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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Although to be fair Toronto have paid for a lot of this exposure either directly or indirectly of course. SBW doesn’t come cheap!
  8. If you’d had to pay for the positive exposure of rugby league that Toronto have managed to get us, it would probably be of the order of the entire SLE marketing budget for a decade. The elevation of our brand value as a result is hard to quantify but it’s not insignificant. The proof will be in the value of future TV and sponsorship deals across the board of course.
  9. I’m liking the look of pretty much all the teams who weren’t in last year’s playoffs, they seems to have strengthened a lot across the board. Adding in the Wolfpack and you’ve got a lot of competition from 2 to 12.
  10. Think you might have made a mistake, I reckon you’ve accidentally included one player from outside the NRL in your top 50 or so players My Team: RTS Addo Carr Wighton Mitchell Makinson Munster Cronk JWH Smith Taukeiaho Bateman Cordner Taumalolo hmm not many SL players there either, but there would be more in the top 5 with the likes of Thompson, Hastings, Roby, Clarke, and maybe even Gildart and Williams being in the mix if they’d toured and played well.
  11. We can actually produce a fair few players with potential in their teens, but not a lot of those end up being the stars we hope they’ll be. Our player physical development is some way behind the NRL’s still, with our lot falling behind in terms of power and agility as they move into the first team in Super League. It shouldn’t be that surprising when you look into it though, ex players end up as conditioners so the same mistakes get repeated as do the same omissions in prep - there are almost no sprint coaches attached to super league clubs for instance, so don’t be surprised that our players end up slowing down so dramatically as they age I think the skill and decision-making development is also really poor, otherwise why would we end up with first team players who can only pass one way and have no idea how to play what they see. There’s a killing to be made if any of our clubs in the UK actually got it right and used the very best development coaches and methods.
  12. I’ve been following England and Great Britain since 1982 and apart from the occasional false dawn I’ve got used to flat performances from teams we think are better than they show. Today’s tactics and execution were something of a nadir though, we had more tackles in the NZ quarter than they did in ours and we only scored because of a bit of a freak offload. I suspect our players aren’t as good as we think, our season is so long our SL lot are knackered come international time, we’ve a distant arms length coach with a boring game plan, and we’ve selected an oddly unbalanced squad. I was chuffed when Bennett became coach. Whilst I’m not sure there’s anyone who can turn us into the best in the world, he’s been really poor for England and particularly for Britain, on and especially off the field.
  13. I watched the World Cup final again a couple of weeks ago. My recollection when I watched it live was that there was a bit of a performance gap between the Aussies and England on the day, and my rewatching confirmed that view. We were clueless in attack and couldn’t sustain pressure, so let’s not get excited that we were brilliant. Our current plan seems to be try to bore NZ and Australia to death and play some footie only in the unlikely event we get on a roll through the forwards. I've digressed a little here, so back on thread I think Handley is an ok player but some way off being international standard. Not sure he’ll ever be either, I put him behind the injured Johnston and Manfredi and Charnley.
  14. Actually it doesn’t suggest that a Welsh winger wouldn’t get a look in. I think all the half options are English anyway so it’s not as though any Celtic ball players missed out - Coote in fact proving the opposite. However it doesn’t look good for the GB coach to be talking the whole he was about trying to boost England’s 2021chances, even if just by having a tour with inevitably mostly English players would help that anyway.
  15. Agree Grace would have been my selection. But it’s ridiculous (and a pretty serious allegation) to suggest someone won’t be picked because they are from Wales.
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