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Everything posted by Chris22

  1. Enjoyed the match. Not the highest quality match but the closeness and do or die nature of it made it enjoyable. Warrington were way below par and faded badly. Castleford had some injuries and played close to their best. Castleford's defence has stepped up in recent weeks and that was what saw them home. Concede 12 points and you always stand a chance. The likely outcome now is that either Cas or Salford will be 80 minutes from the Grand Final, which is good for the league. Final word, how important was goalkicking? Two misses from Ratchford and a great touchline kick from Mata'utai proved critical.
  2. Jacques O Neill and Calum Turner in for Cas, with Jamie Ellis dropped to the bench. Rankin in at 7. Whilst I've never thought Ellis is any more than solid, it's a big call to put Turner in by Powell.
  3. Elstone strikes me as someone who goes with the crowd. Are people saying there are too many games? Elstone repeats it. Do people say they don't like loop fixtures? Elstone repeats it. The test will be what he does in recent years. Reading the briefing, I do appreciate his honesty regarding Thursday fixtures and the first time I've seen him go against the grain. He accepts Thursday's aren't great but is honest and realistic in saying it probably won't change. His open scepticism towards Toronto is very strange. Is it Elstone's role to lead Super League or represent the club's views? I wonder, should it be the latter, he is merely repeating what chief execs are telling him about Toronto? Disappointing to hear he seems to be refusing media interviews. When he was on Sky last year I sent in a question asking specifically how he intends to fulfil his brief of promoting the brand of Super League and what measures he would put in place to do that. Unfortunately, he more repeated what his vision was rather than explaining how he was going to do it, which was a tad disappointing.
  4. Wigan have got to 4 of the last 5 Grand Finals and that has to make them favourites, especially as both sides are have similar form. You just can't see Salford going there are winning. If they could beat Wigan away, then their confidence will shoot through the roof and there is no reason they can't go all the way.
  5. Cas' defence has been good in recent weeks, conceding an average of two tries in the last five games. They need to repeat that effort is they are to win. Warrington have been poor of late, but have raised their game when it matters this season and I think they will again. Doing it consistently for three or four weeks of do or die games is where it may get tricky.
  6. If London meet the minimum standards, then I can't see how Toronto do not. Strangely, there wasn't this talk last year about whether Toronto hit the minimum standard (that I can recall). Have there been new standards introduced?
  7. Just out of interest, is there any merit to this story aside from a small snippet in the Mirror?
  8. What are the arrangements for promotion? With the Championship being an RFL competition and Super League being self governing, does the latter have a choice to refuse a side entry? Apologies if this has been already covered, I haven't read the previous 13 pages!
  9. Can we not have one year of internationals without someone threatening to boycott or being forced not to play by a corrupt regime? Just one!
  10. https://www.saintsrlfc.com/2019/09/01/statement-chairman-strongly-reiterates-view-on-wembley-referee-selection/ Doesn't seem that this is going away! Reaffirms my view that Saints are trying to develop an "us vs them" mentality.
  11. My final comment on the matter...Saints fans have had a perception for years that the club is "too soft". Our captain does not behave aggressively towards match officials. Last week after the calls in the cup final, there was little on field protest. We don't have an "enforcer", the closest is Matty Lees. Our players don't get cramp at convenient times. Well, McCarthy Scarsbrook used to but that stopped not long after Holbrook's arrival. Our former coach Nathan Brown suggested similar in his time here. After those comments in mid 2014, our attitude changed. The team got a bit nasty or "ruthless" to use sporting speak. When we played Wigan, we hammered the kicker for example. In the 2014 Grand Final, Soliola put a huge shot on Crosby in tackle one of the game. Masoe went in hard and high on the next tackle. In the Ben Flower incident, he swung an arm at Hohaia and where once we would have left it, Hohaia went looking for him. Paul Wellens referenced it at a fans forum. He told the players pre game that if it gets heated they must run in. It did on minute 2, and Wellens was the closest man, so he had to practice what he had preached just minutes earlier. Our reaction to the incident was widely praised. We released a statement offering an olive branch to Wigan and Flower and did not criticise. We instead said how Flower should be helped to deal with it. There was little mention of the impact on Hohaia of bring brutally attacked. The two parties split acrimonisly months later (for the sake of the forum, I'll leave it at that)! In 2016, we lost a play off semi final to Warrington by 8 points. Warrington had 1 try incorrectly awarded and we had a contentious one chalked off. Again, we didn't criticise and Cunningham instead looked at our own performance. Again, our dignity was praised. Several semi final and 1 final defeat later, it looks like we have had our 2014 moment again. We have adopted a more aggressive ("ruthless") attitude and appear keen not to take misfortunes lying down any longer. Perhaps that is to placate the fans? Perhaps it is seeing Shaun Wane win trophies at Wigan with an attitude where nothing else matters but winning? I can't say for certain but we have seen quite the shift in our public manner and I don't believe it to be coincidence.
  12. https://t.co/lXFtJVEXqM?amp=1 - RFL statement. To allow myself one club centric remark on the matter...I did not see an RFL reprimand / investigation for Richard Agar when he suggested that James Child gave calls against Leeds at this year's Magic Weekend arising from a grudge due to Agar's previous comments of the same referee!
  13. Thinking about it...I wonder if this is a misjudged ploy by McManus to take the attention and heat off a side that failed again on the big stage?
  14. I defended the club (or the right of any club) to seek clarity as to a referee's decision as we did. I also defended the right to formally complain about a referees's decisions as there was a misconception that we did. McManus usually conducts himself well and in turn represents the club well. On this occasion, he has badly let himself and the club down. I get that he like any fan was frustrated that we lost. I get the annoyance at some rough calls we got last weekend. But these comments should not have been publicised. At best, they should have been communicated to the RFL. Sadly, I'm a bit embarrassed to read them. The comments are in parts illogical. We cannot drop referees from the final because they receive threats and thus let a bully win. The hyperbolic, lazy comments about fans turning away from the sport are ones I would roll my eyes at from a fan in a stadium, let alone our chairman. I expect the idea is to apply pressure to match officials in advance ahead of the play offs, but it's not good reading in a communication from the club. The remarks stink of panic. A chairman who has invested heavily, a team that has dominated for 2 years and so far has won no major trophies and is concerned we don't know how to get over the line. The more I think about it, the more annoyed I am about this.
  15. My final word on the subject. This is what Ian Lenegan said after Hardaker's arrest: "Our duty of care as employers is to help Zak address the fundamental problems that he has had for some time - issues that we believe could and should have been confronted already." The widely held view is that this was a thinly veiled dig at Castleford. When you criticise another club's conduct with regards to internal discipline, and seemingly suggest you would have done a better job given the circumstances, it is entirely fair to be scrutinised, maybe even to a higher standard, when your own players step out of line.
  16. I won't repeat them on here, but there are plenty of other allegations on other fans forums (Wigan forum on rlfans.com and Redvee.net) about other, to-date unreported indiscretions of Wigan and indeed other teams (including Saints) players.
  17. Wigan's actions of standing by Hardaker and inaction following the John Bateman incident a couple of years ago make it really difficult for them to discipline players for off-field indiscretions going forward. There certainly are a lot of off-field indiscretions lately, that they need to get a grip of.
  18. As a Saints fans whose side has suffered a great deal at the hands of Edwards, that thought sends a bit of a shiver down my spine ?
  19. https://www.skysports.com/rugby-union/news/12551/11674241/wasps-have-offered-shaun-edwards-a-return-to-the-club-dai-young-confirms A move to Wasps on the cards?
  20. Has not signed a contract with Wigan for 2020! A really odd stance from Wigan not to ask him to sign a contract. With Wigan's form, this intervention couldn't have come at a worse time for them! Reading between the lines, Wigan seems to be a back up option for him, in the unlikely event that he doesn't get another high-profile Rugby Union coaching job. Link: https://www.wiltshirebusinessonline.co.uk/sport/national/17507186.wales-coach-shaun-edwards-may-not-be-taking-up-wigan-job-in-2020/
  21. It is sadly ironic that we scrapped the four nations at the precise moment that a "fourth nation" could provide a genuine challenge to the other three teams. If I recall correctly, the Great Britain revival concept was the brainchild of the now-departed Nigel Wood, and I suppose this has lumbered the likes of Rimmer with the problem. It may have worked if it was a 3 match series against Australia, but a thrown together at the last minute tour was destined to struggle. If anyone knew that this tour was planned, it would be embarrassing for the sport. But the reality is, many even within the sport didn't know the tour was planned. To be honest, it may be a bit embarrassing now, but some good may come of it, in that the Great Britain concept is left alone. I wasn't necessarily for scrapping GB, but once that decision was made, we needed to stick with it and go all-out for the England brand. Hopefully there is some kind of back-up plan to host some England internationals over here this year (at World Cup host venues), building to the test series next year and World Cup in 2021. Or, maybe that's wishful thinking?
  22. The BBC have penned an article about sporting events to look forward to in 2019. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/46608285 No mention of rugby league in it. I would usually be critical, but it's a problem of our own making. What could we put? "The GB Lions are touring for the first time in x years, but we don't know when, where, or the opponents". Our lack of organisation harms our ambitions of growth.
  23. There is very little information available via the internet, sadly. This is all I can find: http://forums.redvee.net/showthread.php?30071-A-bit-of-nostalgia-for-the-oldies https://thesportsdragon.com/2015/01/27/john-warlow-from-stradey-to-st-helens/ https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=RweAAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA155&lpg=PA155&dq=minnie+cotton+st+helens&source=bl&ots=e_UwnTGxUJ&sig=r7-WOWrkldeb59O45l6do2nHGPA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjuo-OkvLPfAhVoShUIHVjLDQwQ6AEwDnoECAAQAQ#v=onepage&q=minnie cotton st helens&f=false
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