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Back up 9 (s) for 2019-20
StalyShark (IP Logged)
11 January, 2019 22:13
It seems as though Will Cliff is out of contract in the summer and given his age (31 in Oct) itís debatable whether or not heíll be given a new one. A good servant but we all have a shelf-life sadly. So, that makes me wonder who is going to be Fafís back up and our first choice 9 when Faf is away at the RWC. Warr seems like the next cab off the rank and then Sturgess who is 4th choice at the moment. I doubt that weíll go into next season with any of those back up 9s starting the season without Faf.

It seems as though Gloucesterís Ben Vellacott is out of contract in the summer and as heís behind Heinz and Braley he might be tempted to be Fafís back up for a few years.

Anyone else know of any 9s who may be looking to move?

 
Re: Back up 9 (s) for 2019-20
clutch (IP Logged)
12 January, 2019 11:33
Regardless of whether Cliff stays or not, we should be looking at a new 9. I have a lot of time for Cliff but heís not good enough to be starting a handful of premiership games for a team with top 6 ambitions. Heís great doing what he does, as a specialist to close out tight games. Iíd be ok keeping him on that basis. Vellacot is a good shout but not sure how good he is. Gloucester fans not happy with their 9s when I read their ludicrously pessimistic message board.

Faf will prevent us having a quality back up 9. So I think Cliff inevitably may still be the best option. We have to start giving Warr more time though and Quirke soon. Strurgess, from the little Iíve seen, didnít look up to it. Warr seems to try and play a bit more in the Faf mould, bar the maniac defending, so much easier for the team.

Having said that if we do end up with a monster pack next season and with Westís coaching, maybe Cliff will work well.

 
Re: Back up 9 (s) for 2019-20
thekeg (IP Logged)
12 January, 2019 12:19
My guess is that we will probably renew cliff and bring warr through more. Ideally Iíd like us to have a more experienced option with a more attacking mindset to cover Faf, but finding someone of the right quality when they know they will be behind a dominant force such as Faf makes that task difficult. Relying on what we have coming through at 9 and strengthening the front five to give us different ways of winning matches is the more likely option

 
Re: Back up 9 (s) for 2019-20
MartWhit (IP Logged)
12 January, 2019 12:33
I think Clutch and Keg are spot on. We're spending a lot on Faf, and have priority spending elsewhere also. It would be poor value for money to spend meaningfully on backup 9 when Faf will dominate playing time when available. And Dimes is all about value for money.

FWIW, if Cliff is good enough to close out tight games, he's good enough to start some too. If he'd had the pack playing as it is now, and the stability in the backs outside that we've had recently, I think he'd have slotted in just fine. Unlike Faf, he cant turn around a poor performance from the pack in front, but he also wasnt the real cause of our early season woes. We were being dominated up front and easily pierced in defence. We didnt even look particularly fit (I'm hopi g that was trues, deliberate, and a vehicle to help us to finish the season more strongly ths year).

I do think Cliff will continue to be backup 9. I think Warr will confirm himself as no3, having played a good season of senior rugby. I really like what I see from him. Sturgess is struggling to shift Bradley as starting 9 at Sale FC, and I'm not convinced he'll come through to the senior squad.

 
Re: Back up 9 (s) for 2019-20
Chris1850 (IP Logged)
12 January, 2019 13:07
Quote:
MartWhit

FWIW, if Cliff is good enough to close out tight games, he's good enough to start some too. If he'd had the pack playing as it is now, and the stability in the backs outside that we've had recently, I think he'd have slotted in just fine. Unlike Faf, he cant turn around a poor performance from the pack in front, but he also wasnt the real cause of our early season woes. We were being dominated up front and easily pierced in defence.

I am sorry, but he isnt, not if we want to progress from being bottom half. He is steady, thats all. Sometimes that is what you need for the last 10 minutes to close out a game, and that's fine, However, if Faf is missing for a significant part of a season, we need someone better to start for those games.

Dont forget that he hardly covered himself in glory with Brizz in the Championship. Their supporters were pretty critical of him at the time and that was playing behind a dominant pack at that level.

 
Re: Back up 9 (s) for 2019-20
clutch (IP Logged)
12 January, 2019 14:29
I think Cliff was the principle reason we struggled at the start ball in hand. The pack struggled but we created opportunities and his slowness and lack of ability to make the right decision was a real issue. Having said that having the West pack and a consistent 10/12/13 would have obviously made a difference. Maybe Iím being a tad harsh. Would like to see him play with the current team as it is.

 
Re: Back up 9 (s) for 2019-20
tbird (IP Logged)
12 January, 2019 17:58
Quote:
MartWhit

FWIW, if Cliff is good enough to close out tight games, he's good enough to start some too. If he'd had the pack playing as it is now , and the stability in the backs outside that we've had recently, I think he'd have slotted in just fine.

Look how it worked out for Wiggy after he moved to Sarries. Many were critical of his slow ball here.

 
Re: Back up 9 (s) for 2019-20
StalyShark (IP Logged)
12 January, 2019 21:40
Ideally I think weíd like someone towards the end of their career, eg an Albie Matthewson type who is a class above Cliff, would be fine playing 10-20 minutes a game and the reverse when Faf is away. This leaves the likes of Warr and Quirke (I also think Sturgessí time is numbered unless he really kicks on) more time to develop, potential on loan to a championship team next year.

 
Re: Back up 9 (s) for 2019-20
M5 Shark (IP Logged)
12 January, 2019 22:48
If we qualify for Champions Cup, and if we see ourselves as top 4 contenders (& have a strong squad), surely we'll want to rest Faf for some of the "easier" premiership games.

We need top class players in the starting XV, as well as the bench and fringed

 
Re: Back up 9 (s) for 2019-20
PoyntonShark (IP Logged)
13 January, 2019 04:32
I don't think we are at the stage yet where top class players come to us to not be first choice. Dimes will not, quite rightly IMHO, throw money at someone, anyone just to get them to come. I would like to see Cliff get proper run with an improved pack and more settled back line (actually I would just like to see a more settled back line), but I don't think it will happen, when fit Faf will play most of game. I think Dimes more likely to trust in Cliff to fill in, or Staly's elder statesman, still class but doesn't necessarily want to play every game. One of the young guns needs to be ready to step up before end of next season.



Unhappiness, where's when I was young
And we didn't give a damn
'Cause we were raised
To see life as a fun and take it if we can


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