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Premiership Rugby 19/20 - Rd 14

TRF_Olyy

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Old Hooker

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Yay!!

Shame the Sharks aren’t at home. I’ll have to save the “behind closed doors makes no difference” jibe for another time.

Great to have it back. Hopefully nothing happens over the next week to screw it all up.
 

TRF_Olyy

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BPM

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I don’t know whether no crowds takes away home advantage completely, but it definitely reduces it.

It’s also been so long that form doesn’t really come in to it. Particularly when a lot of sides will look very different to what they did prior to the break.

I’d be pretty confident picking a win for Exeter, but beyond that it’s impossible to predict. Which makes it very interesting.
 

BPM

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Mine would be quite similar:

Quins
Worcester
Exeter
Bath
Bristol
Saints

Probably a bit heart over head with Quins vs. Sale but we typically beat them at the Stoop and almost always lose at the AJ Bell.

Really hard to call these games. Who knows how the teams will come out of the blocks?
 

TRF_Olyy

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I'd lean towards all home wins - but with home not really being home (with no crowds) who knows.
We were in fine form before the break but always start really slowly at the start of the season (which it essentially is) - also throw in our lack of a lineout (no lineout specialist in the side with Lood and Beaumont still out, and Akker's darts iffy) and that could throw us off.

Worcester vs Gloucester will be interesting, with Gloucester seemingly in mass disarray atm with coaches and playing leaving by the boatload.

Bristol vs Saracens will be interesting with a couple of Saracens players now turning out for Bristol
 

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I didn’t realise Lood was still injured. Who do you expect to see at lock then? JLdP and Phillips?
 

TRF_Olyy

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Yup,

My guess is:

Oosthuizen, Akker, WGJ
Philips, JLDP
Ross, T. Curry, DdP
Faf, RdP
McGuigan, Manu, S.James, Denny
Hammersley

Langdon, Harrison, JCW, Postlethwaite, B.Curry, Cliff, AJ, Hill

Unavaialable: Lood, Beaumont, Rohan

Vaguely basing this off of the training photos where we've been training two separate 15s (half in home kit half in away - dimes mentioned that due to the schedule he'll likely have two different sides that alternate) - i'd, personally, not have an out and out centre in the 23 shirt but Luke James was in the away side, and I've got a feeling Yarde won't be selected for an away game because his Mrs gave birth to their first baby a week or so ago.
 

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Yeah - Quins ran a 15/15 game at the Stoop last week but I didn’t see enough footage to know who was in what side.

Louw and Esterhuizen are yet to arrive (not sure about Green). Clifford and Campagnaro are still injured and Collier may be unavailable as his wife gave birth last week.
 

TBeastT

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From what I saw of the Chiefs 15 v 15 it looks like:
Hepburn, Yeandle, Williams
Gray, Kirsten
Ewers, Simmonds, Vermeulen
Maunder, Simmonds
Devoto, Slade
Woodburn, Hogg, Nowell

Didn’t see any pictures of Moon, LCD, Francis or Hill so not sure what’s going on with them but the likes of Dennis, Skinner, Armand, SHC, Steenson and Cuthbert were all in away shirts.
 

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Swap Kirsten for Hill and Yeandle for LCD and that’s pretty much a first choice side. Harsh on O’Flaherty, but with Nowell available and Woodburn offering more of a ‘power’ option, I can see why he might lose out.
 

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Swap Kirsten for Hill and Yeandle for LCD and that’s pretty much a first choice side. Harsh on O’Flaherty, but with Nowell available and Woodburn offering more of a ‘power’ option, I can see why he might lose out.
Forgot about O’Flaherty. I’m fairly certain that Hodge, Cuthbert and Dollman made up the ‘away’ back three so I’d imagine that he must be nursing some kind of injury rather than that he’s been leapfrogged by all of those players.
 

scotty507

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So curious about fitness levels because Chiefs will be a hard to play against, consistant waves of carries making the opposition tackle....legs will be tested!

Also Bristol playing that fast expansive game could be tough to play against too given defences wont have played together for a while.
 

TBeastT

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I’d actually expect fitness levels to be very high. The players have had a good few months of not being able to do anything other than run and lift, and haven’t had to worry about fitting in enough rest to keep their body’s in good enough knick for matchday. That’s why we’ve seen so many players coming out with gym PBs and why not too long ago NZ players were breaking bronco records.

With that said, I’m expecting quite a few teams to switch to 6/2 bench split for the rest of the season given the short turnaround between games. The bigger forwards will be the ones struggling most fitness wise and will also be the ones hitting much more contacts than usual, so I imagine teams will be wanting to only give 45-50 minutes Per game to as many of them as possible.
 

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Agreed. Fitness shouldn’t be an issue, but the heat will also be a factor. If it stays this warm, the bigger guys will struggle.
 

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Match fitness isn’t exactly the same as fitness though is it? How the body copes with the repeated impacts of top level rugby can’t be replicated in training (especially with a long period of no contact).

Decision making under fatigue is another aspect that I feel only real matches can prepare. I can see a lot of matches opening up in the final quarter as defences fragment collectively plus individual errors increase.
 

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True. It’ll be fascinating to see how the coaches adapt their game plans.

Good use of the bench will be even more important than usual.

As weird as it’s going to be without fans in the stadiums, I’m buzzing at the thought of rugby in 3 days time!
 

scotty507

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True. It’ll be fascinating to see how the coaches adapt their game plans.

Good use of the bench will be even more important than usual.

As weird as it’s going to be without fans in the stadiums, I’m buzzing at the thought of rugby in 3 days time!
Im buzzin about it too especially as the wife is out all afternoon with her mum so i can watch all of it on saturday :)
 

TRF_Olyy

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Me waiting on the first collision
 
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