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Mushy

Coach
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  1. He’s an outstanding attacking centre but has been fairly mixed defensively in Super League. I’d hope his defence would improve dramatically in the more intensive training environment of the NRL, and if it does I think he’ll be a success. The NRL prepares players so much better than Super League and Bateman’s bulking up is just the latest example of that. It could be the longer off season, more intense competition within clubs, better coaching, better supplements, or most likely all of the above.
  2. I really thought Hull would be right up there this year. I think it was clear Radford want going to turn it around. I wonder what active performance management or warnings had been in place prior to last night? We might never know. I also hope for everyone’s sake the appropriate contractual matters are being dealt with respectfully - no one deserves to have zero notice after 7 years and not be entitled to compensation. I hear Brian Smith might be available again ?
  3. Williams played 100% of his time under Wane as a dedicated left sided player whereas Lam had him popping up on the right occasionally. Given Stuart is playing his halves left and right with Williams on the right, it’ll take a while for him to settle in but the signs were promising. Don’t forget England’s main half and stand off options are almost all mainly left sided too (Widdop, Gale, Hastings, Truman etc) so an on form George on the right would be good for the national team. Whitehead always looks good, Hodgson runs the Raiders very well, and Watkins looks sharp. A good start to the year for our boys.
  4. Wheeler at times has been a fantastic competitor for Toronto, and a good utility to have on the books. With Stanley back and Miloudi and Leutele they’ve obviously decided that they could make better use of the money elsewhere, arguably on ad hoc loan signings or maybe Gigot. Hard to argue with that approach really as Wheeler wasn’t ever going to give them 20 games this year.
  5. If you consider Springer, Wilkin and Lussick probably aren’t playing then that’s an 18 person squad. Sidlow, Mullaley and Olbison plus young Wigan loanee against (arguably) the worlds strongest club front row. I suspect Saints might rest a few in their last 17 and I also suspect they will be really drained mentally and physically after a fabulous effort last week, but it doesn’t look good as a match up. I know they’ve been unlucky but what was Noble thinking when he assembled the Wolfpack’s squad? Miracles can still happen, and maybe all of Toronto’s excellent attacks come off and they win a high scoring game. I’d give them a 1 in 4 chance of winning today.
  6. You’re right I did sound a bit bitter. I don’t particularly like the club and it’s owners, and I don’t like the incredible capitalist arms race in stadium development that this is part of when considered in the context of the climate emergency in particular. It’s completely unsustainable. But it is an incredible stadium nevertheless, with the best views of any football ground in the world, and an almost cathedral like quality to many of its spaces. And it’ll act as a catalyst for further investment into that area of London. I took clients to the NFL and at £450 per head it was terrible value in our view - awful service at the restaurants in particular, and much less fun than about 8 wonderful meals plus cinema/theatre combos we could have bought at the price. That being said plenty others seemed happy enough at the NFL, mostly sending selfies of themselves to their mates, which is something I guess warrants the price tag to some people. It is an extraordinary venue as I mentioned above, absolutely, but it’ll also come at a large cost to the RFL and us fans, and I’m just not sure it’s worth it. Personally I prefer the London Stadium and Emirates, and think we could have got a great deal at the former in particular. Both are a lot more permeable than the Tottenham stadium, and with 40-50k people inside the old Olympic Stadium for an ashes test they’d be rocking. Still in terms of brand and something new I see some value in the RFL choosing Tottenham. And just maybe Daniel Levy is so pushed to pay back the investors the £1bn for the stadium we might have got a good deal. And as I said, I’ll be there having a great time regardless.
  7. Tottenham’s stadium is acclaimed as the worlds best football stadium, mainly because it’s a money making machine designed to extract huge sums out of hospitality punters. Having been there a few times and sampled the shambles of how the venue’s hospitality is run I’d recommend eating at a burger place in the high street and getting a seat in the general admission seats in the south stand rather than pay for anything more. The stadium is an incredible feat of engineering, although the programme mentioned above was carefully choreographed to show Tottenham employees in made up job roles rather than the people who’d actually designed and built the stadium. It’s all part of the command and control tactics of the club who will be charging us fans and more significantly the governing body of our sport a fortune to play there. There are much better venues in London we could have gone to that would arguably have been more welcoming and less expensive for all, but I’ll still be there cheering on England regardless.
  8. They’ve been far from one dimensional in their games this year. I wish more coaches were as 1D (and successful) as McDermott. Still can’t see past a Wire win unless TWP improve on last week and Wire don’t.
  9. I thought Bennett being appointed was a master stroke after McNamara but it’s been anything but. Holding up WC17 as an achievement ignores the fact we were nearly dispatched by Tonga, and NZ imploded. We were far from brilliant in the final when you see it again. Our series win against NZ in 2018 was ok although the opposition didn’t really do themselves justice. Wane’s teams initially at Wigan were a level above McGuire with even better ball movement and great moves to balance the aggression. Later on his sides were almost unwatchably dull and at times you wondered how they’d ever win trophies, but he managed to make them peak at the right time more often than not. He needs strong assistants and I’d definitely make the role full time to include a technical director role. The less Sinfield gets involved the better.
  10. Enjoyable game that. Both teams will improve and be up there at the end of the season. French is an entertainment machine but there were plenty others on show from both teams.
  11. Crikey this thread has gone off on a tangent. Who’d have thought there was a game on when you lot were busy posting stuff? Personally I prefer watching the game rather than writing about former newsreaders.
  12. This is actually the most constructive and well mannered TWP thread I’ve seen. Encourages me to visit these pages more often. Personally I think this does show poor cap management by TWP, although most of the cap would have been used up in getting promotion and signing players to multi year contracts so I’ve some sympathy. And I do think expansion teams ought to be able to spend a bit more provided they can pay for it. But this is tough to square with P&R which of course we have in play for at least this season. So I think this year it might have to be ‘those are the rules’ but we should look at changing things for 2021 and beyond. If expansion and growth are part of SL’s vision then letting others spend their money to make it happen should be part of that strategy.
  13. In advance of SL 1999 there was a call for new franchises. The 3 main contenders (Gateshead, Swansea and Cardiff) submitted business plans that included (reasonably) a fair share of central funding. When the SL clubs decided to give almost nothing to any of these (and the money that they did give was oddly tied to shares in the new club making it hard to get other investors in) the two Welsh clubs effectively withdrew, and Richie and his family stumped up all the money themselves to get Gateshead to the starting line in 1999. They were modestly successful that year, building a good presence in the locality and a solid fan base and they finished mid table. They did lose a lot of money but were able to go around again in 2000 as they would be running a leaner team that year. Then came the shameful shenanigans of merging with Hull - which could have been a positive if Hull KR had let Hull rebuild from the division below SL allowing Gateshead to continue in the top flight - and like that it all ended. That there is a decent club still in the north east and with credible plans for growth after all these years does make me wonder what would have happened had the game actually invested in them from the outset. And the same is true for a South Wales team circa 1996/7 I believe, I think they could have been a success.
  14. Although to be fair Toronto have paid for a lot of this exposure either directly or indirectly of course. SBW doesn’t come cheap!
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