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Stevie Myler's right boot
Thoughts on last night.....
03 February, 2018 10:52
Have just finished watching the game again and like many others have said a good all round team performance with a number of players back to doing what we know they are capable of. A few specific mentions
George looked back to his best and hungry - showed us what we will miss next season - under Boyd I think he could kick on again - how good would he look in a Canes back line? Unfortunately weíll never know.
Gibson as ever solid
Brookes - where has that guy been? Thought he and VW were solid
Mikey - we are lucky to have him - heíd be first choice at most of the Prem for all the raving about JG I personally think heís no better than Mikey

Whilst a big improvement on where we have been we need to temper where we are - some of our decisions making at times wasnít the best in attack - we probably left 4-5 tries out there. For me I thought Tom S looked to be trying to hard (which bearing in mind his contract position is understandable) there were a number of times he tried to go alone when there were better options either side of him.

In summary a great game, great result - if we can carry on like that for the rest of the season letís see where we end up - 4th is still not out of the question and when you get there anything is possible.
Itís going to be an interesting few months

COYS

 
tedge
Re: Thoughts on last night.....
tedge (IP Logged)
03 February, 2018 11:07
Must admit I fear for TS's future if AG has any influence and judging by AG's comments about him recently on the Saints Show

 
MarchingIn
Re: Thoughts on last night.....
MarchingIn (IP Logged)
03 February, 2018 12:33
From my point of view, Saints were 90% likely to win that one at home with the experience and quality on display, and the first 40 was really good in attack and defense, the tries will take the headlines, but they repeatedly drove Quins off the line and very nearly held them out at the end of the first half after ages of sustained pressure. The half time stat on possession was only 4% in our favour 52/48.

The period from about 45 to 55 minutes needs looking at. They avoided going to sleep and got 3 on the board early in the second half, but then lost shape and impetus when in possession, and the accusation of "reverting to type" would be valid there I think. Myler sorted them out a bit when he came on & you have to give some credit to Quins who refused to fold and roll over in the 2nd half.

When Saints were at their best in 2014, they played an 80 minute game and won a lot of matches in the second half. In the first half of 2017, they lost a load of games in the last 10. The run of games a few months back when we briefly went top of the prem were all won in the first half, as was the case last night. OK, they did "win the second half" as well 10:5, but for me there's still that killer instinct missing as a squad - coming out with 26 points on the board they should have had their tails up and shown the desire and intent to put 50 past Quins, especially given that is exactly what Quins did to us a few weeks ago, but I didn't see much evidence of that.

Things are going the right way but still a long way to go.

 
Innings
Re: Thoughts on last night.....
Innings (IP Logged)
03 February, 2018 12:42
Saints first XV beats Quins development side in easy style. And so they should have done, at least as easily as they did. Did it help one little bit in getting the rest of the Saints squad ready to step up for the big time? The lack of development policy has been a major problem for you for three or four years now, and this game is a good example of the short term nature of the club's thinking. I can see the reason, any progress, however short-term, is better than continued lack of confidence. However, it won't have done a thing for the young and developing players who desperately need their own boosts to be ready to take their share of the big-time workload.

Everyone was very proud for him when Waller started his umpteenth consecutive game for Saints, but who remembered in that celebration his very competent understudy, who no longer plays for the club he joined as a trainee, but went elsewhere to get game time?



Innings

Points win matches: tries win hearts and minds.

 
Nath-coys
Re: Thoughts on last night.....
Nath-coys (IP Logged)
03 February, 2018 13:06
Innings -

Confidence, confidence, cnfidence.......

Something that has been so very lacking for Saints this year.

This group of players have now just got through to a 'semi'

They feel good, fans are vocal again, feels like improvements are being made.
That feeling amongst the squad is invaluable for the rest of the season.

As well as that 4 of our developing players were on U20 duty.

Correct team selection in my opinion.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/02/2018 13:47 by Nath-coys.

 
tboullem
Re: Thoughts on last night.....
Mobbs (IP Logged)
03 February, 2018 13:24
I keep hearing that the AW is a development competition and to an extent I can buy that idea. Perhaps there should be some regulation along the lines of no International players being allowed to participate or an age cap of say 23 years of age. The problem then arises that it turns into an A league Cup competition which would see very low crowds; just how much that would develop younger players is open to question.

As I have said elsewhere, if Saints were in the top four and looking forward to a European quarter final, then by all means use the AW to blood more youngsters, especially with the virtual shut down of the Wanderers for three months. However, we are not in Europe and lanquish in tenth place keeping Worcester and Irish at arms length in the relegation battle. We have been devoid of confidence and suffered four absolute humiliations at the hands of Saracens and Quins. Alan Gaffney is tasked with guiding the side back to form and if that means using the AW Cup to develop the first team squad back to competitiveness then for the time being so be it.

In addition to the senior 6N call-ups we have four players away with the U-20 competition alongside those with injury concerns. We have always seen promising young players leave for greener pastures but how many have reached real highs elsewhere ? Some of become good squad players - Joe Gray, James Cannon and arguably even Dave Ward ! We await to see what the likes of Danny Hobbs, Sam Olver and Ethan Waller make of their careers.

The combination of Mitchell and Grayson as half backs looks hugely promising and I share concerns that they may not get the chances they need at the Gardens. Last night neither was available so selection had to be pragmatic with Francis and Myler both needing game time before the Premiership returns next week at Bath.

Its not ideal but the rebuilding process will take some time.

 
St.Sinner
Re: Thoughts on last night.....
St.Sinner (IP Logged)
03 February, 2018 13:59
Quote:
Innings
Saints first XV beats Quins development side in easy style. And so they should have done, at least as easily as they did. Did it help one little bit in getting the rest of the Saints squad ready to step up for the big time? The lack of development policy has been a major problem for you for three or four years now, and this game is a good example of the short term nature of the club's thinking. I can see the reason, any progress, however short-term, is better than continued lack of confidence. However, it won't have done a thing for the young and developing players who desperately need their own boosts to be ready to take their share of the big-time workload.

Everyone was very proud for him when Waller started his umpteenth consecutive game for Saints, but who remembered in that celebration his very competent understudy, who no longer plays for the club he joined as a trainee, but went elsewhere to get game time?

I completely agree from face value it looks strange we are putting out our strongest team in a development cup. And that young players need their chance to step up.

But as others have stated, itís all about our position as a club, we need to sort out the confidence of our 1st team before we can do anything else. Games like this give us match practice at reinforcing new tactics & mentalityís the gaffer is imposing during training.

Itís needs must right now and I think in terms of getting confidence back in both the fans and players, itís working!

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: Thoughts on last night.....
Stockers (IP Logged)
03 February, 2018 14:01
Spot on Mobbs



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/02/2018 14:02 by Stockers.

 
Themanwho
Re: Thoughts on last night.....
Themanwho (IP Logged)
03 February, 2018 14:47
Playing a development side is all well and good but the prize money for winning the LV is comparable to that of winning the Prem.

What was it Neil Diamond sang?

Money Talks....

 
nottsaint
Re: Thoughts on last night.....
nottsaint (IP Logged)
03 February, 2018 15:08
No one would bat an eye at a bottom 4 team playing more or less their strongest side in the AW guess what, we are a bottom 4 side at the moment!

That being said, Quins defensive play was very poor in the 1st half, and either we took our eye of the ball as job done in the 2nd or they tightened up and we couldnít find a way through not sure what is more worrying.

Our attack plan, as far as I could see was send one up runners into contact and hope for them to make mistakes, even with their showing, we were often caught behind the gain line and scrambling to retain ball, a better side would of had us on toast!

You can only play whatís in front of you, and we won, and won eaisily. As we probably should, but Iím frankly deeply concerned with what I saw yesterday....
The effort was there, there was good signs, but Iím not convinced yet.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/02/2018 15:09 by nottsaint.

 
Waggydog
Re: Thoughts on last night.....
Waggydog (IP Logged)
03 February, 2018 18:45
Quote:
tedge
Must admit I fear for TS's future if AG has any influence and judging by AG's comments about him recently on the Saints Show

Could you expand please? I didn't hear what was said on the show.

 
Eif Jones
Re: Thoughts on last night.....
Eif Jones (IP Logged)
04 February, 2018 02:21
It is possible to strike a balance between chosing the best side and bringing in a sprinkling of younger players. Hauling the likes of Myler and Foden off the bench for a few dead minutes at the end was a bit daft. There are disadvantages in not resting regular 1st choice players come the later part of the season.

 
BrianB
Re: Thoughts on last night.....
BrianB (IP Logged)
04 February, 2018 07:29
Makes sense. Myler hasnt played much this season. Foden has missed a couple of games i think.

 
195Rich
Re: Thoughts on last night.....
195Rich (IP Logged)
04 February, 2018 14:28
Regarding TS Gaffer said he needs to improve his passing technique - isn't quick enough with his hands so cuts inside when faster hands would allow him to move the ball wide. In Friday's game - there was evidence to support that view.

 
tedge
Re: Thoughts on last night.....
tedge (IP Logged)
04 February, 2018 15:28
Quote:
195Rich
Regarding TS Gaffer said he needs to improve his passing technique - isn't quick enough with his hands so cuts inside when faster hands would allow him to move the ball wide. In Friday's game - there was evidence to support that view.

Waggydog as well as the above he also implied that getting players of TS's age to mprove their basic skills is quite difficult

 
JohnI
Re: Thoughts on last night.....
JohnI (IP Logged)
04 February, 2018 15:39
Iím quite sure that if I were the sponsor of this competition in previous years Iíd be looking like any other sponsor to see the clubs playing to the maximum that they decided they could provide taking into account the whole seasons requirements and the impact on players who play regularly.
As Eif says there are disadvantages to playing some players too much but it is equally true that there are advantages to not playing those players during this period and if teams choose to do so then that is their choice. There are no rules about who plays and who doesnít and personally whilst I like to see some of the upcoming players get a chance in the first XV I pay for a season ticket to see the top players at the club and for them to win games and silverware if they can.

 
Walks11
Re: Thoughts on last night.....
Walks11 (IP Logged)
04 February, 2018 15:42
Was it a Quins development side. Horwill, Lambert, Wallace, Gray, Chisholm in the pack had plenty of experience. Hardly academy players

 
Dragonboy
Re: Thoughts on last night.....
Dragonboy (IP Logged)
04 February, 2018 15:44
And Marchant & Alofa Alofa as regulars in the 23

 
Waggydog
Re: Thoughts on last night.....
Waggydog (IP Logged)
04 February, 2018 16:47
Quote:
tedge
Quote:
195Rich
Regarding TS Gaffer said he needs to improve his passing technique - isn't quick enough with his hands so cuts inside when faster hands would allow him to move the ball wide. In Friday's game - there was evidence to support that view.

Waggydog as well as the above he also implied that getting players of TS's age to mprove their basic skills is quite difficult

Thanks for the clarification. I suppose it has to be taken as a positive that they've identified an area of improvement and hopefully TS can respond in kind.

 
annie blackthorn
Re: Thoughts on last night.....
annie blackthorn (IP Logged)
04 February, 2018 18:36
Good win for you - don't knock it. Will help to build confidence whichever competition it is. At least you havn't let one of your iconic best players go for the sake of being mean with his renewal price!

 
Deesaint
Re: Thoughts on last night.....
Deesaint (IP Logged)
04 February, 2018 19:11
I tend not to post on these things because I just feel the negativity creeping over me
Tom Sís age is creeping up so is Nutley and a few others in the emerging saints fold
The worry is some of the shortcomings in their skill sets when they try and take the big step up to the top tier
Harryís tackling and positional awareness
If all they have been doing is playing rugby for the past number of years they should have weaknesses identified and rectified a long time ago
Creeps into black corner

 
195Rich
Re: Thoughts on last night.....
195Rich (IP Logged)
04 February, 2018 20:05
Players now in their early 20s, might have been practicing poor technique learned when they started as minis or at school, for 15 or 16 years. By the time they are identified as having the potential to be top class players and join senior clubs, the faults are ingrained.

Coaches at junior level, if they can see the problem, find that the youngsters who are head and shoulders ahead of their peers and being successful at their level, don't see the point in changing what they are currently doing, it works at the level at which they are playing.

When they get to top level and their faults are exposed - Harry's tackling, Luther's passing, Ben's catching, Tom's handling; they are paid to listen when the coaches point out the problem. I'm sure the players do listen and do their best to improve but under pressure they revert to what they have always done. It takes thousands of hours to ingrain a new skill so that it becomes 2nd nature to 'do it right'.

 
SaintsAsh
Re: Thoughts on last night.....
SaintsAsh (IP Logged)
05 February, 2018 08:46
Woooah, calm down guys. Engrained habits can be changed, the players will just have to work hard at it. Changes are completely possible though, I remember being told something similar. I put several balls around the house and made a some little ball catchers, every time I walked into the room and practiced a few times, couple of months later the bad habit was undone. (I was not pushing through with left hand passing)

So it can be changes, question is, how committed are they to changing bad habits, time will tell.

 
tedge
Re: Thoughts on last night.....
tedge (IP Logged)
05 February, 2018 09:01
This skills question will also be a relevant factor that Boyd will have to contend with - any Kiwi coach inheriting English plsyers has to quickly come to terms with the disparities of skill levels between them and what he has had available in NZ. Smudger managed it to an extent but had to compensate by recruiting NZ players too.

 
Saint Swill
Re: Thoughts on last night.....
Saint Swill (IP Logged)
05 February, 2018 09:17
Ingrained habits are not necessarily irreversible.

Not so long ago, Courtney tackled hard but had concrete hands and found it difficult to make any progress in heavy traffic.

And a little longer ago, when it came to line-outs Dylan was widely nicknamed "Banjo".

 
195Rich
Re: Thoughts on last night.....
195Rich (IP Logged)
05 February, 2018 18:44
Agree that the bad habits can be corrected but it takes time, which sadly premiership players do not have, to learn the new correct habit and then to ingrain it so it becomes the prefered solution under pressure. The correction process needs to take place in the Wanderers not the first team!


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