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John Drake

Sat 9 Nov: Intl: New Zealand v Great Britain KO 7am (UK Time) (TV)

Who will win?  

62 members have voted

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  1. 1. Who will win?

    • New Zealand by 13 points or more
      14
    • New Zealand by 7 to 12 points
      18
    • New Zealand by 1 to 6 points
      5
    • Great Britain by 1 to 6 points
      14
    • Great Britain by 7 to 12 points
      7
    • Great Britain by 13 points or more
      4

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  • Poll closed on 09/11/19 at 07:00

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5 hours ago, damp squib said:

Some of the ciritcisms of Bennett are fair, such as the selection of players out of position. However:

Bennett sets the England team up against NZ and Australia as if the players are inferior to their opposite numbers and they need to keep things as tight and conservative as possible to avoid making mistakes that top class opposition will punish. This approach has merit because in reality England are inferior to NZ and Australia and have, in the past, been consistently beaten on the back of errors and loose play.

When this system works and the players do their jobs, as it very nearly did against a good Australian side in the WC final and against NZ in the test series, it is easy to justify. When it doesn't work, like today, all you get is a turgid performance and a loss. But when England's completion rates and error counts are as bad as they were today you can't put that down to the system.

The problem is that many England fans don't believe that their players are inferior to the opposition and think that if they only had Darryl Powell getting them to play "the Superleague way" they'd beat anyone. It's based on the delusion that 1) the kind of open, expansive attacking style that we sometimes see in SL against a London or Hull KR defense (no offense) would be possible against an Australian or NZ defence and 2) that if such an open game did break out, the skills and athleticism of the England players are superior to the opposition and they would win.

It might be worth changing it just because England are so horrible to watch under Bennett, but I think attempting an "open expansive style" would be picked apart mercilessly, by NZ and Australia, England would lose by 20+ points rather than 10, and they'd look terrible anyway regardless of playing style.

And still you'd have people on here complaining that they just weren't playing "the Superleague way", because it's a myth that won't die.

I couldn't disagree more.

The keeping it tight/being better defensively whilst sacrificing offence will NEVER win you a WC, we came close thinking ignores that we played against one of the weaker Kangeroo teams in recent years, yes we had improved in defence but we lacked elsewhere and still players that could have had more impact left at hme or not playing despite in the squad.

WB has essentially strangled our offence such that we are not a threat, the 'For' column tells no lies, it's like Lee Radford's game plan the past 5 seasons, it's too easy to read so opponents know precisely what to expect and it's easier - and less tiring to defend because of its predictability. In fact I'd say LR is currently a better coach than WB, at least we have someone who can kick half decently, Radford does pretty much pick the strongest squad available and has learnt that he must pick players in their preferred positions, ok so we're still clueless in the last 20 but honestly we look a decent attacking force with a kick to the corner compared to what Bennett has reduced us to!

We were consistently beaten because we were not consistent enough, sometimes lacked the personnel (but usually wrong personnel being picked as with Bennett), lacked decent coaching, lacked the level of rugby at club level and played a ton more games. By the mid 1970s any advantages we might have had on the field in terms of playing ability were nullified by fitter players, better tactics/coaching and improved skills throughout the I-XIII, this reached its culmination by 1982 though the signs were there in the '78 tour. France however did win their series 2-0 in '78 and were arguably a better side than GB at the time, the effects of a very long tour in a British autumn/winter won't have helped the Kangeroos.

It's easy to criticise the 'system', it's lazy to justify it because it ignores so much more that is wrong and why we will keep on failing playing this system even IF we absolutely nail it (of reducing errors/defence at the expense of attacking threat) which we did in the WC, we still lost. When with better tactics, personnel in place who should have been playing we would have won (IMHO). It should never be an either/or with regards to improving skills, improving error count, improving how we do both in attack and defence.

Quite honestly we've gone backwards with regards to were we could have been and wasted the peak talents of some superb RL players from these shores, first Mcbanana and now Bennett, so I don't agree with you in terms of your comment thinking we are equals player wise is part of the problem on the field or how we as fans have expectations. We have had the players, but successive coaches haven't done well enough to maximise those talents, have ignored certain players or continued to play players well past it added onto which playing some of them out of position, this all contributes to the carp that we saw this morning and much further back, it's as simple as that for me.

There's a lack of faith in certain players (so you play the tried/tested and failed), there's a lack of understanding/tactical nous by him with regards to what it takes to beat the opposition when it counts, lacks the ability to aid players to improve from club level to international level and step up, not physically, that's fairly finite, but managing/coaching.

I really don't think it's the players but the person that brings it altogether, for me Bennett has failed quite miserably, the WC final was s near as we'll get but the reality is we sneaked past an albeit excellent Tonga and barely got a sniff against arguably the weakest Kangeroo team in a generation.

He absolutely has to go, the problem is we've lost a lot of quality players/no longer at their peak and in part due to WB failures there's no-one who has been bloodied or bloodied enough and still been played in his 'system' which is dour and inadequate. We are going to have a fair few more years of drudgery in the GB guise and the results have reflected were we are at.

Edited by Denton Rovers RLFC

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35 minutes ago, AB90 said:

Its a tough one but you can do a combination of the two. You can still look to the future and pick the best team.

It is clear to all that Chris Hill, James Graham, Sean O'Loughlin, James Roby, Ryan Hall and Jermaine McGillvary are all past it at international level let alone in another 12 months time.

Replace with Morgan Knowles, Liam Watts, Daryl Clark, Tommy Makinson, Ash Handley, Matty Lees etc (all will have another 12 month development).

If we look at the Australian team there are only 4 players remaining players from the team that played in the 2017 world cup final (below):

FB 1 Billy Slater
WG 2 Dane Gagai
CE 3 Will Chambers
CE 4 Josh Dugan
WG 5 Valentine Holmes
FE 6 Michael Morgan
HB 7 Cooper Cronk
PR 8 Aaron Woods
HK 9 Cameron Smith (c)
PR 10 David Klemmer
SR 11 Boyd Cordner
SR 12 Matt Gillett
LK 13 Josh McGuire
Substitutes:
IC 14 Wade Graham
IC 15 Jordan McLean
IC 16 Reagan Campbell-Gillard
IC 17 Tyson Frizell

Obviously they had an ageing team with some retirements but they didn't physical sacrifice results in order to build for the future. They have just selected the best team with players who are better or in better form in comparison to the 2017 team.

Payne Haas and Josh Papali are better than Aaron Woods and Jordan McLean, Latrell Mitchell and Jack Wighton are better than Josh Dugan and Will Chambers, Nic Cotric ad Josh Ado-Carr are better than Dane Gagai, Luke Keary and Cameron Munster are better than Michael Morgan, Jake Troojevic, Cameron Murray and Victor Radley are better than Josh McGuire etc

You can do both (IMO).

 

What the Australians have done ever since I started watching our game in 1984 is pick the best possible team for every game or tour on merit based on their performances in the year.  No player is too young or too inexperienced to be selected (whether that was Wayne Pearce in the 1980's or Payne Haas today) and no player is too old with an eye on a future tournament.  They simply pick the best side available every time they play and this is exactly what we should do.

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It was embarrassing to watch once again, forwards just taking the ball up with a terrible kicking effort on the end of it, the only real threat in the team is Bateman and that's because he might produce something a little different, the Kiwi back three will probably never have had such a easy game defensively, no pressure on them at all.  The much vaunted pack never look like breaking through, as said before the NRL players in opposition can deal with one up Rugby all day long, what they don't like is movement and pace in a hit up, like Bateman produces, the efforts of Walmsley, Hill, Thompson, Jones (vastly overrated in my eye) and Graham haven't produced much over the spread of games to worry any opposition team.

I bet PNG are champing at the bit to get into this bunch of demoralised, tired player's in front of their own, fans in humid conditions next week.

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19 minutes ago, Denton Rovers RLFC said:

Quite honestly we've gone backwards with regards to were we could have been and wasted the peak talents of some superb RL players from these shores, first Mcbanana and now Bennett, so I don't agree with you in terms of your comment thinking we are equals player wise is part of the problem on the field or how we as fans have expectations. We have had the players, but successive coaches haven't done well enough to maximise those talents, have ignored certain players or continued to play players well past it added onto which playing some of them out of position, this all contributes to the carp that we saw this morning and much further back, it's as simple as that for me.

If it keeps happening with multiple managers over decades, surely at some point you have to start thinking that the players aren't as good as you think they are?

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There’s a lot of understandable frustration being expressed and I think most will agree that Bennett needs to go—— his lack of Super League knowledge coupled with his dull, negative tactics make this a must. From today’s game I would say that Austin, apart from the couple of errors, looked really good and it’s a pity he didn’t have a more central role. The kicking game of both half backs was again very poor. I think the starting front row were second best and in future hope to see Watts, Clarke and Walmsley/ Thompson— even Mike Cooper who has been much better than Hill this season. Both centres were inaffectual—- Hughes is a steady Eddie but not international class but I would probably keep Connor in the mix—- both Gildart and Percival are better centres. There’s not much better than either 2 nd row at present but hopefully Ben Currie will recapture his early promise. I like Tom Burgess as a middle forward but surely Morgan Knowles deserves a crack in the future.  I thought Gerry did ok today and we’re not short on good wingers when all are fit. Lomax has impressed in each game and the likes of Ratchford, Widdop and Hardaker could easily challenge for full back. I don’t think it’s all doom and gloom once Bennett gets his cards

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1 minute ago, damp squib said:

If it keeps happening with multiple managers over decades, surely at some point you have to start thinking that the players aren't as good as you think they are?

If your players aren't as good as the opposition you have to come up with a game plan to beat them , trying to do what they ' do ' obviously won't work 

By picking players just because they play in the NRL you are basically telling those that don't they aren't good enough , I haven't ever met Mr Bennett , but I do recall a thread once were one that had stated he isn't a ' man manager ' , isnt able to motivate players to believe it , or play better than they were 

So he isn't what we need IMO

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1 hour ago, Dunbar said:

Do you think next years ashes series should be used to prepare England for the World Cup or do you think we should pick the best possible team to win the series?

1 year before the World Cup I see both those objectives being achieved in the same way. The best team to win next year is very likely going to be the same as the best one 12 months later.

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7 minutes ago, damp squib said:

I think the England manager job is a poisoned chalice.

Too many fans are living in an often invented past and have ridiculous expectations for the team.

We are fans of International RL and England/GB. We want to enjoy seeing the national team play (win or lose). We don't want to watch a poor attempt at completion ball which we obviously aren't very good at. It is a sad state of affairs when all the games not involving GB are more interesting to watch than the ones we wait months for. Not once, not twice but three times in a row!

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7 minutes ago, GUBRATS said:

If your players aren't as good as the opposition you have to come up with a game plan to beat them , trying to do what they ' do ' obviously won't work 

By picking players just because they play in the NRL you are basically telling those that don't they aren't good enough , I haven't ever met Mr Bennett , but I do recall a thread once were one that had stated he isn't a ' man manager ' , isnt able to motivate players to believe it , or play better than they were 

So he isn't what we need IMO

Exactly, essentially John Bateman was that player last year. He was a SL player in 2018 and an NRL player in 2019. He is still the same bloody player!

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Whether WB stays or goes, having just watched it, many of those GB players made regular bad reads, mistakes and poor decisions.  They are accountable too.  I’m amazed it wasn’t a bigger score.

The ball went through Johnson and Benjys hands a lot!  Not enough pressure on either.  They controlled their team and Widdop/Hastings were rushed.  NZ had time to place their kicks better.

Pretty disjointed team performance again. Injuries didn’t help - I think Thompson came back to early.  We’re better than that, even with that Team, but injuries played a big part.

Well done to the Kiwis though.  Played some good rugby.

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29 minutes ago, Bring back the Boyd said:

would say that Austin, apart from the couple of errors, looked really good and it’s a pity he didn’t have a more central role.

Agreed . He was dropped a right you know what being stuck on the wing , but he at least played with some fervour in possession . I’d definitely be starting him at 6 next week . Widdop , and I’m a huge fan , has been very disappointing and we need a change in the halves and a bit more licence to play . Although it’s all a bit late now

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24 minutes ago, GUBRATS said:

If your players aren't as good as the opposition you have to come up with a game plan to beat them , trying to do what they ' do ' obviously won't work 

By picking players just because they play in the NRL you are basically telling those that don't they aren't good enough , I haven't ever met Mr Bennett , but I do recall a thread once were one that had stated he isn't a ' man manager ' , isnt able to motivate players to believe it , or play better than they were 

So he isn't what we need IMO

I didn’t particularly want him and said so at the time but if he’s in I have to back him.

I think you’ll find that most players will say the opposite of what you believe though.

  

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We essentially played without a 6, 7 or 9, completely outclassed by their opposites, can they do better or are they simply being stifled by Bennett's obsession with completion rates.

I was totally against the selection of the 3 Aussies in the first place but told by those who know better that they are the best we can offer in their positions, if that is the case we are really in big bother, I said we didn't need them we have enough of our own, do I feel I was correct in my statement, judging by their performances, I most certainly do.

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1 minute ago, DavidM said:

Agreed . He was dropped a right you know what being stuck on the wing , but he at least played with some fervour in possession . I’d definitely be starting him at 6 next week . Widdop , and I’m a huge fan , has been very disappointing and we need a change in the halves and a bit more licence to play . Although it’s all a bit late now

Well Bennett has said everyone who is in the squad will get a game so Williams and Trueman must be in the 17 next week. We could have 6 half backs in the 17 😮 

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7 minutes ago, Scubby said:

Exactly, essentially John Bateman was that player last year. He was a SL player in 2018 and an NRL player in 2019. He is still the same bloody player!

I disagree with Bennetts stance on SL players but in all walks of life if you compete against or work with better people you improve your craft and ability. That is just Fact. 

Bateman has improved massively this year. Compare John Bateman from the last years test series against the Kiwis to now. Based off the 3 tests it is clear John Bateman is out and out GB's best player and has arguably been the best forward on the park. You couldn't say that last year (I believe Whitehead got man of series). Batman's surpassed Whitehead now and probably all other English forwards now.

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1 minute ago, Lowdesert said:

I didn’t particularly want him and said so at the time but if he’s in I have to back him.

I think you’ll find that most players will say the opposite of what you believe though.

  

As I said , only going on what I read on here , but what I don't understand is if you have 2 hookers playing , why wait for over an hour till the game is essentially lost before introducing the second one ? , Is this again NRL ' bias ' ?

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Just now, AB90 said:

I disagree with Bennetts stance on SL players but in all walks of life if you compete against or work with better people you improve your craft and ability. That is just Fact. 

Bateman has improved massively this year. Compare John Bateman from the last years test series against the Kiwis to now. Based off the 3 tests it is clear John Bateman is out and out GB's best player and has arguably been the best forward on the park. You couldn't say that last year (I believe Whitehead got man of series). Batman's surpassed Whitehead now and probably all other English forwards now.

Bateman starred in the NRL from round 1. He wasn't developing as the season went on.

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1 hour ago, Denton Rovers RLFC said:

I really don't think it's the players but the person that brings it altogether, for me Bennett has failed quite miserably, the WC final was s near as we'll get but the reality is we sneaked past an albeit excellent Tonga and barely got a sniff against arguably the weakest Kangeroo team in a generation.

I really do think you are re-writing history here.

Remember how uncompetitive we have been in the last 15 years or so.  I was one of those walking into Elland Road in for the Tri Nations final in 2004 thinking this was going to be 'our year'.  By half time the Kangaroos were 38-0 up!

Losing to Australia 6-0 in a World Cup final in Australia is heart breaking but as a performance it was miles ahead of some of the disasters we have seen.

And the Kangaroo team that won the World Cup is better than the 2019 version.  They may have some good players now but Meninga would love to have the likes of Cronk and Smith back in the side to actually turn them into a team.

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34 minutes ago, damp squib said:

If it keeps happening with multiple managers over decades, surely at some point you have to start thinking that the players aren't as good as you think they are?

we produce fewer quality players overall I accept that and said as much previously and some eras we have a significant difference and from that we have the results we have, however coaching does have a big influence as well as what happens in the domestic game including the number of games played.

The last 8 years we've had some superb players to choose from, enough for the first time in a long while that we had a a team that could have won the WC yet successive coaches have failed to capitalise on that talent. We will go through a few years with lesser players that haven't been tested nor playing in a 'system' that helps maximise that talent.

The bigger influence is coach and the number of games IMO, i really don't think the gap is as big between players themselves as some think it is, but it looks bigger at International level when you don't play the right tactics, don't pick the right players, play them out of position and those players have already had a longer season/played more games than those they are up against. It widens things on the field than the direct comparison player to player.

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Wayne talks about next year , so it’ll be interesting how many guys here won’t make next year or have played themselves out . Or we’re just gonna wipe this from memory , say it was GB and it doesn’t count . I was quietly optimistic about taking the Aussies on at home but this has been a bit of a kick in the niagara’s . This kiwi team was very beatable , and this Aussie team isn’t unbeatable 

Edited by DavidM

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Genuinely, the team next week could be:

1. Lomax 2. McGilvary 3. Williams 4. Connor 5. Austin 6. Widdop 7. Hastings

A GB Test team! Bennett has said all the squad will get a game! And I got it wrong, if Trueman is sub that would be 7 half backs in the 17 FFS!

Edited by Scubby

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3 minutes ago, Scubby said:

Genuinely, the team next week could be:

1. Lomax 2. McGilvary 3. Williams 4. Connor 5. Austin 6. Widdop 7. Hastings

A GB Test team! Bennett has said all the squad will get a game! And I got it wrong, if Trueman is sub that would be 7 half backs in the 17 FFS!

Who said we’ve no halfbacks !

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8 minutes ago, Scubby said:

Bateman starred in the NRL from round 1. He wasn't developing as the season went on.

No , no , no , no , you can't suggest that , it was his pre season at Canberra that made him 😉

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1 minute ago, Dunbar said:

I really do think you are re-writing history here.

Remember how uncompetitive we have been in the last 15 years or so.  I was one of those walking into Elland Road in for the Tri Nations final in 2004 thinking this was going to be 'our year'.  By half time the Kangaroos were 38-0 up!

Losing to Australia 6-0 in a World Cup final in Australia is heart breaking but as a performance it was miles ahead of some of the disasters we have seen.

And the Kangaroo team that won the World Cup is better than the 2019 version.  They may have some good players now but Meninga would love to have the likes of Cronk and Smith back in the side to actually turn them into a team.

I'm not re-writing anything, some national teams will have a better quality than others, sometimes players aren't available through injury, so of course that can have an effect for any given game never mind for a WC 4 year period or longer, I've not disputed that at all and said so in my first post. 

The team we had was on paper one of the best for a while as was the 2013 team, yet due to errors by both coaches niether maximised what the available players could have got in terms of on field results., we defended excellently in 2017 but for all that and smaller amount of errors we were toothless in attack, a complete contrast to 2013 yet actually you could argue we had better attacking options in 2017.

if you are going to sacrifice scoring points to be better in defence fewer with errors then you are lost, Bennet has gone for the 'or' option that has no chance of winning ultimately, at least with a balanced approach and one that scores more points or makes more chance of scoring more points you have a chance of winning.

If yuou want to watch this dog-do style of play, good for you, you'rte better than I, but I really can't be bothered to watch this absolutely hateful style of play that is already flawed before you even kick off no matter how good or bad your players are. With the current team it's just hopeless and the performances show that in their most ugliest and obvious way!

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