The forwards would be OK in the premiership
But the backs, on current performance, are not up to it.
Centres in particular
Thinks it's a mix of dodge and laidlaw. I agree with soon however as the first team have only played 3 times since the new year and take in the fact of the rotation policy, some players haven't even played all of those games.
We need to now pick our best backs line and stick with it.
That's our strongest back line imho and that's should now be playing week in week out. ( when Tommy is back of course) for now I wouldn't mind seeing ransom at 15 to offer some extra spark
Problem is that we do not have a premiership standard 9/10 in the squad. Lots of good back up but not a pair who can control big games, keep us in the right part of the pitch and play others into space and opportunity. For all his strengths, Marshall is a 15 and performed brilliantly for the Canes in that position last year but he is not a first choice 10. We also need an 80% + kicker who gets in the team on merit rather than on just his kicking ability. We have some great young talent like Williams, Lewington and Cokanasiga but if the half backs are not good enough to utilise their talents then they will wither, as they have been doing.
I genuinely have no idea what some people want or expect.
We are top of the league with a 100% record with a whole bundle of try bonus points. We are the highest points and try scorers and have the best defensive record in the league. I keep hearing that other teams attacking play is better than ours but that's simply not borne out by any meaningful, measurable statistic.
Rugby is about winning, and perhaps, just perhaps, the coaches are focusing on the areas we need to be good at to win, and not the fancy flash stuff, which in the opinion of some on here every other team is better than us at, despite the fact we are top of the pile.
The rotation policy is spot on for me. There is only one objective this year and that is promotion. We could if we wish protect our players for the playoffs now even more, we are there. Tommy Bell is the only front line player that needs to come back and he should be sound for the playoffs. One fear I had was getting to the playoffs without a Franks, Marshall, Coman, Cowan, McKibbin, Steele, De Chaves, Robson, Trev (especially Trev), Paice, Lewington, Williams etc etc. The rotation policy has been a big factor in this being achieved. Only Palf and Smallbone missing and that is not bad, to date of course. Still worry a bit about tighthead cover for Ben but even then we brought Lovejoy in which made perfect sense.
The playoffs are what it is all about, we could put out a good team in the B&I and win a meaningless competition playing good rugby, but who wants to remember that from this year? Bring the kids along and well done to them for getting so far in the competition.
Any BV team might not be the best to watch in terms of entertainment, but he does not give a hoot, he wants results and that is why he is here I would presume. It would not be a shock if they had a few surprises up their sleeves for the playoffs, because at the end of the day, that is all that counts this year.
I want only one memory from this year and that is that we went straight back up !
Quote:Totally agree Marshall needs to put a little more variation to his game, he has become a distibutor whereas at Scottish away he made line breaks and mixed things up. McKibben is still our best 9 as his speed and anticipation to the next breakdown keeps a fast tempo, Steele is alright but lacks the anticipation hopefully that will come with experience.tonyh50
No complaints that we are unbeaten and comfortably heading for pole position in the play offs - but agree that it is our forward play that has been our prime force this season. Our back play has been erratic to say the least, little cohesion or imagination and often the opposition backs have proved superior. BUT without a dedicated backs coach fear it is going to continue. Dodge and Kennedy have proved themselves this season but neither of them is a valid backs specialist (and Venter certainly isn't). I just worry that in our he play-offs sides like YC & Doncaster will sus out our forward play and our backs will not have the capability to compensate. If we do get back up our forwards might be able to hold their own in the top flight but on the showing so far this season our backs definitely won't.