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edinburgh_gunner
20-08-06, 10:17 PM
I thought I'd start the thread seeing as no one else did.



So, a new season is upon us and a new name for the Celtic League. The Magners League will be sure to throw up some great games and the title race, in my opinion, could be the closest yet. Ulster, Munster and Leinster are always up there, and former champions Ospreys will want to build on their solid end to last season. The Cardiff Blues also began to play well at the end of last year and might well be up there at the business end of the season. The newly privatised Edinburgh Gunners will be another team wanting to build on the success of last year, with a dip in form during the 6 nations costing them a shot at the title, the new owners will be wanting Edinburgh to keep up the challenge the hole year round . Always a threat, the Llanelli Scarlets had a poor season last year but with the addition on Stephen Jones could fortunes change for the men from Llanelli?



It's too early to really make any predictions, but I'd fancy one of the Irish teams to take the title this year. Of course, I'm going to say the Gunners are in with a chance, but won't every supporter say that their club could win the league? One thing's for sure, we're going to see some great games.

loratadine
21-08-06, 11:30 PM
heres mt top 6 prediction

1-ospreys
2-leinster
3-scarlets
4-munster
5-gunners
6-ulster

edinburgh_gunner
22-08-06, 07:32 AM
Originally posted by loratadine@Aug 21 2006, 10:30 PM
heres mt top 6 prediction

1-ospreys
2-leinster
3-scarlets
4-munster
5-gunners
6-ulster
What makes you think that the Ospreys will go from 6th to 1st, and Ulster do the reverse? I'd probably put the Blues ahead of the Scarlets though, but not 3rd.

Bullitt
22-08-06, 07:58 AM
Originally posted by edinburgh_gunner+Aug 22 2006, 07:32 AM-->
<!--QuoteBegin-loratadine@Aug 21 2006, 10:30 PM
heres mt top 6 prediction

1-ospreys
2-leinster
3-scarlets
4-munster
5-gunners
6-ulster
What makes you think that the Ospreys will go from 6th to 1st, and Ulster do the reverse? [/b]
Blind optimism as he supports them would be my guess.

loratadine
22-08-06, 10:48 PM
well,when they have alot of there key players back now and have recruited well, remember when they had guys like jonesy,henson and cockbain they were unstoppable in the cl, and showed signs at the end of lst yr.

adam jones
duncan jones
brent cockbain
ian evans
ryan jones

justin marshall
james hook
gavin henson
shane williams
sonney parker
lee byrne

quality.

Bullitt
22-08-06, 11:18 PM
Stephen Jones on his own should make the Scarlets the strongest team in Wales this season. This is assuming they don&#39;t go bust with the Stradey park fiasco.

el_tk
23-08-06, 09:57 PM
Originally posted by Teh Mite@Aug 22 2006, 11:18 PM
Stephen Jones on his own should make the Scarlets the strongest team in Wales this season. This is assuming they don&#39;t go bust with the Stradey park fiasco.
I think the Ospereys and Cardiff will finish above them this year. I think Leinster could have a decnet chance if the new signings fit in.

edinburgh_gunner
25-08-06, 08:05 PM
I notice the Irish sides will be without their internationals for the first wee bit of the season. Just happens to mine and Loratadines luck that, instead of playing one of the irish sides, the Gunners play the Ospreys on the first day of the season. I think that that might mean that&#39;ll it&#39;ll be either a Scots or Welsh side winning the title. When you lose a few games back to back your shot at the title is as good as dead (happened to us) and without their internationals it might be the case for Leinster, Ulster and Munster.


To say that the Ospreys are unstopable is a bit of an exageration. I mean, they&#39;ll going to have a vastly better season this year and they are a good team, but when they won the Celtic League they did so on the final day of the season (humping the Gunners senseless from what i remember). But other sides have improved since then, we certainly have and Glasgow have made some good summer signings (in true Weegie form they&#39;ll start well and then get their arses kicked thereafter though) to give an example of just 2.


On the subject of the Ospreys v. Gunners match, it&#39;s going to be rather tasty. We found how to score tries again at the end of the year, and our back row (even without Taylor at the moment) is probably the best in the league in my completley unbiased opinion (pffffffffffff). The Ospreys also played some rather sexual rugby at the end of the season and it&#39;ll be a good one to watch. Is it on BBC wales Lora?

el_tk
29-08-06, 08:35 PM
I notice the Irish sides will be without their internationals for the first wee bit of the season. Just happens to mine and Loratadines luck that, instead of playing one of the irish sides, the Gunners play the Ospreys on the first day of the season. I think that that might mean that&#39;ll it&#39;ll be either a Scots or Welsh side winning the title. When you lose a few games back to back your shot at the title is as good as dead (happened to us) and without their internationals it might be the case for Leinster, Ulster and Munster.[/b]

Losing players will probably hurt Munster the most as they will be missing more or less their entire pack and their backline isn&#39;t the strongest in the first place. Luckily Leinster don&#39;t have a pack to lose (only Keith Gleeson) and have a free weekend in the first round so will effectively lose their players for one less game and they have good young backs to cover for the first teamers. Also probably most importantly they have Contepomi from the start whereas Munster will be without ROG and Humphreys is apparently an injury doubt for Ulster.

loratadine
29-08-06, 10:04 PM
ummm, yeah its on S4C. should be a good one.

el_tk
01-09-06, 06:13 PM
1st prediction: Cardiff to beat Munster tonight.

loratadine
02-09-06, 10:38 AM
cardiff beat munster and dragons won away at glasgow

edinburgh_gunner
02-09-06, 01:35 PM
Yeah good result for Cardiff and the Dragons. I don&#39;t think too much should be read into Munster&#39;s deafeat as they&#39;re missing their Irish internationals. The Dragons seem to have moved on from last year, as Glasgow have made some good singings this summer. They&#39;re still a big bunch of gadgies though.

edinburgh_gunner
02-09-06, 09:27 PM
Osprey 17-11 Gunners.


Dissapointed, as we were winning untill the last five. It&#39;s discipline, but a marked improvement on the last time we played them down there, but they did not look anything special. We&#39;ll just have to get on with it and beat the Ospreys.

loratadine
02-09-06, 09:30 PM
lol, its the first game of the season, both sides looked average.

edinburgh_gunner
02-09-06, 10:15 PM
Well I didn&#39;t see the match cause I was playing at the time so I was going on the match reports I could find.

loratadine
03-09-06, 12:13 AM
yes and as i said, it would be naive to pass judegemnt on one game let alone the first of the season, both teams will get better im sure.

An Tarbh
08-09-06, 08:31 PM
Well they musn&#39;t have improved that much after going down at the Sportground tonight.

Symclaw
09-09-06, 03:29 PM
yey! the scarlets won! Great try from Gavin Evs, Peel is a god! Daniels third try was slitghtly dodgey tho, I think the Stradey park factor helped us quite a bit.

edinburgh_gunner
10-09-06, 12:46 PM
And the fact Glasgow are ****....

Symclaw
11-09-06, 10:51 AM
oh that&#39;s a given

Symclaw
12-09-06, 09:12 PM
Ooooooh! Great game at rodney parade. Dragons were awesome in the 1st half, surely the Brew brothers will be involved with the welsh squad, Charvis was good but poor decision at the end. But what a backline! Sceeeeeeeeaaarlets!

getofmeland
12-09-06, 09:27 PM
As a Magners League Newbie, where would you recommend me being able to get to watch games and stuff... any particular channel???

An Tarbh
12-09-06, 09:38 PM
Depends on your tv package, if you&#39;re with Sky you should be able to get matches on BBC Wales and S4C. That&#39;ll get you the matches involving the Welsh teams and if you want the Irish or Scottish games they&#39;ll be on Setanta.

getofmeland
12-09-06, 09:57 PM
Ahh cool, well I have Sky, so will try to catch some of them... try to get into some of it so I contribute to the Magners League

Symclaw
13-09-06, 09:51 AM
Another big one tonight. Ospreys- Blues tonight on S4C. Thoughts?

loratadine
13-09-06, 02:37 PM
ummm this is gunna be a tough one, lyn has tinkered a bit putting hook on the bnech and henson at 10, im sure this is partly to do wif lyn maybe believing it is to soon for the young lad to compete in the local derby so early in the season.

the blues did the dbl over us last year so wud be nice to get some revenge.

shanks is strting for the blues and he looked decent for 20 mins against munster interesting battle in the centres between shanks and sonney parker

also at half back justin will be looking to marshal phillips, haha.

it could really go either way but i think itll be an high scoring game with the ospreys winning by a score.

SmokeyMonkey
13-09-06, 05:12 PM
I reckon the Blues will win quite easily, like they did last season.
But I&#39;m gonna be supporting the Ospreys, one of the reasons being that I don&#39;t want a good Blues team hiding the fact that Dai Young is not a good coach!

loratadine
13-09-06, 10:45 PM
ospreys pipped it 18-16

edinburgh_gunner
13-09-06, 10:56 PM
A good recovery from the weekend then.

edinburgh_gunner
15-09-06, 09:56 PM
Fantastic performance from the Gunners tonight to end the Ulster unbeaten record. We were alot better in attack and our defence was fantastic, so many times we smashed Ulster back and we didn&#39;t concede a try. The referee was sooo **** though, for us more than Ulster, but **** all the same. A good result and I hope this proves that we are true title contenders.

loratadine
15-09-06, 11:04 PM
ospreys second strng were pretty dominant although a lil unconvincing in beating the borders 30-13

scarlets beat connacht 37-15 to continue there impressive run.

edinburgh_gunner
15-09-06, 11:05 PM
Shock result for the Warriors tonight, considering how consistently gash they are. Even though it was really a 2nd XV from Munster they did well.

loratadine
15-09-06, 11:07 PM
yeah they did, i cant reall see an irish side winning this year apart from maybe ulster, munster and leinster are **** without there international firepower

i think its between

ospreys
scarlets
blues
ulster
gunners

edinburgh_gunner
15-09-06, 11:53 PM
I&#39;d be surprised if the Scarlerts form continued, and i&#39;d be equally surprised if they were still around at the end of the year. But, it really could be any number of teams who lift the trophy. Obviously, the Gunners and Ospreys aswell as Munster and Leinster suffer alot with the internationals and that could ruin our chances, but aswell as us 4 the Scarlets and Blues are worth an outside punt and Ulster will still be up there. Looks like the most open championship yet.

PeeJay
16-09-06, 03:46 PM
If the Scarlets won the league, I would be over the moon. We&#39;re ****e without our internationals like Dwayne, Stephen, Mark and Matthew J.

loratadine
17-09-06, 10:34 AM
umm i think weve got the strongest SQUAD in the league by far

An Tarbh
17-09-06, 11:00 AM
we being the Ospreys???

loratadine
17-09-06, 12:28 PM
thats right.

An Tarbh
17-09-06, 01:06 PM
Leinster providing the only Irish win this weekend, hardly surprising really at this stage of the season. A lot of work to be done at the lineout, not just a case of blaming the throwing but a lot of problems with the lifting as well, didn&#39;t help that the ref seem to let a lot of shenanigans go either. Good win for Leinster though, thought Fitzgerald looked good with his first few touches but didn&#39;t see much ball, definitely a serious prospect though. Every win at this stage of the season is a bonus for the Irish teams.

Rugby_Cymru
29-10-06, 07:53 PM
I&#39;m all behind Scarlets/Ospreys being up for contention of winning the league. The blues will do well to compete highly again and Dragons are such the underdog that i pray they give many upsets throughout the season.
But i fear the Irish teams (and Edinburgh). When European performances are pulled out like what Munster can do, then there&#39;s plenty to fear. Edinburgh have progressed greatly as of late. They are becoming an exceptional side. When i went to see the Ospreys beat them for the title back in march &#39;05 10,000 turned up EXPECTING the win and a comfortable one at that. For any EUROPEAN supporter to do that now would be foolish.
Teams are getting better in our league, which is great, and the "whipping boys" are no longer conceding points like they once did.

Hard to say who&#39;ll take the league this year.

An Tarbh
30-10-06, 11:53 AM
I&#39;d still say Ulster, they won&#39;t be hit as bad with international call ups and this November period could be crucial for them in picking up the wins where Leinster, Llanelli and Edinburgh will be hit much harder.

edinburgh_gunner
31-10-06, 11:12 PM
Our squad is alot stronger this year, but we still lose key players like: Hall, Murray, Hogg, Taylor, Blair, Dewey, Di Rollo, Paterson, Webster and Southwell. Players like Hodge, Mustchin, Rennie and Godman are still good players and they are capable of getting results.

An Tarbh
04-11-06, 01:03 PM
SO back into action and Edinburgh lose at home to Cardiff after 2 late tries denied Edinbugh the victory and saw them lose their unbeaten home record this season, although in fairness it was only their 5th home game of the season,

Ulster continued their march to defending their crown with a convincing bonus point win at Ravenhill against the Borders, despite being 5-3 down at the break, the champions over powered their oponents in a powerful second half performance, how they would have wished for something like that against Toulouse. Bonus point for Ulster sees them now 10 points clear although Llanelli have 3 games in hand.

An Tarbh
04-11-06, 09:48 PM
Bonus point win for Leinster at Donnybrook tonight, pretty porous defence from both teams at time but seriously the Dragon&#39;s was hemhorraging at a rate of knots. Contepomi took the **** with his first try and made an arse out of the defending tackler for his second. Willis is looking more and more composed the more he plays, he&#39;s certainly making a case to stay as no. 1 when Whitaker and Easterby are fit. Good night for Leinster and they go second temporarily, fully expect Llanelli to pick up a bp win tomorow against Munster.

DC
05-11-06, 05:10 AM
i donno about you tarbh but im in love with cillians playing style, i think he is very good and especially for how young he is.. he&#39;s got a cannon of a pass alright, and he seems to make many many good decisions

but i honestly don&#39;t believe he will stay the number 1 scrum half due to the fact that leinsters owners spent the money to bring whitaker over, im sure theyll want a return for their investment.. so unless something happens here with whitaker, i wouldnt plan on seeing cillian as the number 1 until whitakers contract is either a.) done or b.) close to done

An Tarbh
05-11-06, 08:54 AM
well with Leinster&#39;s owners being the IRFU I don&#39;t think they&#39;d mind if Willis got game time at the expense of Whitaker.

snoopy snoopy dog dog
05-11-06, 01:43 PM
Willis has looked good but I don&#39;t think he&#39;s up to starting all the time yet. Once Whitaker returns I&#39;d bring Willis on for the last 20 minutes in each game with one or two starts thrown in. Willis has supplanted Easterby as backup scrumhalf but he still needs to iron out a few creases in his game (some wayward passing at times) before he&#39;s ready to take over as the first choie number 9.

An Tarbh
05-11-06, 07:45 PM
I just feel we need to start developing our younger players and give them more game time at a higher level, I see no reason why Fitzgerald shouldn&#39;t start against Agen instead of Hickie.

Anyway back to the league and Llanelli picked up a bonus point win against Munster today to go second in the league, Munster were going along alright at only 15-12 down before the Scarlets finished them off with 2 tries.

edinburgh_gunner
05-11-06, 10:25 PM
Lyn Howells is not happy with the SRU over the selection policy. An entire change in the back line, with a winger who&#39;s never played pro before and several players in the starting XV who don&#39;t even make the bench. That was a team that only ever played together once in training, hardly ideal.

An Tarbh
05-11-06, 11:11 PM
Well it was the same for all teams so no real cause for complaints.

edinburgh_gunner
05-11-06, 11:26 PM
Lyn Howells made a very good point that technically, we should have been allowed our internationals are they are required to be rested for 7days max if the national coach wishes them to be rested, seeing as that was 8 days before the Romania match we should have pushed for the players.

My gripe is with the SRU who won&#39;t give us the money to get strength in depth, but will shaft us for meaningless games against diddy opposition.