruited many. The arrivals of Biggar and Boyd helps there cause but may not be enough.

Quins team seems to be rotton to the core with a number of the players saying as much in the press. So far I have not seem any significant changes that would alter that.

Bristol have signed some real quality players and could be a bit of an unknown entity. They could really push on up the table or just as likely struggle to take the step up. There pack is a bit of a concern.

As mentioned next year will be extremely competive and I can see an outsider getting dragged in to the fray but dammed if I know what team that will be.

Hereís to a great 2018/19 season

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: Unfancied already
Fiver (IP Logged)
08 May, 2018 08:37
It was interesting listening to Flats' point of view on us. I totally agree with him that on our day we can be awesome, and then the next week be awful. Our big problem is consistency, once we've sorted that out we could be top 6 (his words).

A possible cause of the (in)consistency issues of late would be centred around the ownership, lack of depth when injuries arise, and the uncertainty of staying in the premiership to which Denton and Spencer alluded to causing one year contracts being offered.

I've never been a fan of the one year contract, unless it's offered to a guy in his thirties who may only have one more season in him. Otherwise, players will spend more time on the phone to agents than concentrating on the next match. Luckily, I think the management have figured this out, possibly after a frank exchange with the two big players leaving us.

As every year, I'm hopeful we'll finally put in a decent season. As ever, I'll hope I won't be let down as has happened every other season.

 
FlipFlop
Re: Unfancied already
FlipFlop (IP Logged)
08 May, 2018 09:17
Would Denton and Spencer have looked at 3 year offers from a lesser club? Is it the 1 year contract per se, or is it our club outlook versus a more established club outlook. They wouldn't have taken a 3 year deal with Irish or Briz, or a 1 year for that matter.

How many games in total did we get out of Spencer on a 2-3 year deal? Most of the first season was rehab, and then we started to see what the fuss was all about and he became a must have in the side. Sadly, i think Tigers will break him.

Denton, fringe Bath, Spluttering (injured) start, gets Scots call, and indeterminate for the latter part of our season IMO. I'm not convinced too many on here would be chuffed at offering physio fodder a 3 year contract to join us, and then seeing half of it on the sick bed, so can see why these contracts happen- to test both sides commitment to the club and game.

Think the lure of a bigger club, even one with a wobbly season, will always trump an offer from ourselves, unless stellar money is offered. Only once we get in and amongst 7-9th during the season, and not just the last fortnight, will the re-signing players and their agents stop casting glances to greener artificial pitches.

 
w4rriorz1980
Re: Unfancied already
w4rriorz1980 (IP Logged)
08 May, 2018 09:20
Quote:
FlipFlop
Would Denton and Spencer have looked at 3 year offers from a lesser club? Is it the 1 year contract per se, or is it our club outlook versus a more established club outlook. They wouldn't have taken a 3 year deal with Irish or Briz, or a 1 year for that matter.
How many games in total did we get out of Spencer on a 2-3 year deal? Most of the first season was rehab, and then we started to see what the fuss was all about and he became a must have in the side. Sadly, i think Tigers will break him.

Denton, fringe Bath, Spluttering (injured) start, gets Scots call, and indeterminate for the latter part of our season IMO. I'm not convinced too many on here would be chuffed at offering physio fodder a 3 year contract to join us, and then seeing half of it on the sick bed, so can see why these contracts happen- to test both sides commitment to the club and game.

Think the lure of a bigger club, even one with a wobbly season, will always trump an offer from ourselves, unless stellar money is offered. Only once we get in and amongst 7-9th during the season, and not just the last fortnight, will the re-signing players and their agents stop casting glances to greener artificial pitches.
Couldn't agree more FF.

 
A38
Re: Unfancied already
A38 (IP Logged)
08 May, 2018 09:32
Probably too soon to be making any predictions.Recruitment isn't finished totally,we don't know the effect the new coaches will have and it will be a while before we see other teams sort out their final set ups.We will have a better idea come October.That's not to say that the pundits won't have Worcester for relegation favourites.Always glad to see them get it wrong.

 
shrewsburyman
Re: Unfancied already
shrewsburyman (IP Logged)
08 May, 2018 10:07
The backs next season if they receive sufficient good ball have the potential to be devastating. I follow Ulster and believe our new backs coach will be a step up for us. As everyone else has said it depends on the coaching of the forwards, our ball carrying and the second row. To succeed the front rowneeds the locks to perform.

 
Brummagem Bertie
Re: Unfancied already
Brummagem Bertie (IP Logged)
08 May, 2018 10:38
Since we first got promoted if you had followed the pundits and put a fiver on us being relegated every time we were tipped for the drop i think you would probably be comfortably out of pocket.



Whatever you do, do it safely!

 
just got into rugby
Re: Unfancied already
Big Bird Warrior (IP Logged)
08 May, 2018 12:08
I think Falcons may struggle next year if they are trying to compete in the Champions cup!

 
FlipFlop
Re: Unfancied already
FlipFlop (IP Logged)
08 May, 2018 12:10
I could easily see us in a bottom third of the league with Briz, Saints and Quins.

We, Saints and Quins will all have new coaching teams, and although Quins and Saints have better 'ingredients' than we have, the cakes they baked this year have not been to their customers liking. Briz have some big hitters and a good coach, but the step change is still big for a team coming up, and not just financially. Rotations and resting of your key staff is not so easy when the trap door is under your feet each week.

With the alleged spectre of 'ring fencing' around, it makes next season a real challenge in the Prem. Solomans has already stated that the Prem is the only target next year. Against the potential back drop as above, this makes sense, even if not appetising in terms of challenging ourselves properly in Europe. I guess the ECC will be a distraction for fringe and Academy.

 
B-road
Re: Unfancied already
08 May, 2018 12:31
Quote:
Big Bird Warrior
I think Falcons may struggle next year if they are trying to compete in the Champions cup!

Definitely.

 
TVM Rides Again....Again
Re: Unfancied already
TVM Rides Again (IP Logged)
08 May, 2018 13:20
To be honest, when you take form into account there is absolutely no surprise that we may gain that epithet.

We need, as a fan base, to stop seeking validation from mass media coverage* and concentrate on ourselves.


*see threads taking it personally when people don't call us some sort of dark horse, feeling like other clubs have more games on the tele, more coverage on Rugby tonight etc etc etc

 
kiddykid
Re: Unfancied already
kiddykid (IP Logged)
08 May, 2018 15:23
On another thread I said that Quins could really struggle next season as they seem in real turmoil birth on and off the pitch. It is NOT a happy ship.
Briz might have the razzmataz but will find the Prem a HUGE step-up just like everyone else has.
Saints seem to be shedding players but no news yet of replacements ......and a new coaching set-up too. An awful lot gong on.
By comparison, we seem relatively settled. And although we have lost Dents and Spncer we have replaced them with players who WANT to be here. That counts for a lot. Willison will be a big loss but perhaps an injury-free Mills will be the threat he alway is when he plays.
No, nxt season will be challenging but we are NOT going down. There, you heard it here first.

 
Ronster
Re: Unfancied already
Drahm for England (IP Logged)
08 May, 2018 15:35
I have a sneaking suspicion that whoever finishes bottom next season won't need to worry. Ealing to win the championship, be unable to come up & thus ring-fencing of the Prem will kick in...

 
A38
Re: Unfancied already
A38 (IP Logged)
08 May, 2018 16:14
As I mentioned above,I do think that predicting next season is premature but mention of Willison caught my attention. Would be have, had he stayed, got a starting place ahead of Te'o,Mills and Ventner assuming all three were available?Maybe that is the yardstick for the strength in depth? That takes nothing away from his contribution over the last few games.

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: Unfancied already
Fiver (IP Logged)
08 May, 2018 16:38
Add to the list Beck and Butler. Murphey's law says centre will be the one position we don't get injuries next season.

 
WorcesterSauce
Re: Unfancied already
WorcesterSauce (IP Logged)
08 May, 2018 17:40
Quote:
Drahm for England
I have a sneaking suspicion that whoever finishes bottom next season won't need to worry. Ealing to win the championship, be unable to come up & thus ring-fencing of the Prem will kick in...

You may well be right for next season but think Ealing do want to come up in the next few seasons, just next may be too soon. I imagine they will pocket the money and get stronger and stronger.

Then you have Pirates, who should have their modular ground built by 2020. Along with them I fully expect Darlington Mowden Park to come up from Div 1 to the Champ next season, along with their 26,000 arena and conference facilities. They are getting properly into financial shape and will soon be a force in the Championship. You then have Coventry, who seem to be serious about promotion in the mid-term and have just made public big plans to get their ground up to standard. Then you have Leeds and Irish who already could come up if they won the league and Bedford who, it is becoming more obvious, are sat on a very lucrative piece of real estate. Whereas they won't be in the prem any time soon (and have said as such), i wouldnt like to rule them out in the next 20 years or so.

Basically I feel as though we are on the brink of potentially 4/5/6 Championship teams who would have the facilities and finances to come up to the Premiership. To draw the bridge up now could be a disaster.

As a side note it's good to see London Welsh climbing back up the leagues under Sonny Parker.


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