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Re: It's Semifinal Time
Posted by: barnychief
Date: 16/05/2017 20:52
I spoke to Mitch last week. He, Don, Tank, Jules, Holmes, Slade and Lachie were all back in full training. One thing he said, that was a shame to hear, was that big Dave Ewers was on his way to see a specialist that day and it looked to be a long road ahead for him. Best of luck Dave.

My team for Sarries is below:

1. Rimmer - Very dynamic, makes a real impact in the loose

2. Cowan-Dickie - His hard carrying and breakdown work will be essential against Sarries huge pack

3. Williams - Should give Mako a hard time, 70+ minute game the other week shows his drive

4. Lees - Engine room, a brick wall as well as a battering ram

5. Parling - Brings lineout and general nous needed especially against Kruitoje

6. Armand - Defensive lineouts, defending mauls, always where they don't want him, we need to be streetwise

7. Salvi - Key defender, can turn the tide with breakdown ability

8. Waldrom - With the punch and power he, and the rest of this pack, brings we can play a power game that most sides wouldn't even bother against Saracens

9. Maunder - Mr. Consistent yet unpredictable for defenses, Townsend very bright future but peaks and troughs too much at the moment

10. Slade - There seem to be two distinct camps here and I know a lot of stick will be coming for this one, so I'll write properly. I know many of you will say we need Steeno at 10 for his experience and game management, but I have to disagree. With all due respect to him, I think his form has dropped this year and although he is a great player and leader, I think his strengths do not allay his weaknesses. I think we have played our best rugby with Slade at 10 and in a game like this, we can't afford to keep shipping our playmaker to the wing because he is a weak defender. The Slade v Steenson debate has gone round and round and I'm sure it will continue, but for me, Slade should start at 10 for this one.

11. Woodburn - A workhorse and speed merchant, breaks through farmer tight defences, Short is a brilliant finisher but his defensive positioning is poor and would be exploited. Any risk of seeing Ashton doing his flop is not a risk worth taking

12. Devoto - Has the makings of the perfect 12, second playmaker, carries hard, has vision and a tidy boot, a real foil for Slade

13. Hill - His most suited position in my opinion, he has the pace and defensive ability as well as his obvious power, real quality that we need to utilise more

14. Nowell - His future may be 15 but not just now

15. Turner - Under utilised, another something out of nothing player as well as being a hard defender, huge boot as well

16. Malton - Good all rounder, works hard, solid
17. Moon - Good in the loose, scrum penalties move him to bench
18. Francis - Hard call with Holmes but Tomas has been putting himself about more with some carries, need to see more
19. Dennis - Hard done by to be benching, come into his own in second row, for me he is a 4 that can cover 6
20. Simmonds - Pace and power when things loosen up, good rugby brain
21. Chudley - Made a difference in last match, glad to have him back
22. Steenson - Still hell of a player, if gameplan needs changing or Slade injured/has shocker, don't consider Devoto 10 cover
23. Short - Again, pace and power when things break up, could have fun against tired defenders from his old club, Whitten unlucky but centres well covered

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