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WE'LL GET THEM SINGING THE BLUES


By Darraghgirl
December 6 2018

This weekend sees the second instalment of European rugby – the back to back fixtures which often decide the group hierarchy (who can forget what happened against Clermont last year!) This year our opponents are Cardiff Blues; the first game at Allianz on Sunday followed by the return at Cardiff Arms Park the following Saturday.  

The Blues are not out of the competition but having achieved a good win over Lyon in France in round 1, they lost at home to Glasgow the following weekend (in the famous "kit clash" game). They sit in 3rd with 4 points, just a point behind Glasgow who have 5, and both clubs trailing Sarries (who are on 9 points). However Cardiff know that if the results go their way this weekend anything is still possible. Glasgow are up against Lyon (who are probably out of it). If the French are typically French and capitulate, both Sarries and Blues know they will need to be at their best if they either of them is to progress.

Blues have had a bit of a mixed season in the Pro-14 so far, winning 4 out of 10 games (with Glasgow interestingly sitting on top of Conference A having won 8 from 10). Things didn’t start well with away defeats to both Italian clubs. This was followed by home wins over Munster and Cheetahs and an away win at Connacht. Blues then beat Dragons away before losing to Cheetahs in South Africa, then nulling Zebre at home. Their past 2 games have ended in defeat – away to Glasgow and Ulster. This Sunday will be their 3rd successive away game. (In between all this they beat Uruguay in a friendly).

I am sure everyone will remember the sickening knee injury sustained by Blue’s captain Ellis Jenkins (for Wales against South Africa) that looks likely to keep him out of the game for many months and we wish him well. Blues also lost former captain Sam Warburton to retirement in July following neck and knee surgery. Blues are likely to be without promising youngster Jim Botham (son of Liam and grandson of Sir Ian) and Josh Navidi, however they do have new welsh superstar Gareth Anscombe pulling the strings at 10 (although Blues seem to prefer to play him at fullback).

Looking through their squad, there are no fewer than 5 Williamses (to add to our 1 who will hopefully be fit! Could be a fun day for the commentators) including stand-in captain Lloyd Williams. They also feature USA Eagles’ internationals Samu Manoa & Blaine Scully, Samoan International, the wonderfully named Rey Lee-Lo, Moldovan international Dimitri Arhip, Georgian International Anton Peikrishvili, and Welsh internationals Gareth Anscombe, Scott Andrews, Kristian Dacey, Seb Davies, Jarrod Evans, Tom James, Dillon Lewis, Matthew Morgan, Josh Navidi,  Matthew Rees, Rory Thornton, Josh Turnbull, Lloyd Williams, Tomos Williams and of course our old friend Rhys Gill.

Blues rested centrally contracted Anscombe against Ulster and their other 2 heroes from the autumn internationals, Tomos Williams and Dillon Lewis were on the bench but I assume they will return this weekend. A stab in the dark (given my knowledge of all things Welsh!) and we may see something like:-

Anscombe, Scully, Millard, Lee-Lo, Harries, Evans, T Williams; Gill, Darcey, Lewis, Davies, Turnbull, Manoa, Robinson, N Williams.

Sarries gave Owen Farrell the week off last weekend but our other internationals returned to the fray, apart from Liam Williams who had a hamstring twinge. Mako has still not returned (despite original projections of 4 weeks out) but Nick Isiekwe and Juan Figallo both returned ahead of schedule giving Mark McCall a welcome selection headache (with the notable exception of loose head where unless Barrington or Mako has recovered, we are a bit light. I wasn’t convinced by Titi at loose head last week and I thought we actually improved when young Adams-Hale came on).

So we may see something along the lines of:

Goode, Maitland, Lozowski, Barritt, Lewington (or Liam if he’s fit), Farrell, Wiggy; Barrington (fingers crossed) George, Figallo, Itoje, Isiekwe, Rhodes, Earl, Wray.

No doubt McCall will show me why he chooses the team and I don’t!

The referee is predictably French, this time Romain Poite (who I have to admit is one of my favourites). John Mulvihill, Blues coach was highly critical of Stuart Berry, the South African Official in charge of their game against Ulster. Monsieur Poite is unlikely to be troubled by this. He is said to be a good referee of the set-piece and particularly the scrum. That could be a lesson to us all after last week!  This should really be a home win for a strong Sarries team – but we all know it’s a funny game!

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WE'LL GET THEM SINGING THE BLUES
TheSaracens.com (IP Logged)
06/12/2018 18:13
Great job DG!

My knowledge of Cardiff is so out of date, that I couldn't have done better.

TT

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Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2018:12:07:18:28:41 by TonyTaff.

 
Re: WE'LL GET THEM SINGING THE BLUES
Sully08 (IP Logged)
06/12/2018 21:20
Think you are pretty close with that Sarries team DG. Ben Earl has been influential coming off the bench in the last two games but may still not get a start as could see Nick starting on the back row and possibly the other Ben starts this week at 9.

Wasn't it Cardiff Blues we played in the first 'test' match at AP when we moved from Watford to our new home 5 or so years ago?

 
Re: WE'LL GET THEM SINGING THE BLUES
JO'G (IP Logged)
07/12/2018 11:27
it was and the first Sarries appearance for a certain M.Itoje at #6

his first touch was a knock-on, which had he caught would have scored a try.

I remember watching his smile after the game - not quite believing what had just happened to him.

wonder if he kicked on

 
Re: WE'LL GET THEM SINGING THE BLUES
AlanE (IP Logged)
07/12/2018 19:40
Quote:
JO'G
it was and the first Sarries appearance for a certain M.Itoje at #6
his first touch was a knock-on, which had he caught would have scored a try.

I remember watching his smile after the game - not quite believing what had just happened to him.

wonder if he kicked on

I was there. It was blydi cold.

I was 17 miles from Graybridge before I was caught by the school leopard

 
Re: WE'LL GET THEM SINGING THE BLUES
AlanE (IP Logged)
07/12/2018 19:47
Quote:
JO'G
it was and the first Sarries appearance for a certain M.Itoje at #6
his first touch was a knock-on, which had he caught would have scored a try.

I remember watching his smile after the game - not quite believing what had just happened to him.

wonder if he kicked on

I was there. It was blydi cold.

I have looked back hoping to bring this back to the subject of the thread by observing that Ben Ransom was playing. Sadly, he wasn't.

Interesting team though; who the blazes was Darren Fearn? And Ali Price? (Both on the bench)

I was 17 miles from Graybridge before I was caught by the school leopard

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