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GB: Bennett admits he called up Handley over Grace because he was English :/

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49 minutes ago, Fuzzy said:

To be fair when we first went to England everyone kept saying GB, now I realise this is sad as it shows we have lost consciousness of the GB concept 

what damage has this done to the casual viewer from other nations

They used to don't care, they don't care now.

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20 hours ago, Chris22 said:

I'm unsure on Bennett's comments. They show contempt to the sport in the country. We can either:

1. Praise his honesty in refusing to pretend GB isn't just England in a smarter kit. Or...
2. Criticise him for deliberately undermining his employer.

I'm not sure which is correct. I haven't criticised Bennett's attitude to the media throughout his tenure as that is just his personality. But comments, such as the one's about Blake Austin earlier this week, gave the impression that he didn't care.

This is the national team we're talking about, making public comments that you haven't researched or prepared for a test match adequately is utterly unacceptable and given his contract expires next week, doesn't give the impression of a man who wants it to be renewed.

I think it’s number 2. But I do think he wants his contract renewed but this is Bennett - he doesn’t care about opinions of him or the media. He clearly doesn’t know much about SL players because his focus is always on the NRL in his main job. 
Bennett has done a lot of good but I think the time is right to move on and allow another coach to prepare for the World Cup

Edited by DoubleD
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11 hours ago, MatthewWoody said:

They used to don't care, they don't care now.

That's the thing, we do care and your presumptuous, contemptuous attitude, coupled with Bennett's decision to omit Grace will be a reason why the casual viewer from outside the heartlands won't pursue a fleeting interest the series may have brought.

Grace is the perfect decision in every way; the series is lost so treat PNG as a trial, get some wider representation to attract the floating Welsh fans and perhaps most importantly, the team is crying out for some pace in the backs. Austin looked quite handy on the wing when hitting the line at speed, imagine Grace with his combination of speed and footwork 

Edited by Hughsehhh
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All of a sudden Grace is a world beater.  He is no Billy Wizz.  We were however supposed to have some good "middles".  But they did not play like that. 

If British rugby league had some world class Welsh players then Bennett and his selectors would have selected them.   But we don't  have any. 

There is a lot of sound and fury but is signifies nothing.  The real issue is inept handling of the RLF and the IRL, admittedly compounded by a string of injuries before this tour and during it.

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1 hour ago, Rupert Prince said:

All of a sudden Grace is a world beater.  He is no Billy Wizz.  We were however supposed to have some good "middles".  But they did not play like that. 

If British rugby league had some world class Welsh players then Bennett and his selectors would have selected them.   But we don't  have any. 

But given the lack of outside backs and the current injury situation, Grace could legitimately have been called up to the squad. And arguably should have been in the squad from the start.

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14 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

But given the lack of outside backs and the current injury situation, Grace could legitimately have been called up to the squad. And arguably should have been in the squad from the start.

There is an argument to have an A N.  Other instead of Trueman (I'm not getting at him).  But that's all.  The idea that Grace would have transformed the side is farfetched. 

BTW.  Coote is "Scottish" so the selections were not all English/GB biased.  Mind you is Coote inured, because otherwise Bennett having seen him does not seem to like him?

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45 minutes ago, Rupert Prince said:

There is an argument to have an A N.  Other instead of Trueman (I'm not getting at him).  But that's all.  The idea that Grace would have transformed the side is farfetched. 

Yes I agree that he probably wouldn't have made much of a difference, but I do think he should be in the squad on merit.

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Ash Handley should have been in before Ryan Hall! As far a Dwayne Bennett's comments, he picked Handley because he knows him better from the England set up and he knew that he was local, probably has more fitness than Grace etc, his comments regarding nationality have been taken out of context and twisted. 

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The tour was a shambles and Bennett is an embarrassment. Poor squad selection, poorly coached with pi$$ poor boring tactics and style of play.

Bennett used to be a good coach, now its time to put the old duffer out to pasture !

I'm not holding my breath though that he wont get a new contract given Sinfield's involvement in all this. This is the guy who chose Furner as Leeds coach and now thinks Agar is the man to take them forward 


This is captain Juncker speaking. The EU gravy train is about to enter Brussels, so will all Brits please exit at the next stop

To all remaining passengers, thank you for your continued custom and contributions to my pension fund

Kind Regards - YOUR PRESIDENT !

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8 minutes ago, Saint Toppy said:

The tour was a shambles and Bennett is an embarrassment. Poor squad selection, poorly coached with pi$$ poor boring tactics and style of play.

Bennett used to be a good coach, now its time to put the old duffer out to pasture !

I'm not holding my breath though that he wont get a new contract given Sinfield's involvement in all this. This is the guy who chose Furner as Leeds coach and now thinks Agar is the man to take them forward 

Untill ALL coaches and players do the simple things at speed we will get nowhere.  Frankly I believe that us where Bennett is coming from. Never mind all the (possibly) smart alec trickery - leading to errors, the fundamentals need to be sound otherwise any playmaker is up against a brick wall.

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1 hour ago, Rupert Prince said:

Untill ALL coaches and players do the simple things at speed we will get nowhere.  Frankly I believe that us where Bennett is coming from. Never mind all the (possibly) smart alec trickery - leading to errors, the fundamentals need to be sound otherwise any playmaker is up against a brick wall.

Errors cost us field position at vital times in the 3 matches so far, but even when we've been in good attacking positions we've looked clueless. 1 out plays, virtually no attacking kicks and no creativity what so ever.

It was a poor squad selection to start with but even where he had options Bennett stuck with the same old even though his choices weren't performing. Hall should never have been anywhere near the squad and was an embarrassment on this tour, Hastings just hasn't performed at test level, completely MIA but still got picked despite there being 3 other halves (Lomax, Austin & Trueman) available in the squad. Hodgson just isn't international class, what works for him at Canberra just isn't good enough at test level and its no coincidence that the team looked more threatening when Clarke was on the field, yet Bennett refused to drop Hodgson.

You'll always get individual errors from players but the Lions problems go far deeper than that, poor selections, poor coaching & poor tactics were a fundamental part of why the team has performed so badly.

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Any coach in the world would play Hodgson. 

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25 minutes ago, MatthewWoody said:

Any coach in the world would play Hodgson. 

Why ?

Its obvious that the style, structure & speed at Canberra works perfectly for him at club level, but International level is clearly beyond him. He struggled in the first 2 tests and Clarke was by far the more potent attacking threat, yet pig headed Bennett stuck with him and it was shown yet again that he couldn't handle it this weekend.

Same story with Hastings, still got picked despite 2 consecutive poor displays.


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41 minutes ago, MatthewWoody said:

Any coach in the world would play Hodgson. 

while i agree against Tonga it would be a major shock for him not to have done so.. he performed poorly and after that you have to look beyond him if things are not working and any top class coach would have done that IMHO

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Hastings is his long term choice (and God knows we need some stability) as n 7 imho. He's the man of steel and deserves this chance. 


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Just now, MatthewWoody said:

Hastings is his long term choice (and God knows we need some stability) as n 7 imho. He's the man of steel and deserves this chance. 

Your only as good as your last game - and Hastings has had 3 consecutive poor ones for GB. An underperforming player brings no stability at all.


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3 minutes ago, Saint Toppy said:

Your only as good as your last game - and Hastings has had 3 consecutive poor ones for GB. An underperforming player brings no stability at all.

I think he's certainly played better than Widdop. It's hard to be able to get into the game when your Hooker takes forever to pass the ball to the halves, and then when he does, Widdop is the one that was the more dominating and demanding of the ball.

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On 10/11/2019 at 07:32, Dave T said:

In the first game of this tour, the Video Ref called them England.

Rank amateur stuff.

Not really GB was dead and burried.

Even the BBC commentators were calling them England.

Even Bennett just took it as England 😂

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3 minutes ago, Click said:

I think he's certainly played better than Widdop. It's hard to be able to get into the game when your Hooker takes forever to pass the ball to the halves, and then when he does, Widdop is the one that was the more dominating and demanding of the ball.

Your view just shows why Bennett was so poor then. If Widdop was indeed the dominant half then he should have replaced Hastings with one of the other 3, all of which have far better running games than Hastings. And if Hodgson was giving poor, slow distribution then he should have replaced him with Clarke. 


This is captain Juncker speaking. The EU gravy train is about to enter Brussels, so will all Brits please exit at the next stop

To all remaining passengers, thank you for your continued custom and contributions to my pension fund

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1 minute ago, Saint Toppy said:

Your view just shows why Bennett was so poor then. If Widdop was indeed the dominant half then he should have replaced Hastings with one of the other 3, all of which have far better running games than Hastings. And if Hodgson was giving poor, slow distribution then he should have replaced him with Clarke. 

Couldn't agree more - Widdop was playing as the dominant half which was a mistake, Hastings should of been able to take control as he's done all season at Salford. And Clarke showed in the minutes he's played, that there is more spark around the ruck when he is on the field compared to Hodgson.

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19 minutes ago, Click said:

Couldn't agree more - Widdop was playing as the dominant half which was a mistake, Hastings should of been able to take control as he's done all season at Salford. And Clarke showed in the minutes he's played, that there is more spark around the ruck when he is on the field compared to Hodgson.

Or was just the team being desperate and in a hurry.


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5 minutes ago, MatthewWoody said:

Or was just the team being desperate and in a hurry.

Were they trying to board the plane to PNG early then?

Of course there is the factor of a team playing with more desperation, but it doesn't change that Clarke was quicker around the PTB than Hodgson has been so far this series.

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30 minutes ago, Click said:

Were they trying to board the plane to PNG early then?

Of course there is the factor of a team playing with more desperation, but it doesn't change that Clarke was quicker around the PTB than Hodgson has been so far this series.

its also what clarke is known for in general.

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2 hours ago, RP London said:

its also what clarke is known for in general.

However we’re not comparing apples with apples. Coming on fresh against tired defences - you’re of course going to be livelier. 

Its what frustrated me with Woods commentary, saying how they didn’t play expansively until the last 20. That is correct but you also need to do the hard yards first - you can’t just throw the ball around expansively from the off, particularly when the skill levels of some of our players isn’t good enough. England should’ve got the fruits of their labour later in the game from their earlier hard work but were unable to build pressure (or just released it through errors/penalties) or just outright didn’t execute. 

Hastings has looked out his comfort zone. 

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5 hours ago, DoubleD said:

However we’re not comparing apples with apples. Coming on fresh against tired defences - you’re of course going to be livelier. 

Its what frustrated me with Woods commentary, saying how they didn’t play expansively until the last 20. That is correct but you also need to do the hard yards first - you can’t just throw the ball around expansively from the off, particularly when the skill levels of some of our players isn’t good enough. England should’ve got the fruits of their labour later in the game from their earlier hard work but were unable to build pressure (or just released it through errors/penalties) or just outright didn’t execute. 

Hastings has looked out his comfort zone. 

Dont disagree but it's what Clarke does week in week out, spots the time to do it etc..  so I would have given him the chance ahead of Hodgson in the 2 nd test at least as Hodgson hasn't done anything. 

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