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

First topic message reminder :

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 doctor_grey on Sun 16 Oct 2016, 2:10 pm

It's actually funny when you put it that way.  Maybe boner points are a better description of how Saints are playing........

To me, there are a few main differences in the last couple of years.  I would like to see what the other Saints guys think.

Our 10, 12, 13 axis got old fast.  Stevie Myler, of whom I am a big fan, has logged far too many miles in far too many games.  Mallinder has tried to get him a back up or even a replacement, but Stevie always outplayed or outlasted the competition and was always simply better.  He needed rest a few seasons ago.  and now, who knows how long he can last. Burrell has taken a battering, and after his one nice season with England, is also carrying too many miles, and runs only slow and straight.  Just like George Pisi who was always a power runner, but had just enough step to pressure the defense.  Now, his step is mostly gone and all that's left is a straight ahead runner.

15 Ben Foden suffered a terrible knee injury and lost not only his England place but his quick change of pace and direction.  He might have it back by the end of this season (I still consider him as 'recovering'), but he is on the north end of 30 which makes it difficult.  

The front row.  Dylan Hartley is injured and was injured a lot last season.  His leadership was and is missed.  When playing, he does so much grunt work it makes life easier for everyone around him.  Mikey Heywood is quite good, but without that leadership edge.  Massive loss.  Brookes is less than advertised, and the overall push is less.  Corbs is missed here too.  

Calum Clark.  I believe he was a massive loss.  Now he is back and playing himself into shape, the second half may improve somewhat.  

Samu Manoa.  He is a huge loss.  Played everywhere from 4-8 and very well.  Was one of the most important players in the team for years.

Overall, the dynamism is lacking, the team is visibly ageing, which no one expected to this degree, and the grunt is missing.  

On the plus side, there is youth coming through, and a reasonable amount of it.  So the future is not remotely bleak, but we need to play to the strengths we still have and not rely on players who are in need of rest.  

Louis Picamoles is a fantastic signing, by the way.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Sun 16 Oct 2016, 4:10 pm

What worries me is the lack of playing time for the next generation, not just PH; we are struggling at lock, Patterson is a 2nd rate Steve Borthwick without the captaincy qualities. Day is no youngster at 33, Craig is injured but we have 2 monsters in the squad both under 21, Alex Moon is 2.07 tall and 123kg at 20, Jordan Onojaife is 1.96m and 118kg ands 21, Jordan has had one game I believe, from the bench. We have an 8 covering lock at 1.93m and 105kg, that is lighter than me! Why have we not tried to give these guys experience from the bench? Paterson only lasts 60 minutes which at 31 is rubbish either of the kids would do better in the last 20 and gain experience.

Saints seem to have had an anti-youth policy over the last few years which is surprising since the benefits of youth shone through with the Wallers, Lawes etc.

Mallinder is not trusted by his own father to be a first choice 12 despite his heroics in the U20RWC and very limited opposition with Burrell being a better 13 these days. Pisi seems to have a hold on JM which means he is 1st choice 13 despite being slower and lacking the step he used to have.

Elliot and Collins have fallen out of favour in lieu of Pisi (K) despite all the promise they showed on the wing. I always thought that Collins would be the new Ben Foden. A very capable full back with probably more pace than even Foden had on the counter.

The current team is only a year or so away from a number of players being just toooooooooo old, Day, Patterson, Dickson, Myler, Pisi(G), Foden are aging and showing it. Five of that 6 are first choice players.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by doctor_grey on Tue 18 Oct 2016, 9:21 pm

By the way I predict Saints will win by 2 points.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Wed 19 Oct 2016, 12:17 pm

doctor_grey wrote:It's actually funny when you put it that way.  Maybe boner points are a better description of how Saints are playing........

To me, there are a few main differences in the last couple of years.  I would like to see what the other Saints guys think.

Our 10, 12, 13 axis got old fast.  Stevie Myler, of whom I am a big fan, has logged far too many miles in far too many games.  Mallinder has tried to get him a back up or even a replacement, but Stevie always outplayed or outlasted the competition and was always simply better.  He needed rest a few seasons ago.  and now, who knows how long he can last. Burrell has taken a battering, and after his one nice season with England, is also carrying too many miles, and runs only slow and straight.  Just like George Pisi who was always a power runner, but had just enough step to pressure the defense.  Now, his step is mostly gone and all that's left is a straight ahead runner.

15 Ben Foden suffered a terrible knee injury and lost not only his England place but his quick change of pace and direction.  He might have it back by the end of this season (I still consider him as 'recovering'), but he is on the north end of 30 which makes it difficult.  

The front row.  Dylan Hartley is injured and was injured a lot last season.  His leadership was and is missed.  When playing, he does so much grunt work it makes life easier for everyone around him.  Mikey Heywood is quite good, but without that leadership edge.  Massive loss.  Brookes is less than advertised, and the overall push is less.  Corbs is missed here too.  

Calum Clark.  I believe he was a massive loss.  Now he is back and playing himself into shape, the second half may improve somewhat.  

Samu Manoa.  He is a huge loss.  Played everywhere from 4-8 and very well.  Was one of the most important players in the team for years.

Overall, the dynamism is lacking, the team is visibly ageing, which no one expected to this degree, and the grunt is missing.  

On the plus side, there is youth coming through, and a reasonable amount of it.  So the future is not remotely bleak, but we need to play to the strengths we still have and not rely on players who are in need of rest.  

Louis Picamoles is a fantastic signing, by the way.

As soon as I heard that Picamoles was signed I instantly invisaged a very dynamic back row, two players that apart from the standard, tackling clearing out and being a breakdown dog could plough through tackles, look for space and can offload, unfortunately the second player seems to be under cloud and is being prohibitted from forming a productive partnership by being on the bench every week.

Guess who I am talking about, his name does not start with D,G or W.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by doctor_grey on Wed 19 Oct 2016, 5:52 pm

H?

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by B91212 on Wed 19 Oct 2016, 6:02 pm

I think I would leave Heywood at Hooker Doctor. Or do you mean Hartley? Wink

Once Wood was named as captain for this season then I kind of figured 'H' may become the odd one out once Clark was fit again. Especially seeing as he can cover all 3 backrow positions.

(By the way, nice analysis DG OK )

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by B91212 on Wed 19 Oct 2016, 6:17 pm

That bible of rugby news that is the Daily Mail (which coincidentally doesn't sit behind a paywall) is reporting that Hartley could finally return to first team action this week. Apparently he's trained fully all week and if there are no reactions between now and the weekend then he will be considered.

Also reports that Lawes is back in full training and should be good to go and that Day has begun training again, although I expect he will be a good few weeks out yet. Finally it stated that Burrell will not be available due to a setback in the concussion return to play protocols. So, assuming that is correct then I would expect the team to be something like this-

Foden, Pisi K, Pisi G, Mallinder, North, Myler, Groom, Waller A, Heywood, Brookes, Lawes, Paterson, Wood, Clark, Picolmoles
Hartley, Waller E, Hill, Dickinson, 'H', Dickson, Wilson, Hutchinson/ AN other

Guess he could rotate Groom and Dickson although I hope he sticks with the South African. Wonder if he will actually start Price Harry 2 weeks in a row or do something silly like start him on the bench and Wilson at 12.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Wed 19 Oct 2016, 7:21 pm

Picamoles, Clark and Harrison would be a formidable back row. All workhorses, good defensive players, good at the breakdown but with the edge that players like Wood and Gibson, as good as they are, can only dream about. It comes down to one thing:

ATTITUDE and then more ATTITUDE.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by doctor_grey on Wed 19 Oct 2016, 9:08 pm

B91212 wrote:I think I would leave Heywood at Hooker Doctor. Or do you mean Hartley? Wink

Once Wood was named as captain for this season then I kind of figured 'H' may become the odd one out once Clark was fit again. Especially seeing as he can cover all 3 backrow positions.

(By the way, nice analysis DG OK )
We were talking back row, and I think the reference was to Harrison, who seems firmly glued to the bench. I would have thought a 6,7,8 of Clark, Harrison, Picamoles would really be something, but hasn't materialised. Let's see how Clark gets on with his recovery, but I wouldn't expect to see him in high gear for another few weeks or so.

I think your lineup for the weekend is probably right on the money. I would like to see Hill get the start, though. I also hope Hartley is brought back to action slowly. Back spasms are usually indicative of another issue, but let's hope for the best.

If Prince Harry does get the start at 12, I would really like to see Foden coming up in attack quicker and more often because he is the only other back who can create.

Castres is not having a great season. So if Saints can get the win on Saturday, they will be in great position.

Just sharing because, well, I can. Yesterday the temperature here in (New) Jersey was 85°F/29°C. Same today. Unbelievable.
I spent today working in the garden like it was summer. Just for yesterday and today, global warming is not too bad..........


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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by B91212 on Wed 19 Oct 2016, 11:09 pm

doctor_grey wrote:We were talking back row, and I think the reference was to Harrison, who seems firmly glued to the bench.  
I know, was just being daft following on from WPI's guess the player post. I agree, Harrison, Picamoles and a fully fit Clark should be a match for most but as I said, with Wood being captain and Harrison able to cover all 3 positions off the bench then it seems he will be the odd one out at the moment. Plus who knows if his confidence took a hit after his 30 minute cameo in the 3rd test against Aus?

Have to say that I disagree about starting Hill this weekend. Don't get me wrong, amazing prospect but his scrumaging isn't as strong as Brookes yet and against a French team I would always start with the stronger option there. I personally believe that Brookes should be in the EPS and not Hill at this moment but EJ has different ideas. As for starting Hill in a game I would look to give him a start against Gloucester at the end of the month.

And thank you so much for the NJ weather update. Got some snow here and until today the temp has been stuck around freezing for the last 2 weeks. Heading up to around 8'c/46f tomorrow and Friday so will have to get the shorts out.......

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Thu 20 Oct 2016, 12:39 pm

B91212 wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:We were talking back row, and I think the reference was to Harrison, who seems firmly glued to the bench.  
I know, was just being daft following on from WPI's guess the player post. I agree, Harrison, Picamoles and a fully fit Clark should be a match for most but as I said, with Wood being captain and Harrison able to cover all 3 positions off the bench then it seems he will be the odd one out at the moment. Plus who knows if his confidence took a hit after his 30 minute cameo in the 3rd test against Aus?

Have to say that I disagree about starting Hill this weekend. Don't get me wrong, amazing prospect but his scrumaging isn't as strong as Brookes yet and against a French team I would always start with the stronger option there. I personally believe that Brookes should be in the EPS and not Hill at this moment but EJ has different ideas. As for starting Hill in a game I would look to give him a start against Gloucester at the end of the month.

And thank you so much for the NJ weather update. Got some snow here and until today the temp has been stuck around freezing for the last 2 weeks. Heading up to around 8'c/46f tomorrow and Friday so will have to get the shorts out.......

It is interesting that EJ views Hill in the same manner as JM, an impact sub that can do the job if called on early. Having said that, Brookes was so poor towards the end of last year that JM was right to start with Hill. Hill is ridiculously quick over a short distance for someone of his size and can have a major effect on a tired defence.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Fri 21 Oct 2016, 12:50 pm

Team for the visit to Castres and a few surprises:

15 Ben Foden
14 James Wilson
13 Rory Hutchinson
12 Harry Mallinder
11 George North
10 Stephen Myler
9 Nic Groom
1 Alex Waller
2 Dylan Hartley
3 Kieran Brookes
4 Courtney Lawes
5 Michael Paterson
6 Tom Wood (capt)
7 Teimana Harrison
8 Louis Picamoles

16 Mikey Haywood
17 Ethan Waller
18 Paul Hill
19 Api Ratuniyarawa
20 Jamie Gibson
21 Lee Dickson
22 Nafi Tuitavake
23 Ahsee Tuala

Harrison returns in the pack

Hutchinson (13) and and Wilson (14) get games in the backs.

An experienced pack but I would still like to see Clark, Harrison, Picamoles as the backrow for at least a game to see how they went. The power they can generate would be awesome.

Hutchinson is a surprise choice for such an important game, he will add pace and some skill to the back line and with Prince Harry (FLAEC) at 12 should get some decent ball to work with. Fodens return is also welcome giving the back line as a whole some real pace.

Good to see Wilson getting some game time as well, I have always rated him and thought he has been unlucky being able to play across the backs, he is thought of as a bench player, when he is good enough to hold a place in 3 positions.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by B91212 on Fri 21 Oct 2016, 3:36 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:Harrison returns in the pack
As does Hartley Very Happy and Lawes OK

Got to think that Clark has maybe has an issue seeing as he is desperately in need of gaining match fitness and a better player than Gibson. In the backs I too rate Wilson but I don't think he really has enough pace for wing, best at center or full back for me and maybe 10 in an emergency. Not particularly upset but surprised to see neither Pisi in the 23, not like conservative Jim to make sweeping changes! Maybe they were Alex King picks Wink.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by B91212 on Fri 21 Oct 2016, 3:50 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:It is interesting that EJ views Hill in the same manner as JM, an impact sub that can do the job if called on early. Having said that, Brookes was so poor towards the end of last year that JM was right to start with Hill. Hill is ridiculously quick over a short distance for someone of his size and can have a major effect on a tired defence.
Saints are very lucky to have Hill. Brookes was poor after he returned from injury during the 6N last year, I wonder why he seems to loose fitness/ form so quickly when he's not playing? Is it a physical thing or lifestyle/ not looking after himself thing? I know when he was at Tigers he had a bit of a reputation regarding fitness but he's regularly putting in a good 60 minutes a game so far this season.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Fri 21 Oct 2016, 4:48 pm

What ever happened to the development of players like Elliot and Collins, both are electric, small but defensively sound they seem to have fallen right down the pecking order. Then there is Estelles, why bring him over and pay his wages if he is never going to get tried.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by doctor_grey on Fri 21 Oct 2016, 5:04 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:What ever happened to the development of players like Elliot and Collins, both are electric, small but defensively sound they seem to have fallen right down the pecking order. Then there is Estelles, why bring him over and pay his wages if he is never going to get tried.
I was thinking the same thing when I saw the line-up this morning. Not sure I get what JM and the boys are thinking.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by doctor_grey on Sat 22 Oct 2016, 7:45 pm

jeez, we got smoked. Looked like no one wanted to be there.

We need a major re-think.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Sat 22 Oct 2016, 9:11 pm

Or a major management change

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by Hood83 on Sat 22 Oct 2016, 9:15 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:Or a major management change

This. Mallinder is bog standard average. Give him a MASSIVE pack and he might arm wrestle his way to victory with the rolling maul. Everything else is mediocre at best. Saints ruck poorly, carry poorly, have zero invention in the backs etc etc. They've gone backwards under him for two years. Even when they won the league they were becoming inconsistent. You need a change of coach.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by yappysnap on Sat 22 Oct 2016, 10:09 pm

Not quite true. When they had Foden, Ashton and Rehanna they had a very good attack too.

A lot of what you mention falls on West, I don't rate him, he seems stuck a decade out of date, rugby is so much more dynamic now and he hasn't caught up. He just wants a series of mauls and fights across the pitch and not much else.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by Hood83 on Sat 22 Oct 2016, 11:10 pm

yappysnap wrote:Not quite true. When they had Foden, Ashton and Rehanna they had a very good attack too.

A lot of what you mention falls on West, I don't rate him, he seems stuck a decade out of date, rugby is so much more dynamic now and he hasn't caught up. He just wants a series of mauls and fights across the pitch and not much else.

Perhaps, but surely they're a package deal, and if Mallinder can't recognise West's faults it's still on him. The fact they haven't been able to develop a backline since then suggests a problem with player identification and development as well. Even when they were decent it seemed liked a lot involved smashing it up the middle, it's just they were then better at recycling quickly.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Sun 23 Oct 2016, 12:31 pm

I agree that the way they are playing is if you had a big heavy pack, but they haven't. They have a pack designed for the modern more athletic approach. Waller, Brookes/Hill, Lawes, Wood/Gibson, Harrison all very mobile, ball handling, dynamic forwards. Even Day, Picamoles and Hartley are hybrids. Saints do not possess a big bruiser anywhere in their pack so why try and play a heavy forwards game.

The backs rarely seem to have the same side out two weeks in succession, whether this is through injuries or just bad management I am not sure, but Saints will struggle to get back into the top European flight again this season and if they fail, JM has to take responsibility and go.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

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