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Post by king_carlos Tue 10 Aug 2021, 4:11 pm

First topic message reminder :

GeordieFalcon wrote:Sam Simmonds should be a 12. Wink

With limited distribution and no kicking game... I hate to be a killjoy but he sounds a bit like Manu without the same power! Whistle

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Post by king_carlos Tue 21 Sep 2021, 8:08 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:
king_carlos wrote:
Poorfour wrote:
Poorfour wrote:
I would also hazard that there is a 6th category which is Joe Marler and for which the selection criterion is "can he be arsed to play?"

It appears I was right:

Eddie Jones wrote:Prop Joe Marler, who has won 72 caps, is also back in the fold having not featured in the 2021 Six Nations.

"You take Joe on face value, he is one of the most honest players I have met," Jones said.

"We had a chat about six or eight weeks ago and he wants to give it a go. At this stage he is fully committed and we will see where we can take it because he was in wonderful form for Harlequins at the end of the season."

Marler's form was indeed brilliant last season for Quins so I think it's fair to recall him if he's available. Loosehead is a position of strength anyway so it's not like Marler making himself available/unavailable neuters the team at times.

His fringe defence, chop tackling and set-piece work are top drawer. He's a good foil for Cowan-Dickie and Sinckler as well I think. There's a good balance between the 3 of them.

I reckon LCD will hold onto the starting shirt ahead of George at full strength following his performances last season and the Lions tour. He's developed into a world class player.

I think this is a good call Carlos. Marler is our best option at LH, especially with MV not quite fully firing. Sinckler needs to step up at Th or Heyes (if he carries on with his progession) could really threaten his spot. The young lad is coming along nicely....

Sinckler is still our best TH by an absolute mile for me. He didn't hit the heights of his 2019 form last season ball in hand (not that England did much of it) but his set-piece and defensive work was still top notch. Overall if that's what Sinckler's going to offer out of form he's hardly a liability on his poor days and his best days can be match winning.

As said before I often think that we tend to criticise the established players far more for average (i.e. 6 out of 10 type performances) than than shiny and new players for worse than average performance. If an established star has a solid game against tough opposition but makes one memorable mistake then that mistake can sometimes incite social media (or 606v2) Armageddon. Meanwhile if a newer player makes several basic errors but does one good thing that's flashy then certain posters need a change of underwear.

As most here know I really rate Heyes and think he can overtake Stuart, who's another TH I rate to his credit. Heyes is a long way from offering what Sinckler can consistently though. Heyes is also injured just currently but I don't think it's a long term one.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 21 Sep 2021, 8:14 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:
king_carlos wrote:
Poorfour wrote:
Poorfour wrote:
I would also hazard that there is a 6th category which is Joe Marler and for which the selection criterion is "can he be arsed to play?"

It appears I was right:

Eddie Jones wrote:Prop Joe Marler, who has won 72 caps, is also back in the fold having not featured in the 2021 Six Nations.

"You take Joe on face value, he is one of the most honest players I have met," Jones said.

"We had a chat about six or eight weeks ago and he wants to give it a go. At this stage he is fully committed and we will see where we can take it because he was in wonderful form for Harlequins at the end of the season."

Marler's form was indeed brilliant last season for Quins so I think it's fair to recall him if he's available. Loosehead is a position of strength anyway so it's not like Marler making himself available/unavailable neuters the team at times.

His fringe defence, chop tackling and set-piece work are top drawer. He's a good foil for Cowan-Dickie and Sinckler as well I think. There's a good balance between the 3 of them.

I reckon LCD will hold onto the starting shirt ahead of George at full strength following his performances last season and the Lions tour. He's developed into a world class player.

I think this is a good call Carlos. Marler is our best option at LH, especially with MV not quite fully firing. Sinckler needs to step up at Th or Heyes (if he carries on with his progession) could really threaten his spot. The young lad is coming along nicely....

I'm very pleased to see Marler back but I'd like to see more of what we saw last season as opposed to his antics on Sunday where he was as much a liability as an asset.

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Post by king_carlos Tue 21 Sep 2021, 8:28 pm

Bath - 5 - Obano, Stuart, Ewels, Underhill, Watson
Bristol - 2 - Sinckler, Randall
Exeter - 4 - LCD, J Hill, Simmonds, Slade
Gloucester - 3 - Ludlow, Atkinson, May
Harlequins - 7 - Marler, Riley, Kenningham, Dombrandt, Smith, Marchant, Lynagh
Leicester - 5 - Genge, Heyes, Martin, Youngs, Steward
London Irish - 0
Newcastle - 4 - Blamire, Davison, Chick, Radwan
Northampton - 4 - Lawes, Ludlam, Sleightholme, Furbank
Sale - 4 - Rodd, Curry, Quirke, Tuilagi
Sarries - 3 - Itoje, Farrell, Malins
Wasps - 2 - Oghre, Robson
Worcester - 2 - T Hill, Lawrence

Breakdown of how many from each club there. It's a fairly even split other than the 7 from last seasons champions Quins and none from LI. Irish can perhaps feel unfortunate that none of their very talented back three of Hassell-Collins, Loader and Parton made the squad but there is talent at wing and fullback.

Bristol's participation halving with Earl and Malins back at Sarries after loan. The only player I'd say can feel unlucky there is Piers O'Conor though, who I really rate and would have picked. I'd pick Capon and Thacker over Oghre as well but Thacker just doesn't suit where international rugby has gone whilst Capon is young enough that his time will come.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue 21 Sep 2021, 8:36 pm

It's Sinks scrummaging that can be an issue....which is quite key for a TH. He can be dominant then get hammered, he's not quite got it sorted.

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Post by Poorfour Tue 21 Sep 2021, 9:13 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:It's Sinks scrummaging that can be an issue....which is quite key for a TH. He can be dominant then get hammered, he's not quite got it sorted.

There are very few props who are utterly bulletproof in the scrum. Marler is probably as close as it gets, along with the top 5 or 6 Boks. Sinckler is generally pretty good - and has shown that he has the ability to work out an opponent over the course of a game - but can be overpowered.

A lot actually depends on the locks. Kruis was a hugely effective scrummaging lock, and all our tightheads looked better when he was on the pitch. Lawes and Itoje aren't quite as good, and I've not seen Ewels, Hill or any of the new crop deliver that level of solidity. There are some promising new options coming through but they're a few years off being fully cooked.
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Post by king_carlos Tue 21 Sep 2021, 9:19 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:It's Sinks scrummaging that can be an issue....which is quite key for a TH. He can be dominant then get hammered, he's not quite got it sorted.

Still our best scrummager at TH in my opinion though. I think it's often overlooked how few props actually scrummage consistently against all opposition at international level.

Furlong and Malherbe I can think of at tighthead are fantastic scrummagers. Even then Malherbe didn't destroy Mako when they started against each other recently and Mako's scrummaging is so maligned he was being referred to as the human mattress by Scotland fans on here who were having a meltdown over Sutherland being benched.

Steven Kitshoff at LH is a wonderful player. Mikheil Nariashvili is a fantastic LH for Georgia but not tested against top internationals as often. I really rate Chapparo at LH for Argentina too but I wouldn't say he's consistently dominant.

Marler has just kept improving as a scrummager and is now very good there too, since reaching this level as a scrummager he has missed a lot of international rugby to show it at the top level though.

It's a very short list though is what I'm saying. Scrummaging in international rugby is difficult and practically all props in all international teams struggle sometimes. Forward packs are so huge, powerful and well drilled now that even the best props will struggle up against good packs having a good day. If coaches didn't pick props who sometimes struggle against international scrums then we would have uncontested scrums!

The only props in recent years I can think of that I never really saw dominated were Marcos Ayerza and Carl Hayman. The latter gave up international rugby early before it broke his body and the former was a late bloomer who played in very good Argentina and Tigers scrums for most of his career. Scrummaging ain't easy.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 21 Sep 2021, 9:22 pm

Yeah. Really wish Itoje didn't knock him out in the final.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 21 Sep 2021, 9:22 pm

Yeah. Really wish Itoje didn't knock him out in the final.

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Post by Poorfour Tue 21 Sep 2021, 10:51 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Yeah. Really wish Itoje didn't knock him out in the final.

For me, that was the moment England lost the final. Not just because it meant Cole had to endure 78 minutes of Mtwarira and then Kitshoff, but I am almost certain that Eddie had an attacking strategy that would have seen Sinck used at first receiver some of the time. They had done it a handful of times in the autumn internationals to good effect, and I think it could have been enough to open up the Bok defence - he would only need to create a moment's hesitation to have space out wide to pass into, or have them lose focus for him to be able to smash a hole.

What might have been...

But I think, if even two or three of the current new boys come through before the RWC, we will have at least as good a chance in the next tournament.
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Post by Rugby Fan Wed 22 Sep 2021, 7:50 am

Hadn't realized just how much Jack Nowell has been injured. He says he has had nine serious operations over ten years. He's probably never been fully fit. Talking on the Rugby Pass Offload podcast, he says 4G pitches were a particular menace for him early in his career.

He's just had five weeks off, and is feeling good. However, he believes he needs some consistent training and game time to give his best in an England camp again.

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Post by Geordie Wed 22 Sep 2021, 8:33 am

I dont include Nowell or Manu in England discussions anymore as i have no faith whatsoever they will be fit. You certainly couldnt build a long term back line with them in...

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Post by Geordie Wed 22 Sep 2021, 8:35 am

king_carlos wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:
king_carlos wrote:
Poorfour wrote:
Poorfour wrote:
I would also hazard that there is a 6th category which is Joe Marler and for which the selection criterion is "can he be arsed to play?"

It appears I was right:

Eddie Jones wrote:Prop Joe Marler, who has won 72 caps, is also back in the fold having not featured in the 2021 Six Nations.

"You take Joe on face value, he is one of the most honest players I have met," Jones said.

"We had a chat about six or eight weeks ago and he wants to give it a go. At this stage he is fully committed and we will see where we can take it because he was in wonderful form for Harlequins at the end of the season."

Marler's form was indeed brilliant last season for Quins so I think it's fair to recall him if he's available. Loosehead is a position of strength anyway so it's not like Marler making himself available/unavailable neuters the team at times.

His fringe defence, chop tackling and set-piece work are top drawer. He's a good foil for Cowan-Dickie and Sinckler as well I think. There's a good balance between the 3 of them.

I reckon LCD will hold onto the starting shirt ahead of George at full strength following his performances last season and the Lions tour. He's developed into a world class player.

I think this is a good call Carlos. Marler is our best option at LH, especially with MV not quite fully firing. Sinckler needs to step up at Th or Heyes (if he carries on with his progession) could really threaten his spot. The young lad is coming along nicely....

Sinckler is still our best TH by an absolute mile for me. He didn't hit the heights of his 2019 form last season ball in hand (not that England did much of it) but his set-piece and defensive work was still top notch. Overall if that's what Sinckler's going to offer out of form he's hardly a liability on his poor days and his best days can be match winning.

As said before I often think that we tend to criticise the established players far more for average (i.e. 6 out of 10 type performances) than than shiny and new players for worse than average performance. If an established star has a solid game against tough opposition but makes one memorable mistake then that mistake can sometimes incite social media (or 606v2) Armageddon. Meanwhile if a newer player makes several basic errors but does one good thing that's flashy then certain posters need a change of underwear.

As most here know I really rate Heyes and think he can overtake Stuart, who's another TH I rate to his credit. Heyes is a long way from offering what Sinckler can consistently though. Heyes is also injured just currently but I don't think it's a long term one.

I rate Stuart, and would love to see him really push on to another level. Hes a massive guy, and would be a real weapon at TH if he did...

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 22 Sep 2021, 8:47 am

king_carlos wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:It's Sinks scrummaging that can be an issue....which is quite key for a TH. He can be dominant then get hammered, he's not quite got it sorted.

Still our best scrummager at TH in my opinion though. I think it's often overlooked how few props actually scrummage consistently against all opposition at international level.

Furlong and Malherbe I can think of at tighthead are fantastic scrummagers. Even then Malherbe didn't destroy Mako when they started against each other recently and Mako's scrummaging is so maligned he was being referred to as the human mattress by Scotland fans on here who were having a meltdown over Sutherland being benched.

Steven Kitshoff at LH is a wonderful player. Mikheil Nariashvili is a fantastic LH for Georgia but not tested against top internationals as often. I really rate Chapparo at LH for Argentina too but I wouldn't say he's consistently dominant.

Marler has just kept improving as a scrummager and is now very good there too, since reaching this level as a scrummager he has missed a lot of international rugby to show it at the top level though.

It's a very short list though is what I'm saying. Scrummaging in international rugby is difficult and practically all props in all international teams struggle sometimes. Forward packs are so huge, powerful and well drilled now that even the best props will struggle up against good packs having a good day. If coaches didn't pick props who sometimes struggle against international scrums then we would have uncontested scrums!

The only props in recent years I can think of that I never really saw dominated were Marcos Ayerza and Carl Hayman. The latter gave up international rugby early before it broke his body and the former was a late bloomer who played in very good Argentina and Tigers scrums for most of his career. Scrummaging ain't easy.

Great post. No prop is going to guarantee you scrum domination at the top table and every prop has a bad day or a particular player that they struggle against etc. Marler despite his might form last season struggled up against his good mate Dan Cole which he tends to do. Doesn't mean we shouldn't be delighted to have him back in the England fold. I'd still argue Dan Cole is the best scrummaging prop in the Prem but his international days are definitely behind him after that tough day at the office in the RWC final.

Ah Marcos Ayerza, one of the great looseheads but even he struggled in the Prem final Tigers lost to Quins though the scrum laws at the time were all about the hit and little about actual scrum work. Quins simply massive tighthead tended to win the hit and made life tough for him that day. The change of the law to make scrums about scrummaging the season after suited Ayerza down the ground. 

Personally I wouldn't say Sinckler has scrum issues. He's generally been good at the set piece. Might not be in the Furlong level but I don't think anyone else is. His work round the park is very impressive and is what is going to make Heyes and Stuart's task of overtaking him difficult. I was a little surprised to see the form of the Bath front row fall away at the end of the season, there were issues with injury and suspension but collectively all three who were deserving England squad men looked off their game. Could be costly for Dunn and Obano in particular.

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Post by Geordie Wed 22 Sep 2021, 9:31 am

I think the key as poorfour aluded to above...the tight head lock plays a big part aswell.

Ive mentioned it before on here, but the Wasps players used to say having Simon Shaw in the scrum was like having an extra man.

We need to find a really strong scrummaging Tight Head lock...

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 22 Sep 2021, 9:41 am

Er, we have Itoje already.

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Post by Geordie Wed 22 Sep 2021, 9:51 am

Hes a class act...but is he a destructive tight head lock....im not sure 7.5

Hes not as good as Kruis there...?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 22 Sep 2021, 10:00 am

According to the saracens coaches he was a better scrummaging lock than Kruis. England have had a few good ones and continue to. Most of the time we can even get away with having Vunipola at loose head and still keep parity. The weakest lock there we have is Lawes and hes not been first choice pick there for years.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 22 Sep 2021, 10:02 am

Which lock do you pine for in the world geordie. For me Retallick, but I'm not sure I'd be bothered about many others.

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Post by Geordie Wed 22 Sep 2021, 10:45 am

Norm Hadley... Wink

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Post by Geordie Wed 22 Sep 2021, 10:46 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:According to the saracens coaches he was a better scrummaging lock than Kruis. England have had a few good ones and continue to. Most of the time we can even get away with having Vunipola at loose head and still keep parity.  The weakest lock there we have is Lawes and hes not been first choice pick there for years.
Interesting...i wouldnt have picked that out, but they clearly know way better than me.

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Post by Geordie Wed 22 Sep 2021, 10:50 am

I see Eddie has confirmed he will defo be leaving after the 2023 World Cup.

So Borthwicks got two years to get the Tigers to the title... Wink

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Post by lostinwales Wed 22 Sep 2021, 10:50 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:According to the saracens coaches he was a better scrummaging lock than Kruis. England have had a few good ones and continue to. Most of the time we can even get away with having Vunipola at loose head and still keep parity.  The weakest lock there we have is Lawes and hes not been first choice pick there for years.
Interesting...i wouldnt have picked that out, but they clearly know way better than me.

I was beginning to wonder at what point this conversation would be going towards how we would be better off without Itoje if we could get a couple of giant scrummaging locks instead.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 22 Sep 2021, 11:02 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:Norm Hadley... Wink

I had to look that up!

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 22 Sep 2021, 11:03 am

lostinwales wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:According to the saracens coaches he was a better scrummaging lock than Kruis. England have had a few good ones and continue to. Most of the time we can even get away with having Vunipola at loose head and still keep parity.  The weakest lock there we have is Lawes and hes not been first choice pick there for years.
Interesting...i wouldnt have picked that out, but they clearly know way better than me.

I was beginning to wonder at what point this conversation would be going towards how we would be better off without Itoje if we could get a couple of giant scrummaging locks instead.

Itoje will go down as a legend of the game. Personally I don't see lock as a point of worry. For years it's been about scrum half and full back for me. We're taking steps on that.

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Post by Geordie Wed 22 Sep 2021, 11:06 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Norm Hadley... Wink

I had to look that up!

Ha ha....he was a beast...part of the Canada team of the 1991 world cup that was fantastic! They even ran the AB's close!

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Post by Geordie Wed 22 Sep 2021, 11:07 am

lostinwales wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:According to the saracens coaches he was a better scrummaging lock than Kruis. England have had a few good ones and continue to. Most of the time we can even get away with having Vunipola at loose head and still keep parity.  The weakest lock there we have is Lawes and hes not been first choice pick there for years.
Interesting...i wouldnt have picked that out, but they clearly know way better than me.

I was beginning to wonder at what point this conversation would be going towards how we would be better off without Itoje if we could get a couple of giant scrummaging locks instead.

Ah no...Itoje is simply one of the best in the world...just need to get the right partner for him.

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Post by Geordie Wed 22 Sep 2021, 11:09 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:According to the saracens coaches he was a better scrummaging lock than Kruis. England have had a few good ones and continue to. Most of the time we can even get away with having Vunipola at loose head and still keep parity.  The weakest lock there we have is Lawes and hes not been first choice pick there for years.
Interesting...i wouldnt have picked that out, but they clearly know way better than me.

I was beginning to wonder at what point this conversation would be going towards how we would be better off without Itoje if we could get a couple of giant scrummaging locks instead.

Itoje will go down as a legend of the game. Personally I don't see lock as a point of worry. For years it's been about scrum half and full back for me. We're taking steps on that.

No your right...its not an issue. I was reffering more to the "collective" scrum and Sinklers performances saying the Tight head lock also plays a part in how good they perform...

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Post by lostinwales Wed 22 Sep 2021, 11:25 am

The three best English locks in my lifetime have been Shaw, Johnson and Itoje. Itoje should be the best of the three.

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Post by Poorfour Wed 22 Sep 2021, 11:33 am

Different roles. Itoje is one of the great enforcer locks, but he normally packs down on the LH side, we do not have an equivalent who is as good as a primary lineout caller and TH lock.

There are some who might make it in time - from a Quins perspective, Tizard reminds me a lot of a young Kruis in how technically proficient he is across his game. I was going to say he could do with adding a bit of bulk - but Quins list him as 120 kg already; however, he's only 21 and will probably fill out over the next couple of years.
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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 22 Sep 2021, 12:51 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:I see Eddie has confirmed he will defo be leaving after the 2023 World Cup.

So Borthwicks got two years to get the Tigers to the title... Wink

thumbsdown hands off. To be honest I'm not sure the RFU would be that happy with Steve as they love a bit of media chat and he really doesn't. He refuses to comment on injuries, sometimes he'll be a little flexible and go as far as to say they weren't available for selection. He doesn't like talking about selection much either. The journos aren't going to have much to write about with Borthwick in the top job. Having said that he's doing a cracking job at Tigers. Early indications are that Sinfield coming in was a really good move as well.

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Post by Geordie Wed 22 Sep 2021, 12:58 pm

More than happy to have a more quiet England coach for a change.


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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 22 Sep 2021, 1:02 pm

There does tend to be a bit of to and fro in how boards select managers and normally its about a perceived weakness of the previous. You could well end up with a few saying that Jones was too in your face and hence a polar opposite could be Borthwick. I'd throw Baxter in there too from that perspective. I like Robertson and he's clearly looking for an opportunity. If he applies I think thats where i'd be looking. And he can do his breakdance thing when we win the world cup.

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Post by lostinwales Wed 22 Sep 2021, 1:10 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:More than happy to have a more quiet England coach for a change.


Although there is much about Eddie's way of working which can come across as opaque, the way he deals with the media is not. He's an absolute master of one liners that distract attention away from the players and either on to himself or elsewhere. What happens after he has gone will depend both on who succeeds him and who the captain is, but somebody will have to stand up and be the focus of the media.

(Marler for the spokesman position!)

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Wed 22 Sep 2021, 1:41 pm

I was hoping Moon might fit the enforcer bill, 6'9" and 20 stone he has the size, but seems to have stalled a bit over the last year or so.
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Post by king_carlos Wed 22 Sep 2021, 1:52 pm

With Jones confirmed as moving on it's interesting that they've just appointed a forwards coach with a lot of experience in head coach and DOR roles...

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 22 Sep 2021, 1:55 pm

Not a chance in hell thar cockers is getting it.

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Post by king_carlos Wed 22 Sep 2021, 2:02 pm

Not long ago most thought there wasn't a chance in hell Cockers would be in England's support staff!

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 22 Sep 2021, 2:21 pm

Really? I've always rated him highly as a coach. He fits in that bracket with Diamond though as never going to be head coach of england. Too rough, too rowdy.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 22 Sep 2021, 2:33 pm

Think while we talk about after the world cup as well...it could be sooner. This training squad smacks to me of the post 6 nations review pointing out the lack of entertainment and negativity. As I pointed out above I'm.willing to see a couple of ropey performances to see long term gain but if jonesncant bring entertainment and a view to the future he could be on the last stretch.

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Post by lostinwales Wed 22 Sep 2021, 3:09 pm

I don't think 'entertainment' is ever a feature of a coach's review.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 22 Sep 2021, 3:27 pm

It should be. To move it to a more neutral one I'm sure style of kicking came up.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 22 Sep 2021, 4:06 pm

lostinwales wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:More than happy to have a more quiet England coach for a change.


Although there is much about Eddie's way of working which can come across as opaque, the way he deals with the media is not. He's an absolute master of one liners that distract attention away from the players and either on to himself or elsewhere. What happens after he has gone will depend both on who succeeds him and who the captain is, but somebody will have to stand up and be the focus of the media.

(Marler for the spokesman position!)

Could just send out Marler and Genge to do the press conferences. Marler is intentionally awkward towards the press and Genge is straight to the point and honest. Marler can wind them up, Genge can call them all sausages and job done. 

Be interesting re the captain situation re Borthwick were he to take charge he does like the straight talkers. Genge being made Tigers captain with Liebenburg VC. Not men to mince their words.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 22 Sep 2021, 4:09 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Really? I've always rated him highly as a coach. He fits in that bracket with Diamond though as never going to be head coach of england. Too rough, too rowdy.

Eddie not rowdy then? He gets stuck in amongst it.

Cockers is a great coach. If you want someone to set the team up to win the next game there is few better. If you want to build something for the future, a sustainable winning set up maybe not so much. Cockers winning mentality working underneath a man of vision like Eddie or someone like Robertson then that's a combination that could go far.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 22 Sep 2021, 5:07 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Really? I've always rated him highly as a coach. He fits in that bracket with Diamond though as never going to be head coach of england. Too rough, too rowdy.

Eddie not rowdy then? He gets stuck in amongst it.

Cockers is a great coach. If you want someone to set the team up to win the next game there is few better. If you want to build something for the future, a sustainable winning set up maybe not so much. Cockers winning mentality working underneath a man of vision like Eddie or someone like Robertson then that's a combination that could go far.

Not like them for me.

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Post by lostinwales Wed 22 Sep 2021, 10:25 pm

ho hum

Bath wing Joe Cokanasiga and scrum-half Ben Spencer are both out for an unspecified amount of time with knee and hamstring injuries respectively.

England's Cokanasiga, 23, missed out on a place in Eddie Jones' training squad after picking up the injury against Cardiff in pre-season.

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Post by propdavid_london Thu 23 Sep 2021, 10:50 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Which lock do you pine for in the world geordie. For me Retallick, but I'm not sure I'd be bothered about many others.
Will Skelton

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Post by king_carlos Thu 23 Sep 2021, 1:56 pm

I wouldn't want Willie Skelton. He's a player that you need to build a pack around to counter his weaknesses. Same as what France have done with Paul Willemse where they have a very tall and mobile back row who make up for Willemse offering nothing in the lineout and lacking mobility. Willemse does certain jobs for them well and as France have a lot of mobile, tall back rows he fits their needs but he's not such a good player that I'd want to have to base our back row selection around fitting him in the side. Same with Skelton, he's a good player but nowhere near the standard you need if that players weaknesses are going to dictate the rest of selection.

I'd take Retallick in a heartbeat, I think he's a brilliant player. With Kruis unavailable either of Lood de Jager or RG Snyman would partner Itoje very well.

P-S du Toit, Guido Petti and Marcos Kremer are brilliant players who can cover lock and flanker as well.

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Post by Geordie Thu 23 Sep 2021, 2:11 pm

I noticed Isiekwe is not in the squad...and he was in the prem team of the week at lock..must have had a good game v Bristol.

I'll be interested to see how he goes this season...

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Post by Geordie Thu 23 Sep 2021, 2:16 pm

If the lions have 5o miss one game over the Ais,  I'm assuming it'll be v Tonga..so will it be something like....

1 Genge
2 Blamire
3 Stuart/ Hayes
4 Ewells
5 Ted Hill
6 Martin
7 Underhill
8 Dombrandt

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Post by king_carlos Thu 23 Sep 2021, 3:57 pm

I think I'd stagger when the Lions miss games over the Tonga and Australia games then look to go full whack at South Africa for the last fixture. That isn't a case of 'revenge for the RWC final' either as I don't really buy into the idea that games from years previously affect things that much. I tend to just think that's tripe that commentators like Guscott and Dawson spout so they don't have come up with something original or insightful to get a paycheck to be honest! I just want the rotation of the important Lions players staggered so that we see young talents get a go alongside established internationals and I think SA are the team best set-up to target the areas we have been fairly average over the last year so it is a good challenge to see how we approach that tactically with the game plan and then on the pitch with the execution of said plan.

Vs Tonga

1.Genge 2.George 3.Stuart 4.Martin 5.Lawes 6.Hill 7.Underhill 8.Dombrandt
9.Quirke/JvP 10.Ford 11.May 12.Lawrence 13.Marchant 14.Radwan 15.Steward

16.Blamire 17.Obano 18.Heyes 19.Hill 20.Kennigham 21.Randall 22.Malins 23.Slade

Vs Australia

1.Marler 2.LCD 3.Sinckler 4.Itoje 5.Hill 6.Earl 7.Curry 8.Simmonds
9.Randall 10.Smith 11.Radwan 12.Farrell 13.Tuilagi 14.Watson 15.Steward

16.Blamire 17.Obano 18.Stuart 19.Martin 20.Dombrandt 21.Youngs 22.Ford 23.Marchant

Some rotation like that for the first two fixtures then pick the 23 against SA with everyone available so it can be based on performance.

Before anyone says it I know that George, Earl and Ford aren't in the 45-man training squad but I'm expecting that to have limited resemblance to the squad picked at the end of October anyway. Sinckler was left out of the September 2017 training squad whilst playing brilliantly and Smith was picked in it then not capped until 2021!

The reason I put Quirke/JvP is that I just want to see one of those two young scrum-halves given a start. Both look terrific talents to me. I'd argue that JvP looks slightly more at home in senior rugby but he's had more exposure. 22 apps and 7 starts for JvP as opposed to 13 apps and 3 starts for Quirke. They look very similar talents to me and despite my Tigers bias having watched JvP more I think Quirke looks a brilliant 9, would be delight to see him start against Tonga.

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