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Thread: Justin Holbrook to blame

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    Default Justin Holbrook to blame

    I have been a life long Saints fan, but must confess that the loss at Wembley is my lowest moment. I do believe that the blame lays firmly and squarely with Justin Holbrook.
    All the so called experts who write in newspapers and speak on Television predicted a massive Saints win. Yet before the match when I saw the team selection I sensed a loss was coming. We thought that we only had to turn up to win, especially with The Wires not having the mercurial Blake Austin.
    We fielded a side with 4 players that were not match fit. Danny Richardson, who must be totally disillusioned with the way he has been treated at Saints should have played at 7, with Fage at 6, and Lomax at full back. Richardson has been passed from pillar to post lately but his form had been excellent.
    I am at a loss to understand why last season nobody was rested at all and the players were "burned out" come the business end of the season. This season too many players have been rested at once, with the result that there is no consistancy of team selection, players out of position constantly, with no momentum of a regular team selction in the build up to the Challenge cup final. We "threw" the 2 matches at London which should have been won, in the mistaken belief that the full first team "stars" could come together and play as a team, which they did not.
    People will say, well we have won the league leaders shield for 2 consecutive seasons, and that is a remakable achievement, but the matches for which we are remembered are winning the Challenge Cup and Super League Trophy.
    I know that a lot of people will disagree and say that Justin Holbrook has been a wonderful coach at Saints, but the only semi-final that we have won is against Halifax and that was a dismal performance.
    I wish Justin Holbrook al the best in his new venture at the Gold Coast Titans, but also believe that if we are to win Trophies that matter then we need a new coach.

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    Lowest moment? Have a word with yourself

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    It's what happens when a team starts to believe all the hype placed on them from others.

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    I don't usually post on here.

    I like Holbrook and I wanted and still want him to stay but he took a big risk on 4 players who wasn't match fit and imo it cost us the game.

    I was worried Walmsley Roby and Knowles would be found out on the big Wembley Stage and red hot heat but my biggest fear was Coote. Coote been great for us but he was poor first few games of season as he wasn't fit or sharp and unfortunately that was the case Saturday and he was involved in two major turning points in the game (I'll get to them furtherin post).

    Walmsley was blowing after 5 mins and was one of the players that at fault for try with Paulo. Roby was as quiet as I've ever seen him. Knowles was not his usual self dropped few balls. Coote looked like he didn't think he should be out there.

    I fully beleive they needed to play at least the week before at leeds and probably the week before.

    Four players all unfit in the starting 13 in big game in 30 degrees was a big big mistake.

    Obviously the two main talking points from our point of view was Hicks two mistakes. The Knowles one is 100% try. No doubt about it. The Warrington first try was also a knock on. The ball was off Warrington hand which hits Percy which is knock on to saints but was missed and they scored on the next set. I'm not using as excuse at all but two big calls he got wrong.

    Two big turning points imo both involved Coote. The first - The drop ball that resulted in a try is shocking. I can accept if he was under pressure from Warrington and a nothing kick. He had this issue at the start of the year and I can only think it's due to not being fit and sharp.

    The second - we just put in a great defensive set. Patton kicked out on full and we score on next set. The crowd was really buzzing, the players looked well up for it as we will only ne one Score down and Coote missed a easy kick! You could feel everyone deflate and the Warrington players got that lift.

    Going forward now, we need to play those 4 players in next 3 games as they well off the pace. We don't need to rest many now. Most had good break this year. I'd give Lomax, Thompson and Peyroux a week off this or next week then I'd get back to picking my best 17 the week pre finals.

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    Totally agree about Richardson. At the very least deserved a bench spot to give us some options.

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    What I am refering to is my lowest moment of watching our Saints team since 1966. lowest meaning.. most disappointing. I thought that would be obvious.

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    Of late, Richardson has been playing at 7, with lomax at full back whilst waiting for Coote to get fit. It worked well for us. People should remember that Richardson was in last years dream team. Many say that he cannot defend.. but neither could Barba....... and we loved him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven View Post
    Of late, Richardson has been playing at 7, with lomax at full back whilst waiting for Coote to get fit. It worked well for us. People should remember that Richardson was in last years dream team. Many say that he cannot defend.. but neither could Barba....... and we loved him.
    Welsby has been playing fullback not lomax.

    The is more to it than defence why Richardson isnt in the 17. He doesn't take the ball to the line, he won't take the line on amd his kicking game is poor.

    Richardson got found out in defence play off time last year when teams targeted him, especially Warrington in that play off game.

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    The idea that Richardson would have made any difference to the result is nonsense, the player playing in his position scored. Richardson played in two semi finals last year and we lost them both. In fact the second one, against Warrington, he was the worst player on the pitch.

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    The only comment that I was trying to make is that Richardson was fit, Coote obviously wasn't. I don't think that It would have made any difference having him at 7 except that he can drop goals and kick goals.
    We had an arrogance going in to the final. Yes Saints are a great team, but it is about time we won some silverware, and we will never do that playing a team which includes players that are not match fit.
    It has been said by many that Saints are the most successful team in the super league era. I suggest supporters count how many finals and semis' we have lost. Saints are the only team to have lost so many finals that we have played in. It is just so disappointing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SaintH517 View Post
    The idea that Richardson would have made any difference to the result is nonsense, the player playing in his position scored. Richardson played in two semi finals last year and we lost them both. In fact the second one, against Warrington, he was the worst player on the pitch.
    I agree,Richardson was not the solution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven View Post
    What I am refering to is my lowest moment of watching our Saints team since 1966. lowest meaning.. most disappointing. I thought that would be obvious.
    Lower than losing to Halifax ? Lower than 27-0 ? Lower than losing to Wigan in Scotland ? There are plenty of lower more dissapointing ones than this imo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven View Post
    I have been a life long Saints fan, but must confess that the loss at Wembley is my lowest moment. I do believe that the blame lays firmly and squarely with Justin Holbrook.
    All the so called experts who write in newspapers and speak on Television predicted a massive Saints win. Yet before the match when I saw the team selection I sensed a loss was coming. We thought that we only had to turn up to win, especially with The Wires not having the mercurial Blake Austin.
    We fielded a side with 4 players that were not match fit. Danny Richardson, who must be totally disillusioned with the way he has been treated at Saints should have played at 7, with Fage at 6, and Lomax at full back. Richardson has been passed from pillar to post lately but his form had been excellent.
    I am at a loss to understand why last season nobody was rested at all and the players were "burned out" come the business end of the season. This season too many players have been rested at once, with the result that there is no consistancy of team selection, players out of position constantly, with no momentum of a regular team selction in the build up to the Challenge cup final. We "threw" the 2 matches at London which should have been won, in the mistaken belief that the full first team "stars" could come together and play as a team, which they did not.
    People will say, well we have won the league leaders shield for 2 consecutive seasons, and that is a remakable achievement, but the matches for which we are remembered are winning the Challenge Cup and Super League Trophy.
    I know that a lot of people will disagree and say that Justin Holbrook has been a wonderful coach at Saints, but the only semi-final that we have won is against Halifax and that was a dismal performance.
    I wish Justin Holbrook al the best in his new venture at the Gold Coast Titans, but also believe that if we are to win Trophies that matter then we need a new coach.





    I agree with much of what you write. I also found it strange on Saints website that Holebrook referred to the game as “showcased rugby league at its best”

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    Hindsight is great. Looking at that seventeen, I’m not sure there’s much more we could have done, it was, for me, the best seventeen Justin Holbrook has selected in a big game. The strange selection of Matty Smith at Cas, the continual selection of Ben Barba in the lead up to the Catalans game when he was clearly carrying an injury and then JH saying “Benny is carrying a knock” at HT not to then do anything about it and then the failure to put Fages in the seventeen vs Warrington last year were all alarming decisions. Given the players available, I’m not sure who you could have picked instead of others pre-game.

    Our bench was woeful. Amor, Ashworth, LMS and Paulo. God, that’s bad. But as I’ve said above, I’m not sure what else could have been done. Granted Matty Lees would have played if fit but given the players available, I can’t say we left out anyone whose better than any of those four. I think that says a lot about our depth and also how poor those four are. Would Bentley have been an option in case of any issues about Coote or Roby’s injuries? Perhaps but I imagine the staff were convinced both were fit enough to make it through 80 minutes without any problems.

    We made some good breaks. However, those breaks in the first half were all inside our own half. Very few were in Warrington’s and very few breaks had any players supporting.

    Our halves were appallingly bad. They were on the bus for the whole game.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven View Post
    Yes Saints are a great team.
    No. Saints are a team that sometimes play great rugby. All very entertaning, but far from a great team.

    Saints in the 60's were a great team.
    Wigan in the 80's were a great team.
    Saints in the late 90's/early '00's were a great team.

    There are probably others.

    All those teams won things consistently and established a legacy. This team has flattered to deceive for too long now and our fans believe we are 'great' because we finish a gazillion points clear in a flawed and poor competition. We're not as good as we think we are and if we don't win the GF this year we'll be remembered for no more than being a team of unfulfilled potential.

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    Huge pressure on Holbrook to win the GF now. For all the fantastic work he has done, to leave having won nothing, will put a major question mark on his ability. That won’t be helped at Titans, they are highly unlikely to be winning anything, so when he gets sacked from there, his career will be sadly lacking. I would have loved him to stay, but another couple of seasons of winning nothing would be painful. Hopefully Woolfe can make the right decisions at crucial times and bring trophies back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zerohero1266 View Post
    Totally agree about Richardson. At the very least deserved a bench spot to give us some options.
    I thought he deserved a bench spot just in case Coote was not fit and our kicking game suffers, as it panned out on the day Fages-Lomax-Coote were poor in the kicking department. Warrington only had 4 forwards on the bench with Mamo the 17th man, last week I suggested similar.

    For Richardson he didn't sound too happy on the touch line when he was asked for assessment of the game so far, we still may have lost the game with him playing but at least we get more variety.........will he play again this season and then get dumped if we get to the Grand Final.

    Holbrook has one more chance to make amends, he knows himself he could fail completely so a lot of pressure is weighing heavy on his shoulders at the moment.

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    I saw a lack of a leader on the pitch. Everybody seemed to be waiting for someone else to drag the team into gear.
    Roby had to tackle his socks off and this, IMO, blunted his attack almost to the point that he was just on to tackle. Mirror that with Clarke for Wire and I wouldn't be surprised if he made 25+ tackles less.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The booze hound View Post
    I saw a lack of a leader on the pitch. Everybody seemed to be waiting for someone else to drag the team into gear.
    Roby had to tackle his socks off and this, IMO, blunted his attack almost to the point that he was just on to tackle. Mirror that with Clarke for Wire and I wouldn't be surprised if he made 25+ tackles less.
    The club a desperate for a Chris Joynt type leader.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SaintH517 View Post
    The idea that Richardson would have made any difference to the result is nonsense, the player playing in his position scored. Richardson played in two semi finals last year and we lost them both. In fact the second one, against Warrington, he was the worst player on the pitch.
    But he can kick an easy conversion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The booze hound View Post
    I saw a lack of a leader on the pitch. Everybody seemed to be waiting for someone else to drag the team into gear.
    Roby had to tackle his socks off and this, IMO, blunted his attack almost to the point that he was just on to tackle. Mirror that with Clarke for Wire and I wouldn't be surprised if he made 25+ tackles less.
    Roby 65 tackles with one miss
    Clark 44 tackles with five missed

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    Quote Originally Posted by retro74 View Post
    Roby 65 tackles with one miss
    Clark 44 tackles with five missed
    65 is totally ridiculous. That is way way too many.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Fridge View Post
    65 is totally ridiculous. That is way way too many.






    If Roby had to make 65 tackles someone wasn’t pulling their weight. No wonde he was knackered.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wirefox View Post
    If Roby had to make 65 tackles someone wasn’t pulling their weight. No wonde he was knackered.
    Unbelievable from Roby and no wonder he looked like collapsing. Cant wait to see the stats!

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    Suppose it’s just another effect of making the number of errors as we did. I guess every team tries to run at Roby as often as possible and we gave them far, far too many opportunities with the ball to do it. The game plan to beat us isn’t that complicated to be fair, run at Roby as often as you can, kick to the corners and make them start their set from the corner flag.

    Kinda makes everything else meaningless really, just impossible to win a final in that heat when you’re making so many errors.
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