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Aviva Premiership - Round 20 Preview

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BigTrevsbigmac
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Post by LondonTiger Thu 23 Apr - 0:29

First topic message reminder :

Just 3 rounds to go and, Gloucester aside, clubs are nor concentrating only on this.

Positions:

Saints 67pts
Saracens 61pts
-------------------------------------
Bath 61pts
Exeter 58pts
====================
Leicester 55pts
Wasps 53pts
++++++++++++++++++++
Sale 48pts
***************************
Quins 43pts
Gloucester 38pts
Irish 37pts
Falcons 26pts
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Welsh 1 point



Fixtures:


Fri 24th Apr 15

19:45 Bath   v   London Irish BT Sport
Bath host their feeder club in the opening fixture of Round 20. On paper they have the easiest run-in of the top clubs, but their set piece will have to perform better than it did in Newcastle and Dublin if they are to cash in fully. Irish have little to play for other than pride and their form has been hot and miss. Bath should have the form and the class to win at a canter. An upset may be too much to ask for, but the other teams vying for a home play-off semi will hope Irish can defend stoutly and deny Bath a TBP.



Sat 25th Apr 15

14:00 Sale Sharks v   Harlequins
Not the sort of fixture that a stuttering Quins team will be relishing. If they are to have any realistic chance of making the Champions Cup (via play-off) they simply have to win this match. The last thing quins needed was to be struggling with injuries. they will need every ounce of effort and inspiration they can get from Robshaw and Care to stand any chance.

15:00 Gloucester  v   Newcastle Falcons
Gloucester will be focussing on next week, Falcons on next season. For any at the game I hope this means they have an entertaining one.

15:00 Leicester      v   London Welsh
Leicester struggled to get the four tries at the Kassam earlier. Surely they will find it easier at home?

15:15 Northampton v   Saracens BT Sport
Huge, possibly season defining, fixture. Saints looked nailed on for top spot in the table when the 6 nations ended. after two thumpings, confidence will not be high and defeat to the team they beat in last years final will suddenly have them worrying about facing an away semi. Mallinder and Doreen gave the guys a week off and will hope the batteries have been recharged. Biggest worry for Saints has been the poor form of their biggest names. Corbisiero and Hartley are struggling, while Manoa has been off colour. Throw in misfiring half backs and centres and it has been a struggle. The last team they would wish to face in this state are Sarries - who will be buoyed by this fixture being at a "neutral" venue. Performance wise Sarries have been a shadow of their Barnet selves away from home, but in general have found a way to win. Unless Saints can rerun to something approximating to their early season form the Sarries juggernaut should prevail.


Sun 26th Apr 15

14:00 Wasps  v   Exeter BT Sport

With consecutive home matches against the two teams directly above them, Wasps are still masters of their own destiny. Win both and Wasps could find themselves back in the Top 4. Exeter need to put any Challenge Cup disappointment firmly behind them. With two tricky away fixtures in a row (Sarries next week) they could find themselves dropping from 4th to 6th before the final round. Both sides like to throw the ball around, so this has all the makings of a classic. Probably instead we will get a nervy penalties only game.

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Post by HongKongCherry Tue 28 Apr - 7:29

Gosh you really can't admit you were wrong. Let's move on but it does devalue your other comments, which is a shame.
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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue 28 Apr - 13:31

Nobody is right or wrong HK, it's all just opinions. I agree though, let's move on.

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Post by LondonTiger Tue 28 Apr - 16:37

Sgt_Pooly wrote:The initial comment was spurned off the cuff from one incident when he done his normal headless chicken run with better options available.

That was not May. He got the ball twice on the right wing as the last man, ran straight and hard each time. Third time he had the ball he was covering back for a kick where he turned and kicked to touch, making about 30m off his wrong foot. He had no Gloucester player behind him.


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Post by Jimpy Tue 28 Apr - 17:15

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Poor Cockerill annoyed with Welsh:

"It was a poor game of rugby, They played negatively and it was refereed inconsistently, shall we say. It was a poor spectacle.

"Everything was a mess and a bun fight. They walked to every scrum and line-out and ran the clock down and the referee didn't deal with it. As a result, the game became more and more stale."

Diddums, did little Welshy not roll over for you Mr Cockerill? That bloke is such a whinge bag.

That's funny, Richards has continually moaned about refereeing decisions and negative opposition play this year. Cockerill generally offers a candid view of his own team's performance too, as he did in this case, and you decided to selectively ignore.

Plus, Cockerill was never caught feeding his players blood capsules.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue 28 Apr - 18:00

Don't slag off Richards Jimpy, that really cuts deep.

Richards complains but Cockers is on another level, he must be the most hated DOR in the league by some distance.

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Post by beshocked Tue 28 Apr - 18:38

I am not a big fan of Cockerill but he does make some fair comments in this case.

London Welsh are a team who do play more negatively than any other because they lack the talent to do anything else.

Slowing the game down doesn't help Leicester who were chasing the try bonus - no wonder Cockerill was frustated.

Sgt Pooly Cockerill is unpopular and perhaps deservedly so but he has had success with Tigers.

Though if I am being honest I think it's time that Tigers move on from Cockerill.

The squad IMO is weaker than it was in 2009/10.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/english/8708250.stm

Look at that Tigers team.... It's bloody good.

When you compare the Tigers team of then, the Saracens team of then and both to now it's no wonder Saracens seem to be doing better than Tigers these days.

Key players of Tigers not properly replaced.... I know injuries don't help but can't rely on one player all the time - I know what that's like!

I want Tigers to find some bite which I think they've lost - that means a change in coaching staff IMO. Attacking game in particular needs a complete overhaul.

The reason - it makes a more competitive league and helps everyone push in an upwards trajectory in England.

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Post by Jimpy Tue 28 Apr - 18:51

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Don't slag off Richards Jimpy, that really cuts deep.

Richards complains but Cockers is on another level, he must be the most hated DOR in the league by some distance.

If you live in a glass house, don't throw stones.


Last edited by Jimpy on Tue 28 Apr - 18:54; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Jimpy Tue 28 Apr - 18:52

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Don't slag off Richards Jimpy, that really cuts deep.

Richards complains but Cockers is on another level, he must be the most hated DOR in the league by some distance.

Really? And your evidence for this is?

Maybe in your opinion, but then, we all know how much that has counted for on this article so far.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue 28 Apr - 18:54

Yes my opinion, no less right than yours that he isn't thumbsup

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Post by Jimpy Tue 28 Apr - 19:00

beshocked wrote:I am not a big fan of Cockerill but he does make some fair comments in this case.

London Welsh are a team who do play more negatively than any other because they lack the talent to do anything else.

Slowing the game down doesn't help Leicester who were chasing the try bonus - no wonder Cockerill was frustated.

Sgt Pooly Cockerill is unpopular and perhaps deservedly so but he has had success with Tigers.

Though if I am being honest I think it's time that Tigers move on from Cockerill.

The squad IMO is weaker than it was in 2009/10.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/english/8708250.stm

Look at that Tigers team.... It's bloody good.

When you compare the Tigers team of then, the Saracens team of then and both to now it's no wonder Saracens seem to be doing better than Tigers these days.

Key players of Tigers not properly replaced.... I know injuries don't help but can't rely on one player all the time - I know what that's like!

I want Tigers to find some bite which I think they've lost - that means a change in coaching staff IMO. Attacking game in particular needs a complete overhaul.

The reason - it makes a more competitive league and helps everyone push in an upwards trajectory in England.

I'm not a Cockerill apologist and I have at times voiced concern over his management and his position as DoR. Clearly he will be staying, and that is that. However, there have been investigations into the seemingly annual list of serious and long term injuries, a change in coaching staff (including the introduction of Aaron Mauger) and a shuffle around of some of the players. This might not fix the problems over night, but it will hopefully bring Tigers back to where they ought to be in terms of performances. In other words, top four by default!

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Post by Jimpy Tue 28 Apr - 19:04

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Yes my opinion, no less right than yours that he isn't thumbsup

Oh really? Well since you make the accusation, the onus is on you to provide such evidence I'd say. I'd love to see it. We'd all love to see it.

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Post by beshocked Tue 28 Apr - 19:07

The more I look at the Tigers squad and the direction Tigers are going in the more convinced I am that Cockerill needs to be given the boot. I say this as someone who wants to see a stronger Tigers as bizarre as that might be.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue 28 Apr - 19:11

Some of us have a job Jimpy, I care little that you're left unsatisfied.

Agree Beshocked, they've had a very poor season by their normal standards. They're still up there with a shout though which is something.

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Post by lostinwales Tue 28 Apr - 19:20

Looking at the current table its interesting that the 4 top teams are all the ones who have conceded the least points. The highest scorers, Exeter and Wasps, are in 5th and 6th. Tigers come 9th in terms of points scored.

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Post by Jimpy Tue 28 Apr - 19:22

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Some of us have a job Jimpy, I care little that you're left unsatisfied.

Agree Beshocked, they've had a very poor season by their normal standards. They're still up there with a shout though which is something.

That's funny, so do I, and you seem to be on here twelve times as frequently. I really don't care for what you think either, neither it seems, do a several others on this article. It doesn't help that you're avoiding reasonable questions and attempting to pass off opinion as fact.

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Post by doctor_grey Tue 28 Apr - 19:30

lostinwales wrote:Looking at the current table its interesting that the 4 top teams are all the ones who have conceded the least points. The highest scorers, Exeter and Wasps, are in 5th and 6th. Tigers come 9th in terms of points scored.
Excellent point. Usually the stronger defenses are with the better teams. This is a great statistical example of that.
Two expressions come to mind:
Offense wins games, but defense wins championships.
Drive for show, and putt for dough.

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Post by beshocked Tue 28 Apr - 19:36

lostinwales bear in mind that Saracens and Saints have not yet faced London Welsh - one would expect that to boost their points difference and for stats!

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue 28 Apr - 19:39

It certainly reflects in the league standings, our defence has been extremely poor at times.

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Post by LondonTiger Tue 28 Apr - 19:44

With that win, Saint's have effectively sealed a home semi - just need to beat London Welsh at home in round 21 to mathematically guarantee.

Assuming they get the TBP, Bath will need to get the same at the Stoop to prevent Saints sealing top spot with a round to go.

London Welsh have slowed the rate they ship points in recent weeks, however conceding 1,000pts is still a real possibility.

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Post by Jimpy Tue 28 Apr - 19:53

LondonTiger wrote:With that win, Saint's have effectively sealed a home semi - just need to beat London Welsh at home in round 21 to mathematically guarantee.

Assuming they get the TBP, Bath will need to get the same at the Stoop to prevent Saints sealing top spot with a round to go.

London Welsh have slowed the rate they ship points in recent weeks, however conceding 1,000pts is still a real possibility.

LW have been embarrassing, it could possibly be the worst team performance in the AP ever. Bristol or Worcester to come up - I can think of at least two AP sides that will be looking over their shoulders next season...

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Post by lostinwales Tue 28 Apr - 19:54

LondonTiger wrote:With that win, Saint's have effectively sealed a home semi - just need to beat London Welsh at home in round 21 to mathematically guarantee.

Assuming they get the TBP, Bath will need to get the same at the Stoop to prevent Saints sealing top spot with a round to go.

London Welsh have slowed the rate they ship points in recent weeks, however conceding 1,000pts is still a real possibility.


Point difference -701 - on average they get beaten by a margin of 35 points a game. 

On first glance it does seem that there have been a lot more points scored in the AP than the Pro12, but LW have probably done enough to account for a big chunk of the difference

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Post by LondonTiger Tue 28 Apr - 20:00

Current LW team are the worst I have seen in the AP.

Before them I reckon it was the West Hartlepool side of (I think) 98/99. As the first club I ever played for, that always saddened me.

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Post by Jimpy Tue 28 Apr - 20:00

lostinwales wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:With that win, Saint's have effectively sealed a home semi - just need to beat London Welsh at home in round 21 to mathematically guarantee.

Assuming they get the TBP, Bath will need to get the same at the Stoop to prevent Saints sealing top spot with a round to go.

London Welsh have slowed the rate they ship points in recent weeks, however conceding 1,000pts is still a real possibility.


Point difference -701 - on average they get beaten by a margin of 35 points a game

On first glance it does seem that there have been a lot more points scored in the AP than the Pro12, but LW have probably done enough to account for a big chunk of the difference

Unless playing Tigers at Welford Rd of course.... picard

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Post by Scottrf Tue 28 Apr - 20:11

nathan wrote:Saints getting the rub of the green in this match, missed forward passed, in at the side
If you ignore Sarries winning balls back without the tackler ever releasing, being constantly off their feet at breakdowns and offside. There was barely a phase where they weren't offside.

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Post by nathan Tue 28 Apr - 22:15

Scottrf wrote:
nathan wrote:Saints getting the rub of the green in this match, missed forward passed, in at the side
If you ignore Sarries winning balls back without the tackler ever releasing, being constantly off their feet at breakdowns and offside. There was barely a phase where they weren't offside.

guessing you are a saints fan then...

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Post by Scottrf Tue 28 Apr - 22:21

All true.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 28 Apr - 22:25

Didn't think the ref was favouring either side much. thought Vunipola was a bit lucky to not get done for releasing and rejoining the maul a few times before the 1st try. Northampton got the rub later. No massive disparity.

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Post by Geordie Wed 29 Apr - 0:28

LondonTiger wrote:
nathan wrote:
your quote that has been cut down and posted is so very GG!

I assumed it was a diversionary tactic to avoid having to explain just why he thought May was poor in an 8 minute cameo when he did everything right. Mind not the worst thing May has been accused of on here, after all it was his fault that we lost the Grand Slam in 2014.

Oh LT, come on lad...that was Nowell.... Wink

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Post by Geordie Wed 29 Apr - 0:31

If it wasn't for LW we'd be down......that's for sure.

It will certainly be a very different relegation battle next season....but in our defence we've had so many games lost by the odd point in the last ten minutes. A few wins and we'd be right up.

Hopefully the new signings and some extra work on the defence will help.

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Post by nathan Wed 29 Apr - 1:36

GeordieFalcon wrote:If it wasn't for LW we'd be down......that's for sure.

It will certainly be a very different relegation battle next season....but in our defence we've had so many games lost by the odd point in the last ten minutes. A few wins and we'd be right up.

Hopefully the new signings and some extra work on the defence will help.

i do believe you have improving though, which has got to be a positive! attack wise i think your pretty good but as you said, just need to work on the defence.

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Post by LondonTiger Wed 29 Apr - 1:57

it is not so much defence that is Falcons problem, but ball retention. If you look at some of the games they have lost late on, they were coughing up the ball too easily and scores were the culmination of sustained pressure. The faltering set-piece does not help this.

At times, the backline organisation in defence has been a touch hit and miss. The main reason may well be down to the amount of changes regularly made. Falcons have not exactly been settled in the backline. A lesser issue is Sinotti. Great in attack, strong in the tackle but very lazy in getting back into a defensive position when he goes looking for attacking ball.

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Post by doctor_grey Wed 29 Apr - 11:03

GeordieFalcon wrote:If it wasn't for LW we'd be down......that's for sure.

It will certainly be a very different relegation battle next season....but in our defence we've had so many games lost by the odd point in the last ten minutes. A few wins and we'd be right up.

Hopefully the new signings and some extra work on the defence will help.
Well, to be fair, there was no relegation fight this season. So I think the whole league was distorted. Next season there will be a battle royal to avoid relegation. And I think you boys will have a better record simply by holding leads and playing better ball control.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Wed 29 Apr - 15:09

Nice article on Wasps v Chiefs & highlighting our 'something from nothing' players.
Wade & Simmo have got to be part of England's WC match day squads.
http://www.rugbyworld.com/countries/england-countries/premiership-analysis-four-moments-of-wasps-magic-44847

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed 29 Apr - 15:20

Wade possibly but a big no from me on Simpson.

There's a good article from NZ talking about the importance of a sharp pass and how it shapes your whole attack. Simpson is too hit and miss in this regard for me, his passing is the weakest part of his game.

Wade would be interesting coming on late in a game. Not sure I'd fancy him against Savea but he'd certainly be worth a look against the lower nations.

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Post by Geordie Wed 29 Apr - 17:32

It looks to me that Lancaster doesn't have any thoughts for Wade.

I think that because of the other players he's fast tracked (Watson, Nowell, etc)....yet Wade has not been. That would suggest he doesn't feature in Lancasters thoughts.

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Post by Jimpy Wed 29 Apr - 17:33

doctor_grey wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:If it wasn't for LW we'd be down......that's for sure.

It will certainly be a very different relegation battle next season....but in our defence we've had so many games lost by the odd point in the last ten minutes. A few wins and we'd be right up.

Hopefully the new signings and some extra work on the defence will help.
Well, to be fair, there was no relegation fight this season.  So I think the whole league was distorted.  Next season there will be a battle royal to avoid relegation.  And I think you boys will have a better record simply by holding leads and playing better ball control.  

With the expansion and ring fencing of the AP a distinct possibility, this could be moot. Unless of course, your team happens to have been relegated the season before it takes effect.... best not be that team because getting back into the top flight would be difficult (in fact the mechanism for doing so is still not clear).

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Post by LondonTiger Wed 29 Apr - 17:38

Wade featured in his thoughts. Played in Argentina summer of 13, and was then called into the Lions. Was scheduled to play in the AIs at the end of that year, but got injured in the training camp.

He has been unlucky with getting niggly little injuries at exactly the wrong time.

Of course the other issue is that Lancaster likes "multi-faceted" wingers, so Nowell and Watson are not even playing on the wing for their clubs atm.

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Post by Geordie Wed 29 Apr - 17:39

Yeah it would be best not to get relegated...but on this seasons performances I am encouraged that hopefully we wont.

The scrum has been a big issues...particularly the quality of replacements. We have addressed that now so hopefully we can turn some of those narrow loses to narrow wins.

We have also signed Delaney a 32 kiwi, who I believe does have a couple of Caps. He should make a nice contrast for young Catterick and hopefully again be able to get us over the finish line In the tighter games.

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Post by Geordie Wed 29 Apr - 18:00

LondonTiger wrote:Wade featured in his thoughts. Played in Argentina summer of 13, and was then called into the Lions. Was scheduled to play in the AIs at the end of that year, but got injured in the training camp.

He has been unlucky with getting niggly little injuries at exactly the wrong time.

Of course the other issue is that Lancaster likes "multi-faceted" wingers, so Nowell and Watson are not even playing on the wing for their clubs atm.

He's had a look at him, but I don't think he is high up his list as the more "multi faceted "wingers as you say.

Of course I could yet be proven very wrong...

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Post by Jimpy Wed 29 Apr - 18:04

GeordieFalcon wrote:Yeah it would be best not to get relegated...but on this seasons performances I am encouraged that hopefully we wont.

The scrum has been a big issues...particularly the quality of replacements. We have addressed that now so hopefully we can turn some of those narrow loses to narrow wins.

We have also signed Delaney a 32 kiwi, who I believe does have a couple of Caps. He should make a nice contrast for young Catterick and hopefully again be able to get us over the finish line In the tighter games.

Can the promoted side (I think Bristol will do it) make a go of it as Exeter did, and will LI improve?

These are the important questions. I didn't think LI could be so poor - ever - but evidently they have been. Surely they must improve. Can Falcons match or better such an improvement? Because it's going to be tight.

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Post by Geordie Wed 29 Apr - 18:42

LI have made some very good signings that's only going to help. And lets not forget we are 10 points behind them.

But I do think the signings we've made will make a huge difference to our issues.

You cant expect to beat teams with such a poor scrum...and we have signed 3 very good quality props. Our lineout is slowly becoming a weapon with Kane Thompson leading the line....though his contract is out in the summer...

We can suppose all we like...but until we see how all the teams look at the start of next season its futile...

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Post by Gooseberry Wed 29 Apr - 21:11

Jimpy wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:If it wasn't for LW we'd be down......that's for sure.

It will certainly be a very different relegation battle next season....but in our defence we've had so many games lost by the odd point in the last ten minutes. A few wins and we'd be right up.

Hopefully the new signings and some extra work on the defence will help.
Well, to be fair, there was no relegation fight this season.  So I think the whole league was distorted.  Next season there will be a battle royal to avoid relegation.  And I think you boys will have a better record simply by holding leads and playing better ball control.  

With the expansion and ring fencing of the AP a distinct possibility, this could be moot. Unless of course, your team happens to have been relegated the season before it takes effect.... best not be that team because getting back into the top flight would be difficult (in fact the mechanism for doing so is still not clear).

If they just got on and did it this year I think the London Welsh fan(s?) would be more than happy to see the back of it.

The ring fencing is likely a when rather than an if tbh. Personally Id like to see two tiers of 8 with promotion but it wont happen. If they do expand the top flight (lots of pointless mid table clashes yay) it would most likey be on a franchise basis rather than purely "how well you did last season" so a bottom side wouldnt get a free pass. Facilities support and finances would be the key.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Wed 29 Apr - 21:20

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Wade possibly but a big no from me on Simpson.

There's a good article from NZ talking about the importance of a sharp pass and how it shapes your whole attack. Simpson is too hit and miss in this regard for me, his passing is the weakest part of his game.

Wade would be interesting coming on late in a game. Not sure I'd fancy him against Savea but he'd certainly be worth a look against the lower nations.

Simmos passing & kicking have been superb all season.
In actual fact Joe hold the world record for the fastest pass in rugby!

http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/news/2014/10/rugby-world-records-get-rucking-and-mauling-with-our-top-ten-rugger-related-titles-61225

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Post by LondonTiger Wed 29 Apr - 21:29

Speed of pass is about more than how fast it travels through the air. The time taken to make the decision to pass, the hop, the step and the shimmy should all be included.


PS not a dig at Simpson, who by all accounts has played well this season, and offers much to excite in an impact sub. He really struggled in the arm wrestle at Welford Road, where his basics did not look good however.

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Post by Geordie Wed 29 Apr - 21:34

Which teams would you like to see in a 14 side ring fenced league?

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Post by LondonTiger Wed 29 Apr - 21:37

Lets face it, if it happens it will most likely be at the end of next season and would involve no relegation next season.

It would be the cureent 11 + Bristol and Worcester and then a 14th team based on some application process. Yorkshire Carnegie probably favourites, but cornish Pirates coudl do it if the council ever grant planning permission for a stadium.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed 29 Apr - 22:01

BigTrevsbigmac wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:Wade possibly but a big no from me on Simpson.

There's a good article from NZ talking about the importance of a sharp pass and how it shapes your whole attack. Simpson is too hit and miss in this regard for me, his passing is the weakest part of his game.

Wade would be interesting coming on late in a game. Not sure I'd fancy him against Savea but he'd certainly be worth a look against the lower nations.

Simmos passing & kicking have been superb all season.
In actual fact Joe hold the world record for the fastest pass in rugby!

http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/news/2014/10/rugby-world-records-get-rucking-and-mauling-with-our-top-ten-rugger-related-titles-61225

As LT says speed of a pass is only an asset if it's on target!

No issues with his box kicking which is pretty handy but his passing can be awful. He's very past but has one of the worst passes in the AP from a starting scrum half, I think this is whats held him back as he's certainly exciting. Robson on the other hand who Wasps have brought in has a very strong pass on him.

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Post by Geordie Wed 29 Apr - 22:17

LondonTiger wrote:Lets face it, if it happens it will most likely be at the end of next season and would involve no relegation next season.

It would be the cureent 11 + Bristol and Worcester and then a 14th team based on some application process. Yorkshire Carnegie probably favourites, but cornish Pirates coudl do it if the council ever grant planning permission for a stadium.

I would certainly hope they have a say in it....produce so many good players they just cant seem to keep hold of them...as they have shown yet again this coming summer.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed 29 Apr - 22:32

I'd certainly be hoping for Leeds/Yorks to be involved. There's such a great catchment area of rugby talent around that area, it's crying out for a premiership team. It was also give us a few spread areas through the country and especially the North.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Thu 30 Apr - 1:10

Sgt_Pooly wrote:
BigTrevsbigmac wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:Wade possibly but a big no from me on Simpson.

There's a good article from NZ talking about the importance of a sharp pass and how it shapes your whole attack. Simpson is too hit and miss in this regard for me, his passing is the weakest part of his game.

Wade would be interesting coming on late in a game. Not sure I'd fancy him against Savea but he'd certainly be worth a look against the lower nations.

Simmos passing & kicking have been superb all season.
In actual fact Joe hold the world record for the fastest pass in rugby!

http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/news/2014/10/rugby-world-records-get-rucking-and-mauling-with-our-top-ten-rugger-related-titles-61225

As LT says speed of a pass is only an asset if it's on target!

No issues with his box kicking which is pretty handy but his passing can be awful. He's very past but has one of the worst passes in the AP from a starting scrum half, I think this is whats held him back as he's certainly exciting. Robson on the other hand who Wasps have brought in has a very strong pass on him.

I will have to agree to disagree then Sgt Pooley - certainly in the past accuracy of pass and decision making at the base of the scrum has been a relative weakness in a very strong skill set, but this season this aspect has been very good.
As a Wasps supporter & yes possibly biased, I am more than happy to have Joe available for my team throughout the season. However, I haven't seen a better SH playing week in week out this season.
He simply deserves another chance on merit & like Wade would provide something different, more than just accurate kicking, passing but scintillating pace and genuine attacking threat as well.
For those that haven't had an opportunity to see much of him this season watch him in our next game V Tigers Sunday week - live on BT for those not going.

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