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John Drake

Sat 22 Feb: WCC: St Helens v Sydney Roosters KO 7.45pm (TV)

Who will win?  

70 members have voted

This poll is closed to new votes
  1. 1. Who will win?

    • St Helens by 13 points or more
      0
    • St Helens by 7 to 12 points
      9
    • St Helens by 1 to 6 points
      9
    • Sydney Roosters by 1 to 6 points
      3
    • Sydney Roosters by 7 to 12 points
      22
    • Sydney Roosters by 13 points or more
      27

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  • Poll closed on 22/02/20 at 19:45

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28 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

It's a good team no doubt but it has a second rownin the centre and a 21 year old at scrum half who has only played 9 NRL games so it has some weak links.

They have some wonderful individual strike weapons in Tedesco, Tupou and Manu in particular but pretty much all the creativity in that team will have to come from Keary and so Saints have a key part of the game to close down.

It's not going to happen. Luke Keary is too experienced, and has too much forward protection, to be closed down by St Helens.

The only reason 21 year old Kyle Flanagan has played only 9 NRL games and is not the first choice half back at at Cronulla, is because the Cronulla management punted on buying the Kiwi star Shaun Johnson, and hoping that he would quickly make the team into Grand Final winners. It hasn't happened, and Cronulla have lost a very talented potential match winner to the Roosters.

Second rower Angus Crichton has had plenty of experience in the centres as a schoolboy. And that was not so long ago. He is only 23.

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Percival for Saints is massive if he plays. Bolsters the back line massively... presume Costello on the wing?!

Edited by GeordieSaint
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2 hours ago, Manfred Mann said:

It's not going to happen. Luke Keary is too experienced, and has too much forward protection, to be closed down by St Helens.

The only reason 21 year old Kyle Flanagan has played only 9 NRL games and is not the first choice half back at at Cronulla, is because the Cronulla management punted on buying the Kiwi star Shaun Johnson, and hoping that he would quickly make the team into Grand Final winners. It hasn't happened, and Cronulla have lost a very talented potential match winner to the Roosters.

Second rower Angus Crichton has had plenty of experience in the centres as a schoolboy. And that was not so long ago. He is only 23.

I think you are putting a very positive spin on the half back situation for the Roosters in this game and Keary's ability to step up.

Last year Keary topped the NRL in line break assists and was second in try assists.  He also topped the stats for support play.

The reason why he was able to do all of this is that by his side he had Cooper Cronk who used all his experience to control the Roosters game and manage them around the park... they shared the possessions (1,038 for Cronk and 1,002 for Keary) and kicking duties (6,902 kick metres for Cronk and 5,169 for Keary).

I don't care how much potential Flanagan has, he will not step into Cronk's shoes and so much of the work that Cronk did will now fall on Keary's shoulders and he will simply have to take more possessions and more kicking responsibility.  The natural impact of this is a negative effect on his creative play when he could inject himself into the game more freely.

Losing a player like Cooper Cronk has a much bigger impact on a structured team like the Roosters than losing the likes of Cordner or Mitchell whose roles could be taken up more easily by replacements without such an impact on the overall performance.

You only have to look at the effect losing Cronk had on the Storm - two years after losing him to the Roosters they were still trying to figure out their half back pairing.

Saying Keary is too experienced for the Roosters to be effected is a far too simplistic view on a side which has lost the most dominant half back of his generation.

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That Sydney line up is something special. As I said yesterday a backline of: Welsby, Makinson, Naiqama, Bentley, Costello filled me with dread and ran a real risk of being destroyed.

I anticipate that this why we are doing everything we can to bring Percival in, with an apparent disregard of his welfare. I don't agree with bringing Percival back given the information we have and it could backfire.

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Twitter: @TrylineUK
Latest Blog: Social Media Reacts | Storm v Roosters - LINK: https://thetryline.blogspot.com/2020/07/social-media-reacts-melbourne-storm-vs.html

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11 hours ago, Chris22 said:

That Sydney line up is something special. As I said yesterday a backline of: Welsby, Makinson, Naiqama, Bentley, Costello filled me with dread and ran a real risk of being destroyed.

I anticipate that this why we are doing everything we can to bring Percival in, with an apparent disregard of his welfare. I don't agree with bringing Percival back given the information we have and it could backfire.

You may be being a bit harsh on Saints here. I say may because none of us know the true extent of Percival’s injury and his readiness to play a couple of weeks later but players play through injury all the time (it doesn’t make it right by the way) and we pushed James Roby around on one leg at the back end of last year to win a Grand Final. We look like doing the same here for Percival, though he’s only got to get through one game (though the magnitude of the opponents is a bit different to those we face in Super League week by week). 

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The Roosters pack is no better than the Saints pack and if anything Saints would even have a slight advantage, particularly in the front row. Similarly in the halves Keary & Flanagan are no better than Lomax & Fages.

Where I do feel Saints fall short is in the 3/4's. Tedesco is IMO the best full back in the world and the remaining 3/4s are really solid. Had Saints been able to field Coote, Grace and a fully fit Percival then i'd be a bit more confident, but the backs they're likely to field I think will struggle.


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St Helens since they should have better game sense at this point in the season.

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19 hours ago, Chris22 said:

I anticipate that this why we are doing everything we can to bring Percival in, with an apparent disregard of his welfare. I don't agree with bringing Percival back given the information we have and it could backfire.

 

23 hours ago, DavidM said:

Did I read somewhere Percival is going to play ?

Saints have said that there is no risk of playing making his injury worse, and he is being operated on next week anyway. It's just whether he is willing to play through the pain. I don't see how that is showing disregard for his welfare personally. 

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1 hour ago, Saint 1 said:

 

Saints have said that there is no risk of playing making his injury worse, and he is being operated on next week anyway. It's just whether he is willing to play through the pain. I don't see how that is showing disregard for his welfare personally. 

I saw that quote and would be interested to hear from the club how a player playing when ruled out for several months and in need of surgery is in no danger of worsening an injury. Whilst I don't know anything about the injury, it doesn't make sense to me.

I just sincerely hope that playing on Saturday does not make his injury worse and turns a several month injury into a season-ender. I would be very worried about Costello filling in for the remainder of the year and am not sure it's worth the risk.

Edited by Chris22

Twitter: @TrylineUK
Latest Blog: Social Media Reacts | Storm v Roosters - LINK: https://thetryline.blogspot.com/2020/07/social-media-reacts-melbourne-storm-vs.html

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1 minute ago, Chris22 said:

I saw that quote and would be interested to hear how a player playing when ruled out for several months and in need of surgery is in no danger of worsening an injury. Whilst I don't know anything about the injury, it doesn't make sense to me.

I just sincerely hope that playing on Saturday does not make his injury worse and turns a several month injury into a season-ender. I would be very worried about Costello filling in for the remainder of the year and am not sure it's worth the risk.

To be fair, we often see players have surgery at the end of the season for conditions they have been managing and nursing through to the end of the year. Playing does not seem to make these situations worse or we would have more players breaking down.

Playing through pain just shows how tough Rugby League is and how tough the players are.

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6 hours ago, Saint Toppy said:

The Roosters pack is no better than the Saints pack and if anything Saints would even have a slight advantage, particularly in the front row. Similarly in the halves Keary & Flanagan are no better than Lomax & Fages.

Where I do feel Saints fall short is in the 3/4's. Tedesco is IMO the best full back in the world and the remaining 3/4s are really solid. Had Saints been able to field Coote, Grace and a fully fit Percival then i'd be a bit more confident, but the backs they're likely to field I think will struggle.

The Saints pack can complete in the front row but the second row is dreadful in comparison to any NRL team. Zeb Tai, Dom Perouqe and Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook would get no where near the worst NRL team. Let alone the Roosters.

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2 hours ago, Chris22 said:

I saw that quote and would be interested to hear from the club how a player playing when ruled out for several months and in need of surgery is in no danger of worsening an injury. Whilst I don't know anything about the injury, it doesn't make sense to me.

I just sincerely hope that playing on Saturday does not make his injury worse and turns a several month injury into a season-ender. I would be very worried about Costello filling in for the remainder of the year and am not sure it's worth the risk.

I think if there was any chance of the injury being made worse and ending his season, they wouldn't risk him for a game we are likely to lose regardless of his inclusion. I'm happy to back that the medical team know what theyre doing.

1 hour ago, AB90 said:

The Saints pack can complete in the front row but the second row is dreadful in comparison to any NRL team. Zeb Tai, Dom Perouqe and Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook would get no where near the worst NRL team. Let alone the Roosters.

Taia is underrated, hes consistently top 3 or so for metres and tackles at Saints. Knowles is a great player too. LMS and Peyroux I agree with you though. 

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12 hours ago, AB90 said:

The Saints pack can complete in the front row but the second row is dreadful in comparison to any NRL team. Zeb Tai, Dom Perouqe and Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook would get no where near the worst NRL team. Let alone the Roosters.

Taia has performed consistently well both in SL and in the NRL and aside from Cordner who isn't playing, I wouldn't swap Knowles for any of the other Roosters back rowers. Radley gets constantly hyped up but I just can't see what's special about him at all. He fits in well to a very structed team like the Roosters but take him out of that structure and he'd look very average.

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12 hours ago, AB90 said:

The Saints pack can complete in the front row but the second row is dreadful in comparison to any NRL team. Zeb Tai, Dom Perouqe and Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook would get no where near the worst NRL team. Let alone the Roosters.

Think LMS is underrated.

You dont play and always start for Saints for 10 years unless you are a good player.

Sometimes you need a workhorse who is a bit of a grub in your team to compliment the top top players like Roby and Lomax.

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1 hour ago, Saint Toppy said:

Taia has performed consistently well both in SL and in the NRL and aside from Cordner who isn't playing, I wouldn't swap Knowles for any of the other Roosters back rowers. Radley gets constantly hyped up but I just can't see what's special about him at all. He fits in well to a very structed team like the Roosters but take him out of that structure and he'd look very average.

I agree that Radley has a fair bit to do before he can be considered a top quality player.

I think he benefits from being included in lists that include Cam Murray on the 'new breed' of NRL forwards. Murray is outstanding and has proved to be a top class forward... Radley is  not there yet and I think Knowles is at least as good as Radley and in my view better.

Edited by Dunbar

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I think if Saints are on top of their game and the forwards get some go forward then Saints might be able to sneak it. Lomax needs to have a good game for them to win though.

Can't wait for it

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Think it will be the same old story, Rooster's at a canter. How much longer these mismatches will continue is open to question, it's only Roosters& South's who really buy into them from the NRL.

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8 hours ago, Bedfordshire Bronco said:

Bookies 'lengthening' Rooster odds from 1-3 to 2-5

Assume Cordner being out is their reason

I think Lomax will be the deciding factor and am going for a tight Saints win 

Cordner’s absence will not affect the outcome. This is just clutching at straws. Cordner's replacement, Sitili Tupouniua, is a terrific attacking back rower who would walk into any Super League team. 

The Sydney Roosters have  far too much strike power right across the park for St Helens to compete over 80 minutes.

Edited by Manfred Mann

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The big trial game between the most consistent side in Super League and the winners of the best club rugby league competition on the planet in the Sydney Roosters.

St Helens are the best side week in and week out but if you look at this side and compare them with say the 2006 Daniel Anderson side who might get in that squad - Lomax and Thompson maybe. With St Helens the best side then and now its a sign of how much Super League has regressed.

On the face of it sporting logic suggests that a side playing its first trial game on the other side of the world, in freezing conditions should have no chance. But we all know that's not going to be the case don't we.

The WCC is a trap game for Super League who takes it seriously. Win and claims that this proves the quality in both leagues has levelled is laughable , Lose and well there's nothing but even more derision down under.

As for everyone getting behind the Saints, The Roosters have done a good PR job with the other clubs with open training sessions, they can rely on northern parochialism to give them a voice or two.

The WCC disrupts an NRL club's pre-season to the extent that it affects the performance in early rounds. The Super League clubs though build it up as a major event and then go flat afterwards. A  bit like the Warrington performance against Brisbane when the Wire achieved RL perfection in the first half in a trial game and then seemed to have blow themselves out for much of the rest of that season.

It's a trial game and an exhibition match and fans should treat it as such and neither be too eleated if they win or deflated if they lose.

 


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58 minutes ago, THE RED ROOSTER said:

St Helens are the best side week in and week out but if you look at this side and compare them with say the 2006 Daniel Anderson side who might get in that squad - Lomax and Thompson maybe. With St Helens the best side then and now its a sign of how much Super League has regressed.

Although I agree with the principle, I'd take Makinson over either Gardner or Meli, Walmsley over Fozzard, Lees over Hargreaves, Taia over Bennett, possibly even Knowles over Wilkin. So it's not quite as one sided as you make out.

But frankly there just isn't a Long, Pryce, Gidley or Sculthorpe in the British game these days. No chance they'd fit under the current salary cap even if they existed and they were all potential game breakers. Back then we could even afford to take off Roby and bring on Cunningham.

Watching that game back yesterday it did make me realise how lucky I was to get to watch that 2005-7 team.

Edited by Moove

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