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The Road to Bilbao and Beyond: Rugby 2018

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    The Road to Bilbao and Beyond: Rugby 2018

    A new year brings a new thread, yep I've remembered Ray, and today sees the last games in the PRO14 national derbies.

    Ulster versus Munster is on BBC2 NI this evening and therefore should be on the red button.

    January sees the conclusion of the group stages of European rugby and then the squads announced for the Six Nations. Again injuries are to the forefront with some big names missing, Warburton and Jonathan Davies spring to mind immediately for Wales.

    In a post Lions series France are always the favourites, not this time. And with 18 months to go before the RWC in Japan it's surely the time to try some new combinations and players, James Davies is the first name that springs to mind for Wales.

    #2
    Interesting article on the French national coaching (and other related) issues discussed on last year's thread :

    Guy Nov├Ęs sacking symptomatic of French conflict going back 23 years

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      #3
      Joe Marler decides to be an arse again. Hopefully he'll get a decent length ban for his stupidity again.

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        #4
        Originally posted by Antepli Ejderha View Post
        Joe Marler decides to be an arse again. Hopefully he'll get a decent length ban for his stupidity again.
        Only six weeks, he'll miss both of the European games and the first two matches in the 6 Nations, against Wales and Italy. This means 3 out of 4 of England's first choice loose heads are unavailable.

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          #5
          As a friend commented - I'm fairly sure the pregame prep for Marler and Sinckler is just them both doing massive lines of coke off each others tits.

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            #6
            Bath versus Scarlets tonight in the Champions Cup, Scarlets must win and will have to do so without their first choice back three. It's going to be tough but I'm looking forward to it.

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              #7
              30 minutes gone and the Scarlets are dominating, it's a great match. Austin Healey is praising a Wales team so something must be going well.

              It really is wonderful to watch.

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                #8
                Barclay gets a yellow card, whilst in the sin bin the Scarlets score two tries. Magnificent.

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                  #9
                  50 minutes in and the Scarlets secure the bonus point.

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                    #10
                    Fantastic try by Banahan - still can't work out why Bath are offloading him.

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                      #11
                      Money, Bath say they offered him a new contract but couldn’t match what Gloucester offered him.

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                        #12
                        Missed the Scarlets game, how bad did Priestland’s early injury look, AE?

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by Ray de Galles View Post
                          Missed the Scarlets game, how bad did Priestland’s early injury look, AE?
                          A muscle twinge, almost looked like he could have stayed on.

                          Scarlets have Toulon at home next weekend and if they win that they'll top they group and probably get a home quarter final. With Halfpenny and McNichol coming back and seemingly no injuries from tonight things are looking positive. The rugby they played in the first half was outstanding and they had the levels of fitness to do it, Toulon wouldn't have lived with the either imho.

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                            #14
                            I have to say, as a neutral observer from the wastelands of the north, the rugby that Scarlets are playing is an absolute pleasure to watch. Tne only thing that could beat them next week is bad weather.

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by Vicarious Thrillseeker View Post
                              I have to say, as a neutral observer from the wastelands of the north, the rugby that Scarlets are playing is an absolute pleasure to watch. Tne only thing that could beat them next week is bad weather.
                              Thats what did for them when they played against Bath at home VT, plus Priestland played an extremely savvy game at out half.

                              I'm a Turk, my wife's a Turk too and that's why I'm a tad biased but the way the Scarlets have played in the past 9 months has been something else. It's not only about the attack though, they've got a very good defence that allows them to compete at the breakdown and win turnovers. My fear is that the whole coaching staff will go to Wales after the RWC, it'll be good for Wales because they've proved we can play a NZ style of rugby and be successful.

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                                #16
                                Ulster - La Rochelle is a cracker, with some outstanding passing and running, though the French side have been rather cavalier with the ball.

                                Ulster up 20-13 with 25 minutes left.

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                                  #17
                                  And so it ends.

                                  Ulster now lead the pool by one from La Rochelle., who will regret getting only a losing bonus point from a match they could have won with a bit more concentration.

                                  On the last day, La Rochelle host Harlequins while Ulster visit Wasps.

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                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by Antepli Ejderha View Post
                                    I'm a Turk, my wife's a Turk too ...
                                    Well I never, me too.

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                                      #19
                                      I did not know that the cup final was being held at the (new) San Mames. Excellent.

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                                        #20
                                        Just turned on to watch the second half of the Ospreys Saracens match, after 45 minute it's 9 all.

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                                          #21
                                          Originally posted by wiblflibl View Post
                                          Well I never, me too.
                                          I'm from near Llanelli and Mrs AE is from Istanbul.

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                                            #22
                                            Originally posted by Antepli Ejderha View Post
                                            Just turned on to watch the second half of the Ospreys Saracens match, after 45 minute it's 9 all.
                                            It finished 15 each and with Clermont having lost away to Northampton today the group is still wide open as three sides can still qualify. Saracens can't win the group.

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                                              #23
                                              The fucking state of this cheap shot on Jamie Roberts from that shithouse Haskell. Should be a ten week ban but the cynical wanker is already trying to be seen to show remorse on social media to lessen it.

                                              The only upside is that his red pretty much lost Franchise RFC the game and almost guaranteed they are out of Europe. That pales against the risk to his opponents health and well being though.
                                              Last edited by Ray de Galles; 13-01-2018, 23:59.

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                                                #24
                                                Originally posted by Bordeaux Education View Post
                                                I did not know that the cup final was being held at the (new) San Mames. Excellent.
                                                Fancy going? The usual suspects are pondering a trip.

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                                                  #25
                                                  Originally posted by Ray de Galles View Post
                                                  The fucking state of this cheap shot on Jamie Roberts from that shithouse Haskell. Should be a ten week ban but the cynical wanker is already trying to be seen to show remorse on social media to lessen it.

                                                  The only upside is that his red pretty much lost Franchise RFC the game and almost guaranteed they are out of Europe. That pales against the risk to his opponents health and well being though.
                                                  Nasty - and deliberate too. Haskell's been off the pace all season, and it comes as no surprise to see him take out his frustrations in such a way. I'd be very surprised if he's still at Wasps next season - I'm sure Dai Young has noted the steep decline in quality (what there was) and attitude.

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