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ancient mariner
Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
ancient mariner (IP Logged)
09 November, 2018 10:13
Some interesting input from Matt Ferguson in the Chron. May confound a few wanting the monsters, though. However, if there's another Tiny out there he might just do for Boyd's plans!

Here's the link

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
Abington Adam (IP Logged)
09 November, 2018 10:48
Quote:
Matt Ferguson
"Yes, we can look at the quality of the Clermont front row but I'm not sure they touched the ball outside of scrums. Did that get them the result? Well, they won five scrum penalties that played a part in it."

I know that he's arguing in favour of a balance, but this quote is slightly troubling. The dominance Clermont had in the scrum totally change the complexion of the contest.



COME ON YOU SAINTS!
Church's Stand season ticket holder
EMRU Referee

 
andysaint
Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
andysaint (IP Logged)
09 November, 2018 11:06
It strikes me that they are trying to reinvent the wheel and play a way that the premiership and Europe does not play. Brave or short sighted? Winter may well be an eye opener in that respect.

 
Duckonstilts
Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
Duckonstilts (IP Logged)
09 November, 2018 11:21
We are fine on our own ball. So if we just stop knocking on we will be fine ;-)*

 
fair_weather_fan
Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
fair_weather_fan (IP Logged)
09 November, 2018 11:34
Quote:
Abington Adam
Quote:
Matt Ferguson
"Yes, we can look at the quality of the Clermont front row but I'm not sure they touched the ball outside of scrums. Did that get them the result? Well, they won five scrum penalties that played a part in it."

I know that he's arguing in favour of a balance, but this quote is slightly troubling. The dominance Clermont had in the scrum totally change the complexion of the contest.

However the source of the dominance was Rabah Slimani who is not a monster but a superb technician like Tom Smith or Garry Pagel.

 
ElySaint
Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
ElySaint (IP Logged)
09 November, 2018 12:09
With our win : loss ratio so far it doesn't yet seem to be a successful approach.

He mentions about upskilling players' scrum skills who are good in the lose but surely you could equally upskill a scrum 'monster' to catch-pass? I'd rather see less pens and more parity at scrum with improving handling skills than have flashy passing footballing forwards who get folded up consistently in the scrum. Just my opinion, and maybe we'll start to win more than we lose, but don't see form to suggest such as yet.

 
Saint Stokey
Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
Saint Stokey (IP Logged)
09 November, 2018 12:29
Perhaps theres an element of diplomacy in the article.

I doubt that the a coach, or any member of the club for that matter, is going to publically say that any player is not good enough.

In an ideal world, I'd love us to have a set of props that have the handling skills of a Sonny Bill, have the bulk of a Vunipola or Naiyaravoro and the pace of a Collins or Reinach, but until such time as we start genetically engineering our players or a freak comes along, that's not going to happen.

For now, a front row that can hold their own in a scrum, whilst being competitive at the line out and breakdown is what we can hope for.

When contracts are up at a point where we can look to recruit new players within our budget, I'm sure it will be investigated. Until then, we are in a position where we have to play with the players that we have. They are the size that they are and so adopting a strategy where the scrum is a launching platform rather than a source of penalties has probably been deemed the best strategy.

I'm sure that if we have props that were not agile, couldn't catch or pass for toffee but we all 'monsters' then out scrum tactics would be different.

Hopefully the coming weeks show improved performances and we can start to put this concern to the back of our minds... at least until the summer.



on another note, its good to see players like Trinder, Hill and hopefully soon, JFR coming back to fitness. Franks can then revert to his normal LH role and give Waller some greater competition.

 
Saint For Life
Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
Saint For Life (IP Logged)
09 November, 2018 12:30
Greater openness and insight as to direction etc - should be welcomed . If some keyboard warriors donít like the message , adopt a glass half empty stance , are naive enough to think that Rome was built in a day then carry on worrying . I personally am very happy to 100% support the current set up and recognise that the road in front will inevitably be extremely bumpy and at times painful . COYS

 
Duckonstilts
Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
Duckonstilts (IP Logged)
09 November, 2018 13:37
Same message as on th Saints show.

We are working with what we have. Thankfully all our Hookers can hook well so route 1 ball is a solid option.

Things are not that bleak either. Painter is doing well for his age. The experience he is getting will help him masses over the next 10+ years and he is not only pretty good in the scrum but looks good in the loose too.

Hill might not be a monster but he has a lot of potential.
It will be great to see him play again.

And if it comes to it we can let Boyd recruit soon enough.

 
ElySaint
Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
ElySaint (IP Logged)
09 November, 2018 14:11
Quote:
Saint For Life
Greater openness and insight as to direction etc - should be welcomed . If some keyboard warriors donít like the message , adopt a glass half empty stance , are naive enough to think that Rome was built in a day then carry on worrying . I personally am very happy to 100% support the current set up and recognise that the road in front will inevitably be extremely bumpy and at times painful . COYS

Just because some people, myself included, are not 100% convinced by the message, the performances or the results, doesn't make them a keyboard warrior. There is nothing abusive or aggressive in this thread to suggest and keyboard warrior is there? Just opinion and discussion.

Our performances have been hit and miss, and for me, generally more miss than hit so far this season - and that rings true in the microcosm of the scrum, under discussion here. I am allowed to be 'glass half empty' if I feel that way about the rugby surely? Not wrong or naive, just different.

What a boring place we'd occupy if we all felt and thought the same.

I'm delighted that you're happy with the way things are going so far by the way. And I hope you continue to enjoy supporting the club; I certainly do.

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
Chris Hoddle (IP Logged)
09 November, 2018 14:15
As the tall duck says he explained this on the Saintsís show so well worth a listen.
(In glaws now but not raining.....yet)



http://chrishoddle.smugmug.com/photos/i-TsCHdzK/0/M/i-TsCHdzK-M.gif

 
tedge
Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
tedge (IP Logged)
09 November, 2018 14:44
It seems fairly obvious and totally understandable that coaches have to be pragmatic and make the most of what they have. Whether the style of play they claim to promote is a permanent conviction or merely to suit circumstances will only be known in the longer term when they have the freedom to recruit,or not.

 
BrianB
Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
BrianB (IP Logged)
09 November, 2018 14:57
I love seeing quick ball taken by the no 8. Far more interesting that successive scrum re-sets. As the man says, they need to hone their skills on the oppos put in to reduce the advantage.

 
LeicesterSaint
Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
LeicesterSaint (IP Logged)
09 November, 2018 15:56
Why didn't we start a Tiny cloning project all those years ago?

In seriousness he was a bit of an anomaly in terms of a big unit that could also shift and pass but even then he likely wouldn't have looked so good without Mooj on the tightside as an anchor.

 
fair_weather_fan
Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
fair_weather_fan (IP Logged)
09 November, 2018 16:18
Quote:
BrianB
I love seeing quick ball taken by the no 8. Far more interesting that successive scrum re-sets. As the man says, they need to hone their skills on the oppos put in to reduce the advantage.

And this approach has been facilitated by the law change allowing the 8 to pick the ball up before the ball is out. WE got most of our own ball against Clermont going backwards.

 
Saint Stokey
Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
Saint Stokey (IP Logged)
09 November, 2018 16:36
I think our biggest problem is not so much that we're looking to play with a lighter, more agile pack, its that we only have the one option.

I'd prefer us to keep some of our props for games where a mobile pack is an advantage, but in games where its going to be an arm wrestle, we can draw on 2 behemoths and bully the opposition into penalties.

I'm happy to wait and see who Boyd brings in. This evolution was never going to be a quick process.

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
Chris Hoddle (IP Logged)
09 November, 2018 16:44
I suppose Chris B is from a culture where the scrum is a restart so nobody really builds a big pack. Here it is the opposite. I wonder what it is with the all blacks that do it against a big pack?



http://chrishoddle.smugmug.com/photos/i-TsCHdzK/0/M/i-TsCHdzK-M.gif

 
SaintsAsh
Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
SaintsAsh (IP Logged)
09 November, 2018 16:45
Quote:
Saint Stokey
Perhaps theres an element of diplomacy in the article.
I doubt that the a coach, or any member of the club for that matter, is going to publically say that any player is not good enough.

In an ideal world, I'd love us to have a set of props that have the handling skills of a Sonny Bill, have the bulk of a Vunipola or Naiyaravoro and the pace of a Collins or Reinach, but until such time as we start genetically engineering our players or a freak comes along, that's not going to happen.

For now, a front row that can hold their own in a scrum, whilst being competitive at the line out and breakdown is what we can hope for.

When contracts are up at a point where we can look to recruit new players within our budget, I'm sure it will be investigated. Until then, we are in a position where we have to play with the players that we have. They are the size that they are and so adopting a strategy where the scrum is a launching platform rather than a source of penalties has probably been deemed the best strategy.

Could not agree more Stokey, very well put.

I'm sure that if we have props that were not agile, couldn't catch or pass for toffee but we all 'monsters' then out scrum tactics would be different.

Hopefully the coming weeks show improved performances and we can start to put this concern to the back of our minds... at least until the summer.



on another note, its good to see players like Trinder, Hill and hopefully soon, JFR coming back to fitness. Franks can then revert to his normal LH role and give Waller some greater competition.

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
SaintMaul (IP Logged)
09 November, 2018 17:28
Quote:
Saint Stokey
I think our biggest problem is not so much that we're looking to play with a lighter, more agile pack, its that we only have the one option.
I'd prefer us to keep some of our props for games where a mobile pack is an advantage, but in games where its going to be an arm wrestle, we can draw on 2 behemoths and bully the opposition into penalties.

+1

I love Chris Boyd's intent. But for the game plan to work we need a scrum that can achieve close to parity so we are not an easy penalty machine whenever the opposition have the put in such as when we knock the ball on in wet weather trying to play expansive rugby.

We can't do anything about this season but it would be a serious misjudgement if rectifying our scrum isn't a top recruitment priority IMHO.

 
oldtoastersaint
Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
oldtoastersaint (IP Logged)
09 November, 2018 17:50
I'm getting pretty fed up about the time-consuming mess that's been created by the excessive awarding of 'technical' penalties and yellow cards in what should be the straightforward restart of play via a scrum. I suspect I'm not alone. If the authorities were at all forward-thinking on making the game more spectator friendly that would be justification on its own for changing the scrum laws. More importantly though they should be concerned about being held legally responsible in future for any injuries consequent on the undue forces currently being channeled through the front row. They must be fast approaching an exponential breaking point beyond which its entirely unsafe to go physically. As the rules currently stand they still favour the 'monster' approach to front row selection- often widely advocated on this site as the solution to all Saint's woes- forgetting the undoubted ability of richer clubs to continually out 'monster' our 'monsters'


It's high time the authorities removed the 'technical' penalty option at scrums, which often amounts to an incomprehensible 'Buggins turn' anyway, reserving it only for odd instances of dangerous play and to replace it with the free kick.


Sides may possibly want to go for scrum after scrum after scrum on winning a succession of free kicks but I doubt it without the genuine prospect of any escalation to a full penalty or a pushover try. Then it would be up to the referees to allow advantage to be played wherever and whenever possible, their remit to be encouraging the restart of open play which seems to be no part of their current instructions.

Wouldn't it be great to see the wholesale return of the tap penalty and a faster game steadily holding in check the 'monster' trend without requiring an outright ban on size that may ultimately be required?

 
Scrummy
Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
Scrummy (IP Logged)
09 November, 2018 19:57
We need to make the most of the players we have in the front row.

I remember when Alex Waller gave a scrummaging lesson to Adam Jones and Matt Stevens on consecutive weekends. He is a good prop but cannot do loose head by himself. Jamal Ford Robinson could be a real force at loose head. He can play both sides of the front row but I think heíll be really good at loose head. With Franks and Van Wyk as well I think we would be good at loose head.

At tight head that gives us Paul Hill and Ehren Painter with Franks and Karl Garside too.

If we want to be able to bring a big pack to games then Painter and Garside are both well worth developing. They are young and both around 130kg.

 
Eif Jones
Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
Eif Jones (IP Logged)
10 November, 2018 00:31
oldtoastersaint, what do you think the law makers have been trying to do over the years. Obviously safety is a priority but they are also trying to make it more efficient. We already have instructions to the ref to allow the ball to come out even though the scrum has caved in.

It should also be noted that tight head and loose head are 2 completely different positions. The Saints have been fortunate over the years in having top talents at loose heads but, other than a brief period with Mujati, tight head has been a problem area. It most certainly is now. Without one that can compete then no side can win the Premiership. The likes of Slimani and Adam J, before him, may not be the most talented all round rugby players but are/were worth their weight in gold for what they do/did at the scrums. A decent tight head is a big priority for Saints, one can only hope that Painter will mature into the real thing.

 
Nath-coys
Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
Nath-coys (IP Logged)
10 November, 2018 03:48
Really good post Eif, totally agree.

It was touched upon by Saints scrum coach what Waller does in the loose...
Which I also totally agree is now a must for the Props to be better in open play.

However it has too be a equation were the team and performance as a whole benefits.

For example if Waller gives 4 pens away that is around 160 metres ish, field position and territory that goes with that or 12 points.....
Does what he does in the loose out weight that?
I don't think it does.
That's not too pick on Waller, just an example.

With Hill coming back, let's hope him and Painter with possibly Garside can kick on a start too provide some strength to the TH position.

Likewise it sounds like Davis was fairly good against Glous and good in the scrum.
Can he kick on? And with Trinder coming back also.

 
Dragonboy
Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
Dragonboy (IP Logged)
10 November, 2018 07:32
Our scrum looked very solid on opposition put in last night which is down to the solid performances of the front five. We were not being mullered as we have in weeks past and for first game back Paul Hill put in a huge stint and contributed around the park as did Will Davis who made a right nuisance of himself out in the centre when Glaws were frantically training to ship the ball out to Thorley. What does concern though is how many opposition put ins we seem to face. As well as the scrum itself the other side of the coin is to cut out the number of put ins we give to the opposition.

 
SaintsAsh
Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
SaintsAsh (IP Logged)
10 November, 2018 10:55
Quote:
oldtoastersaint
I'm getting pretty fed up about the time-consuming mess that's been created by the excessive awarding of 'technical' penalties and yellow cards in what should be the straightforward restart of play via a scrum. I suspect I'm not alone. If the authorities were at all forward-thinking on making the game more spectator friendly that would be justification on its own for changing the scrum laws. More importantly though they should be concerned about being held legally responsible in future for any injuries consequent on the undue forces currently being channeled through the front row. They must be fast approaching an exponential breaking point beyond which its entirely unsafe to go physically. As the rules currently stand they still favour the 'monster' approach to front row selection- often widely advocated on this site as the solution to all Saint's woes- forgetting the undoubted ability of richer clubs to continually out 'monster' our 'monsters'

It's high time the authorities removed the 'technical' penalty option at scrums, which often amounts to an incomprehensible 'Buggins turn' anyway, reserving it only for odd instances of dangerous play and to replace it with the free kick.

I agree 100%. Free kicks only for scrums, then they will become about getting positional advantage to launch attacks from. And for opposition feed it will be about making them hard to attack from or for turning over ball.


Sides may possibly want to go for scrum after scrum after scrum on winning a succession of free kicks but I doubt it without the genuine prospect of any escalation to a full penalty or a pushover try. Then it would be up to the referees to allow advantage to be played wherever and whenever possible, their remit to be encouraging the restart of open play which seems to be no part of their current instructions.

Wouldn't it be great to see the wholesale return of the tap penalty and a faster game steadily holding in check the 'monster' trend without requiring an outright ban on size that may ultimately be required?

 
oldtoastersaint
Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
oldtoastersaint (IP Logged)
10 November, 2018 11:05
What do I think the law makers have been trying to do over the years Eif? Good question, I 'dunno' but whatever it was it can't have been intended to create the current unholy mess!

I think that as in the case of economic legislation they have been struggling with an unrealistic expectation of what actually happens in the real world,i.e. extensive gaming of the system by all 'legal' means however morally dubious; the scrum is it seems to me much akin to offshore banking, both exist primarily to obfuscate the truth and subvert the system.

It's this incredible naivety of the rugby authorities that has created the current mindset among players and management which sees the scrum as an opportunity for gaining a penalty or even better getting a player sent off for repeated 'offences'. So why not simply remove that technical 'penalty' incentive to cheat, replace it with a free kick and see what happens?

The referees do not seem to me Eif any less averse to awarding unjustifiable penalties for, as Lenny Newman was saying last night on Radio Northampton in relation to Paul Hill,totally inconsequential actions. Take away their ability to do so and relieve them and us of their guessing game!

 
Dragonboy
Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
Dragonboy (IP Logged)
10 November, 2018 14:06
In what way do you consider the penalty and card against Paul Hill unjustifiable. Because Lennie says? Paul tackled Willie Heinz when he took a quick tap and stopped him in less than 10 feet let alone 10 yards. Would you hold the same view if that had happened to Cobus or Alex? It was a dumb thing to do and we got away with it. Unfortunately the other dumb penalty near the end for throwing the ball away had consequences but both were correct and as I posted on here earlier itís our mistakes and errors which are costing us almost as much as the other teams are beating us.

 
Saintly Pursuit
Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
Saintly Pursuit (IP Logged)
10 November, 2018 14:33
I'm quite encouraged that it is our mistakes and errors as they are things wholly within our control to fix. Last year it was that we were just awful. Please remember though that no team is perfect and sometimes these things are fine margins.

 
twsaint
Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
twsaint (IP Logged)
10 November, 2018 16:48
Quote:
Dragonboy
In what way do you consider the penalty and card against Paul Hill unjustifiable. Because Lennie says? Paul tackled Willie Heinz when he took a quick tap and stopped him in less than 10 feet let alone 10 yards. Would you hold the same view if that had happened to Cobus or Alex? It was a dumb thing to do and we got away with it. Unfortunately the other dumb penalty near the end for throwing the ball away had consequences but both were correct and as I posted on here earlier itís our mistakes and errors which are costing us almost as much as the other teams are beating us.

Dragon...twice Hill was penalised for pre-engagement. That's what he's referring to. How the ref could tell from the opposite side of the scrum is anyone's guess.Watch it on TV and see if you can see it.


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