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The Phantom Horseman

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  1. Three phases to Hock's spell with Fev. 1st phase - first handful of games - clearly not at full fitness having not had a pre-season. Played ok but was only used in relatively short bursts. 2nd phase - mid-season - played really well and on fire at times, looked better class than this division despite his age 3rd phase - started getting multiple referrals to disciplinary department which reduced his impact. If Leigh can get him fully fit, firing on all cylinders and keeping his discpline in check he could still make a big impact at this level. The 8 interchange rule might have an impact duing his first few weeks though and he's always one incident away from a ban. On the other hand, Fev players and coaching staff were all veyr complimentary about him, he's not the off-field negative influence that he's sometimes perceived to be on the evidence of last year.
  2. Doh! Of course, I forgot we now had 2 fit starting wings again. Yep, that will be it.
  3. 19-man squad announced. https://www.featherstonerovers.co.uk/news/19-man-squad-announced-for-bulls-visit-w1FGL On the plus side, Teteh returns, and Ferguson is in the squad as well. There's going to need to be a reshuffle in the backs. Presumably Render will go to full back, and maybe Hardcastle to the wing and Walters to centre, as was the case in the first game against York.
  4. It's good to see that the P & C Express seem to be coming up with the odd bit of original content about Fev again. There's a piece about Chisholm there today, some of it I've seen before but some is new. This bit is interesting : “I couldn’t be happier,” added Chisholm. “The boys have taken really well to me. “Carry (Ryan Carr) is an awesome coach, I couldn’t praise him any more. Working with him is a blessing and I am learning from him everyday. “The shapes that he throws are very mean and they are things that me and Tom Holmes like to do. “We have got big back-rowers and big front-rowers that can ball play, so it makes our jobs a lot easier.”
  5. Looking on the Bulls forum it seems a few of their fans are expecting a thrashing, which seems a bit far-fetched considering only one team (Toronto in Canada) have scored more than 26 points against them this season. This will probably be a better test of where we are than York, who had a few out injured and didn't really have much quality in their team on Saturday. A narrow victory would be fine, though I must admit it would be nice to see some more of the free-flowing rugby we saw at Blackpool.
  6. Can't remember, but even if he's fit, in the space of 21 days we've got Bradford on Sunday, then Widnes on their plastic pitch, then Sheffield on theirs, then Widnes at home. Even leaving aside rotation we'll be doing well to get through those games with the same set of forwards intact.
  7. Most weeks we go with just one hooker (King) and 4 forwards on the bench, that means we need 9 forwards each game. At the moment with Bussey injured we have exactly 9 (who all played on Saturday), not counting Maskill who is really a hooker who can fill in at a pinch as a utility forward. As promising as our reserve set up is, we all know that there's a masssive gulf between the standard there and in a top 5-chasing team. The chances of us getting through the next few weeks without at least one injury/suspension must be virtually nil, and we have two games in 5 days coming up shortly, both on plastic pitches. With Cam Smith starting regularly for Leeds, and plenty of injuries there, they probably don't have much to offer us as cover on DR either. If we were offered a decent player like Ferguson, were we seriously going to say "ooh no thanks, it might upset some of the lads"? Then watch as he goes to another top 5 contender instead?
  8. Every loan signing is initially for one month as that's the minimum loan period. The ones that are advertised as "season-long" usually don't mean a lot as they nearly always have a recall clause.
  9. The only downside I can think of to this is, who do you drop to include him, as there isn't anybody in our pack who I'd want to leave out on recent form. But with the 1895 Cup game coming up four days before the vital Sheffield game, having another fresh forward could be handy.
  10. Agree it's a big weekend, it's so open though that it's hard to know who we are rooting for eg Toulouse v Leigh, if we are being really optimistic and aiming for a top 2 finish we'd want Leigh to beat Toulouse but perhaps more realistically aiming for top 5 it would be beter for us if Toulouse win. One thing I did notice...with 13 games left not every team has the same number of home and away games left. Apart from Toronto, who have a stack of home games left but are surely going to finish top anyway, Sheffield (who have a game in hand) are in the best position as they have 8 home games and only 6 away games left, they have a run of 4 home games in a row in June/July against Rochdale, Leigh, York and Dewsbury so we really need to win at their place in June otherwise they might get away from us. On the other hand...we have 7 home games left and only 6 away whereas I think all of the other top 5 contenders bar Sheffield have 6 home games and 7 away games left. Only a small thing but every little helps.
  11. Agree he didn't do badly, he's clearly very young. I think on the 7-tackle 20m tap it looked like he was told by the touch judge that the ball had gone dead. The disallowed try at first I thought was flat out wrong, but watching it a second time Cooper did seem to give their player a nudge and impeded him on his dummy run. I don't think the contact had the slightest impact on the try being scored, am not sure whether that matters or not without sifting through the rules.
  12. One thing the coaching staff ought to have a word with the players about at the video review - a couple of rules that many players across the league seem not to know (and then the fans get upset when the ref stops the game). 1. When there has been a successful 40-20 the tap takes place 20m infield, not 10m infield as it would be following a penalty to touch. Mind you, as well as our player (think it was Johnny D), the ref seemed not to know until he was told by the linesman. 2. You can't take a 20m tap until all your own players are behind the 20m line. Week after week even internationals in SL seem not to know this!
  13. Thinking about the recruitment in this reduced-budget season, we haven't done at all badly. The Boas brothers didn't work out (though Watson could still play a part I guess), but we moved decisively to upgrade at that position recently. Elsewhere, if you look at the replacements for the guys we let go: Carey for Robinson Teteh for Taulapapa King for Wildie & Carlile Bussey for Hock Makatoa for Moore Ormondroyd and Walters for Brooks Harrison for Knowles Day for Farrell I'm not sure there are any of those where I'd swap back for the previous player now, am sure there will be some fans who have one or two that they'd swap back but overall considering we are working off a reduced budget our squad looks pretty good.
  14. Toulouse have been struglling with injuries, which has been their undoing in past seasons too. I think they have at least four threequarters out injured at the moment, which means against Toronto their left defensive edge consisted of Bretherton (a prop playing centre), Ford, whose defence is clearly the weak part of his game, and Kheirallah, a full back playing on the wing, and Toronto exposed that side badly. They are also wildly inconsistent - they pummelled Toronto and Halifax at home but only just beat York, and were hammered by Sheffield away.
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