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welshmagpie

Is there a correlation between quality and the 4 man bench

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Had a discussion with my brother earlier today who plays semi professional RU and doesn’t know a great deal about RL. He said during a pre season Friendly last weekend both their first choice 9 & 10 (RU halfbacks) suffered long term injuries but luckily they’ve got 4 players available in each of those positions, two of which game straight off of the bench and knew the tactics and had the position specific skills to carry them out.

I explained that’s a great and sometimes that where RL can hold itself back - you lose two key playmakers and you can’t really replace them. Prime example many moons ago was when Cas had Ryan McGoldrick and Brett Ferres as stand in half backs, and goodness me was it not good viewing.

Which was his point to me, would RL not be a better spectacle if the bench was extended and squad depth promoted. I explained you likely get teams shoving 5 big forwards on the bench and a traditional hooker to spell and he first choice 9.

Maybe it’s yet another reason to have reserve grade back whereby clubs have depth due to this and can call on match fit players.

Edited by welshmagpie

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Super League Clubs should all run reserve teams , but choose to spend their money on overseas players instead . They all want ready made players who can go straight in the team .Most Teams generally have a good 13 and suffer when injuries occur  , only the big clubs with more clout have strength in depth , having a bigger bench would just give the top clubs a bigger advantage .

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It's quite a contentious subject,both here,and down under.

As a follower of West Wales Raiders we have lost our playmaker for the campaign this year,and we have also lacked players to be available on the interchange.

The NRL are reducing the number of interchanges.

https://www.theroar.com.au/2018/05/24/six-interchanges-destines-big-pigs-go-way-dinosaurs/

There was also this input,from a few years ago - http://www.skysports.com/rugby-league/news/12196/9818319/phil-clarke-should-rugby-league-reduce-the-amount-of-interchanges

A return to more ball players,and less bulk,may see a return of crowds seeking entertainment.

 

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Workington must have been delighted when they saw the make-up of the Bulls bench on Sunday. I think it cost us the game.

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It’s an interesting proposal tbh. A wider bench of say eight to ten subs would/could see the introduction of younger players on the bench, which could see them get some game time. Either way, it’s good to get them around that environment, Saints took Jack Welsby on Thursday to Wakefield as a “20th man” to get him integrated into the first team picture as he’s highly rated. 

I’d like to see a reserve grade but how competitive would it be? I’ve wondered if we could integrate reserve sides into the current league structure we have. Could we get them into League One? League is/should be a development league and what better way than to have development sides in with developing sides and some heartland clubs? 

How about League One being split into two conferences, maybe East and West, with a play-off at the end to determine who goes up?

League One East could consist of Doncaster, Hunslet, Newcastle, Skolars, Hemel, Castleford ‘A’, Huddersfield ‘A’, City of Hull ‘A’, Wakefield ‘A’, Leeds ‘A’.

League One West could consist of Workington, Oldham, Whitehaven, Keighley, North Wales, West Wales, Coventry,  Saints ‘A’, Wigan ‘A’, Warrington ‘A’, Salford ‘A’, Widnes ‘A’. 

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A number of clubs,including some from the heartlands,have NOT been able to field 17 players,this season.

The production line for British half backs seems to be faltering.

A number of super League clubs do not risk young half backs.

Sometimes clubs have more off-field staff than players - yet still a lack of half back coaching staff.

It is a problem that won't go away.

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In the past, I have suggested having a bigger bench, but the same number of substitutes and interchanges.

For example, I could have 8 players on the bench. I can only use 4 of them however, and those 4 can be interchanged 10 times.

This gives youngsters a better chance of being given game time. If a team are winning convincingly, it gives clubs a chance to blood youngsters. If a key player gets injured early, it gives you an option to play a more specialised player (even if they're young) as opposed to putting on a utility player to reduce risk on a small bench.

I can't see any downsides to extending the bench but keeping the subs and interchanges the same. Most other sports have huge benches.

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the reduction is subs is not something im a fan of, coaches are pretty much to a man risk averse. If, because of the inevitability of injuries you are going to be asking more players to be playing 80 minutes you are going to see those who are less skillful, less impactful, but able to tackle for 80mins prioritized over those who defend for 80mins. Not just because of their ability to defend for 80mins but the pressure it puts on their team-mates who will also need to play for 80minutes.

It will promote ball security and conservative player because sides will know they will tire if forced to do the most defending, and will hope that if they keep it tight for 70mins their opponent will tire and breaks will be made not because of skill or impact but because of lazy defending. Gone will be your Fifita's, your Lauitiiti's, your Burrow's.

That is however a different issue than the one brought up which focuses on the 4 man bench and the lack of quality skill players that can be brought on. Its an issue that actually starts with the salary cap and its effect on squad size. Most squads don't have specialists outside their first 17. Clubs certainly can't afford quality ones under the salary cap. Therefore any injuries see's a utility player coming in to cover. This probably sees the game miss out on some decent specialist players. If you are a fringe out and out winger then you simply can't get a gig anywhere. Clubs can't afford to keep on a specialist winger so will pretty much always go for the utility back to cover FB/Winger or Centre/winger and end up with that utility on the wing even if the winger would be a better winger.

And this effects how we bring youngsters through, the youngsters that are focused on and given the opportunities. It matters less in the pack where there is a degree of interchangeability, and winger and full back which depending on how a team play can be similar jobs. But when it comes to the specialist skill positions of Centre and halves it becomes incredibly difficult for players to get game time and be kept in squads. Leeds have been lining up with Moon at Stand off and finished this week with Ablett and Cuthbertson in the halves. Where Sutcliffe has been shifted from halves to centre to fullback to second row back to centre, Jack Connor has been at FB, Centre, and Stand off over at Hull, Johnny Lomax at FB and SO. Clubs cannot afford to focus on these players as pure halves. They have to be able to offer something else which makes them inferior halves and also inferior in whatever other position they are filling in for (compared to a specialist in that position)

This is exacerbated in the match day squad where halves and centres traditionally play 80 minutes meaning putting a specialist young player on the bench is a waste of a spot, bringing them on a waste of a substitution.

I don't think its any coincidence that the players we have traditionally been better at producing are the more fungible positions and the ones which you go with multiple players to interchange (props, second rowers, hooker)

A possible way of addressing this is to look again at the salary cap, and possibly look to rejigging the bench and substitutions and how we limit them. Allow a subs bench of say 7 or 8 but only allow 2/3 to return which could keep the subs at 10 but mean that 3/4 specialist backs could be on the bench for injury/impact/experience.

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I'd rather see a smaller bench, or at least a reduction in the number of interchanges.  I certainly wouldn't let a substituted player return to the pitch.

The reason being is that I think this has been a major contributor to the increasing reliance on sheer size rather than the traditional league skills of pace, elusiveness, agility and creativity.

I'm tired of seeing teams play exactly the same way, of props playing two twenty minute spells, six foot half backs, of back rows playing in the centre and the preference for a bigger winger rather than a more slightly built speedster.

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59 minutes ago, Auntie Linzi Morris said:

I'd rather see a smaller bench, or at least a reduction in the number of interchanges.  I certainly wouldn't let a substituted player return to the pitch.

The reason being is that I think this has been a major contributor to the increasing reliance on sheer size rather than the traditional league skills of pace, elusiveness, agility and creativity.

I'm tired of seeing teams play exactly the same way, of props playing two twenty minute spells, six foot half backs, of back rows playing in the centre and the preference for a bigger winger rather than a more slightly built speedster.

I dont think a reduction in substitution would have that effect. More likely just give you 13 second rowers able to make 40 tackles a game.

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I think the current system is working reasonably well. The lack of quality halves is imo wadges related and down to the realities of power is a huge factor in RL. I could see a benefit in going to up to 7 on the bench, with still 10 interchanges. However, this should not be compulsory , most teams below SL won't have 7 players for the bench...

If RL paid alot more, Ford, Farrell, Eastmond etc etc all in RL. More top foreign talent would play in RL halves too. Union just pays alot more to halves. Unless you are an NRL team how can you offer a competitive salary?

 

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1 hour ago, Southerner80 said:

I think the current system is working reasonably well. The lack of quality halves is imo wadges related and down to the realities of power is a huge factor in RL. I could see a benefit in going to up to 7 on the bench, with still 10 interchanges. However, this should not be compulsory , most teams below SL won't have 7 players for the bench...

If RL paid alot more, Ford, Farrell, Eastmond etc etc all in RL. More top foreign talent would play in RL halves too. Union just pays alot more to halves. Unless you are an NRL team how can you offer a competitive salary?

Once again we arrive at the conclusion that RL needs a higher-profile league which can bring in a lot more money and pay players a lot better.

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This problem went away under licensing and has come back with automatic p&r.

Bring back licensing and reserve teams and player numbers will grow, youth development will improve and game quality will grow as teams stop relying on journeymen from the NSW cup

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