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2019

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Brizzer View Drop Down
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    Posted: 01 Jan 2019 at 03:34
So, the neighbours have left, the house is now tidy...ish, the family and even the cat are now in bed, which has given me the chance to reflect on a few things and my mind has turned to my good friends of RM and the prospects that 2019 have to offer.

We have had many good things to cheer throughout 2018, with some incredible rugby played. Bristol proving that they don't need a play off to gain promotion (phew!), Titans sadly falling through the trap door into the ultra competitive National 1, but they will be back.
And into the new season, Coventry showing that they are nobodies newbe whipping boys (creating their own space in the middle of the league table), Carnegie struggling (really?) and the usual suspects at the top of the tree, namely LI, Ealing, Bedford, Pirates, Nottingham and dare I say it... Jersey Reds.
So surely 2019 will be a procession for LI towards automatic promotion and lifting the inaugural Championship Cup? .... Well do you know what? I am not so sure. Certainly they may well win both competitions, let's be honest here, London Irish are a quality outfit, but a procession? No!
Jersey and Pirates have shown that they are not unbeatable and they have some very very tricky games to play before any trophy lifting is done. I can still see this going down to the wire that is the final game of the season against Trailfinders.
And what of the rest? Clearly Ealing are a very very good outfit. Extremely strong up front and are a very difficult side to beat, who can score points freely given the opportunity. Write them off at your peril.
Bedford are still the team who are the most pleasing on the eye, despite some significant departures and provide a constant 80 minute threat (can't wait for their visit to the Island on Jan 19th).
Pirates are once again showing some serious mid season form after climbing to the top of the pile, before an injury hit stumble sent them to the middle of the table, only to rise once again and will end 2018 in 3rd place in the Championship.
Nottingham are having a fantastic season and are good value for 6th only a point behind the mighty Jersey Reds who look as though they may have secured the Sky Sports try of 2018 during their win against Irish (thank you to all who voted)
This leaves the hot and cold LS, Donny, Mond, Carnegie and Hartpury to fight it out, for now, as to who can avoid the dreaded drop and the one who cannot.
For me Carnegie will be one of the teams to beat in the 2nd half of the season and will finish well clear of the dreaded 12th spot. Hartpury must now be favourites for that particular accolade, but it is all a bit tight down there and a poor run could see any of the lower end of the table being sucked into a dog fight.
So, 2019 has a huge amount to offer, with some excellent rugby to come.

I would like to wish all Rolling Maulers and their families a very Happy, peaceful and prosperous New Year, may you achieve all of your dreams.

Edited by Brizzer - 01 Jan 2019 at 03:44
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Stalwart View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stalwart Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jan 2019 at 10:26
Good summary Brizzer. It's a very competitive season and there could be a few surprises. LI obviously have a massive financial advantage and that gives them more strength in depth when the inevitable injuries come along. Pirates are very good when at full strength, but when we lost Christian Judge to Sarries we struggled at scrum time in several matches. The coaches seem to have sorted that now and that's why our results have improved. We have a few to come back from injury, including two hookers - hope they're ready fairly soon.  I agree that Leeds will be OK, I just hope they haven't quite got it together when Pirates go there in the next round. Jersey and Ealing are very strong so we'll do well to get top three. Can't wait for Irish to come to The Mennaye - we will make it difficult for them! I agree Hartpury will probably go down, but I hope they don't - it's, unbelievably, the closest we've got to a local derby and I love the Gloucestershire countryside, the Cotswolds etc, it's a very nice trip for us. 
The biggest thing for us is, as usual, the building of the Stadium For Cornwall - our future rests with that and maybe, finally, 2019 will be the year construction starts. 
Having seen all the teams now it is clear that there is a lot of quality in this league - those currently near the bottom are capable of very good rugby. Jersey's wonder try against Irish was as good as anything you would see, even at the very highest level. I just wish the RFU would realise how good a product The Championship is and market and support it properly - a vain hope I'm afraid. Ring fencing keeps rearing its ugly head and I'm afraid it will eventually come. In my opinion it would be disastrous and would kill the game, but the vested interests of the all powerful PRL will prevail eventually. 
Lastly, I hope the ridiculous Championship Cup will disappear and be replaced with a proper, meaningful competition (again, I probably hope in vain).
Happy New Year to everyone on here - have a great 2019 and enjoy the rugby!
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