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Thread: Saints, Woolf and “6 to go”

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    Learning All The Songs RJM25R's Avatar
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    Default Saints, Woolf and “6 to go”

    I’m not a big fan of Woolf up to yet.

    He did’t need to change a single thing when he came in, not a sausage.

    We were dominating SL for 2 and a half years, playing “The Saints Way” and attacking with flair, fast PTB, spread the ball around and set standards so high, when we did lose (think CC semi in 2018 and final in ‘19 against Warrington) we knew that we had let it slip away because we were so good.

    Fast forward to now and we seem (up to lockdown) to be on a different wavelength and trundling more up the middle since the dark Cu______am days, and all this talk of wresting in the ruck in an attempt to be WIGAN in 2018 (when IMHO I saw the worst grand final of Anti-rugby that I can remember, when WIGAN smothered Wire)

    I know we’ve lacked key personnel but that’s part of Rugby.

    When the game returns, if the (imho brilliant) “6 to go” rule is introduced, last years Saints would have a literal field day but will Woolf have the nous to accept that we need to dump the wrestling and revert?


    I’ve said countless times that I’d rather be entertained and win nothing than be bored with a trophy.......

    I’m certain we can bounce back when the season starts but only if we go back to our strengths.
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    really is sorry Reacher's Avatar
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    Default Saints, Woolf and “6 to go”

    Let’s cut the guy some slack. He was told that the WCC was his priority and without Coote, Percival, Grace etc we more than competed. Look how dominant the Roosters are in the NRL.

    The WCC really takes it out of a team, note how the Roosters lost their first 2 NRL games. We were absolutely gassed against Hudds and Castleford. Let’s not forget that we won at Hull and looked very good first game against Salford.

    I have a good mate on the 1st team coaching staff at Wigan and he tells me just how hard it is before and after the WCC. Wigan have struggled in the seasons they’ve been in it.

    We’ll be fine. Let’s not forget also that we will be one of the best teams equipped to deal with the six again rule. Will suit us down to the ground.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Reacher View Post
    Let’s cut the guy some slack. He was told that the WCC was his priority and without Coote, Percival, Grace etc we more than competed. Look how dominant the Roosters are in the NRL.

    The WCC really takes it out of a team, note how the Roosters lost their first 2 NRL games. We were absolutely gassed against Hudds and Castleford. Let’s not forget that we won at Hull and looked very good first game against Salford.

    I have a good mate on the 1st team coaching staff at Wigan and he tells me just how hard it is before and after the WCC. Wigan have struggled in the seasons they’ve been in it.

    We’ll be fine. Let’s not forget also that we will be one of the best teams equipped to deal with the six again rule. Will suit us down to the ground.


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    And now we supporters are just supposed to get behind the lads and not say anything about our best forward leaving for the season and no replacement?

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    I will never understand people that would take entertainment over winning trophies. This is professional sport, winning trophies is all that matters.

    Nothing beats seeing your team win silverware, if it’s entertaining that’s a bonus.


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    Quote Originally Posted by RJM25R View Post
    I’m not a big fan of Woolf up to yet.

    He did’t need to change a single thing when he came in, not a sausage.

    We were dominating SL for 2 and a half years, playing “The Saints Way” and attacking with flair, fast PTB, spread the ball around and set standards so high, when we did lose (think CC semi in 2018 and final in ‘19 against Warrington) we knew that we had let it slip away because we were so good.

    Fast forward to now and we seem (up to lockdown) to be on a different wavelength and trundling more up the middle since the dark Cu______am days, and all this talk of wresting in the ruck in an attempt to be WIGAN in 2018 (when IMHO I saw the worst grand final of Anti-rugby that I can remember, when WIGAN smothered Wire)

    I know we’ve lacked key personnel but that’s part of Rugby.

    When the game returns, if the (imho brilliant) “6 to go” rule is introduced, last years Saints would have a literal field day but will Woolf have the nous to accept that we need to dump the wrestling and revert?


    I’ve said countless times that I’d rather be entertained and win nothing than be bored with a trophy.......

    I’m certain we can bounce back when the season starts but only if we go back to our strengths.
    If we do introduce the six to go rule hopefully it will discourage holding down in the tackle, the teams that used that as a tactic will be facing multiple sets of 6.

    There is also talk about no scrums for this season, just a turn over if there is a knock on etc.

    Its going to be a very fast game if that's the case. I can see it suiting a team like Cas.

    I'd like to think it would suit us but some of our older forwards may struggle even Roby may be feeling his age, in the last game away at Cas we looked sharper when Smith was on

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reacher View Post
    Let’s cut the guy some slack. He was told that the WCC was his priority and without Coote, Percival, Grace etc we more than competed. Look how dominant the Roosters are in the NRL.

    The WCC really takes it out of a team, note how the Roosters lost their first 2 NRL games. We were absolutely gassed against Hudds and Castleford. Let’s not forget that we won at Hull and looked very good first game against Salford.

    I have a good mate on the 1st team coaching staff at Wigan and he tells me just how hard it is before and after the WCC. Wigan have struggled in the seasons they’ve been in it.

    We’ll be fine. Let’s not forget also that we will be one of the best teams equipped to deal with the six again rule. Will suit us down to the ground.
    I agree that we'll be fine results wise Stu, because we're far too good not to win alot more than we lose over a full season in this comp. But, the tactics and the change in emphasis to suit the demands of the WCC look like they were very much in line with what Woolf wanted to do anyway. I'm not convinced we'd have looked much different style wise had we not been in the WCC, but we'd obviously have been fresher and likely wouldn't have lost as many games.

    I've said a few times that a coach can do as he likes once a club has entrusted him to do the job, because any coach that goes against his natural philosophy is cheating himself and his players. But, we weren't a rebuilding project and didn't need a brand new style of play, and I worry that this is a slightly needless change of emphasis given what we saw in 2018 and 2019. I fancy us to still be a Top 4 side even without Thompson, and we'll win the majority of our games. But we were a Top 4 side under KC, Potter, etc, and it was not enjoyable, and I fear this will go the same way were we are a top side results wise but un-necessarily dull to suit the style and needs of a coach that is using us to showcase his NRL style tactics to future suitors. That isn't his fault, I don't blame him, he took the job based upon what he wishes to do. But, after the past two seasons it seems a shame.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray77 View Post
    I agree that we'll be fine results wise Stu, because we're far too good not to win alot more than we lose over a full season in this comp. But, the tactics and the change in emphasis to suit the demands of the WCC look like they were very much in line with what Woolf wanted to do anyway. I'm not convinced we'd have looked much different style wise had we not been in the WCC, but we'd obviously have been fresher and likely wouldn't have lost as many games.

    I've said a few times that a coach can do as he likes once a club has entrusted him to do the job, because any coach that goes against his natural philosophy is cheating himself and his players. But, we weren't a rebuilding project and didn't need a brand new style of play, and I worry that this is a slightly needless change of emphasis given what we saw in 2018 and 2019. I fancy us to still be a Top 4 side even without Thompson, and we'll win the majority of our games. But we were a Top 4 side under KC, Potter, etc, and it was not enjoyable, and I fear this will go the same way were we are a top side results wise but un-necessarily dull to suit the style and needs of a coach that is using us to showcase his NRL style tactics to future suitors. That isn't his fault, I don't blame him, he took the job based upon what he wishes to do. But, after the past two seasons it seems a shame.
    I agree with this. I’m not convinced yet but it’s early days and the season for here on will be very odd. I think we are entering a rebuilding phase in the near future so I think we should not worry about Woolf having two seasons before we start to worry about our ability to win matches consistently but I do hope he plays like Holbrook or Milwards teams.

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    Far too many enforced changes, coote and Percival only played twice, Makinson and Roby missed a couple too, we've had a different backline every single game.

    I'll give it a few games back before panic sets in. I am worried about the pack without Thompson, as I think we looked lightweight to start off with regards to depth

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rommel View Post
    And now we supporters are just supposed to get behind the lads and not say anything about our best forward leaving for the season and no replacement?
    Yes, exactly that! Players come and go, whether it's injury, transfer, retirement - it's happened before and will happen again. The club will (hopefully) still be there after whichever players come and go, and the next Thompson will have a chance to come through the academy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray77 View Post
    I agree that we'll be fine results wise Stu, because we're far too good not to win alot more than we lose over a full season in this comp. But, the tactics and the change in emphasis to suit the demands of the WCC look like they were very much in line with what Woolf wanted to do anyway. I'm not convinced we'd have looked much different style wise had we not been in the WCC, but we'd obviously have been fresher and likely wouldn't have lost as many games.

    I've said a few times that a coach can do as he likes once a club has entrusted him to do the job, because any coach that goes against his natural philosophy is cheating himself and his players. But, we weren't a rebuilding project and didn't need a brand new style of play, and I worry that this is a slightly needless change of emphasis given what we saw in 2018 and 2019. I fancy us to still be a Top 4 side even without Thompson, and we'll win the majority of our games. But we were a Top 4 side under KC, Potter, etc, and it was not enjoyable, and I fear this will go the same way were we are a top side results wise but un-necessarily dull to suit the style and needs of a coach that is using us to showcase his NRL style tactics to future suitors. That isn't his fault, I don't blame him, he took the job based upon what he wishes to do. But, after the past two seasons it seems a shame.
    Bit unfair that Graham. We had to play a conservative way in the WCC which very nearly paid off. We more than matched them in the pack, our pack was outstanding. A centre pairing of Costello and Bentley meant we were never going to be expansive.

    He also lost Coote in R1, who was integral last season in the way we played. The sheer number of his try assists meant that we had to find a different way to attack. Welsby is not in his league.

    It's far too early to suggest that we won't be expansive under Woolf as he has had bad luck with injuries already (something that Holbrook didn't really have to encounter in the last two seasons)

    Let's judge him with a full team and over a sustained period of games.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pasty View Post
    I agree with this. I’m not convinced yet but it’s early days and the season for here on will be very odd. I think we are entering a rebuilding phase in the near future so I think we should not worry about Woolf having two seasons before we start to worry about our ability to win matches consistently but I do hope he plays like Holbrook or Milwards teams.
    I don't feel too confident that we will play with style similar to Holbrook and Millward more like Nathan Brown perhaps. We are perhaps a bit lucky in that most teams are in a rebuilding phase as well, Roby is going to be very difficult to replace by way of being a pivotal player.

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    Woolf will want to and is already trying to implement a more physical, uncompromising style to us. Once he's got a big winger, 2 props, another big 2nd rower & a catch, pass, kick half, he has the tools required.

    If he doesn't get those or most of those, then he's best getting last season's attacking plays blueprints out of the safe
    Last edited by Ralph Fridge; 15th June 2020 at 16:28. Reason: SPG
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reacher View Post
    Let’s cut the guy some slack. He was told that the WCC was his priority and without Coote, Percival, Grace etc we more than competed. Look how dominant the Roosters are in the NRL.

    The WCC really takes it out of a team, note how the Roosters lost their first 2 NRL games. We were absolutely gassed against Hudds and Castleford. Let’s not forget that we won at Hull and looked very good first game against Salford.

    I have a good mate on the 1st team coaching staff at Wigan and he tells me just how hard it is before and after the WCC. Wigan have struggled in the seasons they’ve been in it.

    We’ll be fine. Let’s not forget also that we will be one of the best teams equipped to deal with the six again rule. Will suit us down to the ground.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Reacher View Post
    Bit unfair that Graham. We had to play a conservative way in the WCC which very nearly paid off. We more than matched them in the pack, our pack was outstanding. A centre pairing of Costello and Bentley meant we were never going to be expansive.

    He also lost Coote in R1, who was integral last season in the way we played. The sheer number of his try assists meant that we had to find a different way to attack. Welsby is not in his league.

    It's far too early to suggest that we won't be expansive under Woolf as he has had bad luck with injuries already (something that Holbrook didn't really have to encounter in the last two seasons)

    Let's judge him with a full team and over a sustained period of games.
    To be fair mate, I didn't think we were that conservative against the Roosters and with a full strength back 5 we may have won the game given the chances we created out wide. It's like when you watch Finals or Origin games, you adapt to the occasion and I had no real issue with the way we went about it that night because it could have won us the game.

    As I said, I'm not overly concerned about us not winning games as I reckon we'd win games with me coaching them, but rather the style and some of the comments from the players about greater emphasis on wrestling and adopting what I would call a more 'NRL' style of play which I don't feel is really necessary in a far less intense comp where we are basically better than everyone else most weeks.

    You know I value your opinions and I'm willing to be proved wrong, especially given that the rest of the 2020 season is going to pretty much be a forgotten season in many ways. But I have some reservations, simply that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by STIDDY View Post
    I don't feel too confident that we will play with style similar to Holbrook and Millward more like Nathan Brown perhaps. We are perhaps a bit lucky in that most teams are in a rebuilding phase as well, Roby is going to be very difficult to replace by way of being a pivotal player.
    It's not only his pivotal play, it's his leading by example. it's very rare that you can replace a player of that calibre with one of equal quality. We have been so fortunate the past 20 years por more in that position.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray77 View Post
    To be fair mate, I didn't think we were that conservative against the Roosters and with a full strength back 5 we may have won the game given the chances we created out wide. It's like when you watch Finals or Origin games, you adapt to the occasion and I had no real issue with the way we went about it that night because it could have won us the game.

    As I said, I'm not overly concerned about us not winning games as I reckon we'd win games with me coaching them, but rather the style and some of the comments from the players about greater emphasis on wrestling and adopting what I would call a more 'NRL' style of play which I don't feel is really necessary in a far less intense comp where we are basically better than everyone else most weeks.

    You know I value your opinions and I'm willing to be proved wrong, especially given that the rest of the 2020 season is going to pretty much be a forgotten season in many ways. But I have some reservations, simply that.
    Fair enough mate and I guess we will see. I do feel though that the one area he is trying to improve us in is toughness. I still feel that despite how good we were last season, we still have a “soft touch” about us. We just had the players last season to get us out of the arm wrestle if it happened.

    Wire did a job on us in the CC Final and I think this is one area we can get better at. I know that he had a big emphasis on that pre-season.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Reacher View Post
    Fair enough mate and I guess we will see. I do feel though that the one area he is trying to improve us in is toughness. I still feel that despite how good we were last season, we still have a “soft touch” about us. We just had the players last season to get us out of the arm wrestle if it happened.

    Wire did a job on us in the CC Final and I think this is one area we can get better at. I know that he had a big emphasis on that pre-season.


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    I agree with this.

    Think the most ruthless i ever saw us was playing against Wigan to get to the final.

    I felt it was the only area we lacked behind when under Holbrook. I think the back to back disappointments in the CC (Catalan then Wire) and the end of the 2018 season was the catalyst for that game against Wigan.

    Woolfe may have the tools at his disposal to make us a bit more "ruthless "

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    Quote Originally Posted by Infamous Grouse View Post
    If we do introduce the six to go rule hopefully it will discourage holding down in the tackle, the teams that used that as a tactic will be facing multiple sets of 6.

    There is also talk about no scrums for this season, just a turn over if there is a knock on etc.

    Its going to be a very fast game if that's the case. I can see it suiting a team like Cas.

    I'd like to think it would suit us but some of our older forwards may struggle even Roby may be feeling his age, in the last game away at Cas we looked sharper when Smith was on
    I think the team it could suit the most is Warrington- Clark & Walker as the options at hooker, Ratchford, Ashton or Mamo at full back, Austin & Widdop in the halves. There's a lot of speed there to take advantage of quick play the balls.

    As for Saints, they should look no further than what The Roosters have done after lockdown. Started the season poorly by their standards but have come back looking like the best side in the competition again.

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    A lot has changed since the patchy start and Cas away.

    Players fitter , and recovered. Thompson gone.
    The lack of group training.
    Yet time for KW to reflect and talk his staff and players.
    Uncertainty over recruitment.

    The one thing that could force KW and several coaches hands would be the introduction of the six again rule.

    It would mean that running bench hookers would be back in vogue.

    The brad dwyer , young micky higham hooker would see their market rate rocket.

    The challenges for KW

    - ensuring the desire for the wrestle doesn't give the opposition a platform.
    - finding a foil (and replacements plural ?) for Roby to scoot and take advantage of tired defences.

    Aaron Smith might be one of those replacements but his isn't a natural scooter and he isn't two people.

    KW has his work cut out when the game starts back. A real test of any coach's metal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Mander View Post
    A lot has changed since the patchy start and Cas away.

    Players fitter , and recovered. Thompson gone.
    The lack of group training.
    Yet time for KW to reflect and talk his staff and players.
    Uncertainty over recruitment.

    The one thing that could force KW and several coaches hands would be the introduction of the six again rule.

    It would mean that running bench hookers would be back in vogue.

    The brad dwyer , young micky higham hooker would see their market rate rocket.

    The challenges for KW

    - ensuring the desire for the wrestle doesn't give the opposition a platform.
    - finding a foil (and replacements plural ?) for Roby to scoot and take advantage of tired defences.

    Aaron Smith might be one of those replacements but his isn't a natural scooter and he isn't two people.

    KW has his work cut out when the game starts back. A real test of any coach's metal.
    What makes you say Smith isn’t a natural scooter? I think he’s shown on several occasions he can be quite dangerous from there personally.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Yellow Giraffe View Post
    What makes you say Smith isn’t a natural scooter? I think he’s shown on several occasions he can be quite dangerous from there personally.
    I'd say it's one of the better aspects of Smiths game.

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    KW has been given some what of a rebuilding project in my opinion.

    I also like Smith, thinks he a potential future starting hooker for Saints. He just has this nack of putting his head in the wrong places when tackling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Yellow Giraffe View Post
    What makes you say Smith isn’t a natural scooter? I think he’s shown on several occasions he can be quite dangerous from there personally.


    Agreed. And with quicker PTB's being enforced, dominating the tackle (his weaker point) won't be as much of an issue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sinkers89 View Post
    KW has been given some what of a rebuilding project in my opinion.

    I also like Smith, thinks he a potential future starting hooker for Saints. He just has this nack of putting his head in the wrong places when tackling.
    I'd like to see him fill out a bit to become a bit more durable, but there is no doubting his speed of pass and he seems to have a good rugby brain. But like you I think he will be our future 9 unless we have someone better coming from the juniors.

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