Aviva Premiership - Round 20

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Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by LondonTiger on Tue 12 Apr 2016, 10:48 am

First topic message reminder :

Table



Fixtures

Fri 15th Apr 16
19:45 Gloucester Rugby  v   Exeter Chiefs Kingsholm BT Sport


Sat 16th Apr 16

15:00 Worcester Warriors  v   Wasps Sixways
15:15 Saracens  v   Harlequins Wembley Stadium BT Sport
17:30 Northampton Saints  v  Leicester Tigers Franklin's Gardens BT Sport


Sun 17th Apr 16
14:30 Sale Sharks  v   Bath Rugby AJ Bell Stadium
15:00 Newcastle Falcons  v   London Irish   Kingston Park BT Sport





Previews

The weekend starts with Exeter, fresh from the agonising defeat in Europe travelling to Kingsholm with their hosts in a horrendous run of form. With a misfiring lineout, a scrum that is creaking and most of the star backs injured, Gloucester look certain to extend their losing streak and heap the pressure onto DoR Humphreys as he fights to keep his job. I was going to say something fatuous like "sport always has the capacity for an upset" but you know what, with Exeter needing the win to keep ahead of Wasps, I fully expect us to see a plethora of maul drives and more tries for Waldrom. Exeter with a TBP

Speaking of Wasps, they travel to Sixfields to face a team with nothing to play for. When fired up Worcester can be highly combative and possess real threat in their largely antipodean backline. However when not fully focused they can be torn apart. I expect to see the latter and a big win for Wasps.

Sarries and Quins meet at Wembley knowing that despite winning at the weekend, both were guilty of extremely sloppy play and were a long way from their best. Quins have tended to struggle a little with Sarries style, and with McCall and Sanderson probably having fired several grenades up the Sarries players arses in training there is no reason to expect a break from the trend. Quins need the win to stay in play-off contention, but lack a controlling presence at 10 to combat the feociousness we can expect from Sarries. Win for the champions, but maybe not a TBP.

For once the Est Midlands derby is not the biggest game of the weekend, however as usual still huge amounts riding on this match. Saints simply have to win else there season is as good as over. Tigers know they can afford to lose and still have the play-offs in their own hands (unless Saints get the TBP and Tigers nothing) but will be desperate to do the double over their now second closest rivals. Saints will know that they let themselves down at the weekend, when a strangely lacklustre Sarries were ripe for picking, but their fate may rest in just how many players they can bring back in, and whether Jim Mallinder has the balls to trust his son. Scrums will be interesting as at times both sides struggled at the weekend.

With Sale losing to Montpelier at the weekend, their trip to Bath has been re-arranged a second time and will now be held on 23rd April rater than this Wednesday. Perhaps makes this particular fixture slightly less interesting, but better that there is not a 3 day turnaround. Sale can still make the top 4, but need to win both matches against Bath to stay in the running, while bath need to win both just to putthe pressure on for Top 6. On current form Sale should win this one.

And to the big one. The crunch relegation game with Irish travelling to the North East. Both teams have been seriously misfiring and I doubt anyone would be willing to stake money on how this game will go.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 5:07 am

yappysnap wrote:Couple of things.

1. It just shows how poor Falcons are that Irish can go 6 games without a single point and still almost overtake them at the end. Dean Richards needs some revolution for next season.

2. How poor was Mako on the weekend? Absolutely embarrassed by Quins second choice prop and a lightweight hooker, lucky not to get carded and anonymous around the park. You've got to think he's one the players Eddie fired that warning at. There are a few young props almost overtaking him now.

Irish beat Gloucester 3 or 4 games back, where are these 6 games?

Falcons are that bad they beat Quins Whistle

To be fair though, it's been another poor season. We had 4 or 5 games when we actually improved and then back into the normal slump. Some serious recruitment is needed if we want to avoid this again next season.


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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by yappysnap on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 6:46 am

I think the first 6 games of the season Pooly?

Yep Falcons are that bad, they can still sneak a few wins in patches but still not good, Quins just show they can be even worse at times!

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 6:52 am

Ah I get you.

The problem was that we didn't register many wins in that period too. I can't get my head around how well we played against Tigers, Saints, Quins etc but have looked so poor for the rest of the season.

Was Goode the only factor? If so, we need a 10 desperately.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by yappysnap on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 8:15 am

Maybe Goode was a big factor. I'd have been happy with him at Quins over Botica!

Might also be that as LI closed in on you the game plan changed due to pressure, to this "get any kind of win with as little risk as possible" mentality, which is counterintuitive as it's put you under more pressure.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by doctor_grey on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 9:36 am

Well, I was unavailable for a few days. Last night I finally watched the unfortunate Saints loss to the boys up the M1 and we certainly deserved to come in second. For us, we were certainly lacking some final coolness under pressure when we had scoring opportunities. And the D was somewhat disappointing at times. On the other hand, Tigers looked quite good, though I suspect there have one more gear in their arsenal. Good win for them, and now, unfortunately Saints need to finish in the top 6 and think carefully about next season. This off season might be the most important since coming out of relegation.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by beshocked on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 9:51 am

Picamoles I think is a great signing for you and will help you get good go forward.

He was the replacement for Manoa you've needed.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by LondonTiger on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 9:57 am

doctor_grey wrote:Well, I was unavailable for a few days.  Last night I finally watched the unfortunate Saints loss to the boys up the M1 and we certainly deserved to come in second.  For us, we were certainly lacking some final coolness under pressure when we had scoring opportunities.  And the D was somewhat disappointing at times.  On the other hand, Tigers looked quite good, though I suspect there have one more gear in their arsenal.  Good win for them, and now, unfortunately Saints need to finish in the top 6 and think carefully about next season.  This off season might be the most important since coming out of relegation.  

In a lot of ways Doc, you remind me of us last season and the season before. Strong up front, even with the injuries, but rather limited in attack - especially when missing strike runners like North and Foden. While Picamoles may be a big signing, I just wonder whether new half backs would have been a better use of limited funds. Myler is honest but limited while Dickson and Fotuali'i have become so slow in their service you can make a cup of tea while they decide what to do. In both the matches against us and Sarries the issues were not with the back row where in both games you were better, the issue was lack of invention.


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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by Scottrf on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 10:13 am

Will have a lot of strength in the flanker spots once we have better strength at 8. Wood, Clark, Gibson, Harrison. Picamoles was signed before Harrison was moved to 8, when we had Wood and Clark out and no carrying forwards. Dickinson is solid but Picamoles is the level of 8 the top prem teams have.

Waller Hartley Brookes Lawes Day Clark Harrison Picamoles looks good.

Agree about the half backs, think we need more options at centre too .Looks like Khan may go, I'm not convinced by Dickson, Kessell we shall see but he's not an experienced prem SH. Myler is good enough, but JJ I'm not convinced.

The Burrell/Pisi combination has been proven not to work. Mallinder in the centres really livens it up but that doesn't give many options. We've been a bit hampered in bench cover this season with Wilson spending a lot of it injured.

But it's the same back line that was tearing teams apart not that long ago, it's hard to explain how badly the handling has regressed.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by beshocked on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 10:19 am

Scottrf why not move Burrell to 13, thought he was better for England as a 13.

In 2014 he ran great support lines, ran strong.

Mallinder/Burrell would be a big strong centre partnership.

Dickson/Myler/North/Mallinder/Burrell/Pisi/Foden

I think that's a strong backline, lots of physicality.


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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 10:21 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Ah I get you.

The problem was that we didn't register many wins in that period too. I can't get my head around how well we played against Tigers, Saints, Quins etc but have looked so poor for the rest of the season.

Was Goode the only factor? If so, we need a 10 desperately.

Yes I believe he was the difference. We'll lose about 10/11 players this summer who are poor or injury as they're all out of contract.
We have some good uns coming through the academy who should be able to come in. We need to recruit wisely...and a top quality 10 is critical.

Im just not sold on Delayney at all and Catterick has disappeared.

Hopefully the Kenyan Beast Chissanga can be the carrier we need alongside Latu - who has been immense this season.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by Scottrf on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 10:26 am

Yeah Burrell is a 13. I have no idea. I guess the thinking is that G. Pisi has the physicality in tackling that Burrell lacks. Burrell when he first came to us had terrible handling, improved it and it regressed again for a while. Showing signs of improving again.

That backline we've played with and it's been good for certain games. But not consistently chucking it around well whether it's from kicking away possession or basic errors. Signs of getting there but I think a few new faces might help.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 10:28 am

And I see Mark Wilson was the top tackler this weekend with 23 - 6 ahead of the next one.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by bluestonevedder on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 10:41 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:And I see Mark Wilson was the top tackler this weekend with 23 - 6 ahead of the next one.

Thought Wilson had a great game. He made a real nuisance of himself at the breakdowns and rucks too.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 10:43 am

He's one of the few players we have who really are top premiership quality.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by beshocked on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 11:08 am

LondonTiger wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:Well, I was unavailable for a few days.  Last night I finally watched the unfortunate Saints loss to the boys up the M1 and we certainly deserved to come in second.  For us, we were certainly lacking some final coolness under pressure when we had scoring opportunities.  And the D was somewhat disappointing at times.  On the other hand, Tigers looked quite good, though I suspect there have one more gear in their arsenal.  Good win for them, and now, unfortunately Saints need to finish in the top 6 and think carefully about next season.  This off season might be the most important since coming out of relegation.  

In a lot of ways Doc, you remind me of us last season and the season before. Strong up front, even with the injuries, but rather limited in attack - especially when missing strike runners like North and Foden. While Picamoles may be a big signing, I just wonder whether new half backs would have been a better use of limited funds. Myler is honest but limited while Dickson and Fotuali'i have become so slow in their service you can make a cup of tea while they decide what to do. In both the matches against us and Sarries the issues were not with the back row where in both games you were better, the issue was lack of invention.


Londontiger you are right but Dickson and Myler are two Saints through and through, also there's been 10s like Geraghty and Lamb who've tried to get the shirt off Myler, he's still there. Constantly there, rarely injured. As for Dickson, he's hard to shift too, he might not be the best 9 around but he's been a loyal servant too.

A new 9 or 10 has a tough job shifting either.

Certain players are undroppable, I think Myler has become that at Saints.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 11:50 am

Dickson was slow earlier this year, but I thought has speeded up a bit. He is still much quicker than Khan and he excels are the short passing game to runners moving at speed, Khan seems to want to right his memoirs before he will get the ball out. With the likes of Harrison, Picamoles (and Wood on Saturdays form), plus North and Mallinder taking the ball at pace and flat Saints should be able to play their game next season. What we don't want is a new 9 that cannot play that way and needs a change of game plan when he plays or comes on.

Myler is fine, but desperately needs a rest, the number of games he has played over the past few seasons would break most people, it's not as if he was one of the 10s that hide on the wing when in defence, he makes his share of tackles as well. Wilson can play 10 to a good standard but he seems to be continually crocked these days. I think we need to send an expedition up north as usual, see if we can find another young 10, or maybe persuade Pie Man to come out of retirement again, a bit like tigers did with Wight, play him only when necessary, 10 games a season type thing.

The Mallinder (12) /Burrell (13) partnership that came about in the new year was the best we have had this season by a country mile, I cannot see why Mallinder Snr. does not realise this. He continually picks Jnr. as the bench cover, if he needs to go to 15 or 14 due to injury Pisi or Hanrahan can go to 12 or 13, Burrell to 12 if necessary. His size, pace, balance and ability to pass in or out of contact frightens defences. Someone like Ashton would love to play with a 12 like him the way he tracks breakthroughs, Elliot used to be a bit like that but seems to have lost the knack.

I have said it before, we also need more cover on at TH, with one or both of Brookes/Hill going to be away with England a lot, Denman just does not cut it at AP level, even for a 20 minute spell. Perhaps we could use Pie Man there, got the build and couldn't do any worse.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by beshocked on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 11:57 am

Agree with you well past it.

Seems a no brainer to pick Mallinder/Burrell IMO. Perhaps Mallinder Sr is afraid of being accused of bias towards his son.

Hard to have 3 top THs on the books though, would be very expensive.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 12:00 pm

beshocked wrote:Agree with you well past it.

Seems a no brainer to pick Mallinder/Burrell IMO. Perhaps Mallinder Sr is afraid of being accused of bias towards his son.

Hard to have 3 top THs on the books though, would be very expensive.

Not looking for an international class player, just someone that can hold their own at AP level. They get quite a big chunk of money for Brookes and Hill being in the England squad so that should cover a journeyman type. Unless Cole is injured, we will probably get one of the two released to play, it's the cover I am looking for.

Denman would struggle to prop in league he is that bad.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 12:05 pm

beshocked wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:Well, I was unavailable for a few days.  Last night I finally watched the unfortunate Saints loss to the boys up the M1 and we certainly deserved to come in second.  For us, we were certainly lacking some final coolness under pressure when we had scoring opportunities.  And the D was somewhat disappointing at times.  On the other hand, Tigers looked quite good, though I suspect there have one more gear in their arsenal.  Good win for them, and now, unfortunately Saints need to finish in the top 6 and think carefully about next season.  This off season might be the most important since coming out of relegation.  

In a lot of ways Doc, you remind me of us last season and the season before. Strong up front, even with the injuries, but rather limited in attack - especially when missing strike runners like North and Foden. While Picamoles may be a big signing, I just wonder whether new half backs would have been a better use of limited funds. Myler is honest but limited while Dickson and Fotuali'i have become so slow in their service you can make a cup of tea while they decide what to do. In both the matches against us and Sarries the issues were not with the back row where in both games you were better, the issue was lack of invention.


Londontiger you are right but Dickson and Myler are two Saints through and through, also there's been 10s like Geraghty and Lamb who've tried to get the shirt off Myler, he's still there. Constantly there, rarely injured. As for Dickson, he's hard to shift too, he might not be the best 9 around but he's been a loyal servant too.

A new 9 or 10 has a tough job shifting either.

Certain players are undroppable, I think Myler has become that at Saints.

And developed at the Falcons Very Happy

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 12:06 pm

GF, hence my comment about a trip up North

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by beshocked on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 12:08 pm

Geordiefalcon you develop many players, Newcastle Falcons have a excellent academy.

Well Past it fair enough but even a mediocre TH I expect won't be cheap. What about any in your academy?

Hasn't Ethan Waller moved to TH sometimes?

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 12:43 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:GF, hence my comment about a trip up North

I think we need to send an expedition up north as usual, see if we can find another young 10

Ah yes... you can just stay away thank you. We have young Willis coming through who could be very good. Played a good few games this season. And Hammersley is obviously at FB and class.

But just keep away thank you!

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 2:38 pm

If you could just keep Hammersley and Wilson ticking along nicely we'll swung by and pick them up next season when Tait and Croft head for sunshine and pension top ups.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 4:08 pm

mad warning

You might also want to keep an eye on Marcus Watson. In a decent side he will score a lot of tries. And his defence is rock solid.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by king_carlos on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 6:18 pm

Watson is an interesting story. Whilst the explosion of 7s means that more players will go to the shorter game and not come back the higher standard now played on the circuit means it can now be an even better breeding ground for skilled ball players.

It's no longer the same case of 'we have a talented guy who isn't big enough to play high level mens rugby yet but needs game time, oh let's send him to 7s'. The world series is just too high a standard now for guys to get thrown across like that. Watson does show that it still has the capacity to allow guys who aren't quite making it in 15s to develop their game then come back if they so wish though.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 6:21 pm

Watson has been fantastic to be fair, I really didn't expect this much from him in his first proper season. His defence is pretty good for a small lad, certainly better than Wade's.

He is strong in contact, has good feet and is lightening quick. I really think he can develop further next season and has a good chance of a Saxon's call-up.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 6:44 pm

Watson is good winger, bags of raw pace and the skills to use it. Tigers don't really need a winger though. Squad 15 this summer then a Tait replacement next summer. We've got some good wingers of our own coming through (check out Odowgu ghosting past Agulla in last summers preseason game).

I think Watson playing alongside Goneva next season will bring some pretty special moments at Falcons.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by king_carlos on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 6:50 pm

If Sinoti and Venditti get back to fitness then Falcons are very well stocked on the wing. Especially as it would mean Alex Tait mainly featuring at full back where he's best, although Hammersley will be first choice anyway you'd presume. The younger Agulla looks a useful squad player as well to cap the choices off.


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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 7:09 pm

Back 3 is covered for sure.

10/12 is a major issue. Delany isn't good enough and Socino has dropped right off. Such a shame we didn't pick up Devoto or Mills when they were available. The troubles of being a northern club Sad

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by king_carlos on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 7:27 pm

Is Mills moving from Worcs? I've thought he's been excellent for them this season.

Are you thinking of Andy Symons who's signed for LI to join his brother? Given he moved in search of game time with Mills and Te'o likely to be ahead of him he might look to go elsewhere if LI go down.

So could a few of their other signings for next season realistically - Tommy Bell and Sebastien De Chaves signed because they wanted to start for a Prem club, as did Symons and Mike Coman is too good a player to play in the championship.

Irish also have 3 decent scrum halfs in Steele, McKibbin and Allinson if Deano goes shopping for a Mickey Young replacement.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by Welly on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 7:32 pm

Why isn't Catterick playing more?

Faclons need a 9 really, actually make that 2. (Don't know how you are in the Academy on this though)

Back line of
9) ?
10) Catterick
11) Sinoti
12) Socino
13) Goneva
14) Watson
15) Hammersley

Bench
21) ?
22) Willis
23) Venditti

Would be very interesting IMO.

McKibbin would be great i that team IMO.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by Ozzy3213 on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 9:14 pm

king_carlos wrote:Is Mills moving from Worcs? I've thought he's been excellent for them this season.

Are you thinking of Andy Symons who's signed for LI to join his brother? Given he moved in search of game time with Mills and Te'o likely to be ahead of him he might look to go elsewhere if LI go down.

So could a few of their other signings for next season realistically - Tommy Bell and Sebastien De Chaves signed because they wanted to start for a Prem club, as did Symons and Mike Coman is too good a player to play in the championship.

Irish also have 3 decent scrum halfs in Steele, McKibbin and Allinson if Deano goes shopping for a Mickey Young replacement.

Allinson is not Premiership standard.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by Heaf on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 10:47 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:Ah I get you.

The problem was that we didn't register many wins in that period too. I can't get my head around how well we played against Tigers, Saints, Quins etc but have looked so poor for the rest of the season.

Was Goode the only factor? If so, we need a 10 desperately.

Yes I believe he was the difference. We'll lose about 10/11 players this summer who are poor or injury as they're all out of contract.
We have some good uns coming through the academy who should be able to come in. We need to recruit wisely...and a top quality 10 is critical.

Im just not sold on Delayney at all and Catterick has disappeared.

Hopefully the Kenyan Beast Chissanga can be the carrier we need alongside Latu - who has been immense this season.
Yep - I think if he'd ended up at LI where he should have been instead of Falcons I believe we'd be looking at a different story now ...   there are plenty of things that went wrong for Irish but I think this is one of them for sure ...

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by king_carlos on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 11:30 pm

Ozzy3213 wrote:
king_carlos wrote:Is Mills moving from Worcs? I've thought he's been excellent for them this season.

Are you thinking of Andy Symons who's signed for LI to join his brother? Given he moved in search of game time with Mills and Te'o likely to be ahead of him he might look to go elsewhere if LI go down.

So could a few of their other signings for next season realistically - Tommy Bell and Sebastien De Chaves signed because they wanted to start for a Prem club, as did Symons and Mike Coman is too good a player to play in the championship.

Irish also have 3 decent scrum halfs in Steele, McKibbin and Allinson if Deano goes shopping for a Mickey Young replacement.

Allinson is not Premiership standard.

I thought he looked alright when I've seen him play. Not a world beater but a reliable squad player which is always valuable at scrum half. I can think of worse plying their trade in the Jeff that's for sure!

Take it you're hoping to see him go then?

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by Margin_Walker on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 11:50 pm

Allinson is fine as a third choice 9. Wouldn't want to rely on him for a prolonged period, but he's actually not been bad when he's had a chance in Europe this season.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by doctor_grey on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 3:39 am

Back to the Saints discussion for a bit...........
beshocked wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:Well, I was unavailable for a few days.  Last night I finally watched the unfortunate Saints loss to the boys up the M1 and we certainly deserved to come in second.  For us, we were certainly lacking some final coolness under pressure when we had scoring opportunities.  And the D was somewhat disappointing at times.  On the other hand, Tigers looked quite good, though I suspect there have one more gear in their arsenal.  Good win for them, and now, unfortunately Saints need to finish in the top 6 and think carefully about next season.  This off season might be the most important since coming out of relegation.  

In a lot of ways Doc, you remind me of us last season and the season before. Strong up front, even with the injuries, but rather limited in attack - especially when missing strike runners like North and Foden. While Picamoles may be a big signing, I just wonder whether new half backs would have been a better use of limited funds. Myler is honest but limited while Dickson and Fotuali'i have become so slow in their service you can make a cup of tea while they decide what to do. In both the matches against us and Sarries the issues were not with the back row where in both games you were better, the issue was lack of invention.
Londontiger you are right but Dickson and Myler are two Saints through and through, also there's been 10s like Geraghty and Lamb who've tried to get the shirt off Myler, he's still there. Constantly there, rarely injured. As for Dickson, he's hard to shift too, he might not be the best 9 around but he's been a loyal servant too.

A new 9 or 10 has a tough job shifting either.

Certain players are undroppable, I think Myler has become that at Saints.
WELL-PAST-IT wrote:Dickson was slow earlier this year, but I thought has speeded up a bit. He is still much quicker than Khan and he excels are the short passing game to runners moving at speed, Khan seems to want to right his memoirs before he will get the ball out. With the likes of Harrison, Picamoles (and Wood on Saturdays form), plus North and Mallinder taking the ball at pace and flat Saints should be able to play their game next season. What we don't want is a new 9 that cannot play that way and needs a change of game plan when he plays or comes on.

Myler is fine, but desperately needs a rest, the number of games he has played over the past few seasons would break most people, it's not as if he was one of the 10s that hide on the wing when in defence, he makes his share of tackles as well. Wilson can play 10 to a good standard but he seems to be continually crocked these days. I think we need to send an expedition up north as usual, see if we can find another young 10, or maybe persuade Pie Man to come out of retirement again, a bit like tigers did with Wight, play him only when necessary, 10 games a season type thing.

The Mallinder (12) /Burrell (13) partnership that came about in the new year was the best we have had this season by a country mile, I cannot see why Mallinder Snr. does not realise this. He continually picks Jnr. as the bench cover, if he needs to go to 15 or 14 due to injury Pisi or Hanrahan can go to 12 or 13, Burrell to 12 if necessary. His size, pace, balance and ability to pass in or out of contact frightens defences. Someone like Ashton would love to play with a 12 like him the way he tracks breakthroughs, Elliot used to be a bit like that but seems to have lost the knack.

I have said it before, we also need more cover on at TH, with one or both of Brookes/Hill going to be away with England a lot, Denman just does not cut it at AP level, even for a 20 minute spell. Perhaps we could use Pie Man there, got the build and couldn't do any worse.
Dickson is a strange case.  In his first years with Saints he earned his call up to the England squad due to his all action, quick ball style. Ironically, once he was with England he was coached to be s-l-o-w.  His quick ball helped keep Saints on the front foot.  Without quick ball the Saints attack struggles.   If Dickson cannot ramp it up, I am afraid we need to look elsewhere, which will not be easy since high quality 9s don't grow on trees.  Kahn was brought in on big money because he is a smart player, not because of his delivery.  He would do great in a Gatland team, but not so much at Saints.  He is off contract this season, I believe, and Saints won't attempt to keep him.  

Stevie Myler is a terrific player, I believe.  But he has too many miles on him and needs serious rest.  He has been overplayed for years now.  And since he is not hidden either on defense or attack, his miles are harder than most 10s.  He has shown over the years a good attacking game, but the slow ball is making it harder and leaving him fewer options.  I also think JJ not developing as hoped is making it harder to rest Stevie.  

I can't agree more about Prince Harry (future England and Lions captain) needing more game time with Burrell.  George Pisi is also a high mileage guy who seems to have lost a step and some strength.  Burrell needs someone getting him the ball with some room.  And likely being outside is a better fit for him.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 4:54 am

king_carlos wrote:Is Mills moving from Worcs? I've thought he's been excellent for them this season.

Are you thinking of Andy Symons who's signed for LI to join his brother? Given he moved in search of game time with Mills and Te'o likely to be ahead of him he might look to go elsewhere if LI go down.

So could a few of their other signings for next season realistically - Tommy Bell and Sebastien De Chaves signed because they wanted to start for a Prem club, as did Symons and Mike Coman is too good a player to play in the championship.

Irish also have 3 decent scrum halfs in Steele, McKibbin and Allinson if Deano goes shopping for a Mickey Young replacement.

I wouldn't fancy any of the Irish scrum halfs tbh, none are a real improvement on what we have.

If we were going to raid Irish(which we won't), I'd take; Franks, Williams, Lewington and that would be about it. The rest are average to poor AP players, which we have plenty of!

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by Ozzy3213 on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 6:22 am

king_carlos wrote:
Ozzy3213 wrote:
king_carlos wrote:Is Mills moving from Worcs? I've thought he's been excellent for them this season.

Are you thinking of Andy Symons who's signed for LI to join his brother? Given he moved in search of game time with Mills and Te'o likely to be ahead of him he might look to go elsewhere if LI go down.

So could a few of their other signings for next season realistically - Tommy Bell and Sebastien De Chaves signed because they wanted to start for a Prem club, as did Symons and Mike Coman is too good a player to play in the championship.

Irish also have 3 decent scrum halfs in Steele, McKibbin and Allinson if Deano goes shopping for a Mickey Young replacement.

Allinson is not Premiership standard.

I thought he looked alright when I've seen him play. Not a world beater but a reliable squad player which is always valuable at scrum half. I can think of worse plying their trade in the Jeff that's for sure!

Take it you're hoping to see him go then?

Allinson will come off the bench, up the tempo and look a world beater for 20 minutes, then have a complete brain fart and cost you points. When he starts it's 1 good game, 3 or 4 poor ones. His game management is not great and he does not have 1 outstanding attribute. He's a top bloke and well liked within the squad and seems happy to be 3rd choice, but we have 2 scrum halfs in the senior academy, Connor Murphy and Callum Watson, and the under 18 scrum half is in the England U18 set up and likely to get a senior academy contract. If we're going to be in the Championship, I'd definitely lose one of the 3 senior scrum halfs and be looking to really develop the academy lads behind McKibbin and Steele.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by king_carlos on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 3:18 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:
king_carlos wrote:Is Mills moving from Worcs? I've thought he's been excellent for them this season.

Are you thinking of Andy Symons who's signed for LI to join his brother? Given he moved in search of game time with Mills and Te'o likely to be ahead of him he might look to go elsewhere if LI go down.

So could a few of their other signings for next season realistically - Tommy Bell and Sebastien De Chaves signed because they wanted to start for a Prem club, as did Symons and Mike Coman is too good a player to play in the championship.

Irish also have 3 decent scrum halfs in Steele, McKibbin and Allinson if Deano goes shopping for a Mickey Young replacement.

I wouldn't fancy any of the Irish scrum halfs tbh, none are a real improvement on what we have.

If we were going to raid Irish(which we won't), I'd take; Franks, Williams, Lewington and that would be about it. The rest are average to poor AP players, which we have plenty of!

Reckon you're being a bit harsh on the LI players as individuals there Sarge.

McKibbin and Steele are both big improvements on Young and would offer a different style of play to Tukulua.

I'm guessing that you're thinking about positions you need rather than the squad as a whole... Otherwise that feels very harsh on at least Symons, Cowan, Narraway, Treviranus and Maitland! Tikoirotuma has bags of talent too, he just needs to use it.

It's a shame that Skivington has been injured for so long. He's been a brilliant prem lock for so long, it would be a shame if this season is his last as a top flight player.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 3:43 pm

king_carlos wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:
king_carlos wrote:Is Mills moving from Worcs? I've thought he's been excellent for them this season.

Are you thinking of Andy Symons who's signed for LI to join his brother? Given he moved in search of game time with Mills and Te'o likely to be ahead of him he might look to go elsewhere if LI go down.

So could a few of their other signings for next season realistically - Tommy Bell and Sebastien De Chaves signed because they wanted to start for a Prem club, as did Symons and Mike Coman is too good a player to play in the championship.

Irish also have 3 decent scrum halfs in Steele, McKibbin and Allinson if Deano goes shopping for a Mickey Young replacement.

I wouldn't fancy any of the Irish scrum halfs tbh, none are a real improvement on what we have.

If we were going to raid Irish(which we won't), I'd take; Franks, Williams, Lewington and that would be about it. The rest are average to poor AP players, which we have plenty of!

Reckon you're being a bit harsh on the LI players as individuals there Sarge.

McKibbin and Steele are both big improvements on Young and would offer a different style of play to Tukulua.

I'm guessing that you're thinking about positions you need rather than the squad as a whole... Otherwise that feels very harsh on at least Symons, Cowan, Narraway, Treviranus and Maitland! Tikoirotuma has bags of talent too, he just needs to use it.

It's a shame that Skivington has been injured for so long. He's been a brilliant prem lock for so long, it would be a shame if this season is his last as a top flight player.

I tend to think Sgt is right here Carlos. 9 and 10 are issues but elsewhere theres not many I would take. Both sides have been poor.

I also wonder how much is down to poor coaching. John Wells is basically our main coach - forwards AND defence coach. Erm And I don't rate him at all!!


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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 3:44 pm

I'm not meaning to be harsh Carlos, I just don't think any of those players are a real step up on what we already have. I'm not suggesting they're worse, just not that much better.

Symons - decent lock, we have similar in Green, Robinson & Furno

McKibbon - prefer Takalula personally but he's better than Young

I was suggesting more first XV improvements than squad additions.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 4:18 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:I'm not meaning to be harsh Carlos, I just don't think any of those players are a real step up on what we already have. I'm not suggesting they're worse, just not that much better.

Symons - decent lock, we have similar in Green, Robinson & Furno

McKibbon - prefer Takalula personally but he's better than Young

I was suggesting more first XV improvements than squad additions.
Id add Will Witty to that list aswell.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 5:47 pm

I was think at a similar level to Symons(who I don't particularly rate). Witty has potential but not quite at that level yet.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by yappysnap on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 5:54 pm

Jeez, I forgot you guys still had John Wells as your coach! Get rid of him ASAP, he is just a terrible coach!

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by king_carlos on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 6:07 pm

Fair enough there, Sarge.

I'd argue that Narraway is at a higher level this season than Hogg (who is finally slowing down) and Cowan is a step up from Welch. Latu has been a fantastic acquisition by Deano though tbf.

Falcons recruitment should be focusing on half backs, LH and hooker though, no doubt.

Symons has had a slower season than most expected but his set-piece work has been impressive and having watched him in Super 15 the stuff round the park will come as he settles. I could see Sarries eyeing him up if LI go down. Hargreaves is another being destroyed by injury, Hamilton's approaching retirement and Hayden Smith has been less impressive since returning from NFL.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 6:23 pm

I just don't really see it Symons, he just does work I'd expect of an average AP lock.

I'd take Wilson and Latu over any of the Irish backrow players. I like Cowan but he'd been really average for irish this season which is odd as he's been great previously.

Narraway is a bit meh, doesn't really add too much, a bit like Welch and Hogg this season.

Realistically, we're arguing the toss over not that much difference in quality in you know what I mean. None of the players mentioned(Narraway, Cowan, Welch etc) would get into another AP side a starter imo.

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Re: Aviva Premiership - Round 20

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