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Huw Bennett

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Huw Bennett Empty Huw Bennett

Post by Guest Sun Aug 14, 2011 8:27 am

Come on then. Let's be grown ups here and say that over the last two games he should be second choice at worst. I criticised him as much as anybody, but he has done all that we can ask of him in the last two games.

Sorry Huw, keep it up though please.

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Post by glamorganalun Sun Aug 14, 2011 8:36 am

He has always been good in the loose and around the park but he has been hitting his target these last two game , well done and keep it up for club and Country! In fairness to the supporters he was no 3 at the Ospreys last season!

Again well done.

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Post by Guest Sun Aug 14, 2011 8:39 am

Yes he was. I know why we had doubts, but it just proves that we shouldn't be so quick to criticise players. The way Sam is leading from the front as captain, it's now not a stretch to say Bennett could be first choice ahead of Rees (if Smiler is fit anyway).

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Post by Coleman Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:51 am

Hes been doing more around the park then usual. Typically, i target him for his poor line out but its normally backed up by him being invisible at the breakdown and his lack of tackling. Last two games he has been a different player. Long may it continue.

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Post by Shifty Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:59 pm

Everyone is pleased at Bennett after the England game, but to be honest it's questionable whether he should be near the Wales squad at all. He has has sporadic starts for Wales over an 8 year period and has never really grasped them, and built on those chances. In truth he probably owed Gatland a big game because he was so poor in the starts he has been given especially against the Barbarians and Fiji recently and Samoa in 2009, where is line out play was simply shocking.

The problem with Bennett for Wales is he tends to start in games where Gatland is experimenting. In his 41 caps since 2003 he has started 13 times with 28 coming off the bench.

In 2003 he looked a very promising impact player, playing 9 times that season with 8 of them off the bench. However since then he hasn't progressed in the way we'd hoped. He gets around the field, can scrummage well, puts in tackles and offers a lot to a team. His biggest problem is he can't throw into the line out very well, if Wales are under pressure, and that in turn puts more pressure on Wales because their coughing up possession. He isn't the only player with this problem, to be fair. But when your team needs someone to step up with a cool head and control a situation it won't be Bennett.

Richard Hibbard was first choice starter at the Ospreys last season, Bennett did in fact play more times than Hibbard 23 to 22, however 14 of those 23 games were off the bench, for periods of 20-30 minutes at the end of a game. Mefin Davies got 14 games.
So the Ospreys situation is Hibbard is first choice, Bennett is a regularly used sub, while Davies is 3rd choice.

For years Wales have had a real problem at hooker, with many players being given a chance to secure the jersey. The only reason Rees has it above so many other possibilities is he can throw the ball in a straight line.
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Post by dogtooth Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:09 pm

bennett has played well in the last 2 games. he must take some remedial throwing in training though because it looks like he will be first choice come rwc.

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Post by Shifty Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:28 pm

dogtooth wrote:bennett has played well in the last 2 games. he must take some remedial throwing in training though because it looks like he will be first choice come rwc.

Far too tame... the best thing would be to dig a big hole, make Bennett stand in it, pour cement over his feet so he's stuck in there. Get Alun-Wyn Jones to jump against a rugby goal post with a piece of chalk and make a line on it. then make Bennett throw balls against it until he hits the line regularly. Then and only then will be be allowed out of the hole!
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Post by RubyGuby Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:44 pm

"The only reason Rees has it above so many other possibilities is he can throw the ball in a straight line." (Quotes Alyn)

I fail to understand a lot of your posts Alyn and wonder about the genuiness of where you're coming from, that remark above is typical - Rees is very strong in the loose among other things.

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Post by Shifty Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:02 pm

RubyGuby wrote:I fail to understand a lot of your posts Alyn and wonder about the genuiness of where you're coming from, that remark above is typical - Rees is very strong in the loose among other things.

The crux of my argument is from the fact Wales have tried many hookers over the years recently and most of them can contribute in the loose, can tackle, ruck, etc.
However only Rees has been able to consistently find his men in the lineout.

Lloyd burns struggled yesterday, in fact Wales have given chances to almost every Welsh hooker at regional level and still Rhys Thomas, Gareth Williams, Steve Jones etc, have all struggled to find their jumpers for Wales in recent years. The only one who has looked the complete player and does the most important job of the Hooker well is Rees.
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Post by RubyGuby Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:13 pm

My concern is that you say that Rees is only there for his throwing in which is IMO just plain wrong. He has a decent all round game and will put his body on the line. I have been one of Bennetts biggest critics and why he is still there god knows! However, he played well last week and I along with many others were happy to see him come on and stabalise Wales in the scrum and in the line out which shows that he can do it, albeit he needs consistency and/or confidence, although the jumpers and lifters have responsibility as well. I dont know where Burns has come from but he is not an international player but perhaps we're at the bottom of the barell. Below are my hookers for Wales:

1 - Rees
2 - Hibbard
3 - Owens
4 - Bennett

thumbsup

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Post by Shifty Sun Aug 14, 2011 8:43 pm

RubyGuby wrote:My concern is that you say that Rees is only there for his throwing in which is IMO just plain wrong.

I'm saying that his line out throwing ability is what's enabled him to steal a match, and get him noticed out of the other potential contenders for the Wales 2 shirt.
He doesn't have much wrong with his game at all, he's a fantastic player and captain, I've not criticized him at all. But several years ago Wales were hunting for a hooker and were trying different people all the time, and Rees was the only one with consistently good line out throwing.
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Post by RubyGuby Sun Aug 14, 2011 8:46 pm

"The only reason Rees has it above so many other possibilities is he can throw the ball in a straight line." (Alyn)

How would you interpret your sentence Very Happy

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Post by Guest Sun Aug 14, 2011 8:53 pm

While championing Burns as a dragons fan, I was also very mindful that the guy was new to pro rugby. Hindsight being such a great thing, I think it was perhaps too much to ask for someone with a few ML starts to suddenly step up to international level. I guess it was a bit out of desperation due to the hooker shortage, but it is perhaps a bit unfair on Burns, although I'm sure he didn't see it that way. I wonder what difference being on the receiving end of a scrum pummelling had on his throwing ability? A lot I'd say. He must have been absolutely knackered from the scrums which must impact concentration, focus and ultimately skill execution?

However, I too agree that Bennett has proved a lot of doubters wrong, so while the Burns experiment may be a year too early, Bennett has perhaps put his hand up for the number 2 number 2 shirt, if that makes sense?!

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Post by Shifty Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:14 pm

RubyGuby wrote:"The only reason Rees has it above so many other possibilities is he can throw the ball in a straight line." (Alyn)

How would you interpret your sentence Very Happy

Getting bored of this, so I will repeat what I said in all my other posts, his line out throwing is what has got him noticed and is the skill that has set him apart from all the other Wales Hooker contenders. The most important job a hooker has is line out throwing, if you cant do that well, you put your team under pressure and give away the ball.
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