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Premiership Rugby 19/20 - the Semi Finals!

BPM

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With Simmonds going off, and Exeter having the extra game, I wouldn't count them out at all
Not sure Simmonds’ injury is serious. I hope not. He’d be a huge loss for both/either final.
 

TBeastT

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Not sure Simmonds’ injury is serious. I hope not. He’d be a huge loss for both/either final.
Yeah he looked fine once he got onto his feet. Definitely seemed more like a precaution since the game was more or less over than a genuine injury.
 

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Yeah he did look okay once up but was in a lloott of pain initially - chances are he'll be fine but you never know
 

BPM

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True. Although, speaking from personal experience, I’ve had cramp that hurt a hell of a lot more than broken bones, dislocations and other more serious muscle strains etc. Let’s hope it’s nothing serious for Simmonds.
 

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I'm just comparing it to Manu who went down similarly but went off the pitch ok - Achilles is one of those injuries that only boots off when you stretch it a certain way (like when a player does their a/mcl but looks okay until they move laterally)
 

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I know. I’m just trying to be optimistic.
 

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Stephen Jones singing the praises of Jack Willis in the ST today. Was he that good v Bristol? Didn’t watch it myself.
 

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He was Motm. Healey said that if Jones doesn't play him this autumn England should find a new coach. You look at the stats though, he's won 44 turnovers. Next highest is Blair Cowan on 19. He's also scored 9 tries this year. He's pretty much involved in most of what Wasps do well.
 

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Lots of good options for Jones in the back row. Exciting times for England.
 

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Stephen Jones singing the praises of Jack Willis in the ST today. Was he that good v Bristol? Didn’t watch it myself.
He genuinely is quality, Gopperth joked last week that MOM only went to him as Willis was rested, it’s not far from the truth he gets A lot of them, when he doesn’t he would be in the run in. He is very good at most things, his Jackling was what initially got him noticed but he’s added some good carrying and tackling, his try saver yesterday was unreal.
 

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Willis needs to start or be on the bench, if not I fully support us getting a new coach. Jones needs to play in form players and Willis is the best back row at the moment.
 

TBeastT

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Yeah I’ve been a massive supporter of Hill at 6 for a long time as he is everything that I look for in a blindside but Willis’ form can not be ignored.

I’d like:
6. Willis
7. Curry
8. Dombrandt
 

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Yeah I’ve been a massive supporter of Hill at 6 for a long time as he is everything that I look for in a blindside but Willis’ form can not be ignored.

I’d like:
6. Willis
7. Curry
8. Dombrandt
Thats pretty hard to disagree with although I wouldn’t be upset by Simmonds, Dombrandt Or Earl at 8.
 

TBeastT

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Thats pretty hard to disagree with although I wouldn’t be upset by Simmonds, Dombrandt Or Earl at 8
Personally don’t think Earl is quite powerful enough to really be a starting 8 option at international level but Simmonds I agree with. Despite being much smaller than Dombrandt I actually think he does much more damage in the high contact areas due to his relentless leg drive while Dombrandt runs much better lines so does better where defenders are slightly more scarce.

I rate Earl very highly but think his caps will have to either come at 7 or more likely, as a specialist 20 who can cover all 3 back row slots to a high standard off the bench.
 

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Personally don’t think Earl is quite powerful enough to really be a starting 8 option at international level but Simmonds I agree with. Despite being much smaller than Dombrandt I actually think he does much more damage in the high contact areas due to his relentless leg drive while Dombrandt runs much better lines so does better where defenders are slightly more scarce.

I rate Earl very highly but think his caps will have to either come at 7 or more likely, as a specialist 20 who can cover all 3 back row slots to a high standard off the bench.
It depends what kind of 8 you are looking for, I agree he is never go to be a bulldozer but can see him playing in a similar way to Faletau pre recent injury run.
 

TBeastT

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It depends what kind of 8 you are looking for, I agree he is never go to be a bulldozer but can see him playing in a similar way to Faletau pre recent injury run.
Don't think Earl's anywhere near as strong as Faletau was and definitely nowhere near as large. Earl's only listed as 102kg. That seems a touch small to me but I can't see him being over 105. You'll struggle to find an 8 who's thrived at international level in the modern era who's been under 110. Don't get me wrong, size and strength isn't everything but at No. 8 it definitely counts for a fair bit. I wouldn't hate to see him at 8 but I think we'd run into the exact same problems that NZ had playing Savea at 8 on the weekend (for reference he's 103kg).

I actually think that having a small, fast 8 can work at international level but you need a pair of flankers who can really pick up the slack when it comes to carrying in the tight. I know that Willis and Curry aren't slouches with ball in hand and Underhill's improved his ball carrying but they still wouldn't meet the grade. You'd need a Dombrandt/Ewers type at 6, but Ewers isn't in contention and if you're going to start Dombrandt then you may as well just put him at 8. Any other combo with Earl at 8 just looks massively underpowered IMO.
 
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TRF_Olyy

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I don't think there's anything between Earl and Simmonds in the power stakes - nor the size stakes, one is 6ft1 102kg, the other 6ft0 102kg
 

Which Tyler

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I don't think there's anything between Earl and Simmonds in the power stakes - nor the size stakes, one is 6ft1 102kg, the other 6ft0 102kg
And I've spent the last couple of years trying (and often failing) to convince the hive mind that Zach, at 6'3 and 112kg isn't necessarily too small - as is so often claimed
 

TBeastT

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I don't think there's anything between Earl and Simmonds in the power stakes - nor the size stakes, one is 6ft1 102kg, the other 6ft0 102kg
Disagree on power. Simmonds often carries off 9 directly into high contact areas whereas Earl is usually deployed in the wide channels. That could be purely a difference in play style but... play to your strengths y'know? That said I do still think that Simmonds would be underpowered as an 8 at international level and like Earl will probably be seen as a 20 who can do a job in every back row slot.

And I've spent the last couple of years trying (and often failing) to convince the hive mind that Zach, at 6'3 and 112kg isn't necessarily too small - as is so often claimed
In fairness Mercer was much lighter when that conversation was going on, and I'd argue the reason he still hasn't really put his hand up for international duty is his lack of power and physicality. Certainly isn't an issue with his skill, speed or workrate.
 

Which Tyler

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In fairness Mercer was much lighter when that conversation was going on, and I'd argue the reason he still hasn't really put his hand up for international duty is his lack of power and physicality. Certainly isn't an issue with his skill, speed or workrate.
Yes, he was 105kg in his first season, which has increased each year since. A lack of power has always been (and still is) a perception that simply isn't borne out by reality (unless BillyV is the only #8 he can be compared to)
The problem has never been that he lacked power, just that he wasn't as powerful as he thought he was. He graduated from being a very poweful age-grade player to being a moderately powerful senior player, who was playing as if he were very powerful. He went away and worked on it, and it was only a valid observation for his first season or so of senior rugby.
As ever, it takes way too long for any player to shake off the criticisms that were valid in their first year. Some take a few years (if only Watson played FB for his club...) some an entire career (if only Tait had better core strength to position himself in a tackle, if only Hodgson learned how to tackle, if only Simpson-Daniel could go 2 months without breaking...).
 
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