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Kevin Sinfield / Ian Millward's England XIII (Merged threads)

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#21 jackknife

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 01:45 PM

1 Tomkins
2 Charnley 3 Reed 4 Watkins 5 Hall
6 Sinfield© 7 Chase
8 Graham 9 Roby 10 Hill
11 S.Burgess 12 Ellis
13 O'loughlin

14 Burrows 15 L.Burgess 16 Hock 17 Westwood

Graham can do 60mins plus S.Burgess can do a stint at prop so only 1prop on bench for me.
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#22 brooza

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 02:05 PM

Noble claimed that he did not know if Widdop could prove to have a kicking game, it is a pity I feel that maybe he has probably not watched the NRL enough on P/sports?

That would surprise me. I assume he gets it free as he works on their championship coverage!
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#23 Southstander13

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 02:11 PM

That would surprise me. I assume he gets it free as he works on their championship coverage!


He watches most games in the NRL, he said as much in his column in Forty-20 magazine, and to be fair, Id agree with him that you cant definitively say whether Widdop has a great kicking game or not. He's looked pretty good when called upon but not regularly enough to say its a big part of his game.

#24 EastLondonMike

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 02:19 PM

McNamara will certainly have to make some tough decisions leading up to the world cup.. we have an abundance of very good forwards, and some real competition at last in the backs.. my starting 13 would be:

1. Tomkins, 2. Briscoe, 3. Reed, 4. Watkins, 5. Hall.

6. Sinfield, 7. Burrow

8. Graham, 9. Roby, 10. S.Burgess
11. Ellis, 12. Hock
13. O'Loughlin

14. Westwood
15. Mcilorum
16. Hill
17. Widdop

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#25 brooza

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 02:32 PM

McNamara will certainly have to make some tough decisions leading up to the world cup.. we have an abundance of very good forwards, and some real competition at last in the backs.. my starting 13 would be:

1. Tomkins, 2. Briscoe, 3. Reed, 4. Watkins, 5. Hall.

6. Sinfield, 7. Burrow

8. Graham, 9. Roby, 10. S.Burgess
11. Ellis, 12. Hock
13. O'Loughlin

14. Westwood
15. Mcilorum
16. Hill
17. Widdop

Needs more Leeds players!

I can't remember off the top of my head, but who does Watkins link up with at Leeds? Is it Hall or BJB?
In preparation for this back line (it seems a good possibility) I would like to see them playing together for Leeds on a regular basis
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#26 petero

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 03:14 PM

i have to hold my hands up, i have criticised sinfield for years an said he was not good enough to play international rugby, but as a captain he is faultless and has led england by example and i have to say that my view has changed dramatically after this years internationals. well done kevin you did ud proud...........


VW,is it possible that you may just have afforded the opposition a little more credit than they deserve as attacking forces at the international level of R/L?

Please do not get me wrong on this but, that you have been converted to the Sinfield cause after witnessing the past four weeks of (questionable) international class games leaves me a little dumbfounded. I concede that Kevin has led his side most admirably and, as usual, put in his own considerable effort also, but! To have led so well, figured so well and done whatever was neccasary to achieve the winners trophy was not by any means a difficult objective at all to achieve.

The challenges this time next year will be of an entirely different nature and will be nowhere close, in the main that is, to the comparative stroll in the park that this series has been.

To be honest having scored thirty tries in three games, almost entirely by the threequarte line too is really an indicment of the poor quality of defence that our opponents have provided as much as to any brilliance perceived of our own backs ability. In fact had those games been in a tri series I doubt if our wingers would have notched four tries between them, let alone in each game.

The Aussies and Kiwi's will prove far sterner a test and being honest, as well as KS play's for Leeds and against such opponents that he has faced over the past three weeks, he has very, very rarely done the same in an England or G/B shirt. Ian Millward I thought described quite plausibly why he would omit KS from his team and to be honest I had to agree totally with his sentiments on the matter too.

We have to provide something that the Aussies, or for that matter anyone else finds sifficult to cope with and, that element is pace. Sinfield is not that quick physically and languishes in the S/L mode of having time on his hands to play his own game, however he does not receive that amount of time Versus the best and consequently, finds it difficult to compete let alone prove outstanding even to his own high standards when opposed to them.

If he did do this I can assure you I would be amongst his greatest fans, but quite simply he does not. That opinon has not been formed upon the evidence of just one or two performances, but of oh so many spread over a decade, and more.

#27 RSN

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 03:56 PM

Double post.

Edited by barrowraiderskid, 12 November 2012 - 04:03 PM.


#28 RSN

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 04:00 PM

I was struck by the choices made concerning the respective selections from Brian Noble and Ian Millward, over which players they believed should make-up the side for the opening game of the 2013 World cup competition, on the red-button addition to the coverage of the England France game yesterday..

What resonated most deeply with me was the Australian pragmatism to selection which was supplied by Millward, where much to the anchormans surprise, he omitted from his selection present captain, Kevin Sinfield!

Millward to his credit then opined his belief that despite and I use his words; that "Sinfield,without any doubt having proven himself one of, if not the finest yet, club player in S/L history so far, has not ever risen, V the best opposition, ie Oz and NZ, to anything like his unarguable peerless club level performances or dominance". I thought that took a bit of courage, especially so considering the adulation and hero worshipping that has surrounded KS in the most recent past.

I would disagree with his assessment concerning Chase, as I believe that each and every attribute that he accredited to that player is far better expounded by Rob Burrow, who playing as an impact player/super sub, is the closest we have produced to what Craig Wing in his heyday, was for the Aussies. Rob has proven devastating in the dual role when he covers either S/Half or the Hooking position and could be Englands best asset, late in any game when facing tiring opposition forwards.

Likewise I was dissappointed with Noble's selection over the Halves in so much as he slavishly followed the popular vote with his choice of Chase and Sinfield there, the easy and to be honest more English manner of selection and one we have all come to expect, if not accept.
Again Millward was more pragmatic with his emphasis on Widdop at S/Off and explained very profoundly why. Namely that the lad has established himself in the highest calibre competition in World R/L and more importantly in a position that has been our biggest headache since the day's of Tony Myler and Gary Schofield, we have not had an out and out S/Off since then and Widdop more than adequetly supplies the answer to that problem.

Noble claimed that he did not know if Widdop could prove to have a kicking game, it is a pity I feel that maybe he has probably not watched the NRL enough on P/sports? For the lad has displayed on the few occasions that it has proved neccasary for him to adopt a kicking role for his club, that he is more than capable of doing so. Presumably Noble is assuming that Sinfield will perform this duty, but, he has been afforded the job on so many occasions against this calibre of opposition and to date I personally cannot recall a game in which his open field-kicking game has been anything above mundane against either NZ or Oz.

My own belief is alway's to field the best players available and, whenever possible in their true and favourable positions and as I see it now with some emerging talent, with a good mix of seasoned pro's on the english scene we have, after almost a half century practically achieved once again, a genuine competition for places and consequently I maintain that if injuries permit we should place the ones who constitute our strongst, fastest and most able players on the field at each and every opportunity.

My own starting thirteen and four subs would therefore be,

Hardacre

Briscoe
Watkins
Reed
Hall

Widdop
TOMKINS

Graham ©
Roby
Crabtree
Burgess S
Ellis
O'Loughlin

Hill
Burgess L
Burrow
Westwood.

Tomkins is I realise an outrageous selection at S/H, but I believe that Hardacre is as good a defender, safer under a high ball and a more than decent support player in the F/B role, consequently both players should be on the field of play. I do not care a jot over whether this gives 'Sam' the link-up opportunities he supposedly thrives upon, because his competitive spirit alone will pose a danger to any other side given that he is there on the field. He is our most potent attacking player no matter which position he occupies and methods can be utilised to use his threat as the situations arise.

Likewise with Luke Burgess who has proven he can cope comfortably within S-Hemi playing conditions and practices and if good enough for that he is certainly qualified to represent his country also.
Crabtree has yet to have a poor game against any S/Hemi side and if fully fit and well I believe should be a starting prop. Widdop as well is a very accomplished goalkicker, not I agree as good as Sinfield in that department, but still a most reliable one at that. Finally Briscoe V Charnley. I prefer the latter on attack but do wonder if h is defensively strong enough, wheras Briscoe has proved in a good deal of games his defencive qualities and hopefully, Watkins will further improve his capabilities in this department also by next November as well?


Very good post and I agree with pretty much all of it. The halves are the situation I can't think of a definite answer with. I just think if we don't play Sinfield we'll get kicked too death, even though Widdop is capable as he proved when Smith and Cronk were on origin I just keep thinking it and I'm not too sure why. I'd start with Hill and bring Crabtree on as an impact player, as you say he always plays well against them. If hock is too much of a liability to play (he doesn't cut the penalties out) I suggest playing Crabtree as a wide running impact second rower (similar to Williams) as he certainly has the speed and should be used to target Thurston to try and tire him out of the game which would then make a space for maybe Mossop to come onto the bench. Agree about L Burgess and with another season under his belt he'll be ready to take them on. With Tomkins being at scrum half England will pose a massive threat which will have the Aussies thinking, if they give Widdop, Tomkins or Hardaker half a gap they will be through it but if they don't get up to meet Hock, Crabtree or whoever it is running on the edges then they'll be in trouble and for once we have some half decebt centres who can score points and make a break. But could Tomkins Widdop and Roby control a game like their Aussie counterparts? I'm afraid I don't think they could. If we played the team you suggest the game would be something like 28 - 20 too England after 60 minutes but all the Aussie pressure which has been built up will show through and they'll go riot like in previous years. So I'm just not sure. If Sinfield can step up then he has too play, but will he step up that's the question? I'm still deciding what the best combination but ill probably not know until next year. Maybe Brough and Widdop is the answer? Could roby or tomkins develop a kicking game? Can Sinfield step up? Can anyone else organise or direct a team? These are all questions we need answering about our halves before the WC.

Then again McNamara probably has Chase and Sinfield decided on already with JJb Ablett and Wilkin as the back row being the genius that he is.

#29 brooza

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 04:23 PM

Can Sinfield step up?

I honestly, truly believe that as captain, Sinfield will step up
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#30 Chris Taylor

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 04:37 PM

If we are talking about best kicker in Rugby League (conversions wise) then surely it belongs to the world record holder Liam Finn who's an Irish international?
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#31 scrumhalf

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 05:32 PM

I honestly, truly believe that as captain, Sinfield will step up

I think kevin sinfield has probably had his best season to date in fact at 32 he has most likely peaked and next year at 33 he may not be able to achieve as much as this season, so I would definitely play gareth widdup at 6, he's proved himself in the nrl and he can kick but I think we would need another kicker and for me danny brough fits the bill. when huddersfield had a dominant pack brough excelled behind them and with this england pack in front of him he can excel again. centres watkins and reed, wingers hall and briscoe lee mossop james roby james graham gareth ellis sam burgess shaun o'loughlin bench gareth hock chris hill rob burrows earl crabtree

#32 jackknife

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 06:47 PM

Needs more Leeds players!

I can't remember off the top of my head, but who does Watkins link up with at Leeds? Is it Hall or BJB?
In preparation for this back line (it seems a good possibility) I would like to see them playing together for Leeds on a regular basis

Watkins plays right centre with BJB n Abletts on left with Hall think thats why mcnamara didnt play Watkins with Hall against France
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#33 Exiled Wiganer

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 09:13 PM

I would go with nearly the same back line as mentioned a few posts above - Hardacre Charnley Watkins Reed Hall Widdop Sam - we missed a trick by not giving Hardacre more time this autumn. They are 7 out of our top 8 backs. Sam played half back to good effect against the Aussies in 2009. He has a decent kicking game.
The more I think about it, the more concerned I am as to whether we can afford to play Hock against the Aussies, but I live in hope he wil mature next year. The forwards could be...
Graham Roby Sam Burgess Westwood Ellis Lockers. On the bench I think Hill and Mossop will both be even better next year, Burrow is a wonderful option and Hock, with a massive caveat.
Not sure who would kick goals. Baby Josh is hit and miss. Widdop maybe?
If we are concerned about the kicking game, then Sinny for Widdop could work.
I feel absurdly confident that we could make the final next year (which we will lose of course).

#34 steef

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 09:28 PM

Tomkins
Charnley/Briscoe
Watkins
Reed
Hall
Widdop
Sinfield
Graham
Roby
Sam Burgess
Westwood
Ellis
O'Loughlin

Hill
Crabtree
Hock
Burrow

Hardacre, Ratchford, McIllurum, Mossop, L.Burgess, Harrison

Would be my team and squad for the world cup on current standings.
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#35 brooza

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 09:17 AM

Watkins plays right centre with BJB n Abletts on left with Hall think thats why mcnamara didnt play Watkins with Hall against France

I thought so, but if they play together during the season, they should be great together in the WC
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#36 petero

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:51 PM

That would surprise me. I assume he gets it free as he works on their championship coverage!


I was intending irony with that statement, as he, Noble, surprised me with his comment also. Though the times that Widdop has had to take a kickers responsibility have been few and far between, whenever they have arisen the lad has displayed a pretty good ability both of accuracy with high balls and grubbers, plus a not too poor ability at distance kicks either.

Actually I thought that Noble was making that comment on the hoof as he had possibly not thought that he would be questioned or put on the spot over it. Dunno, but I did think it was a pretty poor riposte from him.

#37 southstand loiner

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:54 PM

why do we bother about the thoughts of a 2nd rate aussie coach who is way past his best ,
ah a sunday night in front of the telly watching old rugby league games.
does life get any better .

#38 petero

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 02:26 PM

Very good post and I agree with pretty much all of it. The halves are the situation I can't think of a definite answer with. I just think if we don't play Sinfield we'll get kicked too death, even though Widdop is capable as he proved when Smith and Cronk were on origin I just keep thinking it and I'm not too sure why. I'd start with Hill and bring Crabtree on as an impact player, as you say he always plays well against them. If hock is too much of a liability to play (he doesn't cut the penalties out) I suggest playing Crabtree as a wide running impact second rower (similar to Williams) as he certainly has the speed and should be used to target Thurston to try and tire him out of the game which would then make a space for maybe Mossop to come onto the bench. Agree about L Burgess and with another season under his belt he'll be ready to take them on. With Tomkins being at scrum half England will pose a massive threat which will have the Aussies thinking, if they give Widdop, Tomkins or Hardaker half a gap they will be through it but if they don't get up to meet Hock, Crabtree or whoever it is running on the edges then they'll be in trouble and for once we have some half decebt centres who can score points and make a break. But could Tomkins Widdop and Roby control a game like their Aussie counterparts? I'm afraid I don't think they could. If we played the team you suggest the game would be something like 28 - 20 too England after 60 minutes but all the Aussie pressure which has been built up will show through and they'll go riot like in previous years. So I'm just not sure. If Sinfield can step up then he has too play, but will he step up that's the question? I'm still deciding what the best combination but ill probably not know until next year. Maybe Brough and Widdop is the answer? Could roby or tomkins develop a kicking game? Can Sinfield step up? Can anyone else organise or direct a team? These are all questions we need answering about our halves before the WC.

Then again McNamara probably has Chase and Sinfield decided on already with JJb Ablett and Wilkin as the back row being the genius that he is.


Thanks for the reply, B/kid. Now, I find this continuous alledging to the ability of KS to be the field kicker par-excellence a little hard to swallow, that is when he has been given such responsibility for the National side.
I would expect, though not sure, that in possibly each and every rep game he has played in that KS was given that part to play, maybe thats an exageration but certainly he would have in the majority of those appearances, have had that part to play.

Sadly I cannot recall an occasion when his kicking game has been anything better, than at best average, or worse, when playing against the S/Hemi big boy's. So I would have to differ from your opinion upon that aspect of England's chances where we to be without KS's services.
Goalkicking I grant is another matter entirely and this would be my only concession as to KS being on the team sheet. In that department he is impeccable generally and if we are fortunate enough to play in tight finish games, V OZ and NZ, then he could certainly make the difference there.

I am reluctant also to agree with your comment upon the last (by now traditional maybe?) final ten minute scoring jamborees that OZ especially has made an habit of producing against us in recent and past years.
I believe that with a fair proportion of our forwards playing and being accustomed to NRL conditions that syndrome could become a thing of the past and personally that does not worry me so much as it has done in the past. This also is yet another reason behind my leaning to Luke Burgess's inclusion as well, as he could be a very good final 20 minute addition to the pack, again in a tight and contested situation.

I would be reluctant to play Hock, not anything to do with his ability on the contrary, but he does tend to throw a wobbly, far to often and too quickly, as good as he can be he could also prove a liability in such tight matches as I am direly hoping for.





#39 RSN

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 10:26 PM

Thanks for the reply, B/kid. Now, I find this continuous alledging to the ability of KS to be the field kicker par-excellence a little hard to swallow, that is when he has been given such responsibility for the National side.
I would expect, though not sure, that in possibly each and every rep game he has played in that KS was given that part to play, maybe thats an exageration but certainly he would have in the majority of those appearances, have had that part to play.

Sadly I cannot recall an occasion when his kicking game has been anything better, than at best average, or worse, when playing against the S/Hemi big boy's. So I would have to differ from your opinion upon that aspect of England's chances where we to be without KS's services.
Goalkicking I grant is another matter entirely and this would be my only concession as to KS being on the team sheet. In that department he is impeccable generally and if we are fortunate enough to play in tight finish games, V OZ and NZ, then he could certainly make the difference there.

I am reluctant also to agree with your comment upon the last (by now traditional maybe?) final ten minute scoring jamborees that OZ especially has made an habit of producing against us in recent and past years.
I believe that with a fair proportion of our forwards playing and being accustomed to NRL conditions that syndrome could become a thing of the past and personally that does not worry me so much as it has done in the past. This also is yet another reason behind my leaning to Luke Burgess's inclusion as well, as he could be a very good final 20 minute addition to the pack, again in a tight and contested situation.

I would be reluctant to play Hock, not anything to do with his ability on the contrary, but he does tend to throw a wobbly, far to often and too quickly, as good as he can be he could also prove a liability in such tight matches as I am direly hoping for.


In previous seasons I've not been too impressed with Sinfield, I thought he was overrated and took alot of the credit from players around him. But this season I changed my opinion after watching him. I'd give him the first game against Aus and the captaincy and just say lead the team out, get us organised and kick the ball to a similar level of thurston cronk and smith. Widdop, Tomkins and Roby should help him out with the kicking to give the Aussies something to think about but obviously KS does the majority. If he fails to do so thats his last chance gone, find an alternative he's clearly not good enough. Basically tell him its his last chance and see what he does.

It happens every time we play them. None of our forwards who've gone to the NRL have struggled with intensity in their first few games, they've all stepped up. Smith Thurston and Cronk have them on the front foot, running in the right direction and organised. They're so structured and know who is running and when. England haven't had this which is what KS should be doing. They just build up pressure and in the end it tells. I don't think it's anything to do with fitness and intensity. Westwood and O Loughlin play 80 minutes, Graham, Burgess, Ellis, Crabtree all usually play 60 minutes minimum or its a disappointing effort. The results in previous games prove these points. Maybe we have an impact sub like you suggest in the form of Burgess, or I'd suggest Hock to play the final 20 minute stint, I feel he could be lethal and when he gets out there he rips people apart like a mad man.

Speaking of hock I agree, Gallen Smith Slater ect will try and wind him up and I fear penalty after penalty will happen. As a threat on the edges he's world class, but I do think he'll throw a wobbly and lose us it when the scores are tight. Maybe the 20 minute stint at the end will prevent this? But then again it could just be our downfall.




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