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McNamara's halfback headache

rangi chase new zealand rugby league rlwc2013 england

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Poll: McNamara's half-back headache (46 member(s) have cast votes)

Who should England coach Steve McNamara select at 6 and 7 to play against New Zealand on Saturday?

  1. Chase and Sinfield - it's too late to make big changes like this (10 votes [21.74%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 21.74%

  2. Widdop and Sinfield - Widdop is more experienced against this opposition (36 votes [78.26%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 78.26%

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#1 Joe Whitley

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 10:35 AM

We've just had a discussion in the office about who Steve McNamara should pick at 6 and 7 for Saturday's RLWC2013 semi-final against New Zealand.

 

I'm still undecided, but League Express Editor Martyn Sadler believes selecting Rangi Chase could ignite the Kiwis, and leaving him out would also reduce the number of handling errors.

 

In this week's issue of the newspaper (on sale now. If you don't live near a newsagent that stocks the paper, click here) he said: "One way of cutting down errors would be to  replace Rangi Chase with Gareth Widdop, given that five of England's errors against France came from Rangi, whose form has generally not been outstanding throughout the tournament. Widdop and Sinfield at halfback, with Burrow on the bench, looks to me like a better option than what McNamara has gone with so far."

 

So it seems there could be two reasons not to pick Chase: 1) His selection may encourage the Kiwis to raise their game; 2) He has consistently made handling errors throughout the campaign.

 

Let me know what you think about this. Like I said, I'm still undecided. I'm not sure changing this partnership so late in the day is a good idea, though. 

 


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#2 7723

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 10:47 AM

I would rather see Burrow and Widdop then Sinfield and Chase.



#3 petero

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 11:02 AM

Then your wrong and MS is correct!

This should have been done sooner, much sooner. Chase is quite clearly out of his comfort zone in international company, his style of play is not ALLOWED to be accomplished by mainly more alert and most often, better defenders and defences. 

 

Personally I am convinced also that the Half-back partnership in its entirety is disfuctional and not up to the general standard of this competition as a whole, let alone those of New Zealand and Australia.

 

Why I wonder, has McNamara even bothered to select Widdop for the squad, if, and this certainly appears so, he has had little or no intention of giving the lad any game time more than he has. The halves he has stuck with have not by any stretch of anyone's imagination proven good enough, either through this competition or for that matter in each and every other match that McNamara has selected them for. 

 

Any worthwhile coach would therefore have at least experimented with a different selection even if just for the hell of it!

My contention is that our coach has been afraid to even do this, in case he was shown to have been wrong with his persistence and faith in those he had fixated upon from the outset and rather than, maybe, having to concede that he had made an error, has continued in jeapordising the team and the Nations fans chances of a possible success.

 

I accept he could also have been proven correct, but never even attempting to discover which was the best is really downright stupid, don't you agree?



#4 Just Browny

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 11:06 AM

The argument about NZ raising their game because Chase is playing is a complete nonsense. Even more derisory than the idea teams will be 'more motivated' because you pick them in the SL ClubCall. It's a World Cup Semi-final FFS.

 

There might be a question about Chase's safety : remember that Issac Luke tried to break Chase's leg, Harrison Hansen-style, when the sides met in 2011.

 

I don't mind a half-back making errors, but if Chase is to be selected he needs to play as a proper stand-off. Take the ball to the line, then pass, kick or take the line on. Don't take the ball to the line, flick the ball around your back and then start running backwards/sideways in front of the defence. It only serves to baffle your own team and prevents any forward momentum from being built up. Tomkins isn't nearly as bad, but can also be guilty of this.


I can confirm 30+ less sales for Scotland vs Italy at Workington, after this afternoons test purchase for the Tonga match, £7.50 is extremely reasonable, however a £2.50 'delivery' fee for a walk in purchase is beyond taking the mickey, good luck with that, it's cheaper on the telly.


#5 RSN

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 11:40 AM

Martyn Sadler is absolutely spot on. Chase is far to error prone for this level. If Chase makes 5 errors against New Zealand or Australia we have pretty much no chance of winning the game.

He also makes our attack have completely unorganized and dysfunctional. Nobody knows what direction he is going to run in hence people do not know which lines to run so our attack stutters and we fail to use our exceptionally talented attacking backline.

Also he gives away silly penalties when he gets wound up. Suppose we can rely on the Kiwis to not wind Chase up and all will be well then.

Widdop runs direct, is great at passing close to the line and knows how to play against sides with a fast line speed. Chase is none of those things.

Widdop at 6, Sinfield at 7 and Burrow rotating with Roby at 9. Use you head McNamara and accept that changes need to be made, and that your decision in 2011 was not 100% correct.

#6 scrape_goose

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 11:44 AM

Widdop at 6, Sinfield at 7 and Burrow rotating with Roby at 9. Use you head McNamara and accept that changes need to be made, and that your decision in 2011 was not 100% correct.

 This is the problem isn't it, everyone else can see it and is saying it an dthe more they do the more McNamara will dig his heels in, cos he is the coach and he is right. Chase has been given more than enough chances and he hasn't delivered, it's now time to see if Widdop can live up to the hype and let Burrow come in and cause some confusion amongst those big Kiwi forwards.

 

We can live in hope but we all know come Saturday we'll all be scratching our heads again.



#7 Viking Warrior

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 11:46 AM

out of the squad i would personally go with burrow and widdop in the halves.
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#8 Kenilworth Tiger

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 11:47 AM

DIdn;t Widdop come on for Rangi at Cardiff (May be mistaken) but I dont remember him exactly changing much


Now then, it's a race between Sandie....and Fairburn....and the little man is in........yeees he's in.

I, just like those Castleford supporters felt that the ball should have gone to David Plange but he put the bit betwen his teeth...and it was a try

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#9 christopher

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 11:55 AM

This is the problem isn't it, everyone else can see it and is saying it an dthe more they do the more McNamara will dig his heels in, cos he is the coach and he is right. Chase has been given more than enough chances and he hasn't delivered, it's now time to see if Widdop can live up to the hype and let Burrow come in and cause some confusion amongst those big Kiwi forwards.

We can live in hope but we all know come Saturday we'll all be scratching our heads again.


Not everyone else can 'see it' and your writing as if McNamara is reading what's on here and picking chase to somehow spite you, which is nonesense.

#10 RSN

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 12:03 PM

DIdn;t Widdop come on for Rangi at Cardiff (May be mistaken) but I dont remember him exactly changing much


It's hard for a half back to come on after 60 minutes to do something. It takes time to get used to the speed of play and how the game is going. The best half backs in the world dictate how a game is going to be played and usually they do this in the first 20 minutes.

#11 redjonn

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 12:07 PM

 This is the problem isn't it, everyone else can see it and is saying it an dthe more they do the more McNamara will dig his heels in, cos he is the coach and he is right. Chase has been given more than enough chances and he hasn't delivered, it's now time to see if Widdop can live up to the hype and let Burrow come in and cause some confusion amongst those big Kiwi forwards.

 

We can live in hope but we all know come Saturday we'll all be scratching our heads again.

 

If you have total confidence in his fitness then I would go for Widdop but maybe, just maybe, following the Aussie game he has had reaction to his serious injury and hasn't been ready to go.  Was a risk selecting him given he only had x2 games since his serious injury, an injury the medical team thought would finish his season but he surprised by coming back early (and maybe too soon) and Mcnamara took the risk, which must mean he values him highly, otherwise he wouldn't have taken that risk. 

 

Unfortunately I don't see the training sessions and medical updates and of course have no idea, same as everyone here.... but if he has been performing well in training, showing no reaction, then I would go with him.   But I want Burrows on the bench and selecting Widdop may mean that isn't an option.


Edited by redjonn, 19 November 2013 - 12:08 PM.


#12 Keith T

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 12:28 PM

McNamara will not be changing his half-back pairing because his whole theory has been to have players settled in positions. His problem was that he picked the wrong players for the halfback positions and he is now stuck with them through his own stubbornness. I think that shows from our first 2 games where he brought Widdop on late in the game, but how many other countries rotate their halfbacks!!!

I remember when .............................

"It is impossible not to feel a twinge of sympathy for Workington Town, the fall guys this season for the Super League's determination to retain it's European dimension, in the shape of Paris. While the French have had every assistance to survive, the importance of having a flagship in a heartland area like West Cumbria has been conveniently forgotten." - Dave Hadfield - Independent 25th August 1996.


#13 christopher

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 12:39 PM

Where's this idea that McNamara is selecting his side out of stubbornness? Maybe he's just selecting the squad and team he thinks will win. He could well be wrong, his selections may not the correct ones but to suggest he's doing it out of arrogance or stubbornness just seems odd.

FWIW I would have liked to have seen more of Widdop but I'm not sure changing the halfbacks just before the biggest game of the tournement is the best option. I think we looked stout best in the Fiji game so I'd go with Chase, Sinfield and Burrow on the bench.

#14 Keith T

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 12:51 PM

I call it stubbornness because he has had several games to assess the pairing of Chase and Sinfield and in the majority of cases they have not gelled as a good halfback pair. I believe that a large majority of fans would support this but you are right and I also said it, he wont change them now at this stage of the competition.

I remember when .............................

"It is impossible not to feel a twinge of sympathy for Workington Town, the fall guys this season for the Super League's determination to retain it's European dimension, in the shape of Paris. While the French have had every assistance to survive, the importance of having a flagship in a heartland area like West Cumbria has been conveniently forgotten." - Dave Hadfield - Independent 25th August 1996.


#15 snapperc

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 01:17 PM

For me it should be Widdop and Burrow, they offer us more than Chase and Sinfield.

 

I've been underwhelmed by Chase, as those who listened to League Talk (on Community Radio in the North East) will testify. Yes, Chase has had some moments of individual brilliance, but overall he just hasn't performed well enough. Same with Sinfield, he hasn't done enough for me this World Cup - I know he is better than he has shown in the first few games of the tournament.

 

For me both Burrow and Widdop deserve a crack at New Zealand.



#16 christopher

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 01:22 PM

For me it should be Widdop and Burrow, they offer us more than Chase and Sinfield.

I've been underwhelmed by Chase, as those who listened to League Talk (on Community Radio in the North East) will testify. Yes, Chase has had some moments of individual brilliance, but overall he just hasn't performed well enough. Same with Sinfield, he hasn't done enough for me this World Cup - I know he is better than he has shown in the first few games of the tournament.

For me both Burrow and Widdop deserve a crack at New Zealand.


The issue I have with this is when have Widdop and Burrow played together? Why would you throw an un tested unknown halfback combination in just before the biggest game of the WC.

I also personally don't think the halves have been as bad as us being made out and their stats for the WC back up my opinion.

#17 scrape_goose

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 01:24 PM

Wouldn't Sinfield be a better option on the bench rather than starting as he can cover numerous positions?



#18 christopher

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 01:30 PM

Wouldn't Sinfield be a better option on the bench rather than starting as he can cover numerous positions?


No, Sinfield IMO starts and plays the whole game or not at all, he can still cover those positions if he starts the game.

#19 christopher

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 01:31 PM

Wouldn't Sinfield be a better option on the bench rather than starting as he can cover numerous positions?


No, Sinfield IMO starts and plays the whole game or not at all, he can still cover those positions if he starts the game.

#20 Larry the Leit

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 01:31 PM

No, Sinfield IMO starts and plays the whole game or not at all, he can still cover those positions if he starts the game.

 

I vote for not at all.  Please start a poll.







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