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Everything posted by EagleEyePie

  1. To be honest I can't see it being Derek Beaumont. Why would he not want his name attributed to the comments given he's already threatened legal action? It would also be the most coherent thing DB has said so we can probably rule him out.
  2. I agree with the above, would love to be able to watch this game but getting to Cas on a Friday night in time to see it isn't going to happen. I must admit looking at the Knights team it's hard to work out selection criteria or what the Knights are supposed to be. The concept is good but a little inconsistent. It's not a second string England side, nor does it contain all the best young players outside the England squad. It's an unusual mix of both and then some slightly left field selections.
  3. So we know Hetherington is in favour. Fitzpatrick at Wire is broadly supportive. Lenagan at Wigan is supportive. Bernard Guasch will obviously be delighted with another French team. If more people come out in support it shouldn't be too hard to work out who the anonymous source is. Dare I say the quotes may have come from one of the clubs who perhaps would have benefited the most from Toulouse's opponents reaching Super League.
  4. It's interesting that there are clubs saying Toulouse will be bad for Super League because Toulouse won't bring any away fans without considering maybe they are bad for Super League because they have no confidence in being able to sell their games. I mean it's not like clubs travel well these days anyway. Crossing the M62 seems to be considered as daunting as crossing the channel. Yorkshire clubs don't generally bring many fans to the DW and Wigan no longer seem to bring many fans to Yorkshire. I don't see how the losses would be so great as to be a massive burden.
  5. That's the sensible option. I don't see the benefit in Toulouse and Catalans playing in Newcastle. I'm sure neutrals would love to watch the game in person but it makes more sense for those two sides to both market a game themselves at a neutral venue closer to home. Magic Weekend would sell a derby short. It tends to for all derbies. Maybe they could play in Barcelona, but perhaps Marseille is a better option - it's still in the south but it's also the 2nd biggest city in France.
  6. To be fair this isn't a situation unique to Rugby League is it? In the United Rugby Championship (apparently that's what it's called now) where Welsh, Irish, Scottish, Italian and South African teams feature they also have a Grand Final, meaning there's also the chance that the final could feature two teams playing in a different country to their own. In fact there's more of a chance of that happening as they have cities bid to host the event early in the year. We just need to focus on marketing the game as an event that anyone would enjoy going to, rather than just the fans of the two teams who get there. Was the NFL London game at Tottenham attended by 30,000 Atlanta Falcons fans and 30,000 New York Jets fans? Of course it wasn't. It was attended by 60,000 people who like 60 minutes of action to take 3 goddamn hours. But good for them. The number one focus for Super League and the RFL is to make the Grand Final and the Challenge Cup the biggest events they can be without even considering which teams might get there.
  7. Where was it announced that he's already left Pontypool? That link shows he's signed for them.
  8. Enjoyable game. Credit to Workington, they looked the better side throughout but Doncaster competed well for most of the game. Always had a fondness for the Cumbrian teams and glad to see all 3 in the Championship.
  9. Saints definitely have a good chance of making it 4 in a row. Experience tends to win you big games and their strength is their middles and within that you've got the experience of Walmsley, Amor and LMS along with Roby at hooker. Amor, LMS and Roby going around again means that core of players is staying together. If you look at the stats Saints still get very good returns from Amor and LMS, comparable with the top props at other clubs. With the incomparable Walmsley in there too it's easy to see why Saints are so dominant right now. There may be a risk that next year with those players a year older it might be one year too many and that's where Saints may dip in comparison to this season. It's hard to see any team reaching a higher level than Saints are currently given it's not the easiest market for signing players. If another team does win the Grand Final next season I feel it's probably going to be because Saints suffer a dip in performance rather than another side going above and beyond where Saints currently are.
  10. Zak moved back to Yorkshire because the house he was renting belonged to Joel Tomkins, who has subsequently moved back in on his return to England. I'm not aware of any reason why Zak can now only live in Yorkshire. It's perfectly normal to rent a house near to where you work to ease the commute. It's what ordinary folk would do. Seems a bit pointless to complain about the commute when there's another perfectly good option available.
  11. Kicking is definitely a skill that can be learned and developed over time. It's not a talent that is simply possessed without practice so if someone is poor at field kicking then it definitely can be improved with coaching. However, I did mean in a broader sense. When it comes to kicking Harry Smith is incredibly skillful but this season he's been erratic at times and made some bad decisions. That's something that coaching can improve. Coaching can also help a half improve their organisation by directing the players into the best setup for a kick. The whole team has a role to play in having a good kicking game and that's where we can improve. Matty Smith had an excellent kicking game but once Wigan lost Harris and Deacon from the coaching staff his kicking game went downhill quickly. For whatever reason Lam has not had a positive effect on our playmakers. Maybe Lam was too much of a natural talent - it came easy to him so it's harder to teach others.
  12. I have no issue with the appointment of Peet. He's been assistant coach and has the desire to be a head coach and has now followed the same path that Shaun Wane did. If you have someone at the club who you think would be a good head coach then why wouldn't you appoint them? As our defence coach Peet is pretty much the only one of the coaching team from this year who was doing a good job. Will it work? Who knows! Coaching appointments can be a bit of a lottery. Success at one team doesn't automatically mean success at another. Success as a coach doesn't necessarily mean success as a head coach. Ultimately having the strongest team is the best way to be successful and that's why Peet probably won't succeed. He's being tasked with getting more from less and that's not very likely in any sport. Hopefully Briers can help the team in attack and work on our kicking game and bring some improvements from what was served up this season. John Winder seemed to be the coach with the attacking/backs focus and he's moved on now so hopefully Briers and O'Loughlin will provide better results in that department.
  13. They had ex players on the pitch and some interviews the last time they did a retro round but I wouldn't be in favour of them doing that while covid is still such an issue, and it would probably impact the number of people willing to take part in it anyway. Plus we don't have a marketing director at the moment so we weren't likely to be doing too much until that's sorted. Either way some former players on the pitch and the players wearing a different shirt for one game isn't going to make me more willing to watch a game. I want to watch talented players on the pitch not people who used to be talented standing around talking for a bit.
  14. I can see where you're coming from with the retro round. I saw fans wearing retro kits but not much else. And the Catalans game was 'Super Hero' round and not much happened there. But then I don't know what people expected the club to do that would improve things? I mean you go to rugby to watch the game. Maybe something like the Super Hero round should have involved entertainment for the kids in attendance but to be honest when I was a kid I couldn't care less what happened pre-match or at half time, I just wanted to watch the rugby. Either way the point still stands. I've barely seen any club do anything different to what Wigan do and pretty much all teams could do more, but I'm not sure how much difference it would make.
  15. There are certainly things Wigan need to improve, gameday experience might be one but if it is then that goes for every Super League club right? I mean unless every club has cancelled their fantastic gameday experience whenever I've visited the ground (which, admittedly, can't be ruled out) then every club needs to improve because it's pretty much the same wherever you go. I think Hull KR are the only club that do anything different and they've just turned a big empty space they had in their ground (that most clubs don't have) into a convenient place to drink alcohol. And really, everyone is there to watch the rugby, so what else do people really want from their gameday experience? I've been to football matches and their 'gameday experience' is exactly the same unless gameday experience improves with each post-match arrest.
  16. Criticism of Smith is way off. Our poor attack isn't purely down to him. It was poor when it was Leuluai and Hastings in the halves. It was poor when it was Smith and Leuluai in the halves. It was poor when it was Smith and Hastings in the halves. If it was down to Smith Wigan would have done better when Leuluai partnered Hastings but we didn't. In fact Smith finished the season with 14 try assists and Leuluai with 0. There's more to a rugby league attacking game than just halfback does something good and try is scored. You need attacking shape, you need a gameplan, you need to give the playmakers the best opportunity to make things happen. That's where Wigan have been lacking. Smith didn't play much last season but our attack was still poor. It was so overly reliant on Bevan French to create something and cause problems. All we've seen this year is what happens when you take French out of the side. The problems we creeping up on us well before this year and are not the fault of a 21 year old halfback, regardless of whether he'll go on to make it as a Super League player or not. The front row is still Wigan's biggest weakness, as is our one dimensional play at dummy half. We make pretty much no dominant carries down the middle - so we have few attacking opportunities against defences that aren't set or that have late retreating defenders. So many points are scored in this game simply through players exploiting things like that but they don't happen out of nowhere. How often do you see the half time analysis from Jon Wells picking apart a try and highlighting one player retreating late from a tackle and causing the entire defensive line to be out of position. Stuff like that comes from carries that defenders struggle to control. That so rarely happens with this Wigan team. There's no threat from a direct runner at dummy half so defenders know the ball is going wide from the ruck. I'm not going to be too critical of Powell but he's a decent hooker - nothing more, nothing less. If you have a quality hooker you can have them play 80 minutes and they'll have a good all-round game. Most teams don't, so they have two decent hookers and between them they'll be good enough. For some reason Wigan are just obsessed with playing just one hooker for as long as possible and ignoring his limitations. Wigan's problems can be fixed, but the fact is there are problems that need fixing and generally you have to invest to get the changes you want. Wigan are cutting costs. More quality players are leaving this season like in previous seasons and it looks like they aren't going to be replaced with players of the same calibre. So what are the chances of Wigan being able to improve the squad by bringing in weaker players and spending less money? I'd say very slim.
  17. It certainly wasn't a Catalans performance like they've produced for most of the year. They weren't exactly poor and the game still took some winning but their pack never really dominated like you'd expect and as a result they offered little creatively. I'd have expected them to be more expansive and maybe take it easy on the physical stuff down the middle but instead they just seemed intent to run over the top of Wigan and it didn't work. With the players rested it was always going to be a tough ask for Wigan but it was a real gutsy performance. We were by far the better team and created most of the chances although we're still messing up far too many. Hastings was outstanding, as was young James McDonnell, who finally got a game in his preferred position of second row and was a rock in defence and scored a great try. He had Kasiano running at him quite often but didn't give an inch. His performance will surely further tempt Lam into just playing an entire team of back row forwards next week when Farrell, Bateman and (hopefully) Smithies return. Our two unfavoured props, Bullock and Clark, were our best performers among the front row so I'm expecting them to miss out next week. Havard and Byrne didn't play particularly well which has no doubt earned them a starting spot. I doubt there's much that can be read into this game. It's a good win for Wigan purely from a morale point of view and it pleased the fans who turned up, which is good because we've had to sit through some absolute dross this season. The most pleasing aspect is our defence is looking strong at the right time.
  18. When talking about Shaun Wane at the fans forum Lenagan said about Wane that he wouldn't return as head coach because 'you don't go back' in that respect. Presumably the same would apply to Maguire too so I can't imagine Maguire being considered. With regards to Peet taking over, no one will really know what he's capable of until he gets a chance. He's primarily our defence coach and our defence has been pretty good since he took that role. Whether he's got the motivational skills and tactical knowledge to excel remains to be seen but few coaches seem to be all rounders who are good at everything. A good team of coaches is important so if Peet gets the head coach role I do think we need to bring in another assistant with an attacking focus, whereas Lam was supposed to be a head coach with an attacking focus but that didn't work. Selecting a head coach seems to be a bit if a lottery. Maguire and Wane had no prior head coach experience and were successful so a current head coach isn't a must. Going way back Wigan once brought in two coaches with a history of winning trophies (Millward and Noble) yet neither brought success to Wigan and one was an unmitigated disaster. The best thing a club can do to be successful is have the strongest team. It's very unlikely Wigan will have the strongest side next year though so it probably won't matter who the coach is.
  19. I can't see Wigan's attack suddenly coming to life so I'd expect this game to be close but Leeds should outscore us (not like that is particularly difficult). I'd like to see Lam include our experienced forwards and make them do the bulk of the work. Singleton, Bullock and Clark at prop with one of the younger ones too. At the moment we should still be fairly comfortable in a playoff position but with the fixtures we have it's important to get wins on the board and avoid a run of consecutive losses. We've already beaten Leeds, Cas and Hull this season and if we do the same again that should be enough.
  20. Are there any other examples of successful professional sports whose major teams are from small towns and villages? It's obviously going to be good for the sport if the teams we currently have can thrive and become as big as they can be, but I really don't think these clubs are trying not to. The truth is there's a limit on how big most current rugby league clubs can be. And these clubs are already struggling because sponsors see very little value in them. Rugby league's geographic heartland will always be a limitation. The game needs to try to overcome these limitations. That doesn't mean ditching every traditional club and inviting Birmingham Bullets and Edinburgh Eagles but we should be looking to develop as many clubs as we can outside the heartlands. At present sponsors are advertising to pretty much the same people no matter which teams are in Super League.
  21. The game needs a balance. It's essential that it attracts new fans to keep the sport alive at a professional level but it can't afford to alienate the current fan base because there's no guarantee any attempt to attract new fans will be successful. And in that case the sport could simply lose a lot of what it already has. The two things don't have to be mutually exclusive though. The problem is throughout the sport people seem to be convinced that we're just one idea away from greatness. The Super 8's was just one more bright idea that may have contained some positive aspects but didn't do anything except place a greater risk on the financial security of 4 Super League clubs every season. Most people aren't watching sport because they think the format of the league is wacky and exciting. They don't necessarily watch because it's always entertaining. It's needs to be meaningful in some way though. I think perception is one of the biggest barriers we face in terms of audience growth and sponsorship. How would most Super League games ever really be meaningful to a large audience when most of the time the games are played by two small towns a few miles away from each other.
  22. I meant criticism from those directly involved. What people say on this forum or another forum doesn't matter.
  23. There's no correlation between The Hundred and Super 8's. Super 8's was a fine idea until people realised the sports audience wasn't interested. It matters not whether people say they liked it. What matters is TV audiences went down and attendances went down. Sky may have been attracted to it at first but they certainly weren't when they saw the reality. The criticism of it came once people realised the mistake. Ideally it wouldn't matter if Super League fans didn't attend because the game would be strong enough to just say 'deal with it'. But the game wasn't strong then and it isn't strong now and unfortunately how many people come through the doors of Super League clubs and how many people watch on TV really matters.
  24. I think it's more a case of if what Bateman said is worthy of the punishment of missing an entire game why didn't he miss the rest of the Saints game and get sent off? If the ref is the best placed to determine what is unacceptable and he deems it worth 10 minutes in the bin how is it then worth missing a whole game after the fact? If an offence is not worth being sent off for in the game in which it takes place how can it be worth missing a full game afterwards? Why wasn't Bentley sent off if what he did is so bad he should miss a game? If any offence is worth at least a one game ban surely it logically has to be a red card offence. I know it's partly to take pressure off the refs as they don't have the opportunity to study an incident in depth, but we all know of offences that will get a player sin binned but also see them banned for at least a game by the disciplinary. That discrepancy doesn't make any sense. Of course with Bateman we don't know what he said which makes a difference. We just know he used foul and abusive language while disputing a decision. If he said something like "what the Foggin-Johnson was that for?" it wouldn't be as serious as if he said "what was that for you Foggin-Johnson?"
  25. The charges against Isa seem right, in the sense that he's been charged for the ugly challenges on Welsby and Grace. The other incidents weren't worthy of punishment. The 'challenge' on Percival was exactly how the disciplinary panel described it, a trailing hand to the face. It's not a ban in any other circumstance. The same goes for the high tackle on LMS. Just one of a large number of high tackles this season that's worth a penalty and no further action. The warning for the shoulder charge is fair too. In terms of the suspension though I think it's quite lenient. There's no excuse for the challenge on Welsby. He knew he wasn't in possession so it's not like he was trying to complete a tackle. It was just a dangerous challenge to the head of a player who was on the ground and couldn't defend himself. That's the sort of incident that needs punishing severely. If he made that sort of contact in the course of making a tackle it would be more understandable but off the ball stuff needs to be dealt with more harshly. As for the challenge on Grace, maybe 1 match is fair but considering Jackson Hastings got a 1 match ban for tugging the shirt of a player who was on his knees I don't see how a forearm to the someone's face is worthy of the same punishment.
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