The better competition sponsored by Guinness - Round 15

Discussion in 'Guinness Pro14' started by The Alpha Bro, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. The Alpha Bro

    The Alpha Bro Fat Boi

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    A few important fixtures this week:

    Benetton at home to Scarlets, winner of that will be in a playoff spot.

    Connacht v Cheetahs, if the Cheetahs lose they probably say goodbye to any chance at the playoffs.

    Cardiff v Glasgow, Glasgow need to win to stay within a win of Munster, Cardiff need it to stay in the playoff picture.

    And finally Ospreys v Ulster where a loss for either side would really damage their playoff hopes.

    And some far from important fixtures, unsurprisingly they all have one of the three duds of the tournament in them:

    Zebra will be the next to make way for Leinster's procession to a home semi.

    Munster host the Kings, they might mistake Limerick for Glasgow with all the battering that will go on though.

    And Edinburgh get to slay the decrepit dragon which has a few screws loose.


    Have my trip for the final organised, unfortunately only one of Ster's 7 matches until that game is important!
     
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  3. munstermuffin

    munstermuffin Hall of Fame

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    Hopefully Kings dont go to Limerick as match is on in Cork.
     
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  4. Leinster Fan

    Leinster Fan First Team

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    Might be better for the Kings...
     
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  5. Bruce_ma_goose

    Bruce_ma_goose First Team

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    Heaven knows what Frankenstein teams we'll see out there. Cheetahs could win away (probably tie of the round along with Blues vs Glasgow). Strangely, I fancy the Dragons to upset Edinburgh and claim the coveted prize of 'Dud of the week'.

    Ospreys, Blues and Scarlets to complete a historic clean sweep for the Welsh regions.
     
  6. Leinster Fan

    Leinster Fan First Team

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    Leinster will probably be getting a few players back from the international camp, Jack McGrath, Rhys Ruddock and Adam Byrne would all be definitenes. Maybe a few othera as well if we're lucky. Ferg is back fit as well which is good news. No sign of Leavy though.

    We'll probably see something like: J McGrath, Tracy, Bent, Molony, Fardy, Ruddock, Penny, Deegan, JGP, R Byrne, Daly, O'Brien, O'Loughlin, A Byrne, D Kearney with a bench of E Byrne, B Byrne, Abdaladze, Kearney, Doris, O'Sullivan, Frawley and Keenan. Or something. We can afford to leave Lowe put because Daly and Byrne are miles better wingers than Kearney is a second row.

    Probably a more conservative selection but we're playing the Kings next so there'll be loads of experimentation there. The conference is as good as over though so we should be looking to give younger players as much game time as possible.
     
  7. big ginger 8

    big ginger 8 International

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    Ruddock, Porter and Byrne are back in training. McGrath is back with Leinster but not training, so potentially injured?
     
  8. munstermuffin

    munstermuffin Hall of Fame

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    McGrath trained today per pics on sportsfile. Had a different jacket on though
     
  9. big ginger 8

    big ginger 8 International

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    Henderson back for Ulster and Farrell and Conway playing for Munster so possibly a good sign for Henshaw and Ringrose.

    15. Peter Nelson
    14. Angus Kernohan
    13. Darren Cave
    12. Stuart McCloskey
    11. Louis Ludik
    10. Mike Lowry
    9. John Cooney

    1. Eric O’Sullivan
    2. Rob Herring
    3. Marty Moore
    4. Alan O’Connor (captain)
    5. Iain Henderson
    6. Clive Ross
    7. Jordi Murphy
    8. Nick Timoney

    Replacements:

    16. John Andrew
    17. Andy Warwick
    18. Tom O’Toole
    19. Kieran Treadwell
    20. Sean Reidy
    21. Dan Shanahan
    22. James Hume
    23. Rob Lyttle.

    15. Mike Haley
    14. Andrew Conway
    13. Chris Farrell
    12. Rory Scannell
    11. Darren Sweetnam
    10. Tyler Bleyendaal (captain)
    9. Neil Cronin



    1. Jeremy Loughman
    2. Niall Scannell
    3. John Ryan
    4. Jean Kleyn
    5. Billy Holland
    6. Fineen Wycherley
    7. Chris Cloete
    8. Arno Botha

    Replacements:

    16. Rhys Marshall
    17. Liam O’Connor
    18. Stephen Archer
    19. Darren O’Shea
    20. Gavin Coombes
    21. Alby Mathewson
    22. JJ Hanrahan
    23. Dan Goggin
     
  10. Amiga500

    Amiga500 First Team

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    No Addison being back is a bit strange - he injured in Irish camp?
     
  11. Tooting Carmen

    Tooting Carmen Academy Player

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    The Ospreys team to play Ulster at the Morganstone Brewery Field on Friday 15th February 2019, KO 7.35pm, is as follows:

    15 Dan Evans

    14 Hanno Dirksen

    13 Cory Allen

    12 Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler

    11 Luke Morgan

    10 Sam Davies (Capt)

    9 Tom Habberfield


    1 Jordan Lay

    2 Scott Baldwin

    3 Tom Botha

    4 Lloyd Ashley

    5 Bradley Davies

    6 Olly Cracknell

    7 Sam Cross

    8 James King



    REPLACEMENTS

    16 Scott Otten

    17 Rowan Jenkins

    18 Ma’afu Fia

    19 Will Griffiths

    20 Rob McCusker

    21 Matthew Aubrey

    22 Luke Price

    23 Keelan Giles


    Jordan Lay makes his Ospreys debut

    Will Griffiths will make his Guinness PRO14 debut if he comes off the bench

    Dan Evans makes his 100th PRO12/14 appearance for the Ospreys


    The following players were unavailable for selection due to international duty:

    Adam Beard, Aled Davies, Alun Wyn Jones, George North, Nicky Smith, Justin Tipuric and Owen Watkin (All Wales); Giorgi Nemsadze (Georgia)


    The following players were unavailable for selection due to injury:

    Dan Baker – Knee; Rhodri Jones - Shoulder; Lesley Klim – Hamstring; Dan Lydiate – Elbow; Gareth Thomas – Ankle; Scott Williams - Back


    IMO Ulster's starting fifteen is certainly stronger than the Ospreys', but the benches are comparable and home advantage might just see the Ospreys scrape this.
     
  12. Tooting Carmen

    Tooting Carmen Academy Player

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    Actually, believe it or not the four Welsh teams have sometimes all won during the same weekend in the league - most recently in December 2015.
     
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  13. Leinster Fan

    Leinster Fan First Team

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    What the f*** does Bill Johnstone have to do to get a game. It's at home to the Kings, it's literally not going to get any easier.

    Munster have a bizarre fear of picking players who are younger than 23.
     
  14. munstermuffin

    munstermuffin Hall of Fame

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    I suppose a start would be not be injured. He rolled his ankle in training and isn't 100%.
    I think if you followed us closely in games you'd see it is usually Bill at 10 and Tyler at 12 in these type of games. In fact this is Tylers 1st start at 10 this season.
    Bill did all media earlier in week and would've started if fit. So hardly a fear of picking any lad but more common sense a player 100% is better than a lad who has 1 leg
     
  15. snoopy snoopy dog dog

    snoopy snoopy dog dog First Team

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    Johnston is a really big talent and I agree that when internationals have been on duty, he's featured in 3 of the last 4 games for Munster at 10. While he's had his injury problems, he really should have more than 9 appearances in red by now though. As a comparison, Ciarán Frawley is nearly a year younger and has 10 games for Leinster despite having Johnny Sexton, Ross Byrne and Joey Carbery (last season) in a queue ahead of him. Scott Penny has about 40 international backrowers to compete with at Leinster yet has 4 appearances as a teenager. Angus Kernohan and Michael Lowry have more than 10 appearances each for Ulster.

    Munster are slower to pick young players, that's unarguable. Is it because they're not good enough or they're not given enough opportunities? I'm not sure. Calvin Nash featured quite a bit last season but only has a few minutes off the bench this season. Maybe the coaching staff don't rate him having given him a chance. Against that, they've invested a lot of time in Fineen Wycherley as a young player this season. I'd love to see a fit again Jack O'Sullivan, John Hodnett, Calvin Nash, Jonathan Wren and Bill Johnston given opportunities to show how good they can be this season.
     
  16. munstermuffin

    munstermuffin Hall of Fame

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    But the bits being ignored is Bill has had 1 major injury and alot of shorter term injuries. He has suffered alot because of that.
    Bill would have had alot more opportunities if fit. Frawley has a few off the bench also. At 10 that is because Leinster up to last year were loosing 2 10's on international weekend. Munster loose no one so it is a bit harder. Coaches have to factor in the way the fixtures are you have to keep the regular starters who aren't internationals ticking over for Europe too.
    Calvin Nash featured but again has a few injuries and the coaches issue is trying to figure out where is best to put him.
    Also we don't have as strong an academy as Leinster so will never have the same output. That is just facts. And Ulster is not a comparable situation as they are at a different stage completely. The likes or Wren and a few others will certainly get game time but it is also a small bit different when some of the youngsters aren't in the academy and living down in West Cork. Although most are in UL now.
     
  17. big ginger 8

    big ginger 8 International

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    15. Dave Kearney (130)
    14. Adam Byrne (48)
    13. Rory O’Loughlin (55)
    12. Conor O’Brien (12)
    11. Barry Daly (30)
    10. Ross Byrne (62)
    9. Jamison Gibson-Park (66)
    1. Jack McGrath (140)
    2. James Tracy (84)
    3. Andrew Porter (45)
    4. Ross Molony (78)
    5. Scott Fardy (35) CAPTAIN
    6. Josh Murphy (15)
    7. Max Deegan (35)
    8. Caelan Doris (9)

    16. Bryan Byrne (35)
    17. Peter Dooley (56)
    18. Michael Bent (116)
    19. Mick Kearney (45)
    20. Jack Dunne (0)
    21. Hugh O’Sullivan (8)
    22. Noel Reid (114)
    23. Jimmy O’Brien (3)

    Very strong team if not the most balanced backrow.

    Porter's 20th appearance but only his third start of the season. The weird life of being behind the best tighthead in the world for club and country.
     
  18. snoopy snoopy dog dog

    snoopy snoopy dog dog First Team

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    I respect your opinion @munstermuffin but disagree with points of it. When internationals are on duty, it does afford young players a chance to play. Equally, when you have decidedly average 10s and other positions in front of you, you should really be getting more game time. Munster would be rewarded for investing in talented youth on a more frequent basis. Young home grown talent is cheaper than importing from outside. While there's not as much talent in Munster as Leinster due to demographics, most teams around Europe would kill to have their academy. It's be great to see a Munster squad which was primarily developed within the province. They're more than capable of doing so even if it takes a few months of pain. Look at Leinster in Leo Cullen's first season as head coach as an example of it being done.

    That's a strong Leinster team @big ginger 8. Presumably Scott Fardy is backrow cover.
     
  19. munstermuffin

    munstermuffin Hall of Fame

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    Yes but as a 10 for example. Say we are preparing for Europe. Do you give Ian Keatley the bones of 4-5 weeks off to play a younger 10. The risk is then Ian could've came in rusty to Europe. Now Bill J was not fit. I agree it does take a few months of pain but we are just still in the era of getting 1 single base. This is improving and it will be 2 more years before you see a more steady flow.
    But look at guys like Fineen, Liam O'Connor, Sean O'Connor,Gavin Coombes and you will see other kids like Billy Scannell and other 20's get breakthrough.
    But the offset is we do need to try win games and build the base first. Confidence and ability is getting there with starters but not there yet.
    Like if you look at Leinster - they have a massive advantage as they have more schools at a higher level and more of a pool. And that helps when developing at competitive edge at academy stage.
     
  20. big ginger 8

    big ginger 8 International

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    I'd imagine he is. Kind of surprised it's Dunne on the bench though. Leinster held Penny out of some training thing the forwards are doing today so surprised he's not involved. Oisin Dowling is also being converted to backrow so kind of surprising he's not ahead of Dunne. Also unlucky that some of Leinster's planning for this situation fell through. Dave Aspil was training with Leinster but got injured playing AIL.
     
  21. The Alpha Bro

    The Alpha Bro Fat Boi

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    Penny was at the open training in Lansdowne today.
     
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