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Staying up?!
11 July, 2017 18:21
Just out of interest, what's everyone's predictions for next season? Seeing as the fixtures are out everyone's perceptions have probably changed.

My head tells me 11th/12th and my heart tells me we could surprise everyone and get into the top 8. Are we genuinely good enough to compete? Will Venter's master tactics take us to survival? I have no idea what to expect!!

 
Re: Staying up?!
Lazyboy346 (IP Logged)
11 July, 2017 19:00
8th in a close season with 6th to 12th within a game of each other at the end

 
Re: Staying up?!
HMRH (IP Logged)
11 July, 2017 19:31
Let you know after the first few games - tough league

 
Re: Staying up?!
Margin_Walker (IP Logged)
11 July, 2017 19:31
10-12th for me.

 
Re: Staying up?!
Hugo.LI (IP Logged)
11 July, 2017 19:53
11th (hopefully) anything more than that is a very pleasant surprise

 
Re: Staying up?!
SirBurger (IP Logged)
11 July, 2017 20:06
Hopefully 11th. Worcester are the only squad that on paper we are of a similar standard to, but some of the other sides are declining forces and hopefully will underperform.

 
Re: Staying up?!
waltham (IP Logged)
11 July, 2017 23:19
If the new lads can combine well with the "old" lads quickly, then I reckon we might hover around the half-way league area...So - My prediction is 7/8th by the end of the season...(Sm149)

 
Re: Staying up?!
Alphacat (IP Logged)
12 July, 2017 00:26
It's easy to say that, but you then have to look at the quality coming in to other teams and it matches or is better than our own income [of players]. So I'm not overly optimistic.

 
Re: Staying up?!
HMRH (IP Logged)
12 July, 2017 05:26
Survival by any means will do. Other than Bristol and maybe Yorks no club really has a shot of making the step up. Time to end the promotion/relegation between the Premiership and a league of 2 others

 
Re: Staying up?!
Finno (IP Logged)
12 July, 2017 07:22
11th with a memorable 'scalp' or two along the way, will do me fine for this season, and hopefully 'push on' in the following season.

 
Re: Staying up?!
Jamiepep1 (IP Logged)
12 July, 2017 11:05
10th I think is reasonable. LBPs are going to be vital. keep picking up points and we should be safe.

 
Re: Staying up?!
ardoyneirish (IP Logged)
12 July, 2017 11:20
Quote:
Jamiepep1
10th I think is reasonable. LBPs are going to be vital. keep picking up points and we should be safe.

Totally agree, if we manage to stay competitive and get LBP's it will make all the difference... also with 2 very good premiership kickers all points we missed when it was Shane or Noakes kicking we hopefully won't have the same problem this season...

 
Re: Staying up?!
fatlad76 (IP Logged)
12 July, 2017 12:00
Quote:
HMRH
Survival by any means will do. Other than Bristol and maybe Yorks no club really has a shot of making the step up. Time to end the promotion/relegation between the Premiership and a league of 2 others

I dont quite agree with this. I do agree that the championship needs sorting out and funding but I think we are in a better place at the start of this year then we would have been had we not gone down. Getting rid of the playoffs is huge and a plus but if you are good enough you will come back straight away now .... and better for it.

Time will tell! COYI!

 
Re: Staying up?!
waltham (IP Logged)
12 July, 2017 12:09
Quote:
fatlad76
Quote:
HMRH
Survival by any means will do. Other than Bristol and maybe Yorks no club really has a shot of making the step up. Time to end the promotion/relegation between the Premiership and a league of 2 others

I dont quite agree with this. I do agree that the championship needs sorting out and funding but I think we are in a better place at the start of this year then we would have been had we not gone down. Getting rid of the playoffs is huge and a plus but if you are good enough you will come back straight away now .... and better for it.

Time will tell! COYI!

This used to be my view as well: however, there's a very strong case for ring-fencing to provide the assurance investors (and other financiers) need for the long term and also, players/staff/coaches etc. With the current system the 12th Prem and 1st placed Champ teams could end up as having a long-term yoyo status which benefits no one but would end up effectively insulating the other Prem squads.
Sadly I'm now of the opinion that Prem expansion and ring-fencing is the only rational way forward. This would also enable Champ and Prem teams to establish long-term relationships aiding squad and player development paths.

 
Re: Staying up?!
Bazzo (IP Logged)
12 July, 2017 14:42
One of the biggest benefits that i would see for ring fencing as well as the obvious financial security of investment, would be the opportunities for young players to play. So many teams are fighting for survival they cant take a chance on throwing young players in so early. The Southern Hemisphere play them very young, even in the pro 12 the age seems lower. They do not have to worry about the consequences of relegation.

Would big Joe have been played if we were fighting for survival in the Premiership last year? Maybe, maybe not. The RFU are talking about using the championship as a breeding ground for young English players, it would be easier on the clubs if they had a ring fenced league, also would not have to be so reliant on paying over the odds for S15 players.

 
Re: Staying up?!
HMRH (IP Logged)
12 July, 2017 16:11
Ring fenced with a full second team league would provide all the benefits. The championship will never be a real feeder league as there just aren't enough teams capable of challenging. RFU will not fund it nor will the Prem clubs.

I loved our time in The Championship but it's a league of 2 with a lot of other teams all doing their best to compete without the financial clout nor the grounds to do so.

 
Re: Staying up?!
Finno (IP Logged)
12 July, 2017 16:21
Quote:
waltham
Quote:
fatlad76
Quote:
HMRH
Survival by any means will do. Other than Bristol and maybe Yorks no club really has a shot of making the step up. Time to end the promotion/relegation between the Premiership and a league of 2 others

I dont quite agree with this. I do agree that the championship needs sorting out and funding but I think we are in a better place at the start of this year then we would have been had we not gone down. Getting rid of the playoffs is huge and a plus but if you are good enough you will come back straight away now .... and better for it.

Time will tell! COYI!

This used to be my view as well: however, there's a very strong case for ring-fencing to provide the assurance investors (and other financiers) need for the long term and also, players/staff/coaches etc. With the current system the 12th Prem and 1st placed Champ teams could end up as having a long-term yoyo status which benefits no one but would end up effectively insulating the other Prem squads.
Sadly I'm now of the opinion that Prem expansion and ring-fencing is the only rational way forward. This would also enable Champ and Prem teams to establish long-term relationships aiding squad and player development paths.

I agree, sadly it's the only real way forward..

 
Re: Staying up?!
PV (IP Logged)
12 July, 2017 19:17
This is going to be more a testing of our coaches than the squad imho. If they can handle the demands of the Premiership and respond effectively when they're backs are against the wall with smart selections and a game plan to keep us up, we'll survive. But I can't see us flourishing next season, I hope I'm proved wrong

 
Re: Staying up?!
dooj106 (IP Logged)
12 July, 2017 21:10
For me, the best way forward is to increase the prem to 14 and then at the end of the season have a 2 leg playoff between 14th in prem and top of championship. That not only effectively ring fences the prem and thus brings all the associated benefits already mentioned, but also keeps open a route to the prem for a championship side to come up if their is a side ready for the prem

 
Re: Staying up?!
GHA (IP Logged)
13 July, 2017 13:56
Nervous about some of our new signings, hoping for 11th upwards obviously.

 
Re: Staying up?!
Mark62 (IP Logged)
13 July, 2017 16:40
Would hope that ring fencing or not alarm bells will start ringing if there are no points well before Christmas. Don't expect to win every game but do expect them to compete in every game.

 
Re: Staying up?!
Bazzo (IP Logged)
13 July, 2017 17:26
Quote:
GHA
Nervous about some of our new signings, hoping for 11th upwards obviously.

Nervous,in that you think that they are not very good signings?

 
Re: Staying up?!
paulm1953 (IP Logged)
13 July, 2017 19:38
Quote:
ardoyneirish
Quote:
Jamiepep1
10th I think is reasonable. LBPs are going to be vital. keep picking up points and we should be safe.

Totally agree, if we manage to stay competitive and get LBP's it will make all the difference... also with 2 very good premiership kickers all points we missed when it was Shane or Noakes kicking we hopefully won't have the same problem this season...

With Bell and Marshall we will hopefully pick up points in close games. This was one of the many reasons why we were relegated. I am still trying to remove the thought from my brain of Tonks managing to miss a conversion kick against Sale at the Madstad right in front of the posts!!!!

 
Re: Staying up?!
GHA (IP Logged)
14 July, 2017 14:00
Quote:
Bazzo
Quote:
GHA
Nervous about some of our new signings, hoping for 11th upwards obviously.

Nervous,in that you think that they are not very good signings?

Hi Bazzo,

I've replied through PM as I don't want to upset or offend people on here...

 
Re: Staying up?!
HMRH (IP Logged)
14 July, 2017 14:23
Well that's no fun - spill the beans

 
Re: Staying up?!
GHA (IP Logged)
14 July, 2017 15:25
Some good, hoping there aren't too many busts among that group as the majority aren't getting any younger. Some average in average teams. Some not exactly pulling up trees in poor teams, and one who may have been promising a few years back but has had a fair few injury issues by the sounds of things.

More cast-offs rather than players other teams don't want to lose, which has become a theme at the Irish unfortunately (for whatever reason). I was more excited by the relegation season intake rather than this one, but fingers crossed nevertheless and looking forward to the LDH.

Happy now?

:p

 
Re: Staying up?!
HMRH (IP Logged)
14 July, 2017 16:47
Happier - where's the fun in a message board without opinions? Anyway without going in names I think that we need some experience and with some Premiership knowledge. The SH lads have played at a high standard albeit not always regularly and coaching can make a huge difference and a change of club can work wonders - James Short as an example.

 
Re: Staying up?!
Blarney (IP Logged)
15 July, 2017 15:21
Quote:
GHA
More cast-offs rather than players other teams don't want to lose, which has become a theme at the Irish unfortunately (for whatever reason).

The obvious one? Money.

If you're expecting a newly relegated team, with small crowds and no billionaire backer to be able to poach prime players from other top teams then you are delusional.

IMO, given our current situation, I think signing the current Scotland starting looshead, a current Italian international, a current Georgian international and a winger who has scored 100 tries in 130 odd games for one of the best teams in France is pretty damn good business.

I think our squad is stronger than last years, and that's all you could ever ask for really. We have the forward pack and the kicker to stay up, the defence will be the key area to improve.

 
Re: Staying up?!
Blarney (IP Logged)
15 July, 2017 16:37
To illustrate my point, this could be our first choice 23 next season - I defy anyone to claim it's not stronger all round!

1. Reid
2. Paice
3. Franks
4. Paulo
5. De Chaves
6. Coman
7. Cowan
8. Lomidze

9. McKibbon
10. Marshall
11. Nalaga
12. Williams
13. McLean
14. Lewington
15. Bell

16. Hobbs-Aweyomi
17. du Plessis
18. Fainga'a
19. McNally
20. Treviranus
21. Steele
22. Mulchrone
23. Tikoirotuma

 
Re: Staying up?!
GHA (IP Logged)
16 July, 2017 12:56
Delusional, thanks Blarney. I get we aren't the richest club (although we found the funds for O'Connor, Franks, Maitland for example) but I also think the money we do have sometimes hasn't been spent wisely... Sa, Van Der Linde, Waldouck, Alex Gray, Goode, Warwick, Franze...

As I said before, I'm keeping my fingers crossed and looking forward to the LDH

 
Re: Staying up?!
Lazyboy346 (IP Logged)
16 July, 2017 14:04
GHA - I'd say only CJ was a poor choice from those (Franze was before my time). Gray was a good youngster who didn't kick on, Waldouck ditto but with injuries too and he seems to have been OK at Falcons.

Warwick and Goode changed their minds wicked we couldn't have expected. Sa could have been good but was always injured. Look at Tigers with Toomua and/or Tuilagi to see that we probably made the right call in acting sooner not later.

I'd suggest that Nick and the Doc have made sensible signings that haven't broken the bank and will buy into the new team ethic. The majority have proven to be consistently capable in the top tiers of club rugby even if they aren't superstars; some may prove to be top drawer but none should be worse than average.We've also got a few who haven't played at the top level (both signings and academy) who will hopefully step up.

It'll be a tough season but we've signed experienced older players to see us through tight games. Relegation may come down to a scrum that our gnarly front row win or an older winger sneaking in for a try that a younger player may not have the nouse to pull off. If we do go down, we can reassess the approach and consider our options, including playing an academy side with 2 or 3 "star" signings if we can afford it.

 
Re: Staying up?!
16 July, 2017 17:29
I think the guys we have signed are a good fit, and we need to make sure to not sign too many players so the squad doesn't gel. I think we've signed a good amount, and the preseason games we've got will be perfect for getting the squad used to playing together.

 
Re: Staying up?!
Alphacat (IP Logged)
17 July, 2017 02:21
Worcester and Sale are the teams to target for me. I think Newcastle have finally picked up steam and will be nowhere near the bottom of the table come the end of the season.

 
Re: Staying up?!
MattM (IP Logged)
17 July, 2017 08:46
Quote:
Alphacat
Worcester and Sale are the teams to target for me. I think Newcastle have finally picked up steam and will be nowhere near the bottom of the table come the end of the season.

I agree about Newcastle. I remain convinced that Northampton will struggle this season too so I reckon we might get a scalp there.



Sponsoring Matt Kouris again for the 2017/18 season.

Usually found tweeting gibberish (via @MattMerritt)

 
Re: Staying up?!
Jamiepep1 (IP Logged)
17 July, 2017 14:57
Quote:
Blarney
To illustrate my point, this could be our first choice 23 next season - I defy anyone to claim it's not stronger all round!
1. Reid
2. Paice
3. Franks
4. Paulo
5. De Chaves
6. Coman
7. Cowan
8. Lomidze

9. McKibbon
10. Marshall
11. Nalaga
12. Williams
13. McLean
14. Lewington
15. Bell

16. Hobbs-Aweyomi
17. du Plessis
18. Fainga'a
19. McNally
20. Treviranus
21. Steele
22. Mulchrone
23. Tikoirotuma

Its hard to argue against that when the likes of Cokanasiga and Ransom (2 stand out players last year) aren't even included. Much much stronger squad this year.


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