EDF Energy cup preview, LI Vs. Saracens

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EDF Energy cup preview, LI Vs. Saracens

by Loobs on Tue Sep 26, 2006 10:05 pm

Sorry, it is a bit down beat.

London Irish V Saracens Preview


This weekend sees the start of the EDF Energy Cup Competition. This competition has a new sponsor but the same crap format that will most likely mean that London Irish will potentially be playing in a dead pool come next weekend when Wasps provide the opposition. The pool for this competition is the same as last year, with Cardiff providing the fourth team. God help us by the time we get to that round, that will almost certainly be truly a dead game in terms of the competition! Of course, I could be completely wrong in my assessment.

Still, to Saracens. Both Saracens and London Irish have had a mixed start to the season, with both teams having succumbed to Wasps already. Sarries in the London Double Header, putting up a spirited fight in what was a really dull game and Irish at Adams Park or whatever it is called this week. I wonder how seriously Wasps are taking the domestic Cup competition this season?

It will be interesting to see the squads that are announced. My belief is that this competition figures low on the priority list for Irish, even if there is a Heineken Cup place on offer for the winners. If this is the case, I would anticipate a run-out for the academy lads with a mixture of experience thrown in. One way of looking at it is that it gives the injured members of the squad time to recover over the next few weeks and gives some valuable experience of running out on Premiership grounds (if not crowds) for the younger lads. It also gives us supporters a chance to see the younger lads in action. For Season Ticket Holders the admission price is at least included, this should help to stabilise the crowd numbers.

It will be the first clash between Brian Smith and Alan Gaffney as fully-fledged Directors of Rugby. Will Aussie pride mean that this becomes a battle royal? I suspect not.

It is difficult to get ‘up’ for this competition, although I will be baying from the stands as per normal on Saturday, as a whole. That said, an Irish win would undoubtedly change all that.

Did anybody actually tell EDF that the format introduced last year is rubbish? I guess not, otherwise they wouldn’t have sponsored it, methinks. That said, they are a major sports and rugby sponsor, being a Partner in the Rugby World Cup among other Sports Sponsorship.

For my money, the old format of the Powergen worked well, where there was a chance that a minnow, such as Pertemps Bees could cause an upset. Now, well…
Last edited by Loobs on Wed Sep 27, 2006 8:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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by AlecW on Wed Sep 27, 2006 7:12 am

Good preview - thanks, Loobs!
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by dom_pedro on Wed Sep 27, 2006 9:09 am

Have to say I agree with a lot of that. I'm not as anti-Anglo Welsh cup as many, but much preferred the old Powergen format. Not sure whether it is the lack of that cup-knockout feel or the appearance of the Welsh teams that I dislike.
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My dreams have withered and died.
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by MrDean on Wed Sep 27, 2006 8:10 pm

15 Horak
14 Shabbo
13 Tiesi
12 Geraghty
11 Tagicakibau
10 Everitt
9 Rees
1 Tonga
2 Coetzee
3 Fitter
4 Hudson
5 Johnson
6 Armitage(S)
7 Thorpe
8 Murphy

Subs
Hatley at prop
Russell at hooker
McCullen for back row
Kennedy for lock
Bishop for wing
I think it's too early for Dan Murphy or Alex Corbisiero at prop, and similarly for David Howells on wing.

I'd like to be able to rest Flutey, Catt, Ojo, Roche, Leguizamon, Magne, Armitage(D) but that may be too much of a luxury. Hodgson is suspended, but the injury list is the gamble.
We don't want to get it extended by having the mismatches between the inexperienced players. Of the seven I'd like to rest, I wouldn't want their replacements bashed up.
If the idea is to progress in this competition then we should field a strong side for the first game. If we lose it, then I suspect Brian Smith will tell me to bring my boots for the Wasps game, as I may be playing. We'd rest a lot of guys ready to field our fittest and most experienced side against Sale.
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by AlecW on Thu Sep 28, 2006 7:21 am

MrDean - Brian Smith has echoed those words in an i/v I saw yesterday. If you don't win your first game, you're virtually out of contention, especially if (as with LI) the remaining two games are away.

Give it a real go on Saturday and if we win, go from there. If we don't, then you'll need your boots !
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by username on Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:31 am

The sooner we're out of the Extremely Dumb Format cup the better. The attendance will echo that.
Am I bothered. Whatever.
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by Mrs Chicken on Thu Sep 28, 2006 7:52 pm

Good grief, Mr Dean! That is one hell of a scary avatar!
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by Loobs on Thu Sep 28, 2006 8:14 pm

That's a real picture of Mr. D on the way home from the Madstad. Too much of the CHILLI sauce methinks!
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by MrDean on Fri Sep 29, 2006 12:16 am

The avatar is from next years film Ghost Rider starring Nicholas Cage.
Various trailers for it here.
http://www.apple.com/trailers/sony_pictures/ghostrider/

I'll probably tone it down if that's the reaction it gets.
Choose something more appropriate, like a big bag of wind, if I can find some nice hot air balloons.
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