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Re: Lam as Coach
Post Tue Sep 03, 2019 11:24 am
Posted by CyberPieMan on Tue Sep 03, 2019 11:24 am
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Aside from the Edwards nonsense & the loss of some key players, I do think he was out of his depth at the start and had severely underestimated the game before arriving. That said, rumours of discontent in the locker room in the first half of the season can't be brushed under the carpet & something was going on up to the end of April into May that was causing (at least in part) the shambolic run of form.
I suspect it's in no small part down to the guarantee of stability that things have settled down & we now seem to be working together as a squad; and I certainly didn't think we would be 2nd with two games to go that we should win (at least on paper), especially with home advantage.
Am I totally convinced he's the long-term future? No. But I'm happier than I was 5 months ago.
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Re: Lam as Coach
Post Tue Sep 03, 2019 11:58 am
Posted by Phuzzy on Tue Sep 03, 2019 11:58 am
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Last Son of Wigan wrote:
You make a fair point. However I feel the void between the players Leeds lost to who they brought in was way bigger. Sinfield was the brains of the team, at times it's well documented how took team talks at the discrepancy of McDermott. He was their leader.
Peacock was the heart and guts of the team, drove them forward with his own brand of leadership, add Kylie into the mix and they lost a lot of their identity.

If we'd have lost say... Lockers, Sam and Flower then it would have been a fair comparison.

I'm not completely slamming Lam, not at all. We're second, we're winning games and I feel there's level of optimism around the club which is most welcomed by all.
I'm considering all aspects of his performance as head coach in 2019 so far.

Still a good chance to be in and win the GF this season. If this happens... I'll up my score to 10/10 with a big smile on my face :)

For sure and I think what has happened at Leeds since is testament to that. Wigan's losses were far less severe but they were still losses (and a major one in Bateman who is showing himself to be genuine World class) and we're currently in second after a run of 10 wins in 11 games. That's got to count for something, especially given it's also been a season of upheaval, injury and player indiscipline resulting in the further loss of two front row forwards.

My take on it is it could have been far worse. The early form was 'Leeds like' in how dramatic a fall off it was but, unlike Leeds, Lam has been able to turn it around, something a multi title winning coach and an NRL import of similar standing to Lam were unable to do. I think it's fair to say we retained better personnel than Leeds, as you rightly point out, but injuries throughout the season have negated that to some extent. We've been without O'Loughlin, Farrell, Flower, Greenwood and Bullock for large parts of the season, lost Tautai and Hamlin completely and had Manfredi and Davies suffer season ending injuries.

Personally I think that all those losses when combined with the total non replacement of Bateman (or Tomkins) more than covers the loss of Sinfield, Peacock and Leuluai. Just my opinion though, of course.

I think Lam should be marked quite well for turning it around this season but should be judged on next when he'll be working with 'his' team.
Re: Lam as Coach
Post Tue Sep 03, 2019 12:14 pm
Posted by Phuzzy on Tue Sep 03, 2019 12:14 pm
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FearTheVee wrote:
Serious question - have you really moved away from Wane's "brand of rugby".

I see very little difference in approach at all, but clearly don't see you play anything like as much as those on this forum.

Whilst not being a quantum leap (we are working with much the same personnel after all) there has definitely been some tweaks and changes that make us a better team to watch when it clicks. Think Catalans at home, Hull KR on Easter Monday or the first halves vs Castleford away or, to a lesser extent, Warrington at home a couple of weeks ago.

We are getting the ball wider more quickly and Williams has a more roving brief, although I personally feel we will only see the full effect of this particular change next year when Hastings comes in as this is far more his style than George's, who tends to be more left side dominant.

We are slowly regaining the steel and aggression in defence that we lost, to some extent, early season. Certainly few fans would want change in that area so it's good to see we still have that in spades.

Not the finished article yet but, with the addition of O'Loughlin and Flower in a couple of weeks and hopefully Bullock shortly after that, I think we'll be a few steps closer to it.
Re: Lam as Coach
Post Tue Sep 03, 2019 1:05 pm
Posted by Itchy Arsenal on Tue Sep 03, 2019 1:05 pm
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Phuzzy wrote:
Whilst not being a quantum leap (we are working with much the same personnel after all) there has definitely been some tweaks and changes that make us a better team to watch when it clicks. Think Catalans at home, Hull KR on Easter Monday or the first halves vs Castleford away or, to a lesser extent, Warrington at home a couple of weeks ago.

We are getting the ball wider more quickly and Williams has a more roving brief, although I personally feel we will only see the full effect of this particular change next year when Hastings comes in as this is far more his style than George's, who tends to be more left side dominant.

We are slowly regaining the steel and aggression in defence that we lost, to some extent, early season. Certainly few fans would want change in that area so it's good to see we still have that in spades.

Not the finished article yet but, with the addition of O'Loughlin and Flower in a couple of weeks and hopefully Bullock shortly after that, I think we'll be a few steps closer to it.



I think that bullock is out for the season. If he is available then it will be right at trend of the season therefore, lam will be reluctant to use him due to lack of game time.

The main reason I think we won't win the gf is that we don't have enough in attack to beat saints particularly down the middle. Another injured prop and we are up shoite creek without a paddle.
I'm just enjoying the ride up the table and listening to the squeaky bums over the hump.
Re: Lam as Coach
Post Tue Sep 03, 2019 1:16 pm
Posted by Phuzzy on Tue Sep 03, 2019 1:16 pm
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Itchy Arsenal wrote:
I think that bullock is out for the season. If he is available then it will be right at trend of the season therefore, lam will be reluctant to use him due to lack of game time.

The main reason I think we won't win the gf is that we don't have enough in attack to beat saints particularly down the middle. Another injured prop and we are up shoite creek without a paddle.
I'm just enjoying the ride up the table and listening to the squeaky bums over the hump.

I heard back mid playoffs but I get what you're saying about game time. However his availability will at least go some way to negating your point regarding another injury to a prop, so fingers crossed. Just one other point worth mentioning here; I reckon Saints are just another injury to a prop from completely self imploding. Take Walmsley or Thompson out of their front row and they're a busted flush. In that scenario I'd take us to win all day long.

This season has been a strange one but here we are, 2nd in the league and most people's tip to make the GF. Who'd have thought it? Like you say, I'm just enjoying the ride! :D
Re: Lam as Coach
Post Tue Sep 03, 2019 2:49 pm
Posted by FearTheVee on Tue Sep 03, 2019 2:49 pm
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Itchy Arsenal wrote:
I think that bullock is out for the season. If he is available then it will be right at trend of the season therefore, lam will be reluctant to use him due to lack of game time.

The main reason I think we won't win the gf is that we don't have enough in attack to beat saints particularly down the middle. Another injured prop and we are up shoite creek without a paddle.
I'm just enjoying the ride up the table and listening to the squeaky bums over the hump.


Far from squeaky bum, I'm hoping we play you rather than Wire if we get there.

Nobody else has a chance of reaching the final outside those three IMO, unless Hull turn in a couple of their "on" days, but back to back performances aren't really their thing.
Re: Lam as Coach
Post Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:48 pm
Posted by Itchy Arsenal on Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:48 pm
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FearTheVee wrote:
Far from squeaky bum, I'm hoping we play you rather than Wire if we get there.

Nobody else has a chance of reaching the final outside those three IMO, unless Hull turn in a couple of their "on" days, but back to back performances aren't really their thing.


Maybe not yourself FTV but a few on Redvee have definitely been spooked by the cc loss and it's nice to read some of the posts on there.

To be fair I think if/when we play I'm pretty sure it will be Saints who will come out on top. I think that the only way we would have a chance is if you had injuries to Thompson and Roby.
Re: Lam as Coach
Post Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:48 pm
Posted by Last Son of Wigan on Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:48 pm
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Phuzzy wrote:
For sure and I think what has happened at Leeds since is testament to that. Wigan's losses were far less severe but they were still losses (and a major one in Bateman who is showing himself to be genuine World class) and we're currently in second after a run of 10 wins in 11 games. That's got to count for something, especially given it's also been a season of upheaval, injury and player indiscipline resulting in the further loss of two front row forwards.

My take on it is it could have been far worse. The early form was 'Leeds like' in how dramatic a fall off it was but, unlike Leeds, Lam has been able to turn it around, something a multi title winning coach and an NRL import of similar standing to Lam were unable to do. I think it's fair to say we retained better personnel than Leeds, as you rightly point out, but injuries throughout the season have negated that to some extent. We've been without O'Loughlin, Farrell, Flower, Greenwood and Bullock for large parts of the season, lost Tautai and Hamlin completely and had Manfredi and Davies suffer season ending injuries.

Personally I think that all those losses when combined with the total non replacement of Bateman (or Tomkins) more than covers the loss of Sinfield, Peacock and Leuluai. Just my opinion though, of course.

I think Lam should be marked quite well for turning it around this season but should be judged on next when he'll be working with 'his' team.


I think we just have a different opinion on the season. Yes it could have been worse, but it could have also been better-way better. He didn't take over an under-performing team, he took over current champions, even with the departing players he inherited a worthy group...so that's by the by.

You make many valid points regarding injuries, we've had our fair share. However I look at overall performances, even now when we're heading towards the back 9 of the season we're still not playing well. I don't know if you saw anything of the Wakey game or the Wire game before the CC final, we're just not putting in excellent 80 min performances...while I'm more than happy to see how the season has turned around and now we're second (thank god) we're not seeing a team playing at a level which looks capable of winning the GF.
I don't think realistically anyone can say the performance v Wakey was a good one, we've had more bad performances than good this season, you can work through the fixtures, and I hate to say it, more absolute stinkers than amazing performances.

Considering this... I think a 6/10 overall is about right.

However... I do agree with your final comment, my verdict is 'this season so far'... I think next season, when Lam has had time and the introduction of new personnel, we could very much see a much better side.
Re: Lam as Coach
Post Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:56 pm
Posted by Itchy Arsenal on Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:56 pm
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Last Son of Wigan wrote:
I think we just have a different opinion on the season. Yes it could have been worse, but it could have also been better-way better. He didn't take over an under-performing team, he took over current champions, even with the departing players he inherited a worthy group...so that's by the by.

You make many valid points regarding injuries, we've had our fair share. However I look at overall performances, even now when we're heading towards the back 9 of the season we're still not playing well. I don't know if you saw anything of the Wakey game or the Wire game before the CC final, we're just not putting in excellent 80 min performances...while I'm more than happy to see how the season has turned around and now we're second (thank god) we're not seeing a team playing at a level which looks capable of winning the GF.
I don't think realistically anyone can say the performance v Wakey was a good one, we've had more bad performances than good this season, you can work through the fixtures, and I hate to say it, more absolute stinkers than amazing performances.

Considering this... I think a 6/10 overall is about right.

However... I do agree with your final comment, my verdict is 'this season so far'... I think next season, when Lam has had time and the introduction of new personnel, we could very much see a much better side.


I think that is pretty spot on.
Re: Lam as Coach
Post Tue Sep 03, 2019 5:06 pm
Posted by Last Son of Wigan on Tue Sep 03, 2019 5:06 pm
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FearTheVee wrote:
Serious question - have you really moved away from Wane's "brand of rugby".

I see very little difference in approach at all, but clearly don't see you play anything like as much as those on this forum.


Our attack this season hasn't been as good as previous seasons. We played a 'machine like' attack which was very well structured, even though some said it was predictable it was hard to stop.
Last season things were kept simple yet effective which each player only given limited options in their role, the downside being a lack of individual creativity, the upside being they could hit a play at great speed as everyone pretty much knew what they were doing...

For example, dummy half was a passing 9' goal...clear the ruck with passing getting the ball to either half who played on either side of the pitch, they then could hit the first man on the short... usually a SR or play deep hitting Sam on the overlap coming in as a second receiver creating an overlap out wide.
So... halves had really 3 options... show and go, play short to the SR, or hit Sam round the back.
SR has limited options, run the ball, find Sam round the back or find his centre or wing man.
Sam has options as the link, run the ball, find his centre or a cut out to the winger.

Each player has limited options but this means you can play what's in front of you and the team pretty much knows what to do, highly structured, yet effective.
Lockers in play also acts as a link man linking the halves.

In 2019 we've seen a few changes. Zak isn't as effective as Sam as a second receiver, it's changes the movement and link out wide when the FB links.
Powell seems to have been allowed to run the ball more from dummy half.
We're holding a 'flatter line' with more players in the line we're swinging it at pace outside to try and pass the opposition middle 3rd to catch them with pace...usually trying to to get the ball to Williams or Gilly out left.

We're a little bit more free this season with the roles...so far it doesn't look as crisp or effective with players in motion. However, with a pre-season, inclusion of Jackson Hastings as a creator with French playing off him (I hope this look for this rather than splitting the halves) with Zak playing more as a support down the middle, we could see a completely different look.

My only concern is... if you're playing with an 'old school' 7 who controls left and right sides playing tighter to the ruck, what do you do if Hastings is injured? I don't particularly feel confident with anyone else in our squad running the plays with creativity and freedom.

Either which way... we'll beat Saints when we need to... ;)
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