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Match thread: Championship Rd 8. Featherstone Rovers v Barrow. Friday 15th April 2022.


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Good Friday will be an interesting match up with our 1895 sem-final opponents Barrow. They started well with 4 straight wins, and have failed to win their last two.

Rovers 29 man squad has JSL, Ferres, Pickersgill, Gill and Hardcastle all injured. Davies I don't know. I'm assuming Gale will be fit again.

Also Holmes, Mathiou, McConnell(?) are or have been out on loan.

So that leaves a possible/probable 21 man squad which includes Doyle who is yet to appear in 2022.

With respect to the 17 that beat Sheffield, Hardcastle will be out, so hopefully Davies will slot back in. Maybe Chizz will get a recall, but seems less likely with every passing match, and Jacks & Smith look solid now. Trout and McConnell not getting game time either.

I imagine that Gale will be back, switching Hall to centre and moving Hellewell back to the pack.

I'd also like to see Connor Jones get more than 15 minutes game time.

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This probably doesn't look quite as tough a game as it did two or three weeks ago, though we'll still have to play well.

Barrow seem to be struggling with injuries and are also likely to be missing Miloudi through suspension. They also have to play Bradford away this weekend whereas we have a weekend off.

It seems to be a theme in the Championship that it's hard for the team that looks to be an obvious favourite to play really well. I watched a couple of games from last week, Leigh v Dewsbury and Halifax v Whitehaven and that was the case in both games

Leigh dominated throughout against Dewsbury as you'd expect and eventually racked up the points but they weren't always fluent and I thought were a bit lacking in intensity at times which seems to be a common theme when the top teams play the supposedly lesser teams.

Halifax were frankly unrecognisable from the team that played us, they were playing a Whitehaven team that could only name 16 players and several of those looked to be carrying injuries but Haven were good value for their half-time lead even though they had a couple of long-distance breakaway tries.

Halifax had all the ball in the second half but it took them a long time to wear their opponents down, it took multiple repeat sets but once they got a couple of tries Whitehaven were worn down in the end and fell away in the closing stages.

The point of all this is that we and most of the so-called top teams hardly ever seem to play really well when there's a heavy expectation that we'll win. If you watch the first two games of the season away to York and then at home to Leigh and compare our defensive line speed to the Sheffield game it has dropped off considerably, I think as Mac said after that latest game it's just human nature (we were better against Catalans though when we were underdogs).

So hopefully we'll turn in a more convincing performance against Barrow, but I don't think we'll get a true indication of where the team is until we play Leigh again in June.

 

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1 hour ago, marklaspalmas said:

Good Friday will be an interesting match up with our 1895 sem-final opponents Barrow. They started well with 4 straight wins, and have failed to win their last two.

Rovers 29 man squad has JSL, Ferres, Pickersgill, Gill and Hardcastle all injured. Davies I don't know. I'm assuming Gale will be fit again.

Also Holmes, Mathiou, McConnell(?) are or have been out on loan.

So that leaves a possible/probable 21 man squad which includes Doyle who is yet to appear in 2022.

With respect to the 17 that beat Sheffield, Hardcastle will be out, so hopefully Davies will slot back in. Maybe Chizz will get a recall, but seems less likely with every passing match, and Jacks & Smith look solid now. Trout and McConnell not getting game time either.

I imagine that Gale will be back, switching Hall to centre and moving Hellewell back to the pack.

I'd also like to see Connor Jones get more than 15 minutes game time.

Well, that old got quickly.

The worldwide interweb, eh?

😄 😄

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THINK we will have a strong  side Friday 

both  GG and Kopps should start 

Helliewell should start  along side junior and jack in the back row

on the bench Cuthbo Jones JD and Jesse

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3 hours ago, Cardypaul said:

Is Jesse going to be fit for Friday?

WHEN Lee Paterson provided an update on player injuries and rehabilitation on March 30th said jesse injury cleared up just had some bruising on a nerve and he should be back in full time training  this week or next

So three weeks later he should have a shot for the bench

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Looking forward to this game. Looking forward to watching Kheirallah again, his debut was brilliant and as good as Pickersgill is, Kheirallah is another level.

Joey and Jacks both had good games against Sheffield too so be good to see them build on that. Be good to see Jones play a bit more aswell.

Mad to think who isn’t playing each week, can’t remember a squad like this.

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So what do think for the squad this week I think the likelihood is Pickersgill will be missing and Hardcastle didn’t look good so I would guess he will be missing too. Not sure what was wrong with Davies last week but hopefully may be back this week along with JSL?

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Not sure who will be back and what the injury situation is but one thing I'm hoping is that Moors gets switched back to the edge back row position for this particular game, he has played in the middle on his last two starts and played very well but if he goes back to playing on that left edge as in the first few games there will be plenty of chances to get him one-on-one with Sammut and I know who my money would be on there.

Sammut is a great attacking player but he's never been a great defender, Chester Butler ran straight  through him to score for Bradford last week and Moors v Sammut would be a mismatch.

 

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   Think we put in at least 70 min good performance which is due.So i think Barrow will be on the receiving end.We should score more than 40 with Barrow getting 12=14 so Fev with 30+ points would be my guess.It should be good weather so i hope we get a decent crowd.

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8 hours ago, The Phantom Horseman said:

Not sure who will be back and what the injury situation is but one thing I'm hoping is that Moors gets switched back to the edge back row position for this particular game, he has played in the middle on his last two starts and played very well but if he goes back to playing on that left edge as in the first few games there will be plenty of chances to get him one-on-one with Sammut and I know who my money would be on there.

Sammut is a great attacking player but he's never been a great defender, Chester Butler ran straight  through him to score for Bradford last week and Moors v Sammut would be a mismatch.

 

I think you make a very good point about Junior. He’s good down the middle but devastating out wide. I also think that makes the point for spelling our hookers more effectively so that someone (Jones) can follow him and pick up the off loads. Or is that too off the cuff and not part of the plan!? 

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10 hours ago, Phil Briscoe said:

I think you make a very good point about Junior. He’s good down the middle but devastating out wide. I also think that makes the point for spelling our hookers more effectively so that someone (Jones) can follow him and pick up the off loads. Or is that too off the cuff and not part of the plan!? 

  I would play Jones last 15min of first half.Then second half Wildie first 20 min then Jones to finish.This should provide good intensity for the full 80.

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11 hours ago, RobLambert said:

I would like to see Doyle again if he is fit and give Hall a rest.  Briscoe at centre maybe ?

I would like to see Gale at centre at some point, but not against Barrow! Same with Jones, he was very solid against Leigh. Both options just for the sake of being prepared for whatever might crop up.

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11 minutes ago, sentoffagain2 said:

  I would play Jones last 15min of first half.Then second half Wildie first 20 min then Jones to finish.This should provide good intensity for the full 80.

No way any modern coach will do that. They get 8 interchanges (and try to keep 1 of those 8 up their sleeve in case of a late injury) and since the reduction to 8 most are reluctant to use more than one on a hooker interchange. That's why more and more we're seeing starting 9s playing well into the scond half.

Your system would use three interchanges on hookers, that leaves you desperately thin on interchanges for middles. I must admit I haven't fully understood all Mac's interchange tactics this year, but his main aim seems to have been to give the middles he sees as strongest (Locky, Cuthbertson, Koppy when fit, Bussey/Moors if playing middle) breathers in rotation to get maximum minutes out of them.

Until 2012 there were 12 interchanges allowed, which meant you could easily bring players on and off almost when it suited. It then went down to 10, and then was reduced to 8 in 2019, which totally changed how they are used by coaches. Before, you would habitually see the three middles plus the hooker replaced between the 20 and 30 minute mark, and then those replacements reversed 15-20 minutes into the second half. They can't do that any more as it would use all 8 interchanges up.

For me the issue is more about how late we are making our hooker replacement. For me 50 minutes of Wildie and 30 minutes of Jones (or vice versa if Jones starts) would be ideal, but sometimes Jones has been getting on much later than that. My guess is that Mac feels our two hookers are both super-fit and he wants to ensure he has the chance to give enough breathers to our big men in the middle.

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11 hours ago, RobLambert said:

I would like to see Doyle again if he is fit and give Hall a rest.  Briscoe at centre maybe ?

 

10 minutes ago, Steve Slater said:

I would like to see Gale at centre at some point, but not against Barrow! Same with Jones, he was very solid against Leigh. Both options just for the sake of being prepared for whatever might crop up.

My view on these - yes definitely would like to see Doyle get another run-out at some stage, if only to see what we've got (maybe in something like Whitehaven at home next month). His finishing and ability under the high ball looked very good in the limited time we've seen him, but my suspicion is that what may hold him back is whether he can be effective carrying the ball 10-15 times per game in yardage sets which has become a crucial part of a winger's skillset in the modern game.

I know Gale played centre at the Lions but to me he looks an out-and-out wing, he doesn't look especially comfortable passing the ball and he's a strong and durable player who's well suited to the winger's role of carrying the ball in yardage sets. Jones was only used at centre as an emergency option and whilst he didn't let anyone down his skillset is much more about nipping up the middle against tired defences in my opinion.

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17 minutes ago, The Phantom Horseman said:

 

I know Gale played centre at the Lions but to me he looks an out-and-out wing, he doesn't look especially comfortable passing the ball and he's a strong and durable player who's well suited to the winger's role of carrying the ball in yardage sets. Jones was only used at centre as an emergency option and whilst he didn't let anyone down his skillset is much more about nipping up the middle against tired defences in my opinion.

In the modern game wing is one of the most important positions on the field, and that is Hall's best position.

Regarding Jones, he played quite a few times at centre in Super League for Salford. Ask Joe Crabtree, they were both at Salford together and Joe rates him in that position, especially on the defensive side. I also think his strong defence is one of the reasons he tends to finish the game when he's interchange hooker?

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1 hour ago, Steve Slater said:

 

Regarding Jones, he played quite a few times at centre in Super League for Salford. Ask Joe Crabtree, they were both at Salford together and Joe rates him in that position, especially on the defensive side. I also think his strong defence is one of the reasons he tends to finish the game when he's interchange hooker?

I remember commenting on here when he played at centre for Salford against Hull KR and scored a try, that was four days before they played in the Challenge Cup Final at Wembley and I think they had Covid issues too, I think that was the only game that he started at centre for them. He certainly wouldn't let us down there in an emergency again but for me he's an out-and-out 9.

Edited by The Phantom Horseman
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