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Match thread: Challenge Cup Rd6. Catalan Dragons v Featherstone Rovers. Saturday 26th March 2022.


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It's not about falling down, it's about getting up again.

They say.

Batley was a dip no doubt, and our 100% record is gone. How much of the result was due to Batley's endevours and how much was due to our own deficiencies remains to be seen.

Challenge Cup away to Catalan is, as has been stated elsewhere, the worst possible draw.

Long and expensive journey, strong opposition with little chance of winning, and not much chance of a big crowd.

However, you never know.

I'll be interested to see how Big Mac and the players react.

Same XVII or wholesale changes??

FWIW the 11 players not used on Sunday were

Koppy, JSL, Gill & Doyle long-term injured. Wildie suspended. Holmes out on loan and Mathiou awol.

Davies, Leilua, McConnell and Trout.

 

 

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In terms of team selection for this game, if Leilua's fit (had a groin issue last week but Mac said he'd be ok for Catalans) I'd be tempted to try something different with him as an experiment, either play him at edge back row or even off the bench as a middle. Last year he was asking to have a go at playing back row (where he played in his youth) in the NRL and his agent later that yearsaid he thought his future might be as a middle.

I have my doubts whether he'd have the stamina to play for any length of time as a middle especially repeatedly getting back into the defensive line, but it might be worth a try as an impact player off the bench, even if it's only 10-15 minutes either side of half time. He's looked vulnerable defensively to quicker players when playing centre, and now Josh is back, it might be worth seeing how he'd get on in a different position.

We don't have much to lose in this game and if we did want to do a bit of experimenting, this is the game to do it.

Edited by The Phantom Horseman
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Personally I'd go with a strong team, not that we have much option. The players need to play to get back into some kind of form. Not sure if Catalans will rest any  players, but surely they will be far too good for us.

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13 hours ago, Fevrover said:

I wouldn't send our best team on Saturday, can't risk them getting injuries or suspended. League much more important.

Cats will rest a fair few , plus a quality halfback suspended , you should play your strongest 17 good chance of an upset .

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3 hours ago, lingaro said:

Do yoou think there will be any chance of streaming this at home? 

Tbh, no. I suspect its taken some negotiation to get the rights holder (the BBC) to allow it to be shown anywhere. 

No inside knowledge on that however. 

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8 hours ago, georgeb1 said:

Cats will rest a fair few , plus a quality halfback suspended , you should play your strongest 17 good chance of an upset .

If we play like we did at Batley there won't be a chance of any upset ( and iam not taking anything away from Batley).

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Loui McConnell out on a 2-week loan to Doncaster. That suggests two things...we aren't necessarily going all out to play "fringe" players against Catalans - not that we really have many - and also that we are happy enough with the current situation in terms of injuries and health in the forwards.

We still have Tom Holmes out on loan at Sheffield, was a bit surprised to see that he kicked six goals for them at the weekend, can't remember him kicking goals for us.

 

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16 hours ago, The Phantom Horseman said:

Loui McConnell out on a 2-week loan to Doncaster. That suggests two things...we aren't necessarily going all out to play "fringe" players against Catalans - not that we really have many - and also that we are happy enough with the current situation in terms of injuries and health in the forwards.

We still have Tom Holmes out on loan at Sheffield, was a bit surprised to see that he kicked six goals for them at the weekend, can't remember him kicking goals for us.

 

Listening to Mac, he seems to see this as a chance for us to test ourselves against SL opposition, whilst at the same time accepting we're 'nowhere near'.  So I assume he'll want to put on a good show?

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So, with McConnell out on loan, I think that's our 21 man squad right there.

This is my "best" XVII from that today.

Pickers

LB Hardo Hally Gaga

Smith & Jacks

Locky Bussey Coops

Wildie

Moors & Hellewell

Bench Jones JD Field Cuthbers

Out: Chizz Leilua Trout Ferres

Just to be clear, I have no problem at all with the lads I've left out, it's simply that not everybody can play.

 

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13 minutes ago, marklaspalmas said:

So, with McConnell out on loan, I think that's our 21 man squad right there.

This is my "best" XVII from that today.

Pickers

LB Hardo Hally Gaga

Smith & Jacks

Locky Bussey Coops

Wildie

Moors & Hellewell

Bench Jones JD Field Cuthbers

Out: Chizz Leilua Trout Ferres

Just to be clear, I have no problem at all with the lads I've left out, it's simply that not everybody can play.

 

I think i would be hard pressed to find a worse pack than that .Agree with the other selections though.

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4 minutes ago, marklaspalmas said:

Eh? What's your preferred pack line up?

Coopers not a starter and Hellewell,Field and Trout are not good enough for a top 4 Championship side, If fit i would have John Davies in the 17.We need to have our best forwards on from the start  to get into them.So Cuthbertson-Wildie-Ferres  Locky Moors and Bussey at loose forward Subs Davies Cooper Leilua and Chizzy.No use bringing on players when we are two or three scores down let them start.

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41 minutes ago, sentoffagain2 said:

I think i would be hard pressed to find a worse pack than that .

That's almost exactly the pack we started with against Leigh (only difference is Hellewell played at centre with Hardcastle at 2nd row) , and that didn't work out too badly.

I also think your description of Ferres as one of our "best forwards" is debatable to say the least.

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23 minutes ago, sentoffagain2 said:

Coopers not a starter and Hellewell,Field and Trout are not good enough for a top 4 Championship side, If fit i would have John Davies in the 17.We need to have our best forwards on from the start  to get into them.So Cuthbertson-Wildie-Ferres  Locky Moors and Bussey at loose forward Subs Davies Cooper Leilua and Chizzy.No use bringing on players when we are two or three scores down let them start.

Opinions, eh?

Davies in my 17. We have four starters exactly the same,  and 7 out of 10 in all! 🤣

You have just two forwards on the bench and no Connor Jones. When you interchange your pack we will be much weaker.

The three "not good enough" forwards you name are not world beaters but can all do a decent job for us as a Top 2 Championship side.

I think Ferres over Hellewell has merit, but he's not on top form yet, isn't Ferres.

 

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2 minutes ago, marklaspalmas said:

I like your old school reference. 👍👍

I'm not sure that position exists any more.

  Locky has been imitating one with his passes the last couple of seasons.I thought it may cause a stir leaving Jones out but for me if you play Smith at half back it's a straight choice between bringing back Widie or Jones not both.Jones has been quiet the last couple of games and i think we may get more work out of a fresher Wildie.Agree we are short of a big forward on the bench although Leilua would not be out of place in the middle if needed.He needs a bit of work to get a stone off.He may be a handfull if getting involved more although not for too many minutes.It would be a boring Forum if everybody agreed.

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Squad named on the RFL website. Can't see any surprises with Trout and Wildie the two missing names at the bottom again presumably. Wildie for McConnell the only change from last week's 21-man squad again.

https://www.rugby-league.com/match-centre/match-preview/2228266

Can't say my knowledge of the Catalans squad is very good but they are missing the suspended Mitchell Pearce, plus both starting centres, big prop Julien Bousquet, and Michael McIlorum. Still obviously going to be a very stiff task we face as this is a much stronger Catalans team than the ones we faced in the Cup in 2015 and in the Middle 8s in 2017.

 

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32 minutes ago, sentoffagain2 said:

  Locky has been imitating one with his passes the last couple of seasons.I thought it may cause a stir leaving Jones out but for me if you play Smith at half back it's a straight choice between bringing back Widie or Jones not both.Jones has been quiet the last couple of games and i think we may get more work out of a fresher Wildie.Agree we are short of a big forward on the bench although Leilua would not be out of place in the middle if needed.He needs a bit of work to get a stone off.He may be a handfull if getting involved more although not for too many minutes.It would be a boring Forum if everybody agreed.

I definitely agree with all that. Sorry to be boring 😄

Yes, Locky has now joined Bussey and Cuthbers as a ball-handling forward.

I like Jones, he's one of fittest and fastest. But yes, I would be interested to see Jacks & Smith in the halves with Wildie at nine and Chizz off the bench. An experiemnt worth looking at no doubt.

And yes, Leilua could get a bit of weight off. We may see yet Moors and Leilua as a second row combo. Joey needs a bit more mobility at the mo.

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20 minutes ago, The Phantom Horseman said:

Squad named on the RFL website. Can't see any surprises with Trout and Wildie the two missing names at the bottom again presumably. Wildie for McConnell the only change from last week's 21-man squad again.

https://www.rugby-league.com/match-centre/match-preview/2228266

Can't say my knowledge of the Catalans squad is very good but they are missing the suspended Mitchell Pearce, plus both starting centres, big prop Julien Bousquet, and Michael McIlorum. Still obviously going to be a very stiff task we face as this is a much stronger Catalans team than the ones we faced in the Cup in 2015 and in the Middle 8s in 2017.

 

Hobson's choice with the 21 this week. There's no-one else.

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6 minutes ago, Monkeymagic22 said:

Personally it worries me, how Leigh are seemingly improving whilst we have kind of stagnated. I've also no doubt that they will sign more players as well.

  I am hoping that we have kept our powder dry and bring in two or three near the back end.Agree that Leigh do look stronger especially in the pack.I think our backs can hold their own with them.Money wise we shouldn't be too far behind them.With better than expected Memberships sold and better than average match day attendances plus as stated in older posts we have an income from THE LAND and own our own ground.Think Leigh will be paying out quite a bit each season to play at The Sports Village.And most of their players on full time contracts surely we have a few quid over if needed.

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