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Pretty sure that's what he's trying to do, build an attractive team, but these things take time. Season has been disappointing for sure so far for us but baby steps are being taken in the right direction.
I like Salford, and Dr K, but replacing Nobby with Iestyn was a huge step in the wrong direction. Salford were woeful last night, and if they continue in this vein I can see Harris being emptied before the end of the season. In any event I'll be amazed if he's still in the job next year.
As for the team, where to start? Tim Smith can throw a good dummy, but nothing else to indicate how he was ever a top young player. Hock and Hansen are shadows of the players they were at Wigan. Gleeson and Puletua are too old. Meli, contrary to poplar opinion, still looks OK to me (10 tries in that team is pretty impressive). Sad to say also, but Morley was past it last year and is now painful to watch. You can't blame him wanting a last season at his hometown club, but I doubt this is how he'd want to be remembered.
And the rest of the players were never anything other than average at best.
I'm struggling to think of a side that I'd be confident Salford could beat at present. Hopefully Dr K will stick with it and Salford will the the success I'd love to see, but it's not going to be this season.
What a great game that was. Reminded me of that Saints v Dragons match where Saints were miles ahead. In exactly the same way, some outrageous off the cuff play, a huge amount of luck and a bad refereeing decision turned the game on its head in the last minute.
Can't really blame the ref for missing the Turner knock on, as it looked like he was trying to offload the ball backwards, and from where the ref was, that's exactly what seemed to happen.
I do think that Saints, for reasons I can't imagine, underestimated Cas (if Wilkin's attitude at the start was in any way representative) and Brown's 'tinkerman' tendency was equally to blame for their woeful 1st half display. Cas certainly made the most of it, and didn't really deserve to lose. At the end of the day it was probably that tackle on Huby that made him lose the ball when diving under the sticks that gave Saints the chance to steal it at the end.
Small consolation to Cas fans, but the sport was the real winner there.
The idea that our discipline has gone down the pan is stupid anyway. We once rolled teams out with the likes of Nickle, Forber, Fogerty or Haggerty in them ! Today's blokes are angels compared to the past.
While I broadly agree with your assessment, I feel you could have spared a moment to include Vila Matautia in that list.
Posted by Human Punk
on 03 January 2014 - 04:05 PM
It may well be worse than nothing. While I enjoyed the Exiles matches, last time round there wasn't the same proportion of England players missing, which will now be about half the team if we include Reed. As things stand, only France and Wales can put out anything like a full team mid-season.Trying to big up what amounts to an England 'B' team may well devalue the brand which gained so much during the world cup.
If we can't get a proper mid-season window, I'd rather leave it until the end of the year.
Posted by Human Punk
on 03 January 2014 - 03:09 PM
The other problem with this fixture, and it's a big one, is that currently a mid-season fixture involving England isn't even bring a proper England team either, which means that an England v Celts match will involve 20-odd players who are, without wanting to sound harsh, not top class. That's why no-one wants to go watch. And this will only get worse if more of our talent goes to the NRL.
Unless we can have a proper mid-season window that would allow the teams as constituted during the world cup to come together, then there's no point to any of it. But if we can have that, then there are any number of countries (e.g. Italy or Scotland) who could give England a reasonable game.
Posted by Human Punk
on 25 November 2013 - 01:08 PM
I know GaryO has put in some controversial posts, but I agree with him here. It's not good enough to be content with losing, no matter how closely or gallantly. McNamara hasn't had the team selection right all tournament- first of all re Rangi, but even on Saturday, where we had a non-playing sub, and Burrow used for so few minutes (and some of those, at the beginning of the 2nd half, he shouldn't have had).
Who knows what might have happened with a different coach? And I don't want to bring up Danny Brough again, but his kicking game in the crucial last 10 minutes against Tonga and Italy was what got Scotland into the QFs, a marked contrast to what befell England on Saturday.
So, no, one gallant defeat doesn't wipe the slate clean for McNamara. As GaryO says, advertise the job, and if McNamara takes that as a snub and doesn't reapply, then so be it.
Posted by Human Punk
on 25 November 2013 - 09:35 AM
Indeed, the kick infield was what did for us in the end. When I finally arrived back home last night I forced myself to watch the last 2 minutes, and someone in the commentary box (Nobby?) can be heard saying 'put it out, put it out'. That's what everyone thought was going to happen. I'd just finished congratulating England on bringing the ball over to the side on the last so it would be easy to find touch and take all the momentum out of the last minute. Then Sinfield makes the biggest wrong decision ever.
I really like Sinfield, and would challenge anyone to name a player who has done as much for his club over so long a period, but he was in the team because he's our leader and captain, and if there was one player who should have been making the right decision at a crucial point in the game, it was him.
So, sorry, and I'm sure Kev will be hurting (because he had played the game of his live in an England jersey up to that point), but he lost us the game.