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Exiled Wiganer

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Posts posted by Exiled Wiganer

  1. Byrne, Powell and Partington bring nothing to the table at the highest level. 

    KPP, Smithies, Havard, O’Neill, McDonnell and Shorrocks all have enough talent to make it. Plus we still have Faz, Isa and Bateman to play in the second row. Which means that we will be relying on Singleton, Ellis and Mago to play long minutes. It could all come together, but if we find ourselves with Byrne, Powell and Partington on the field at the same time, we will be back to 2m a carry and slow ptbs. 

    We also don’t have big wingers any more, so Peet will need to devise Peetball to be different from Waneball. 

  2. I think we could genuinely finish anywhere between (and including) 1st and last. No one has the foggiest notion how good the NRL recruits will be, whether and when the injured/recovering players will be fully fit, whether the young lads will kick on and whether the new head coach is any good. 

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  3. Penrith were the first club in the queue to destroy this year’s World Cup, so there was never any chance of their coming over here.

    The ball was always in Saints’ court because the NRL winner this year was off the scale even among the other blinkered parochial cowards. South’s would have come over here no worries… 

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  4. Cust and Mago look the best bets for me. Who can tell though - KPP came from nowhere to be a proper first team threat. 

    A lot of in’s so far, in order of decency: 

    Good additions: Cust and Mago (plus I suppose French and Field being fit “like new players” blah blah) 

    Squad/17: Ellis, Thornley 

    Potential: Miski, Silva 

    Out’s: Hastings (a miss), Gildart (MIA for the last 3 years), Manfredi (MIA for even longer), Clubb (thank God), Bullock (on the outer under Lam but seemed to have potential), Clark (never played)

    So, it wouldn’t take much, such as O’Neill developing into an attacking 9, for next season to be better than this one. If we actually under performed because of Lam rather than lack of talent, Peet knows what he’s doing and we keep Field and French fit, then we could be much much stronger. 

  5. 5 minutes ago, WN83 said:

    I wouldn’t say underwhelming tbh. There’s an unknown quantity to them for sure, so they’re not going to make our floating fans rush out and buy season tickets in their droves but they do bring an intrigue and an excitement. I’ve read nothing but positive things about Cust in particular but also very good things about Kaide Ellis, Abbas Miski and Patrick Mago. As things stand we’ll have Jai Field and Bevan French back as well and both bring blistering pace. We know little about Field other than him being quick but we know French is an excitement machine and will get people on the edge of their seats.


    People can do these signings down all they want but alongside the new coaching team, I’m pretty confident we’ll go ok. I’m absolutely certain it’ll be more exciting than last season. 

    More exciting than last season is setting a very low bar. 

    Of our signings, Mago and Cust have clearly got the best pedigree, and you can certainly argue that spotting potential in players with first grade NRL experience is the best value for money approach. I will defer to my Manly supporting contacts who are all certain he will “kill” it over here. 

  6. 12 minutes ago, Scubby said:

    I think it shows the intent by Catalans and their perception of wanting to be a big club.

    It is not just about on the field, when Pearce arrives no doubt he will headline a business/sponsors lunch with a big screen highlights reel of him lift the NRL trophy, playing State of Origin etc. This is exactly what Wigan used to do back when they wanted to be a big club. 

    There is no need for that level of snide. There is plenty of aspiration. They spend millions on developing players, and in the community, though, when they could be putting all their cash into marquee contracts. I think it is misplaced to prioritise that sort of work to the extent we do, but that’s the way they want to go. Catalans’ recruitment strategy and priorities appear to take entirely the opposite approach, which is a shame for promoting the French national team. 

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  7. I thought at the time that the organisers were making life more difficult for themselves than they needed to by not playing in Wigan. There is a very strong history of people watching these games in big numbers when staged in Wigan.

    These games will need far less time and energy to sell, leaving the organisers more resources to look at pushing other games. I think one big game in London is sufficient - we southern based lot will turn out in our 10s of thousands, don’t worry - and that the organisers should use any resources spared from this decision to target Newcastle and Middlesbrough. I think the north east is much the best option for expansion we have in the country, and am thrilled we have so many games in the region. 

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  8. 21 minutes ago, paulwalker71 said:

    Back onto the topic in the OP, I'm surprised that a few clubs haven't been mentioned as being on the 'slippery slope', namely Oldham and Swinton - both playing miles away from their home location with dwindling and ageing fanbases. You can possibly add Hunslet into that, albeit they do actually play in Hunslet.

    Perhaps Oldham and Swinton are more down at the bottom of the slope rather than 'on' it?

    Being a bit more controversial, I think Salford could be at the top of what might be a slippery slope. If they don't build their fanbase once they move to Moor Lane, where next for them? Probably finding a level in the Championship / SL2

    As for the Bulls, I'm not convinced we are 'on the up'. Most Bulls fans wouldn't trust Nigel Wood as far as they could throw him, and I remain to be convinced that we can do much more than maintain the level we are at now without someone coming in with real wealth (which hasn't happened in the past decade of decline)

    Why would you distrust NW? From one step removed, it looks to me like he is putting in the effort with a view to restoring the Bulls. I can’t see any personal upside for him from this... 

  9. 5 hours ago, Harry Stottle said:

    I see there is still the love-in with Bateman, on form last season he should have been nowhere near the France game let alone captain, an inform Bateman is really an assest the version last season is not, let's see how he goes next year and hopefully no one gets in on reputation alone, form should be the main criteria for selection, I think that should be a lesson well learned by now for GB/England coaches over the years, get the lads on the field who are performing week in week out not those who may have the potential to do well, to often they have dissapointed.

    I am sure most people pick him because they know his name is a trigger for you, Harry. 

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  10. 11 hours ago, M j M said:

    Whilst agreeing with the sentiment of your post, the thing I'm most pleased about is that I have never, ever heard of this bloke. Which means my decades-long efforts to avoid the merest mention of the other sport (except in Distaster thread circumstances) is really paying off.

    It is very unusual for me to agree with what you write, but that was my reaction. It seems to be getting easier and easier to avoid knowing anything about the Vichies.

  11. Insofar as he is saying that we don’t have household names any more, he is right. We all know that we won’t see an Offiah, or a Davies or an Ellery play in SL for more than 10 minutes. We can’t attract the best and we can’t keep the best. He was playing before the option of playing a much easier form of rugby paid more, when we played with seasons which overlapped between NH and SH, and the gap between the NRL and our league was much smaller. 

    If we had to keep the cap, which I would abolish, as the downsides far outweigh any upsides that I can detect, then we could link it to revenues. In that way it would stop teams paying players so much they go into oblivion. 

  12. I enjoyed it. I was worried after 20 minutes, but relaxed after 30 minutes. France showed bags of promise. The problem with our game, though, is that the better team will win very often. You only 2/3 weak links, and you will find yourself shipping 30 points. I am not sure how many more France can add to their team, but if they are slightly stronger then there is no excuse for England’s not playing them much more frequently. 

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  13. 4 hours ago, Dunbar said:

    That's one way of looking at it.  I would prefer to see it as more opportunities for young players to shine and excel across different competitions drawing in more youngsters.  If the top of the pathway is limited then by definition the input is also limited... you only take in as many as you need to satisfy the demand you have, that is a basic principle of capacity planning.

    As for the NRL having no interest in the wider game, the history of Rugby League is  history of self preservation and the desire to be a big fish in the pond... the NRL is no worse than what we have seen over here when it comes to self serving attitudes. 

    I disagree. Our game has a long tradition of considering international competition to be the pinnacle of the game. We have never before been in a position where one competition has such financial power and influence it can take anybody from anywhere. We have never before been in a position in which a league can dictate if and when any internationals are played. The scenario of doom for the game outside Australia is one in which they sign up any talented youngsters and all of the top talent, play them or hoard them (and they will soon have 18 clubs, so the potential for both is clearly there), while the world outside is left with the scraps. 

    Having successfully gone “nah, don’t fancy it” to this year’s World Cup, next time it will be even easier. Give them a couple of years and they will have their own international calendar, with England and France “allowed” to arrange their own fixtures not including any NRL players. As a sport, we will have become the NFL. 

    Which might be sort of ok as far as long time fans like us are concerned, as we can sell tickets, and pay some decent quality players, but we can forget anyone ever seeing a Hanley or Schofield, a Boston or a Myler playing most of their careers over here. 

    Losing our quality youngsters is even more pernicious than our top players being cherry picked. But we better get used to it, because they have the money and, like the former President used to say to inspire his fans, they will use it to build a wall around themselves.

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  14. A young player drain adds to the senior player drain to a competition whose strategy is to place itself first, above the rest of the sport, with no interest in the wider game. Hence no World Cup, and no 2022 WCC. They are a threat to everybody looking to play or watch the game anywhere outside the NRL. 

  15. I hesitate to suggest this, but perhaps they could sign a union player or even 2? I assume there are some good players who played proper rugby growing up but were lured over the the Dark Side, who could be rehabilitated. Of course, we’d have a job getting them fit, but maybe that could work? 

    One thing I would say is that, as a place, Toulouse is a very serious proposition if we do thins right. Big city, love their sport.

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