Leinster v Wasps Aviva Stadium 1st April KO 3.15 BT

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Leinster v Wasps Aviva Stadium 1st April KO 3.15 BT

Postby wixfjord » March 26th, 2017, 8:50 pm

Gentlemen start your engines.

I'm incredibly nervous about this to be honest, and that wasn't helped by Saturday. Whatever you think about Heaslip and Kearney, both would've started and both have been here many times, so we're down two big leaders before the game kicks off.
This feels like a bit of a 'changing of the guard' moment, considering how many players we'll be introducing to knockout European rugby. The transition from Toulon in '15 is just enormous.

On paper, there's a clear path to us winning this game. Strangle them up front, own the lineout, get Henshaw running at Gopperth and Cips and don't kick loosely to that back three.

However, I'm worried about our defensive alignment. Byrne has been getting away with it for a few games, and will be targeted if he starts.

The team I'd personally start with would be:
Healy, Tracy, Furlong, Triggs, Toner, Ruddock, SOB, Conan, McGrath, Sexton, A. Byrne, Henshaw, Ringrose, Ferg, Isa
McGrath, Cronin, Bent, VDF, Leavy, JGP, Carbery, ROL

Some strange calls in there, and I don't expect this to start, but that'd be my call.
Healy deserves to start imo. In better form than McGrath and took Cardiff to pieces on Sat.
Tracy starts because Cronin has no gametime and I'm presuming Strauss is out with concussion. If not, Strauss to start for me with Cronin benching.
The backrow is the next big choice. Ruddock was excellent at the weekend, and I think we would benefit from his scrummaging and lineout. He's also more physically imposing than other options, and that will be needed against Haskell/Hughes/Launchbury. By my count, we'll have a potential 8/9 players starting who have never played a Euro knockout game before. I'd trade some of Ruddock's lack of speed to get another leader into that pack.
SOB lucky to start at 7 tbh, but he has to be there, and Conan the obvious choice at 8.

The other big call is on the wings. My dislike of Byrne defensively has been well flagged, so I'd definitely have Ferg in there, and the toss up is between Byrne and ROL. Byrne starts, just.

Bench wise I'd have the unorthodox choice of both VDF and Leavy. We know Leo reckons Ruddock can do a job in the second row, and both of these guys can add impact. Carbery over R Byrne for versatility, and ROL covering 13 and wing. I think Saturday showed that Carbery isn't ready to play 15 in a game like this from the start.

This is going to be a long week...
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Re: Leinster v Wasps Aviva Stadium 1st April KO 3.15 BT

Postby riocard911 » March 26th, 2017, 9:10 pm

wixfjord wrote:Gentlemen start your engines.

I'm incredibly nervous about this to be honest, and that wasn't helped by Saturday. Whatever you think about Heaslip and Kearney, both would've started and both have been here many times, so we're down two big leaders before the game kicks off.
This feels like a bit of a 'changing of the guard' moment, considering how many players we'll be introducing to knockout European rugby. The transition from Toulon in '15 is just enormous.

On paper, there's a clear path to us winning this game. Strangle them up front, own the lineout, get Henshaw running at Gopperth and Cips and don't kick loosely to that back three.

However, I'm worried about our defensive alignment. Byrne has been getting away with it for a few games, and will be targeted if he starts.

The team I'd personally start with would be:
Healy, Tracy, Furlong, Triggs, Toner, Ruddock, SOB, Conan, McGrath, Sexton, A. Byrne, Henshaw, Ringrose, Ferg, Isa
McGrath, Cronin, Bent, VDF, Leavy, JGP, Carbery, ROL

Some strange calls in there, and I don't expect this to start, but that'd be my call.
Healy deserves to start imo. In better form than McGrath and took Cardiff to pieces on Sat.
Tracy starts because Cronin has no gametime and I'm presuming Strauss is out with concussion. If not, Strauss to start for me with Cronin benching.
The backrow is the next big choice. Ruddock was excellent at the weekend, and I think we would benefit from his scrummaging and lineout. He's also more physically imposing than other options, and that will be needed against Haskell/Hughes/Launchbury. By my count, we'll have a potential 8/9 players starting who have never played a Euro knockout game before. I'd trade some of Ruddock's lack of speed to get another leader into that pack.
SOB lucky to start at 7 tbh, but he has to be there, and Conan the obvious choice at 8.

The other big call is on the wings. My dislike of Byrne defensively has been well flagged, so I'd definitely have Ferg in there, and the toss up is between Byrne and ROL. Byrne starts, just.

Bench wise I'd have the unorthodox choice of both VDF and Leavy. We know Leo reckons Ruddock can do a job in the second row, and both of these guys can add impact. Carbery over R Byrne for versatility, and ROL covering 13 and wing. I think Saturday showed that Carbery isn't ready to play 15 in a game like this from the start.

This is going to be a long week...


Pertinent points all, with which I find myself in agreement. I think we've the better front row, they've the better second row and back row is a toss up. The experience Henshaw & Ringer gained playing the last couple of weeks in the 6 Nations alongside J10 could be what enables our back line to contain the attacking threat of Le Roux, Beale et al. And we've Ferg to do a kamikaze on Wade, if needs be!!!!
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Re: Leinster v Wasps Aviva Stadium 1st April KO 3.15 BT

Postby ronk » March 26th, 2017, 9:29 pm

It might be hard to get a solid platform up front if they play Moore. Big game for him.
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Re: Leinster v Wasps Aviva Stadium 1st April KO 3.15 BT

Postby leinsterforever » March 26th, 2017, 9:55 pm

O'Brien to start at 8 if Conan doesn't make it?

Think I'd have Ferg in over Byrne.

In some ways performing badly in the previous game can be good because it'll focus minds and highlight what areas need work. England's big win against Scotland didn't do them much good for the Ireland game
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Re: Leinster v Wasps Aviva Stadium 1st April KO 3.15 BT

Postby ribs » March 26th, 2017, 11:08 pm

Cardiff was the perfect preparation for this game. I expect wasps to play the same way
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Re: Leinster v Wasps Aviva Stadium 1st April KO 3.15 BT

Postby paddyor » March 26th, 2017, 11:39 pm

Healy - Think he'll be that bit fresher than McGrath who has been racking up 60+ minutes for Ireland since the start of 2016
Tracy
Furlong
Triggs
Toner
Ruddock - for some reason the extra lineout option at 6 is all anyone is talking about at the moment.
SOB - no better man to keep Haskell occupied
Conan - great chance to lay down a marker
L. McGrath
Sexton
McFadden - has been more than solid since his return, not a game breaker but we should have enough of that elsewhere
Henshaw
Ringrose
A. Byrne - Biggest game of his career, big chance to get on the radar for Japan
Nacsewa - Looking forward to LaRoux, Wade and Beale challenging him

Cronin
McGrath
Bent
Moloney /Ruddock - Could see Ruddock get the nod if he doesn't start
VdF /Leavy - Depends on above, if VdF starts then Leavy gets his bench spot
JGP
Carberry - Won't start at 15, but could be the first sub if there's an injury.
ROL - Covers centre and wing

Back row (and bench ) is probably the trickiest selection. Ruddock could get the nod as a lineout option, but IIRC we used VdF frequently in one early season game as a lineout option and to good effect too. He seems light enough he'd be easy to lift but actually he's heavier and taller than Ruddock. Go figure. My impression has always been that Ruddock is a more physical player, whereas VdF is all about getting around the pitch.

The other option is Leavy who has essentially come from nowhere(the U20s is a long time ago) at the start of the season to get 2 Irish caps and push Ruddock down the Irish pecking order. Doesn't have the power of SOB or the engine of VdF IMO, but cuter than SOB and stronger over the ball than VdF. I think he benches whoever gets the starting slot.

SOB & Conan nailed on with Nails and No More Nails. SOBs handling and passing seems to have desserted him over his injury shortened career but he still has an ability to draw defenders and melt rucks that none of our other back row options have. Conan will have to more of the mundane backrow work Heaslip has previously done for him. It's still not clear he's a better straight up carrier than Jamie and he won't get as many chances to run riot at the edge of or behind a defense that he has previously. If Ruddock gets the nod it'll give some indication of how we intend to use Jack.
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Re: Leinster v Wasps Aviva Stadium 1st April KO 3.15 BT

Postby blockhead » March 27th, 2017, 12:27 am

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Re: Leinster v Wasps Aviva Stadium 1st April KO 3.15 BT

Postby IanD » March 27th, 2017, 12:57 am

Just saw on the highlights that Willie Let Roux went off with a head injury. With a 6 day turnaround will he be available for Saturday.
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Re: Leinster v Wasps Aviva Stadium 1st April KO 3.15 BT

Postby curates_egg » March 27th, 2017, 6:04 am

Those of you going with Tracy to start are ignoring Saturday's cameo I guess. Looked more show than pony and flapped badly at Cuthbert.
He and Molony didn't do their selection chances any favours.
Isa looks in fine nick thankfully.
Ruddock definitely complicated selection. Healy too.
I also wonder will Bent bench? Looked again very solid.
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Re: Leinster v Wasps Aviva Stadium 1st April KO 3.15 BT

Postby fourthirtythree » March 27th, 2017, 8:59 am

paddyor wrote: Ruddock could get the nod as a lineout option, but IIRC we used VdF frequently in one early season game as a lineout option and to good effect too. He seems light enough he'd be easy to lift but actually he's heavier and taller than Ruddock. Go figure. My impression has always been that Ruddock is a more physical player, whereas VdF is all about getting around the pitch.



I think your impression is more correct than wherever the stats came from: Ruddock is c. 5cm and 5kg taller and heavier I think. Saw how quick VdF was to latch onto the ball the other day and how much bulk and power Ruddock can bring to the equation.
As pointed out above, complicates things nicely. Timely performance from Rhys.
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Re: Leinster v Wasps Aviva Stadium 1st April KO 3.15 BT

Postby cormac » March 27th, 2017, 9:01 am

From the match report it sounds like Wasps were as ropey defensively as we were at the weekend. They have Launchbury, Hughes and Daly to come back into their squad. Sounds like le Roux is doubtful after picking up a concussion in the incident that led to the Worcester red card.
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Re: Leinster v Wasps Aviva Stadium 1st April KO 3.15 BT

Postby wixfjord » March 27th, 2017, 10:17 am

curates_egg wrote:Those of you going with Tracy to start are ignoring Saturday's cameo I guess. Looked more show than pony and flapped badly at Cuthbert.


Not at all, but you seem to be ignoring Strauss' head injury and Cronin's lack of any match fitness!
As it stands, Tracy may be our only option to start.
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Re: Leinster v Wasps Aviva Stadium 1st April KO 3.15 BT

Postby curates_egg » March 27th, 2017, 10:42 am

wixfjord wrote:
curates_egg wrote:Those of you going with Tracy to start are ignoring Saturday's cameo I guess. Looked more show than pony and flapped badly at Cuthbert.


Not at all, but you seem to be ignoring Strauss' head injury and Cronin's lack of any match fitness!
As it stands, Tracy may be our only option to start.


Strauss went off with the rest of the front row. I assumed it was a standard replacement?
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Re: Leinster v Wasps Aviva Stadium 1st April KO 3.15 BT

Postby brenno » March 27th, 2017, 11:00 am

cormac wrote:From the match report it sounds like Wasps were as ropey defensively as we were at the weekend. They have Launchbury, Hughes and Daly to come back into their squad. Sounds like le Roux is doubtful after picking up a concussion in the incident that led to the Worcester red card.


Yep didn't see Wasps game at the weekend but to leak 3 tries to the 2nd worst team in the Prem suggests they can be got at - and Wasps only ran away with the game after Worcester guy sent off early in 2nd half. Lots of questions about our defence after Cardiff game, but with front-liners returning I'm reasonably confident.
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Re: Leinster v Wasps Aviva Stadium 1st April KO 3.15 BT

Postby LeRouxIsPHat » March 27th, 2017, 11:02 am

I wasn't too impressed with Tracy either. He wasn't poor by any means but thought it was an error to kick the ball away and then he missed the follow up tackle, and he was one of the guys I was talking about when I said that we took too much out of the ball. He had chances to move the ball quickly and didn't take them. That's usually a strength of his and in fairness he still carried well instead but like the rest of the side I'd say he just wasn't sharp.

Two things really worry me about this game...our defence out wide and the balance of the back row. Wasps are arguably the side most suited to exposing Adam Byrne's positioning and SOB hasn't been covering the ground out wide to slow down ball there. Regardless of who else is picked with them I'd definitely have one of Leavy or VDF playing. I said previously that I'd bench SOB but I know that won't happen. Actually there's a third worry, Launchbury will be a nuisance even if we get on top up front. Haskell could be too (assuming he's fit, have a vague memory of hearing he's doubtful but might be wrong) but if we dominate up front then he's not as good as Launchbury at staying in the game.
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Re: Leinster v Wasps Aviva Stadium 1st April KO 3.15 BT

Postby curates_egg » March 27th, 2017, 11:07 am

LeRouxIsPHat wrote:Two things really worry me about this game...our defence out wide and the balance of the back row. Wasps are arguably the side most suited to exposing Adam Byrne's positioning and SOB hasn't been covering the ground out wide to slow down ball there. Regardless of who else is picked with them I'd definitely have one of Leavy or VDF playing. I said previously that I'd bench SOB but I know that won't happen. Actually there's a third worry, Launchbury will be a nuisance even if we get on top up front. Haskell could be too (assuming he's fit, have a vague memory of hearing he's doubtful but might be wrong) but if we dominate up front then he's not as good as Launchbury at staying in the game.


They got so much change out of running back overcooked kicks that were followed with a half-assed chase (and I think every single one involved at least one missed tackle). It was actually mildly reminiscent of the dark days under Leicester's future coach.
McGrath's box kicks were almost all too long to be contested, and he looked to be practising them intentionally like that in the warm-up, so it must have been a tactic...but it failed spectacularly. The chasers invariably timed their runs wrong and missed tackles.
That - at least - is something that can be easily corrected.
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Re: Leinster v Wasps Aviva Stadium 1st April KO 3.15 BT

Postby simonokeeffe » March 27th, 2017, 11:20 am

IanD wrote:Just saw on the highlights that Willie Let Roux went off with a head injury. With a 6 day turnaround will he be available for Saturday.


RTPs are 5 days so no symptoms or reactions and he can play

ronk wrote:It might be hard to get a solid platform up front if they play Moore. Big game for him.


For them or for us? Hes not been slaying dragons in the scrum this season
When he spreads his legs like that youd need dynamite or the Highland Light Infantry to shift him.
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Re: Leinster v Wasps Aviva Stadium 1st April KO 3.15 BT

Postby Oldschoolsocks » March 27th, 2017, 11:22 am

curates_egg wrote:
wixfjord wrote:
curates_egg wrote:Those of you going with Tracy to start are ignoring Saturday's cameo I guess. Looked more show than pony and flapped badly at Cuthbert.


Not at all, but you seem to be ignoring Strauss' head injury and Cronin's lack of any match fitness!
As it stands, Tracy may be our only option to start.


Strauss went off with the rest of the front row. I assumed it was a standard replacement?


Strauss looked poleaxed coming iff
the irony being that ad-hominen and appeal to majority are the most often used defences of the apologist.
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Re: Leinster v Wasps Aviva Stadium 1st April KO 3.15 BT

Postby johng » March 27th, 2017, 11:27 am

brenno wrote:Yep didn't see Wasps game at the weekend

http://www.premiershiprugby.com/video/h ... -round-18/
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Re: Leinster v Wasps Aviva Stadium 1st April KO 3.15 BT

Postby wixfjord » March 27th, 2017, 11:41 am

curates_egg wrote:
wixfjord wrote:
curates_egg wrote:Those of you going with Tracy to start are ignoring Saturday's cameo I guess. Looked more show than pony and flapped badly at Cuthbert.


Not at all, but you seem to be ignoring Strauss' head injury and Cronin's lack of any match fitness!
As it stands, Tracy may be our only option to start.


Strauss went off with the rest of the front row. I assumed it was a standard replacement?


Nah it was just the TH and LH due to come off and he had to come too due to injury. Not sure how bad he was but didn't look in great shape.
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