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  1. That thought crossed my mind as well. He spoke well of what Mick Potter had done, but was diplomatic and decent enough not to mention Walters at all.
  2. Trent Robinson interviewed on RLCM tv on his plans for Les Catalans This man looks ready for the job. Ambitious plans for building the grass roots as well as coaching the SL team. He also speaks well of the Toulouse bid for SL, which will no doubt appeal to many on here.
  3. That is a false deduction. St George Illawarra scored five tries. One was scored by Gasnier from a perfect field kick by Jamie Soward, after Brett Morris had passed infield while standing with both feet in touch, undetected by the touch judges. Two more of the tries were scored in the second half because of poor decisions by the inexperienced 18 year old winger Joseph Leilua, who was caught out of position. Apart from the undeserved Gasniier try and those two individual mistakes by an 18 year old novice, for most of the game the Sydney Roosters defence was excellent.
  4. I haven't heard of Phil Caddick. I only know of Paul Caddick. Tell us a bit more about the other mysterious undercover chap Phil if you would be so kind. Leeds is one of the few clubs (the only one?) that is making a profit from business revenue. Paul is not needed for subsisdy to keep the club afloat like some of the other clubs with rich owners. He has started a damned good business structure and with a good general manager named Gary Hetherington. Enjoy your bath. But keep your phone handy besides the bath though, in case Phil calls. Meanwhile I will phone Paul and see what he can tell me about Phil.
  5. It's almost that simple. 1. You need an owner with deep pockets, who really loves the club. Ian Lenagan is a Wigan boy, who is very smart and very wealthy, and he loves Wigan. Warrington is the only other club apart from Wigan that has that kind of owner at the moment. Harlequins and Les Catalans have devoted owners, but the owners do not have deep enough pockets -- in Harlequins case not deep enough to cover the revenue losses from a poor fan base. However Leeds is very well managed and profitable, so it offers an alternative model of ownership and management. 2. You need a top class coach who can not only prepare a team, but also recruit the best talent in the world. Wise recruitment is a skill. Again, Warrington seems to be the only other club that has that kind of coach. 3. The cheque book can only take you so far. You need a good juniors structure as well, to keep the playing talent coming through. You also need good juniors to be able to step up when there are injuries to the senior players. This is where Wigan is ahead of Warrington. But Leeds and Hull FC also have good junior set ups. So does Harlequins, and increasingly Les Catalans -- though the devoted owner of the latter does not seem to take full advantage of the juniors, preferring to buy Aussie imports.
  6. I agree with all that. It will be interesting to watch the Sydney Roosters' defensive patterns in the NRL Grand Final tomorrow. It will give us a preview of how Les Catalans will defend. And remember that Steve Menzies is not only a great attacker. He is also a superb defender. Great signing.
  7. Todd Carney was just on the Channel 9 NRL Footy Show Grand Final program, and he praised Trent Robinson for his improvement of the Sydney Roosters team's defensive performances. So it is now pretty much confirmed. Trent Robinson has developed a good method for improving a team's defence. With that improvement likely to show up in the Catalans Dragons performance this year, we can expect the Perpignan based club to jump off the bottom and leap high up the SL ladder in 2011. The only question is how high they will leap.
  8. I had assumed that being an assistant to Brian Smith would be a good apprenticeship for any future coach. But I did not realise that Trent Robinson has made his own personal contribution to the success of the NRL Grand Finalists the Sydney Roosters. In an article about Roosters hooker Jake Friend appeared the following passage: Friend praised assistant coach Trent Robinson for shoring-up the Roosters tackling, which appeared to be a forgotten art earlier this year when they conceded 60 points against the Bulldogs in round three. "Robbo has got us working as a team much better in defence," Friend said. "We also do a lot of technique drills and wrestling after training. "We knew we'd need tough defence to compete in the finals. "We have a different plan for different teams each week, but in the end it all comes down to having a good attitude." http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/nrl...r-1225930289519 This is particularly welcome to the suffering Catalans fans, because the club's defensive performances have been shocking this year under departing coach Kevin Walters. There will be plenty of attacking talent in the Catalans squad, with the running games of Greenshields, Bosc, and Farrar, the field kicking talents of Bosc and Dureau, and the strong muscled pack of forwards. But a strong defence is essential to win games, so Robinson's obvious talent in developing that realm of the game for the former NRL wooden spooners the Sydney Roosters augurs well for the current SL wooden spooners Les Catalans' prospects in 2011.
  9. They both should be. But the RFL is deeply involved in promoting the finals series and, presumably, receiving some financial return if a profit is made. Moreover these meagre crowds cast aspersions about the seriousness of the game in the minds of the sporting public. I know that rugby league lacks the national profile in the UK that it has in half of Australia. But it should be able to generate some real excitement in the northern heartland at least, the way that the NRL finals series does, especially the penultimate week, in New South Wales and Queensland. I cannot help but point the finger at RFL marketing, as well as those at the RFL who decided the venues, for letting the game down by their failure to generate excitement in northern England.
  10. That is the most telling point of the comparison. It is not just that the NRL gets more fans to its finals series than SL, it is also that NRL gets more fans for its finals series than for the regular season, while SL gets less fans for its finals series than for the regular season. The RFL should be extremely concerned. But is it?
  11. That is true. But the games did not attract the regular season record equalling numbers that you would have expected for a sudden death penultimate game. Why did Knowsley Road not sellout? Perhaps the less affluent season ticket holders were absent, but that is bizarre for such an important match, which was known to be definitely the last for Knowsley Road. I think that there is an economic factor influencing the home fans. But I also think that the lack of neutrality of the ground (and its poor condition) deterred many Huddersfield fans, and especially the "neutrals" from west of the Pennines, from going to Knowsley Road. I would hope that come 2012 finals series games involving the likes of Wigan, Warrington and Salford but not St Helens, will be held at least at St Helens new ground even though I still prefer Reebok for its greater capacity. Similarly finals games involving any Lancashire or Cheshire clubs other than Salford could be held at Salford's new ground if Reebok is not chosen.
  12. Perhaps. That is the weakest part of the lineup. If they are looking for speed then they go for Vaccari and Blanche. If they want a strong bullocking runner with strong defence then they play Vincent Duport there (he will not be a first choice centre with all the others fit). The side actually has too many classy backrowers. Apart from Gossard I would not know who to drop from the second row. Carlaw has to be in the first choice side, but so do Menzies and Fakir. So do you drop Raguin, who is a top notch defender and a strong runner with an offload? Embarrassment of riches in the second row. The pack will be awesome, despite the loss of Elima.
  13. He is likely to get a full payout from Parramatta for 2011 because he was sacked rather than having resigned. Given then that he will be financially comfortable for another year, maybe he might consider seriously a less well paid contract at Quins just for 2011, while he looks for a better paying future in 2012 (at which point Quins may be better placed to offer him what he is worth). But if Quins were able to interest him, I suspect that he will demand some new quality players be purchased in order for him to do his job satifactorily (I am sure he does not want to have even one year coaching wooden spooners on his resume). He would be on top of what is the available talent in Australia. However no experienced players (which Quins really need) are likely to be off contract at this late stage. Anderson would have to rely on buying junior talent.
  14. I agree completely. His banning was a devastating blow to the man, and he deserved some psychological counselling in the light of his lifetime of service to our game. If something good is to come out of this tragedy, then I hope it is that the rugby league officialdom thinks about ways to provide psychological counselling to players in need, and that includes players who have been banned. The man still had some playing future ahead of him. What a terrible waste of a valuable life. RIP
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