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18-19 Oct: World Cup 9s (TV)

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55 minutes ago, Dave T said:

I can. They play in Oz and it was cheap to just pick them. 

I mean, Ryan Sutton, James Graham and Tom Burgess are such no-brainers for 9s, and Ryan Hall has done so much to earn his spot this year. 

Bit harsh on Ryan Hall I think that Dave.  Yes, he only played 6 games for the Roosters this year but he is a top quality international winger, powerful and fast and is probably a good fit for 9's.  As one of our best players and a consistent top performer for England over the years I don't think it is too crazy selecting him for this tournament.

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4 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

Bit harsh on Ryan Hall I think that Dave.  Yes, he only played 6 games for the Roosters this year but he is a top quality international winger, powerful and fast and is probably a good fit for 9's.  As one of our best players and a consistent top performer for England over the years I don't think it is too crazy selecting him for this tournament.

Yeah, I agree it may be a bit harsh, but ultimately he hasn't been playing top level RL and he is getting on now and far less effective than previous. Hall has never let us down, and I'm sure he won't here, but I'm not a fan of gifting spots in any squad, even if it is only 9's.

I think there is a distinct lack of youth and energy and real pace in that squad, with an average age of 27 and 2 of your 3 wingers in the squad being aged 31 then I think there are some question marks. When those selections just look like convenient selections it is a bit disappointing. 

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11 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Yeah, I agree it may be a bit harsh, but ultimately he hasn't been playing top level RL and he is getting on now and far less effective than previous. Hall has never let us down, and I'm sure he won't here, but I'm not a fan of gifting spots in any squad, even if it is only 9's.

I think there is a distinct lack of youth and energy and real pace in that squad, with an average age of 27 and 2 of your 3 wingers in the squad being aged 31 then I think there are some question marks. When those selections just look like convenient selections it is a bit disappointing. 

Which part of his performances for the Roosters this year would you say were less effective than previously?

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9 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

Which part of his performances for the Roosters this year would you say were less effective than previously?

Hall is slower and older than he used to be, and ultimately has played only 6 first team games and scored no tries in 2019.

As I say, he will never let you down, but in a version of the game which will be great for youth and pace I think you should only justify selections like this if they have had a great year. He hasn't.

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16 minutes ago, Oliver Clothesoff said:

Would have liked to have seen some of the Knights of last year’s tour to PNG picked. 

Evalds and Danny Walker especially would be a good fit for a 9’s side, IMO. 

I assume Evalds was ruled out as he is in the Grand Final?

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Blake Austin has now been called into the squad to replace Hughes who has a groin injury.

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1 minute ago, Dave T said:

Hall is slower and older than he used to be, and ultimately has played only 6 first team games and scored no tries in 2019.

As I say, he will never let you down, but in a version of the game which will be great for youth and pace I think you should only justify selections like this if they have had a great year. He hasn't.

OK, let's see how he goes.  I don't think 31 is particularly old and Hall has always kept himself in great shape.

He didn't score any tries for the Roosters this year but I saw all his games and he was literally provided zero chances by the Roosters attack.  What he was asked to do he did very well - he averaged more metres with the ball than any of the other Roosters wingers and bust more tackles per game than Brett Morris and fell just below Daniel Tupuo in this metric.

I don't really understand where this consensus that Hall is past it has come from.

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5 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Blake Austin has now been called into the squad to replace Hughes who has a groin injury.

I wonder if this will now tie him to England as a nation where GB wouldn’t have done?

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Nottingham Outlaws Rugby League

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9 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Blake Austin has now been called into the squad to replace Hughes who has a groin injury.

Good

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5 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

he was literally provided zero chances by the Roosters attack. 

Indeed , it was quite frustrating to watch. He’s been a superb international wing though so you must reward that . It would have been interesting regarding the Lions if Johnstone and Manfredi had been fit , but with our stocks there’s no argument for mine with Hall . His record and level of performance for us speaks for itself 

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2 hours ago, Dave T said:

I can. They play in Oz and it was cheap to just pick them. 

I mean, Ryan Sutton, James Graham and Tom Burgess are such no-brainers for 9s, and Ryan Hall has done so much to earn his spot this year. 

That's a little harsh, I hope so anyway. 

it seems we have gone for a specific tactic that those players fit. 

Graham has always been fast for a prop and a metre muncher like burgess is invaluable. I remember Garbutt being a standout in 9s even though he does not look suited. 

The preparation for this has obviously been rubbish having never played but, in those three, with the tactics we have chosen they are probably sure picks 

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36 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

OK, let's see how he goes.  I don't think 31 is particularly old and Hall has always kept himself in great shape.

He didn't score any tries for the Roosters this year but I saw all his games and he was literally provided zero chances by the Roosters attack.  What he was asked to do he did very well - he averaged more metres with the ball than any of the other Roosters wingers and bust more tackles per game than Brett Morris and fell just below Daniel Tupuo in this metric.

I don't really understand where this consensus that Hall is past it has come from.

I haven't really seen a common view that he is past it, and it is certainly not one I support, but I'm not sure where the basis for his selection comes for what is a faster, younger man's tournament. He missed last year's internationals with a bad injury and has only played 6 games this year. That said, I have little issue with him being in the 13's squad, but I don't see us appearing to make any adaptations for this version of the game. 

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19 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

That's a little harsh, I hope so anyway. 

it seems we have gone for a specific tactic that those players fit. 

Graham has always been fast for a prop and a metre muncher like burgess is invaluable. I remember Garbutt being a standout in 9s even though he does not look suited. 

The preparation for this has obviously been rubbish having never played but, in those three, with the tactics we have chosen they are probably sure picks 

Graham is now 34. I'm ok with Burgess, but when combined those three selections look lazy and cheap compared to three forwards selected because they are primed for 9's.

Our average age is 27, with 6 players at 30 and above.

The Kiwis and Aussies both have an average age of 24, with the Kiwis having 2 30 year olds and the Aussies having none.

Time will tell, but I think we have a risk of being run around a bit. I suppose the hope is we get our defence in order and then let the broken field runners like Williams, Trueman, Connor and Clark work their magic.

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5 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Graham is now 34. I'm ok with Burgess, but when combined those three selections look lazy and cheap compared to three forwards selected because they are primed for 9's.

Our average age is 27, with 6 players at 30 and above.

The Kiwis and Aussies both have an average age of 24, with the Kiwis having 2 30 year olds and the Aussies having none.

Time will tell, but I think we have a risk of being run around a bit. I suppose the hope is we get our defence in order and then let the broken field runners like Williams, Trueman, Connor and Clark work their magic.

I don't really understand the age thing here, why is being 27 years old on average rather than 24 relevant?

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6 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Graham is now 34.

I wouldn't be selecting him for the tour or England vs Australia next year; too old for RLWC21. Same with the likes of O'Loughlin. We should be looking at the team for 2021 now developing that cohesion, camaraderie and playing patterns we will need to win the competition.

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James Tamou was in the team of the tournament for the 2014 NRL 9's as was Andrew Fifita.  George Burgess was in the 2015 team of the tournament while Agnatius Pa'asi was in the team of the tournament for 2016.

There is definite value in having some big mobile forwards in your team in this format of the game.

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2 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

I don't really understand the age thing here, why is being 27 years old on average rather than 24 relevant?

Because to get our average age up to 27, we have 6 players at 30+. The Aussies have none. 

I don't think it is controversial to suggest that a 34 year old prop may be less suited to a faster version of the game than some younger players. Or that having 2 31 year old wingers (1 who has played only 6 games in 12 months) may be a risk.

But it is a personal opinion, we will see what happens, I hope I am wrong and am looking forward to watching it.

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4 minutes ago, GeordieSaint said:

I wouldn't be selecting him for the tour or England vs Australia next year; too old for RLWC21. Same with the likes of O'Loughlin. We should be looking at the team for 2021 now developing that cohesion, camaraderie and playing patterns we will need to win the competition.

I'm always split on this, as I'm of the belief that Test matches are there to be won and we should go with the best players now and not focus too much on the future, but we do need to know when to cut players loose at the back end of their careers. 

I think O'Loughlin's injuries are too disruptive nowadays, but at least Graham is still resilient and playing well.

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7 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Because to get our average age up to 27, we have 6 players at 30+. The Aussies have none. 

I don't think it is controversial to suggest that a 34 year old prop may be less suited to a faster version of the game than some younger players. Or that having 2 31 year old wingers (1 who has played only 6 games in 12 months) may be a risk.

But it is a personal opinion, we will see what happens, I hope I am wrong and am looking forward to watching it.

I agree that Graham may be suffering a little these days with all the punishment his body has taken.  But if they use him as a ball playing middle forward to draw defenders to create space it could be a master stroke!  He is particularly good at this, he is still the best ball handling big man in the game for me.

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1 minute ago, Dunbar said:

A agree that Graham may be suffering a little these days with all the punishment his body has taken.  But if they use him as a ball playing middle forward to draw defenders to create space it could be a master stroke!  He is particularly good at this, he is still the best ball handling big man in the game for me.

Graham will probably the most interesting to watch tbh. If I have to fault him on anything I find he sometimes overplays with the ball and can get in the way of the backs, which is something I think the England team has had an issue with under Bennett, as we have given a huge prominence to the NRL based forwards. But he isn't a barnstormer like Brugess can be, and he can get in the way of the halves at times, so I'm interested to see how he adapts to this version of the game for England. There is no doubting his talent or effort though.

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1 minute ago, Dave T said:

Graham will probably the most interesting to watch tbh. If I have to fault him on anything I find he sometimes overplays with the ball and can get in the way of the backs, which is something I think the England team has had an issue with under Bennett, as we have given a huge prominence to the NRL based forwards. But he isn't a barnstormer like Brugess can be, and he can get in the way of the halves at times, so I'm interested to see how he adapts to this version of the game for England. There is no doubting his talent or effort though.

It sounds like I'm in an argumentative mood today but I'm not honest.

I disagree about Graham... I think he has become far too much of a workhorse these days, in the last couple of NRL seasons I don't think his ball playing ability has been best used... and even with England now we don't use these skills.

In his Bulldogs days he may have overdone the ball playing a little but the barometer has definitely swung too far the other way now.

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13 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

It sounds like I'm in an argumentative mood today but I'm not honest.

I disagree about Graham... I think he has become far too much of a workhorse these days, in the last couple of NRL seasons I don't think his ball playing ability has been best used... and even with England now we don't use these skills.

In his Bulldogs days he may have overdone the ball playing a little but the barometer has definitely swung too far the other way now.

Specifically on the England piece I thinj you are right as we use Burgess, O'Loughlin and Hodgson in those roles as well so I think he probably gets pushed out a touch.

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Im looking forward to seeing Fiji in the 9s . They’ve got a bit of a record generally in reduced numbers rugby and there’s plenty of talent there 

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Looking at my diary, I am the only person from my department who won't be at a trade fair on the Friday, so I can't get the day off work. 😡


Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon. (Susan Ertz)

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