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End of Year Report
camshark (IP Logged)
30 December, 2017 21:34
Some ramblings to mull over as we approach the end of another year.
On balance a solid first half of the season, about where I expected we would be , but in a strong position to kick on and challenge for 6th.

Some observations for discussion from at times a very happy and at others a very frustrated voyeur in the south stand.

Harrison : An exceptional first half season with an all round game, scrummaging strong, carries well, workrate and fitness superb. He should be knocking on EJ's door for the 6 nations ( shame no Saxons) 9/10
Webber : Recovered very well from a twice broken arm, and despite off field misdemeanour has had a good start to the season , line out work, carries , and on field leadership impressive. Fingers crossed fitness lasts the season as Mark Jones not a real contender for number 2 position . 8/10
WG John : exceeded all expectations in his first season, never disappointed at scrum time, quietly efficient at ruck, gets through a lot of dirty work and conditioning sees him to the hour mark. 7/10
Evans : never disappoints , still up there with line out takes and steals. Good on the gallop and soft hands. 8/10
Ostikov. The grunt in the pack, compliments Evans as a lock duo, good workrate, but oh those hands !!! 7/10
Ross : great skipper , polite , but assertive with refs. Good tackle and carry count, good leader and ambassador, great with the fans. A real find 8/10
Strauss : wasn't sure what to expect when he arrived, but improves game by game. One of the few real carriers in the pack, good tackle stats but not really an option at lineout. 7.5/10
Curry : started slightly behind Tom in the pecking order but has been a revelation as the only fit curry playing . Huge tackle count, good link man , great engine , can only get better, provided he doesn't burn out . 9/10
Faf: what a nugget, tough, tireless, at times frustrating , box kicking, passing and game management all need work, but if he stays the 3 years could be the best 9 in the prem. 7.5/10
AJ : becoming mr dependable, good kicking from boot and tee, learning not to take too much on himself, tackles like a back row forward and has shown some flair this year.Need to extend his contract as a priority 8/10
Solomona : slightly disappointing as he hasn't kicked on from last year. Needs to work harder on defence and go looking for the ball on inside shoulders (as he did successfully last year) probably a little lucky to be in 6 nations training camp on current form. 6.5/10
Jennings/ RJV Rensburg: Jennings started well,but seemed a little lacklustre when replaced by RJV who has turned out to be a wrecking ball, deceptively quick,good hands, need to offer him a 3 year deal , and quickly ! 6/10 8/10
James : not really kicked on this year, steady but might be suffering from 10/13 versatility tag. Will probably loose place when Addison is fit again 6/10
Horse ( Byron) : wow , from struggling to get a game for chiefs to 7 tries in 8 starts for Sharks and an international debut duo for Scotland. Great character, deceptive pace who can cover 15. A nailed on starter, but can we keep him next year ? 8.5/10
JoC : best suited to 15 or 13, but on fast track pitches an exciting 10. Concerns over his kicking especially when receiving the ball in defensive 22. Maybe still carrying an ankle problem. Part of a very exciting backline for the rest of the season. 8/10

The rest
Beaumont, can't wait to see him back as lock/8 . Turn the clock back a couple of seasons when he was knocking on England's door and our best forward.
Nott, needs game time but can't get it . Not convinced he will pack enough power for the engine room, a future 6/8 ?
Props , lacking in depth, Aulika ka ka waning , and not sure Flynn/Pope other than second choice. Tarus ( remember Vadim) will only get better.
Back row, hurry back Tom C, your brother needs a break . TJ great fans favourite, suffers with EQP quotas, little one dimensional but big impact sub.
Moore, the future 8. Cam N never lets the team down but is he a 6 or a 2 ?
Backs back ups...Yarde will feature when fit, impressive start, good signing.
Charnley, will struggle to nail down a first team slot ,great bloke but heading back to league ? Haley, too talented a footballer not to reemerge , just needs a bit of confidence, a decent run and to play with a smile on his face again.
Cliff, great to see him back ( once a shark always a shark) underestimated, cool head and a perfect foil to Faf. Paolo, hope to see more game time, a game changer at best.
Fond farewells, I guess the clock is ticking on Johnny ( Mr T) Leota, and Dave ( ( Boris ) Seymour, great ambassadors, thanks for the memories !!

Coaches : Dimes , PR skills apart a very shrewd operator , great with signings, and as passionate about the club as anyone. Time to move upstairs? 8/10
Mike F defence has been a big plus this season, especially away from home. 8/10
Paul D, the try bonus points speak for themselves, despite the loss of DC, still able to play very attractive and innovative rugby, work in progress. 8/10
Pete A, despite not having a beast of a back have held our own at set piece. Need another big ball carrier ( a Chabal or a Sisa), need to work on densive and attacking 5 metre mauls. 7.5/10

With a fantastic academy and a number of youngsters itching to get meaningful game time the future is bright , the future is ORANGE !!!! ( groan )

Re: End of Year Report
30 December, 2017 21:58
Great post

Re: End of Year Report
MartWhit (IP Logged)
30 December, 2017 22:29
I largely agree with all that.

I think Ostrikov flatters to deeive with the enforcer thing. Beaumonts return will help us out a lot.

I think Forshaws D started the season laughably badly, but to great credit the players and he have worked it out after the first 5-6 games and our points conceded tally reflects great credit. Unfortunately, it currently relies on some fanatical tackling stints, that our small squad may just not be able to continue to do through to season end. Need to start retaining posession betters

Deacon is a genius at playing with space. But his method takes an awful lot of getting used to, so we continue to struggle to rotate and bed in new players quickly. Its on him to work with the players to improve decision making in contact so we stop coughing up needless ball.

Dimes signings are shrewd. But what about the ones he hasnt signed?

Sam Moore and Cam Redpath will be phenomenal.

Nott and Flynn may as well be getting gametime in the championship.

Been delighted with AJ's progression and how solid Cliff has been at 9.

Jono Ross is a true leader we have lacked since Dan Braid.

Nield is a tough case. Our squad is too thin for him not to be involved in the matchday squad. But pragmatism means we need to stick with Webber & Jones experience at 2. SO he remains a good 6, when he could be a potentially great 2.

Re: End of Year Report
BasilBullneck (IP Logged)
31 December, 2017 00:21
Rather than an annual report it's a mid-season report just for the current season (I'm being pedantic because of the variations in form).

Largely agree with what you say, Camshark, but with the following alternative views:

(1) look forward to a run of fitness from Yarde, as (despite his figures) I remain to be convinced by McGuigan, who was exposed for sheer pace and pure finishing on three occasions against Falcons when he was in the clear.
(2) Faff gets a full 10 score from me for injecting pace, energy, complete commitment and sheer joy into the game. I believe he is the spark for so much that is positive.
(3) Neil's has regressed this season. The back row is more balanced with Jono than with Cam. He offers complete commitment and huge effort but is not a "finisher" nor an impact player. If he is to be a 2 he needs to hone his skills on a regular basis elsewhere. I think he will be an excellent 2 in the Jones/ Briggs mould.
(4) unfortunately RJVR has highlighted Jennings shortcomings. I think if we can't secure RJVR then James may be better suited as a second playmaker at 12 as he has great skills and vision but lacks a bit of gas at 13.
(5) WGJ has made a good start but I believe both he and Taurus's scrummaging are a potential liability. Aulika is still the strongest tight head in the scrum but is less prominent in the loose this year. If Brooke's were to come he would be an excellent addition.
(6) Addison is still prone to injury but when fit is tremendously exciting. I just hope when he returns he passes more and looks for support rather than the break or contact. Likewise Haley.
(7)Overall, it has been a tremendous first half of the season. It is noticeable that talk of "overachievementfor the cost of the squad" has been replaced with comments that we are a good side. Top 6 is a realistic opportunity with the closeness of the league. the quality of the rugby is much improved. The team themselves look to be enjoying it. We have strength in depth in a lot of positions although an injury in a couple of positions will leave us exposed.

Overall a B++ for the season to date.

Re: End of Year Report
clutch (IP Logged)
31 December, 2017 02:27
Agree with most of that. MartWhit criticising Diamond for players he hasn't signed. Not sure where you can go with that one.

What 3 examples re McGuigan? Didn't he knock the ball on after trying to ground it. I do agree that his lack of pace means he will never be top drawer and perhaps he's overrated on here. But finishing is more than just pace. He's finished superbly on many occasions.

Re: End of Year Report
MartWhit (IP Logged)
31 December, 2017 09:18
I hope the point on Dimes is reasonable. You judge someone on what they do and what they dont do. Thats all the elements of their performance.

If Denny scores but doesnt tackle we judge both dont we?

Re: End of Year Report
clutch (IP Logged)
31 December, 2017 11:06
We do. But we have clear visibility on that!! Unless you have a camera on Dimes? Maybe admit that in a PM as that sounds illegal.

Re: End of Year Report
camshark (IP Logged)
31 December, 2017 16:39
With regards to what Solomona should be doing he needs to see the work that Nowell in particular but also Woodburn do for Exeter, great involvement and searching for the ball . I think of late Denny has been too passive.

Re: End of Year Report
DaveAitch (IP Logged)
31 December, 2017 16:54
Good rundown there, camshark.

Re: End of Year Report
clutch (IP Logged)
31 December, 2017 17:03
I think that's fair. Maybe Yarde will do more work. I like a balance in my wingers. I don't mind less hard working wingers as long as they defend well and take their chances which Denny does. Wingers like Nowell are all well and good but they don't win you games. Not diminishing his contribution. He's arguably the most complete English winger.

Re: End of Year Report
thekeg (IP Logged)
31 December, 2017 17:38
He will win you games, just not necessarily in the same way. Huge contribution today for example and often making key contributions in defence through sheer hard work

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