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Back up scrum half
Discussion started by BasilBullneck , 22 May, 2019 13:56
Back up scrum half
BasilBullneck 22 May, 2019 13:56
looking to next season, it strikes me that the main weakness in our backs is at No9.

Faf will be on RWC duty for the start of the season, with the chance that he will be shot after that for some time having played nonstop for the best part of 2 years. Our first choice will be Cliff with back up from Gus Warr. One injury to those two and the cupboard is bare.

As far as Cliff is concerned, while he is a steady eddie, he doesn't pose enough of a threat himself. With the knowledge the ball is going out to the first receiver, the opposition back row aren't sufficiently interested, and that means there is less time than ever for the outside backs.

I think it would be desirable to have another alternative. I see Dave Lewis, formerly of Chiefs and latterly of Quins, is out of contract. He turned the game in favour of Chiefs a couple of years ago. Also, more as a stop gap, Fortauli is also available. He's lost some pace, but can still do a job. And with having had Phillips and Stringer there, he would be a relative spring chicken.

It would be a shame to have the talent we have in the outside backs wasted by not being able to get the ball to them.

Thoughts.

Re: Back up scrum half
Olyy 22 May, 2019 15:14
Dimes did mention that due to our recruitment we won't have to flog our starters so much - and specifically mentioned Faf in the list of players who won't have to play as much.

Not sure whether he mean Rob du Preez arriving meant they can trust the academy 9s to get more game time alongside an experienced 10 as opposed to this season where our 2nd choice flyhalf was a centre.

I wouldn't be surprised to see James Mitchell signed, he's left Connacht and not announced where he's going, and has played well for them whenever I've watched him there.
Not sure I'd place him above Wilf, skill wise, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of trust in him from the coaching staff based on how little he plays

Re: Back up scrum half
StalyShark 22 May, 2019 16:28
Not sure I'd place him above Wilf, skill wise, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of trust in him from the coaching staff based on how little he plays[/quote]

Iíd like to do what he does for his pay packet! Pretty much stealing a living!

Re: Back up scrum half
clutch 22 May, 2019 16:56
Unfair. Last season he played well when called upon. This year heís been poor I think but the whole attack hasnít functioned so a bit lazy to just blame him. Heís good at slowing the game down at the end and doesnít have the brain fart tendency that Faf has, which scare me when we are leading with 5 mins to go.

Still I agree itís a bit of an issue. I think Dimes comment may be down to all the recruitment. Having a non creative 9 isnít such an issue when your beast back is creating holes. Faf had to create at times when our pack struggled to get over the gainline. Faf has such ability that that wasnít so big of an issue, but it is for Cliff.

Cliff is a good kicker and has a lovely pass. Off front foot ball with a plethora of carrying options we should be fine.

Signing Mitchell feels like a backwards step.

Warr has looked lively and may kick on.

Quirke is too young but well liked

Or other 9 whoís name escapes me didnít look close to being good enough so will have to improve a lot.

Re: Back up scrum half
BasilBullneck 23 May, 2019 15:08
Lewis has just announced his retirement! How inconsiderate!!

Re: Back up scrum half
DaveAitch 23 May, 2019 18:47
I suppose there is always the possibility of use AJ MacGinty there if the necessity arises.

Re: Back up scrum half
thekeg 23 May, 2019 22:18
Quote:
DaveAitch
I suppose there is always the possibility of use AJ MacGinty there if the necessity arises.

Where have you pulled that suggestion from?

Re: Back up scrum half
Irish_Shark 23 May, 2019 23:53
Quote:
thekeg
Quote:
DaveAitch
I suppose there is always the possibility of use AJ MacGinty there if the necessity arises.

Where have you pulled that suggestionp from?
at age grades he played scrum half I believe and on occasion when faf was carded he deputised pretty well.

Re: Back up scrum half
Grumpy Old Shark 24 May, 2019 09:44
I actually think that when Will has come on this season, he has been much more than a Ďsteady eddie Ď really challenging the line and often injecting pace into the game....

Re: Back up scrum half
clutch 24 May, 2019 11:54
I think that often happens when a new 9 comes on.

I think as a bullpen closing pitcher he does a good job but I donít want him as part of the starting rotation.

Re: Back up scrum half
StalyShark 15 June, 2019 15:59
Whether he would be happy playing second fiddle to Faf is another idea:

[www.rugbypass.com]

Re: Back up scrum half
45jumper 15 June, 2019 16:55
Cliff played extremely well this season, I'd go as far to say that he was in better form than Faf relative to their natural abilities.
He's an excellent backup, a great clubman and will give us academy credits too - invaluable for the salary cap. He can back up Faf until one of Warr, Sturgess or Quirke break through - it's a perfect solution IMO.

Re: Back up scrum half
thekeg 15 June, 2019 21:44
Quote:
45jumper
Cliff played extremely well this season, I'd go as far to say that he was in better form than Faf relative to their natural abilities.
He's an excellent backup, a great clubman and will give us academy credits too - invaluable for the salary cap. He can back up Faf until one of Warr, Sturgess or Quirke break through - it's a perfect solution IMO.

I think heís done pretty well off the bench closing games out and as a senior player in a rotated side full of youngsters, but his limitations were pretty apparent in that first 6 games in the premiership when we struggled. However there were also issues with the pack and it will be interesting to see how he goes with a bigger pack that gets over the gainline more

Re: Back up scrum half
Yareet 15 June, 2019 22:31
Quote:
StalyShark
Whether he would be happy playing second fiddle to Faf is another idea:
[www.rugbypass.com]

Quins fans took time to warm to SHG (brain fart in an early game didnít help) but on balance seem to like him.

Re: Back up scrum half
H's D 15 June, 2019 22:34
A lot of scrum-halves get inappropriate criticism if their pack is underperforming.
They suddenly become "far better players" behind a dominant pack that clears out quickly and presents the ball well.
e.g. Wiggy.
There is abolutely no point in trying to treat slow ball as quick go forward ball.
Always best to try and draw an offside or make sure everything is in place before trying a box kick or running the ball with a planned backs move, all based on what's facing you.

Re: Back up scrum half
thekeg 15 June, 2019 22:38
Quote:
H's D
A lot of scrum-halves get inappropriate criticism if their pack is underperforming.
They suddenly become "far better players" behind a dominant pack that clears out quickly and presents the ball well.
e.g. Wiggy.
There is abolutely no point in trying to treat slow ball as quick go forward ball.
Always best to try and draw an offside or make sure everything is in place before trying a box kick or running the ball with a planned backs move, all based on what's facing you.

Yes, I agree they can become a focal point for criticism because they are so visible/exposed

Re: Back up scrum half
Yareet 16 June, 2019 10:59
Quote:
H's D
Always best to try and draw an offside or make sure everything is in place before trying a box kick

Are you excusing the human centipede????

Re: Back up scrum half
ageinghoody 17 June, 2019 09:38
Seems to me that the criticism Will is getting is in a similar vein to that previously aimed at Nick Macleod.

Will isn't Faf and Nick wasn't Charlie. Both steady and solid, doing a competent job, but both criticised (excessively in my opinion) for not having that special spark that their comparitors have/had.

I still reckon Macleod, especially his goal kicking, kept us in the Premiership in one of the later EP seasons!

Re: Back up scrum half
StalyShark 17 June, 2019 11:42
The real problem lies in the fact that he isnít trusted for more than 5-10 minutes even when the game is dead (unless itís an absolute hammering either way) therefore why have him? A back up who isnít ďbacked upĒ by the coaching staff to play isnít much use.

Re: Back up scrum half
ageinghoody 17 June, 2019 12:00
Quote:
StalyShark
The real problem lies in the fact that he isnít trusted for more than 5-10 minutes even when the game is dead (unless itís an absolute hammering either way) therefore why have him? A back up who isnít ďbacked upĒ by the coaching staff to play isnít much use.

I get the impression, unless injuries intervene, that frequently applies to a significant proportion of our bench.

Re: Back up scrum half
thekeg 17 June, 2019 21:50
Quote:
ageinghoody
Quote:
StalyShark
The real problem lies in the fact that he isnít trusted for more than 5-10 minutes even when the game is dead (unless itís an absolute hammering either way) therefore why have him? A back up who isnít ďbacked upĒ by the coaching staff to play isnít much use.

I get the impression, unless injuries intervene, that frequently applies to a significant proportion of our bench.

Itís common knowledge that we havenít had two really decent options in each position due to our small squad, which now seems to have changed with the recruitment for next year. However 9 is the position where that doesnít seem to have been addressed

Re: Back up scrum half
NorthernMaori 18 June, 2019 12:27
Mainly because who would want to come in knowing that they will play second fiddle to Faf.

Sitting on the bench most of the time and get the odd start here and there wouldn't be appealing for anyone

Re: Back up scrum half
MikeGC 18 June, 2019 13:16
Quote:
NorthernMaori
Mainly because who would want to come in knowing that they will play second fiddle to Faf.
Sitting on the bench most of the time and get the odd start here and there wouldn't be appealing for anyone

de Klerk is probably hoping to be away at the World Cup in Japan until early November (he probably won't be but....). Add on his deserved rest period.
I can't remember the fixture schedule for September, October and early November but it gives any potential new bloke ample opportunity to make himself indispensable, then suddenly de Klerk is playing second fiddle and trying to get back into a successful team (hopefully).
IMHuO the identifying trait of a professional athlete is that he/she believes in themself and their ability to oust the incumbent in their position.
Imagine the lad's kudos if he usurps a current (albeit foreign)international player. Why wouldn't someone pitch up and fight for that ?
Of course with a new improved South African enforced pack, driving forward consistently, Cliff might well start to shine.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 18/06/2019 13:19 by MikeGC.

Re: Back up scrum half
thekeg 18 June, 2019 13:22
Quote:
NorthernMaori
Mainly because who would want to come in knowing that they will play second fiddle to Faf.
Sitting on the bench most of the time and get the odd start here and there wouldn't be appealing for anyone

I can understand the point, but he will be away on international duty at times and also ideally needs resting. Thereís also the potential to learn from him. It might be that we think Warr is now ready to play a more active part and also that Quirke will come through soon, if thatís the case then I can understand the lack of recruitment.

Re: Back up scrum half
NorthernMaori 19 June, 2019 08:59
I'm sure most if not all professional players back themselves to be No. 1 in their position, but they are also human; and can be subject to the same amount of self-doubt as anybody on the street.

The point is that they may look at Faf and think "yeah, I could usurp him. He's not as good as me; and he'll be away with SA" but they may also look at it and see that even though Faf had been away with SA last year he was dropped straight back in to the team regardless of the performance of others; and SD has championed De Klerk as being a key influence for attracting new recruits so he must be pretty central to everything at the Club. Therefore, would SD risk upsetting him and making him second choice (albeit potentially on merit) and then have him leave for an offer elsewhere?

Although I wouldn't say I was thrilled with the current options behind Faf, I am more than willing to wait and see if Quirke and Warr develop, forcing themselves past Cliff in the order. The situation we are in is as a consequence of having a truly world class player in a position. It is akin to the situation the Tottenham find themsleves in with Harry Kane. They find it difficult to recruit a backup because anyone half decent won't want to go there knowing that they will have to site behind the prodigal son; and that is even with football offering teams to utilise differnt formations!

Re: Back up scrum half
clutch 19 June, 2019 20:18
Kane analogy is a good one.

Re: Back up scrum half
H's D 19 June, 2019 21:19
Quote:
Yareet.
Are you excusing the human centipede????
No, I was more defending a scrumhalf waiting for what seems like an age behind a ruck for a forward or two to get into position as blocking guards.
The danger of a hasty clearance were exemplified in this England U20s match. Luke James makes a good run into midfield and sets up ball well, but an overeager 9 tries to box kick when there are no guards.... with disastrous results...(around 3 minutes in.)

Re: Back up scrum half
PoyntonShark 20 June, 2019 03:49
It should be enshrined in law that any scrum half who attempts to box kick quick ball should be Roshambo'd by the rest of his squad.



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And we didn't give a damn
'Cause we were raised
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