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Author Topic: Times team of the year  (Read 971 times)

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TomBuckQuin

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Times team of the year
« on: Monday 20-May-2019, 11:11* »
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/sport/alex-goode-and-joe-marler-make-our-premiership-team-of-the-year-7tcrjnlgg

If someone pays for The Times and wouldn't mind popping behind the paywall and copying+pasting that'd be grrreat!  ;D

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DOK

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Re: Times team of the year
« Reply #1 on: Monday 20-May-2019, 11:56* »
Alex Goode and Joe Marler make our Premiership team of the year
Owen Slot and Alex Lowe pick their Premiership team of the year and wonder if one star turn in particular can be tempted back for England duty

15 Alex Goode Saracens
Goode put in one of the best shifts in English professional rugby history. Beyond his commitment to Guinness and post-victory celebrations last week, though, he has been consistently high quality all season, so smart that he can slot in at No 10 when Mrs Owen Farrell goes into labour. Special mentions, here, to the Mike Brown revival at Harlequins and Simon Hammersley, who has been so good at Newcastle Falcons that he will no doubt be somewhere else next season.

14 Santiago Cordero Exeter Chiefs
Best footwork in the Premiership? Tick. Most defenders beaten? He would probably have topped this too if he had played at the weekend. Instead, that goes to Taqele Naiyaravoro, the Northampton Saint, who is good at beating the opposition but not at stopping them. Cordero could have been picked in this team at No 11, No 14 or No 15, but right wing is where he has played the most. Will be missed next season when he moves to Bordeaux BŤgles.

13 Rory Hutchinson Northampton Saints
Only broke into the Northampton team in February so Henry Slade (Exeter) has arguably been more consistently high class, but Hutchinson scored in that first game against Sale and has been a week-in, week-out regular ever since. Only 23 years old, he is evidence of what can happen when you give potential a chance. Good feet, deceptively quick on the outside break, and always seems to create something. It is no surprise that he may go to the World Cup with Scotland.

12 Ryan Mills Worcester Warriors
Smooth and reliable and one of the key reasons that Worcester steered clear of relegation. Mark Atkinson has been a revelation for Gloucester this season, which may be another feather in Danny Ciprianiís cap. And Brad Barritt has done another seasonís shift as the midfield superhero for Saracens. Mills, though, fits into the category of scratch your head and wonder what he could do if England gave the 26-year-old a chance.

11 Ollie Thorley Gloucester
Some great young wings have emerged this season, particularly at Bath where Joe Cokanasiga and Ruaridh McConnochie have established themselves. Eight Premiership tries by Northamptonís Tom Collins tells a story, and Worcester will really miss the excellent Josh Adams. Thorley, 22, has played only 11 Premiership games for Gloucester this season but he has been a genuine sensation, something really special for years to come. The moment when he left the Leicester Tigers defence for dead was magnificent.

10 Danny Cipriani Gloucester
From day one and that pass to Charlie Sharples against Northampton, he has wowed the Premiership. We know what he is doing but opposition defences cannot seem to stop it. Makes those around him look great too. Likes to tell Sharples that it was his pass that got him a new contract. Sharples tells him that it was only because he was so fast that he made the pass look any good.

9 Cobus Reinach Northampton Saints
Saints will be praying that the injury that forced him off against Exeter two days ago will not keep him out of the play-off semi-final back at Sandy Park on Saturday. He scored the try that kept him atop the tries-scored rankings before he went off, an intercept that was a reminder of his raw pace. The best No 9s this season have all been South African ó Faf de Klerk (Sale) and Francois Hougaard (Worcester) ó but Reinach has been best of the lot.

1 Joe Marler Harlequins
Marlerís interviews when he retired from international rugby revealed a man not entirely happy with life; those on-field blow-ups often caused by an anxiety about spending weeks away from his family on England duty. Post-retirement and freed from those stresses, Marler played 19 games for Harlequins without a yellow card, his scrummaging was top class, his contribution all positive. The question now is whether he would consider coming back for the World Cup.

2 Harry Thacker Bristol Bears
After years of feeling underappreciated by Leicester, a club with a tradition of physical packs and a pressing need for hard-as-nails forwards, Thackerís move to Bristol has suited him perfectly. Bristol are committed to playing a high-tempo, attacking brand of rugby in which Thacker, an all-action, dynamic hooker, has thrived. He finished the season with seven tries. Rob Webber (Sale) has had a strong campaign and Jamie George (Saracens) was consistently excellent too.

3 John Afoa Bristol Bears
If anybody thought that the former All Black was heading from Gloucester to Bristol for one last pay day before retirement, he has proved them wrong. Afoa is still on top of his game. There are few tight-head scrummagers in the Premiership to rival him in the set piece but he was also making age-defying line breaks. Kyle Sinckler had a good year too for Harlequins but Afoa featured in 21 games for Bristol. Money well spent by the Bears.

4 George Kruis Saracens
Competition is fierce in the second row, with Chris Vui (Bristol), Matt Symons (Harlequins), Franco Mostert (Gloucester) and Will Skelton (Saracens) all deserving a mention, but Kruis has been something else. By his own admission he lost form and confidence after the Lions tour but no playerís improvement curve is ever linear. This year Kruis has rocketed back into Englandís starting XV and been critical to Saracensí double quest. He is unflashy but relentless in defence and an improved carrier.

5 Ed Slater Gloucester
Unlike Thacker, Slater is exactly the kind of player Leicester have needed these past two years, but their loss has been Gloucesterís gain. Johan Ackermann has beefed up his pack with a load of Springboks, with Cipriani adding creativity, but Slater is the rock upon which the clubís resurgence has been built. He was second in the lineout charts and, with Mostert, forms a second-row combination that is commanding in the air and confrontational on the ground.

6 Alex Dombrandt Harlequins
Nick Easter recruited Dombrandt from Cardiff Metropolitan University after seeing much of himself in the burly, unrefined loose forward. ďHe has still got a rig from university but the kid can play rugby,Ē Paul Gustard said in November. Dombrandt has not been overcoached and so plays on instinct and from the heart. A dominant carrier, he wins turnovers, scores tries and was player of the year at Harlequins. Steven Luatua, at the other end of the experience scale, has been enormous for Bristol.

7 Tom Curry Sale Sharks
The remarkable thing about Curry is that he is only 20, but is excelling in a position where experience is usually critical; both in terms of the physique required to handle the weekly battering and in terms of knowledge. Curry is already there with both and is Englandís first-choice open-side flanker. Although he played only 12 games for Sale Sharks, he led the Premiershipís turnover charts, which pretty much sums up his quality.

8 Matt Kvesic Exeter Chiefs
The best No 8s in the Premiership were all players not much fancied by England. Ben Morgan has played like a steam train for Gloucester while Bathís Zach Mercerís style is more like a dog with a bone, scrapping for everything with a huge engine. Kvesic, as a converted flanker, is in the same mould and has been the pick of the bunch after replacing Sam Simmonds at No 8. His work rate, carrying, tackling and turnover contributions have been of the highest order.

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TomBuckQuin

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Re: Times team of the year
« Reply #2 on: Monday 20-May-2019, 12:02* »
Thanks DOK!

T-Bone

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Re: Times team of the year
« Reply #3 on: Monday 20-May-2019, 12:06* »
Thanks DOK.

Well done Joe and Alex.

Thought MArchant might get an honourable mention at 13
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TomBuckQuin

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Re: Times team of the year
« Reply #4 on: Monday 20-May-2019, 12:19* »
Thought MArchant might get an honourable mention at 13

Or just be picked at 13.

Hutchinson has been very sharp but whether you put it down to Quins bias or not, Joe Marchant is far and away the best 13 in the Prem atm for me.

Kvesic at 8 is a very weird selection - Ben Morgan has been far superior (I would love to see him go to the RWC).

I'd also have Mostert over Slater and Brownie over Goode.
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Quinky

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Re: Times team of the year
« Reply #5 on: Monday 20-May-2019, 13:57* »
Or just be picked at 13.

Hutchinson has been very sharp but whether you put it down to Quins bias or not, Joe Marchant is far and away the best 13 in the Prem atm for me.

Kvesic at 8 is a very weird selection - Ben Morgan has been far superior (I would love to see him go to the RWC).

I'd also have Mostert over Slater and Brownie over Goode.

Yep, agree with all of those. I think Joe's injury left him out of the spotlight a little, unfortunately.

A222Quin

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Re: Times team of the year
« Reply #6 on: Monday 20-May-2019, 14:08* »
Agree - Marchant ended the season as joint top Prem try scorer didn't he? Kvesic is a fashionable pick, a la Alex Goode. It's one of the unwritten rules of rugby punditry that both are brilliant regardless of how well they are actually playing. Not saying they haven't played well, just that they're the default pick if you can't make a decision.

Monte

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Re: Times team of the year
« Reply #7 on: Wednesday 22-May-2019, 07:06* »
Thanks DOK.

Well done Joe and Alex.

Thought MArchant might get an honourable mention at 13
or at least that try would be try of the year

 

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