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So here we are.
Post Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:00 am
Posted by Fishermanscap on Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:00 am
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Still fighting relegation but with a hugely improved set of circumstances (for now).

Yet in all honesty even if we survive it’s been a catastrophic season in every way.

The over riding one has been injuries, nobody can deny that and that’s all down to bad luck. Despite silly attempts to do so on here I attach no blame on anybody.

Then it gets bad I’m afraid because let’s be straight we started this season with the outside hope of some silver wear, a long shot but not unreasonable. Top 5 was a definite hope, not a certainty but very attainable. Battling relegation if people are honest rather than using hindsight, relegation was as far from anyone’s mind as it’s ever been since our entry to SL.

Why? Because we had a core of top class players and supposedly some strength in depth.

Well the former remains the case and that’s where tha bad luck struck and I can accept that.

The latter however proved less the case. In fact we looked far better when we were down to the bare bones than when the players who were supposed to be offering the depth were playing.

If we stay up we can’t be content, we can be happy but not content. Things went badly wrong after the Easter period and never recovered.

Not just the players fault imo.

MC, for me he became too defensive and too involved on social media, I get it, it’s his choice but personally I don’t think it’s a good idea.

CC and the coaching team. Yes I’m not privy to what they see but I know what I see and I have seen players and tactics and selections failing week after week. Chester’s reactions have been slow and generally wrong. Not easy with most of your best players crocked but that’s what we pay him for. If he can’t improve on the above it’s time to go. Ditto Clawson and other backroom staff who imo have had their time, it’s not them personally but everything has it’s moment and I think a freshen up is needed.

The players, I hate to use the term but there is far to much dead wood and if we are to progress it needs removing.

There will be varying opinions on who but I think most will agree with me that another season being led by Brough will destroy the club. One of my all time favourite players but it over now. CC drop the ego and let it go, there are far better out there now, they don’t have the skills of a Brough but neither does he anymore, he’s gone.

Add other players to suit your taste.

Hopefully next season if there is one can’t be as unlucky, but even so if we don’t fundementally change as a club we won’t improve, we won’t compete and we will eventually drop.

Sorry for the downer but I think we all need to remind ourselves that this season bad though our luck has been still should have been better and more dignified than this end of season scramble.

That said the team has three games left to redeem themselves. We could finish on 26 points! If that happened I’d be the first to back down and admit that we are a better unit than we appear and there is far less wrong than I thought. Yesterday was a great start but it needs to carry on to win the fans back for next season, vital I’d have thought.

Just my viewpoint, based on what I’ve seen not what I claim to know.
Re: So here we are.
Post Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:43 pm
Posted by Kettykat on Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:43 pm
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The performance yesterday with the squad we had out is exactly the performances we should be getting week in week out , it’s not punching above our weight it’s what level these players can achieve when all singing from the same sheet.To say we have underperformed this season is an understatement. The key to success is consistency And until that is achieved at the club we are always going to be up against it .We have to look at saints as the standard to aspire to,yes they’ve got some big names but last Fri they put Leeds to the sword with plenty of youngsters in the squad ,but the consistency was there for all to see.All I’d hoped for this season was a good cup run and a play off place ,but sadly that ain’t to be .Lets hope we end the season on a high and learn some very hard lessons from this season ,we must fight for every point as every point is vital if we don’t want to be in this awful position again as a club.
Re: So here we are.
Post Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:32 pm
Posted by upthecats on Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:32 pm
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Problem this year IMO has been the pack...early on when all were fit and well we were dominating teams and our backs were reaping the benefits and we looked a side capable of making the top 5....once injuries started kicking in it got to the point of hurting us really bad and we’ve just not been able to get out of the rut until fresh bodies have arrived.

These last couple of months we’ve missed the two biggest grafters in the squad in Ashurst and Arona...we’ve had our best prop (Fifita) playing on one leg...we let go two hugely experienced players in Horo and Huby and didn’t replace that experience...

On the right edge we’ve had Pauli Pauli who for whatever reason just doesn’t look interested and Batchelor and Kirmond who seem to miss more than they play....the likes of England, Hirst, Kopczak and King just looked tired at times but just had to keep on playing through lack of options...then there’s the left edge...so brilliant last season but this we must have tried between 15 and 20 players in those three positions...

Bringing 3 or 4 fresh bodies in has made all the difference and for me highlights the injury situation is the sole reason for where we find ourselves in the league.

All of a sudden we look a fresher side...our forwards dominated HKR and the halfbacks and three quarters got quick ball and more time and space like they did when we had a fully fit pack for the first 3td of the season and showed what they can do...

Looking to next season I don’t see that we need to change that much just hope we don’t suffer half as bad as we have this season with injuries...and learn from the mistake of playing injured players...
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Re: So here we are.
Post Tue Aug 20, 2019 6:24 am
Posted by PopTart on Tue Aug 20, 2019 6:24 am
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My thoughts exactly UTC.
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Re: So here we are.
Post Tue Aug 20, 2019 6:56 am
Posted by Eastern Wildcat on Tue Aug 20, 2019 6:56 am
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Excellent post Fishermans Cap.

Whilst we had a good win, it doesn't put right all the wrongs of the past 2-3 months or so.

Not helped by injuries, but we can't just hide behind that.

I do agree that the forwards have been the main problem, with players playing busted and broken, and maybe others not singing from the same hymn sheet Hopefully in bringing in Green and Tangata recently, that will freshen everything up in that sense. Hopefully, we can keep them for 2020, and with Dave and Tinny to come back, should be a lot stronger there.

A lot said by people including myself, re Miller and Brough, but hard to truly gauge behind a beaten pack, but do feel that, this is something we should look at for 2020. With Reynolds gone and maybe Rocky too, that would leave us with just Miller and Brough. I do believe we need to bring in someone, ideally to take over from Brough, maybe in the way that Finny was gradually replaced by Rocky in 2018.
Re: So here we are.
Post Tue Aug 20, 2019 6:58 am
Posted by little wayne69 on Tue Aug 20, 2019 6:58 am
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upthecats wrote:
Problem this year IMO has been the pack...early on when all were fit and well we were dominating teams and our backs were reaping the benefits and we looked a side capable of making the top 5....once injuries started kicking in it got to the point of hurting us really bad and we’ve just not been able to get out of the rut until fresh bodies have arrived.

These last couple of months we’ve missed the two biggest grafters in the squad in Ashurst and Arona...we’ve had our best prop (Fifita) playing on one leg...we let go two hugely experienced players in Horo and Huby and didn’t replace that experience...

On the right edge we’ve had Pauli Pauli who for whatever reason just doesn’t look interested and Batchelor and Kirmond who seem to miss more than they play....the likes of England, Hirst, Kopczak and King just looked tired at times but just had to keep on playing through lack of options...then there’s the left edge...so brilliant last season but this we must have tried between 15 and 20 players in those three positions...

Bringing 3 or 4 fresh bodies in has made all the difference and for me highlights the injury situation is the sole reason for where we find ourselves in the league.

All of a sudden we look a fresher side...our forwards dominated HKR and the halfbacks and three quarters got quick ball and more time and space like they did when we had a fully fit pack for the first 3td of the season and showed what they can do...

Looking to next season I don’t see that we need to change that much just hope we don’t suffer half as bad as we have this season with injuries...and learn from the mistake of playing injured players...

Summed up perfectly.
Re: So here we are.
Post Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:16 am
Posted by wrencat1873 on Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:16 am
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upthecats wrote:
Problem this year IMO has been the pack...early on when all were fit and well we were dominating teams and our backs were reaping the benefits and we looked a side capable of making the top 5....once injuries started kicking in it got to the point of hurting us really bad and we’ve just not been able to get out of the rut until fresh bodies have arrived.

These last couple of months we’ve missed the two biggest grafters in the squad in Ashurst and Arona...we’ve had our best prop (Fifita) playing on one leg...we let go two hugely experienced players in Horo and Huby and didn’t replace that experience...

On the right edge we’ve had Pauli Pauli who for whatever reason just doesn’t look interested and Batchelor and Kirmond who seem to miss more than they play....the likes of England, Hirst, Kopczak and King just looked tired at times but just had to keep on playing through lack of options...then there’s the left edge...so brilliant last season but this we must have tried between 15 and 20 players in those three positions...

Bringing 3 or 4 fresh bodies in has made all the difference and for me highlights the injury situation is the sole reason for where we find ourselves in the league.

All of a sudden we look a fresher side...our forwards dominated HKR and the halfbacks and three quarters got quick ball and more time and space like they did when we had a fully fit pack for the first 3td of the season and showed what they can do...

Looking to next season I don’t see that we need to change that much just hope we don’t suffer half as bad as we have this season with injuries...and learn from the mistake of playing injured players...


One of the most sensible posts on the forum this season, absolutely bang on :thumb:
Re: So here we are.
Post Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:54 am
Posted by Kirmudgeonly on Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:54 am
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Great post utc, arona in particular you didn’t miss until he wasn’t there - number of carries especially rolling forward are hard to underestimate.

Injuries and players coming back early when not fit has been a recurrent issue all season.
there have been some woeful games but barring a whole series of unlikely events we will stay up.

Pitt’s , westerman, tanginoa and probably tangata and greene all look better options than the players they are replacing - mainly due to age and generally have had less injury problems- hirst horo chubs pauli probably kirmond

For the money we have available it’s a credible squad
Re: So here we are.
Post Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:18 am
Posted by bren2k on Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:18 am
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upthecats wrote:
Problem this year IMO has been the pack...early on when all were fit and well we were dominating teams and our backs were reaping the benefits and we looked a side capable of making the top 5....once injuries started kicking in it got to the point of hurting us really bad and we’ve just not been able to get out of the rut until fresh bodies have arrived.

These last couple of months we’ve missed the two biggest grafters in the squad in Ashurst and Arona...we’ve had our best prop (Fifita) playing on one leg...we let go two hugely experienced players in Horo and Huby and didn’t replace that experience...

On the right edge we’ve had Pauli Pauli who for whatever reason just doesn’t look interested and Batchelor and Kirmond who seem to miss more than they play....the likes of England, Hirst, Kopczak and King just looked tired at times but just had to keep on playing through lack of options...then there’s the left edge...so brilliant last season but this we must have tried between 15 and 20 players in those three positions...

Bringing 3 or 4 fresh bodies in has made all the difference and for me highlights the injury situation is the sole reason for where we find ourselves in the league.

All of a sudden we look a fresher side...our forwards dominated HKR and the halfbacks and three quarters got quick ball and more time and space like they did when we had a fully fit pack for the first 3td of the season and showed what they can do...

Looking to next season I don’t see that we need to change that much just hope we don’t suffer half as bad as we have this season with injuries...and learn from the mistake of playing injured players...


That's an excellent analysis - and hard to argue with any of it.

I guess the missing bit is HB's - and the sudden dip in form of Miller and Brough; that could be in part a symptom of the pack problem, but it has certainly hurt us. I tend to agree that with a fully fit pack and the new additions, that issue will be resolved - but the HB issue remains extant. I would very much like to see the club put a line under all the shenanigans with Hampshire and sit down to agree a deal - then he can be phased in to take over from Brough who, even when invigorated as he was on Sunday, is rapidly coming to the end of his career.

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