Pro 12 Semi-final vs Scarlets

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Pro 12 Semi-final vs Scarlets

Postby riocard911 » May 8th, 2017, 1:28 pm

For anyone interested in studying the current form of the Scarlets, here's the full Ospreys match from last Saturday:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVF7ZAf_9I8&t=4886s
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Re: Pro 12 Semi-final vs Scarlets

Postby cormac » May 8th, 2017, 2:21 pm

They're clearly playing very well at the moment and will be coming with a lot of confidence but the Ospreys are in free-fall at the moment. I'd like to think our pack and defence will provide a much sterner challenge than the one the Scarlets faced last Saturday.

Some tough selection choices ahead for Leo for this match.

Loosehead: Is Healy in better form than McGrath?
Hooker: If Cronin is fit, does he start?
Back-row: If Seanie is fit, how do we perm three from five and might we go with two back-rows on the bench?
Back-three - the halves probably pick themselves as do the centres (fitness permitting) but the composition of the back three is up for debate. Does Carbery revert to full-back? Isa on the wing? Scarlets centres and back three are probably the strongest part of their side. Evans, Williams and McNicholl have been combining well, although not really sure why Williams is on the wing with McNicholl at full-back. Think McNicholl could be weak link defensively, but who's best suited from our squad to capitalise.
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Re: Pro 12 Semi-final vs Scarlets

Postby LeRouxIsPHat » May 8th, 2017, 2:41 pm

Our hooker situation really isn't great now that you mention it. Strauss and Tracy have both had shockers with their throwing and Cronin hasn't been able to stay fit, bit worrying.

Molony would be very unlucky to miss out but I reckon we'll go with 5 backrowers if SOB is fit. Personally I'd leave SOB out entirely. Ruddock, VDF, and Conan is a perfectly balanced back row and Leavy is great off the bench.
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Re: Pro 12 Semi-final vs Scarlets

Postby neiliog93 » May 8th, 2017, 5:06 pm

Strauss is definitely third choice for me now, Tracy definitely had a couple of wobbles against Ulster but generally played quite well. If Cronin is fit, even with his poor performance against Clermont, he's the first choice. He was excellent in all areas of play against Ospreys.
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Re: Pro 12 Semi-final vs Scarlets

Postby El Diablo » May 8th, 2017, 6:37 pm

LeRouxIsPHat wrote:Personally I'd leave SOB out entirely.

:shock:
sacrilegious talk. I cant see him being left out. It is such a tough call but I think VDF will be the one to lose out. I personally think Leavy, Ruddock and SOB with Conan on the bench but it is down to who is training well, who is carrying a knock and what the gameplan is. It is a great problem to have.
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Re: Pro 12 Semi-final vs Scarlets

Postby simonokeeffe » May 8th, 2017, 7:18 pm

El Diablo wrote:
LeRouxIsPHat wrote:Personally I'd leave SOB out entirely.

:shock:
sacrilegious talk. I cant see him being left out. It is such a tough call but I think VDF will be the one to lose out. I personally think Leavy, Ruddock and SOB with Conan on the bench but it is down to who is training well, who is carrying a knock and what the gameplan is. It is a great problem to have.


Benching Leavy is straight up heretical
When he spreads his legs like that youd need dynamite or the Highland Light Infantry to shift him.
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Re: Pro 12 Semi-final vs Scarlets

Postby Ruckedtobits » May 8th, 2017, 8:11 pm

Our best backrow combination is SO'B, Conan and Leavy. The form players are Ruddock and Leavy. The best performance at seven this year has come from JVdF. The most significant back-row performances this year have come from Conan.

Not an easy selection but I come back to that first sentence.
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Re: Pro 12 Semi-final vs Scarlets

Postby Ruckedtobits » May 8th, 2017, 8:17 pm

Regarding our back three, Isa was clearly targeted by the coaching staff of Clermont. To us he's a God. But do others see his clay feet?

Joey at full-back is logical. Adam Byrne at right wing gives additional attacking option but do our coaching staff have confidence in his defence. Ferg can do the business defensively against anybody but does he give us more than RO'L in both attack and defence?

Another set of hard choices. Glad it's not mine.
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Re: Pro 12 Semi-final vs Scarlets

Postby curates_egg » May 8th, 2017, 8:30 pm

Ruckedtobits wrote:Regarding our back three, Isa was clearly targeted by the coaching staff of Clermont. To us he's a God. But do others see his clay feet?

Joey at full-back is logical. Adam Byrne at right wing gives additional attacking option but do our coaching staff have confidence in his defence. Ferg can do the business defensively against anybody but does he give us more than RO'L in both attack and defence?

Another set of hard choices. Glad it's not mine.


I thought they deliberately kicked to Isa to get him sucked into rucks and taken out of the game, which enabled them to expose Carbery's positional naievty as soon as they got a turnover. Seemed like a very clever ploy to me but one that had less to do with Isa directly. You would hope both players and the management have learned from it.
Unlike Graham Henry, DC and others on here are convinced Carbery's future is at 15. If that is the case, then we are just going to have live with people exposing him defensively at 15 until he gets fully up to speed with pro rugby at 15. The alternative is to live with him learning the ropes at 10. I don't really care so much where he is played, so long as he focuses on one position and doesn't get ruined by being shunted around.
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Re: Pro 12 Semi-final vs Scarlets

Postby wixfjord » May 8th, 2017, 9:01 pm

For the semi, I'd definitely go
Ruddock, Leavy, Conan
Molony, SOB

Can't drop Ruddock or Leavy, Molony has been excellent in recent weeks and Conan is a better 8 than SOB.
VDF/SOB is a 50/50 call.

In the back three I'd go
A. Byrne, Carbery, Isa
with R. Byrne and Ferg benching.
We'll definitely see Carbery back there if our patterns over the last three games have been any indication. Don't remember us ever using a first receiver/second playmaker from 15 as much.
A. Byrne has again earned his shot and I don't think his defence will be as much of an issue against Scarlets.
R. Byrne is our second choice 10 based on Ravers at the weekend too.

I would also start Healy, but I've been banging that drum since Wasps.

Cronin has to start at 2 too.
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Re: Pro 12 Semi-final vs Scarlets

Postby LeRouxIsPHat » May 8th, 2017, 9:04 pm

El Diablo wrote:
LeRouxIsPHat wrote:Personally I'd leave SOB out entirely.

:shock:
sacrilegious talk. I cant see him being left out. It is such a tough call but I think VDF will be the one to lose out. I personally think Leavy, Ruddock and SOB with Conan on the bench but it is down to who is training well, who is carrying a knock and what the gameplan is. It is a great problem to have.


I don't either but he hasn't played since the wasps game has he? For me that should rule him out given the other players we have to choose from. I had been critical of his form for a while and then he was outstanding against wasps so that's not why I'd leave him out, not that he has form given he's been injured but you know what I mean.

Also disagree with RTB about that being our best back row because for me Ruddock is our best lineout operator and needs to be in for that reason alone. Fair enough it didn't do us much good on Saturday but I'd still like the option.

Given the way the Scarlets play you could easily make an argument for any two of VDF, Leavy or SOB playing and that should help shut down James Davies.

But there are lots of options, I've no issue with the back rows yourself and RTB picked, just wouldn't be the way I'd go myself.
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Re: Pro 12 Semi-final vs Scarlets

Postby desperado » May 8th, 2017, 11:39 pm

LeRouxIsPHat wrote:Our hooker situation really isn't great now that you mention it. Strauss and Tracy have both had shockers with their throwing and Cronin hasn't been able to stay fit, bit worrying.

Molony would be very unlucky to miss out but I reckon we'll go with 5 backrowers if SOB is fit. Personally I'd leave SOB out entirely. Ruddock, VDF, and Conan is a perfectly balanced back row and Leavy is great off the bench.


I really think Leavy has to start; although I see your point on balance. It's a hard call between himself and VDF as to who starts. Is SOB (really) fit? Ruddock has been immense - would be unfair to drop him, and Jack has to start 8. I'm not sure our lineout woes are down entirely to our hookers; I do think Dev has to share some of the blame.
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Re: Pro 12 Semi-final vs Scarlets

Postby Laighin Break » May 9th, 2017, 8:17 am

Backrow is a very tough call. Yes Leavy is great off the bench, but he's also pretty decent starting a game! I would definitely want him on the pitch for longer than 20-30 minutes, which is probably what he'd get as a sub.
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Re: Pro 12 Semi-final vs Scarlets

Postby riocard911 » May 9th, 2017, 9:49 am

How we hope things will go: Here's the full match of the Pro 12 Round 17 fixture Leinster v Scarlets in the RDS. The backrow that evening was Ruddock at 6, Leavy at 7 and Conan at 8. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLcgj75bsHI&t=3644s
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Re: Pro 12 Semi-final vs Scarlets

Postby Flash Gordon » May 9th, 2017, 11:41 am

El Diablo wrote:
LeRouxIsPHat wrote:Personally I'd leave SOB out entirely.

:shock:
sacrilegious talk. I cant see him being left out. It is such a tough call but I think VDF will be the one to lose out. I personally think Leavy, Ruddock and SOB with Conan on the bench but it is down to who is training well, who is carrying a knock and what the gameplan is. It is a great problem to have.


I think that's what will happen but I would start Josh over Seanie. Personally, I think Josh would have been a Lion following a storming 6 Nations campaign had he not got injured. That being said, it's a close call and either way, the opposition would worry about our backrow.

Separately, Ruddock's form has been impressive and a tremendous testament to the character of the lad, he's really stood out in a pool of international quality backrow competitors.
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Re: Pro 12 Semi-final vs Scarlets

Postby simonokeeffe » May 9th, 2017, 12:05 pm

either way we've got some serious cavalry to bring in off the bench in the forwards which gives us a definite edge
When he spreads his legs like that youd need dynamite or the Highland Light Infantry to shift him.
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Re: Pro 12 Semi-final vs Scarlets

Postby bluemagic » May 11th, 2017, 11:23 am

Can we please go back to having the faith in youth which served us so well. One of byrne or ROL has to start on the wing. Feel has been thoroughly average since his return from injury. His defensive v Connacht & Ulster particularly were poor. In attack he has been essentially non existent.

Byrne's defence is probably on par with McFadden and in attack he runs circles around him.
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Re: Pro 12 Semi-final vs Scarlets

Postby BlueBlue » May 11th, 2017, 1:50 pm

bluemagic wrote:Can we please go back to having the faith in youth which served us so well. One of byrne or ROL has to start on the wing. Feel has been thoroughly average since his return from injury. His defensive v Connacht & Ulster particularly were poor. In attack he has been essentially non existent.

Byrne's defence is probably on par with McFadden and in attack he runs circles around him.



I have to agree.
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Re: Pro 12 Semi-final vs Scarlets

Postby Blueberry » May 14th, 2017, 10:44 am

Would love to see starting:

Healy (Raring to go / 50/50 call / McGrath)
Cronin
Furlong
Toner
Molony (Has looked good recently)
Ruddock (has been outstanding recently)
Conan
O'Brien

Luke
J10
Henshaw
Ringers
A Byrne (Has to start killed Scarlets in the RDS last time)
O'Loughlin (Big call with ISA but let's back youth........and give him a big shot)
Carbery at 15

Bench:
McGrath (50/50 / or Healy)
Tracey
Ross (or Bent / but fancy Ross to kill the Scalets scrum if needed)
VDF
Leavy (Ruddock moves to 2nd Row and we sub VDF and Leavy on with 25/30mins to go for Molony or Toner & O'Brien)
JGP
R Byrne
Isa
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Re: Pro 12 Semi-final vs Scarlets

Postby wixfjord » May 14th, 2017, 11:09 am

Swap Molony, SOB and ROL for Triggs, Leavy and Isa and that'd be my team.

Don't think SOB should come back in ahead of Leavy.
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