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URC 2022/23 - Round 5

saulan

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I think it will be Stormers (although to be fair, Ospreys players will be rested) Leinster on Friday, but that Saturday is tough to call. Lions coming off a great tour and now finally back at home, but Ulster is Ulster so will they be able to keep their wins going. Sharks coming off a hard loss, Glasgow off a surprise win so not sure how to call that (unless Sharks recall Springboks). Edinburgh have had a rough season start, Benetton have had an amazing season start. Usually you'd say Edinburgh, but at the moment I'd say Benetton. Cardiff probably to win at home after their solid away win last weekend. Bulls I'd expect to be beating Munster, especially given how Munster's season has gone, but simultaneously they imploded last weekend. Still expect Bulls to bounce back though. Scarlets Zebre is tough, I want Zebre to win it because they just deserve it after their strong performances over the last couple of weeks against tough opposition.
 

TRF_stormer2010

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I wish I were as confident as you in the Stormers. Jantjies and Willemse are returning to SA so that's now 6 Bok players we are missing and the Os are looking top of the Welsh sides. I'd call it a 50/50 but we've had a magnificent unbeaten run and that knowing how to pull a game out of the fire is a thing that becomes a habit. I'll listen to my heart and back us. Leinster for me as well even if its an away derby which adds that little bit of uncertainty.

Saturday is a bloodbath though, yeah. Start of the season I'd have said Ulster to trounce the Lions but the Lions are looking like dark horses and at home they might fancy themselves for what I'd still consider a big upset so my call is still Ulster but...

Then I'm going with Sharks and Edinburgh for home Ws despite what recent results say. I think the Sharks will get a lot of impact from their returning Bokke and should be too much for Glasgow at home despite my reservations on them for anything more than a QF appearance. Edinburgh will be hurting from a series of close losses and I can see them bounce back despite Benetton's form.

Then I'm picking the Bulls over Munster. Think both sides will be getting the intensity up there. But to me eye Munster look a little lost ITO identity whereas I think for the Bulls its more a case of a bad day at the office in the Glasgow loss and it shouldn't take much to get back on top. These last three games will be huge ITO who misses out on a QF IMO.

Lastly I'm picking Cardiff and Zebre. Cardiff will need to build on their momentum if they are going to push for a QF in what is a log jam for positions 5 through 10. I don't think Scarlets- Zebre will have any bearing on the ***le at all but it should still be a competitive match and there is pride at stake in that the loser will be that much closer to getting the wooden spoon end of season.
 

dullonien

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Ospreys should put out a strong side this week after resting players last week, so expext to see AWJ, Beard, Webb, North back in the starying 15. I think Ansconbe is still out injured which is a big loss.

Cardiff v Dragons should be interesting. Dragons player better rugby atm, but they're away...

Scarlets have to beat zebra at home, they just have to....
 

Le Frére Alpha

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Connacht after a big win is usually a good time to get them. If we put out a weaker team I'd be a bit worried but anything near the level of Saturday's side should be looking for a BP.

Another Friday game I can only watch after the fact though annoyingly.
 

saulan

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I wish I were as confident as you in the Stormers. Jantjies and Willemse are returning to SA so that's now 6 Bok players we are missing and the Os are looking top of the Welsh sides.

Ah, wasn't aware that Jantjies and Willemse were heading back. Willemse more of a loss than Jantjies though. That does make it tougher, but I'm going to go along with backing the Stormers to win this one. I think Anscombe is a big loss for Ospreys. Also not sure if Ospreys are top of the Welsh pack so far. I know they rested players last week, but looking at the results, so far Cardiff has had the marginally better start (both lost to Lions, at home, Cardiff beat Munster, Ospreys beat Glasgow, Cardiff beat Scarlets away, Ospreys drew with Scarlets away, each team had one big loss). That should be an interesting game to watch really, when they clash.
 

TRF_stormer2010

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Ah, wasn't aware that Jantjies and Willemse were heading back. Willemse more of a loss than Jantjies though. That does make it tougher, but I'm going to go along with backing the Stormers to win this one. I think Anscombe is a big loss for Ospreys. Also not sure if Ospreys are top of the Welsh pack so far. I know they rested players last week, but looking at the results, so far Cardiff has had the marginally better start (both lost to Lions, at home, Cardiff beat Munster, Ospreys beat Glasgow, Cardiff beat Scarlets away, Ospreys drew with Scarlets away, each team had one big loss). That should be an interesting game to watch really, when they clash.

Having put it down I'm backing us. Considering our absentees and who still remain of the touring players, I'd expect:

1 Ali Vermaak
2 Andre-Hugo Venter
3 Neethling Fouche
4 Slmaan Moerat
5 Marvin Orie
6 Nama Xaba
7 Hacjivah Dayimani
8 Evan Roos

9 Paul de Wet
10 Manie Libbok

11 Leolin Zas (should be fit)
12 Sacha Mnegomezulu
13 Alapati Leuia
14 Angelo Davids
15 Clayton Blommetjies

16 Chad Solomon
17 Brok Harris
18 Kwenzo Blose
19 Adre Smith
20 Junior Pokomela
21 Marcel Theunissen / Willie Engelbrecht
22 Godlin Masimla
23 Dan du Plessis / Suleiman Hartzenberg / Tristan Leyds

Actually not that bad a side looking at it. We are going to be missing a few players for the end of year Bok tour and Senatla is out long term but I have confidence in this side to get us into a good position. Almost hoping Deon Fourie isn't touring with the Bokke though.. Nel should be back for our home games. Not looking too bad everything considered.

The Welsh sides are like the Aussie ones in SR where they are a bit of an unknown to me. Its just on paper the Ospreys have quite a few names I recognize. I'll try to check out the Blues as well if only to familiarize myself more with Welsh club rugby.
 

Bruce_ma gooshvili

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This is like the 3rd week on the bounce where you'd struggle to pick a game with an overwhelming favourite. I don't understand that given last season there was a big gap between the playoff contenders and the rest. I suppose three of the worst sides (Dragons and Italians) have all improved.

I fancy a Glasgow upset over the Sharks (to make me look stupid for doubting Glasgow) and for both Italians to fall short in games many expect them to win (which will probably put pressure on them).

I'd summarise all the Welsh sides except Dragons as having pretty good backs. Maybe even better than pretty good. It's kind of baffling to me how they don't do better. Whether its weaker packs, a complete lack of depth on the bench, poor coaching or what I don't know.
 

TRF_stormer2010

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I'd summarise all the Welsh sides except Dragons as having pretty good backs. Maybe even better than pretty good. It's kind of baffling to me how they don't do better. Whether its weaker packs, a complete lack of depth on the bench, poor coaching or what I don't know.
Tx for that. Is it a case of Wales not having depth in the pack or a case of their players getting poached by other competitions. Like I would argue with anyone saying SA doesn't produce good locks but looking at our provinces you would be forgiven for thinking that because we have the cream of the crop of SA locks outside of SA.
 

Al Bangor

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Warriors over Sharks.

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dullonien

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Tx for that. Is it a case of Wales not having depth in the pack or a case of their players getting poached by other competitions. Like I would argue with anyone saying SA doesn't produce good locks but looking at our provinces you would be forgiven for thinking that because we have the cream of the crop of SA locks outside of SA.

It's a little misleading to say all the welsh regions are weak up front. Ospreys have a strong pack of forwards which is a couple of players deep in most positions. As a result they are probably Wales' strongest region atm.

Dragons have strengthened theit pacl this season, but struggle with depth in a couple of positions.

Cardiff are lightweight in the tight 5, with props who often struggle against strong scrummaging opposition. My understanding is that during the pandemic the players were asked to take pay cuts in exchange for contract extensions. That has limited Dai Youngs ability to strengthen his squad until he can move some players on, those extended contracts are up at the end of this season for most, so expect to see some movement for next season.

Difficult to know where the Scarlets are going wrong atm. They have a decent pack of forwards and exciting backs on paper, but have really struggled to put it together this season + have been leaking try's in defense. They're a far better side than battling it out at the bottom of thr table.

In general though Welsh rugby has a shortage of gnarly tight five forwards which can be a big issue v sides with strong packs. But there's also a coaching issue at the regions and has been for years. I really hope the Welsh regions can sort their **** out soon because they're currently spoiling what is a really good comp in the URC. If at least 2 of the regions were competing at the top of the league it'd make it super interesting. Let's hope they can get their act together quickly!
 

TRF_stormer2010

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I suppose its early days yet and I am sure the Stormers go into the match with the Ospreys with a lot of respect.

With the first few rounds and the Lions' wins over Welsh opposition I just assumed it to be a continuation of those sides arguably underperforming (from last year) but I have an inkling that the Lions are a lot more dangerous than I'd have thought pre-season even if I don't believe they have the depth one would probably require to go deep though its not like other SA sides have the benefit of their test players so that evens the field somewhat. Soooo what I guess I am saying is that I won't see teams losing to the Lions early season as an indication of themselves being undercooked and the standard in general is quite high across the board seemingly.
 

TRF_stormer2010

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Stormers
15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Angelo Davids, 13 Alapati Leiua, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Paul de Wet, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Hacjivah Dayimani, 6 Nama Xaba, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Salmaan Moerat (captain), 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Andre-Hugo Venter, 1 Ali Vermaak
Substitutes:
16 Joseph Dweba, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Brok Harris, 19 Ernst van Rhyn, 20 Marcel Theunissen, 21 Willie Engelbrecht, 22 Godlen Masimla, 23 Sacha Mngomezulu

Lions
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Edwill van der Merwe, 13 Henco van Wyk, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Quan Horn, 10 Gianni Lombard, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Francke Horn, 7 Ruan Venter, 6 Emmanuel Tshituka, 5 Reinhard Nothnagel (captain), 4 Willem Alberts, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 JP Smith
Substitutes:
16 PJ Botha, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Pieter Jansen van Vuren, 20 Sibusiso Sangweni, 21 Morne van dern Berg, 22 Jordan Hendrikse, 23 Zander du Plessis


Stormers and Lions teams announced.

Only unexpected selections for Stormers is Du Plessis in for Mngomezulu and Kitshoff and Dweba in on the bench where I thought they weren't touring? Mngomezulu on the bench is probably cause we are running with a 6-2 split there.

That's a pretty good looking Lions side though Ulster still ought to prove too strong.
 

JohnKA

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Sharks expected to announce a very strong team for Glasgow. If they don't get 5 points this weekend it will be red flags
 

irisht

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Leinster Rugby (caps in brackets):

15. Jimmy O'Brien (56)
14. Liam Turner (6)
13. Garry Ringrose (105) CAPTAIN
12. Charlie Ngatai (4)
11. Rob Russell (7)
10. Ross Byrne (132)
9. Cormac Foley (7)
1. Ed Byrne (88)
2. Dan Sheehan (32)
3. Tadhg Furlong (127)
4. Ross Molony (143)
5. James Ryan (60)
6. Caelan Doris (56)
7. Josh van der Flier (116)
8. Jack Conan (118)

16. John McKee (5)
17. Andrew Porter (94)
18. Michael Ala'alatoa (29)
19. Joe McCarthy (12)
20. Martin Moloney (8)
21. Nick McCarthy (48)
22. Ciarán Frawley (58)
23. Robbie Henshaw (71)
 

JohnKA

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Expected team

1.Ox Nche
2.Bongi
3.Thomas du Toit
4.Eben
5.Andrews
6.Kolisi
7.Vincent Tshituka
8.Phepsi
9.Jaden
10.Chamberlain
11.Makazole Mapimpi
12.Tupai
13.Werner Kok
14.Marnus Potgieter
15.Fassi
 

Le Frére Alpha

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Leinster Rugby (caps in brackets):

15. Jimmy O'Brien (56)
14. Liam Turner (6)
13. Garry Ringrose (105) CAPTAIN
12. Charlie Ngatai (4)
11. Rob Russell (7)
10. Ross Byrne (132)
9. Cormac Foley (7)
1. Ed Byrne (88)
2. Dan Sheehan (32)
3. Tadhg Furlong (127)
4. Ross Molony (143)
5. James Ryan (60)
6. Caelan Doris (56)
7. Josh van der Flier (116)
8. Jack Conan (118)

16. John McKee (5)
17. Andrew Porter (94)
18. Michael Ala'alatoa (29)
19. Joe McCarthy (12)
20. Martin Moloney (8)
21. Nick McCarthy (48)
22. Ciarán Frawley (58)
23. Robbie Henshaw (71)
Pack should do the job. Good to see Foley and Russell maintain their spots.
 

saulan

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Stormers
15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Angelo Davids, 13 Alapati Leiua, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Paul de Wet, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Hacjivah Dayimani, 6 Nama Xaba, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Salmaan Moerat (captain), 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Andre-Hugo Venter, 1 Ali Vermaak
Substitutes:
16 Joseph Dweba, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Brok Harris, 19 Ernst van Rhyn, 20 Marcel Theunissen, 21 Willie Engelbrecht, 22 Godlen Masimla, 23 Sacha Mngomezulu

Seen similar comments of confusion as to how those Bok players made it back out there, but again, why not Deon Fourie then? Find the 6/2 split a bit weird when we probably are thinner in the backs than the forwards. Bench front row arguably better than our starting one. Also good to see Zas back and hoping he can keep up his form from last season. I know nothing about Leiua really, so interested to see how he plays this weekend.
 

unrated

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Expected team

1.Ox Nche
2.Bongi
3.Thomas du Toit
4.Eben
5.Andrews
6.Kolisi
7.Vincent Tshituka
8.Phepsi
9.Jaden
10.Chamberlain
11.Makazole Mapimpi
12.Tupai
13.Werner Kok
14 Marnus Potgieter
15.Fassi
I think our strongest available fit team would be:

1.Ox
2. Bongi
3. Thomas Du Toit
4.Etzebeth
5.Andrews / Basson 50/50
6.Kolisi
7.Richardson
8.Notshe
9. Hendrikse
10. Chamberlain
11.Mapimpi
12. Tapuai
13. Kok
14. Penxe
15.Fassi
16.Mchunu
17.Carlu Sadie
18. Kerron van Vuuren
19.Tshituka
20. Phepsi/ Venter
21.Grant Wiliams
22.Marnus Potgieter
23.Abrahams

Maybe we put both Venter and Phepsi on the bench and play with a 6/2 probably dropping one off Potgieter or Abrahams.

Is Rohan injured? I would not throw Vincent in straight up, he is not a 100 test match player like Etzebeth, He needs to atleast play one game from the bench before starting. Also Dylan has been one of our top ball carriers.


We essentially differ in our picks for 7,8,14
 
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