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  1. Why no mention of Ryan Atkins

    I expect Gildart to be the next quality left centre. Gildart and Watkins in the centres could be very good.
  2. Why no mention of Ryan Atkins

    If you turn the sound off, watch in black and white and squint then that is a wonderful length of the field try.
  3. Yes, I agree with both of these points. Australia will always have top class players and I see Cleary as the next great half back... but I don't see a 6, 7 & 9 combination he quality of Thurston, Cronk and Smith on the horizon.
  4. I agree that Clearly is not necessarily going to be better Cronk but everything we know about him so far suggests he can be. After Sterling we got Stuart After Stuart we got Langer After Langer we got Johns After Jonhs we got Cronk And plenty more as well There is always another great in development because of the talent pool and the development process Australia has. In my view this is Cleary but he could fall away and it could be somebody else. And they may end up being even better than anyone named above. The point is we won't win the 2021 World Cup by hoping Australia get worse.
  5. Cherry Evans and Pearce are both 28 and Norman is 26. Austraia will be weaker after Thrston and Cronk if any of these get selected as they would have supplanted the two already if they were better than them. Clearly is different though as he is only 20. There is a reasonable argument to say that he is well ahead of where Cronk and Thurston were at the same stage of their development. There is no reason why he couldn't go on to be as good (if not better!) than both of them.
  6. Nathan Clearly will be the next great Australian half back. He is only 20 and has already played 41 times for Penrith scoring 346 points and is bossing the team around the park each week. At 20 Conk was just making his Melbourne debut. Nick Cotric is only 19. He played all 24 games for the Raiders this year scoring 16 tries and won the Dally M rookie of the year. At the same age, Billy Slater was still waiting to make his NRL debut. If we think the Australian talent pipeline is starting to dry up we are in for a huge shock.
  7. I have watched Great Britain and England play Australia for over 30 years and felt thatvthe Kangaroos could score at literally any time from any part of the field. As this game progressed today I knew that the England defence had the measure of them. Of course the same was true in reverse. A real gladitorial battle and worthy of a World Cup final. Before the game I wanted an England win and if not a really competitive performance. Unfortunately we got the latter. The England Australia rivalry in our sport is in better shape than it has been for a long time. And... ###### the world cup is over!
  8. In that case, surely he would have shouted "Get in!" rather than "Come on England!"
  9. O'Loughlin is a quality player but he doesn't do 80 minutes. Now we have a back 3 in the pack who can put in an 80 minute stint we can still have 3 forwards on the bench to rotate the front row while adding some versatility in Lomax.
  10. Michael Maguire

    Stuart Cummins refereed two Grand Finals - does that make him ideally placed to coach a Super League or NRL club?
  11. Team of the tournament

    In the group stages, Klemmer played 132 minutes in the three games, made 440 metres (average 10.5), made 51 tackles and one line break. Burgess on the other hand played 102 minutes, made 357 metres (average 11.2), made 70 tackles and made one line break and scored a try (from that line break). Seeing as though Klemmer is playing in the most dominant team in the tournament, I think Burgess stacks up very well and I think he very much deserves to be selected in your 17.
  12. Team of the tournament

    Is that all you have seen from McGilvary in this competition?
  13. That may have been the case a couple of months ago but he has been around tgis squad for 6 weeks now and seen them all play live. He has enough to pick his best team. As Exiled Wiganer says, Heighington is in for 30 minutes or so of mistake free forward football so we can make best use of our strike forwards at key points in the game. The bench tells you everything you need to know about how England are approaching this game.
  14. By far the most impressive part of England's game in this World Cup has been their defence. They have looked organised and calm on shift plays where the defenders are picking the right man and judging their defensive execution very well. They have also scrambled exceptionally well with 5 or 6 white shirts in the frame chasing down any breaks. This was the case even in game 1 where we did pretty well defensively despite not enjoying much possession or field position. England will have a try or two in them if they execute well but the defence is the key. If we can keep the Kangaroos to three tries or fewer we have a chance but that is a huge ask. I would have been a bit more confident if we had closed out the Tongan game better but you can go for decades without seeing 7 minutes of rugby like that again and so I am not letting that cloud what has been a very strong tournament defensively. We cannot afford to go behind early as the Kangaroos are marvellous front runners, we need to be either ahead or very close at half time and probably leading with 20 to go in order to win. Australia are odds on favourites and rightly so but if England play the game of their lives they do have the firepower to win this. Lastly, I don't want to wish injury on any player but our game is attritional, image what would happen if Cronk and Smith picked up knocks early on and the Kangaroos had to play out 60 minutes without their generals - the point about Rugby League is that it is far far less predictable than most people give it credit for. Anyway, will enjoy the nerves building up this week that is for sure. Come on England!