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Everything posted by Chris22

  1. Stick with Newcastle. Perfect location, in a city centre with train and metro stations nearby. Only possible tweak is if Toulouse get promoted, maybe consider having them play at a major venue in France on the Friday night and replace their St James' fixture with a Newcastle Thunder match against a well-supported Championship team like Bradford. Understand this may be less appealing now Catalans are the table topping side and shouldn't happen if they win the title. Also, yes to on the road games but only in areas of strategic development. Cumbria, for example. Or venues where we are hosting World Cup matches such as Coventry. Only need a couple of these per year. We should plan ahead and do it on a rota basis for fairness so the same teams don't lose a home match each year.
  2. Very frustrating way to lose. Most unlike us to implode in that manner. But the credit must go to Catalans for not knowing when they are beaten. We have had our share of comeback and dramatic wins so you just have to take it on the chin when the reverse happens. We have big lessons to learn, but it's Catalans' night, who deserved the LLS.
  3. Saints haven't conceded more than 20 points in a game since March 2020 so I will be confident if we get one more that our defence will hold. I do expect a bit more from Catalans in the second half, but being a man down won't help them. Good to see we didn't panic after conceding early and going down a man, Woolf has instilled a lot of character in this team.
  4. Very open from Wigan. I doubt that they are alone in many of the challenges they face. Interesting that the signing of Thornley announced this way. Big period coming up for Wigan with Hastings' departure and Hardaker's future up in the air. Here's the fan Q and A. https://wiganwarriors.com/blog/2021/09/03/fans-forum-qa-session/
  5. Looking increasingly likely that this is happening. Our 1 -5 next year will be: Welsby Makinson Hopoate Percival Grace Woolf has already stated Welsby will get the #1 jersey. If Hurrell cannot displace Hopoate in the Tongan national team from a centre role, I cannot see that he will do so at club level under the same coach. Hurrell certainly is not going to displace Percival. That leaves two options. Hurrell as a back up player to cover injuries (perhaps we are still concerned about Percival's hamstring), although a more cost-effective option would be to give more game time to Josh Simm. The other option is as an 'impact' second rower in the mould of Ben Murdoch-Masila. I have seen nothing to suggest that would be a good idea. Whilst Hurrell is a decent player, I'm not sure that given the current position of our squad it is the most effective use of salary cap space. We'll see what happens.
  6. It's a long shot for Hull to make the play offs now, even if they win, I think (although don't know thanks to this points percentage system!) You would certainly expect to see a determined Hull side given what is at stake. Saying that, I have seen Hull capitulate in games of equal importance. I recall them being in a do or die match to make the play offs against Castleford the other year and the match was over by half time. A big test to see if Hodgson has truly brought any improvement to the team in his first year.
  7. We played less than one month ago and won comfortably but this is a different game when you look at the team Catalans fielded that day and the one that they are fielding tomorrow. Despite losing only two matches in Super League and being on course to top the table, Catalans seem to have gone under the radar. Especially compared to when Castleford unexpectedly won the LLS in 2017. It's probably a bigger game for Catalans than us, as it is they who win a trophy with victory tomorrow. Really unsure which way it is going to go, wonder if a tougher game on Monday may go against us? Either way, I think these two sides have the ability to beat each other on a given day and, if we meet again in a Grand Final (big if, in my view), the result tomorrow will have little bearing.
  8. I generally stay out of this thread as endless restructure discussions aren't for me, but thought this was a very valid point.
  9. This is it in a sentence. We will probably introduce two leagues of 10 and then in a few years, the very people who introduced it will come out with their usual soundbites about how the sport needs to chance and how the 2 x 10 structure wasn't sensible.
  10. I do cringe a bit when I see our fans complaining about the game 'going soft'. If being tough means participants in our sport being placed at a higher risk of brain injuries, I'd rather the sport 'go soft'. This is probably why we are seeing more on-field punishments for high tackles that previously would have gone unpunished. And I think it's right to err on the side of more yellow cards than fewer. We talk all the time of the sport dying (as it allegedly has been doing for 126 years) yet ignore something like this, which is a genuine threat to the sport.
  11. Really enjoyable game. Shows when you have sides who aim to play rugby league rather than prevent it from being played. Dodd and Williams' tries were both outstanding. Our best performance of the year by a distance. We had a rough spell before half time but I put that down to excellent Warrington play rather than us being poor. We plan to run Welsby at 1 next year, but I wonder if Lomax to full back and Welsby / Dodd as half backs may be better. Finally, well done to James Bentley for keeping up his incredible record of being sin binned in each game since return from injury. It's quite something.
  12. What practical steps would you put in place to improve standards?
  13. Tweets like this from major broadcasters really don't help...
  14. Not fancying us at all in this one. We have struggled for some time against Warrington, especially in attack, which they shut down with concerning ease. Both our first choice half backs missing too, so we will have a 20 year old and 19 year old in those positions. Welsby and Dodd will be fearless though. An optimistic view is that they will be a different proposition from Lomax and Fages, who have struggled in this fixture for so long. With our excellent defence, I expect a near identical game to our meeting in June. Win or lose, I won't get too hung up on this one. The key for me is whether we show any ability to breakdown Warrington's defence.
  15. I'd also exempt all players who are from non-heartland areas (inc France) from the salary cap (exc Catalans when it comes to French players). We should also look to encourage and incentivise professional clubs linking with non heartland clubs. Come to think of it, lots of this could be done without a bottomless pit of money.
  16. Where to begin? I'd have the RFL bankroll London Broncos in the same way that the ARL did with Melbourne. I would invest heavily in the RLEF to develop a strategy to grow the European and especially French game. Smaller scale, ensure all matches in Super League have proper broadcast standars coverage, not just one camera. I'd have a national, free to air highlights show on Sunday evenings. I'd give it away if necessary. I'd have an annual international in London. I'd introduce a strategy for the Challenge Cup final. Free tickets for anyone who plays rugby league with a London postcode. Discounted tickets for local schoolchildren, prizes for the school that sells the most. Same for Magic Weekend but read Newcastle. Three on the road Super League matches each summer in Cumbria, one at each professional club. Avoid non TV Super League matches clashing with televised games. And if money truly was no object, I'd buy the NRL to stop them hijacking any plans that benefit the wider game again.
  17. One observation from that game is that when Jack Welsby moved to half back, we looked far more threatening in attack. The same thing happened at Wembley. I am starting to think half back is his natural position.
  18. A truly abject performance from Wigan. Clueless in attack. Appeared to have no idea when they got close to Leeds' line. When you perform so poorly in consecutive weeks it can be hard to drag yourself up. I think not being at home may help. Wigan's run in on paper looks unfavourable. Even if they get in the play offs, it's hard to see them doing anything. A big difference between a late run of form to get a play off place and clinging onto one. Some big decisions to be made this off season.
  19. I don't think it's delusional to think we will sign Hurrell to play second row. A fair argument to say it's delusional to think it's a good idea.
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