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MESSAGES->author
Is our pack under-powered?
SaintMaul (IP Logged)
22 February, 2018 18:21
Judge for yourselves if you think our current best pack for next season is under-powered compared to the current packs of the 3 best teams in the Premiership:

Waller 114
Hartley 110
Ford-Robinson 115
Ratuniyarawa 115
Lawes 115
Gibson 107
Broussow 101
Harrison 100

Bench: Ma'afu 114, Haywood 98, Hill 117, Ribbans 116, Wood 108

Starting 8 total: 877kg (138 stone)
Starting 8 average:  109.6 (17 stone 4)
Bench total: 553kg (87 stone)
Bench average: 110.6 (17 stone 6)

Sarries
Vunipola 121
George 112
Figallo 119
Kruis 115
Itoje 116
Rhodes 109
Burger 114
B Vunipola 130

Barrington 124, Brits 99, Koch 118, Skelton 140, Wray 112

Starting 8 total: 936kg (147 stone)
Starting 8 average: 117kg (18.6 stone 6)
Bench total: 593kg (93 stone)
Bench average: 118.6kg (18 stone 10)

Exeter
Hepburn 108
Cowan-Dickie 110
Williams 132
Lees 122
Dennis 113
Ewers 125
Armand 115
Simmonds 103

Rimmer 116, Yeandle 108, Francis 135, Hill 112, Waldrom 114

Starting 8 total: 928kg (146 stone)
Starting total average: 116kg (18 stone 4)
Bench total: 585kg (92 stone)
Bench average: 117kg (18 stone 6)

Mullan 116
Taylor 96
Moore 113
Launchbury 122
Symons 117
Johnson 112
Haskell 118
Hughes 124

McIntyre 122, Cruse 102, Cooper-Woolley 124, Gaskell 120, Young 104

Starting 8 total: 918kg (145 stone)
Starting 8 average: 114.7kg (18 stone 1)
Bench total: 572kg (90 stone)
Bench average: 114.4kg (18 stone)

Some things that jumped out for me are:
- All the other teams have 4 players over 120kg. We have none.
- Both Sarries and Exeter we are conceding a stone a man in both the starting 8 and also on the bench
- All the top 3 have small players who bring something but they are offset by all the teams having some big units
- To compound it our pack lacks both the number of ball-carriers and pace these other teams have in their pack

All I can say is best of luck Chris. Your gonna need it without some savvy late recruitment.

 
tboullem
Re: Is our pack under-powered?
Houghton Saint (IP Logged)
22 February, 2018 18:24
Whilst power is important, surely technique is also vital ?

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: Is our pack under-powered?
Stockers (IP Logged)
22 February, 2018 18:31
Indeed it is Mobbs, as I've been saying to the Missus for years!

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: Is our pack under-powered?
SaintMaul (IP Logged)
22 February, 2018 18:35
Quote:
Mobbs
Whilst power is important, surely technique is also vital ?

To a point. But pushing against a pack a stone a man heavier wears any team down. Come 60-70 minutes of having facing a far larger pack takes it's toll, compounded by the opposition bringing on a stone a man heavier replacements than ours.

The real litmus test is, is our pack more skilful so we are offsetting our size disadvantage. Personally, I've looked at our pack for the last few seasons and thought we invariably struggle against the best packs. The size analysis provides a possible explanation as to why.

 
fair_weather_fan
Re: Is our pack under-powered?
fair_weather_fan (IP Logged)
22 February, 2018 18:47
I am sure you are on the right track St Maul.

I think we know we need to recruit a beast somewhere, maybe two.

 
HungryLikeTheWolf
Re: Is our pack under-powered?
Wilson Pickett (IP Logged)
22 February, 2018 19:25
In this area of the game a good big bloke beats a good smaller bloke

 
Saint Jericho
Re: Is our pack under-powered?
Saint Jericho (IP Logged)
22 February, 2018 19:33
Quote:
SaintMaul
Quote:
Mobbs
Whilst power is important, surely technique is also vital ?

To a point. But pushing against a pack a stone a man heavier wears any team down. Come 60-70 minutes of having facing a far larger pack takes it's toll, compounded by the opposition bringing on a stone a man heavier replacements than ours.

The real litmus test is, is our pack more skilful so we are offsetting our size disadvantage. Personally, I've looked at our pack for the last few seasons and thought we invariably struggle against the best packs. The size analysis provides a possible explanation as to why.

Agreed.

I wouldn't mind so much about being over-powered in the pack if our lighter forwards were fitter than the opposition and able to play at an increased tempo and intensity for the full 80. Unfortunately I'm yet to see any evidence of this.

We definitely need some 120kg + forwards for next season to be able to compete with the likes of Saracens and Exeter, or even just Bristol and Worcester.

 
herbie85
Re: Is our pack under-powered?
herbie85 (IP Logged)
22 February, 2018 19:42
As mentioned a lot by various posters, for me our pack lacks balance, not necessarily bulk/power. We play three 6/7 hybrids across the back row. Not one 7 and two ball carriers, or a couple of hybrids and a huge 8. Second rows at times we have played two lineout men in there, day/Paterson/ribbans, without someone bulky, or bullying. Waller doesn't strike me as a particularly bulky loose head. We don't seem to have a pattern to how our pack want to play, and I think years of this thinking or lack of it has caused in-balances across our 8 and playing players in different positions to get them on the park due to reputation/salary/necessity, examples being tei (who isn't an 8 but does a job as no other specialist 8), wood/Gibson used in tandem when are a very similar type player etc.

 
Saintly Pursuit
Re: Is our pack under-powered?
Saintly Pursuit (IP Logged)
22 February, 2018 20:00
Quote:
HungryLikeTheWolf
In this area of the game a good big bloke beats a good smaller bloke

As a generality possibly but there are always exceptions to the rule. Unfortunately we do not have any of the exceptions.

 
Saint Ted
Re: Is our pack under-powered?
Saint Ted (IP Logged)
22 February, 2018 20:16
Quote:
HungryLikeTheWolf
In this area of the game a good big bloke beats a good smaller bloke


This basically, at amateur level you can get a good technical scrummager beating a bigger lad time after time.

At this level your just not going to get that anymore, the top teams have big lads that are also technically excellent

 
tedge
Re: Is our pack under-powered?
tedge (IP Logged)
22 February, 2018 20:38
Perhaps SaintMaul should forward his stats to Chris Boyd ?

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: Is our pack under-powered?
Stockers (IP Logged)
22 February, 2018 21:32
How heavy was Tom Smith?

 
HungryLikeTheWolf
Re: Is our pack under-powered?
Wilson Pickett (IP Logged)
22 February, 2018 21:34
Games moved on a bit

You can pick single players anyhow but as an entity our pack does not carry over the gain line and is not big enough.

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: Is our pack under-powered?
Stockers (IP Logged)
22 February, 2018 21:36
But Tom Smith kinda proves the earlier point about technique over power.

 
HungryLikeTheWolf
Re: Is our pack under-powered?
Wilson Pickett (IP Logged)
22 February, 2018 22:00
I was chatting to a SA international asking why Lawes packed down at 6 last season and Itoje lock (when selected in opposite positions). I asked whether Courtney was too light in the legs, he argued technique at scrum time was the important difference there.

So there’s a mix. But you know, Carl Hayman or Tom Smith, Brad Thorn or Juandre Kruger.... id rather have the former in both instances

 
Nath-coys
Re: Is our pack under-powered?
Nath-coys (IP Logged)
22 February, 2018 22:07
Tom smith - Very good player....
Would get animated against the 130kg props now a days.
That's not a slight on him, but just a measure of where the game is now.

Can't think of many undersized props at the top of the game now purely on technique.

Very interested too see how we go about improving the pack for next season.

Replacement for Brooke's, hopefully a dynamic scrummager.
Need a second row too replace Daisy, (His successor should of been identified earlier than this)
I hope we put some money in too bringing in a top Lock as it is a crucial position and a top player can really drive your pack forward.

Then do you bulk up 6 or 8? Either way your going too have to drop two of our better performers this season. (Gibo or Tei?)

Just my opinion, but I'd like move Courts too 6 and give him that bit of extra freedom in the backrow too carry the ball more.
Brussow/Ludlam as the 'fetcher'

And if we recruit well I'd really like too see Tei play behind a more powerful front 5.
Like too see his dynamism with a bit of front foot ball.
And he has that bit of 'edge' and grit we need.

 
HungryLikeTheWolf
Re: Is our pack under-powered?
Wilson Pickett (IP Logged)
22 February, 2018 22:18
Quote:
Nath-coys
Tom smith - Very good player....
Would get animated against the 130kg props now a days.
That's not a slight on him, but just a measure of where the game is now.

Can't think of many undersized props at the top of the game now purely on technique.

Very interested too see how we go about improving the pack for next season.

Replacement for Brooke's, hopefully a dynamic scrummager.
Need a second row too replace Daisy, (His successor should of been identified earlier than this)
I hope we put some money in too bringing in a top Lock as it is a crucial position and a top player can really drive your pack forward.

Then do you bulk up 6 or 8? Either way your going too have to drop two of our better performers this season. (Gibo or Tei?)

Just my opinion, but I'd like move Courts too 6 and give him that bit of extra freedom in the backrow too carry the ball more.
Brussow/Ludlam as the 'fetcher'

And if we recruit well I'd really like too see Tei play behind a more powerful front 5.
Like too see his dynamism with a bit of front foot ball.
And he has that bit of 'edge' and grit we need.


I think Ribbans will be mega next year...

 
Nath-coys
Re: Is our pack under-powered?
Nath-coys (IP Logged)
22 February, 2018 22:28
Ribbans has plenty of potential, don't think a partnership of him and Api works.

Neither of them top lineout operators.

Still has got a fair amount too improve on before being a consistently good lock in the Prem.

Bring in a proven player about 25-27.

Let Ribbans and moon learn from him.

 
TringSaint
Re: Is our pack under-powered?
TringSaint (IP Logged)
22 February, 2018 22:45
Blimey, I am heavier than the heaviest saints forward and I barely scrape 6ft!

Props should be 120kg+ minimum and back rowers should also be 115kg+ with the 8 over 118kg

Billy V weighs in at 130kg - that is some lump to stop!!

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: Is our pack under-powered?
SaintMaul (IP Logged)
23 February, 2018 00:01
Just to show the difference even signing just two big lads could make, I've adjusted the stats to include a couple of Saints old boys in Tiny and Samu for illustrative purposes:

Tiny 130 (instead of 114kg Waller)
Hartley 110
Ford-Robinson 115
Ratuniyarawa 115
Lawes 115
Gibson 107
Broussow 101
Manoa 127 (instead of 100kg Harrison)

Starting 8 average:  115kg (18 stone 2)

 
Eif Jones
Re: Is our pack under-powered?
Eif Jones (IP Logged)
23 February, 2018 01:16
The Saints favorite attacking weapon used to be the driving maul, I recall a time not that long ago when the Saints hardly ever kicked penalties for goal, they invariably kicked to touch to set up a driving maul, very boring but effective at times. The last two seasons the weapon has all but disappeared as the pack has gone backwards.

 
Saint Ted
Re: Is our pack under-powered?
Saint Ted (IP Logged)
23 February, 2018 07:21
Quote:
Stockers
But Tom Smith kinda proves the earlier point about technique over power.

For many years he was my example of this being the case.

The problem now is that the bigger, more powerful scrummagers also have the technique nailed.

If you want a dominant pack, you need both, in fact you need both just for parity

 
SaintsAsh
Re: Is our pack under-powered?
SaintsAsh (IP Logged)
23 February, 2018 07:22
I posted this in another thread and thought it worth posting here.

Our scrum struggles with bigger packs, but for me it is the back-row area where we really struggle. We get bullied around the breakdown and struggle to make hard yards.

Exeter have a lightweight back rower in Sam S, but next to him are 115KG and 125KG. All ours are light, No balance to it.



For me, Tei and Gibbo struggle to clear rucks when there is a big dude over the ball.

Tei = 100KG
Brussow = 100kg
Gibbo = 105KG
Ludlam = 98 KG
Wood = 108kg

Wasps.

Haskell = 120KG
Young = 110KG
Hughes = 124KG

Cheifs

Don Armand = 115KG
Dave Ewers = 125kg
Simmonds = 103kg

Cheifs are over 40 Kilo's heavier across the back-row, Wasps over 50 Kilo's

For me we are just too lightweight around the breakdown, then you factor in that our props are quite lightweight, as is super Mikey, we are going to struggle to get quick ball and are going to get turned a lot. We simply get out muscled.

Ball carrying also suffers, we find it hard to make hard yards.

IMHO we need more muscle.

 
fair_weather_fan
Re: Is our pack under-powered?
fair_weather_fan (IP Logged)
23 February, 2018 08:17
Quote:
Nath-coys
Ribbans has plenty of potential, don't think a partnership of him and Api works.
Neither of them top lineout operators.

Still has got a fair amount too improve on before being a consistently good lock in the Prem.

Bring in a proven player about 25-27.

Let Ribbans and moon learn from him.

Ribbans took a couple of throws last Saturday. I think he is working on that area, reminds me of Jaundre when he arrived. Great mentor in Daisy

 
195Rich
Re: Is our pack under-powered?
195Rich (IP Logged)
23 February, 2018 08:55
Think lack of size is an issue but more so is lack of dynamism - players still taking the ball standing still instead of at pace when trying to get over the gain line. Api should be far more effective given his size.

 
Casual Saint
Re: Is our pack under-powered?
Casual Saint (IP Logged)
23 February, 2018 09:08
Api reminds me of a young Courtney - too high going into contact, seems to go down too easily and does not make the yards. This is an area of the game that Courtney has improved massively over the last couple of years, so its something for the coaches to be addressing.

The pack in general does look under powered - as was demonstrated during the first half of the Irish game. Repeated one out runners from the ruck going know where. It was only a switch to a more dynamic game at the start of the second half that opened up the game.

I guess we will know after the Exeter game.



Once a scrum half .... always a scrum half

 
HungryLikeTheWolf
Re: Is our pack under-powered?
Wilson Pickett (IP Logged)
23 February, 2018 10:44
Quote:
fair_weather_fan
Quote:
Nath-coys
Ribbans has plenty of potential, don't think a partnership of him and Api works.
Neither of them top lineout operators.

Still has got a fair amount too improve on before being a consistently good lock in the Prem.

Bring in a proven player about 25-27.

Let Ribbans and moon learn from him.

Ribbans took a couple of throws last Saturday. I think he is working on that area, reminds me of Jaundre when he arrived. Great mentor in Daisy


I suspect he’s spent more time with courtney

 
Nath-coys
Re: Is our pack under-powered?
Nath-coys (IP Logged)
23 February, 2018 15:16
In my opinion I see Ribbans and Api competing for 1 spot.
They both add some ballast and are both keen too get there hands on the ball, which is good. And what we heavent had for a little while.

But think you need an experienced lock beside them too run the lineout and be a leader. Which we are missing in the pack, especially when Daisy can't play.

Api is pretty old, but his experience at the top level isn't the highest. And he is pretty raw in some aspects of the game.

Ribbans is still fairly young and again is still learning his craft. Think he will be a top player. But not ready too run the lineout or anything like they yet.

Api, Ribbans, Moon + 1 more experienced lock is needed for me.

As Courts would go to 6 in my pack smiling smiley

 
HungryLikeTheWolf
Re: Is our pack under-powered?
Wilson Pickett (IP Logged)
24 February, 2018 10:54
This thread demonstrates that indeed coaches can be questioned

Even if we have not coached at a senior level or at all


Assembling such an underpowered pack relative to our opponents shows the utterly inept planning by the board and coaching team over the last few years



Of course this is all changing now, happy days

 
SaintsDuncan
Re: Is our pack under-powered?
SaintsDuncan (IP Logged)
24 February, 2018 16:00
Quote:
TringSaint
...with the 8 over 118kg
Billy V weighs in at 130kg - that is some lump to stop!!

Read
Vermeulan
Parisse
Picamoles
Faletau
Moriarty
Stander
Heaslip

winking smiley

 
MarchingIn
Re: Is our pack under-powered?
MarchingIn (IP Logged)
24 February, 2018 16:45
Quote:
SaintMaul
Just to show the difference even signing just two big lads could make, I've adjusted the stats to include a couple of Saints old boys in Tiny and Samu for illustrative purposes:
Tiny 130 (instead of 114kg Waller)
Hartley 110
Ford-Robinson 115
Ratuniyarawa 115
Lawes 115
Gibson 107
Broussow 101
Manoa 127 (instead of 100kg Harrison)

Starting 8 average:  115kg (18 stone 2)

If Api & Lawes are the same weight then somebody should check the scales.

There is more to power than weight. Brussow is 5'11 - I would be willing to bet he is harder to stop at short range than Gibson who is 6kg heavier but bordering on lock height. You need weight in the front 5 for sure. It's fine having a couple of light mobile players as long as you offset it with a couple of heavier ones. Saints have struggled because they have mainly average weight players plus a few lighter guys so the front 5 average usually favours the opposition.

 
ajack
Re: Is our pack under-powered?
ajack (IP Logged)
25 February, 2018 09:30
If the side with the heaviest pack always wins fair enough otherwise there must be more to it.


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