Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

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Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by LondonTiger on Sun 14 Aug 2016, 10:47 am

Fixtures

13-Aug Castres Olympique 31 - 14 Saints Rugby Club Du Rougier XV
20-Aug Saints 32 - 19 Cornish Pirates Franklin's Gardens
20-Aug Saints 52 - 5 Rotherham Titans Franklin's Gardens

26-Aug Ulster 29 - 19 Saints Kingspan Stadium
03-Sep Saints 14 - 18 Bath Rugby Franklin's Gardens

11-Sep Bristol Rugby 0 - 0 Saints Ashton Gate
17-Sep Saracens 0 - 0 Saints Allianz Park
24-Sep Saints 0 - 0 Wasps Franklin's Gardens
30-Sep Saints 0 - 0 Exeter Chiefs Franklin's Gardens
08-Oct Harlequins 0 - 0 Saints Twickenham Stoop
28-Oct Saints 0 - 0 Gloucester Rugby Franklin's Gardens
06-Nov Newcastle Falcons 0 - 0 Saints Kingston Park
12-Nov Saints 0 - 0 Gloucester Rugby Franklin's Gardens
18-Nov Worcester Warriors 0 - 0 Saints Sixways Stadium
25/26/27 Nov Saints 0 - 0 Newcastle Falcons Franklin's Gardens
02/03/04 Dec Leicester Tigers 0 - 0 Saints Welford Road
23/24/26 Dec Saints 0 - 0 Sale Sharks Franklin's Gardens
30/31 Dec / Jan 1 Gloucester Rugby 0 - 0 Saints Kingsholm
06/07/08 Jan Saints 0 - 0 Bristol Rugby Franklin's Gardens
27/28/29 Jan Leicester Tigers 0 - 0 Saints Welford Road
03/04/05 Feb Saints 0 - 0 Scarlets Franklin's Gardens
10/11/12 Feb Bath Rugby 0 - 0 Saints Recreation Ground
17/18/19 Feb Newcastle Falcons 0 - 0 Saints Kingston Park
24/25/26 Feb Saints 0 - 0 Worcester Warriors Franklin's Gardens
03/04/05 Mar Sale Sharks 0 - 0 Saints The AJ Bell Stadium
24/25/26 Mar Saints 0 - 0 Leicester Tigers Franklin's Gardens
09-Apr Wasps 0 - 0 Saints Ricoh Arena
14/15/16 Apr Saints 0 - 0 Saracens Franklin's Gardens
28/29/30 Apr Exeter Chiefs 0 - 0 Saints Sandy Park Stadium
5/6/7 May Saints 0 - 0 Harlequins Franklin's Gardens


Coaches

Jim Mallinder - DoR
Dorien West - Head Coach
Alan Dickens - Asst Coach
Alex King - Asst Coach


Squad

Charlie Clare Hooker
Dylan Hartley Hooker
Mike Haywood Hooker
Kieran Brookes Prop
Gareth Denman Prop
Paul Hill Prop
Campese Ma'afu Prop
Adam Parkins Prop
Alex Waller Prop
Ethan Waller Prop
James Craig Lock
Christian Day Lock
Sam Dickinson Lock
Courtney Lawes Lock
Michael Paterson Lock
Sion Bennett Flanker
Calum Clark Flanker
Jamie Gibson Flanker
Teimana Harrison Flanker
Ben Nutley Flanker
Tom Wood Flanker
Louis Picamoles Number 8
Lee Dickson Scrum-half
Nic Groom Scrum-half
Tom Kessell Scrum-half
JJ Hanrahan Fly-half
Stephen Myler Fly-half
Luther Burrell Centre
George Pisi Centre
Tom Stephenson Centre
James Wilson Centre
Tom Collins Wing
Jamie Elliott Wing
George North Wing
Ken Pisi Wing
Ben Foden Fullback
Ahsee Tuala Fullback
Harry Mallinder Messiah


Last edited by LondonTiger on Mon 05 Sep 2016, 8:36 am; edited 4 times in total

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by LondonTiger on Sun 14 Aug 2016, 10:47 am

Thread created purely so I have somewhere to ask:


Why is George North not in pre-season training yet?

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 14 Aug 2016, 12:38 pm

Additional rest for George maybe? He picked up a hamstring tear in NZ. They might have also allowed him so extra time off to support Becky in Rio. Saints have always been good with their player-management when it comes to North, we haven't had any issues at all like we'd usually get with France based players.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by Welly on Sun 14 Aug 2016, 12:58 pm

International players get the first couple weeks of usually.

Hence no Hartley etc in the Team v Castres.



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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by LondonTiger on Sun 14 Aug 2016, 4:11 pm

Oh I understand why he is not playing, but just surprised to see him in Rio as by now his pre-season should have started you would have thought - especially as it takes around 6 weeks to be ready to play after starting pre-season stuff.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by doctor_grey on Sun 14 Aug 2016, 7:04 pm

London Tiger, YOU?  
You, with your affiliation with that questionable group up the A508 from The Rose of the Shires?  That morally ambivalent, ethically cancerous, depraved group of reprobates.  And YOU started a Saints thread.  I never thought anyone would start a Saints thread on here.  With only a few of us on 606v2 are blessed by the Rugby gods to be part of the Saints family, I never thought it would happen.  

heart  heart I......I.....I think I love you.  heart heart

Saints sent George North to Rio to watch the Olympic Water Polo and see players actually catch the ball under pressure.  

This season is expected to be a big one for George.  Considering his recent injuries, I believe a longer summer break is just what he needs.  Let him enjoy the Olympics and enjoy the beach.  Then get back to work.

By the way, apologies for my comments about Tigers (morally ambivalent, ethically cancerous, depraved).  As I typed it my father was reading over my shoulder and I was actually thinking of him.  With that in mind, he told me to add 'licentious' and 'unprincipled'.  And those are his good qualities.  To think he actually represented our country at one time.   picard
No wonder there were a spate of civil wars in Africa back in the day.......

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by yappysnap on Sun 14 Aug 2016, 9:17 pm

I thibk we often forget that these sportsmen are people first, rugby players second. The olympics is once every four years and probably ye most important thing in his girl friends career, they've both probably lived under the pressure of it for the last few years like he alluded to in that interview.

Now you could ban him from traveling to see his gf compete in the biggest event of her life, and he might agree to that. But mentally he'd have to resent the coaches for that. They would have known about it years in advance and he could have organised it a long time before. Either way banning him could Crete more issues then him training.

Any way he's a natural talent, Wales have shown that over training him just Frak him up.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by lostinwales on Sun 14 Aug 2016, 9:28 pm

yappysnap wrote:I thibk we often forget that these sportsmen are people first, rugby players second. The olympics is once every four years and probably ye most important thing in his girl friends career, they've both probably lived under the pressure of it for the last few years like he alluded to in that interview.

Now you could ban him from traveling to see his gf compete in the biggest event of her life, and he might agree to that. But mentally he'd have to resent the coaches for that. They would have known about it years in advance and he could have organised it a long time before. Either way banning him could Crete more issues then him training.

Any way he's a natural talent, Wales have shown that over training him just Frak him up.

As a completely off the wall comment I know there was some talk of him joining the sevens squad but to be honest does he actually have the handling skills to be able to make that transition? We all know what he can do ball in hand with a little space, but I do wonder if he actually had the skill set to make it. On the other hand maybe some 7's would help to sort those areas of his game which are weaker.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by LondonTiger on Mon 15 Aug 2016, 8:51 am

So Doc & WPI - how do you expect the season to pan out? Picamoles aside, recruitment seems to have been quiet (though as Sarries showed last season that is not automatically a bad thing). That backline does appear to be aging a bit though and perhaps needs the younger lads such as RHR, JJ and Stephenson to really step up.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by beshocked on Mon 15 Aug 2016, 9:58 am


Front row looks very strong on paper if the likes of the Waller bros,Hartley and Hill put in big performances.

Last season I thought Saints really missed Manoa and obviously they did too hence signing Picamoles. An in form Picamoles should add an awful lot of go forward.

Still think they lacking a bit of class in some positions IMO but enough class to challenge for the title IMO and possibly in Europe too.

An in form Mallinder-Burrell centre partnership would worry me the most as a rival fan. Big pacy and enough variety. Just need to make sure that the centres get the best out of North.

Everything I am stating is obvious but sometimes coaches and teams don't do the obvious.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 15 Aug 2016, 9:14 pm

lostinwales wrote:
yappysnap wrote:I thibk we often forget that these sportsmen are people first, rugby players second. The olympics is once every four years and probably ye most important thing in his girl friends career, they've both probably lived under the pressure of it for the last few years like he alluded to in that interview.

Now you could ban him from traveling to see his gf compete in the biggest event of her life, and he might agree to that. But mentally he'd have to resent the coaches for that. They would have known about it years in advance and he could have organised it a long time before. Either way banning him could Crete more issues then him training.

Any way he's a natural talent, Wales have shown that over training him just Frak him up.

As a completely off the wall comment I know there was some talk of him joining the sevens squad but to be honest does he actually have the handling skills to be able to make that transition? We all know what he can do ball in hand with a little space, but I do wonder if he actually had the skill set to make it. On the other hand maybe some 7's would help to sort those areas of his game which are weaker.

I think he certainly has the handing skills and would be very good in attack, but he would perhaps struggle with defending against smaller guys with very good footwork in open space. I hadn't heard that he was trying to get in the Sevens team though.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by doctor_grey on Tue 16 Aug 2016, 12:49 am

Saints are a bit of a question mark for me, but are still generally quite optimistic.  A lot of pieces are there.  Plus, and I think the key to the season, is how the injured come back to form.  Last season Saints clearly missed Samu Manoa (who left for Toulon) and Calum Clark.  But also a lot of others who missed big chunks of the season, and spent a lot of the time playing themselves back to fitness.  

Front Row: Saints could put out two completely different front rows which could do well.  I wonder how being England captain will impact Hartley.  Only doubt is if Brookes is still frequenting the all-you-can-eat 24 hour burger shops.  The Wallers, Mikey Haywood, Paul Hill, and the new Ma'afu.  I would watch the development of young Reece Marshall at Hooker.  Played a bit last season and I saw he put on some weight.  

Second Row:  Depth isn't great.  Christian Day is one of the real under-rated club players in England.  Loves the grunt work and is good at it.  Partnering with Lawes makes a second row which could win a lot of games.  Plus depth from James Craig.  My guess is Tom Wood, Sam Dickenson, and most especially Jamie Gibson will spend time there as well.  And just peering into the future, I hope young Alex Moon gets a shot.  He is 20 (I think) and offers a lot.   Also watch for Josh Peters, also young, and he is a powerful runner but needs a little more meat on his bones.  .  

Back Row: Huge area of strength with great depth.  A rotation of terrific players.  Wood, Picamoles, Dickenson, Ben Nutley, Teimana Harrison, Gibson.  Plus Calum Clark who needs about 2 more months to fully recover from his injury.  The depth will be needed because, as I just wrote, I expect to see Wood, Gibson, Dickenson playing in the second row from time to time.  

So far, so good.  The pack is really good.  Mobile and powerful.  

Halfbacks:
Lee Dickson and Stevie Myler have played a lot of matches together.  I am afraid to say it, but the mileage is creeping up on them.  On form, they are quick, decisive, and tactically smart.  The key is to give both boys rest.  Good thing Nic Groom was signed from Stormers.  I had not heard of him before, but watched a few Stormers matches, then saw him again for South Africa A against Saxons and he is pretty good.  Strong defensively (for a 9). With young Tom Kessel who got a little game time last season, Saints are decent to good at the 9 spot.    

Who backs up Myler?  JJ?  But he needs to show us something.  Quickly.  Alternatives likely to get playing time at 10 are young Sam Olver (I think he could be very good) or Prince harry (future England and Lions captain).  Likely all three will get rotation time behind Stevie.  And I hope Stevie gets full games off, perhaps one per month.  

Wings: Wings are easy to discuss.  George North, Jamie Elliott (all he does is make plays), Ken Pisi.  Young Tom Collins, and younger Howard Packman will see a lot of game time.  The big question is whether the centres can get the ball out there to the wings.  

Centres: All of a sudden Saints have the making of a dynamic mid-field and will likely spend until New year's Day figuring out the best combination.  Prince Harry, George Pisi, Luther Burrell, JJ, Tom Stephenson.  plus I would like to see young Rory Hutchinson get a go, but this might be a season too early.  A lot depends how Prince Harry develops and whether Burrell can get over whatever ails him.  I think he has played too much Rugby and needed a summer on a beach somewhere warm.  He looked exactly like a player who was running on fumes.  I bet most Saints supporters will not be happy when Jimmy Mallinder starts the season with Burrell and Pisi in the opener.  

Fullback Foden should finally be truly healthy after a summer of more rehab.  If he is close to his previous best, he adds a great attacking dynamic.  He also slips into that additional playmaker role which keeps attacks going.  Backed up by the now healthy James Woods and Ahsee Tuala.

Flexibility: This is one of the keys to the team.  A large number of players can cover other positions.  Gives rest and injury cover at second row-back row, and virtually across the entire group from 10-15.   Also gives the opportunity for a horses for courses approach.  

Overall:
The potential is there for a big season.  Last season Saints were fighting injuries which was a big problem on a team without a lot of depth.  Depth has been improved.  The return of Calum Clark cannot be underestimated.  Foden returning to form will be huge.  Knowing his injury history there is no reason he cannot get his quickness back.  

Plus Picamoles is simply a great player and leader:  Parlez vous Try?  Parlez vous Tackle?  Parlez vous Ruck?  Parlez vous Victory?

This is a team which can be physical and is quicker than previous seasons.  And they have good defensive players.  I believe this team has the potential to play with any team week after week.  So, hoping for a top 4 finish.  But it takes time for newer players to adjust.  So maybe top 6 by the holidays, and a good second half, but we shall see.  Back when Saints won the Premiership they struggled down the stretch.  This is the first time I have seen this combination of depth and flexibility with Saints.   So I am hopeful for a good start - and a better finish.

So let it be written.  So let it be done.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 16 Aug 2016, 8:05 am

One of my close pals is a Saints fan and season ticket holder and he said Saints are working hard on a deal to bring Manoa back as a second row.

If that comes off...him and Picamoles in the same pack would be quite something.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by doctor_grey on Tue 16 Aug 2016, 10:56 am

I heard that rumour since the end of last season. I don't recall but it might have been reported that Mrs. Manoa is not happy in France. I am a little skeptical about these rumours because Manoa is on a big salary which Saints couldn't (or didn't) want to pay. Plus I rather doubt Toulon would let him off the hook with no compensation.

That said, it would be great to have him back.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by TheMildlyFranticLlama on Tue 16 Aug 2016, 11:48 am

doctor_grey wrote:I heard that rumour since the end of last season.  I don't recall but it might have been reported that Mrs. Manoa is not happy in France.  I am a little skeptical about these rumours because Manoa is on a big salary which Saints couldn't (or didn't) want to pay.  Plus I rather doubt Toulon would let him off the hook with no compensation.  

That said, it would be great to have him back.    

Understandable, if I had bags of money in my pockets and a lifestyle of sun, cheese and fine wine I'd be hankering after a move back to Northampton too Erm

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 16 Aug 2016, 11:48 am

It would depend on whether Toulon could sign a replacement and whether Manoa was in the coach's plans. Given Toulon were over the cap last season they might want to shift a player off to make sure they are compliant.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by doctor_grey on Tue 16 Aug 2016, 4:30 pm

I hope Toulon want to unload Manoa back to Saints. But I doubt Saints are able to fork over a cool £600000, Manoa's salary at Toulon. So, we shall see. Would obviously be a great addition.

I also understand wanting to get away from the nice weather and soft cheese of south France. Northampton is a rival for anywhere, except, perhaps, Monaco. Perhaps.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 16 Aug 2016, 4:52 pm

I suspect his wife's happiness may be dependent on her ability to speak the language and what sort of support network they have over there. If she is now not working and far from friends and family it might be a lonely place for her irrelevant of the sunshine and delightful cuisine.

The respective living costs in Toulon and Northampton maydiffer sufficiently to mean that Manoa may be open to taking a pay cut. Money isn't everything.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by LondonTiger on Sat 20 Aug 2016, 8:42 am

Northampton have a double header against Championship sides Cornish Pirates and Rotherham Titans today. Should enable them to get a lot of players on the pitch.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by doctor_grey on Sun 21 Aug 2016, 2:16 am

Two different and decent teams for Saints today at the Gardens:

SAINTS TEAM AGAINST CORNISH PIRATES:  Tuala; K Pisi, G Pisi, Mallinder, Packman; Myler, Kessell; A Waller, Hartley (capt), Hill, Paterson, J Onojaife, Gibson, Nutley, Harrison
SUBS: E Waller, Fish, Beesley, Denman, Parkins, Peters, Cheishvili, Marshall, Bennett, Groom, Olver, Green, Dingwall, Strachan, Furbank

SAINTS TEAM AGAINST ROTHERHAM TITANS:  Foden: Estelles, Stephenson, Burrell, Collins; Hanrahan, Dickson; Ma’afu, Clare, Brookes, Moon, Craig, Wood (capt), Ludlam, Picamoles

SUBS: Beesley, Fish, Denman, Parkins, Peters, Cheishvili, Marshall, Bennett, Groom, Olver, Green, Dingwall, Strachan, Furbank

Seems like it was a good day's work overall.  A reasonable win over Cornwall and a big win over Rotherham. Each Saints team a good blend of experience and youth.  
Unfortunately Tom Stephenson was injured, but I haven't heard what happened or how serious.  
Juan Pablo Estelles is a recent signing from Argentina.  Has played 15s and was in Rio for the Argentina 7s.  Usually plays in the centres.  Will have to see how he goes.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by LondonTiger on Mon 22 Aug 2016, 9:11 am

Interesting that Dylan Hartley played. Guys like Cole and Youngs (B) have only been in pre-season for about a week for us.

Stephenson's injury sounds like a bad one, which is awful luck for the lad. He has always looked such an intelligent player - but his opportunity could be fading away.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by doctor_grey on Mon 22 Aug 2016, 10:33 am

I had a couple of emails this morning from people telling me they heard Tom Stephenson broke his Tibia and Fibula. Really unfortunate for him. Hopefully back by early spring, but cold be faster or slower (or not at all) depending on the severity and location of the breaks. Real shame.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Mon 22 Aug 2016, 11:42 am

doctor_grey wrote:I hope Toulon want to unload Manoa back to Saints. But I doubt Saints are able to fork over a cool £600000, Manoa's salary at Toulon. So, we shall see. Would obviously be a great addition.

I also understand wanting to get away from the nice weather and soft cheese of south France. Northampton is a rival for anywhere, except, perhaps, Monaco. Perhaps.

I have not followed it up, but I heard that Manoa was not gettng a lot of game time for Toulon and was also unhappy, can't comment on his Mrs.

Manoa, Lawes, Wood, Harrison and Picamoles is one hell of a back 5

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by Welly on Mon 22 Aug 2016, 11:44 am

Manoa to Leicester is what I have been told.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Mon 22 Aug 2016, 7:03 pm

No, just a faulty Sat Nav. Got the right area but lost it's way when it came off the M1.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Mon 22 Aug 2016, 7:12 pm

doctor_grey wrote:I hope Toulon want to unload Manoa back to Saints.  But I doubt Saints are able to fork over a cool £600000, Manoa's salary at Toulon.  So, we shall see.  Would obviously be a great addition.

I also understand wanting to get away from the nice weather and soft cheese of south France.  Northampton is a rival for anywhere, except, perhaps, Monaco.  Perhaps.  

Just think of what Northampton has got going for it:

Kinky Boots.
About as far away from the salt water as you can get
Proximity to one of the biggest shopping centres in the UK (MK)
Great local rivalry with another local team in the same division (MK Dons)
The opportunity to renew old rivalries rather than become a figure of ridicule, going to a lesser club, just for the money.
The opportunity to play in what would with him be probably the best pack in the AP


And most of all...................Once a Saint always a Saint and never a Tigger..............,bounce bounce, away Run

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by Welly on Mon 22 Aug 2016, 7:38 pm

LOL @ Saints being prob the best pack in the AP.

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLLOOOOOOHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAAHHAAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHHAAHHHAHAHAHHAAHAHAHAHHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAAHHAAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAH.





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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Mon 22 Aug 2016, 8:48 pm

Welly wrote: LOL @ Saints being prob the best pack in the AP.

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLLOOOOOOHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAAHHAAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHHAAHHHAHAHAHHAAHAHAHAHHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAAHHAAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAH.





Got a problem with your keyboard Welly?

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by formerly known as Sam on Mon 22 Aug 2016, 9:36 pm

I think he remembers what pack Sarries were fielding last season and that Saints having a better one will take some serious changes. Wasps , Chiefs and Tigers will also be fielding pretty damp good ones as well.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by doctor_grey on Mon 22 Aug 2016, 10:57 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:I hope Toulon want to unload Manoa back to Saints.  But I doubt Saints are able to fork over a cool £600000, Manoa's salary at Toulon.  So, we shall see.  Would obviously be a great addition.

I also understand wanting to get away from the nice weather and soft cheese of south France.  Northampton is a rival for anywhere, except, perhaps, Monaco.  Perhaps.  

Just think of what Northampton has got going for it:

Kinky Boots.
About as far away from the salt water as you can get
Proximity to one of the biggest shopping centres in the UK (MK)
Great local rivalry with another local team in the same division (MK Dons)
The opportunity to renew old rivalries rather than become a figure of ridicule, going to a lesser club, just for the money.
The opportunity to play in what would with him be probably the best pack in the AP


And most of all...................Once a Saint always a Saint and never a Tigger..............,bounce bounce, away  Run
Well, it's hard to disagree with any of this.  Glad you said all this; most likely the uninformed amongst us don't realise Northampton is about so much more than Men who like to wear ladies boots.

And another thing, if Manoa rejoins the Saints pack, is there a better one (on paper at least)? And when Calum Clark rejoins the team?

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by B91212 on Tue 23 Aug 2016, 5:25 am

Steady on, even as a Saints fan I think although strong the pack is not quite up there with Saracens. As fkaS says, after the men in black there is a group of about 3 or 4 teams with more than decent strength in the forwards. Clark was arguably as big a loss as Monoa last year so hopefully he regains fitness and finds form quickly once he does return. Paterson was dispoainting last year, I'm hoping he shows some of his Sale form this year as although Day has been a proper (underrated by many outside the club ) stalwart he has some miles on the clock now.

It's in the backs again I fear Saints may be a little average, specifically at half back. Dickson and Myler have been excellent servents but although steady and consistent I can't see them unlocking the top teams. Hopefully Foden's injuries are finally behind him and he can find his form of a few years ago to add some spark and unpredictability to open play.

Hoping top 4 although after Saracens and Wasps think there is a group of maybe 6 who realistically can expect to be challenging for the play offs.

On a personal selfish note I received the glorious news at the weekend that after 2 crappy years Bell End sports have lost the rights to the Jeff here in Canada. I'm sure many will miss their amazing package of 1 game a month (if lucky) with no way to record and no repeated games for the bargain of $25 a month. Instead it's back on Sportsnet, $18 or £10 a month for 3 or more live games a week in full HD instead of trying to find a watchable stream on the laptop. Plus they get all the ECC games as well. Happy days!

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by beshocked on Tue 23 Aug 2016, 9:11 am

Pack strengths are obviously very subjective and change depending on who is and isn't available.

I think Saints have a very strong pack indeed - notably the frontrow if they all perform to their best but don't think Day is up there in terms of top 2nd rows. I think Clark though a good AP player lacks top class ability. Think there are improvements that can still be made. Wood is obviously a class operator on his day but can be overpowered IMO.

Picamoles IMO is an excellent signing obviously.

Still unsure whether Saints can take on the biggest French packs like Clermont,Toulon and Racing.

That's where Saints want to be surely? Challenging the biggest packs in Europe.

I think Exeter will certainly be there or thereabouts next season too.

The big unknown is Bath - they were poor last season but recruiting Charteris and Faletau should help.

Still think their lacking in the frontrow though which I think will hurt them.

Why on earth anyone would keep Batty as their first choice hooker I don't know.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by doctor_grey on Tue 23 Aug 2016, 10:32 am

B91212 wrote:Steady on, even as a Saints fan I think although strong the pack is not quite up there with Saracens. As fkaS says, after the men in black there is a group of about 3 or 4 teams with more than decent strength in the forwards. Clark was arguably as big a loss as Monoa last year so hopefully he regains fitness and finds form quickly once he does return. Paterson was dispoainting last year, I'm hoping he shows some of his Sale form this year as although Day has been a proper (underrated by many outside the club ) stalwart he has some miles on the clock now.

It's in the backs again I fear Saints may be a little average, specifically at half back. Dickson and Myler have been excellent servents but although steady and consistent I can't see them unlocking the top teams. Hopefully Foden's injuries are finally behind him and he can find his form of a few years ago to add some spark and unpredictability to open play.

Hoping top 4 although after Saracens and Wasps think there is a group of maybe 6 who realistically can expect to be challenging for the play offs.

On a personal selfish note I received the glorious news at the weekend that after 2 crappy years Bell End sports have lost the rights to the Jeff here in Canada. I'm sure many will miss their amazing package of 1 game a month (if lucky) with no way to record and no repeated games for the bargain of $25 a month. Instead it's back on Sportsnet, $18 or £10 a month for 3 or more live games a week in full HD instead of trying to find a watchable stream on the laptop. Plus they get all the ECC games as well. Happy days!
Welcome back to the world of Premiership Rugby on tv. In the US, the last two years were televised (if that is what you call it) on BeIN Sport. We did have it better than you did, but there were no live matches last season. And some weekends there was no Rugby at all.

No doubts the backs are where we will win or lose the big matches. To me, it all depends what happens at 12, and if Prince Harry can step up or if JJ magically comes back as a real player. That would enable Burrell or G. Pisi at 13 which would be much better. People who have seen Foden run are saying he is really tearing things up, but training is training and games are games. So let's hope it works. There is a lot of competition to back up North and to take the other wing. So let's hope this translates to a more dynamic attack than last season. I feel a strange sense of optimism for this season (which likely means we are doomed).

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by beshocked on Tue 23 Aug 2016, 11:06 am

Really doctor grey? You think the backs will be where you win it? Fair enough if you feel that way.

Personally I think your back five in the pack are the most important. If Clark,Wood,Lawes and Picamoles have big seasons I think you could go very far in both the AP and ERCC.

Agree Mallinder will be a key man for you in the backs, I hope for England's sake he has a good season for you guys.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by doctor_grey on Tue 23 Aug 2016, 11:44 am

beshocked wrote:Really doctor grey? You think the backs will be where you win it? Fair enough if you feel that way.

Personally I think your back five in the pack are the most important. If Clark,Wood,Lawes and Picamoles have big seasons I think you could go very far in both the AP and ERCC.

Agree Mallinder will be a key man for you in the backs, I hope for England's sake he has a good season for you guys.
Perhaps I wasn't clear. I believe Saints pack has the potential to be very good. Saints will win many games simply because of the forwards. It will come down to the back play to determine if Saints are simply a good team or a very good team. It comes down to how much the backs can plus up the team is what I meant. And I believe those pieces could be in place, but that is to be seen.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Tue 23 Aug 2016, 12:54 pm

A back line of

Dickson/Groom
Myler
North
Prince Harry (Future England and Lions Captain)
Burrell/Pisi
Elliot/Pisi/Collins
Foden/Tuala

Is not bad and with the exception of North all are likely to be available throughout the interntional windows

Saints strength in depth at Tighthead, hooker and across the backrow, means we are unlikely to be hit too hard by call ups, as Sarries and Tigers showed last year, their replacements struggle especially when they have a few injuries as well.

My earlier comments about the back five or the pack in general were all relevent to haveing Manoa back as a lock, Day is good, but not that good. Manoa and Lawes in the second row mean we have 5 players that can do the back row work, three of which are 18st plus and the hard yards bits as well. Even more so if Clark gets fit again.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 23 Aug 2016, 1:11 pm

I'd have said loosehead was the big area of strength with the Waller brothers. Saints front row looks good, second row looks like it'll do the job and the backrow could be exceptional. Giving ball to frankly average half backs may be the issue which won't be helped if Jim decides to try and hide his son at 15 again. If he goes straight in at 12 the Saints back line looks more threatening.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by doctor_grey on Tue 23 Aug 2016, 2:20 pm

Inside Centre is the real nut for this team (parallel to England??). This is where the injury to Tom Stephenson is a problem. With Tom and Prince Harry, there were two up-and-comers with potential to get things moving. Of course, time will tell. Right now Stephenson has a big recovery in front of him with no guarantees (learning to walk again first).

So I would guess Prince Harry with JJ in reserve at 12 and then a contest between G. Pisi and Burrell at 13. If JJ still can't cut the Northampton mustard, then Burrell is back at 12 and the mid field attack slows. Unless the signing from Argentina, J. P. Estelles, proves to be more than a developmental signing. He is 28 and is listed at 6 ft., 1 in. and 14 st, 4 lbs.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by B91212 on Wed 24 Aug 2016, 4:31 am

doctor_grey wrote:Welcome back to the world of Premiership Rugby on tv.  In the US, the last two years were televised (if that is what you call it) on BeIN Sport.  We did have it better than you did, but there were no live matches last season.  And some weekends there was no Rugby at all. 
And thank you for the welcome! Yes, Bell End Sports is my rather crude name for BeIN Sports, although up here in America's hat it seems we got an even inferior version. Web based with no way to watch anything other than whatever was on at the time (never rugby). Can't imagine it was a successful venture for them shelling out for the rugby rights.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by B91212 on Wed 24 Aug 2016, 4:46 am

beshocked wrote:Still unsure whether Saints can take on the biggest French packs like Clermont,Toulon and Racing.
That's where Saints want to be surely? Challenging the biggest packs in Europe.
That has to be the aim but I don't think they are there yet. I actually think they are getting closer to being able to maybe match them in forwards for a period of time but not a full 80 minutes. The issue last year was that the only tactic seemed to be to try overpower the oppositions pack and when that didn't work they were bang out of idea's. The top half backs can still create chances when their pack has parity at best and the even better ones when their packs are slightly on the back foot but neither Dickson or Myler are really heads up players, both generally play the percentages.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by B91212 on Wed 24 Aug 2016, 4:56 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:Giving ball to frankly average half backs may be the issue which won't be helped if Jim decides to try and hide his son at 15 again. If he goes straight in at 12 the Saints back line looks more threatening.
Even if the so called messiah is played at 12 it's still not that easy to influence things as the half backs will still dictate the majority of the play.

It's why I think Toomua may end up playing more at 10 for those green puddy cats of yours up the road, especially if Burns gets injured or misfires. He is too good a player not to have involved as much as possible and even if 12 is his best position will still probably be one of the best 10's in the league if he plays there.

But that should really be for another thread.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by LondonTiger on Wed 24 Aug 2016, 9:47 am

Are you intimating that Prince Harry should play at 10?

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Wed 24 Aug 2016, 12:21 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Are you intimating that Prince Harry should play at 10?

Well he is a RWC winner in that position............................................................well sort of.

I would't mind seeing him play out 15 -20 minutes of games that just need to be closed out, give Myler a rest as he tends to play far too much rugby ans we have not had a decent back up for ages.

B91212, I think Myler is wrongly thought of as a percentages 10, he can play like that, but like JW he can open it up when the occasion requires. Saints back problems have been further out, not at 9-10. Stephenson and Foden getting injured last season proved pivotal in destroying Saints season. Burrell was off form, his replacements - Stephenson and Prince Harry, both young could not be deployed at 12, TS due to long term injury and PH due to no cover at 15 with Wilson also out injured. Hanrahan is worse than useless at 12, last season anyway.

Hopefully our cover will suffice this year, Tuala, Wilson, Groom, Collins, Estelles are all quality players and can play across the backline.

I am looking forward to seeing Groom play, the Stormers style will suit Saints forward play and he looks very much like a younger Dickson i.e. keeping pace on the game, using Picamoles, Lawes, Harrison and the like taking theball flat and at pace before loosing the backs when there is space.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by doctor_grey on Wed 24 Aug 2016, 5:34 pm

I think Prince Harry will get decent game time at 10, if for no other reason that there is no apparent viable option as backup to Myler.  If JJ has a miraculous turn around and starts to produce at a competent level, this might change somewhat.  Regardless, I could easily see Prince Harry getting starts in LV cup games.  

I think a lot comes down to Myler.  Far too much mileage on him every season for a long time now.  He needs time off regularly to stay healthy and avoid wearing down as the season progresses.  If JJ can spell Myler, so much the better.  Otherwise I would guess the only alternative would be Prince Harry.  

As an aside, do I remember right that James Wilson had to play 10 a few times a few seasons ago?  My old man thinks I am I sniffing too much anesthesia.  

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Wed 24 Aug 2016, 6:10 pm

No you are correct, he did a fair job as well, probably better than JJ and certainly better than wasting his distribution skills on the wing.

He is not a bad goal kicker either.

Just got my tickets for next Saturday, cannot believe that hotels in Northampton, Milton Keynes and just about all surrounding areas are fully booked, £250 a night to stay in a 2* hotel. Luckily our kids live in MK, so dossing with them. Also means no driving, so plenty of ..........................mmmmm, don't like Tetley's either.

Do you think they would let me bring in a few bottles of decent beer if I paid them a surcharge, in a plastic barrel of course.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by doctor_grey on Thu 25 Aug 2016, 12:15 am

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:No you are correct, he did a fair job as well, probably better than JJ and certainly better than wasting his distribution skills on the wing.

He is not a bad goal kicker either.
Thanks mate, I knew I wasn't crazy.  Half-crazy, perhaps.  I thought Wilson did a fair job too.  

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:Just got my tickets for next Saturday, cannot believe that hotels in Northampton, Milton Keynes and just about all surrounding areas are fully booked, £250 a night to stay in a 2* hotel.  Luckily our kids live in MK, so dossing with them. Also means no driving, so plenty of ..........................mmmmm, don't like Tetley's either.

Do you think they would let me bring in a few bottles of decent beer if I paid them a surcharge, in a plastic barrel of course.
The security people at the Gardens?  or your kids?  Enjoy the day.  Should be a great event.  Hoping it is televised here.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by B91212 on Thu 25 Aug 2016, 3:35 am

LondonTiger wrote:Are you intimating that Prince Harry should play at 10?
Personally no, think he is a 12 and don't think we would ever see the best of him as a 10. On the other hand Toomua is international class and equally comfortable at either 10 or 12 so think he will end up more at 10 for Tigers where he will have the greater impact and influence.

Can you tell I'm jealous that you signed a certain Australian center?

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by formerly known as Sam on Thu 25 Aug 2016, 3:45 am

B91212 wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:Are you intimating that Prince Harry should play at 10?
Personally no, think he is a 12 and don't think we would ever see the best of him as a 10. On the other hand Toomua is international class and equally comfortable at either 10 or 12 so think he will end up more at 10 for Tigers where he will have the greater impact and influence.

Can you tell I'm jealous that you signed a certain Australian center?

On paper Toomua should be an awesome signing. Hope that his potential meets reality. Given Tigers have two good tens in Burns and Williams (Williams who tore Saints to pieces before going off injured at WR) yet only Toomua as a play making 12, I think he'll mainly be at 12. Burns/ Williams, Toomua and Manu looks to be a great midfield.

Not sure that young Mallinder really has the natural time on the ball to be playing ten at the top level. At 12 he could be sensational though. Myler might not be an attacking dynamo but he can still stand fairly flat and move the ball down the line one.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by B91212 on Thu 25 Aug 2016, 3:46 am

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:B91212, I think Myler is wrongly thought of as a percentages 10, he can play like that, but like JW he can open it up when the occasion requires. Saints back problems have been further out, not at 9-10. Stephenson and Foden getting injured last season proved pivotal in destroying Saints season. Burrell was off form, his replacements - Stephenson and Prince Harry, both young could not be deployed at 12, TS due to long term injury and PH due to no cover at 15 with Wilson also out injured. Hanrahan is worse than useless at 12, last season anyway.
I'm a Myler fan and he has proved me wrong before but I see his strengths as consistency and doing the basics well but do not think he has the vision of the top fly half's in the prem. It means Saints end up being a bit predicable and unless the forwards dominate then they struggle offensively. As you rightly say Foden coming in at first receiver makes a difference and truly hope he regains his pre injuries form and pace. Really wish Saints had signed another 10 for this season as don't think JJ Hula-hoop is viable second option, although I hope I'm proved wrong.

By the way enjoy next Saturday. It's been far too long since I was last at the gardens and plan to make my next trip back one where I an finally catch another live game.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by B91212 on Thu 25 Aug 2016, 3:51 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
B91212 wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:Are you intimating that Prince Harry should play at 10?
Personally no, think he is a 12 and don't think we would ever see the best of him as a 10. On the other hand Toomua is international class and equally comfortable at either 10 or 12 so think he will end up more at 10 for Tigers where he will have the greater impact and influence.

Can you tell I'm jealous that you signed a certain Australian center?

On paper Toomua should be an awesome signing. Hope that his potential meets reality. Given Tigers have two good tens in Burns and Williams (Williams who tore Saints to pieces before going off injured at WR) yet only Toomua as a play making 12, I think he'll mainly be at 12. Burns/ Williams, Toomua and Manu looks to be a great midfield.

Not sure that young Mallinder really has the natural time on the ball to be playing ten at the top level. At 12 he could be sensational though. Myler might not be an attacking dynamo but he can still stand fairly flat and move the ball down the line one.
I understand what you are saying but still think Toomua is a better 10 than both Burns and Williams. If Youngs gets quick ball then him standing at 10 could really open teams up. Can see a 10/12/13 of Toomua, Manu and JPP being deployed.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

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