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ghost crayfish

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Everything posted by ghost crayfish

  1. It'd be better if Australia had a go at naming by position, of course. But I understand why they didn't want to - the very idea of it goes against their stated selection policy. The simple fact is they shouldn't have had to make the choice - it's a weird rule to have imposed, for no real gain that I can see? It's just typical brain fart rugby league administration creating issues where there weren't any.
  2. You're blaming the Aussies for this ridiculous system? Why should they be forced to name a 'likely starting 17' at this point of the tour? They haven't played in a few years and it's their stated policy to use the group games as trials to figure out who their strongest 17 for the knock outs will be. Attempting to name it that way could create division in the team, make some players feel like their cards have been marked etc. I totally understand why they've gone this way, even if it is a shame it will look so ridiculous.
  3. Oh God, is this true?? Squad numbers? So, like, they actually play in them? That's absurd. God this game is hard to follow sometimes. What a ridiculous decision. Why take something so easy, like standard numbers based on position, and make it a mess? For what purpose? WHYYYYYYY
  4. I think Knowles is a bit small to play prop with a smaller 13 like Radley as well (not to mention Bateman and Whitehead aren't the biggest 2nd rowers). The pack would look a bit too light weight. I think it's hard to squeeze both guys into the 17 unless Radley plays some time at hooker.
  5. Exactly right. On the topic of investment in Super League, it isn't just about giving cash to clubs to pay existing players more and 'maintain the status quo'. It's about keeping the best players in the comp, stopping the talented juniors leaving, giving the competition more ability to attract good players, evening out the playing field, not to mention how the clubs and sport overall presents itself on and off the pitch. This all costs money and it is what people expect from top level sport. Either the game commits to a plan for doing that, or it commits to continuing the slow decline we've seen. If Super League is allowed to descend (any further) below the standards people expect from a professional competition, people will slowly turn away and the sport will continue its evolution back into a semi-professional village sport. This would probably still result in current lower league clubs dying, as overall interest dwindles. The IMG plan shows a logical, common sense and professional approach that the game in England hasn't had from the top in a decade. Unlike the Super 8s and the various other schemes the RFL has come up with, there is no sense of panic or finger crossing at all. They presented a very simple plan for growth and to me, it's a massive relief.
  6. Agree if Lolohea is out, that's a bit blow. He's been a really important, underestimated player for Tonga. Not a bad team, but not as strong as they were in 2017-2019. On paper at least, Samoa is stronger for this tournament. Tonga probably have the better coach though, so it'll be interesting!
  7. No Lomax is a huge blow. I think he's shown in test football (most at no. 1) he's up to the level, and I still think he was the best halfback on the field in the WCC a few years ago against the Roosters. It's really disappointing that he's out. Percival, less so.
  8. The lack of noise from the England camp is pretty unbelievable really. Surely, like most other nations, they could have had a formal 'training squad' with players not involved in semi finals announced and invited to participate, with new players joining as teams were knocked out. That's just a small and obvious way to drip feed stories to the media to build interest. I'm sure behind the scenes players have been getting tapped to keep training, so why not make it official? It's bizarre to ignore that very obvious media opportunity.
  9. The big difference is both those guys had previously played origin and test football, so were known as elite players before they went to SL. French is different - he was a recognised talent in the NRL, but hasn't played rep football and wasn't even a permanent first grader when he left.
  10. Given most of you seem to think you're no chance, you can't blame Aussies for thinking likewise... That said, I DO think you're a good chance, actually. But as always, depends on selections, fitness, form, luck etc.
  11. Agree with all of that. McMeeken on the bench gives flexibility because he can cover the prop rotation or, if there's an injury, move out to the edge. It means they can have a dummy half, or maybe a utility back like Welsby, at 14.
  12. If anything, I reckon the govt expects them to be making the tournament accessible and filling the grounds, given the level of funding its offered! Not sure why the govt would insist they charge more?
  13. Massive loss for England, this. It also reduces the big advantage St Helens have over Salford, which is in the middle. But for England, what are the alternatives? What was Chris Hill's late season form like?
  14. England won't beat anyone with him at halfback. He's slow and offers no creativity or spark at all. Despite his form for Warrington this year, George Williams is twice the player.
  15. The need for a shoulder reconstruction might explain Staggs' poor form over the second half of the season. Not a big loss for Tonga, if that's how he was going to play.
  16. Paul Kent is the worst kind of 'journalist'. He's embarrassing and it's a disgrace fox league has given him such a profile.
  17. I agree domestic suspensions should not cross over for IRL events. It'd be different if it was an NRL event, such as all stars, origin, or even test matches organised by the NRL, like the (now scrapped) mid-season tests. I also agree Nicho Hynes should be a Kangaroos contender. He's a class act who can play 1, 6, 7 and probably 9 all to a high level. I think Cleary will be our starting 7 and the question is, does Mal want to take a veteran back up like DCE, or someone a bit younger (and, if the rumours are true, someone who isn't as disliked among other players).
  18. England should be able to put a strong, competitive team together, with lots of NRL and test experience, and a good sprinkling of class young players. Can they win it? Maybe. But they should definitely be competitive, and are a huge chance of making the final given the draw. You would be absolutely mad not to pick Bateman as a starting second rower. Put him next to George Williams on the right, where they played for Canberra, and you've got an instant combination for both attack and defence. He's got good work rate, no mistakes, is a leader, and has a habit of producing a couple of big plays in tight games - an offload out of nowhere to someone in space, or something like that. Whitehead is similar in that respect, but Bateman is top draw. The point about being 'an origin player' is spot on. If those two guys were from QLD, they'd be two of our best ever backrowers.
  19. Pecking order... He's a talented player, but well behind Tedesco, Trbojevic and possibly Mitchell and Papenhauzen as well. Obviously more tests increases his chances of playing one, but the real reason he hasn't played test football is he wouldn't get picked. His club form is very patchy.
  20. While it is of course a joke how few games the Kangaroos have played, it's not the reason Kalyn Ponga hasn't played test football.
  21. Unfortunate news for England. McShane is nowhere near test standard. I'm not sure how much 9 Radley has played recently, but he was a good dummy half when he was younger. It might not be a bad option to start with him at 9, then bring Clarke on. McIlorum is also a good option, and I don't mind Leeming's speed in attack.
  22. Cleary is a top class 7. It's a few his team mates who are good, but fall a bit short.
  23. I think 14 clubs feels right to me for Super League, at least until more of the expansion areas are ready.
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