Some pre-season AD1 thoughts

Some pre-season AD1 thoughts

Post by Ben Cle » Wed, 13 Aug 1997 04:00:00


Well as all the teams are just starting to get back into the swing of
things I thought we might once more get back to discussing important things
on this newsgroup, like Bath beating Leicester :-)

Anyway, I thought a good place to start might be a quick run through of the
division 1 teams for this year, and where their strengths and weaknesses
might lie. So here's my brief assessment at this early stage.

Wasps
-----

Strengths:           Leadership/Coaching, Squad, Resources.
Weaknesses:          Balance of the team (reliance on a few key players).

Pluses this year:    Confidence,
                     Another year's development of young players,
                     Some good player acquisitions.
Negatives this year: One of the "teams to beat",
                     New players to integrate,
                     Halfbacks unhappy summer England tour.

Bath
----

Strengths:           High aspirations, Quality players.
Weaknesses:          Lack of depth in key positions, Inconsistency.  

Pluses this year:    Hungry for success?
Negatives this year: Lots has changed in only a year.

Harlequins
----------

Strengths:           Quality players, Team potential.
Weaknesses:          Underachievement,
                     Doubts about coaching/management,
                     Lack of team character.  

Pluses this year:    Weeded out some "chaff" last season,
                     Identified more "wheat",
                     Solved some problems (like goalkicking).
Negatives this year: New chaff this year?
                     Too many chiefs and not enough indians.

Leicester
---------

Strengths:           Settled strong core, Coaching
Weaknesses:          Gameplan when under pressure,
                     Potential again for high demands on key players.  

Pluses this year:    Understand coaches expectations/requirements,
                     Quality players drafted in to fill requirements.
Negatives this year: Poor end to last season,
                     Question marks over some positions.

Sale
----

Strengths:           Team spirit, Coaching.
Weaknesses:          Limited playing resources.

Pluses this year:    Confidence from last year's achievements.
Negatives this year: Key players aging,
                     Not an unknown quantity this year.

Saracens
--------

Strengths:           High quality players, Resources.
Weaknesses:          Unsettled situation,
                     Lack real strength in depth.  

Pluses this year:    More pieces in place.
Negatives this year: Pienaar's coaching an unknown quantity,
                     Key players aging.

Gloucester
----------

Strengths:           Coaching, Team spirit.
Weaknesses:          Weak in some areas, esp. lack of quality in depth.

Pluses this year:    Some quality players recruited,
                     Very young halfbacks another year more experienced.
Negatives this year: A lot of change,
                     Might have to change style of play.

Northampton
-----------

Strengths:           Coaching, Exciting backline.
Weaknesses:          Away form,
                     Pack too inconsistent,
                     Lack of strength in depth in key postions.

Pluses this year:    Buoyed more than most because of Lions success.
Negatives this year: Expectations might be low from lack of team success.

Bristol
-------

Strengths:           Coaching.
Weaknesses:          Few top quality players.  

Pluses this year:    Low expectations (underdogs + under-estimated?),
                     Should have some resources still available.
Negatives this year: Loss of talent,
                     Perhaps aiming low (survival).

Richmond
--------

Strengths:           Resources,
                     Some high quality players.
Weaknesses:          Leadership, Balance of team.  

Pluses this year:    Lots of new talented players, "unknown quantity" status.
Negatives this year: Big step up,
                     Not a settled team.

Newcastle
---------

Strengths:           Goalkicking, Resources,
                     Some high quality players.
Weaknesses:          Underachievement,
                     Limited gameplan,
                     Balance of the team.  

Pluses this year:    Moving towards a settled team.
Negatives this year: Big step up,
                     Many players not at their best last season.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

University of Oregon            | http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~benc
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Some pre-season AD1 thoughts

Post by Bryan M.Case » Thu, 14 Aug 1997 04:00:00

<<snipped how could you forget my beloved LIRFC>>

Quote:
> London Irish
> ------------

> Strengths:           Some potential match winning players.
> Weaknesses:          Not enough of them.

Yes.  The $$$$money that came into LIRFC at the tail end of last year
has not been spent on any significant new signings.  It must have been
used to pay off last seasons contracts!.

 
 
 

Some pre-season AD1 thoughts

Post by Ben Cle » Thu, 14 Aug 1997 04:00:00


Opps, one slipped off the list between the starting point and the final
post -- sorry!

London Irish
------------

Strengths:           Some potential match winning players.
Weaknesses:          Not enough of them.  

Pluses this year:    Low expectations (might thrive as underdogs),
                     Coach Willie Anderson is settled in.
Negatives this year: Potential of conflict between Ashton's Irish style and      

                     Anderson's,
                     Some voids from previous player departures not obviously
                     filled.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

University of Oregon            | http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~benc
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Some pre-season AD1 thoughts

Post by Ben Cle » Thu, 14 Aug 1997 04:00:00


<<stuff deleted>>

Quote:
>>Wasps

>>Strengths:           Leadership/Coaching, Squad, Resources.
>>Weaknesses:          Balance of the team (reliance on a few key players).

>>Pluses this year:    Confidence,
>>                     Another year's development of young players,
>>                     Some good player acquisitions.
>>Negatives this year: One of the "teams to beat",
>>                     New players to integrate,
>>                     Halfbacks unhappy summer England tour.

>It will be very interesting to see how Wasps integrate their new
>locks, Shaw and someone from NZ (?). With a relatively inexperienced
>front row, and two new locks the tight five, although improved on
>paper, might struggle to settle down. With only one game before the
>European Cup takes over, the side might have gelled by the time the
>league recommences, but at the cost of Europe ambitions (not that that
>harmed their league chances last season).

Wasps' pack was surprisingly competitive last season, and I do wonder what
effect losing players like Matt Greenwood will have -- not just in losing
someone who is a real trooper but also because players like have have been
the core of the club.

There will be a lot of pressure on Buster White to repeat his fantastic
form of a year ago, while I think sides may be more aware of Rees'
limitations as a fullback.

I'm looking forward to seeing how King, Henderson and Greenstock shape up
as a midfield combination.

Quote:
>I really hope Sampson and Scrivener get a couple of games this season
>too.

Sampson apparently spent the latter part of the season struggling with
injury, which supposedly explained why he made way for Logan. I hope that
he is pushed ahead this year, with his incredible pace, and terrific
all-round talents he should be on a fast track (literally) to bigger
things. Scrivener (and Dallaglio) looked to have secure futures when Ryan
left but the arrival of Sheasby left him as the odd man out a little. Hard
to imagine him happy sitting on the bench forever, one of the problems
Wasps will have this year is keeping everyone satisfied -- especially if
things aren't looking as bright as last year.

Quote:
>>Bath
>>----
>>Weaknesses:          Lack of depth in key positions, Inconsistency.  
>Some interesting players have joined, the West Hartlepool openside
>Earnshaw (???) and Regan from Bristol. Also there are rumours Gregor
>Townsend and Brian Lima are being tempted further west than is decent.

The Townsend rumour sounds like a bit of a non-starter -- why leave one
club unhappy at not getting a guaranteed place at flyhalf and arrive
someone else not even guaranteed to make the starting team? Cardiff sounds
much more the likely option, since Jonathan Davies and Lee Jarvis will be
happily shunted aside by them for Townsend I would think.

Quote:
>With Mendez, Llanes, and Lyle all non EC-European (unless someone
>knows different?), there looks like little room for a Western Samoan
>at the Rec.

Well thank goodness Bath have recruited a player who can fill the gap at
openside flanker, as for the story of them chasing Lima, I think he would
be a good addition but personally I would think that another scrumhalf
would top the shopping list.

Quote:
>>Harlequins
>>Weaknesses:          Underachievement,
>>                     Doubts about coaching/management,
>I assume the guy who backed up McGeechan for the Lions will be in
>charge? Kirsten or something like that? If Will Carling takes over
>then I'll predict another underachieving year.

Andy Keast? Well let's just call him Mr K shall we. But anyway, if Carling
has a big hand in the coaching then I can't imagine anything but short term
problems. It is also a difficult situation, how many coaches will want to
walk into the environment created by the players saying they didn't think
*** Best was being nice enough to them so he had to go?

- Show quoted text -

Quote:

>>Leicester
>>---------

>>Strengths:           Settled strong core, Coaching
>>Weaknesses:          Gameplan when under pressure,
>>                     Potential again for high demands on key players.  

>>Pluses this year:    Understand coaches expectations/requirements,
>>                     Quality players drafted in to fill requirements.
>>Negatives this year: Poor end to last season,
>>                     Question marks over some positions.

>Maybe the biggest strategic plus is that Dwyer now has a much better
>understanding of the requirements. As for the back row, it makes me
>drool to think about it.....even with Deano only on the bench.

Yes as a noted Tigerphobe, Martin Corry is making life difficult for me :-)
first Bristol, now Leicester, where next Harlequins? :-) Anyway, sadly for
Corry, Dallaglio had a huge year and so now only an injury or severe loss
of form can open up a route into the blindside slot. Quite a change for
Back I should imagine playing off Miller and Corry instead of Richards and
Wells...

Quote:
>There's little to add except that Van Heerden has got an EC
>passport-holding wife, which makes him a "non-foreigner" for team
>selection purposes. Apparently there are hopes Stransky might sneak in
>as a European owing to family ties. Talk about the Law being "a ass".

>On the other hand, Vunibaka is struggling to get a work permit as he
>has "only" played 7s for Fiji and doesn't count as an international
>player....

>There are some expectations that Eric Rush will sign in the next few
>days. Friday is the deadline for registering players for the European
>Cup.

A lot of eggs in the Serevi at fullback basket, and I would think the
midfield cover is looking a little thin at this stage. Is Niall Malone
going to be the Jack-of-all-trades in the backline and again, and will he
be happy being first reserve everything rather than first choice anything?

Quote:
>>Bristol
>>Negatives this year: Loss of talent,
>>                     Perhaps aiming low (survival).

>Last year it was Wests and Orrell I felt greatest sympathy for. This
>time it's Bristol. How can they lose Wright, Shaw, Corry and, I
>suppose, Regan and survive? At least they do have some rapidly
>developing backs, and a highly experienced captain in Rob Jones, who
>has spurned the Bath shilling.

Well I do feel somewhat sorry for Bristol, especially for Alan Davies who
seems to have ended up with bad luck in variety of different situations.

Things are grim when your captain leaves to play elsewhere for less money
(as was the case with Corry). It's pretty hard under those circumstances to
get the decent people to stay, let alone get other good players to join.
You tend to end up with the sort of mercenaries who add little to the club
in the long run, so I hope for Bristol's sake they don't start to slide
down the divisions.

Quote:
>You didn't mention London Irish, Ben. After their survival last
>season, they should be in good spirits (just for once), but I haven't
>heard of many new players joining. At least I haven't heard that
>Davidson has left yet, either.

In case you missed it, here was what I put:

London Irish
------------

Strengths:           Some potential match winning players.
Weaknesses:          Not enough of them.  

Pluses this year:    Low expectations (might thrive as underdogs),
                     Coach Willie Anderson is settled in.
Negatives this year: Potential of conflict between Ashton's Irish style and      

                     Anderson's,
                     Some voids from previous player departures not obviously
                     filled.

I think London Irish really will want a very positive start to the season.
They have some very good players, but keeping them if things go badly could
become a problem.

Quote:
>So what about predictions for next season? I guess the title will most
>likely go to Bath, Leicester or Wasps.

Probably, with Harlequins as an outside bet -- if they keep buying players
they may one day chance upon a good combination.

I think injuries will be a huge factor this year, Bath without Nichol, or
Saracens without Lynagh, Harlequins losing Lacroix, and on and on, heck
Leicester looked a very different pack when Johnson wasn't putting himself
about as usual. Most of the top sides don't have real depth in all
positions -- it's getting harder to find players prepared to sit on the
bench behind established first choice automatic selections. One of the
things that Wasps really had in their favour was the ability to juggle
their squad well, but I think this year players like Dallaglio and King
will become more *** and therefore also more crucial.

What will be interesting is whether a side manages to win as many as Wasps
did last year. I have a feeling that things will be very even, and that of
course ultimately favours the sides like Bath who are capable on the day of
racking up big scorelines.

Once again the bottom of table is likely to involve a bit of a scramble --
the two near-misses last year must head the list for the drop at the start
of this season. Bristol I would think are favourites for relegation at this
stage, just because they didn't do that well last year and have lost so
many players since. London Irish seem more likely to end up in the bottom
half of the table again [again whatever improvements they made over the
course of last season even slight progress in the current situation means
relatively you still fall increasingly behind the rest], and thus be in
frame for the drop. I think Northampton might be worried, they can
certainly beat anyone on the day but inconsistency, especially their
inability to win away, will hurt them.

Is it two down plus two playoff again? If so there might be some very good
sides forced to fight for their survival come the end of the season.

- Show quoted text -

Quote:
>I can't see Newcastle or
>Richmond hitting the ground running, though they will prove good
>outside bets for

...

read more »

 
 
 

Some pre-season AD1 thoughts

Post by John Willia » Thu, 14 Aug 1997 04:00:00


Quote:

>Well as all the teams are just starting to get back into the swing of
>things I thought we might once more get back to discussing important things
>on this newsgroup, like Bath beating Leicester :-)

<Clears throat and moves on....>

Quote:
>Anyway, I thought a good place to start might be a quick run through of the
>division 1 teams for this year, and where their strengths and weaknesses
>might lie. So here's my brief assessment at this early stage.
>Wasps
>Strengths:           Leadership/Coaching, Squad, Resources.
>Weaknesses:          Balance of the team (reliance on a few key players).

>Pluses this year:    Confidence,
>                     Another year's development of young players,
>                     Some good player acquisitions.
>Negatives this year: One of the "teams to beat",
>                     New players to integrate,
>                     Halfbacks unhappy summer England tour.

It will be very interesting to see how Wasps integrate their new
locks, Shaw and someone from NZ (?). With a relatively inexperienced
front row, and two new locks the tight five, although improved on
paper, might struggle to settle down. With only one game before the
European Cup takes over, the side might have gelled by the time the
league recommences, but at the cost of Europe ambitions (not that that
harmed their league chances last season).

I really hope Sampson and Scrivener get a couple of games this season
too.

Quote:
>Bath
>----

>Strengths:           High aspirations, Quality players.
>Weaknesses:          Lack of depth in key positions, Inconsistency.  

>Pluses this year:    Hungry for success?
>Negatives this year: Lots has changed in only a year.

Some interesting players have joined, the West Hartlepool openside
Earnshaw (???) and Regan from Bristol. Also there are rumours Gregor
Townsend and Brian Lima are being tempted further west than is decent.

With Mendez, Llanes, and Lyle all non EC-European (unless someone
knows different?), there looks like little room for a Western Samoan
at the Rec.

Quote:
>Harlequins
>Strengths:           Quality players, Team potential.
>Weaknesses:          Underachievement,
>                     Doubts about coaching/management,
>                     Lack of team character.  

I assume the guy who backed up McGeechan for the Lions will be in
charge? Kirsten or something like that? If Will Carling takes over
then I'll predict another underachieving year.

Quote:
>Pluses this year:    Weeded out some "chaff" last season,
>                     Identified more "wheat",
>                     Solved some problems (like goalkicking).
>Negatives this year: New chaff this year?
>                     Too many chiefs and not enough indians.
>Leicester
>---------

>Strengths:           Settled strong core, Coaching
>Weaknesses:          Gameplan when under pressure,
>                     Potential again for high demands on key players.  

>Pluses this year:    Understand coaches expectations/requirements,
>                     Quality players drafted in to fill requirements.
>Negatives this year: Poor end to last season,
>                     Question marks over some positions.

Maybe the biggest strategic plus is that Dwyer now has a much better
understanding of the requirements. As for the back row, it makes me
drool to think about it.....even with Deano only on the bench.

There's little to add except that Van Heerden has got an EC
passport-holding wife, which makes him a "non-foreigner" for team
selection purposes. Apparently there are hopes Stransky might sneak in
as a European owing to family ties. Talk about the Law being "a ass".

On the other hand, Vunibaka is struggling to get a work permit as he
has "only" played 7s for Fiji and doesn't count as an international
player....

There are some expectations that Eric Rush will sign in the next few
days. Friday is the deadline for registering players for the European
Cup.

[...]

Quote:
>Bristol

[...]

Quote:
>Negatives this year: Loss of talent,
>                     Perhaps aiming low (survival).

Last year it was Wests and Orrell I felt greatest sympathy for. This
time it's Bristol. How can they lose Wright, Shaw, Corry and, I
suppose, Regan and survive? At least they do have some rapidly
developing backs, and a highly experienced captain in Rob Jones, who
has spurned the Bath shilling.

You didn't mention London Irish, Ben. After their survival last
season, they should be in good spirits (just for once), but I haven't
heard of many new players joining. At least I haven't heard that
Davidson has left yet, either.

So what about predictions for next season? I guess the title will most
likely go to Bath, Leicester or Wasps. I can't see Newcastle or
Richmond hitting the ground running, though they will prove good
outside bets for the Cup IMHO.

All the best

John Williams.

 
 
 

Some pre-season AD1 thoughts

Post by Cormac Purtil » Fri, 15 Aug 1997 04:00:00

Quote:

> You didn't mention London Irish, Ben. After their survival last
> season, they should be in good spirits (just for once), but I haven't
> heard of many new players joining. At least I haven't heard that
> Davidson has left yet, either.

You can't possibly imagine the terror with which a London Irish fan
opens his newspaper every day since the end of the Lions tour -
thankfully no Davidson news at all since Willie Anderson said he'd
probably stay, whatever that means... I also don't know about Fulcher.
We've kept all the other big names, and recruited Mark McCall, an
international centre from Dungannon(?) who looked quite good in a
friendly a couple of weeks ago.

I'd love to say the Irish will do better this year than in the past, but
let's face it we won't!

--

Cheers,
Cormac.
---

 
 
 

Some pre-season AD1 thoughts

Post by Martin Rylan » Fri, 15 Aug 1997 04:00:00



Quote:

>So what about predictions for next season? I guess the title will most
>likely go to Bath, Leicester or Wasps. I can't see Newcastle or
>Richmond hitting the ground running, though they will prove good
>outside bets for the Cup IMHO.

Richard Hill stated this week that on the pre-season tour in France,
Gloucester have set their targets for the year - a top four place in the
Premiership, getting to the cup final and not losing at home in any
competition.  If we can get the new backs properly intergrated, and sort
out the right playing style, then Gloucester should achieve this.

The real test of this is our first away game, Leicester on August 30th.
If we can win an away game like this, early in the season, it will show
that the days of poor starts and terrible away form are gone, I hope :-)

BTW John, have you noticed that if either Leicester or Gloucester get to
the Euro finals, then their Premiership game at Kingsholm will have to
be played in the evening again?  Now there's an incentive for Gloucester
to do well in Europe :O)

Regards

Martin Ryland
--
The Shed, repository of the finest rugby supporters in the game.  

Stephen Jones, the Sunday Times, 13th April 1997

 
 
 

Some pre-season AD1 thoughts

Post by John Willia » Tue, 19 Aug 1997 04:00:00


Quote:



>>>Wasps
>>It will be very interesting to see how Wasps integrate their new
>>locks, Shaw and someone from NZ (?). With a relatively inexperienced
>>front row, and two new locks the tight five, although improved on
>>paper, might struggle to settle down. With only one game before the
>>European Cup takes over, the side might have gelled by the time the
>>league recommences, but at the cost of Europe ambitions (not that that
>>harmed their league chances last season).
>Wasps' pack was surprisingly competitive last season, and I do wonder what
>effect losing players like Matt Greenwood will have -- not just in losing
>someone who is a real trooper but also because players like have have been
>the core of the club.

The key to Wasps forward efforts over the last few seasons has been
having a mobile back five from what I've seen. The line-out law
changes helped them more than most sides last season too. I don't know
anything about Mark Weedon (from Canterbury, NZ), but Simon Shaw
somehow doesn't seem right. He'd have fitted in beautifully at
Leicester though.

[...]

Quote:
>Scrivener (and Dallaglio) looked to have secure futures when Ryan
>left but the arrival of Sheasby left him as the odd man out a little. Hard
>to imagine him happy sitting on the bench forever, one of the problems
>Wasps will have this year is keeping everyone satisfied -- especially if
>things aren't looking as bright as last year.

Also I seem to remember Scrivener was tempted to continue his
education and take a diploma at Cambridge (?) last year. Considering
the number of games he played, I sincerely hope that is what he chose
to do.

Quote:
>>>Bath
>Well thank goodness Bath have recruited a player who can fill the gap at
>openside flanker, as for the story of them chasing Lima, I think he would
>be a good addition but personally I would think that another scrumhalf
>would top the shopping list.

I am a little at a loss to hear Dawe has gone to Sale. With Mendez
still doubtful after injury, something mind-boggling must be going on
for Dawe to prefer a 1000 mile (?) round trip to Manchester for
training.

And then Bath hire a 33-year-old injury prone winger to replace poor
old Simon Geoghegan. Ieuan doesn't strike me as a bargain.

I notice the bookies are making Bath 9/4 favourites to win the league.
If I were a Bath fan I'd be seriously concerned with the lack of cover
bought in.

Quote:
>>>Leicester
>>Maybe the biggest strategic plus is that Dwyer now has a much better
>>understanding of the requirements. As for the back row, it makes me
>>drool to think about it.....even with Deano only on the bench.
>Yes as a noted Tigerphobe, Martin Corry is making life difficult for me :-)
>first Bristol, now Leicester, where next Harlequins? :-) Anyway, sadly for
>Corry, Dallaglio had a huge year and so now only an injury or severe loss
>of form can open up a route into the blindside slot. Quite a change for
>Back I should imagine playing off Miller and Corry instead of Richards and
>Wells...

Sadly I missed their first game together, against Caledonia yesterday
(Sunday). The radio report said Back and Corry worked well together.

Quote:
>A lot of eggs in the Serevi at fullback basket, and I would think the
>midfield cover is looking a little thin at this stage. Is Niall Malone
>going to be the Jack-of-all-trades in the backline and again, and will he
>be happy being first reserve everything rather than first choice anything?

I'm sure Niall will pop up all over the place again. The young South
African full back/centre Michael Horak made a good impression in the
second team game yesterday, scoring a hat-trick. Richards (lock) and
Wells were playing for the seconds, which would be marvellous for team
development if continued.

Also Leicester came back from their pre-season trip to Ireland with a
couple of 19-year-olds, scrum half James Ferris and full back Geordan
Murphy so there is some cover at 15. Incidently, with Jamie Hamilton
coming back from London Scottish, Leicester have 9s coming out of
their ears despite "letting go" Kardooni.

You are right about the lack of obvious centre cover, but there are a
number of second team players who might make the grade. After all,
this time last year Lloyd and Miller were unknown outside Leicester
Extras. [Thank God Dywer is happy ***ing young players.]

Quote:
>>So what about predictions for next season? I guess the title will most
>>likely go to Bath, Leicester or Wasps.
>What will be interesting is whether a side manages to win as many as Wasps
>did last year. I have a feeling that things will be very even, and that of
>course ultimately favours the sides like Bath who are capable on the day of
>racking up big scorelines.

[...]

Quote:
>This year though there certainly will be days on which certain sides could
>be very hard to beat. Above all though it comes down to who emerges through
>the mid-season slog still in the competition but with enough in reserve to
>peak afterwards. Bath have been good at this in the past, but it is a much
>more difficult trick now.

Yes, it will be all about consistency. It was said last year there
were no easy games, which wasn't completely true. This year it will be
much nearer the truth.

I still find it quite hard to understand how Wasps managed to end up
with such an enormous margin of victory:

                      P  W  D  L   F    A  Pts
Wasps                22 18  1  3  685  406  37
Bath                 22 15  1  6  863  411  31
Harlequins           22 15  0  7  745  416  30
Leicester            22 14  1  7  600  395  29
Sale                 22 13  2  7  603  525  28
Saracens             22 12  1  9  568  449  25
Gloucester           22 11  1 10  476  589  23
Northampton          22 10  0 12  515  477  20
Bristol              22  8  1 13  432  625  17
London Irish         22  6  0 16  502  747  12
West Hartlepool      22  3  0 17  382  795   6
Orrell               22  3  0 19  350  886   6

All the best

John Williams.

 
 
 

Some pre-season AD1 thoughts

Post by John Willia » Tue, 19 Aug 1997 04:00:00

On Thu, 14 Aug 1997 19:43:06 +0100, Martin Ryland

Quote:



>Richard Hill stated this week that on the pre-season tour in France,
>Gloucester have set their targets for the year - a top four place in the
>Premiership, getting to the cup final and not losing at home in any
>competition.  If we can get the new backs properly intergrated, and sort
>out the right playing style, then Gloucester should achieve this.

Come on Martin, Gloucester should be aiming a little higher than this,
surely..... why not try to bribe someone at the RFU and get the All
Blacks for a Saturday game?

Quote:
>The real test of this is our first away game, Leicester on August 30th.
>If we can win an away game like this, early in the season, it will show
>that the days of poor starts and terrible away form are gone, I hope :-)

Hold on, if you think Gloucester are slow starters (alright, they had
a nightmare last season), don't forget a highly complex and precision
engineered team like Leicester take a while to warm up too .....

As for dismissing Bristol at Kingsholm on 23rd, you are probably
correct, but not if the team dismiss them beforehand as easily as we
have.

Quote:
>BTW John, have you noticed that if either Leicester or Gloucester get to
>the Euro finals, then their Premiership game at Kingsholm will have to
>be played in the evening again?  Now there's an incentive for Gloucester
>to do well in Europe :O)

I hadn't. Thanks, I shall now take three aspirin and lie in a darkened
room.

Quote:
>Regards

>Martin Ryland
>--
>The Shed, repository of the finest rugby supporters in the game.  

>Stephen Jones, the Sunday Times, 13th April 1997

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Who predicts Gloucester will end up 9th in the League. Are you now
getting as bored with this obviously drug-induced random sentence as I
am? :-)

All the best

John Williams.

 
 
 

Some pre-season AD1 thoughts

Post by eden.wil » Tue, 19 Aug 1997 04:00:00


Quote:

>Subject: Re: [Eng] Some pre-season AD1 thoughts
>Date: Mon, 18 Aug 1997 10:41:49 GMT




>>>>Wasps
>The key to Wasps forward efforts over the last few seasons has been
>having a mobile back five from what I've seen. The line-out law
>changes helped them more than most sides last season too. I don't know
>anything about Mark Weedon (from Canterbury, NZ), but Simon Shaw
>somehow doesn't seem right. He'd have fitted in beautifully at
>Leicester though.

Mark Weedon played for the Canterbury Crusaders in the Super 12, 1996. I'm
not sure if he played during the 1997 season. However, Weedon's province was
North Harbour - he was drafted after Waikato Chiefs turned his services
down, and before that, I believe he was from the Bay of Plenty (?). Never a
star player, but a good hard work horse. Harbour's loss is your gain. WRT,
the Weedons can anyone inform me of the progress of Mark Weedons younger
brother. He had moved to Harbour, and I was hearing good things about him
just before I left. I think he played for the North Shore club.

Cheers,
Eden

 
 
 

Some pre-season AD1 thoughts

Post by Martin Rylan » Tue, 19 Aug 1997 04:00:00



Quote:
>On Thu, 14 Aug 1997 19:43:06 +0100, Martin Ryland



>>Richard Hill stated this week that on the pre-season tour in France,
>>Gloucester have set their targets for the year - a top four place in the
>>Premiership, getting to the cup final and not losing at home in any
>>competition.  If we can get the new backs properly intergrated, and sort
>>out the right playing style, then Gloucester should achieve this.

>Come on Martin, Gloucester should be aiming a little higher than this,
>surely..... why not try to bribe someone at the RFU and get the All
>Blacks for a Saturday game?

No, we'd rather play them on a Tuesday night ;-)

Quote:
>>The real test of this is our first away game, Leicester on August 30th.
>>If we can win an away game like this, early in the season, it will show
>>that the days of poor starts and terrible away form are gone, I hope :-)

>Hold on, if you think Gloucester are slow starters (alright, they had
>a nightmare last season), don't forget a highly complex and precision
>engineered team like Leicester take a while to warm up too .....

>As for dismissing Bristol at Kingsholm on 23rd, you are probably
>correct, but not if the team dismiss them beforehand as easily as we
>have.

I'm not dismissing them and I'm sure that Richard Hill isn't either.
There's always an edge to what is one of the oldest regular fixtures in
English rugby, it's more that in order to get a top four finish, our
away record must improve.

- Show quoted text -

Quote:

>>BTW John, have you noticed that if either Leicester or Gloucester get to
>>the Euro finals, then their Premiership game at Kingsholm will have to
>>be played in the evening again?  Now there's an incentive for Gloucester
>>to do well in Europe :O)

>I hadn't. Thanks, I shall now take three aspirin and lie in a darkened
>room.

>>Regards

>>Martin Ryland
>>--
>>The Shed, repository of the finest rugby supporters in the game.  

>>Stephen Jones, the Sunday Times, 13th April 1997
>~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

>Who predicts Gloucester will end up 9th in the League. Are you now
>getting as bored with this obviously drug-induced random sentence as I
>am? :-)

It's strange how you can go off people isn't it :-)

Regards

Martin Ryland
--
Imagine Gloucester leaving their beloved Kingsholm and relocating up the road in
Cheltenham

Ian Malin, the Guardian, 18th August 1997 on Saracens move to Watford.

 
 
 

Some pre-season AD1 thoughts

Post by Terry Fitzpatri » Tue, 19 Aug 1997 04:00:00


(snip)

Quote:
>Northampton          22 10  0 12  515  477  20
>Bristol              22  8  1 13  432  625  17
>London Irish         22  6  0 16  502  747  12
>West Hartlepool      22  3  0 17  382  795   6
>Orrell               22  3  0 19  350  886   6

Come on, John. I'm sure that West and Orrell supporters could have
done without this reminder. And I always thought that you were such a
nice chap.

Regards

Terry

 
 
 

Some pre-season AD1 thoughts

Post by John Willia » Wed, 20 Aug 1997 04:00:00

On Mon, 18 Aug 1997 21:03:01 +0100, Martin Ryland

[..]

Quote:
>>Come on Martin, Gloucester should be aiming a little higher than this,
>>surely..... why not try to bribe someone at the RFU and get the All
>>Blacks for a Saturday game?
>No, we'd rather play them on a Tuesday night ;-)

Okay, but make sure they field the full test side. The Shed deserve to
insult the best, not their understudies.....

Quote:
>>>Stephen Jones, the Sunday Times, 13th April 1997
>>~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>It's strange how you can go off people isn't it :-)

>Regards

>Martin Ryland
>--
>Imagine Gloucester leaving their beloved Kingsholm and relocating up the road in
>Cheltenham

>Ian Malin, the Guardian, 18th August 1997 on Saracens move to Watford.

I prefer to imagine Leicester at the Twickenham sevens, with Serevi,
Vunibaka, Rush, and any four others..... maybe even an Englishman. It
would probably be Miller, Joiner, Ven Heerden and Perry Freshwater
though.

All the best

John Williams.

 
 
 

Some pre-season AD1 thoughts

Post by John Willia » Wed, 20 Aug 1997 04:00:00


[...] Offensive table snipped.

Quote:
>Come on, John. I'm sure that West and Orrell supporters could have
>done without this reminder. And I always thought that you were such a
>nice chap.

I am sorry Terry.

It's always the unintended insults that hurt most isn't it :-).

It's about time I was rude to someone on RSRU. Okay then. The first
one to mention any one of: Brive, Lander's wonderful reffing, "Never
in Doubt", etc, gets their wrist slapped. Tony Underwood, traitor,
though he is, has been removed from the list as otherwise he'd still
be playing for Leicester.

On the other hand, I shall start talking about SA as the World
Champions, the nationality of AB players (did you know Eric Rush
qualifies for Ireland?), the Welsh fly half factory, the large number
of Irish players in the English league, etc, and pretend to be
surprised when I get told off.

All the best

John Williams.