What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

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What's Gone Wrong at Saracens?

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Total Votes : 14

What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by LondonTiger on Thu 14 Dec 2017, 2:17 pm

Mainly putting this up to save other threads being derailed.

However a valid point, as after an unprecedented 6 defeats in a row the reigning Euro Champs do seem to be struggling. I suspect that come 24th December they will find form, but what do others think?

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by beshocked on Thu 14 Dec 2017, 2:28 pm

Well post lions backlash I think is rubbish because Sarries were topping the AP and had won their first two ERCC games.

It's not as if Saracens have had that many injuries.

I am not sure the working out is quite right either - many of the sides they played were more up for it.

It's a cliche but Gloucester,Clermont and Quins wanted to win more.

In the past Saracens would have closed out many of the games they've lost - that's a lack of belief IMO.

I believe there has to be something going on in the background.

The drop in the ERCC has been extreme.

Losing that badly to Clermont simply can't just be fatigue etc.


6 losses in a row isn't a blip. Getting destroyed at home by 40 odd points isn't a blip. Especially after having been unbeaten for about 19 games in the ERCC.

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by LondonTiger on Thu 14 Dec 2017, 2:40 pm

I think that the two matches against Saints gives an unrealistic look to the Sarries season so far, as our local rivals rolled over with barely a whimper until the games were all but over.

In far too many matches Sarries have "lost" the second half - something that they never did in the last few seasons. They look like a tired team to me, and to blame that on a single person who was absent from the club for much of the last two months seems like a cop out. There is no simple reason for slumps in form, and none of the reasons I put above are strictly correct - but some may well have a part to play.

The lack of precision against teams who are fired up smacks of tiredness to me and a general dip in form from all the main protagonists. Barring Mako, almost the entire first choice XV are either playing below par, or are injured. Add in that the coaches are relying on old favourites at times rather than using younger/fresher alternatives and we have a team that is performing below it's capabilities.

So for me the reasons are:

Post Lions hangover (backlash was wrong word)
General dip in form
Injuries
Selection
Opposition.

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 14 Dec 2017, 2:44 pm

The things that throws out the post Lions argument, for me, is the fact Leinster had only one less player in the squad than Saracens and they are doing fine.

I also agree with Beshocked about it being more than fatigue.
Clermont have been less impressive this year than last and that wasn't a defeat it was a total stuffing in their own backyard

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by LondonTiger on Thu 14 Dec 2017, 2:46 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:The things that throws out the post Lions argument, for me, is the fact Leinster had only one less player in the squad than Saracens and they are doing fine.

I also agree with Beshocked about it being more than fatigue.
Clermont have been less impressive this year than last and that wasn't a defeat it was a total stuffing in their own backyard

Leinster have rested their players more. I agree it is more than that - but I do believe it is part of the issue

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by beshocked on Thu 14 Dec 2017, 3:05 pm

We'll have to agree to disagree.

Not as if Saints have been destroyed by every single other team.

Yes they have their own problems but Clermont didn't exploit that vulnerability for example.

Being first in the AP and 2/2 in the ERCC didn't suggest a team struggling. Yes the performances weren't always sparkling but you don't always need that in the first few games.

The problems started in the AIs period, not before.

Saracens lost games they should have won.

Of course there are reasons for slump in form, we just don't always see them because we don't see everything going on behind the scenes.

Just because a player is not playing every game doesn't mean their influence on the club is not absolute. He's the most important player at the club. That's why they gave him a 5 year contract.

Not Itoje, not Billy. They have tied their fortunes to that one player.


Even Saracens' current position whilst not great can be still turned around. Still able to turn things around in both the AP and ERCC.


It's not a simple situation where the Lions are playing badly and the others are playing well - it's the collective belief which is down.

If anything I'd say before his injury L.Williams was one of the better performers, Mako Vunipola as you say and George scored a hattrick earlier in the season.


It's a star studded squad - it simply can't be a fatigue issue IMO. Isiekwe isn't an old man, Skelton hasn't played much.

I don't think too many of the players can use the tired excuse. The overall performance of the squad hasn't been good enough in the last 6 games - now perhaps that could be coaches/club focusing too much on the stars? I don't know.


Last edited by beshocked on Thu 14 Dec 2017, 3:11 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 14 Dec 2017, 3:10 pm

I don't believe Leinster have rested players more.

SOB, Sexton, Furlong and Henshaw have missed significant game time because of injuries not because they have been rested.
McGrath time has been restricted simply because Healy has played better

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by carpet baboon on Thu 14 Dec 2017, 3:11 pm

Anyone want to shed some light on the toxic Farrell bit? I met him about two years ago at a non rugby event and was chatting to him and a larger group for about an hour. He seemed nice enough, not a glowing beacon of conversation, but no worse than a lot t of other sports people.
Is he that bad in private?
Or is it a O'Gara intense must win thing that rubs people the wrong way?

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by beshocked on Thu 14 Dec 2017, 3:15 pm

Also Saracens can't use the excuse of the snow for the loss vs Clermont.

Clermont travelled away from home and had to accustom themselves to the situation too.

They came out guns blazing and crushed Saracens.

Bear in mind Saracens had barely lost at Allianz Park (never in Europe till Monday), 3 losses in a row at home now.

carpet baboon I've met Farrell a few times and let's just say in our last encounter he left a very negative impression with me. I know Bambam seems to think it was something as trivial as refusing to sign an autograph. It wasn't.

I've also heard about him from other people too. Now he might have reformed but when you see him prowling the touchline as waterboy I doubt it.

I also remember Brits punching Farrell.... in 2013.

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by Dollar Bill on Thu 14 Dec 2017, 3:22 pm

I’d say the loss of Gustard and Borthwick may now be coming home to roost....

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by Scottrf on Thu 14 Dec 2017, 3:24 pm

Think a mix of things.

Not at full strength for most of the games: Missing Rhodes, Itoje, Vunipola in the pack. Have struggled previously during international periods. But it's close enough to a full team so not much excuse. However, a lot of the cohesion goes.

Probably some of the desire has gone. Done it all now. Confidence has gone which propelled them above the sum of their parts. Lost some of the mental edge.

Certain players underperforming - Farrell etc. Basic skills have let them down.

Seem to have stopped competing in a few areas - lineout/breakdown. Previously you could expect physicality and a will to compete everywhere.

Not going to win the Champions Cup this year but will be back.

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by Scottrf on Thu 14 Dec 2017, 3:27 pm

beshocked wrote:carpet baboon I've met Farrell a few times and let's just say in our last encounter he left a very negative impression with me. I know Bambam seems to think it was something as trivial as refusing to sign an autograph. It wasn't.

Saracens aren't losing because Farrell snubbed you. Get over yourself.

EDIT: Although I have to say, George North only reluctantly had a photo with me, so maybe that's why he's leaving Saints and we are playing poorly.


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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by LondonTiger on Thu 14 Dec 2017, 3:29 pm

carpet baboon wrote:Anyone want to shed some light on the toxic Farrell bit? I met him about two years ago at a non rugby event and was chatting to him and a larger group for about an hour. He seemed nice enough, not a glowing beacon of conversation, but no worse than a lot t of other sports people.
Is he that bad in private?
Or is it a O'Gara intense must win thing that rubs people the wrong way?

Having met him a couple of times he came across as a pleasant but slightly dim person. I could certainly see why George Ford did his homework.

It is easy to try and pin the blame on a single person, especially when you dislike them as much as B does. However that is way more simplistic than me suggesting that the Lions is in part to play with Saracen's malaise this season.


Now when discussing England we are told to ignore results and look at performances, yet when discussing Saracens we are told to ignore the performances and look at the results.

Sarries stuffed Saints in Round 1, but were outscored in the second half.
They should have beaten Bath in R2, but lost to two late tries when they should have been out of sight.
Were solid in Philadelphia against Falcons.
They were all over a woeful Sale who put up very little fight.
Failed to turn dominance over Worcester into a TBP after butchering a plethora of chances
Jamie Georges hat-trick against Wasps helped secure a big win (but sorry a hooker scoring a hat-trick does not mean they are in good form)
Beat London Irish easily


Before the AIs Sarries had 3 iffy away performances, winning two against sides currently in the bottom half of the table. They had 3 big home wins, two against sides currently in the bottom half of teh table and 1 against a Wasps side that are only now starting to find a slither of form.

For me the problem did not start in the AIs - it started much earlier but the impact was more obvious during the AIs.

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by whocares on Thu 14 Dec 2017, 4:07 pm

To some extent it reminds me a bit of Racing after they won the T14 but all more brutal. Some players just too much rugby and not enough quality time outside the pitch or gym. Not a matter of physical form but more lack of hunger that is essential to a team like Saracens who required 100% commitment from their players...
Sometimes having won more or less everything takes its toll.

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by beshocked on Thu 14 Dec 2017, 4:12 pm

scottrf It wasn't Farrell snubbing me if you must know.

Londontiger the difference is I know the truth and you don't. I felt similar to you -I saw his as dim but was indifferent to his personality.

Sarries got 6 try bonus points in 8 games didn't they?

That's very good. I thought Saracens were performing well till the AIs. No not every game was perfect but Sarries were in a good position at that point.

Generally performances seem to be ignored at international level which IMO is wrong.

Setting players' position in stone is wrong IMO - whether it's club or country.

Perhaps Saracens have done that too much at club level too - not taking enough risks.


I do think that Saracens must adapt at 9 for example. Wigglesworth is too ponderous.

At the breakdown, Saracens must find a way to improve the service of the ball, give away less penalties etc.

Pace is a word which I'd like Sarries to hammer into the players.

It's not as if Saracens lack skillful players, could do with a bit more brute power in the centres, a bit more pace at 9 and a proper breakdown specialist at 7.



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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by The Great Aukster on Thu 14 Dec 2017, 4:46 pm

beshocked wrote:It's not a simple situation where the Lions are playing badly and the others are playing well - it's the collective belief which is down.

The post Lions hangover isn't all about fatigue... it is also psychological. The Lions is one big high for those that get a chance to partake but once it's over, cold turkey sets in. Those who didn't get a snifter view the bleary eyed returnees with a mixture of envy and wonder.

Where players previously trained, played, partied, relied, helped each other in a tight knit club unit, suddenly they are individuals answering to different coaches on the other side of the world. Some find out about themselves and realise they can make it without their club, others the opposite, either way they feel different about themselves.
The euphoria of being picked for the Test team and playing well based on self reliance in one or two weeks is different to holding down a place in a team working as a unit over many months/years. Equally the despondency of those who end up as dirt trackers and the realisation and doubts over their own innate talent... and that's only the select few who went.

Those players who didn't go, thinking they had helped those who were selected through their team's success, yet they themselves had been overlooked. A division driven between those with red shirts and tour stories and those who minded the shop at home. When once they played as equals, now the players would be forever labelled as being good enough for the Lions or not. Not just a label but a monetary value when a contract comes up and a self esteem value when measuring the autograph queues.

The more Lions the greater the divisions. The greater the divisions the lesser the team.


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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by Scottrf on Thu 14 Dec 2017, 4:59 pm

Beshocked can you either say what happened or stop mentioning it. The I know something you don't act is tiresome.

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by beshocked on Thu 14 Dec 2017, 5:32 pm

Scottrf wrote:Beshocked can you either say what happened or stop mentioning it. The I know something you don't act is tiresome.

I'll stop mentioning it then.

the great aukster true divisions can happen. I don't think it's quite as simple as Lions though - it could be "stars" vs "squad".

Individuals vs team. I think Saracens have unfortunately moved away from 2-3 first choice players in each position to focusing too much on first teamers.

Squad mentality seems to be eroded. Wolf pack mentality doesn't seem to be as strong.

You are right - when player X is getting paid much more than player Y it might well lead to divisions - it's why I don't think it's as straightforward as Lions tour though but I agree with your principle.

Isiekwe going on the Argentina tour/Lozowski etc would lead to differences.

Someone like Goode or Wray - their confidence might be hit by seeing their peers getting selected. Frustation for a player like Kruis too - to fall down the pecking order.


Then of course they see one of the team mates get a 5 year contract and be treated like royalty. It can't be easy.

It becomes and us and them situation.

When you give one player a 5 year contract you are putting them on a pedestal. You are prioritising them over the squad.


Individuals win you matches but squads win you trophies.

Individuals can have dips in form but if the collective is strong then it can carry the team over the line.



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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 14 Dec 2017, 6:24 pm

A general dip but I think dollar bill has a very good point of the loss of key staff. Farrell was great for them but when he went Gustard stepped in brilliantly. Not so sure that they're managed to replace that twice. It'll be interesting to see if mccall mixes things up and brings a new hand in. When you lose players like vunipola and Itoje it's going to hit you though. They have unbelievable depth ut no one else as good as those 2.

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by formerly known as Sam on Thu 14 Dec 2017, 6:32 pm

I think you're right with the squad talk Beshocked. Personally I think that there's been a couple of years of poor recruitment from Sarries. They've tried to replace Burger and Fraser with an aging legend and Clark. It's failed and been spotlighted when the big names aren't available.

The midfield has been an area of stagnation for the side, no one from the academy has broken through and the combination of Barritt and Bosch has looking increasingly pedestrian. Initially Sarries were ruthless with their recruitment but currently they seem too loyal. Bosch is 33 nearly 34 and there is currently no ready made replacement. Barritt is 31 and has smashed his body hard over those years and it's telling, if he's unavailable then there's Taylor who adds some offloading game but not the defence or Farrell but his combination with Lozowski doesn't seem to click unlike with Ford and England.

Another international hooker signed in the summer with another international lock. Two Lions locks, Rhodes and the next England lock Izekwe and no high quality 7 and they sign another international lock and Calum Clark? Very odd.

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by Scottrf on Thu 14 Dec 2017, 6:48 pm

Clark is a high quality 7 imo. Whether he can get to his best form is another matter.

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by formerly known as Sam on Thu 14 Dec 2017, 7:24 pm

Scottrf wrote:Clark is a high quality 7 imo. Whether he can get to his best form is another matter.

Not physical enough to dominate the ball at the breakdown not savvy enough to steal it. Just stuck in the middle ground and hence he's never made the step up to international level. His lineout work is a bonus but if you're talking top 5 opensides in the league he doesn't feature, I'm not sure he'd make my top 10 either. Burger was such an all action force he was in most people's AP team of the year each year.

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 14 Dec 2017, 7:58 pm

For me Clarke is a dip from the standard we have seen in the first XV over recent years.

Decent but not top class

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Thu 14 Dec 2017, 8:44 pm

carpet baboon I've met Farrell a few times and let's just say in our last encounter he left a very negative impression with me. I know Bambam seems to think it was something as trivial as refusing to sign an autograph. It wasn't.

I'm sensing an Operation Yewtree moment....

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by lostinwales on Thu 14 Dec 2017, 9:24 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:
carpet baboon I've met Farrell a few times and let's just say in our last encounter he left a very negative impression with me. I know Bambam seems to think it was something as trivial as refusing to sign an autograph. It wasn't.

I'm sensing an Operation Yewtree moment....
laughing

That is bad but if the man will imply things without giving more information....

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by Rugby Fan on Fri 15 Dec 2017, 6:05 am

Saracens have good players but also have seemed to be greater than the sum of their parts. Maybe that was the wolf pack mindset; whatever the reason, it hasn't been true recently.

I thought last season showed how hard it has become for a Premiership club to do the League and European Cup double now. Don't know if it is any harder than for teams in the other two leagues, but Saracens were running on empty come the Premiership final. It strains a club's resources to fight on two fronts.

Ultimately, Saracens were undone by not doing enough to secure a home semi-final in the Premiership, but they just didn't have anough in the tank to get it. A lot of their England players have been at full intensity, with few breaks, at least since Eddie Jones took over. Farrell, in particular, has had almost no decent downtime, so I'm not surprised if he's looking jaded now. He played with a lot of comitment during the Lions tour but wasn't at his best.

Saracens have six key England players: Farrell, Billy Vunipola, Mako Vunipola, Kruis, Itoje and George. Farrell and George both need a rest, while Kruis could do with a run of games in a winning side to get back into his stride. Billy and Maro are both twiddling their thumbs, which at least means they will recharge, Only slightly worried that Billy is no stranger to injuries. Mako looks like he'll be overplayed this season.

Ought to be a good chance for Lozowski and Isiekwe to show they have what it takes.

There was talk at the beginning of the season that the new laws were taking a heavier physical toll on teams. To some extent, it also put all coaching set-ups back on the start line together, which might explain why Saracens don't seem to have the edge on that front in the same way as before.

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by Scottrf on Fri 15 Dec 2017, 8:50 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
Scottrf wrote:Clark is a high quality 7 imo. Whether he can get to his best form is another matter.

Not physical enough to dominate the ball at the breakdown not savvy enough to steal it. Just stuck in the middle ground and hence he's never made the step up to international level. His lineout work is a bonus but if you're talking top 5 opensides in the league he doesn't feature, I'm not sure he'd make my top 10 either. Burger was such an all action force he was in most people's AP team of the year each year.

I would like to see stats. He was our player of the season twice running and his ability to steal ball was a lot of that. It's not about being a monster, it's being in the right place and technique. You're probably right he's not one of the best though.

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Fri 15 Dec 2017, 9:28 am

I really rate Clark and thought he'd be a great fit with Sarries physicality. Must admit, I've not seen him play for them yet.

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 15 Dec 2017, 9:41 am

I also think Burger has fallen off a cliff this year.
Outstanding last year.
Very very ordinary this

With no Billy, ordinary Burger and a lower quality Clarke it is no longer a dominant backrow.

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by beshocked on Fri 15 Dec 2017, 9:47 am

Sam I agree to some extent but then again L.Williams looked good before his injuries and Lozowski has broken into the England squad.

I agree that at the breakdown Saracens aren't moving with the times, also have moved away from their own strength.

J.Burger > S.Burger - for Saracens anyway.

Yes you are right - perhaps players like Barritt,Wyles,Brits have lost a bit too much physicality/pace now.

It's why I wanted Saracens to sign H.Mallinder as unlikely as it would have been.

rugby fan not sure that's quite true when Saracens are stacked full of internationals/ex internationals.


I think the breakdown is an English problem, it's why we are still talking about Robshaw.

I am a bit worried that other countries like Scotland and Ireland have moved on whilst we are staying still.

As for Saracens they seem to be adept at producing international class 2nd rows but not backrows.

It impacts the national side.

England IMO haven't had a properly balanced backrow since the holy trinity.

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Fri 15 Dec 2017, 10:00 am

Perhaps another thread......

We (England) seem to really struggle to produce these guys that are good at the breakdown, ie fetching. I'm not just saying a 7 but generally across the board.

At Newcastle we have Wilson who's handy but no real other English players. Cooper, a decent SA Hooker comes in and he gets 2 or 3 a game for us.

Every other nation seems to have options, I can only think of Itoje who's better than ok here.

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 15 Dec 2017, 10:09 am

Yes and no. There's no one who has displaced Robshaw until jones decided he wanted him at 6 then didn't really bring a 7 in until underhill and curry x2. For me in the last 4 to 5 years we've produced or had Armitage and fraser who were great on the floor.

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Fri 15 Dec 2017, 10:11 am

Armitage possibly but not Fraser imo. It's not great when we're struggling to think of players that can get 2 or 3 turnovers a game...not just a 7.

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 15 Dec 2017, 10:15 am

Getting further away from saracens woes but england do turn the ball over quite a lot. I suppose if you're purely focusing on the typical latch on over the ball kind of turnovers you could look at Launchbury Cole Itoje Robshaw Hughes as good poachers. Wider on is there many examples in the backs better than brown?

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by beshocked on Fri 15 Dec 2017, 10:32 am

Well Fraser and Armitage are kind of pointless discussing because one got too many injuries and the other ended up in France.

Now yes perhaps in more fortunate circumstances either might have been playing for both England.

Funny you mention both those players because both developed by Saracens.


Guys like Underhill, Curry bros might well be the future but backrow is still an English problem and it doesn't help English clubs either.


Look at no 8 position too...... it's a problem in the AP - 1st and 2nd choice for England at no 8 weren't born in England.


I'd say the backrow and centre development in England is below par.

It's why multiple fly halves have had to be turned into centres.


Saracens have a similar problem at centre.

2 of the best 13s are not English - Bosch and Taylor, Tompkins isn't stepping up yet.

Farrell and Lozowski are both 10s at club level.

Barritt is the primary 12 - we know his strengths and weaknesses.



Saracens problems are also English problems IMO. It's not just Saracens either.

I'd say as a collective English clubs have been poor.

Lack of English backrowers and centres IMO.

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 15 Dec 2017, 10:38 am

I suppose it's what is meant by lack of centres and back row though. I think in a lot of cases it's the choice of too many players causing issues as we want to move on from.someone straight away when someone else has a purple patch or the person doesn't produce amazing performances straight away.

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Fri 15 Dec 2017, 11:26 am

I can't even recall the last time Cole got a steal for England, must be years. Itoje gets a few, Robshaw one every few games, Launchbury not so much. It seems like a lack of technique more than anything.

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 15 Dec 2017, 11:42 am

I think you're under egging that a fair deal. But even if true does it matter that much when the pack are turning.over plenty of ball anyway? At a push can we lay claim to helping produce one of the best turnover (in the traditional over the ball style) artists this year in Watson if that helps!

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by formerly known as Sam on Fri 15 Dec 2017, 4:02 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:I can't even recall the last time Cole got a steal for England, must be years. Itoje gets a few, Robshaw one every few games, Launchbury not so much. It seems like a lack of technique more than anything.

I thought Cole got at least one vs Australia? He got a try saving one about 5m from his own line last weekend against Munster. About the only Tigers friars who managed to get one.

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Fri 15 Dec 2017, 4:20 pm

I think.it was a rip Sam? Cole used to be a real threat on the deck for England but seems not to offer any these days.

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by formerly known as Sam on Fri 15 Dec 2017, 6:01 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:I think.it was a rip Sam? Cole used to be a real threat on the deck for England but seems not to offer any these days.

My memory isn't that good. It's certainly got harder to get the turnovers at the breakdown now they've refined the interpretations. I think Cole is still contesting and comic ring defenders but like most others not quite getting the joy he used to.

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by LondonTiger on Sat 16 Dec 2017, 12:19 pm

According to the Times, 13 of the Sarries starting lineup v Clermont started the previous match, just 4 of the French team did that.

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by doctor_grey on Sat 16 Dec 2017, 2:38 pm

beshocked wrote:Saracens problems are also English problems IMO. It's not just Saracens either.

I'd say as a collective English clubs have been poor.

Lack of English backrowers and centres IMO.
Agree. Not sure why England isn't consistently turning out top level players in those positions. The centres bother me more than the back row. It seems England is - still - waiting for Manu Tuilagi (not England born) to get healthy and have a good run of form. If ((?) healthy, he is better than the other candidates, and it has been this way for a long time now.

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by lostinwales on Sat 16 Dec 2017, 3:20 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
beshocked wrote:Saracens problems are also English problems IMO. It's not just Saracens either.

I'd say as a collective English clubs have been poor.

Lack of English backrowers and centres IMO.
Agree.  Not sure why England isn't consistently turning out top level players in those positions.  The centres bother me more than the back row.  It seems England is  - still - waiting for Manu Tuilagi (not England born) to get healthy and have a good run of form.  If ((?) healthy, he is better than the other candidates, and it has been this way for a long time now.    

It's difficult because Manu is a bit of a one off. It's like saying why don't we produce more Johnny Wilkinsons?

I don't think there are a shortage of decent English back rows or centers. It is however hard to tell if any of them will be world beaters. It was easy to see that Manu could be 5 years ago (no idea for now but we live in hope) and (for instance) it's easy to see that Itoje is special, but most players are not like that when they first break into the professional ranks.

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 17 Dec 2017, 3:16 pm

I see mccall has made Farrell captain and was praising him before the match.

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by Maine man on Sun 17 Dec 2017, 3:19 pm

Maitland lucky boy there.

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by beshocked on Sun 17 Dec 2017, 4:27 pm

Lots of gamesmanship by Clermont there. Should leave the acting like pansies to footballers.

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 17 Dec 2017, 5:41 pm

Good come back from last week. Think we can put to bed an attitude problem; just missing a lot of quality.

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by Intotouch on Mon 18 Dec 2017, 6:58 am

"toxic swamp Farrell"? What did you mean by this LT? I've heard nothing about this guy to suggest why he'd be called this by anyone. All I've read in the thread is that he looks tired this season and is a bit dim. How does this suggest a "toxic swamp"? What am I missing here? Do lots of rugby fans hate the guy for reasons I never came across?

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 18 Dec 2017, 7:20 am

Beshocked does. He's a saracens fan who dislikes owen and his father for and personal slight he won't give details on.

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Re: What's Gone Wrong at Saracens

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