[2018-19 Guinness Pro 14] Round 17 (01-03/03/2019)

Discussion in 'Guinness Pro14' started by Bruce_ma_goose, Mar 1, 2019.

  1. Bruce_ma_goose

    Bruce_ma_goose Senior Member

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    Normal service resumed for Zebre, losing a point a minute at home to Glasgow. I've had to stop watching to preserve what remains of my sanity. They started brightly enough, but just have an absence of class across the park. Canna and Castello look like they are in a bit of a slump. They'd best regain their mojo for the RWC.
     
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  3. Bruce_ma_goose

    Bruce_ma_goose Senior Member

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    Scarlets vs Munster not much better on the entertainment stakes due to the atrocious weather. Scarlets squeak it to stay alive. I'm glad, as a fit Scarlets could be a loose cannon in the playoffs.
     
  4. Leinster Fan

    Leinster Fan Senior Member

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    Munster were awful, all that possession and 6 points to show for it. By the end all the Scarlets had to do was kick and they knew Munster wouldn't be able to break them down. No invention at all.
     
  5. Ainsthrilln

    Ainsthrilln Junior Member

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    So Scarlets did win against Munster. Taking into account that they play against Zebre and Dragons in the last two rounds, I think they are now the favourites for playing play-offs.

    I do not look forward seeing Castello back in Savoy blue. I prefer Morisi.

    As per Canna, if he doesn't step up, I can see Rizzi claiming the number 22 shirt.
     
  6. Bruce_ma_goose

    Bruce_ma_goose Senior Member

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    Yes, Morisi has exceeded expectation, but I think Castello and Canna in top form would be the best back ups in an Italian 23. Sadly they are both well off that sort of form.
     
  7. Tooting Carmen

    Tooting Carmen Senior Member

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    That Ospreys result was utterly disastrous. Unless the cavalry step up after the 6N, their season is over. Ever since they had that shock home loss to an under-strength Worcester, they seem to have reverted to how bad they were last season. On the other hand, glad that both Scarlets and Cardiff won (however unconvincingly). Hopefully both of them should make the play-offs now.
     
  8. Bluemoon

    Bluemoon Senior Member

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    Weather played a part in the Cardiff win. The wind at the arms park is brutal and first half it was a factor.

    Tricky run in for Cardiff -
    Scarlets (H) Munster (A) Connacht (A) Ospreys (H) - but judgement day so no home advantage really.

    Ospreys - Dragons (H) Cheetahs (A) Kings (A) Cardiff (JD)

    Connacht - Benetton (H) Zebre (A) Cardiff (H) Munster (A)

    You’d probably say that when the Ospreys get their players back, it’s likely they’ll be pushing for third on judgement day. Connacht probably slight favourites for third spot at the moment in current form. Their Cardiff home game is probably going to decide who is playing for third on the last day - given Benetton will be a very stern test first.
     
  9. munstermuffin

    munstermuffin Senior Member

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    To be fair anyone with half a brain on rugby would appreciate the conditions yesterday were an absolute nightmare for both teams. Hard to be inventive in that weather never mind when you're not near full strength.
    A loosing BP was good. Obviously we wanted the win but in conditions like that it becomes a lottery.

    We actually had alot of linebreaks I think 3rd or 4th most of all weekend so we did break them down just couldn't finish due to poor skills at times.
     
  10. Leinster Fan

    Leinster Fan Senior Member

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    Obviously the conditions played a part, on the Scarlets were constantly offside the entire game (which is coming into the game a lot and refs seem to be willing to let it go which is ridiculous), but Munster didn't make the Scarlets work or think in defence at all. Munster's skills let them down as well. I've seen Felix Jones come in for a bit of a pounding but I'm not sure if that's fair without seeing what goes on behind closed doors.
     
  11. munstermuffin

    munstermuffin Senior Member

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    Felix has got flak for over a year now. But it's hard when you have so many returning and well weather dictated.
    Factor in 2, 7, 10, 14, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 apl severely lacking match fitness. That is 11 of 23 players. We lost and it not detrimental as our depth isn't huge yet we were down 12 starters and a few more. That isn't an excuse but simply that mixed with conditions made it a lottery
     
  12. Amiga500

    Amiga500 Senior Member

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    Munster's ranged passing has been atrocious for far too long to blame a few injuries and one off weather though.

    Its not a new problem, and arguably one that has existed for most of the past 20 years - bar the Penny era.



    edit: Anyhoo - listening to Jim and Tony on the wireless describe Ulster grinding down the Dragons. No Mícheál but sure they'll do.
     
  13. snoopy snoopy dog dog

    snoopy snoopy dog dog Senior Member

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    No Welsh team in the top 3 in either conference which given they're chasing a 6 Nations Grand Slam is hugely surprising.
     
  14. munstermuffin

    munstermuffin Senior Member

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    I never denied that. Was basing it on yesterday where skiols were what let is down. We had the try scoring chances but dropped balls at vital times. As you point out we never had the type of centres to play expansive game. Casey Laulala is probably the only real passer I remember as a 13 for example. But on yesterday passing or game style was certainly not an excuse just alot were lacking time and our depth was exposed.
     
  15. munstermuffin

    munstermuffin Senior Member

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    To be fair though Snoop. They recognize their structures are in bad way. And well they have little depth so they are trying to adopt an Irish type model but struggle with the depth.
     
  16. snoopy snoopy dog dog

    snoopy snoopy dog dog Senior Member

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    It's still hugely surprising that neither the Blues nor Scarlets are in the top 3 of their conferences. They're both more talented squads than Connacht, Treviso and Ulster.
     
  17. Leinster Fan

    Leinster Fan Senior Member

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    Warren Garland deserves a lot of credit for that, brilliant coach on the balance of the last 20+ years in the NH. The regions are in a bad way though.
     
  18. Tooting Carmen

    Tooting Carmen Senior Member

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    Connacht and Treviso yes. Not sure about Ulster though. Anyway, I think the Blues and Scarlets will make the play-offs by the end of the season, at least judging by their forthcoming fixtures. The problem was that the former started the season badly (again), this time due mostly to the unfamiliar coaching line-up, while the latter has had a massive injury crisis that only now seems to be receding. As for the other two Welsh teams, the Dragons are unspeakably poor and the Ospreys struggle more than anyone else sans international players.
     
  19. munstermuffin

    munstermuffin Senior Member

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    Have to agree. I can see Blues get in.
     
  20. snoopy snoopy dog dog

    snoopy snoopy dog dog Senior Member

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    The upcoming Connacht versus Blues match is huge.

    Ulster have a very tough run in and I can see Scarlets getting ahead of them.
     
  21. dullonien

    dullonien Senior Member

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    Yeah, the Welsh regions' struggles this season have been a major worry.

    Scarlets - unprecedented injury problems are difficult to overcome when the squad isn't the biggest. There have still been games they've lost where they should have won though.

    Blues - at times they've looked like one of the best sides in the league with their backline ripping sides apart. But in the same game they often leak soft tries and have ended up of thr loosing side far too often. Hopefully this is teething issues with the new coaching set-up and they can now push for the playoffs and be better next season.

    Ospreys - over reliant on AWJ and Tipuric. Imo Clarke is a rubbish coach who by sending 3rd string sides to take a beating has really undermined their season. Recent rumours over their future can't help.

    Dragons - poor coaching appointments don't help, whilst they're still missing quality in key positions. Should still be doing better with the players they have.

    If Scarlets and/or Blues make the play offs they could be very dangerour though.

    Also not convinced that it's Gatland that's massively over acheiving with Wales, more that the regions are chronically underachieving.
     
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