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Joe Whitley

McNamara's halfback headache

McNamara's half-back headache   46 members have voted

  1. 1. Who should England coach Steve McNamara select at 6 and 7 to play against New Zealand on Saturday?

    • Chase and Sinfield - it's too late to make big changes like this
    • Widdop and Sinfield - Widdop is more experienced against this opposition

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53 posts in this topic

A lot of contrasting views here. 

 

I have had a long think about this. To my mind, Chase has run out of chances at 6 and Sinfield doesn't seem to be firing on all cylinders at scrum-half. I think dropping Chase would help the team, but leaving Sinfield out altogether rids the team of experience and a superb right boot.

 

This might ruffle a few feathers but if I were McNamara right now, facing the prospect of a thumping against the Kiwis, I would drop Chase, put Widdop at 6 and Burrow at 7. I'd then relegate O'Loughlin to the bench (I know, he's brilliant, but hear me out) and stick Sinfield at loose forward, where I think he is most effective.

 

This way you inject new life into the side through two clever and fast halfbacks, get rid of the dead wood (I rate Chase highly but let's face it, he's just not in form) but keep hold of one of your most experienced forwards and goal-kickers. There's nothing to say O'Loughlin couldn't come off the bench as an impact player later in the game when McIlorum/Roby is tired and Sinfield switches to hooker.

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A lot of contrasting views here. 

 

I have had a long think about this. To my mind, Chase has run out of chances at 6 and Sinfield doesn't seem to be firing on all cylinders at scrum-half. I think dropping Chase would help the team, but leaving Sinfield out altogether rids the team of experience and a superb right boot.

 

This might ruffle a few feathers but if I were McNamara right now, facing the prospect of a thumping against the Kiwis, I would drop Chase, put Widdop at 6 and Burrow at 7. I'd then relegate O'Loughlin to the bench (I know, he's brilliant, but hear me out) and stick Sinfield at loose forward, where I think he is most effective.

 

This way you inject new life into the side through two clever and fast halfbacks, get rid of the dead wood (I rate Chase highly but let's face it, he's just not in form) but keep hold of one of your most experienced forwards and goal-kickers. There's nothing to say O'Loughlin couldn't come off the bench as an impact player later in the game when McIlorum/Roby is tired and Sinfield switches to hooker.

 

To have Sinfield in just for goal kicking is ridiculous. To take O'Loughlin out the team to accommodate Sinfield is even more ridiculous. Widdop is very capable of kicking goals and general on the field kicking. I don't think Sinfields kicking has been top class this world cup and I would say both Chase and Tomkins have been better.

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Watching your country's halfbacks play to the required standard and look like they might offer top class opposition a problem does. Are our two halfbacks in teh same class as NZ and Aus halfbacks from the games you have watched? In my opinion thier is a massive gulf in class and the weak links of the team. That is of course my opinion.

I think they've played great - in patches, but in some respects the same can be said of the Aussies and NZ halfbacks. For example Cooper Cronk was terrible in the last 40 minutes he played and not much better in the previous 40. He's still a quality player though.

Do I think we have the best halfbacks in the comp, no, the Australian halfbacks are the best in the world. Do I think we can win the WC with our half backs, yes I do because I think we have the team to knock both NZ and Aus over in a one off game, as is shown our halfbacks are perfectly capable at producing trys for the outside backs and in Tomkins we have an extra pivot who creates a hell of a lot of trys.

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burrow and widdop, wouldn't have chase or sinfield in the side. stats do not show everything, but according to the SL stats sinfield is not in the top ten on most measures, apart from errors! rangi is also in the top ten for errors. must be in for his kicking game, er nope, not in the top ten for 40/20s. must be for his average metres gained, er no (3.8 m?). must have a high tackle rate, not particularly. must be cos he is the best player at leeds, er no.

 

Clearly you haven't got a copy of the new League Express yearbook! In the Opta stats section, it shows Sinfield was in the top five for many categories at the Rhinos:

 

Tackles: 4th (571)

Offloads: 4th (34)

Try assists: T2 (10)

Marker tackles: 5th (100)

Carries: 3rd (447)

 

The 'total Opta index', a basic measure of the all-round performance of a player, ranks him second in the Rhinos team (with a rating of 13494) behind Zak Hardaker (13503). Only three other players in Super League rated higher than those two (Sam Tomkins 18629, Danny Brough 14716, and Danny Houghton 14258). So according to the official stats, Sinfield is the second best player at the Rhinos and the fifth best in Super League. 

 

 

As you all rightly say, though, stats don't always paint a full picture.

 

 

For example, Rangi Chase's stats were hard to argue with last season. He assisted five more tries than anyone else (35), offloaded five times more than anyone else (61), bust 14 more tackles than the nearest competitor, and carried the ball in 150 times more than the rest of SL.

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To have Sinfield in just for goal kicking is ridiculous. To take O'Loughlin out the team to accommodate Sinfield is even more ridiculous. Widdop is very capable of kicking goals and general on the field kicking. I don't think Sinfields kicking has been top class this world cup and I would say both Chase and Tomkins have been better.

I didn't say just for goal-kicking. He's probably the most experienced player in the side. The likes of G Burgess, T Burgess, and Farrell need the guidance. Oh, and don't forget he's the captain! 

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I didn't say just for goal-kicking. He's probably the most experienced player in the side. The likes of G Burgess, T Burgess, and Farrell need the guidance. Oh, and don't forget he's the captain! 

 

There are many other players out there who can offer guidance, O'Loughlin, S. Burgess, Graham etc.

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Why Rangi Chase shouldn't play

How long was he banned for that?

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Of course stats don't give the total picture but they can be useful. SL stats mean jack all in this context as the players are playing in different teams and in total different circumstances.

I've posted this before but Chase has twice the amount of try assists than any of the Australian halfbacks and Sinfield has the same as them, of course this doesn't give you the whole story but wouldn't you say that goes against the common them that is posted on here that neither of our half backs create enough?

Chase has made more errors this tournament than Try assists, clean breaks and tries scored put together.

That says a lot in my opinion.

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How long was he banned for that?

Not long enough.

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burrow and widdop should have been given a chance together against france, too late now, wouldn't be surprised if chase loses the game for England with stupid errors and a lack of discipline

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Clearly you haven't got a copy of the new League Express yearbook! In the Opta stats section, it shows Sinfield was in the top five for many categories at the Rhinos:

Tackles: 4th (571)

Offloads: 4th (34)

Try assists: T2 (10)

Marker tackles: 5th (100)

Carries: 3rd (447)

The 'total Opta index', a basic measure of the all-round performance of a player, ranks him second in the Rhinos team (with a rating of 13494) behind Zak Hardaker (13503). Only three other players in Super League rated higher than those two (Sam Tomkins 18629, Danny Brough 14716, and Danny Houghton 14258). So according to the official stats, Sinfield is the second best player at the Rhinos and the fifth best in Super League.

As you all rightly say, though, stats don't always paint a full picture.

For example, Rangi Chase's stats were hard to argue with last season. He assisted five more tries than anyone else (35), offloaded five times more than anyone else (61), bust 14 more tackles than the nearest competitor, and carried the ball in 150 times more than the rest of SL.

in the top 5 at Leeds, not the whole of super league. as for rangi,

where the offloads in the correct position/time? would he have been better keeping hold of the ball? when he carried the ball was that the correct play? is a carry counted when you are tackled with the ball? is an offload counted if you drop the ball, but it travels back? as I've said stats don't show everything. watching our halves versus NZ or Australia's make me wonder which would I rather have? I can tell you which ones I would not have!

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in the top 5 at Leeds, not the whole of super league. as for rangi,

where the offloads in the correct position/time? would he have been better keeping hold of the ball? when he carried the ball was that the correct play? is a carry counted when you are tackled with the ball? is an offload counted if you drop the ball, but it travels back? as I've said stats don't show everything. watching our halves versus NZ or Australia's make me wonder which would I rather have? I can tell you which ones I would not have!

I think you highlight well the worthlessness of these kind of stats.

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A lot of contrasting views here.

I have had a long think about this. To my mind, Chase has run out of chances at 6 and Sinfield doesn't seem to be firing on all cylinders at scrum-half. I think dropping Chase would help the team, but leaving Sinfield out altogether rids the team of experience and a superb right boot.

This might ruffle a few feathers but if I were McNamara right now, facing the prospect of a thumping against the Kiwis, I would drop Chase, put Widdop at 6 and Burrow at 7. I'd then relegate O'Loughlin to the bench (I know, he's brilliant, but hear me out) and stick Sinfield at loose forward, where I think he is most effective.

This way you inject new life into the side through two clever and fast halfbacks, get rid of the dead wood (I rate Chase highly but let's face it, he's just not in form) but keep hold of one of your most experienced forwards and goal-kickers. There's nothing to say O'Loughlin couldn't come off the bench as an impact player later in the game when McIlorum/Roby is tired and Sinfield switches to hooker.

Some interesting thoughts but ,again, we are trying to find a place for Sinfield when there are better players in every position.

I will never understand it

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Mcnamara doesn't have a halfback headache...

 

 

he knows,and has known for 3 years,who his halfback pairing is.....sinfield & chase...

 

 

 

so will everyone please get over it!

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No, Sinfield IMO starts and plays the whole game or not at all, he can still cover those positions if he starts the game.

now now kevin, self promotion is a little twee don't you think??

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the one player we should have had in the squad was stefan ratchford, an excellent player who can cover many different positions. and is a very good stand off to boot...

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the one player we should have had in the squad was stefan ratchford, an excellent player who can cover many different positions. and is a very good stand off to boot...

Second best full back in Super League and as you say a very good half back too. Of course just my opinion.

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A lot of contrasting views here. 

 

I have had a long think about this. To my mind, Chase has run out of chances at 6 and Sinfield doesn't seem to be firing on all cylinders at scrum-half. I think dropping Chase would help the team, but leaving Sinfield out altogether rids the team of experience and a superb right boot.

 

This might ruffle a few feathers but if I were McNamara right now, facing the prospect of a thumping against the Kiwis, I would drop Chase, put Widdop at 6 and Burrow at 7. I'd then relegate O'Loughlin to the bench (I know, he's brilliant, but hear me out) and stick Sinfield at loose forward, where I think he is most effective.

 

This way you inject new life into the side through two clever and fast halfbacks, get rid of the dead wood (I rate Chase highly but let's face it, he's just not in form) but keep hold of one of your most experienced forwards and goal-kickers. There's nothing to say O'Loughlin couldn't come off the bench as an impact player later in the game when McIlorum/Roby is tired and Sinfield switches to hooker.

This is not a witch hunt but could someone please explain to me this enigma that is Kevin Sinfield, in Rugby League terms to a lot of people he takes on the status of a Demi-God, to me it is one of the great conundrums as is “why do men have nipples”

I have been involved in this great game for over 50 years first attending a pro match in 1959 I have played, coached, observed, and am still an avid student and spectator, in that time I have had the pleasure of seeing some of the games all time greats, some very good players, some average and some not so good.

Albeit, I concede that Mr. Sinfield has been an above average club player, and has been an integral cog in a very good Leeds team, a team which has also contained some other very notable long standing players that have also been an essential and fundamental part of the whole gear train that is the Leeds club.

In the list of my supreme, most excellent players Mr. Sinfield would not reach the plateau he has been elevated up to, I consider that he ahs been afforded plaudits in excess of his capabilities, in fact off the top of my head he would not be included in the top 100 of the players I have observed.

In the 4 positions of stand off, scrum half, loose forward or hooker he would not make my top 20 in any of those positions, and as it has been suggested by many on this forum he is not the most accomplished in any of those positions in this squad.

As I said Joe, I have been watching this game for a long period, people base their opinions on their experiences and observations, judging by your “avatar” (unless that is poetic licence), like may others who submit to this forum your experiences are based on a shorter timescale than are mine, and thus would have fewer participants, so if you were to list “your best” I would imagine that Mr. Sinfield would have a higher ranking than I have.

Sorry I digress, back to the topic.

Joe, you state that want Mr. Sinfield to replace O’Loughlin and in your words:-

I'd then relegate O'Loughlin to the bench (I know, he's brilliant, but hear me out) and stick Sinfield at loose forward, where I think he is most effective.

So in your opinion O’Loughlin is brilliant but still you want him replacing in the loose forward position with Sinfield, I can only assume that you consider KS more than brilliant< (I can’t think of an adjective to describe more than brilliant so we will leave it there).

Joe you say we need to new half backs and state This way you inject new life into the side through two clever and fast halfbacks, get rid of the dead wood. This statement I most wholeheartedly support.

Please explain to me what you consider Mr. Sinfield is going to bring extra to the team other than just saying keep hold of one of your most experienced forwards. He would still be positioned at first or second receiver no matter what number he had on his back other than if he were to play 9, or is it that having the 13 shirt on he will suddenly be able to get the ball away quicker with faster and more direct distribution, have the ability to take the ball into the line and offload more effectively, suddenly find some pace, put in the hard yards when req’d (a la O’Loughlin), or break from the scrum base faster in defence than the current incumbent, also have the ability through fair means of physically hurting your opponents and stopping them off-loading, whatever strategies and game plans anyone may have in how we are going to win this game, our defence will surely be relied upon to perform to it’s maximum, and to have a choice of KS or K O’L tackling me throughout a match, I know which I would prefer.

Also, in your opinion as the game progresses Mr. Sinfield after performing the functions of a 13, in which he will be required to do the hard yards and the tackling (as above), plus the distribution and the tactical kicking, will then have the energy to slot into the No. 9 slot, where if he is to perform with aplomb will have to do more tackling - directly in the middle, set up plays with running from dummy half, the dummy half distribution and also his tactical kicking. Phew I am getting exhausted just writing it, seriously modern coaches use two hookers to perform this role because of the effort required, and I would not expect O’Loughlin to have the vigour to revert to hooker after the energy he spends at 13. Please explain why if KS is to be as effective as O’Loughlin or Roby as a 13 or 9 throughout the game, or have the ability and energy to perform both.

For heavens sake, this is the world cup semi-final and we are playing New Zealand, this is not Leeds playing one of the lower SL teams where Mr. Sinfield could possibly multi-task, we require every player to be on top of their game and fatigue is the main cause of lapses in concentration and performing to your best.

I look forward to seeing your explanation, you stated that you had a long time to think of you selection, LE’s valued interpretation is eagerly awaited.

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Grow up.

thats not very nice is it kevin??

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This is not a witch hunt but could someone please explain to me this enigma that is Kevin Sinfield, in Rugby League terms to a lot of people he takes on the status of a Demi-God, to me it is one of the great conundrums as is “why do men have nipples”

I have been involved in this great game for over 50 years first attending a pro match in 1959 I have played, coached, observed, and am still an avid student and spectator, in that time I have had the pleasure of seeing some of the games all time greats, some very good players, some average and some not so good.

Albeit, I concede that Mr. Sinfield has been an above average club player, and has been an integral cog in a very good Leeds team, a team which has also contained some other very notable long standing players that have also been an essential and fundamental part of the whole gear train that is the Leeds club.

In the list of my supreme, most excellent players Mr. Sinfield would not reach the plateau he has been elevated up to, I consider that he ahs been afforded plaudits in excess of his capabilities, in fact off the top of my head he would not be included in the top 100 of the players I have observed.

In the 4 positions of stand off, scrum half, loose forward or hooker he would not make my top 20 in any of those positions, and as it has been suggested by many on this forum he is not the most accomplished in any of those positions in this squad.

As I said Joe, I have been watching this game for a long period, people base their opinions on their experiences and observations, judging by your “avatar” (unless that is poetic licence), like may others who submit to this forum your experiences are based on a shorter timescale than are mine, and thus would have fewer participants, so if you were to list “your best” I would imagine that Mr. Sinfield would have a higher ranking than I have.

Sorry I digress, back to the topic.

Joe, you state that want Mr. Sinfield to replace O’Loughlin and in your words:-

I'd then relegate O'Loughlin to the bench (I know, he's brilliant, but hear me out) and stick Sinfield at loose forward, where I think he is most effective.

So in your opinion O’Loughlin is brilliant but still you want him replacing in the loose forward position with Sinfield, I can only assume that you consider KS more than brilliant< (I can’t think of an adjective to describe more than brilliant so we will leave it there).

Joe you say we need to new half backs and state This way you inject new life into the side through two clever and fast halfbacks, get rid of the dead wood. This statement I most wholeheartedly support.

Please explain to me what you consider Mr. Sinfield is going to bring extra to the team other than just saying keep hold of one of your most experienced forwards. He would still be positioned at first or second receiver no matter what number he had on his back other than if he were to play 9, or is it that having the 13 shirt on he will suddenly be able to get the ball away quicker with faster and more direct distribution, have the ability to take the ball into the line and offload more effectively, suddenly find some pace, put in the hard yards when req’d (a la O’Loughlin), or break from the scrum base faster in defence than the current incumbent, also have the ability through fair means of physically hurting your opponents and stopping them off-loading, whatever strategies and game plans anyone may have in how we are going to win this game, our defence will surely be relied upon to perform to it’s maximum, and to have a choice of KS or K O’L tackling me throughout a match, I know which I would prefer.

Also, in your opinion as the game progresses Mr. Sinfield after performing the functions of a 13, in which he will be required to do the hard yards and the tackling (as above), plus the distribution and the tactical kicking, will then have the energy to slot into the No. 9 slot, where if he is to perform with aplomb will have to do more tackling - directly in the middle, set up plays with running from dummy half, the dummy half distribution and also his tactical kicking. Phew I am getting exhausted just writing it, seriously modern coaches use two hookers to perform this role because of the effort required, and I would not expect O’Loughlin to have the vigour to revert to hooker after the energy he spends at 13. Please explain why if KS is to be as effective as O’Loughlin or Roby as a 13 or 9 throughout the game, or have the ability and energy to perform both.

For heavens sake, this is the world cup semi-final and we are playing New Zealand, this is not Leeds playing one of the lower SL teams where Mr. Sinfield could possibly multi-task, we require every player to be on top of their game and fatigue is the main cause of lapses in concentration and performing to your best.

I look forward to seeing your explanation, you stated that you had a long time to think of you selection, LE’s valued interpretation is eagerly awaited.

 

I will have to wait to reply to this as it is obviously going to take some time, but what I will say is this sounds a lot like a Sinfield witch-hunt, even though you claim the opposite.

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I will have to wait to reply to this as it is obviously going to take some time, but what I will say is this sounds a lot like a Sinfield witch-hunt, even though you claim the opposite.

I really did mean that it is not a witch-hunt, I have over the years appreciated his play, but as I say opinions are what they are, you have now got my thoughts to your "headline suggestions" I am happy to observe your contradictions to my thinking and will peruse your next post with an open mind. Thanks for replying.

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Just to be clear, Sinfield and Chase have more experience of playing against the Kangaroos than Widdop does. So the poll is inaccurate.

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Just to be clear, Sinfield and Chase have more experience of playing against the Kangaroos than Widdop does. So the poll is inaccurate.

 

 

That says it well for me, Do you go for more  experience or more ability. KS is unquestionably way down the pecking order in ability ( these days ) but he will be pretty much unrivalled in experience.

 

It's all a matter of opinion, Someone wants to drop the best LF in SL to fit him in that position.

 

We have had players in there with even more experience up to this year, with very little success, time to give players like Rachford  ( as someone has mentioned ) and people who have been in form a go for me.

 

However it's all too late now , so we have to get behind whoever is picked.

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