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usain bolt

Team selection England v New Zealand 1st test

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After last nights game v France, 1 or 2 players certainly put a hand up to be selected in Wayne Bennett's first test selection v New Zealand. Jake Connor had a sound game and backed up his performance in Denver, Tom Johnston's scored 3, and his overall game looks very tidy and certainly wouldn't look out of place in the test team, the competition on the wing looks very promising with Makinson and Mcgilvary. 

Oliver Holmes had a great game on the left edge, he's off to Png, but certainly looks a future prospect, whilst the immediate impact of Luke Thompson off the bench was evident and certainly gives Bennett some momentum off the bench if he chooses the Burgess twins to start.

It's certainly going to be an interesting team selection, the fullback, centres and halves certainly aren't straight forward choices, and we all know with the Bateman selection in the centres in the past that Bennett may come up with something a little obscure.

My team for now, but may change between now and the game,

1 Sam Tomkins

2 Jermaine Mcgilvary

3 Oliver Gildart

4 Mark Percival 

5 Tommy Makinson

6 Jake Connor

7 Jonny Lomax

8 James Graham 

9 Josh Hodgson

10 George Burgess

11 Elliot Whitehead

12 John Bateman 

13 Sean Oloughlin

14 Stefan Ratchford 

15 Luke Thompson

16 Tom Burgess

17 Chris Hill 

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I would pick a similar team but Hill would start and i would be bringing both Burgess on together. Also not convinced with Lomax at 7, probably go Myler there for this series.

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3 minutes ago, SilentAssassin said:

I would pick a similar team but Hill would start and i would be bringing both Burgess on together. Also not convinced with Lomax at 7, probably go Myler there for this series.

Lomax is a better 'player' than Myler IMO  but if Connor is at 6 I think Myler will be better for the team at 7 

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I like the the size of Greenwood against the New Zealand edge forwards. This pushes Bateman onto the bench as cover for both forwards and backs. George Williams for the bench utility spot and Lomax gets the nod with Connor in the halves.

I would be happy with either of Johnstone or Makinson on the wing.

Ratchford

McGillvary 

Percival

Gildart

Johnstone

Lomax

Connor

Graham

Hodgson

T. Burgess

Whitehead

Greenwood

O'Loughlin 

 

Hill

George Burgess 

Bateman

Williams

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5 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

I like the the size of Greenwood against the New Zealand edge forwards. This pushes Bateman onto the bench as cover for both forwards and backs. George Williams for the bench utility spot and Lomax gets the nod with Connor in the halves.

I would be happy with either of Johnstone or Makinson on the wing.

Ratchford

McGillvary 

Percival

Gildart

Johnstone

Lomax

Connor

Graham

Hodgson

T. Burgess

Whitehead

Greenwood

O'Loughlin 

 

Hill

George Burgess 

Bateman

Williams

It’ll be Makinson . With the injuries we have that 17 looks pretty strong mind

Edited by DavidM

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56 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

I like the the size of Greenwood against the New Zealand edge forwards. This pushes Bateman onto the bench as cover for both forwards and backs. George Williams for the bench utility spot and Lomax gets the nod with Connor in the halves.

I would be happy with either of Johnstone or Makinson on the wing.

Ratchford

McGillvary 

Percival

Gildart

Johnstone

Lomax

Connor

Graham

Hodgson

T. Burgess

Whitehead

Greenwood

O'Loughlin 

 

Hill

George Burgess 

Bateman

Williams

I still feel our depth, size and quality is stretched at centre. Gildart and percival stand out as our best out and out centres but I wouldn't be surprised if Bateman replaces one of the above, probably Gildart, and Greenwood slots into the back row adding the extra size. His defence isn't his best attribute however. 

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7 minutes ago, usain bolt said:

I still feel our depth, size and quality is stretched at centre. Gildart and percival stand out as our best out and out centres but I wouldn't be surprised if Bateman replaces one of the above, probably Gildart, and Greenwood slots into the back row adding the extra size. His defence isn't his best attribute however. 

You may be right.  If we want to win a physical battle then Bateman in the centre with Thompson coming onto the bench creates a tough team to break down. Removes a bit of attacking flair but I do think Bennett will play pretty conservatively to be honest 

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I know some don't like Bateman in the centre but I think he's our best bet for stopping Manu who is a game breaker

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19 minutes ago, JM2010 said:

I know some don't like Bateman in the centre but I think he's our best bet for stopping Manu who is a game breaker

The Kiwis have Kevin Proctor and Manu playing down their right edge.  It could be argued that Greenwood and Bateman is our best bet to line up against them.

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21 minutes ago, JM2010 said:

I know some don't like Bateman in the centre but I think he's our best bet for stopping Manu who is a game breaker

He’ll have a field day against Bateman . He’ll take him with movement skill and pace . He shoved off Mitchell . We need to get out of this mindset no other country has of containment with round pegs in square holes like this . You can defend centre for centre , but it also gives you the attacking edge you’re taking away with Bateman there . And specialist centres can also provide for their winger which he couldn’t do as he’s a fish out of water . He’s a fine edge forward and people say well it’s only one position out - really it’s totally different . Please don’t do it again Wayne !

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17 minutes ago, DavidM said:

He’ll have a field day against Bateman . He’ll take him with movement skill and pace . He shoved off Mitchell . We need to get out of this mindset no other country has of containment with round pegs in square holes like this . You can defend centre for centre , but it also gives you the attacking edge you’re taking away with Bateman there . And specialist centres can also provide for their winger which he couldn’t do as he’s a fish out of water . He’s a fine edge forward and people say well it’s only one position out - really it’s totally different . Please don’t do it again Wayne !

The reason other countries don't use forwards in the centre's is they have centre's as big or bigger in some cases than forwards. I know it limits attacking options but until we develop some big centre's asking the present lot to deal with Manu etc would be foolish, I'm no fan of Bateman at centre either but at least he sticks to his task and can't be faulted for his defensive efforts. Just hope Jake C gets into JWH and Proctor then we might have a advantage!

 

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The pack/interchange forwards more or less pick themselves but who plays in the halves? 

Connor and Williams are the most talented but can they get a side around the park? 

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14 minutes ago, Man of Kent said:

The pack/interchange forwards more or less pick themselves but who plays in the halves? 

Connor and Williams are the most talented but can they get a side around the park? 

I'd go with Connor and Williams. I think the trick is who you put around them to share that load of actually running the team. Josh Hodgson is second only to Cameron Smith for organising 9s, O'Loughlin is just about the only ball playing 13 left in the game, and Tomkins does a lot of kicking and game management from 1. So I think they have got a good mix there that can work, as long as everyone is on the same page. 

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19 minutes ago, ghost crayfish said:

I'd go with Connor and Williams. I think the trick is who you put around them to share that load of actually running the team. Josh Hodgson is second only to Cameron Smith for organising 9s, O'Loughlin is just about the only ball playing 13 left in the game, and Tomkins does a lot of kicking and game management from 1. So I think they have got a good mix there that can work, as long as everyone is on the same page. 

I’d like to see them together. Williams is a proper running halfback with a good attacking kicking game, Connor a stand-off with X-factor.

Lomax I’ve never rally rated as a top class half and Myler is just making up the numbers.

I’d go:

Tomkins

McGillvary

Gildart

Bateman

Johnstone

Connor

Williams

Hill

Hodgson

Graham

Greenwood

Whitehead

O’Loughlin

I/C: Burgeii, Thompson, Ratchford.

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Interesting MoK.  But why put Williams at 7, when he is clearly a 6. This had to be wrong. Bateman plays right edge for Wigan, so why put him left centre.  Obviously Bateman had done it before, but its defensive. Either way we will have a big pack. Will NZ tire in last 10 mins?

What system will Bennet run with as opposed to the players.  If he has his own system then which round pegs does he want to fit into his round holes?

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I like Connor in the centre's but with our lack of options in the halves for this series id pair him and Williams,Lomax shouldn't get any where near an England halfback spot.

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14 hours ago, DavidM said:

He’ll have a field day against Bateman . He’ll take him with movement skill and pace . He shoved off Mitchell . We need to get out of this mindset no other country has of containment with round pegs in square holes like this . You can defend centre for centre , but it also gives you the attacking edge you’re taking away with Bateman there . And specialist centres can also provide for their winger which he couldn’t do as he’s a fish out of water . He’s a fine edge forward and people say well it’s only one position out - really it’s totally different . Please don’t do it again Wayne !

This is the problem.. size is no good if your opposite number is more "fleet of foot". As long as the centre can tackle then it doesnt matter how big he is.. look at Tommy Lueluei (sp?)... centers need to tackle and need to be able to move so as not to get stepped but they HAVE to give you some go forward too with hands and putting the winger away and Bateman does not do this enough.

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3 minutes ago, RP London said:

This is the problem.. size is no good if your opposite number is more "fleet of foot". As long as the centre can tackle then it doesnt matter how big he is.. look at Tommy Lueluei (sp?)... centers need to tackle and need to be able to move so as not to get stepped but they HAVE to give you some go forward too with hands and putting the winger away and Bateman does not do this enough.

To me , you choose centres so you pick centres or what’s the point ? What message does that send , remember Percival ?  These guys do the job week in week out , they defend there centre on centre and they attack there . I find it ridiculous to move them as their defence against someone else is a worry - they handle themselves against top centres , and what about backing them to cause their opposition some bother to ? It has a knock on effect with your winger to . Back what you have and what you pick , don’t go out just to contain . Looking back at the WC final that game was there for the winning . 

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46 minutes ago, DavidM said:

To me , you choose centres so you pick centres or what’s the point ? What message does that send , remember Percival ?  These guys do the job week in week out , they defend there centre on centre and they attack there . I find it ridiculous to move them as their defence against someone else is a worry - they handle themselves against top centres , and what about backing them to cause their opposition some bother to ? It has a knock on effect with your winger to . Back what you have and what you pick , don’t go out just to contain . Looking back at the WC final that game was there for the winning . 

But, to play devils advocate.

The World Cup final was there to be won because the Australians only scored 6 points and the English left side defence (with Bateman) held the Kangaroos scoreless. Yes, we could have won that game but equally we could have lost more heavily as well if that defence had been breached.

I have said on these boards a few times that I would play an out and out centre and I would start the series with Gildart and Percival. But I think it is a stretch to link Bateman in the centre and our World Cup final loss.

I think that Bennett's game plan in this series will be based around Josh Hodgson and his management of the ruck with England's big forwards and then some first runner shift plays to the likes of Whitehead. I am sure the centres will get a running chance bet they will be relatively few.

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2 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

But, to play devils advocate.

The World Cup final was there to be won because the Australians only scored 6 points and the English left side defence (with Bateman) held the Kangaroos scoreless. Yes, we could have won that game but equally we could have lost more heavily as well if that defence had been breached.

I have said on these boards a few times that I would play an out and out centre and I would start the series with Gildart and Percival. But I think it is a stretch to link Bateman in the centre and our World Cup final loss.

I think that Bennett's game plan in this series will be based around Josh Hodgson and his management of the ruck with England's big forwards and then some first runner shift plays to the likes of Whitehead. I am sure the centres will get a running chance bet they will be relatively few.

Sure it’s not a direct correlation of course . I just don’t accept the premise specialist centres means more deficiency defensively . The position is double edged , we are concentrating on one side of it with Bateman but not questioning if it’s really necessary . I’ve seen no evidence to tell me guys like Gildart n Percival can’t do the job of attack and defence . That’s what they do

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2 minutes ago, DavidM said:

Sure it’s not a direct correlation of course . I just don’t accept the premise specialist centres means more deficiency defensively . The position is double edged , we are concentrating on one side of it with Bateman but not questioning if it’s really necessary . I’ve seen no evidence to tell me guys like Gildart n Percival can’t do the job of attack and defence . That’s what they do

As I say, i would go with Gildart and Percival.

Plus, all this talk of Manu is fine but their left centre Marsters is pretty tasty too. The key will not necessarily stopping them but stopping them getting too many opportunities.

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24 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

As I say, i would go with Gildart and Percival.

Plus, all this talk of Manu is fine but their left centre Marsters is pretty tasty too. The key will not necessarily stopping them but stopping them getting too many opportunities.

Agreed. Manu received a lot of attention (and rightly so) for last weekends performance however Marsters didn't get much opportunity but when he did he made a fair bit of space for Maumalo. I thought Marsters was probably their best in Denver as well.

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My back 5 would be Ratchford (who is the incumbent and out played Tomkins last week) - Johnstone (class all over) - Gildart - Percival (our test pairing for years to come) - mcgilvray 

We can’t go wrong any which way we select the elite forwards. 

Really unsure about the halves and bench back. Probably some permutation of Williams and Lomax starting/on the bench with Connor in the halves. 

I think this is a really exciting team and a really exciting series. 

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Having watched Percival and our general pattern of play I'm not all that bothered whether TJ plays or not as neither winger will get any real ball.

TJ would be the better choice IMO because he can score from almost any situation and I don't believe Makinson is quite as good at that.

Either way neither will get much of a chance and worse still both could be made to look very bad if the Kiwis get a roll on out wide. Nothing personal but I'd rather for the future of the game and my favourite player see Makinson crash burn out there than TJ (again sorry Mr Makinson but you're not my responsibility).

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2 minutes ago, Kirmonds pouch said:

Having watched Percival and our general pattern of play I'm not all that bothered whether TJ plays or not as neither winger will get any real ball.

TJ would be the better choice IMO because he can score from almost any situation and I don't believe Makinson is quite as good at that.

Either way neither will get much of a chance and worse still both could be made to look very bad if the Kiwis get a roll on out wide. Nothing personal but I'd rather for the future of the game and my favourite player see Makinson crash burn out there than TJ (again sorry Mr Makinson but you're not my responsibility).

There is so much more to being a modern winger than scoring. This is why McGillvary is recognised as one of the best in the world... it isn't because his finishing is better than Johnstone and Makinson, it is because of all the other work he does. 

As for the second part of your post. Seems like some funny logic to me but each to their own I guess.

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