Clearly missing a reliable kicker with a more than 50% conversion capability then...it's just something else to add to the list. Criticism of Bretherton is unwarranted though, I don't supposed he begged Kear to play in the centre. I know for a fact that he hates it, he's a 2nd rower. If those others named are better, then why aren't they selected there? As a forward I've never known Brev to take a backward step and not do his share.
IF we were to finish in the bottom 8 (I'm putting Leigh, Bradford, Sheffield and 1 from London, Halifax, Dewsbury or Featherstone as the top 4) that still leaves us stronger than Hunslet, the two Cumbrians and maybe Donny so I don't see us in the bottom 2. There is still time though for our tide to turn in the current set up. Regarding our escape last season, the real fact is that we were lucky; we broke the rules and got away with it on a technicality. Remember the Halifax situation when they broke rules v Swinton in the Challenge Cup some seasons back and were thrown out? We relied on saying that so and so got away with something the year before so we should, which then sets a poor precedent should there be another breach of rules by another club who would quote our ruling. We are extremely lucky to be discussing where we might finish in this league instead of wondering if we would win Championship 1!!
Yes Graham and I'm worried that we don't appear to be treating our current situation seriously. As you probably noticed on Friday we're not well served at FB, neither of your old 2 are cutting it and if we play Ainscough there we've no centres. That also leaves us with 1winger and as we played an amateur international half back on the wing there's no cutting edge in the halves. If Donny can look around and pick up these players what are our coaching team doing? This year and last have been the 2 biggest years for clubs at our level and we have chosen them to go backwards. I realise that no coach can legislate for injury but you can be better prepared for it. To staff 7 back positions and subs/injuries with 10 men doesn't work.
Never a word said 'over the hill' about DR's. We could use a couple of loan backs though by Friday, got anybody spare!! We only have 5 backs and will be padded out with 2nd rowers, we're having to play a hooker at scrum half and a distinct lack of anyone to open up a defence, none of which helps the cause. Doubt you'll replicate last Easter's scoreline, there'll be a score in it either way but would be happy with a draw.
Wow, lot's of points here!! I too heard commentary on the radio, wonder if I was listening to the same game as whoever it was who said we sounded poor? Every 2 minutes we were attacking, had majority of the game after half an hour, we played for 80 minutes, Donny played for 30 and were then squeezed out and we should have won by more, but would agree that we still haven't found our 'locksmith'. Plenty of effort and go forward from an outstanding pack but despite adding Fozzard, still nobody to create gaps and therefore tries. Talk of kicking...our tactical kicking has been poor for ages regardless of whoever has been charged with it. Blacky and Moore were the same as Leatherbarrow and Southernwood, We never make a 40/20, our 6th tackle kicks are either high to the corner expecting Squires to outjump everybody or aimless, down the throat stuff. What about a 'Henry' every now and again? Place kicking is unreliable, we are kicking stuff which we really could be expected to miss, yet eminently kickable stuff we miss at important times. Now, with another injury to a back, we are both fullbacks missing, a winger and a centre. Maybe (hopefully) Grayston will be back in contention on Friday because we can't go a long time filling in with 2nd rowers, every now and again yes, but for a lengthy period. no. Every player has his position and his strengths, that's why they choose to play there or are chosen there. Someone will now tell me off for negative attitude, but it's not, only telling it as it is. We have been praised for years for punching above our weight, plucky little Batley, so why haven't we got to the stage where we can punch at a weight that suits us? Every game this season so far we've been every bit as good as the teams we've lost to but just missed that little bit of something to nail it. Sort that out and we won't be having these conversations.
I thought Leek was a stand off, might be wrong. Whatever the rights and wrongs of Leek and Nicholson interchanging at 7, they're still not the quick fix we need to guide us around the field. Leek is like many of our players, a great prospect, we have a record as long as your arm of bringing on prospects but it's always 'one for the future' trouble being it's rarely our future. Let's not forget that Leek is still an inexperienced player at this level; he signed at the end of 2013 with about 6 games to go and only played bit parts in most of those, then after a couple of games of 2014 he gets hit with that injury just as he was being lined up to learn and take over from Blacky (my opinion), this season he has played in 4 friendlies and 5 league games, so he only has at best 15/16 games under his belt. Not a lot in expecting him to take a stranglehold and take teams on singlehanded. Nicholson is an out and out hooker (if such a thing really exists in the game these days) and again shouldn't be expected to jump into a new position and be an immediate star. Interchanging at 9 is far easier that swapping 7's. We have now lost 3 games which hasn't left us where we would all have liked to have been. We all knew that we were very light in proper halfbacks and many have said that we should have brought in an experienced half back as either a leader or as a teacher/cover. Due to Scotty having a poor start then picking up this injury we are now having to start over and repair the situation on the run. Bringing in a hooker (and that only for a month, what happens at the end of the period if he doesn't stay and we have to start looking again?) isn't really the answer as whilst he is bedding in someone else is still having to bed in at 7. We needed a proper 7 on a long term basis but I think we've fudged the issue.
Flipping heck, didn't expect to open such a can of worms and recriminations from a simple question. Anyone who carries out any work, paid or otherwise is worthy of praise, I know from experience myself in other fields. I assume Chairman LMAO was the previous encumbent in keeping the website up, and would say that I was always impressed with it. I also assume that whoever has taken, or will take it on, will also do a creditable job. We presumably are all pulling in the same direction, don't let's fall out over little things just as the club is upping it's profile.
Wishing all correspondents a Happy Christmas, an even happier Boxing Day and prosperous New Year. Thanks to everyone who has commented on our forum this year for keeping their posts humourous, informative and most of all clean and polite, makes moderator's and administrator's jobs easy.
Whoever said we're weak in the props: Rowe, Lillycrop, Hesketh, Gledhill, for starters, Brev has played there reasonably successfully, and we have a number of second rowers who can step up and spell each other, so i reckon choice of about 7 blokes can step up to the plate. Hooker? Nicholson spelled by Leek, Blake to fill in there if we bring on a loose forward sub. our one weakness is at halfback, with only Southernwood and Leatherbarrow backed up again by Leek, so one of our 24th or 25th signings needs to be a half with experience. Fullback and wings are well covered, centres will be Ok this time, Faal, Squires, Grayston, Ainscough and again Brev to fill in when neccesary, Chandler as well as well as Day as someone seems to think. I think we've built a squad where any number of players can capably step into any number of situations. The first 3 games will be important, they'll set the scene. Get 6 points out of them and we're sailing, full of confidence which will keep those not playing happy, being part of a winning outfit.,
Yes, agree with the plea for a centre and also we do need an experienced old head to pull it all together. We've certainly put together a very young, athletic, never say die side, but our oldest head now appears to be Brev, who, in all honesty, may not feature too often unless he's dropped into the threequarters again. I know the club and BISSA are working very hard to secure players, and I also know how hard it is to attract the right 'old head' for the money available. That said, i think we've put together a squad which clearly wants to play here instead of some players who may think it's their last decent payday before retirement. These young lads really are Gallant Youths (please, let's get that name back into use!!).
There actually is a serious point to this; regardless of our affinity to the club it can't be argued that, knowingly or not, we broke the rules, as did Whitehaven the season before. That Whitehaven's case wasn't picked up is to their advantage. Ours unfortunately was and along with Doncaster we were punished. The fact that the RFL reversed that decision (still no word from them on the reasons why 20 days after it was promised) was a stroke of luck, but that doesn't make it right. Ignorance of any rule etc is no defence, and the RFL have now created a precedent which allows any club to knowingly or not break rules in the future knowing that they can appeal on the understanding that Batley and Doncaster got away with it, and they will expect the same result. I think that we can count ourselves very lucky and should keep our heads below the parapet if fans of another club choose to question our good fortune. We would have been employing the same effort if a team had received that same luck and relegated us.