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Ray Cashmere

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Everything posted by Ray Cashmere

  1. Fully expecting the usual negativity, but this has been a decent game where young players (Smithies, Smith and Havard especially) have staked their claim for a big autumn Test Series against Tonga. France have shown signs but are, quite obviously, being let down by 3/4 players who clearly aren't at the level (Marion the hooker, Jullien, Romano as a winger). Mourgue and Rouge are both playing well and have the potential to be the cornerstone of this French side. Throw in Garcia, Seguier, Yaha, Da Costa with Pelissier off the bench (I'm excluding Fages as he clearly doesn't fancy it) and there's a decent team there.
  2. Just a couple of points to address the (perfectly reasonable) cynics in the room: The Community Share Offering has been in the works by the club for a couple of years now, this has not been a sudden reaction to an immediate cashflow issue (which there may or may not be, but which no one on here knows the details); This is not a rejection of a traditional ownership model. The club is, as we speak, approaching Salford businessmen/businesses as potential benefactors (the £10,000+ share option is a not so subtle reflection of this); The club will benefit financially from the new stadium deal whereby F&B and non-matchday revenues will, for the first time, be retained. SRD are in the same position that every other professional rugby league club (save for, I would guess, Leeds and Catalans) in the Northern Hemisphere would be in without a benefactor to underwrite the losses. Super League, and its clubs, do not generate sufficient revenues to sustain successful and ambitious sport. The club is, quite wisely, exploring as many different opportunities as possible to overcome this problem. It may ultimately fail, but it is not a last-ditch attempt to meet the day-to-day running costs of the club. There is far more cause for (pragmatic) optimism than there has been for many years at the club.
  3. At World Cup event tonight, Dave Woods suggested the broadcasting team will be announced next week and that there will be more RLWC games on BBC1 and 2 than FIFA World Cup Games (I think the number he gave was 31 but it sounded like this will be part of a press release/promotional drive).
  4. This is interesting. Given IMG produce Channel 4's league coverage, I'd hazard a guess that the "light-bulb moment" might have something to do with fan feedback and comparisons with Sky. Centralised production is probably suited to a sport like ours where we are positioned to complement the big names of football and cricket. Sky buy SL rights to fill out their service and retain subscriptions; if they can do so without the overheads associated with production then that must be a commercially attractive option for them.
  5. I’ve made my point elsewhere but this is the appropriate thread: the play offs reward the best teams over the course of the season. That is a statistical fact. And for those calling it ‘contrived’. That is, ironically, exactly what a regular season format in rugby league would look like. Rugby league would be out on its own in having zero incentive for teams to finish in any position that isn’t first/not last. The Premier League has CL and EL spots to compete for, the rest of the footballing pyramid has play offs. Just be very aware of what you are asking for: no competitive incentive to go and watch your team if they aren’t competing for top spot. How does that help to grow attendances and engage new audiences? Salford and Leeds won just over half their games this season. This narrative that all they had to do was win a couple of games in August to make the play offs is counter-factual.
  6. And under a regular league format this season- with only Wigan and Saints in realistic contention to finish top with half a dozen games left- what happens? It works in football because you still have Europe to play for. Unless you’re in serious contention for that top spot *every* league game then becomes meaningless: Leeds’ season over by May, Catalans’ by July. In fairness though, Wire’s season would still be over by March… Also, it is worth pointing out that the play offs do statistically reward the best teams: Unless we no longer want any unpredictability or narrative in our game…
  7. If teams want to take their foot off the gas just before the play offs then they’ll end up being knocked out. Salford have made the semis and Leeds the final because they’ve effectively been playing play off rugby for 2 months. The sooner people see the play offs make *more* games matter, due to the importance of momentum, the better. In a regular format, Leeds finish this season mid table and nothing to play for for months leading to sub-10k home crowds. Instead, they’ve had a sellout final home game and 3,000+ away days. In a sport so desperate for narratives, Leeds and Salford’s stories (so far) have provided them.
  8. It's no reflection on his career as a whole; he's been one of the outstanding English players of this century. Time catches up with everyone though and
  9. Based upon performances this season he shouldn't be anywhere near. Lost a yard of pace, failing to engage the line and even nervous under the high ball. It's a shame because he was outstanding last season. Hopefully he has just been conserving himself knowing the world cup is in view as there is no way that Wane does not pick him. So long as tonight was enough to put the nail in McIlorum's world cup coffin I'll be content.
  10. Young has plenty to work on (high ball and defensive reads particularly) but we don't have an athlete like him, plus his versatility to play centre is crucial given how small the tournament squads are required to be. His kick returns are also as good as anyones, something which will be especially important against Samoa. Makinson is an obvious guaranteed starter Handley would be in but I'm fairly certain he's now ruled out with injury. Tom Davies hasn't hit anything like last year's form. Liam Marshall has been excellent, but I'm concerned he's another 'very good SL, not test level' player. Burgess has been excellent and is more physically suited to test level than Marshall. Murphy looks a superstar but it's probably a year too soon. All in all, Young making at least the squad makes a lot of sense. Not because he's the finished article or because he plays in the NRL. However, he's coming off a good season and has genuinely world class attributes compared with a group of wingers who, bar Makinson, are not bona fide world class.
  11. Don't think it's as simple as that in this instance. As many have pointed out, the mid-tier categories (£45-£65 a ticket generally) have appeared quite broad on the stadium plans creating a disparity between a 'good' Category C seat and a 'bad' Category C seat, for instance. Those who bought early (like me) were able to get the best seats in our respective category. I'd have been a bit miffed paying the same amount for some of the other areas included in my category. Expanding Categories E and D to cover some of these poorer seats seems like a natural correction of the pricing strategy rather than an attempt to give as many tickets as possible away.
  12. Can't really fault the effort of the FC players today. Sao and Satae especially caused us big problems. Whilst we dominated the game it was a poor performance in the context of the last few weeks. Croft and Sneyd did their best to throw it away but they've more than earnt an off night. Luckily Brierley stepped up and was excellent.
  13. There will obviously be discussion around the Myler incident but it shouldn't distract from what was an absorbing game, brilliant atmosphere (on TV anyway) and good presentation by Sky. Watching tonight felt like the product that the sport aspires to be consistently. FWIW, I thought Huddersfield had enough territory and numerical superiority to win the game without any excuses and Leeds deserved it in the end for how game they were when Huddersfield were dominant.
  14. Exactly. I've not met many fellow fans who would have our number 8 Akauola in the 17. Vuniyayawa, Dupree and Luckley are 3 of our 4 best props. Livett undoubtedly starts and Wright (on the little we've seen this year due to injury) would also make the 17. Granted, we are lucky to have all our main backs (bar Sarginson whose loss hasn't really been felt with the form of Deon Cross) fit and this is where our strength has been but that does not mean we are full strength. I do think it's a strong enough side to get over the line on Saturday but we will need bodies back quickly with our post-Toulouse run of fixtures.
  15. Some great talent but I think Newman, Dodd and Welsby are the 3 that are special already whilst Young and KPP have the raw attributes to become special but are some distance off fulfilling their potential yet. I'd also add Morgan Smithies, Morgan Gannon, Lewis Murphy & Ethan Havard to the wider list.
  16. That is true but you also had Bousquet and Kasiano back whilst we were without King & Dupree (2 of our best 3 props) and 2 of our best 3 back rowers in Livett & Wright. I think most Salford fans feared the worse when both 17s were announced given your strength in depth but you completely lost the energy battle imo.
  17. I completely agree, but I'm not judging him purely off today. Having watched him plenty of times this season his acceleration and running power just doesn't seem there. Also, he's currently 30th in MoS points with just 6. I'm not arguing MoS points reflect a players performances but I do think it is indicative of his drop-off this season. I don't want to derail the thread (especially given Salford's performance) but Tomkins, alongside the rest of the Catalans spine, were dreadful today.
  18. More than matched Catalans in the middle with 2 of our 3 best props missing. Best defensive performance I've seen from a SRD side. On a more worrying note, Sam Tomkins cannot start at fullback for England. His running threat looked completely gone and he looked a shadow of last seasons' player.
  19. We had a disastrous 10-15 minute spell where Watkins was sin-binned and our right edge defence became completely non-existent. To be fair to Warrington, the left edge of Thewlis and Wardle did look threatening at times. Bar that, we were quite clearly the better team. Obviously, we can't have these disastrous 10-15 minute spells if we want to make the play-offs but our attack is capable of rescuing us against all but the top 4 sides in the competition IMO.
  20. Our pack has been hammered by many all season but I think they're due their credit now. Ormondroyd has been outstanding all season, Gerrard has been an extremely solid addition capable of playing big minutes and Dupree looks to be a revelation. Even Akauola made 2 vital defensive efforts today. We're holding our own through the middle despite our best prop forward being out for the season allowing the backs to show their talent.
  21. Gareth Widdop at fullback, John Bateman at centre and a 33 year old Kevin Brown at scrum half with Chris Heighington off the bench... I think the general standard of international competition will be much higher this year but I also think the best 17-20 players Wane could select this year create a much stronger side on paper
  22. Difficult to analyse a game like that but the gap in quality between the outside backs (Lewis Murphy excepted) was stark. Further, for the supposed 'worst pack in Super League', we completely dominated the middle. Ormondroyd is a vastly underrated player, Gerrard played 60 mins straight and Dupree looks like he is going to be a very good middle. This was all without our best prop forward as well. The way we play means we will get pumped a few times but are capable of handing out a hiding to plenty of sides. Especially when Brodie Croft plays like that.
  23. Smithies has been brilliant this season. The focus has obviously been on the high tackles in the Grand Final but that has unfairly overshadowed what was a standout performance. 80 minutes 61 tackles (game high) 102 metres 1 try assist His issue is undoubtedly his discipline but people seem to ignore his talent because he's a) been around for so long (still only 21) and b) is a grub. Westerman is a very good Super League 13 but he'd get bowled over physically and athletically at that level.
  24. Fullback: its just going to be Tomkins lets face it Centres is a shootout between Farnworth, Percival, Welsby and Watkins as an outside shout. Welsby has to make the 17 and can play anywhere. Watkins is a proven test-class centre and has been outstanding since his return (albeit at second row). Wardle & Newman just haven't been fit enough to earn the spot Wingers: Makinson a certainty then between Davies, Young and Handley. Johnstone just can't put a run together. Halves: Has to be Hastings & Lomax for me. Williams & Widdop just aren't performing, huge shame Dodd isnt available. Props: Walmsley, Tom Burgess certainties. Thompson highly likely despite form. Then a shootout between Oledzki, Lees, Sutton. I'm a big fan of Havard & Byrne but it'll be too soon for them. Hooker: Leeming for me. Clark & McShane not been good enough this season. Second row: Whitehead a certainty. Whilst not at his NRL best, Bateman has been much improved this season and starts on class & raw ability. Farrell & McMeeken deserve to be in the mix. Injury probably killed KPP's chance. Loose: Knowles certainty. Smithies or Radley as the backup.
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