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#1 petero

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 01:35 PM

Has anyone else noticed the complete absence at Melbourne of Gareth Widdop since he made his England debut?
If he has figured in any non-televised games then I apologise for this thread.

Although I realise that he was nowhere close to being classed as a regular first team performer previous to playing for England, yet he did seem get some gametime.
However and although referring here simply to televised games, he does seem to have lost favour completely since that rep match at Leigh in June.

Have the Aussies (Craig Bellamy) spit the dummy on this one and determined that his first team experience will not be enlarged upon anymore?
With the four Nations tournament due to be staged at the seasons end and a strong possibility that Widdop could figure in Englands plans, it does seem a little strange that his first team appearances seem to have dried up so suddenly.

With nothing at stake it would have seemed a perfect time for Melbourne to give gametime to some of their lesser known players if only for the experience gained for the next season, when this could be a stern requirment for some of them.
Quite a few have been given this chance yet Widdops appearances seem to have dissappeared since with his opting for England decision.
Thoughts anyone?

#2 Northern Exposure

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 01:37 PM

No - he's played first grade twice.


He's playing NSW cup, just like Jordan Tansey last year.


lol - that's a bit of an indictment on the English eligible full backs huh?

Edited by Northern Exposure, 25 July 2010 - 01:41 PM.

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#3 petero

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 01:54 PM

QUOTE (Northern Exposure @ Jul 25 2010, 02:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
No - he's played first grade twice.


He's playing NSW cup, just like Jordan Tansey last year.


lol - that's a bit of an indictment on the English eligible full backs huh?


Thanks for that. I was unaware that he had been played since the rep match and that did concern me a little.

On the question of his player rating in Oz and the fact that he could be FB for England, that I agree throws a very poor light on our strength in depth in our backs and, as importantly, possibly upon the aspect of the present coaches ability in his rating of a players abilities also! blink.gif


#4 Northern Exposure

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 02:10 PM

QUOTE (petero @ Jul 25 2010, 02:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks for that. I was unaware that he had been played since the rep match and that did concern me a little.

On the question of his player rating in Oz and the fact that he could be FB for England, that I agree throws a very poor light on our strength in depth in our backs and, as importantly, possibly upon the aspect of the present coaches ability in his rating of a players abilities also! blink.gif


I don't think you can really doubt Craig Bellamy's coaching ability smile.gif
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#5 HappyDave

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 02:21 PM

QUOTE (petero @ Jul 25 2010, 02:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks for that. I was unaware that he had been played since the rep match and that did concern me a little.

On the question of his player rating in Oz and the fact that he could be FB for England, that I agree throws a very poor light on our strength in depth in our backs and, as importantly, possibly upon the aspect of the present coaches ability in his rating of a players abilities also! blink.gif


Seeing as Sam Tomkins has been playing so well at FB for Wigan of late then I'd say Widdop has competition for first choice England FB at the G4N this year.
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#6 MrPosh

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 04:18 PM

QUOTE (Northern Exposure @ Jul 25 2010, 03:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't think you can really doubt Craig Bellamy's coaching ability smile.gif

What's he ever won?
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#7 bobbruce

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 04:23 PM

QUOTE (MrPosh @ Jul 25 2010, 05:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What's he ever won?

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#8 petero

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 06:49 PM

QUOTE (Northern Exposure @ Jul 25 2010, 03:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't think you can really doubt Craig Bellamy's coaching ability smile.gif


I was referring to the new English coach, as I once again totally agree with your quote; on Craig Bellamy.

#9 petero

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 06:54 PM

QUOTE (HappyDave @ Jul 25 2010, 03:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Seeing as Sam Tomkins has been playing so well at FB for Wigan of late then I'd say Widdop has competition for first choice England FB at the G4N this year.


Thats true and personally I believe that withTomkins in that role it offers McNamara far greater options with others.

Nonetheless Widdop is likely to figure in the squad and a junior league player will certainly not be seen as a threat by the Aussies or Kiwi's, probably quite the opposite.
If Widdop does get selection( anywhere not just F/B) I hope he does the trick but it still reflects poorly on the strength in depth that the coach obviously believes he has.


#10 thirteenthman

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 06:58 PM

QUOTE (Northern Exposure @ Jul 25 2010, 02:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
No - he's played first grade twice.


He's playing NSW cup, just like Jordan Tansey last year.


lol - that's a bit of an indictment on the English eligible full backs huh?

Of course, his lack of appearances in the first team can be explained by the presence of Billy Slater. Mr Widdop certainly looked good in the England V France test match, but he's not good enough to keep the best full back in the world out of the team.

He played stand-off for the NSW Residents side in the curtain raiser to Origin 3. Perhaps with Brett Finch leaving the Storm, he may see more time in the first team next year at no6.




#11 Pottsy

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 08:00 PM

Two points worth noting here:

1) Billy Slater is the incumbent fullback at the Storm. How many players in the world would stand a chance of dislodging him? (clue: it's a very short list).

2) Storm are actually moulding Widdop into a stand-off in reserve grade and the assumption is that he'll be their starting six next year.

With Finch on his way out, it makes more sense for the club to develop Widdop into a pivot in reserve grade rather than sticking him on the wing in first grade - probably benefits the England team more in some respects too.

#12 jacksy

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 08:04 PM

QUOTE (Northern Exposure @ Jul 25 2010, 02:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
No - he's played first grade twice.


He's playing NSW cup, just like Jordan Tansey last year.


lol - that's a bit of an indictment on the English eligible full backs huh?


Maybe if our premier SL club invested more time in producing FB's rather than bringing NZ players over here. We might do better in this dept.

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#13 petero

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 10:04 AM

QUOTE (Pottsy @ Jul 25 2010, 09:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Two points worth noting here:

1) Billy Slater is the incumbent fullback at the Storm. How many players in the world would stand a chance of dislodging him? (clue: it's a very short list).

2) Storm are actually moulding Widdop into a stand-off in reserve grade and the assumption is that he'll be their starting six next year.

With Finch on his way out, it makes more sense for the club to develop Widdop into a pivot in reserve grade rather than sticking him on the wing in first grade - probably benefits the England team more in some respects too.


Absolutely, to your first answer.

OK can see that holds some logic................but.

As I said previously: with nothing to lose and, if your correct on Finch, why not give Widdop the opportunity that first grade experiences would give him this season?

That would I would imagine seem the most logical approach.
It is in fact a godsent opportunity for Melbourne to experiment and blood some of those young players for the eventuality of next season when some WILL have to be used, presumably, following the dispersal sale that seems to be an inevitable consequence for the Melbourne club at the end of this season.

After all is said done, top class stand-offs dont come along that frequently. And if, as you state that is Widdops intended position there, next season, then surely with Finch leaving he ought to be getting more gametime now?

#14 Pottsy

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 11:00 AM

QUOTE (petero @ Jul 26 2010, 11:04 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Absolutely, to your first answer.

OK can see that holds some logic................but.

As I said previously: with nothing to lose and, if your correct on Finch, why not give Widdop the opportunity that first grade experiences would give him this season?

That would I would imagine seem the most logical approach.
It is in fact a godsent opportunity for Melbourne to experiment and blood some of those young players for the eventuality of next season when some WILL have to be used, presumably, following the dispersal sale that seems to be an inevitable consequence for the Melbourne club at the end of this season.

After all is said done, top class stand-offs dont come along that frequently. And if, as you state that is Widdops intended position there, next season, then surely with Finch leaving he ought to be getting more gametime now?


I see where you're coming from but, with due respect, I'd probably give the benefit of doubt to Mr Bellamy on this one.


#15 petero

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 11:19 AM

QUOTE (Pottsy @ Jul 26 2010, 12:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I see where you're coming from but, with due respect, I'd probably give the benefit of doubt to Mr Bellamy on this one.


Thats acceptable. cool.gif


#16 Brigg Rover

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 02:52 PM

QUOTE (jacksy @ Jul 25 2010, 09:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Maybe if our premier SL club invested more time in producing FB's rather than bringing NZ players over here. We might do better in this dept.


You may want to get your facts in a little more order on this point. Of the 12 ENGLISH sides in Super League, Leeds have developed 2 of the regular full backs, Richie Mathers (Warrington) and Jordan Tansey (At your team). rolleyes.gif

#17 terrywebbisgod

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 02:54 PM

QUOTE (Brigg Rover @ Jul 26 2010, 03:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You may want to get your facts in a little more order on this point. Of the 12 ENGLISH sides in Super League, Leeds have developed 2 of the regular full backs, Richie Mathers (Warrington) and Jordan Tansey (At your team). rolleyes.gif

plus Ben Jones-Bishops at Harlequins
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#18 Brigg Rover

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 07:13 AM

QUOTE (terrywebbisgod @ Jul 26 2010, 03:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
plus Ben Jones-Bishops at Harlequins


Sorry yes thats right, ok we have Leeds supplying the full back for a quarter of the English clubs in Super League.

Thats not too shabby is it? laugh.gif