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Looking ahead to the new season
Heathen (IP Logged)
09 August, 2017 21:09
FWIW here are my thoughts on the coming season.

Players.

I believe that from a playing perspective, Wasps are in a good place. The squad has changed a bit but not significantly. This will be a big plus.

Coaching.

Phil Blake will have had a full preseason with the squad, which did not happen last time around.

Fitness.

Darren Campbell seems to be having a very positive effect on sprint stamina.

Motivation.

The final 40 minutes at HQ will serve as sufficient motivation. For the last 20 mins of normal time and the whole of ET we did not look as though we could score another point. By the sound of it, the players are still hurting.

Player availability.

Wasps do not seem to be flavour of the month with EJ, so do not see us losing too many in the international windows.

The other teams in the AP have strengthened their squads but I still fancy us to be in the playoffs come the end of the season.

Bring it on.

#COYW.

 
Re: Looking ahead to the new season
mike909 (IP Logged)
09 August, 2017 21:58
You last point about EJ, I hope this is used vs Sale to target their right wing...

I realise that this is potentially a little childish, but I think we owe him and them a good seeing to to show why EJ is wrong to ignore our backs except for ED

 
Re: Looking ahead to the new season
WaspieFrank (IP Logged)
10 August, 2017 07:04
Shoew him as wrong as you like I do not think he changes his mind very often though!

 
Re: Looking ahead to the new season
Chris1850 (IP Logged)
10 August, 2017 08:38
Quote:
mike909
You last point about EJ, I hope this is used vs Sale to target their right wing...
I realise that this is potentially a little childish, but I think we owe him and them a good seeing to to show why EJ is wrong to ignore our backs except for ED

It isn't Sale or Solomonas fault that EJ picks Solomona ahead of Wade

 
Re: Looking ahead to the new season
simplytandy (IP Logged)
10 August, 2017 08:51
Leave Eddie to his own style and idealistic mold he wants his players in.
I for one would be very annoyed (to put it mildly) if the conversation Eddie had with Robson was to be more conservative and kick more which could result in changing our game-plan all together. Likewise with Wadey, if he was asking him to come in looking for more work, which I recall he has done more of last season but there have been times where even though we've got fast ball from the ruck we don't have Wade on the wing to exploit the gaps and finish chances.

A lot of our criticism reminds me of when Michael Johnson was running and people would say "imagine how fast you could be if you ran like...." and he'd reply along the lines of "I'm winning so maybe more people should run like me" More teams should look to play like us, we finished top of the table and lost out in the tightest of finals. For all our supposed defensive frailties we don't seem to be in a bad place going into this season.

Squad rotation will be a key factor in determining our success. We've got to believe that our fringe players can be incorporated and still do a job on teams like Irish, Worcester (home & away) and the likes of Gloucester, Sale, Quins at home.
England regulations will ensure Launch and Nathan get adequate rest for the home stretch.
Bass and Watson's tussle for the second wing spot will be great to see and provide fresh legs longer periods of the season as will Willie and Miller's. Our 12/13 options have been boosted by Gaby and JDJ, so we'll be able to have a more interchangeable game plan (if Dai can trust them to do a job).

Winning the premiership should be the aim. As much as I can't stand the bloke we should get in whoever is Connor Mcgregor's sports psychologist. The guy has exceptional mental toughness. Visualises and believes in every word he says, even if nobody else will and isn't afraid to tell people about it. We should aim to be relentless in our pursuit of success. The only exception I'd have for not winning the Prem is if we get into the final of Europe as the extra games will add up and it will be a valuable stepping stone.

 
Re: Looking ahead to the new season
10 August, 2017 12:49
I am not as confident as a lot of you on here seem to be, I think a top 4 spot and a quarter final in the champions cup would be a successful season, as I thought towards the end of last season (post the comprehensive win against Bath), we really tailed off and had to ride our luck and rely on some individual pieces of brilliance to get us through, and I am worried other teams seem to of sussed how to nullify us in attack. Just as a recap for those who don't remember the games after the win against Bath:

We were played off the park by Leinster in Europe. We then looked very scrappy against Northampton, had a good 10 minute spell and it took a conversion from out wide in the dying seconds to win 32-30. We did then beat a basically relegated Bristol as one would expect. We were then thoroughly outplayed by Quins and lost 32-13. We beat a weak Saracens team that had 10 changes compared to the team they put out against Exeter in the Semis. Against Leicester, in the semis, we won by 1 point thanks to a try from Basset with 2 minutes to go. Then in the final, Exeter had 68% of the possession and 68% of the territory, and it took a moment of genius from Cipriani and a bounce of the ball for us to score our two tries, and essentially stay in the game.

That 'just doing enough' form does worry me, as in a run in like that where you can treat every game as a 'final' it can work, but if we carry on and do it week in week out for the whole season we will come unstuck. This is particularly the case as we have lost Kurtley who was the player who often produced the individual brilliance that got us through a lot of those games.

I am also a little unsure of how our 10, 12, 13 will line up next season. I don't want to lose Cipriani's creativity, JG kicking and general all round player of the season play, or the starting lion, but I do want to see JdeJ or lovo who can provide go forward ball from first phase play as to often last season we went wide to quickly and didn't heed the old wise word 'you have got to earn the right to go wide' and therefore often found ourselves isolated and being turned over in wide areas. So I will be interested to see what Dai does.

I also still don't think our scrum is strong enough and I would like another explosive carrier in the forwards to support Hughes, especially when TT is fit and so AJ doesn't start. Essentially an explosive and strong prop, but I appreciate there are not too many of those avalaiable, hopefully McIntyre can offer it and develop like Sinkler has over the past season.

Having said all that I still think we will be mixing it up at the top

 
Re: Looking ahead to the new season
backdoc (IP Logged)
10 August, 2017 13:04
I think your glass is too 'half-empty'. Look at how the team defended against Exeter after the first 30 mins. There were still circa 15 of Saracens starting 23 in the home win. And Tigers played like their lives depended on it in the semis - far better than any other performance they gave last season IMO.

I previously said 3rd position and losing SF for us, but I think we may do better. Get off to a winning start, keep the home form up, and keep the squad fit and committed, and we can do better.

 
Re: Looking ahead to the new season
Rob Smith (IP Logged)
10 August, 2017 13:04
Very much agree with that Heathen. Only intangible for me is the affect of the law changes on Wasps - difficult to predict if they will help or hinder



[robsbl0g.blogspot.co.uk]
@robsmithrugby

 
Re: Looking ahead to the new season
westwaleswasp (IP Logged)
10 August, 2017 13:06
We need the ability to play an awful 70 mins and win it in 10 mins of excellence. That is what makes teams champions over a season. I think we do have that. What we may not have is a top notch pack.

 
Re: Looking ahead to the new season
StevieWasp (IP Logged)
10 August, 2017 13:16
for me, the most important thing we need to learn in preparation of next year is what to do if the opposition defence is up quickly in our faces for 40 minutes.
That's where we come unstuck. We start throwing ridiculous passes trying to keep the ball alive and often turn possession over.

We know how we want to play... so does everyone else, which is why the best of them will try to get in our faces and force us backwards.

If we could revert to a possession based game when teams come at us, it may prove a better solution than trying Fiji 7's style offloads in the hope of running around them.


If we can hold onto the ball for numerous phases, we will win more often than we'll lose.

 
Re: Looking ahead to the new season
simplytandy (IP Logged)
10 August, 2017 13:41
Quote:
StevieWasp
for me, the most important thing we need to learn in preparation of next year is what to do if the opposition defence is up quickly in our faces for 40 minutes.
That's where we come unstuck. We start throwing ridiculous passes trying to keep the ball alive and often turn possession over.

The odd chip over the top is effective for beating a rush/ out to in defence as we saw back in our glory years using the blitz. Distributing early to get around the rush defence has also shown to be seriously effective but it takes composure and precision under pressure. Of course it's easier said than done but every defence has weaknesses and with Cips and WLR settled we should be more adept at think on our feet than last season.

 
Re: Looking ahead to the new season
WaspieKev (IP Logged)
10 August, 2017 13:51
Other teams have really strengthened up during the summer whereas we have perhaps levelled out a bit. Expect Tiggers, Sarries and Exeter to mount even stronger campaigns next season. Like others I'm intrigued as to how we will incorporate JdJ and Gabby into the side without rocking the boat because we need DC's genius and JG's game-management nous and kicking ability on the pitch as much as possible. I'd like us to have more possession and not to be defending for 65% of the time and also not to leak easy tries like we did last season.

I'd be very happy with a top 4 place assuming we are going to shuffle the team around quite a bit and to take our chances either home or away in the semi finals.

Regarding Europe, I feel we have a very tough draw. Quins will not be a pushover by any means, and La Rochelle and Ulster have intimidating home records and we're definitely going to have to beat at least one of them away from home to stand a chance of progressing to the last 8.

Having said all that, I firmly believe we are a team everyone is going to be very wary of and that we'll achieve a top 4 place and possibly the same in ECC. That to me is great consolidation and anything beyond that will be a welcome bonus!!

 
Re: Looking ahead to the new season
westwaleswasp (IP Logged)
10 August, 2017 17:25
We have a fantastic record against Fench teams, remember, going back years. I would be far more worried if we were playing say Scarlets or Glasgow away than La Rochelle. You never know how seriously a French team will take the competition, they tend to travel poorly, their domestic league takes priority, their heads can drop, they can be caught cold more than most,and you don't get the sense of "as long as we beat the English" that you d with the celts. Quins are winable/losable, but I suspect all three opponents will look at us and say "Wasps have a bloody good home record" too. Every team expects to win 3 at home, and pick up another win away. I feel it is within our compass to hit a semi or final.

 
Re: Looking ahead to the new season
ricohchezwasp (IP Logged)
10 August, 2017 18:05
Looks like Charles Piatau has signed for Bristol for next next season



Not a Doctor and not a troll!!

 
Re: Looking ahead to the new season
jonnydeane (IP Logged)
10 August, 2017 19:11
This season should be a great season in my opinion due to the extended A League.

More game time for squad players should put them in with more of a chance of 1st team selection after good performances, thus keeping the first teamers on top of their games as well.
Academy players at every club should really kick on this season with the additional gametime
The additional games should really test squad strength across the league and is a great way to build momentum for a club, win at the weekend, then win on a Monday night... should create a great buzz in training for the following weekend.

Also looking forward to seeing who will start at 12 in the first game.

 
Re: Looking ahead to the new season
Andy1210 (IP Logged)
10 August, 2017 19:57
I can't help wondering how we will fare in such a strong Premiership. I think maybe it will come down to away wins in the end that decides the top four.

Leicester seem to have got themselves together and made some quality signings. Sarries will be as formidable as ever despite not winning anything last season and there's Exeter who are just relentless quality.

Add to that Bath after Blackadder's first full pre-season and his own signings, Quins looking good, Glaws with a new first team coach with an outstanding pedigree, Newcastle getting better and better, Worcester improved under Gary Gold who always seems to get more out of teams.

Irish coming up means there isn't a pushover fixture either.

It's going to be full on!

 
Re: Looking ahead to the new season
Parawasp (IP Logged)
10 August, 2017 20:16
Not seen it here but maybe this has been reported elsewhere, Tom Bristow has signed for Narbonne for a limited time (3months at least) as injury cover. I hope this does not have any consequences for the depth our our resources up front. However, regular game time in a league where they like to scrum might be good experience.

 
Re: Looking ahead to the new season
Heathen (IP Logged)
10 August, 2017 20:29
Quote:
Rob Smith
Very much agree with that Heathen. Only intangible for me is the affect of the law changes on Wasps - difficult to predict if they will help or hinder

Rob, please remind me what those law changes are.

 
Re: Looking ahead to the new season
Heathen (IP Logged)
10 August, 2017 20:37
Quote:
Parawasp
Not seen it here but maybe this has been reported elsewhere, Tom Bristow has signed for Narbonne for a limited time (3months at least) as injury cover. I hope this does not have any consequences for the depth our our resources up front. However, regular game time in a league where they like to scrum might be good experience.

Tom is no longer a Wasps player. He was offered a new contract but obviously wanted more game time that Dai could not guarantee. Was expecting him to end up with another Prem club.

Narbonne as a medical joker seems a very strange move.

[www.rcnm.com]

 
Re: Looking ahead to the new season
backdoc (IP Logged)
10 August, 2017 21:28
Narbonne are second division.
Strange, unless there is change in the structure of the club such as has happened to Pau, La Rochelle recently

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