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Dragons Preview

By Seany_Boy0511
January 25 2018

After a spectacular final group stage weekend in Europe it's back to domestic rugby, in what is ultimately a development competition Saracens take on Dragons at Allianz Park on Saturday at 3pm, both teams currently not in the driving seats in their respective pools, however with this complex system of teams playing teams in other pools, mathematically both teams can still qualify for the Semi finals.

A little bit of history on Dragons, they were formed on 1st April 2003, due to the introduction of Reginal Rugby Union teams in Wales. This followed an agreement between Ebbw Vale and Newport RFC, on 12th November they became officially known as Newport Gwent Dragons, in their first season they finished a respectable 3rd in their league, but haven't really got to those heights since, their best Anglo Welsh run came in 2011 where they reached the Semi finals for the first time, however they were beaten by a strong Gloucester team. They dropped the Newport and Gwent from their name in 2017 and are now known simply as Dragons, due to be taken over by Welsh Rugby Union who also now have full control of their home stadium Rodney Parade.  More recently they have lost 4 of their last 5 games, a 33 - 17 win in the European Challenge cup wasn't enough to see them reach the knock out stages. In their domestic group they lie 6th out of 7 in their respective pool with 2 wins only this season from 13 games, and lying 4th in their AW pool and relying on Exeter and Harlequins to lose their remaining games to have any real chance of progress, seems a very tough and unlikely task. Dragons have faced Saracens 3 times one win one loss and one draw is the record against them, so very even. However Dragons do have a W next to their name in this competition, Saracens do not as yet.

Dragons do have some dangerous players in their squad , Hallam Amos and Cory Hill, along with 4 other current Wales Internationals, also they have Gavin Henson and Adam Warner who have international experience along with Zane Kircher the South African. Cory Hill is also a British and Irish lion following his tour to New Zealand in 2017. Some of the above are probably going to feature this weekend.

Onto Saracens then, who themselves have had a bit of Dodgy spell just before Christmas, as well as a draw in Wales against Ospreys 15 all meant Saracens were not in control of their European qualification. That said last week though they played their favourite enemies Northampton Saints, and Saracens response was exhilarating. They ran riot and smashed Saints 62 - 14, in 3 games this season v Saints Saracens have a points difference of  +123, with one more fixture in April to come, this result meant they did everything they could to keep their European dreams alive. Thanks to results going their way Saracens scrapped through to the quarter finals as 3rd best runners up! And a trip to the Aviva Stadium awaits.

Domestically Saracens sit 2nd in the Aviva premiership 5 points short of leaders and current champions Exeter (who Sarries face off with in the AW next weekend)as for the Anglo Welsh  pool 3 currently up in the air with only 1 win for 1 team Saracens have every chance to get into the semi final once again ( if they achieve this it would be 15 semi finals in all competitions in 6 years, a pretty fantastic achievement).

As this is largely a development competition and with injuries and international games due it is likely storm players will feature predominantly in this fixture, with some loanees from other teams as well. Players who would be expected to be on show would be the Likes of Nick Tompkins, Max Malins, Matt Gallagher, Jack Nay, Danny Cutmore and new signing Sione Vainula. Others who may feature are Richard Barrington, Scott Spurling, Kieron Longbottom, Tom Whiteley and Joel Conlon.

On paper and recent form Sarries are probably favourites, however as we know this game isn't played on paper, it's played on plastic! So anything can happen

Match Prediction Saracens to win by 12.

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Dragons Preview (IP Logged)
25/01/2018 13:56
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Thanks Seany_Boy for the Dragons Preview.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2018:02:02:13:51:46 by sutton_sarrie.

Re: Dragons Preview
paulglynn (IP Logged)
26/01/2018 00:25
I don't think that Richard Barrington will play this week as he has been in south Africa with Vincent and billy

Re: Dragons Preview
TonyTaff (IP Logged)
26/01/2018 10:52
And thanks to SS for doing the publishing!

I believe that Hallam Amos is crocked, though he could use our legendary surface for some recuperation!

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Re: Dragons Preview
rebelsrugby (IP Logged)
26/01/2018 11:05
Does anyone know if the game is broadcast on any radio station etc?

Re: Dragons Preview
TonyTaff (IP Logged)
27/01/2018 12:53
BBC RADIO Newput, perhaps? winking smiley

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