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Posted by JWarriors on Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:36 pm
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The more time I spend thinking about this question, the more I think it's not our biggest question.

The biggest problem/question is what do we do when SOL goes off the field during a game. Not only do we fall apart defensively, but all out attacking structures look terrible without a top class ball playing 13 on the field. Maybe Hamlin is a good ball player, but if he isn't it's just another season of dreading SOL being interchanged.

Some other clubs leave a hooker on the field and move them to loose to keep 2 good ball players in the pack during interchange periods. You lose some size, yes, but it seems our attacking play is so heavily reliant on having a good passer at loose forward that the trade off may be worth it.

Cas did it with Milner, and I've seen Widnes keep white and Heremaia on the field at the same time.
Posted by Aboveusonlypie on Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:51 pm
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JWarriors wrote:
The more time I spend thinking about this question, the more I think it's not our biggest question.

The biggest problem/question is what do we do when SOL goes off the field during a game. Not only do we fall apart defensively, but all out attacking structures look terrible without a top class ball playing 13 on the field. Maybe Hamlin is a good ball player, but if he isn't it's just another season of dreading SOL being interchanged.

The scouting report suggests not. He seems to be lacking in ball handling skills and has no offload to his game either. He runs hard and has a decent step and he tackles hard. So he isn't going to be a replacement for SOL.

However there are very few in the world game who are ball handling 13s in any case. Joel Tomkins would seem to be the best suited amongst our squad but injuries seem to be his constant issue these days. John Bateman is rather proving in this World Cup that passing isn't his forte either.

Remember that SOL was a Stand Off who was converted rather like Ellery Hanley (who I think started on the wing then moved to centre then Stand Off). The like of Gene Miles and Dean Bell were very good 13s too. It may be more fruitful to consider who amongst the backs could be converted. I know Waney had his eyes on Sutcliffe at Leeds but he seems to be happy there now. Someone like Jordan Abdul may make a decent 13 in time.
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Posted by Arthur Warrior on Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:34 pm
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I have floated this idea before and I would still like to see it tried out.
Sam Tomkins to loose forward.
He can tackle, he can read the game, he has excellent ball handling skills.
It would solve many problems if it worked.
Posted by JWarriors on Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:21 pm
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Arthur Warrior wrote:
I have floated this idea before and I would still like to see it tried out.
Sam Tomkins to loose forward.
He can tackle, he can read the game, he has excellent ball handling skills.
It would solve many problems if it worked.



I think that takes the lack of size argument to a whole new level.

I wouldnt mind seeing McIlorum or Powell put there for 20 minute spell until SOL is ready to come back on.
But it was painfully clear last year that having Isa, or Tomkins or Flower (the year before) at 13 just completely breaks down any attacking structure we have.

That was one of the main reasons I was sad to see Gregson go. Because he's decent size and speed, and can also play stand off (like O'Loughlin), and had a decent passing game. At least he would have been able to provide the link up play that we need from our loose forward.
Posted by moto748 on Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:01 pm
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The vast majority of teams, though, both here and in the NRL, manage perfectly well without this mythical ball-playing 13 (who are like hen's teeth these days). Why can't Wigan?
Posted by exiled Warrior on Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:37 pm
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Simples - because we don't have ball playing 6 & 7 either and 9 for that matter.
Posted by Azul on Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:55 am
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exiled Warrior wrote:
Simples - because we don't have ball playing 6 & 7 either and 9 for that matter.


Spot on. Nor another leader
Posted by Grimmy on Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:06 am
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Arthur Warrior wrote:
I have floated this idea before and I would still like to see it tried out.
Sam Tomkins to loose forward.
He can tackle, he can read the game, he has excellent ball handling skills.
It would solve many problems if it worked.

It's not enough just to be able to tackle. How is he realistically going to stop their forwards finding their fronts and getting a quick ptb? He would spend the entire game clinging onto the ankles of the opposition forwards in defence, and catching his breath in attack.
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Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe.
Posted by Aboveusonlypie on Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:57 am
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Even moving Sam back to the halves will double his tackle stint. He will find himself targeted by second rowers like Murdoch-Masilla who will run straight at him. I think Waney is worried that Sam could be a weak link in the defence and have no energy left to attack if he is back at 6. Going to 13 is a non starter.

As I said Joel Tomkins is the best equipped, if only he was fit. A more creaitve solution might be Gelling. I just couldn't trust him though.
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Posted by JWarriors on Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:18 pm
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moto748 wrote:
The vast majority of teams, though, both here and in the NRL, manage perfectly well without this mythical ball-playing 13 (who are like hen's teeth these days). Why can't Wigan?


It doesn't have to be a 13 necessarily. In it's most basic form it's more to do with one of the forwards (middles :D ) running to the line, and passing out the back at the last second. The fact that O'Loughlin has a better passing game than almost anyone else on our team is a bonus. But if we just had someone else who could do the first thing to a decent standard, that would fix a big problem of our attacking move breaking down when the captain isn't on the pitch.
O'Loughlin does it well, James Graham, Grant Millington and to an extent, Cuthbertson. But it seems that none of our other forwards are capable of this.
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