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United Rugby Championship: Round 2

Redman7

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Just watched the Benetton v Edinburgh match. Very very good watch. Lots of mistakes but plenty of attacking intent from both teams and a brilliant finish to more than make up for any amount of mistakes.

Benetton with 2 wins from 2 and rainbow cup champions could be a good shout for the playoffs. They look as good as they were a couple of seasons ago.
 

TRF_stormer2010

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3 thoughts about the South African weakness so far

1. The Stormers and Sharks are both missing a lot of internationals. They will be different sides when they turn up.
2. South African club sides are not the best tourers but this time it is more difficult with new stadiums new pitches, including 4d and different weather conditions.
3. The Northern Hemisphere referees referee the game slightly differently.

In the long run I expect the South African teams to end up on a par with the Welsh team. I don't think they will be as good as the Irish teams.
2 and 3 are big I suppose. On 1 I think the Sharks are missing a lot ITO of player personnel but not so much the other 3 sadly.

At the Stormers a lot of our forwards are coming back to different sides (PSdT, Kitshoff and Mbonambi). Not long ago we could've fielded a pack that read Kitshoff, Mbonambi, Malherbe, Etzebeth, Shickerling, Kolisi, PSdT, Vermeulen. Now we only have Malherbe returning. Orie is a Bok but TBH I rate Shickerling even at just the Stormers higher. But he has also left. Orie at least should help out our line out woes.

Think our backline is forming nicely but sadly we had a pack without the backs and now we have backs without a pack. We have Jantjies at 9 and Willemse at 12 probably returning. Our best 10 IMO is injured in the young Kade Wolhuter. So we should look good in the backs with 9 Jantjies, 10 Wolhuter, 12 Willemse once back. At 13 Pretorius is a future prospect already going nicely. Gelant at 15 for me should be starting Bok 15 with Fassi understudying and that might well have been the case but for injury prior to the B&I Lions tour as he was our best back in domestic competition by some distance. I don't really rate our wingers other than Edwill van der Merwe but the Lions have snapped him up somehow.

So I suppose to summarize our returnees will be:

3 F Malherbe (test duty)
5 M Orie (test duty)
9 H Jantjies (test duty)
10 K Wolhuter (injury)
12 D Willemse (test duty)

Apart from these I am happy with:

8 E Roos
13 R Pretorius
15 W Gelant

So there are some signings to be made yet I hope. BUT we might also see further losses. SARU has been looking to take steps against the WPRU for maladministration. TBH it should have happened ages ago. But only time will tell to what lengths SARU will go to steady the ship and if that is even possible.
 

Al Bangor

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Kudos to Glasgow on their win over the Sharks. :cool: We Are Warriors!

 
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Al Bangor

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Benneton wins on a drop goal. This team is the real deal. :)

 
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paddybrown

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One thing I think people are forgetting about the South African teams - all their games so far have been away, and home advantage is huge in rugby. Lets see where we stand when we all have to go to South Africa.

In other news, thanks to the Dragons for depriving Leinster of a bonus point! They were only ahead of Ulster and Munster last season on bonus points - the more bonus points they drop, the more chance the rest of us have.
 

Redman7

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I think the South africans will come back strong as the season goes on. A lot is being made of missing players and player turnover but not much is mentioned of about how new the coaches are. Think the Sharks have only had their management team together for 8 weeks. As the season goes on they will be better able to implement their ideas.

If we flip it and stop looking at the South african disadvantages and look at the the advantages they will have in the future there is reason to be optimistic:
1. When the south Africans play at home it will be the NH teams that need to get used to the heat, hard pitches and travel.
2. Come 6 nations the SA internationals will be resting while the best Irish, Welsh, Scotland and Italian players will be kicking lumps out of each other. And at least the irish players will be reasted for the weeks after.
3. The SA players will also be able to rest during European weekends and then target the URC games.
 

MikeTheNative

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Dragons defense was immense to be fair. Their first up tackles were ferocious and really knocked Leinster off their stride. They were also great at the breakdown. Still some uncharacteristic errors from Leinster though.

Shame Dragons couldn't really fire a shot in attack though. Poot lineout + basic handling errors really meant they never got going.

An encouraging base to work off for Dragons though. For too long they've let themselves down with lapses in defense leading to easy scores for the opposition. Just need to get the backline going where they've got some talent too.
I don't think either side would be too happy with the performance, Leinster especially but also it was a big chance for Dragons to get a win there.
Saying that though the Dragons of old, after going players done to Leinster, would have been hammered, as you said the defence was good.
Going to single out Josh Lewis for the Dragons who has really started well in the first two games.
 

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