MZH

Coach
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  1. MZH

    Rovers Rebooted...

    That is a very good signing, and I don't know what Leeds are thinking tbh. If I was naming my top 10 props in SL he wouldn't be far away.
  2. The internationals are done and dusted, teams are back in preseason. There will still be some tinkering to come with squads, but the bulk of recruitment is done now. Lets all prove how little we really know by having a stab at some predictions: 1. St Helens - I still have my doubts about them in the big knockout games, but in terms of week in week out putting results together they look the best equipped to me. Exciting backs, decent halves and with Walmsley back that pack looks strong too. Plus they have a bit of depth. Team to beat for me. 2. Warrington - I got Warrington wrong last year. I had them improving, but without ever really looking like contenders. As it was they really impressed me. They look to have made a couple of decent acquisitions and will be knocking on the door again. 3. Castleford - In 2017 Cas entertained everyone and took the league by storm. In 2018 we also got to see how they coped with a bit of adversity and they passed with flying colours. They have good players, a very good coach, and they will be there or thereabouts again. 4. Hull FC - This is partly my own bias speaking, I don't expect many others to have Hull as high as 4th, but don't forget that despite being with a lot of key players throughout the season we were still in contention at the split. It was only once we found ourselves in the limbo of, can't go down, can't make the top 4, that the wheels really came off. The first choice 17 is still very good, and the fringe players will have benefitted from a really tough year. I think we will be a force again. 5. Wigan - I actually typed Wakefield at first and then deleted it, because whilst this might be a big transitional period for them, this is still Wigan that we are talking about, and they still have some very good players. Actually winning something is a big ask, but they will still be a quality side on their day. 6. Wakefield - Along with Cas they are the success story of the last couple of years, and I think they will be up there again. It would be nice to see them push on and actually make a playoff game instead of just missing out by one spot again. If I have one concern it is Brough coming back. I hope it doesn't disrupt the obviously excellent team spirit they have there. 7. Catalans - As great as their cup run was I just don't see them having the consistency to mount a proper playoff charge. They have the talent, and if they can finally start winning regularly away from home then they could be a real threat, but I just don't think so. 8. Huddersfield - This shows what a competitive league this is going to be, because I actually think Huddersfield are a very decent side and yet I simply think there are 7 teams better than them. 9. Leeds - They were rubbish last year, their recruitment has been average at best and they have just allowed their best prop to join Hull KR. They will be nowhere near. 10. Hull KR - They finished 10th last year, and I don't think they have improved their squad significantly enough to push on from there, although Garbutt is a very good signing. 11. Salford - They have a handful of quality players but very little depth. If they stay unusually injury free they could have a good season, but I can't see how they will win games without the likes of Hastings and Lussick. 12. London - I wish them all the best but I think it could be a very long year unfortunately. It really is tough to call. I am fairly confident about the top 2 being at least in the playoffs, but from 3 to 8 I struggled, because any of those sides are capable of having a good year. It's not beyond the realms of possibility that Leeds, Rovers or Salford could have a say either if the stars align for them. So, lets have your thoughts and predictions and lets see if anyone can get anywhere near this year. That would be a first!
  3. MZH

    So, what have we learned???

    He wants to play 6. He has said that himself. The trouble is, Albert Kelly is a very good 6 himself, and unlike Connor, can't really play anywhere else but the halves. In most other teams I daresay Connor would be a no brainer to play 6. It is both a blessing and a headache that arguably our two best players are both 6s.
  4. MZH

    So, what have we learned???

    I wouldn't rule that out completely. Quite a few Hull fans (and I am one of them) think that Connor at FB and Shaul on the wing could be a good fit for us. We have 3 playmakers, Kelly, Sneyd and Connor, and all of them need to be involved as much as possible. Shaul's strengths are his pace, his broken field running and his scoots from dummy half, but his link play is poor. Connor at 1 would give us a much more balanced and varied attack imo. Connor has got squad number 14 btw, but it would be a sin to not have him starting every week. Not sure where he started, but the first time I ever remember seeing him he was playing FB.
  5. MZH

    So, what have we learned???

    As I have just alluded to on the player ratings thread I'm not sure Connor at centre is the best fit for this team. To see the best of him you need to get the ball in his hands as often as possible, and England don't go to the flanks all that much. Also, whilst I thought he did his job in defence well enough, he isn't a great defender, and he doesn't make great yards on exit sets either. A Connor/Widdop half back pairing with Gildart and Watkins in the centres and Tomkins (or maybe Hardaker) at FB could be dynamite imo.
  6. I won't go through everyone but I will just add to a few things you have written. I aren't the biggest fan of Lomax and wouldn't have had him in my 17 if I'm honest, but I thought he had a decent series. Really solid under the high ball, positioning was good and he made a few good contributions in attack. Makinson was exceptional. I struggle to remember ever seeing a better all round performance from a winger than the one he put in at Anfield. We bang on about Holmes and Rapana and Addo Carr but I haven't ever seen any of them put in a performance like that. Really announced himself on the international stage. Connor has had a lot of plaudits. I am a Hull fan and I think Jake is an exceptional player, but for me his talents were wasted a little bit. His tries and his assist for Makinson were good, but thats just the sort of thing he does week in week out, thats why he is in the team, because he makes things happen. He did a good job containing Manu imo, but as I have said before, if you want someone who's primary goal is to be solid and defend well then you don't pick Connor. If you want to really see what he can do you either need to play him at 6 (or even 1) or you need to get the ball to the flanks more often. All that said I think he proved he is more than capable of playing at this level. Whitehead is an absolute star. Don't think I need to say anything else about him. Thompson should have been Man of Steel and he continued his form into these tests. Absolutely fearless and a handful every time he has the ball. He reminds me of Jamie Thackray circa 2005 (albeit a better version). He just launches himself into every collision with zero regard for his safety. It's hard not to like a player like that. T. Burgess, Graham and Bateman were all great, but we knew that anyway. The biggest disappointment was Hodgson. He is supposed to be one of our stars and leaders, but he was rubbish in game 1. Played much better in game 2, and went back to pretty rubbish in game 3. Roby is a far superior player in every way imo.
  7. I actually thought England weren't too bad yesterday. 34-0 sounds like a pummelling but it was one of those funny sorts of games where NZ took all their chances and we wasted ours, but the bits in between were competitive enough. RL is a cruel game and the scoreboard doesn't always reflect the game. I have seen countless games where teams have been dominated worse than that but the score has been closer. Sure we didn't play well, but anyone using that as evidence that we are miles away is being silly.
  8. Yes but you are just being pedantic. There won't be a single none English player that plays in any of the GB tests. There might not even be any on the tour.
  9. MZH

    Team For Second Test

    I agree with you on Connor. If you are going to select Connor you aren't doing it because he is defensively sound, or because he is going to play error free percentage rugby. You select him because he is a game breaker. If you give him the ball enough he will make something happen. He is no mug in defense, but if you just want someone there simply to counteract Manu then there are probably better people for the job. This England team is very direct and simple and the backs don't see many chances. That is understandable, you play to your strengths, and there is no doubt that our biggest strength is that excellent pack. However yesterday seemed a waste of Connor's ability. He did his job and he did it well, but he is capable of making even the best defences look foolish, and I just can't imagine us getting to see too much of that at centre.
  10. I thought it was a pretty mediocre performance from England really. Some good individual efforts but plenty of sloppy stuff. To play like that and still win speaks volumes about what this side is capable of when we put it together.
  11. That is a bizzare call from Hicks. How can that be play on?
  12. Get in. Excellent from Gildart.
  13. I disagree, I think this is a very decent NZ team.
  14. I'm talking about what we can do right now though.