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Thread: Saints Vs Catalan Semi Final

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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesSL View Post
    I agree regarding Knowles but Coote is still the top FB in the league for try involvements and he's missed a few. I don't think he's been invisible.
    8 tries, 14 assists. That’s 3rd in the whole league for try involvements behind Hastings and Sezer. Bit of a shock to see Lomax go from 16 tries, 21 assists last season to 0 tries, 21 assists this season.
    Forwards win games. The backs decide by how much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Samphire15 View Post
    As I've highlighted in a previous thread, in the 4 games we have played against what should be considered as our two main rivals (Wigan and Wire), we have only won one and that was against the Wigan kids team.
    They both know what we are going to do and easily nullify our attack. When this happens we have no Plan B.
    I think that thing that is going in Woolf's favour this season that finally accounted for KC, is that games are being played behind closed doors with no crowd's getting on his back, booing (rightly or wrongly) the boring grind or a drop in attendances as people can't be bothered to turn up as the one dimensional play is so boring to watch.
    Whether we win the Grand Final or not, once the doors to the stadium are open again, it may be like a false dawn in as much as people will just want to watch live rugby again regardless of how boring it may be. It may have been a totally different story in the doors had been open this season.
    I think you need to credit the opposition in that regard for the nullify of our play. I have two simple questions for all on here.

    Question 1. You are an opposition coach: How do you stop the Saints from playing an expansive style of play.

    Question 2. You are a Saints coach: How do you break out from the middles game when the opposition force you to play that way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by STIDDY View Post
    I think you need to credit the opposition in that regard for the nullify of our play. I have two simple questions for all on here.

    Question 1. You are an opposition coach: How do you stop the Saints from playing an expansive style of play.

    Question 2. You are a Saints coach: How do you break out from the middles game when the opposition force you to play that way.
    Let's be honest nobody needs the brains of an Arch Bishop to work out what we're going to do and who's going to do it. Therefore your first question is answered. He has no inclination to play expansively whatsoever which then allows the opposition to have the odds on their side needing only to focus on the ball and not the available runners who invariable won't get it.

    The link between the forwards and the backs is the halves, always has been likely always will be. Therefore we need a half back pairing capable of performing the role of both keeping it tight and expanding play when they see what's going on in the game.

    Pretty simple stuff to start off with. You can ask as many questions as you like, KW has absolutely no interest in the back line whatsoever. Just look at the recruitment for next year for a start.


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  4. #104
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    last year and suffered through that but has improved. They added top players like Hastings and French who have transformed them. The gap last year was not just reflective of how strong we were but of how poor the competition was.

    In 2019 we finsihed with a remarkable PD of +521 over 29 games. This year our 306 over 18 games would make +493 over 29 games. Attack is slightly weaker and defence slightly stronger. Yes the fixture list has been strange so comparisons like this difficult but let's be clear, we are no mugs this year.

    As for doing "worse" in the CC - both Holbrook and Woolf lost against Wire, when we drew them seems irrelevant as the problems in the squad under Holbrook with Fages at 7 remain the same under Woolf. I would argue we were far more unlucky with injury (including in-game) in the 2020 loss than 2019 and that the 2019 instalment against a Wire team with no halves was an ENORMOUS bottle job at Wembley whilst 2020 was not.

    It remains to be seen whether Woolf's approach to defence will pay dividends in the play-offs. People will reference the recent Wigan game but how would Holbrook have fared with Walmsley and Thompson removed from his front row?

    To be clear I am not saying Woolf is a better coach than Holbrook. He may go on to be a more succesful coach for us, he may not. What I am saying is that he is deserving of a lot more respect than he is often afforded on here. Let's remember, Holbrook was one game away from essentially leaving the club as a failure in trophy terms - some might say he was very fortunate to be facing Salford in that make or break game.

    It's the tone that gets me - it is the opposite of supportive, even when it comes to his choice to play young lads like Welsby. Some make their points in a rational way I can appreciate and often agree with, some behave like spoilt brats expecting another cakewalk and ignoring context.[/QUOTE]

    I am not a big fan of Woolf's style of play. Any team that can smother Wamsley have a good chance of beating us. But a well balanced post.

  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by STIDDY View Post
    I think you need to credit the opposition in that regard for the nullify of our play. I have two simple questions for all on here.

    Question 1. You are an opposition coach: How do you stop the Saints from playing an expansive style of play.

    Question 2. You are a Saints coach: How do you break out from the middles game when the opposition force you to play that way.
    Q1 Slow the Ruck , Gang tackle and run at Warmsley, Gang tackle Makinson on exit sets.

    Q2 Ignore Question 2.

  6. #106
    In The South Stand Ralph Fridge's Avatar
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    The way to beat Catalans is to make their big pack run about. I think we need to shift the ball quickly out to the channels & try to punch holes there.

    If we got sucked into a bash a thon down the middle & play narrow, we are going to be in trouble

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray77 View Post
    I’ve never had a problem with this point of view, you express it well and it certainly has some validity. But I think you go too far in characterising some of Woolf’s critics. None of us think we should have finished 16 points clear, especially not after 10 less games. None of us think it was ideal having Percival out and losing Thompson. None of us think it was ideal having the lockdown and a weird second half of the season with restrictions in place everywhere. I don’t think anybody is even saying that 2020 should have been as fun as 2019 either.

    But, it should have been better than it was. We should have finished top of the pile, even if by only a small margin. We should have been more exciting to watch, and at the very least it should look like we are using what happened last year as the basis for what we wanted to do this season instead of looking like we wanted to rip up the blueprint completely.

    It would be like Liverpool bringing in Tony Pulis and opting for long balls. They’d still win a lot more than they’d lose, they’d still be near the top but they’d be up there because they had good players and not because the system was brilliant. But eventually (or quickly maybe) people will ask why they’re doing it when they have the best team and just won the league playing good stuff.

    You are right however about supporting the shirt and not the player, it’s something I’ve always tried to do. We follow the club more than anything, and players and coaches come and go but we and the club remain. Wanting the club to achieve things has always been more important than wanting a certain coach or a player to achieve things for us. However, aside from me being born and raised in St Helens there is something else that makes me love our club, and that is the style of RL I saw when I was a kid. It’s overly romantic to say we should always entertain, but when we have the best team and have seen our team be the best team whilst also being entertaining it is difficult for me to get on board with what we’ve been in 2020 for the most part.

    We have the best team but have been dragged down by negative tactics. Look at the signings for 2021, this isn't some ‘we’ll get through the pandemic and then let rip next year’ kind of thing, it’s a ‘we’ll continue ramming it down the middle with bigger forwards in 2021’ kind of thing. This is us under this coach, and yes, we’ll win a lot more than we lose, and we may win trophies (I’ve never said we wouldn’t under Woolf) but anyone who looks at it constructively will wonder why we’ve opted for this when the alternative (playing a good style of RL) worked well for us in the last year or two. The season is long, maybe too long, and when league wins only mean so much in a play off system we need to enjoy the journey from week to week. Playing Woolf’s style won’t harm us too much in terms of points and trophy chances, and I’ve always gone to great lengths on here to say that we could win things under him. But it’ll harm us in the long run because less people will want to watch it, less people will enjoy it and we’ll be giving off yet another sign that as a club and as a fanbase we no longer care about our reputation and our culture for playing a creative and exciting brand of RL. We’ve appointed one coach in 15 years that actually cared about attacking RL, and we’ve repeatedly sold ourselves short in this department. This is what bothers me more than most, and once the excitement of getting back to LP next year subsides we’ll see crowds fall back watching Woolf’s tactics. If we were Hull KR, do whatever it takes to get a win, but St Helens, with this team? Surely we have to hope for more than this.

    We will win on Friday, and I think we’ll win the GF, because I believe we have the best team. I also think we may win it again next year under Woolf, but I also believe the 7-8 months that lead up to it will be mind numbing compared to how they could be. My issue isn’t that Woolf will cost us trophies, it is that he will cost us a lot more in terms of where the club go after him. There may not be another Holbrook out there in 2022 to get everyone back enjoying watching Saints again, and if we win two titles under Woolf will the club even look for him? I don’t want Woolf to be the blueprint for every coach that comes after him, because a shiny pot after 8 months of tedium isn’t worth it for me. It may be to some, that’s fair enough, but the journey has to be as fun as the destination.
    Fantastic post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray77 View Post
    I’ve never had a problem with this point of view, you express it well and it certainly has some validity. But I think you go too far in characterising some of Woolf’s critics. None of us think we should have finished 16 points clear, especially not after 10 less games. None of us think it was ideal having Percival out and losing Thompson. None of us think it was ideal having the lockdown and a weird second half of the season with restrictions in place everywhere. I don’t think anybody is even saying that 2020 should have been as fun as 2019 either.

    But, it should have been better than it was. We should have finished top of the pile, even if by only a small margin. We should have been more exciting to watch, and at the very least it should look like we are using what happened last year as the basis for what we wanted to do this season instead of looking like we wanted to rip up the blueprint completely.

    It would be like Liverpool bringing in Tony Pulis and opting for long balls. They’d still win a lot more than they’d lose, they’d still be near the top but they’d be up there because they had good players and not because the system was brilliant. But eventually (or quickly maybe) people will ask why they’re doing it when they have the best team and just won the league playing good stuff.

    You are right however about supporting the shirt and not the player, it’s something I’ve always tried to do. We follow the club more than anything, and players and coaches come and go but we and the club remain. Wanting the club to achieve things has always been more important than wanting a certain coach or a player to achieve things for us. However, aside from me being born and raised in St Helens there is something else that makes me love our club, and that is the style of RL I saw when I was a kid. It’s overly romantic to say we should always entertain, but when we have the best team and have seen our team be the best team whilst also being entertaining it is difficult for me to get on board with what we’ve been in 2020 for the most part.

    We have the best team but have been dragged down by negative tactics. Look at the signings for 2021, this isn't some ‘we’ll get through the pandemic and then let rip next year’ kind of thing, it’s a ‘we’ll continue ramming it down the middle with bigger forwards in 2021’ kind of thing. This is us under this coach, and yes, we’ll win a lot more than we lose, and we may win trophies (I’ve never said we wouldn’t under Woolf) but anyone who looks at it constructively will wonder why we’ve opted for this when the alternative (playing a good style of RL) worked well for us in the last year or two. The season is long, maybe too long, and when league wins only mean so much in a play off system we need to enjoy the journey from week to week. Playing Woolf’s style won’t harm us too much in terms of points and trophy chances, and I’ve always gone to great lengths on here to say that we could win things under him. But it’ll harm us in the long run because less people will want to watch it, less people will enjoy it and we’ll be giving off yet another sign that as a club and as a fanbase we no longer care about our reputation and our culture for playing a creative and exciting brand of RL. We’ve appointed one coach in 15 years that actually cared about attacking RL, and we’ve repeatedly sold ourselves short in this department. This is what bothers me more than most, and once the excitement of getting back to LP next year subsides we’ll see crowds fall back watching Woolf’s tactics. If we were Hull KR, do whatever it takes to get a win, but St Helens, with this team? Surely we have to hope for more than this.

    We will win on Friday, and I think we’ll win the GF, because I believe we have the best team. I also think we may win it again next year under Woolf, but I also believe the 7-8 months that lead up to it will be mind numbing compared to how they could be. My issue isn’t that Woolf will cost us trophies, it is that he will cost us a lot more in terms of where the club go after him. There may not be another Holbrook out there in 2022 to get everyone back enjoying watching Saints again, and if we win two titles under Woolf will the club even look for him? I don’t want Woolf to be the blueprint for every coach that comes after him, because a shiny pot after 8 months of tedium isn’t worth it for me. It may be to some, that’s fair enough, but the journey has to be as fun as the destination.
    Eloquently put. This sums up my feelings on the matter exactly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by STIDDY View Post
    I think you need to credit the opposition in that regard for the nullify of our play. I have two simple questions for all on here.

    Question 1. You are an opposition coach: How do you stop the Saints from playing an expansive style of play.

    Question 2. You are a Saints coach: How do you break out from the middles game when the opposition force you to play that way.
    1. You stop it at the source by stopping the outside backs making ground on kick returns and exit sets, and you stop the front row from going forward, mainly through line speed, aggression and slowing the ruck as much as legally possible (much as Gerry Mander says above).

    2. Find a way to get the team moving forward.


    On point 1 I think there’s no denying that Woolf has been dealt a much worse hand than Holbrook ever had to play with. Since the SL website ‘improved’ its stats area I can’t find the data to back this up, but I’ll bet that Thompson, Percival and Makinson were our top metre makers along with Walsmley last year. The main reason we played such free flowing rugby is that we almost always had plenty of room and time to play in. We’ve been without two of those four players for pretty much the whole season and another for significant spells, so building that platform has been much more difficult this year, especially once Walmsley is off the pitch.

    Point 2 is where I have my concerns about Woolf. When we’re not going forward we compound the problem by taking the ball in without any support or deception. I don’t think Woolf is necessarily a conservative coach; I think he’s quite happy for us to play once we’re moving forward, but getting to that stage is where we have issues.

    I will say in Woolf’s defence, though, that under Holbrook when we did come up against a pack that was able to match us and stop our usual supply of yardage (which happened a lot less often as we usually had our full complement of strong ball carriers available) we tended to self destruct by chucking the ball around aimlessly without having earned the right to do so. This for me is why we struggled in big games against teams with strong packs.

    Ideally we could do with a happy medium between the two: play freely when moving forward; when yardage is hard to come by, dial it back but don’t lose your shape and go completely into your shell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by STIDDY View Post
    I think you need to credit the opposition in that regard for the nullify of our play. I have two simple questions for all on here.

    Question 1. You are an opposition coach: How do you stop the Saints from playing an expansive style of play.

    Question 2. You are a Saints coach: How do you break out from the middles game when the opposition force you to play that way.

    1/ Introduce yourself and team to the officials as Wigan. Then dish out high shots, ignore the offside rule at the ptb and gang tackle followed by lying on the grounded player for an eternity whilst your puddings of forwards like Flower and Clubb plod back to the defensive line (eight metres or less remember who you are!) . If the ref has accepted you're Wigan, congrats, you will go unpunished and win the game by virtue of the fact that your frustrated opponenets will try to play you at your own game, only to find themselves penalised ad nauseum.

    2/ Call up Justin Holbrook if you can't find the gameplan he left with the players last season.
    Last edited by Prez; 17th November 2020 at 14:41.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dux View Post
    1. You stop it at the source by stopping the outside backs making ground on kick returns and exit sets, and you stop the front row from going forward, mainly through line speed, aggression and slowing the ruck as much as legally possible (much as Gerry Mander says above).

    2. Find a way to get the team moving forward.


    On point 1 I think there’s no denying that Woolf has been dealt a much worse hand than Holbrook ever had to play with. Since the SL website ‘improved’ its stats area I can’t find the data to back this up, but I’ll bet that Thompson, Percival and Makinson were our top metre makers along with Walsmley last year. The main reason we played such free flowing rugby is that we almost always had plenty of room and time to play in. We’ve been without two of those four players for pretty much the whole season and another for significant spells, so building that platform has been much more difficult this year, especially once Walmsley is off the pitch.

    Point 2 is where I have my concerns about Woolf. When we’re not going forward we compound the problem by taking the ball in without any support or deception. I don’t think Woolf is necessarily a conservative coach; I think he’s quite happy for us to play once we’re moving forward, but getting to that stage is where we have issues.

    I will say in Woolf’s defence, though, that under Holbrook when we did come up against a pack that was able to match us and stop our usual supply of yardage (which happened a lot less often as we usually had our full complement of strong ball carriers available) we tended to self destruct by chucking the ball around aimlessly without having earned the right to do so. This for me is why we struggled in big games against teams with strong packs.

    Ideally we could do with a happy medium between the two: play freely when moving forward; when yardage is hard to come by, dial it back but don’t lose your shape and go completely into your shell.
    Fair points, we would likely need the halves to make these live decisions and currently they're not for one reason or another.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray77 View Post
    I’ve never had a problem with this point of view, you express it well and it certainly has some validity. But I think you go too far in characterising some of Woolf’s critics. None of us think we should have finished 16 points clear, especially not after 10 less games. None of us think it was ideal having Percival out and losing Thompson. None of us think it was ideal having the lockdown and a weird second half of the season with restrictions in place everywhere. I don’t think anybody is even saying that 2020 should have been as fun as 2019 either.

    But, it should have been better than it was. We should have finished top of the pile, even if by only a small margin. We should have been more exciting to watch, and at the very least it should look like we are using what happened last year as the basis for what we wanted to do this season instead of looking like we wanted to rip up the blueprint completely.

    It would be like Liverpool bringing in Tony Pulis and opting for long balls. They’d still win a lot more than they’d lose, they’d still be near the top but they’d be up there because they had good players and not because the system was brilliant. But eventually (or quickly maybe) people will ask why they’re doing it when they have the best team and just won the league playing good stuff.

    You are right however about supporting the shirt and not the player, it’s something I’ve always tried to do. We follow the club more than anything, and players and coaches come and go but we and the club remain. Wanting the club to achieve things has always been more important than wanting a certain coach or a player to achieve things for us. However, aside from me being born and raised in St Helens there is something else that makes me love our club, and that is the style of RL I saw when I was a kid. It’s overly romantic to say we should always entertain, but when we have the best team and have seen our team be the best team whilst also being entertaining it is difficult for me to get on board with what we’ve been in 2020 for the most part.

    We have the best team but have been dragged down by negative tactics. Look at the signings for 2021, this isn't some ‘we’ll get through the pandemic and then let rip next year’ kind of thing, it’s a ‘we’ll continue ramming it down the middle with bigger forwards in 2021’ kind of thing. This is us under this coach, and yes, we’ll win a lot more than we lose, and we may win trophies (I’ve never said we wouldn’t under Woolf) but anyone who looks at it constructively will wonder why we’ve opted for this when the alternative (playing a good style of RL) worked well for us in the last year or two. The season is long, maybe too long, and when league wins only mean so much in a play off system we need to enjoy the journey from week to week. Playing Woolf’s style won’t harm us too much in terms of points and trophy chances, and I’ve always gone to great lengths on here to say that we could win things under him. But it’ll harm us in the long run because less people will want to watch it, less people will enjoy it and we’ll be giving off yet another sign that as a club and as a fanbase we no longer care about our reputation and our culture for playing a creative and exciting brand of RL. We’ve appointed one coach in 15 years that actually cared about attacking RL, and we’ve repeatedly sold ourselves short in this department. This is what bothers me more than most, and once the excitement of getting back to LP next year subsides we’ll see crowds fall back watching Woolf’s tactics. If we were Hull KR, do whatever it takes to get a win, but St Helens, with this team? Surely we have to hope for more than this.

    We will win on Friday, and I think we’ll win the GF, because I believe we have the best team. I also think we may win it again next year under Woolf, but I also believe the 7-8 months that lead up to it will be mind numbing compared to how they could be. My issue isn’t that Woolf will cost us trophies, it is that he will cost us a lot more in terms of where the club go after him. There may not be another Holbrook out there in 2022 to get everyone back enjoying watching Saints again, and if we win two titles under Woolf will the club even look for him? I don’t want Woolf to be the blueprint for every coach that comes after him, because a shiny pot after 8 months of tedium isn’t worth it for me. It may be to some, that’s fair enough, but the journey has to be as fun as the destination.
    Nailed it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by STIDDY View Post
    I think you need to credit the opposition in that regard for the nullify of our play. I have two simple questions for all on here.

    Question 1. You are an opposition coach: How do you stop the Saints from playing an expansive style of play.

    Question 2. You are a Saints coach: How do you break out from the middles game when the opposition force you to play that way.

    Q1 - Employ the umbrella defence.

    Q2 - Get the link going. Do something different, try the little chip over the top.

    Saints need a Plan B..... ;-)
    Last edited by eddiewaringsflatcap; 17th November 2020 at 14:57.

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    Some interesting responses there. My next couple of pre loaded questions for opinions, a straight forward answer or opinion would do.

    Question 3. Do you expect us to be a similar team this year without Thompson and Percival.

    Question 4. Have Grace and Makinson been effective this year from active half at the PTB.

    Question 5. Would you say Holbrook recognised Fages wasn't a scrum half but got him to play like one, Woolf recognised Fages wasn't a scrum half and gave him a limited role.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dux View Post
    1. You stop it at the source by stopping the outside backs making ground on kick returns and exit sets, and you stop the front row from going forward, mainly through line speed, aggression and slowing the ruck as much as legally possible (much as Gerry Mander says above).

    2. Find a way to get the team moving forward.


    On point 1 I think there’s no denying that Woolf has been dealt a much worse hand than Holbrook ever had to play with. Since the SL website ‘improved’ its stats area I can’t find the data to back this up, but I’ll bet that Thompson, Percival and Makinson were our top metre makers along with Walsmley last year. The main reason we played such free flowing rugby is that we almost always had plenty of room and time to play in. We’ve been without two of those four players for pretty much the whole season and another for significant spells, so building that platform has been much more difficult this year, especially once Walmsley is off the pitch.

    Point 2 is where I have my concerns about Woolf. When we’re not going forward we compound the problem by taking the ball in without any support or deception. I don’t think Woolf is necessarily a conservative coach; I think he’s quite happy for us to play once we’re moving forward, but getting to that stage is where we have issues.

    I will say in Woolf’s defence, though, that under Holbrook when we did come up against a pack that was able to match us and stop our usual supply of yardage (which happened a lot less often as we usually had our full complement of strong ball carriers available) we tended to self destruct by chucking the ball around aimlessly without having earned the right to do so. This for me is why we struggled in big games against teams with strong packs.

    Ideally we could do with a happy medium between the two: play freely when moving forward; when yardage is hard to come by, dial it back but don’t lose your shape and go completely into your shell.
    Pretty much agree with all above, I would say that is the highlighted ideal solution so far to those questions.

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    I think we will beat Catalan on Friday.


    But I cant see past The RFL giving O'loughlin a fairwell gift

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    Some very good points made on here, personally think the lockdown was a blessing in disguise for us as we looked shaky and devoid of confidence a few weeks after the WCC.
    As for the game, as much as it pains me I think we will lose, their pack has the better of ours going forward and their bench is very strong.
    Young Whitley was a miss on our behalf, very similar to Bentley but a better pair of hands.
    We will miss go forward for the reason a few have mentioned, numbering up etc. It is the long punt down field if there is no yardage made that we will miss, Hull have Connor & Sneyd, Catalan Maloney, Drinkwater & Tomkins, only Coote can flight it any distance but not 50m before first bounce. I really hope I am wrong, if it was to be played with our new signings for next season Saints all day long but we miss power off the bench and no kicker to bail us out for field position.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallaght Tiger View Post
    Some very good points made on here, personally think the lockdown was a blessing in disguise for us as we looked shaky and devoid of confidence a few weeks after the WCC.
    As for the game, as much as it pains me I think we will lose, their pack has the better of ours going forward and their bench is very strong.
    Young Whitley was a miss on our behalf, very similar to Bentley but a better pair of hands.
    We will miss go forward for the reason a few have mentioned, numbering up etc. It is the long punt down field if there is no yardage made that we will miss, Hull have Connor & Sneyd, Catalan Maloney, Drinkwater & Tomkins, only Coote can flight it any distance but not 50m before first bounce. I really hope I am wrong, if it was to be played with our new signings for next season Saints all day long but we miss power off the bench and no kicker to bail us out for field position.
    Interesting that you think their pack has the measure of ours. I certainly wouldn’t swap, particularly with Micky Mac and Tomkins out.


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    Quote Originally Posted by sinkers89 View Post
    I think we will beat Catalan on Friday.


    But I cant see past The RFL giving O'loughlin a fairwell gift
    We need a farewell gift from Jammer this Friday with a top performance and then another one the following week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray77 View Post
    I’ve never had a problem with this point of view, you express it well and it certainly has some validity. But I think you go too far in characterising some of Woolf’s critics. None of us think we should have finished 16 points clear, especially not after 10 less games. None of us think it was ideal having Percival out and losing Thompson. None of us think it was ideal having the lockdown and a weird second half of the season with restrictions in place everywhere. I don’t think anybody is even saying that 2020 should have been as fun as 2019 either.

    But, it should have been better than it was. We should have finished top of the pile, even if by only a small margin. We should have been more exciting to watch, and at the very least it should look like we are using what happened last year as the basis for what we wanted to do this season instead of looking like we wanted to rip up the blueprint completely.

    It would be like Liverpool bringing in Tony Pulis and opting for long balls. They’d still win a lot more than they’d lose, they’d still be near the top but they’d be up there because they had good players and not because the system was brilliant. But eventually (or quickly maybe) people will ask why they’re doing it when they have the best team and just won the league playing good stuff.

    You are right however about supporting the shirt and not the player, it’s something I’ve always tried to do. We follow the club more than anything, and players and coaches come and go but we and the club remain. Wanting the club to achieve things has always been more important than wanting a certain coach or a player to achieve things for us. However, aside from me being born and raised in St Helens there is something else that makes me love our club, and that is the style of RL I saw when I was a kid. It’s overly romantic to say we should always entertain, but when we have the best team and have seen our team be the best team whilst also being entertaining it is difficult for me to get on board with what we’ve been in 2020 for the most part.

    We have the best team but have been dragged down by negative tactics. Look at the signings for 2021, this isn't some ‘we’ll get through the pandemic and then let rip next year’ kind of thing, it’s a ‘we’ll continue ramming it down the middle with bigger forwards in 2021’ kind of thing. This is us under this coach, and yes, we’ll win a lot more than we lose, and we may win trophies (I’ve never said we wouldn’t under Woolf) but anyone who looks at it constructively will wonder why we’ve opted for this when the alternative (playing a good style of RL) worked well for us in the last year or two. The season is long, maybe too long, and when league wins only mean so much in a play off system we need to enjoy the journey from week to week. Playing Woolf’s style won’t harm us too much in terms of points and trophy chances, and I’ve always gone to great lengths on here to say that we could win things under him. But it’ll harm us in the long run because less people will want to watch it, less people will enjoy it and we’ll be giving off yet another sign that as a club and as a fanbase we no longer care about our reputation and our culture for playing a creative and exciting brand of RL. We’ve appointed one coach in 15 years that actually cared about attacking RL, and we’ve repeatedly sold ourselves short in this department. This is what bothers me more than most, and once the excitement of getting back to LP next year subsides we’ll see crowds fall back watching Woolf’s tactics. If we were Hull KR, do whatever it takes to get a win, but St Helens, with this team? Surely we have to hope for more than this.

    We will win on Friday, and I think we’ll win the GF, because I believe we have the best team. I also think we may win it again next year under Woolf, but I also believe the 7-8 months that lead up to it will be mind numbing compared to how they could be. My issue isn’t that Woolf will cost us trophies, it is that he will cost us a lot more in terms of where the club go after him. There may not be another Holbrook out there in 2022 to get everyone back enjoying watching Saints again, and if we win two titles under Woolf will the club even look for him? I don’t want Woolf to be the blueprint for every coach that comes after him, because a shiny pot after 8 months of tedium isn’t worth it for me. It may be to some, that’s fair enough, but the journey has to be as fun as the destination.
    This and the post by DSOTM are brilliant, and echo my thoughts completely.

    Winning trophies is hugely important, but so is playing an entertaining and attacking brand of rugby.
    I f*cking hate wi*an. And rugby yawnion. And Tories. And Brexit f*ckwits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by STIDDY View Post
    We need a farewell gift from Jammer this Friday with a top performance and then another one the following week.
    Someone should be showing him footage from his last ‘last game’ for Saints to get him fired up!
    Forwards win games. The backs decide by how much.

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    Q1- Utilise the stiff arm

    Q2. The double run around

    Agreed , Saints need a plan B


    I have to say , it’s been a good debate this one .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Side Of The Moon View Post
    Q1- Utilise the stiff arm

    Q2. The double run around

    Agreed , Saints need a plan B


    I have to say , it’s been a good debate this one .
    The days when coach Alex Murphy always had a trick up his sleeve

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    Think we could be bullied out of the game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by notawiginfan View Post
    Think we could be bullied out of the game.
    Tell you what, a narrow win over a poor Leeds team with in-game injuries to forwards in an already weak pack hasn't half convinced some people Catalans are an epic forward pack.

    We won't be bullied out of the game, I doubt they will match us up front for the duration.

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