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About nathanwood7

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  1. Let's hope he can be half the player Sculthorpe was. It's easy to forget when you read about some of these promising 19 and 20 year olds who have yet to break in to their club teams, that having made his debut aged 17 (or 16?), by the age of 18 Sculthorpe was already Warrington's star player (and at times captain), a GB international, and had been selected in the Super League Dream Team. A true once in a generation player.
  2. Can't see Ward coming close to getting picked but maybe give him some experience with one eye on the world cup next year? I'd probably go with the following, albeit there are some tough calls and i wouldn't begrudge Percival, Williams, Brown, Farrell, or Cooper a spot if they were picked. Lomax Hall Sarginson Watkins McGillvary Widdop Gale Graham Hodgson Hill Bateman Whitehead Burgess Burgess Burgess Clark Ratchford
  3. I agree that this London team was dreadful and it is tough on Solomona to expect him to make a big impact as a 20 year old moving to the other side of the world, but as someone who watched the majority of his games that season i would agree he was awful. Defensively he was all over the place (watch the highlights of their win v Leeds from that season for example) and most weeks he seemed to pick up a knock which left him moping around in back play. In attack, he was given poor service but failed to create anything himself either.
  4. From a Warrington perspective Ryan Atkins is not good enough to make the squad in my opinion. In the big games in the past couple of weeks he demonstrated his frustrating tendency for poor offloads that either find the floor or put teammates under pressure. His pass to Russell towards the end of the grand final was a good example of poor judgement whereby Russell had no room to do anything and was easily bundled in to touch. Even so, the pass was head high in any case. I would also question his decision making in defence which sometimes lets him down. He is a good athlete and a powerful runner but against the international teams this is not enough and i think his failings would be exposed.
  5. Agree, Hodgson is a better version of Houghton for me, i.e. a solid hooker with a good passing game, great game management and a very good kicking game. Clark offers something different with an exceptional running game and i've been very impressed with his defence this year too.
  6. One thing that is interesting here is whether 6 and 7 are considered different positions or could say two number 7s be selected in the dream team. At most clubs it is now hard to distinguish between 6 and 7, as they simply do the same job as each other but on opposite halves of the pitch.
  7. From a Warrington perspective Clark has been our best player this season and can probably feel unlucky to miss out. I appreciate that Houghton has had a great year and made headlines with his famous tackle at Wembley but i actually think that even in the Wembley match Clark outplayed him (2 clean breaks in an otherwise tight game spring straight to mind). Hard to argue with too many of the other picks except perhaps for Gidley who i think has been good, but can perhaps feel slightly lucky to be included. Hopefully Clark will get a chance for England as a really think we need someone with his ability to create a break or a try out of nothing.
  8. Pretty good season from Gale and he plays a big part in making Cas such a great attacking team to watch. As has been said countless times it's easier to win the award as the halfback at a club where there's less big name players but that's not to take anything away from his own performances. I couldn't see him making a top 5 shortlist for man of steel where i think performances in the big games that matter probably carry more weight, but he has a fair chance of making the England squad and i would think he is due an opportunity to play 7 for England at some stage.
  9. Looking at the team from this weekend there's probably Shaul, Houghton and Watts who would've been considered (outside of Sneyd and Taylor) and i can't see any of these being good enough to make the final squad vs the competition. Pritchard, Manu, Tuimavave, Michaels, Talanoa, Fonua, and Minichello make up a big proportion of the team who aren't even eligible for selection, whilst the likes of Yeaman, Washbrook, Pryce and Ellis, whilst all good players, have had their time at international level.
  10. If Wire are planning on running a reserve team (has this been confirmed yet), then i guess it makes sense to sign players like Cox and Bailey to give some added strength in depth, at a low expense, whilst still being able to give them some game time to keep them match fit. Clearly the risk with Bailey is that despite being a bit of a free punt given his apparent low cost on the salary cap, he has the potential to unsettle the squad and cause problems. You'd like to think that Tony Smith is aware of this and has the capability to get shut of him, the second there's any sign of trouble. If everyone is fit, then it's hard to see Bailey getting in ahead of Hill, Sims, Dodds, Harrison and Westwood at prop (and possibly King, Evans and Cox too), but given that at least a couple of those look set to miss the start of the season then he's likely to see plenty of game time early in the season I suspect. A good (last) chance for Bailey.
  11. I think the point is true regardless of the distance. If the offside was properly policed at a scrum then there'd be more scope to make it an attacking set piece opportunity. At present the defensive line begins advancing as soon as the ball is fed in to the scrum. Clearly moving the distance to 10m would also help in this regard.
  12. A definite no to contested scrums from me. The only thing i would like to see is a proper policing of the 10m from a scrum to try and make it a real set piece opportunity which could see some really dazzling pre-planned moves. By the time the loose forward passes it to the first receiver, defences are usually in his face which means we're missing a big trick to have this as a real exciting opportunity for an attacking set piece.
  13. Agreed. Whilst that team had some exciting young players in it, it was nowhere near as good as the current team in my opinion. Players like Lee Smith, Peter Fox, Chris Bridge, Kevin Sinfield (at hooker), and Shaun Briscoe would not get on the waiting list for the current squad. I would also argue it wasn't as good as the team that toured down under in 2006. Either way, I think the England team has been moving in the right direction in the last few years and is really capable of challenging anyone in the world at present. I do agree that having good halfbacks is key to doing this.
  14. Agree. I think that whilst Whitehead has been good for Catalans, and Westwood has been more inconsistent, Westwood is the sort of player that relishes the big occasion. The bigger the match, the bigger performance, and he has certainly been one of England's better players in the last 5 years and can reflect on a good international career. Hopefully Whitehead will kick on next year and provide good options in the back row along with O'Loughlin, Currie, Bateman, Burgess, Farrell, Greenwood etc
  15. Agree. I can only assume McNamara is looking to the future as it's hard to imagine that Whitehead can be considered a better player than Westwood on their respective showings in an England shirt so far.