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owl

Member since Nov 2011 • Last active Jan 2020

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  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    I think your critique of Maro was spot on 12 months ago, but I feel like this is something he's really stepped up on, he's clearly not Billy but he seems to take contact more powerfully now, making decent breaks and rarely going backwards. I haven't watched an enormous amount of Ludlam but I don't remember thinking he looked underpowered but I may well be wrong on that...

    Agree re Morgan's intelligence, and he's a very good domestic player, but I haven't seen anything from him this season (intermittent Glaws attendee) to particular suggest he's got a huge amount to offer at international level.

    Jack Willis and Zach Mercer are two big talents that will hopefully step-up over the next year or two...

    Are you going to the Bris - Glaws game on saturday? I'm very much looking forward to it, albeit not as much as when I misread the Semi Radrada transfer story and thought he'd be playing by now...

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    I think England do have enough heavy-traffic carriers in Mako, George, Sinclair and Maro, they can make do with a workrate/turnover-heavy backrow so I'm not sure I'd bring Morgan back, who whilst he has had some great games often looks pretty ponderous and probably isn't the future of the increasingly fast-paced international game. I'd definitely have had Dombrandt in, but not unhappy with a backrow picked from Curry, Underhill, Ludlam, Hill, Earl etc... We also have such a glut of locks I don't mind seeing Lawes/Maro at 6 if it means Launchbury gets in, who has been so unlucky and would walk into any other international team...

    No idea what Ben Spencer has/hasn't done to miss out.

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    Maybe, although they worked so well together in tandem during the world cup and there's more than a little Pocock and Hooper about them - with a bigger 6 ("Pooper" flourished when Fardy came into the Ozzy team) it's still a viable backrow for me. Ludlam looks a good option at 6. Not watched much of Hill but hear good things. I'd also really like to see Dombrandt in the squad. I hope he's not another Don Armand...

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    Is Mark Wilson still injured? He did a pretty good job at 8 last year, making up for power of carries with volume and work-rate. I guess you could partner Curry and Underhill with a big 6/8 (Ted Hill, Lewis Ludlam, Itoje/Lawes etc) and hope to achieve similar balance. I'm not sure if a 6-7-8 of Curry, Underhill, Earl has quite enough bang but who knows with Eddie...

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    Yep, the margins by which Sarries have beaten Exeter in recent finals certainly suggests that with a couple fewer big name players at least one more title should be with you guys. And as for EJ's selections. Fuck knows. It's almost as if he picks his starting XV and then selects randomly beyond that. How you can have watched this season's rugby and not pick either of the Simmons or Alex Dombrandt baffles me.

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    So good!

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    Which only brings them somewhere close to a level playing field with ireland/Japan/Argentina/Scotland etc! I don't really see that as a significant angle here.

    The difference of perspective between Venter and Monye is clear - and pretty much the two extremes from which people will view this. I'm certainly not siding with Venter, and without more transparency it's impossible for anyone to take a clear-minded view, although from the perspective of the other clubs in the league Monye's is by far the more reasonable position...

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    Can't imagine we'll ever find that out. Not sure it's entirely relevant either, as you say, they are different entities and their priorities are entirely unaligned.

    Worth listening to the Brendan Venter interview on the latest edition of the BBC rugby pod. I mean, he's clearly a massive Sarries apologist and he can obfuscate better than anyone else in the game but he does present another 'visual' for this situation that provides an interest contrast. As with everything, the reality probably falls somewhere in the middle, but I think I probably fall on the side of largely well-meaning mismanagement and a very stubborn reluctance to see their homegrown players leave rather than a calculated and coordinated systematic cheating. But I may very well be wrong and would certainly feel differently if I were an Exeter fan. I'm not a Sarries fan either, btw, but I did enjoy their recent wins in Europe with the majority of the England team...

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    For sure, this is pretty much what I've heard, was just making the point that these are not all shell-companies and therefore egregious flouting of the rules from the start...

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    We have no idea what the findings suggest as nothing has been released! We know Sarries have accepted they were over the actual cap, but beyond that and the reality around these investment companies it is pure speculation...

    I have some sympathy - I don't think the academy credits properly reflect the investment they have made and the amount of players they lose to internationals. But everyone else has to live by that so they shouldn't have assumed they didn't.

    They have a big chip on their shoulders about their position outside 'the establishment' and I think a lot of fans (and board members) are quite loudly wondering at the moment about Bath/Quins' finances and general compliance. Potentially quite telling you don't hear much from either of their ownerships. Unlike Exeter, who have every reason to feel outrageously aggrieved and are doing well to not throw all their toys out of the pram...

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