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Rugby Union


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#1
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Any rugby fans out there? There's no shortage of action at the moment, with the European Leagues starting up, the Heineken Cup approaching, and the Southern Hemisphere giants going at it. I know rugby isn't that popular over in America, but surely there's some support for it amongst the GDC?

P.S. I'm a Leinster fan, born and bred. Good luck when we win everything again this year ;)
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My new favourite thread.
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My new favourite thread.


Who's your club of choice? Was really worried that no one else on here followed rugby at all, haha.

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From NZ....
Favourite sport currently watching the Rugby Championship with All Blacks, Austalia, South Africa and Argentina....

GO THE ALL BLACKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Who's your club of choice? Was really worried that no one else on here followed rugby at all, haha.

Bath. They're so average, but I've supported them since I was about 10. They've had an alright start to the season, 2 wins from 2. All down hill from here though. What about you?

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Bath. They're so average, but I've supported them since I was about 10. They've had an alright start to the season, 2 wins from 2. All down hill from here though. What about you?


I'm a Leinster supporter. We didn't have a great start to the season, got hammered by the Scarlets, but in all fairness it was our 2nd or 3rd choice team. We put about 45 points on Treviso with the same team in the next game though. Did Bath make the Heineken Cup this year? Haven't really been following the Guinness Premiership.

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I'm a Leinster supporter. We didn't have a great start to the season, got hammered by the Scarlets, but in all fairness it was our 2nd or 3rd choice team. We put about 45 points on Treviso with the same team in the next game though. Did Bath make the Heineken Cup this year? Haven't really been following the Guinness Premiership.

We didn't this year. Crashed out of the pool stages last season. We're fifth in the Premiership after two matches though. Up against Northampton at home next. That's going to be a tricky one, but I reckon we'll take it. We're away to London Irish after that which we'll lose, but then we're hosting the new-look Sale. They'll be one of the more tough teams if Cipriani get's in his stride with the rest of the team.

Can't wait or the Autumn internationals. Who are Ireland hosting?

#8
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We didn't this year. Crashed out of the pool stages last season. We're fifth in the Premiership after two matches though. Up against Northampton at home next. That's going to be a tricky one, but I reckon we'll take it. We're away to London Irish after that which we'll lose, but then we're hosting the new-look Sale. They'll be one of the more tough teams if Cipriani get's in his stride with the rest of the team.


We played both Sale and Northampton in the preseason. Northampton hammered our B side, but then that same B team drew 12 - 12 with Sale, so you've got an interesting couple of games there. I don't fancy Sale much, they've a very "bought-players-a-couple-of-seasons-past-their-best" look about them. All I know about London Irish is that they hammered Munster in the preseason. Not saying much though, since Munster are dire at the moment.

Can't wait or the Autumn internationals. Who are Ireland hosting?


We've got South Africa and Argentina, and our A team has Fiji. We're capable of winning all three of those, but we'll probably lose to South Africa. Declan Kidney is well past it in terms of selection and tactics. Who have England got?

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We've got South Africa and Argentina, and our A team has Fiji. We're capable of winning all three of those, but we'll probably lose to South Africa. Declan Kidney is well past it in terms of selection and tactics. Who have England got?

That sounds pretty interesting. They'll be good matches. We've got Fiji, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. In that order. Going to be tough. We'll beat Fiji, Aus and SA are pretty much 50/50. Our team is capable of beating both at home and matching the intensity of those teams for most of a match, our current forward pack should sweep the Aussies off their feet. New Zealand though, we'll lose that. But by less than 10. It's the last match of the lot. If we beat the other three, the squad might have to confidence to give the Kiwi's a hard time, but honestly we make too many small mistakes and aren't solidified as a team enough yet. They still have less than 250 caps between them. It'll be interesting to see what squad Lancaster picks. If he sticks with the summer squad, as I think he will, we'll be very competitive.

The 6 Nations will be damn close this year too.

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That sounds pretty interesting. They'll be good matches. We've got Fiji, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. In that order. Going to be tough. We'll beat Fiji, Aus and SA are pretty much 50/50. Our team is capable of beating both at home and matching the intensity of those teams for most of a match, our current forward pack should sweep the Aussies off their feet. New Zealand though, we'll lose that. But by less than 10. It's the last match of the lot. If we beat the other three, the squad might have to confidence to give the Kiwi's a hard time, but honestly we make too many small mistakes and aren't solidified as a team enough yet. They still have less than 250 caps between them. It'll be interesting to see what squad Lancaster picks. If he sticks with the summer squad, as I think he will, we'll be very competitive.

The 6 Nations will be damn close this year too.


England or Wales will probably get the 6 Nations this year, if Wales can keep the injuries down (unlikely) and you guys can start playing with some consistency (likely). France as always might sneak it though. We could win it, if our coach actually selected by form, and not by club politics :P

You guys should do alright in the Autumn Series. You're still gelling so a win is a bonus compared to a good performance. That said, I still think NZ will beat you guys comfortably.

Any opinions on the Heineken Cup? Apart from the fact that we're gonna make it 3 in a row this year ;)

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England or Wales will probably get the 6 Nations this year, if Wales can keep the injuries down (unlikely) and you guys can start playing with some consistency (likely). France as always might sneak it though. We could win it, if our coach actually selected by form, and not by club politics http://www.greendaycommunity.org/public/...

There won't be a grand slam this year. England or Wales will win on points. If Wales loses to anyone it'll be England. I'm jittery about England vs Wales and Ireland though. Both away. Ireland with the home advantage can show us the fuck up. That said I'd say out squad is less fragile selection wise. Yeah, it'll defo come down to points between England and Wales for the title.

Any opinions on the Heineken Cup? Apart from the fact that we're gonna make it 3 in a row this year http://www.greendaycommunity.org/public/...

France will dominate the final 8 with 4 teams, Edinburgh or Glasgow will make it, Leinster and Ulster, and one welsh and English team. Probably Harleqins and Sarries are our best hope again. I like Toulouse in France right now.

#12
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There won't be a grand slam this year. England or Wales will win on points. If Wales loses to anyone it'll be England. I'm jittery about England vs Wales and Ireland though. Both away. Ireland with the home advantage can show us the fuck up. That said I'd say out squad is less fragile selection wise. Yeah, it'll defo come down to points between England and Wales for the title.


Ireland vs England games are always 50/50, no matter who has home advantage, haha. Wales could really suffer if they continue to lose players to injury. Their backline can handle it, but their replacements in the pack are very mediocre. I think we'll be okay as long as we don't have any front row injuries. If Ross or Healy go down, we're screwed. England are safe enough with injuries, it's just consistency they have to worry about. Still, I'd never bet against the French to win it. They have the players, if they can find the form.

France will dominate the final 8 with 4 teams, Edinburgh or Glasgow will make it, Leinster and Ulster, and one welsh and English team. Probably Harleqins and Sarries are our best hope again. I like Toulouse in France right now.


I'm sorry, but I really can't see Toulouse doing anything this year. They're a team in serious need of rebuilding, after the shambles of last year. Too many key players retiring or retired. I'd be worried about the Welsh teams if they could play with any form whatsoever. The quality of rugby in the Guinness Premiership is brutal, I really can't see any of the English teams making it past the last 8, unless Northampton have a good run. France will probably get 3 or 4 teams into the last 8, but they won't have more than 2 in the semi's. Clermont are by far the best team in France, and, at the risk of sounding biased, they're the only team in Europe who could beat Leinster's first fifteen. If they were lucky. And Leinster played badly.

Any thoughts on the Lions?

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I love rugby! Being the welshy that I am. :P I can't wait for the Autumn Internationals to start! And I used to follow the Ospreys...that was until nearly half of the team buggered off to play in France this season.

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I love rugby! Being the welshy that I am. http://www.greendaycommunity.org/public/... I can't wait for the Autumn Internationals to start! And I used to follow the Ospreys...that was until nearly half of the team buggered off to play in France this season.


Boo Wales! Nah, no hard feelings (THIEVES, FILTHY THIEVES). Ahem. Where was I? Oh yes, haha. Do the Ospreys have any players left at all, or are they all chowing down on snails? Looks like Llanelli will be the Welsh club to beat this year.

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Any thoughts on the Lions?

Lions will win the series 2-1. First and second tests. Gatland is excellent and there is a massive talent pool in the home teams to chose from. England and Wales can beat Aus on their own (The Scotland victory was stunning but an anomaly) as can Ireland when they turn up and The Wallabies don't. Combining the best of the teams with the backroom staff there will be leaves me certain this is the tour where the Lions will come out on top.

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Lions will win the series 2-1. First and second tests. Gatland is excellent and there is a massive talent pool in the home teams to chose from. England and Wales can beat Aus on their own (The Scotland victory was stunning but an anomaly) as can Ireland when they turn up and The Wallabies don't. Combining the best of the teams with the backroom staff there will be leaves me certain this is the tour where the Lions will come out on top.


I wish I could be as positive as you. My main worry is Gatland favouring Welsh players. If he can stay away from that, and focus on form, we should be fine. Still, after the shambles of South Africa, where we should have won all 3 tests, I'm worried. I'm interested in who his captain will be though, that should be an interesting call. It'll probably be Warburton.

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Boo Wales! Nah, no hard feelings (THIEVES, FILTHY THIEVES). Ahem. Where was I? Oh yes, haha. Do the Ospreys have any players left at all, or are they all chowing down on snails? Looks like Llanelli will be the Welsh club to beat this year.

Sore loser! :lol:
And ohh, snails all the way, but I haven't kept up with them since. Watching them puts me to sleep! I've given up and putting all my faith in Aironi :cool:

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I wish I could be as positive as you. My main worry is Gatland favouring Welsh players. If he can stay away from that, and focus on form, we should be fine. Still, after the shambles of South Africa, where we should have won all 3 tests, I'm worried. I'm interested in who his captain will be though, that should be an interesting call. It'll probably be Warburton.

Realistically Wales jumped the gun expecting to win all three against Aus. They went there over confident on a Grand Slam high. The fact that it was always close showed that they would have deserved to win, but the fact that they didn't exposed their flaws. None of the Northern teams should have gone south expecting to get 3 wins, though Wales definitely deserved to win their series over all. The Lions will be about 40% Welsh, 30% English, 20% Irish and 10% Scottish because that is the portion of those teams who are world class. The Six Nations will ultimately dictate the teams. I can't claim to suggest who will be the stand out players for any team other than England for the next 12 months, but English Lions will include Chris Ashton, Manu Tuilagi, Toby Flood, Tom Croft, Courtney Lawes, and Dan Cole at least, injuries aside. Depending on form Owen Farrell could get a look in if Flood is shite, Lee Dickson, Danny Care and Alex Corbisiero could get nods if their form continues to improve.

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Sore loser! http://www.greendaycommunity.org/public/...
And ohh, snails all the way, but I haven't kept up with them since. Watching them puts me to sleep! I've given up and putting all my faith in Aironi http://www.greendaycommunity.org/public/...


Ospreys had one of the best squads in Europe, could never understand why they were so unbelievably awful :)

Haha, Aironi don't exist anymore. Zebre are the new Italian team in the Rabo now (and have a way cooler name). Not that it matters, they're gonna be whipping boys either way.

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Ospreys had one of the best squads in Europe, could never understand why they were so unbelievably awful http://www.greendaycommunity.org/public/...

Haha, Aironi don't exist anymore. Zebre are the new Italian team in the Rabo now (and have a way cooler name). Not that it matters, they're gonna be whipping boys either way.

I know! I guess it must come down to the coaching, I don't know what else they could blame their poor efforts on.

Ohhh awkward haha, I didn't know. Anyway that's it, I'm a zebre lover now. What an epic name.

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Realistically Wales jumped the gun expecting to win all three against Aus. They went there over confident on a Grand Slam high. The fact that it was always close showed that they would have deserved to win, but the fact that they didn't exposed their flaws. None of the Northern teams should have gone south expecting to get 3 wins, though Wales definitely deserved to win their series over all. The Lions will be about 40% Welsh, 30% English, 20% Irish and 10% Scottish because that is the portion of those teams who are world class. The Six Nations will ultimately dictate the teams. I can't claim to suggest who will be the stand out players for any team other than England for the next 12 months, but English Lions will include Chris Ashton, Manu Tuilagi, Toby Flood, Tom Croft, Courtney Lawes, and Dan Cole at least, injuries aside. Depending on form Owen Farrell could get a look in if Flood is shite, Lee Dickson, Danny Care and Alex Corbisiero could get nods if their form continues to improve.


Hang on, only 20% of the Irish team is world class? Which 3 players are world class? Paul O'Connell, Tommy Bowe and Jonny Sexton? Or maybe Stephen Ferris, Cian Healy and Rob Kearney? Wait a second, I'm forgetting Sean O'Brien, Ronan O'Gara and Brian O'Driscoll. Personally, I think Ireland have more world class players than Wales or England. We're just crap at playing together on an international stage. It'll be a crime if Sexton isn't the outhalf for the Lions.

Also, I'm of the opinion that Tuilagi is very overrated, and that Flood's best is already behind him. But that's just me. I do like Farrell, though, he could be really good very soon.

I think that Wales' dominance will end soon enough, anyway. Gatland plays with such high intensity, and the Welsh clubs provide such a poor recovery period that injuries will cripple the team soon enough. Tommy Bowe just returned to Ireland after playing for Wales, and pretty much said the reason for his move was that after his injury the Ospreys were forcing him back onto the pitch, while over in Ireland they'll give you an extra few weeks to make sure of fitness. It kills the players.

I know! I guess it must come down to the coaching, I don't know what else they could blame their poor efforts on.

Ohhh awkward haha, I didn't know. Anyway that's it, I'm a zebre lover now. What an epic name.


Too much fake tan was always my theory. Half their squad glowed in the dark ;)

Don't even get me started on the leg waxing...

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Too much fake tan was always my theory. Half their squad glowed in the dark http://www.greendaycommunity.org/public/...

Don't even get me started on the leg waxing...

Or got into a fight with a bag of doritos. :P Nah on a serious note, I blame the egotistical Gavin Henson, he's such a douche. I think he was the pack leader of all things grooming.

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Hang on, only 20% of the Irish team is world class? Which 3 players are world class? Paul O'Connell, Tommy Bowe and Jonny Sexton? Or maybe Stephen Ferris, Cian Healy and Rob Kearney? Wait a second, I'm forgetting Sean O'Brien, Ronan O'Gara and Brian O'Driscoll. Personally, I think Ireland have more world class players than Wales or England. We're just crap at playing together on an international stage. It'll be a crime if Sexton isn't the outhalf for the Lions.

Also, I'm of the opinion that Tuilagi is very overrated, and that Flood's best is already behind him. But that's just me. I do like Farrell, though, he could be really good very soon.

I think that Wales' dominance will end soon enough, anyway. Gatland plays with such high intensity, and the Welsh clubs provide such a poor recovery period that injuries will cripple the team soon enough. Tommy Bowe just returned to Ireland after playing for Wales, and pretty much said the reason for his move was that after his injury the Ospreys were forcing him back onto the pitch, while over in Ireland they'll give you an extra few weeks to make sure of fitness. It kills the players.

I'm talking extended touring squad, not just the first 15. Thing about Irish players is the whole lot of them could be like-for-like with the All Blacks, but if their form as a team isn't up there they won't get selected. Realistically, England and Wales will have the form to dominate the selection.

I'm inclined to agree to an extend with Tuilagi, but the man is an undeniable powerhouse who can sprint like a winger. He's not perfect, but we need guys like him up who can smash through where the backs can't dash through.

Yeah, Wales have a problem. For the last year I've been saying the top northern teams on the run up to the 2015 WC will be: 2012 Wales, 2013 Wales, 2014 England/France, 2015 England. Impossible to project so far into the future, but realistically Wales will have peaked, France will still be all over the place, Ireland will be strong, Scotland will be better, Italy will be capable of teaming any of the Northern teams except England who will have matured and who's WC it will be to lose.

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Or got into a fight with a bag of doritos. http://www.greendaycommunity.org/public/... Nah on a serious note, I blame the egotistical Gavin Henson, he's such a douche. I think he was the pack leader of all things grooming.


Ugh, Henson. Don't even get me started on him. He's a complete tool. Shame, because he had real talent.

I'm talking extended touring squad, not just the first 15. Thing about Irish players is the whole lot of them could be like-for-like with the All Blacks, but if their form as a team isn't up there they won't get selected. Realistically, England and Wales will have the form to dominate the selection.

I'm inclined to agree to an extend with Tuilagi, but the man is an undeniable powerhouse who can sprint like a winger. He's not perfect, but we need guys like him up who can smash through where the backs can't dash through.

Yeah, Wales have a problem. For the last year I've been saying the top northern teams on the run up to the 2015 WC will be: 2012 Wales, 2013 Wales, 2014 England/France, 2015 England. Impossible to project so far into the future, but realistically Wales will have peaked, France will still be all over the place, Ireland will be strong, Scotland will be better, Italy will be capable of teaming any of the Northern teams except England who will have matured and who's WC it will be to lose.


God only knows where France will be at, haha. England do look strong, but they could be hampered by a lack of knockout rugby, due to the Guinness Premiership teams they play for being too generally awful to succeed in the Heineken Cup. They really do need to look at the quality of rugby in the English Leagues, for the country with the highest player base in the world, the skills are awful. Tuilagi is symptomatic of this, as was Matt Banahan, a Bath player, as I recall. English club rugby is very direct, with a focus on power over skill. When it comes up against a solid defence, it can get seriously limited. I recall when Ireland beat England a couple of years ago, there was one moment when Brian O'Driscoll picked and drove Banahan, a guy a full foot and 3 stone heavier than him, into touch. The international teams tactics have evolved since then (thanks to dropping Jamie Noon and Matt Tindall as soon as possible). But still, they won't get their knockout rugby practise without the clubs improving.

Edited by Céadóg, 13 September 2012 - 04:54 PM.

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Ugh, Henson. Don't even get me started on him. He's a complete tool. Shame, because he had real talent.



God only knows where France will be at, haha. England do look strong, but they could be hampered by a lack of knockout rugby, due to the Guinness Premiership teams they play for being too generally awful to succeed in the Heineken Cup. They really do need to look at the quality of rugby in the English Leagues, for the country with the highest player base in the world, the skills are awful. Tuilagi is symptomatic of this, as was Matt Banahan, a Bath player, as I recall. English club rugby is very direct, with a focus on power over skill. When it comes up against a solid defence, it can get seriously limited. I recall when Ireland beat England a couple of years ago, there was one moment when Brian O'Driscoll picked and drove Banahan, a guy a full foot and 3 stone heavier than him, into touch. The international teams tactics have evolved since then (thanks to dropping Jamie Noon and Matt Tindall as soon as possible). But still, they won't get their knockout rugby practise without the clubs improving.

It's something they're working on. England's style is changing massively. After the 2003 WC it was basically all about power and wearing the other team down. Now it's going back to a more technical, flowing form of rugby based on speed. England is picking up southern hemisphere sensibilities. To be honest I think English rugby should ignore the Heineken cup and sort itself out internally before looking to Europe. Get the quality of the Aviva Premiership up to a solid level first. From that, everything will come naturally. Lancaster's insistence on selecting players based only in the UK will drive the teams to keep talent in the country and develop it to maintain an edge. It's something that'll take a few years. The benefits son't be reached until past 2015. 2017 is when you'll see team level rugby in England hit a level where world class players with the appropriate level of technical skill will be being rolled out. None of the current players will benefit. Keep an eye on those who are 16-18 now.

#26
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It's something they're working on. England's style is changing massively. After the 2003 WC it was basically all about power and wearing the other team down. Now it's going back to a more technical, flowing form of rugby based on speed. England is picking up southern hemisphere sensibilities. To be honest I think English rugby should ignore the Heineken cup and sort itself out internally before looking to Europe. Get the quality of the Aviva Premiership up to a solid level first. From that, everything will come naturally. Lancaster's insistence on selecting players based only in the UK will drive the teams to keep talent in the country and develop it to maintain an edge. It's something that'll take a few years. The benefits son't be reached until past 2015. 2017 is when you'll see team level rugby in England hit a level where world class players with the appropriate level of technical skill will be being rolled out. None of the current players will benefit. Keep an eye on those who are 16-18 now.


It's almost the complete opposite for us. Our players have the quality and the form, it's our coaches letting us down. Kidney's insistence on selecting horribly out of form Munster players over Leinster and Ulster form players is killing us. An all Leinster selection, with Strauss in the front row (he's Irish qualified now, hehe), Donnacha Ryan in the second row, Ferris in the back row, Bowe on the wing, and a solid choice between James Downey, Keith Earls or Fergus McFadden at centre would probably win us the Six Nations, if we could carry the Leinster style of play.

15 Rob Kearney
14 Fergus McFadden/Andrew Trimble
13 Brian O'Driscoll/Keith Earls/Fergus McFadden
12 James Downey/Brian O'Driscoll/Fergus McFadden
11 Tommy Bowe
10 Jonny Sexton
9 Eoin Reddan
8 Jamie Heaslip
7 Sean O'Brien
6 Stephen Ferris
5 Paul O'Connell
4 Donnacha Ryan
3 Mike Ross
2 Richardt Strauss/Rory Best
1 Cian Healy

But I can guarantee you that nothing of the sort will happen. I wouldn't even be surprised if O'Gara started the Six Nations ahead of Sexton :P

And we'll have the worst scrumhalf in the Six Nations, Conor Murray, box kicking to nowhere and passing slower than a snail :dry:

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Fucksake we lost to the Saints. Such a tight game though.

The Ulster/Munster game was savage though. Tense down to the wire.

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Fucksake we lost to the Saints. Such a tight game though.

The Ulster/Munster game was savage though. Tense down to the wire.


Thought you's might, Northampton are a damn tough team to beat.

I only saw the first half of the Munster Ulster game, missed the second. Great result for Ulster though. Interesting that the Rabo champions Ospreys got hammered by Glasgow.

Edited by Céadóg, 14 September 2012 - 05:44 PM.


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Thought you's might, Northampton are a damn tough team to beat.

I only saw the first half of the Munster Ulster game, missed the second. Great result for Ulster though. Interesting that the Rabo champions Ospreys got hammered by Glasgow.

It was a close kicking game though, With Saints. Anyone could have had it. Bath are showing signs of improvement from last year. I'm hoping for a top 6 finish.

It really is, but then Glasgow is a solid team that is only getting better.

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It was a close kicking game though, With Saints. Anyone could have had it. Bath are showing signs of improvement from last year. I'm hoping for a top 6 finish.

It really is, but then Glasgow is a solid team that is only getting better.


Bath make any good signings this year? I'm very bad at keeping up to date on transfers.

It could also be the case that the Ospreys are a side on a steady decline.


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