Premiership Team News: Round 1

BATH RUGBY SIDE TO FACE NEWCASTLE FALCONS15. Tom de Glanville, 14. Ruaridh McConnochie, 13. Cameron Redpath, 12. Josh Matavesi, 11. Joe Cokanasiga, 10. Rhys Priestland, 9. Ben Spencer; 1. Lewis Boyce, 2. Jack Walker, 3. Henry Thomas, 4. Josh McNally (C), 5. Will Spencer, 6. Mike Williams, 7. Miles Reid, 8. Zach MercerREPLACEMENTS16. Ross Batty, 17. Juan Schoeman, 18. Christian Judge, 19. Charlie Ewels, 20. Josh Bayliss, 21. Will Chudley, 22. Max Clark, 23. Semesa Rokoduguni

15 Lima Sopoaga (43)14 Zach Kibirige (26)13 Juan de Jongh (59)12 Jimmy Gopperth (106)11 Josh Bassett (127)10 Jacob Umaga (31)9 Ben Vellacott (8)1 Simon McIntyre (172)2 Tommy Taylor (71)3 Kieran Brookes (41)4 Tim Cardall (19)5 James Gaskell (121)6 Jack Willis (62)7 Thomas Young (120)8 Brad Shields (34) Replacements16 Tom Cruse (83)17 Tom West (34)18 Jeff Toomaga-Allen (21)19 Levi Douglas (1)20 Alfie Barbeary (6)21 Tom Willis (22)22 Sam Wolstenholme (11)23 Paolo Odogwu (8)

Autumn Nations Cup Sqaud update

England

Elliot Daly and Joe Marler return after injuries, while Alex Mitchell has also joined up with the squad after taking part in some of England’s training camps in October. Jack Singleton (hamstring) and Anthony Watson (ankle) have withdrawn from the squad for the Georgia fixture through injury and will begin rehabilitation with their clubs.

George Ford and Mark Wilson will continue their rehabilitation programmes in camp at The Lensbury. Billy Vunipola will join up with the squad on Sunday after the birth of his son earlier this week.

Newly-appointed skills coach, Jason Ryles, has joined up with the team after finishing the season and winning the NRL Grand Final with Melbourne Storm, where he was assistant coach

Scotland

Sam Hidalgo-Clyne is named as the only new addition from Townsend’s original selection at the beginning of October, while winger Sean Maitland returns to the squad having not been available to be selected for the Guinness Six Nations finale against Wales last weekend.

Next Season T&D DTRR Cup

OK everyone Super Saturday is over congrats to NZ for stomping all over the shackle draggers and England for winning the 6N. The new season of the premiership is less than 3 weeks away.

So need to get your predictions in for the premiership, So far have:-

Monty
Tanker
Travelexec
GEPC
B2P
Sabart
Grump
Bigger Picture
Slamma
George
Dhanley
Novo

Still need of those I can remember Mani, roger, rory, GW, Witters, Engelbertshump, Haz Doug, Chippie, Exlock, Mouse, JDK, Novo, firepies, gladders, global fan, ruck (or whatever you call yourself nowadays.), Hugh, CMJS, Dalters, 6mph, Tomski, Coshie, George, Adastra and Mr Wu. Any lurkers stalkers and all others welcome to enter. Good bottle of single malt to the winner from me.

Get your predictions in position and points full details can be seen here https://rugbyrefugees.co.uk/td-dtrr-final-reckoning/.

Six Nations Team News

Ireland with just 2 changes due to Ringrose injury. Henshaw starts and Farrell onto bench.

Ireland: Jacob Stockdale, Andrew Conway, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, Hugo Keenan, Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray; Cian Healy, Rob Herring, Andrew Porter, Tadhg Beirne, James Ryan, Caelan Doris, Will Connors, CJ Stander.

Replacements: Dave Heffernan, Ed Byrne, Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane, Peter O’Mahony, Jamison Gibson-Park, Ross Byrne, Chris Farrell

T&D DTRR Final reckoning

First of all huge congratulations to Exeter. Double winners. During the game I actually thought we could do it but the lineout didn’t function all game. Absorbing match and actually CMK wasn’t too bad. Next season (in a couple of weeks is looking promising already. I don’t think the league lead will be quite such a procession but Exeter are still the team to beat.

Our final standings didn’t change over the playoffs. so the results prior to the playoffs stand. So congrats to Monty and Mani for the share of the trophy. I propose 6 months each with the trophy and the rum to be shared among all the refugees. Final table below.

1Mani2.33
1Monty2.33
3Anonymouse2.83
3B2P2.83
3Travel Exec2.83
6Exlock2.92
7Grump3.00
8Bart3.17
8D Hanley3.17
8George3.17
8JD Kiwi3.17
8Novo3.17
8Slamma3.17
14Bigger Picture3.25
15Adrian3.33
15Firepies3.33
15Gladders3.33
15Global Fan3.33
15Ruck3.33
15Tanker3.33
21Hugh3.42
22CMJS3.50
22Dalton Lad3.50
22GEPC3.50
256mph3.67
25Tomski3.67
27Bris3.83
27Coshie3.83
27Mr Wu3.83
Final Table

Now before we get taken over by an England thread and tanker moaning about fazz and bkb I’d like to get the predictions for next year. I’m doing a slight change for next year so that we will besides positions have final points. So the final table this year was.

So just your predicated position for each team and their final points tally for the teams below. I’ll do average points per game and keep everyone updated. Position to count for 80% of your score and the points for 20% of your score smallest average of the differences to actuals to be the winner.

 PositionPoints
Bath  
Bristol  
Chiefs  
Glaws  
LI  
Newcastle  
Quins  
Saints  
Sale  
Tigers  
Wasps  
Wuss  

Gladders on a Bike – One year on

With last Thursday the 15th October being the one year anniversary of my arrival in Argentina and  Monday the 19thbeing the actual start  of the cycling and the departure date from Ushuaia, I thought I‘d give you an update on the trip. Some of you will already know that I am currently in Chile, on the coast about 75miles west of Santiago, in a place called Concon.

My trip has taken me across Tierra del Fuego from Ushuaia in Argentina, the most southerly place on continental America (oddly enough it is actually an island) to Porvenir (480km) where I took a ferry to the mainland proper and the Chile’s largest southerly city – Punta Arenas.

I then headed north to Puerto Natales for a week or so and explored the Torres del Paine National Park. Breath taking. I had met an Italian cyclist 150km from Ushuaia who was about to end his own odyssey from Mexico City south and he recommended the Carretera Austral as an option north. Pampas are flat(ish), very windy and with nothing special to see.  One of the best bits of advice that I’ve taken.

I hopped on a ferry north which went through the western Isles and canals and fjords. Yet more remarkable scenery – like Scotland on steroids.

I joined the Carretera  Austral at Caleta Tortel and headed north through Alpine-like valleys, over mountains, alongside lakes, glaciers, rivers and the odd Guanaco (think Llama).

The road was mostly ripio (gravel) and it is very hard going, especially the uphill parts– the bike kept sliding sideways and I had to push it up several ascents.

I had one or two moments when I did ask myself what I was doing but as Slamma suggested, I looked for a hairy, strawberry blonde hand to give me a boost.

I eventually made it to Puerto Montt, the end of the C Austral with a feeling of trepidation. So many cars and people after 6 weeks of relative solitude.

Onwards east across and along half a dozen lakes and into Argentina and Bariloche; where I parked my bike and flew to Buenos Aires for Christmas.

New Year brought a renewed vigour and desire and I travelled along Argentina’s fabled Ruta 40 through the region of Los Lagos (Villa La Angostura – one of my favourite places) and on to San Martin de los Andes and back into Chile. More lakes, ferries and so many volcanoes. Fantastic. After weaving north west for a bit, I reached Temuco where I joined the Ruta 5, part of the Pan American highway system, which runs north/south for approx. 3,500 km.

This part was fairly dull and the only thing of note was getting sprayed with tear gas in Rancagua by Chile’s finest – the carabineros. If ever there was a wrong time and wrong place moment, this was it. Travelling on the hard shoulder (can you imagine doing that in the UK?) I managed to get some serious mileage (700km) in a relatively short time, averaging 20kmh+ and 70-80 km a day against 8kmh and 40-50 km a day through the mountains and gravel.

After 3 and half weeks in Santiago, I headed west to meet some mutual friends from Kabul who live south of Valparaiso. A quick side trip to Easter Island (another remarkable place) and I caught the second last flight back to mainland Chile and the onset of the bastard CV19.

I have been sitting out the pandemic now since March and have decided to stay here until next year.

The numbers:

Distance travelled 4,000 km excluding the 7,000km return journey out into the south eastern Pacific and back.

Accidents – 0

Flat tyres -0 for 3,700 km and then 3 in 75km!

Nights wild camping -6

Ferries taken -7

Lakes crossed – 4

Brits met – 3

And most importantly money raised for Deany’s nominated charity My Name’5 Doddie

£ 2,781 plus gift Aid of £372.50

An enormous thank you to all of you have donated or followed my journey so far, you know who you are…and, in particular, to my family, friends and the Rugby Refugees.

For the moment the odyssey is on hold until the world becomes a less crazy place but it is my intention to reach the Caribbean coast of Colombia – only 8,000km to go.

Would I do it again? You bet I would.

Donate Here

The Grand DepartHanging Glacier at PuyuahpiA serious low point. 6pm, no camp site and that climbLake & Volcano...what could be better apart from a pie & a pintBack in Chile100km from SantiagoCerro San Cristobal, Santiago

D&T DTRR Cup Regular Season end

After the longest regular season known to mankind we are finally at the playoffs. Finally clarity on the Sale – Wuss match. Think it was inevitable but now official. PRL have hardly covered themselves in glory here. The SARU which used to be the epitome of bad governance has been surpassed.

At this pont in the table obviously positions 5 to 8 are fixed. I’m going to extend this to the playoffs which I think was the original intention. So Final winner first, loser 2nd. the 2 semi final losers will be 3rd and 4th dependent on their positions before the playoffs. I’ll come up with something for next season and do a post on that after the final.

As promised a summary of the clubs and how they’ve done this season. From last to first. All obviously my thought so probably as much wrong as right.

Sarries – Not going to go into the salary cap shenanigans its been done to death. Unknown as to where they would have finished without it as they may have done squads differently but if my aunt had balls etc… . From what I’ve seen of the youngsters there and the international players they are retaining they should come straight back up. However who knows if there will even be a championship next season. Its a mess and without playing how do you equitably promote them? Not sure Pirates Ealing etc (and of course Nottingham Mr Wu.) are happy to just concede. Sounds like a lawyers paradise or hell to everyone else. There progress and matches in Europe shows what the squad can do and salary cap or no salary cap they’ve built something pretty good there.

Tigers – Even back in SA in the amateur days I’d heard of Leicester. How the mighty have fallen. Watching them recently they really don’t deserve to be any higher than they are and they can thank the salary cap manager they are not being relegated. Personally and this is without any first hand knowledge I think the failure is at management probably board level. Their squad while not brilliant is not that bad but their is no real team there just a collection of individuals. It might actually have better to have been relegated just to give themm the sort of shock required for real serious change. English rugby without a decent tigers isn’t quite the same. Mind you I’d have said that about Richmond at one point.

LI – On the few times I’ve watched them I’ve not been overly impressed. Still looks like a club with a decent academy that produces a few decent youngsters that then get snaffled by bigger clubs and a bunch of journey men that can do a job but aren’t going to set the world alight. Not sure if a new ground will help them and I can’t see them attracting a large audience. Will be among the strugglers next season as well I think.

Wuss – very similar to LI. Nothing special a decent side that may have an occasional good day with a few promising players but nothing on the whole exciting. They might need a new coach to spark something. Probably not relegation candidates but mid table mediocrity is probably as good as they can hope for.

Saints – With the change in coach at first it looked promising but has become less so. Trying to do too much fancy stuff without the basics. Some excellent players (Lawes etc) but also some real dross (whoever the large PI wing is). I’ve been to Franklin gardens and I think they are one of the teams that miss home support the most but not really good enough this season. If they can get a few more nasty forwards and actually play in the right areas perhaps they could challenge. Without that they’ll be stuck in a similar position next year.

Glaws – Regardless of change in coaches and personnel they always seem to be the most consistent team at being inconsistent. The shine seems to have worn off Cips and I’m not sure they have a way of playing. Some brilliant players but can’t seem to put it together. Unless something dramatic changes they will be perennial underachievers and it will always be next year that will be glaws year.

Quins- Would have hoped for a little bit more from Gustard although some signs of the fight are starting to show. Another team that is shockingly inconsistent. Still think a few forwards required. In Smith they have a potential superstar but he needs more from those around him and he’s not getting it yet. They could actually challenge next year and for the sake of Deany (after all this is the Tom and Deany cup) I hope they do but remain unconvinced.

Sale – I’m going to ignore the last game fiasco and blame PRL. On results and trajectory they probably should have made top 4. Definite improvements and now a squad that can seriously challenge and I’d expect them to be up there or there abouts next season. Bit too much reliance on SA imports but no club is squeaky clean on the using foreigners front. At least with Dimes you’l get some interesting quotes. Its good to see Northern rugby getting a bit of a boost.

Barf – Once oc the biggest turnarounds from where they were last season. Used to be one of the powerhouses of rugby in England and getting back there. In previous times known more for the backs than the forwards but have decided on getting a bit more forward orientated and playing off 9. Generally working for them. Still not the finished article and probably need a season or 2 to get there but on the right trajectory. Definite contenders for next year. Think there journey this season will end at Sandy Park but something to build on.

Bris – From 9th to 2nd is quite something. They are the new money bags of the premiership. Pat lam has done a brilliant job of knitting it all together and actually seems to be getting value for money from most of the big signings. The addition of a few players from sarries didn’t hurt. They definitely have a style and if you let them play it expect to be torn apart when it comes off. It does have some risks but they seem to believe and results back that up. Decidedly one of the contenders for next season. Here I’m more hoping rather than expecting that there journey will end at the Ricoh as a wasps fan can’t yet be confident.

Wasps- Another team that have completely changed there fortunes mid season. As much as I liked Dai and will be forever grateful for what he did with the club the influence of the new coach has been startling. I know we got lucky with the squads we faced after the covid break but some decent rugby has been played and the defence seems to have actually turned into a proper defence. Some decent yougsters brought through as well. Hoping for a good result on the weekend but not expecting too much. They have already done better than I dared hope.

Chiefs – Easily the best team and probably more importantly squad in the premiership. A definite identity and those that think its all pick and go from 5 yards out aren’t noticing how they got to 5 yards out. With a prolonged campaign in Europe and short odds favourites to win the premiership the problem for Ex now is just keeping to the standards that they have set. The youngsters coming through aren’t there yet but there’s a nucleus that can be drip fed into the team. Probably the team where everyone knows what they are doing the most. And with Baxter obviously a canny operator will be favourites next season too.

So good luck to all for those playing this weekend. Hope we get some crackers to watch. The cup still looks to be between mani and Monty.

1Mani2.33
1Monty2.33
3Anonymouse2.83
3B2P2.83
3Travel Exec2.83
6Exlock2.92
7Grump3.00
8Bart3.17
8D Hanley3.17
8George3.17
8JD Kiwi3.17
8Novo3.17
8Slamma3.17
14Bigger Picture3.25
15Adrian3.33
15Firepies3.33
15Gladders3.33
15Global Fan3.33
15Ruck3.33
15Tanker3.33
21Hugh3.42
22CMJS3.50
22Dalton Lad3.50
22GEPC3.50
256mph3.67
25Tomski3.67
27Bris3.83
27Coshie3.83
27Mr Wu3.83

T&D DTRR Cup Update

Basically a whole lot of nothing going on

The table didn’t shift at all in round 21 so no change in the standings at all. Just confirmed the 4 into 3 wont go for positions 2 to 4. Does mean the last round will have some excitement.

The way I see it Bristol and Sale should run out fairly comfortable winners against Irish and Wuss respectively which leaves the 2 big games to decide the semifinal spot being Sarries v Barf and Pests vs Cultural Appropriators. Both Wasps and barf just need a win due to the extra point that wasps have and the extra win that Bath have. Bonus points will make no difference.

With 2 weeks to the final Chiefs can probably play their strongest squad and Sarries are doing one last run out at this level for some time so I would expect a gun squad there as well. Either team will have to be at their best to get anything out of those. Assuming that Sale and Bris win then LBP or TBP could actually be a deciding factor. Really looking forward to a proper weekend of full on rugby with something at stake on the final weekend. Considering the weird season we’ve had not a bad ending to the regular season.

Now COYW!

1Monty2.00
2Travel Exec2.67
3Exlock2.75
4Mani2.83
5Anonymouse3.00
5D Hanley3.00
5George3.00
5Gladders3.00
5Grump3.00
5Novo3.00
11Bigger Picture3.08
12B2P3.17
12Bart3.17
12JD Kiwi3.17
12Slamma3.17
12Tanker3.17
17Adrian3.33
17CMJS3.33
17Firepies3.33
17Global Fan3.33
17Ruck3.33
22Dalton Lad3.50
22GEPC3.50
22Hugh3.50
256mph3.67
25Tomski3.67
27Bris3.83
27Coshie3.83
27Mr Wu3.83