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Thread: 21 man squad v Catalans

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    In The West Stand Belgian Saint's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaintJon View Post
    Also, Jack Welsby was superb last night, set up a few tries, wasn't intimidated, and had Folau in his pocket all game.
    Did Folau play? A few of were worried about Cats kicking to the corner for Folau, but never happened. Cats tactica didn't help Folau, but we saw much more from Welsby last night than we did from him.

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    Default 21 man squad v Catalans

    Quote Originally Posted by Belgian Saint View Post
    Did Folau play? A few of were worried about Cats kicking to the corner for Folau, but never happened. Cats tactica didn't help Folau, but we saw much more from Welsby last night than we did from him.
    I don’t think it was a matter of tactics. If you’re going to drop deft kicks onto your centre you need territory and time. We didn’t give them any of either.

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    Agree that there was a definite change in tactics from the Wigan game when in fairness it was also atrocious conditions. Once or twice I noticed Grace taking the ball a couple of passes away from the ruck instead of being used as a first receiver battering ram. It’s that subtle shift that we need next week, as long as we don’t run straight into their big lumps we’ll be fine. Keep them honest with a bit of ball movement and they’ll be less happy to storm in in packs

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    If anyone wants full highlights i found this on YouTube:

    https://youtu.be/fBvLTy-72Jw

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bad Les View Post
    One of the most pleasing aspects of Saints performance for me was their refusal to be intimidated by the over aggressive and niggling tactics from a team of headhunters. A thoroughly professional effort, and just for once can we give some credit to Woolf. He had the team very well prepared for this game tactically, mentally, physically and they were well disciplined throughout. Our defence was superb. The lads should be very confident and a similar performance next week should be enough to see off Wigan.
    Spot on. I've been critical of Woolf but that was our best performance under him. Ultra disciplined first half, controlled in the face of some shit house tactics and the usual strange* refereeing.

    *Absolute shite

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    Quote Originally Posted by paraman View Post
    It was a great performance and we played in the way we should be playing which is something we failed to do in the 2 games previously. If we play like that against Wigan then we have a very good chance. I thought Bentley was outstanding, he took the ball up well and he tackled anything and everything. Hopefully Walmsley and Graham will be ok next week.

    What did concern me was the ref last night seemed to think high shots are ok and as long as he puts a few in the bin then its ok. I thought the Maloney one on Grace was a sending off never mind a sin bin and I also noticed several Catalan players putting there hands in the faces of the Saints players after they had been tackled. If The Catalans coach cant understand why his players get banned then he needs to read the RFL rule book on high tackles etc and then concentrate on playing rugby.
    Also how did they get away with lifting a leg so high , I imagine that can cause a serious injury . They really meant to badly injure big Al

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dux View Post
    Yeah, Grace was great. That Maloney sin-binning was earned by his footwork.

    Welsby deserves some real credit, too. He didn’t put a foot wrong and was the most physical I’ve seen him. I was in favour of Simm starting but Welsby has definitely earned his GF shirt.

    Bentley was sensational too. You often see people losing their temper with him, which tells me he’s doing something right.
    I remember a few elder supporters used to say that about Murphy, when the ref said "if he hits you again Alex I`m sending you off".

    Theo`s sliding defense on Folau was excellent twice he bumped Welsby off and came inside Theo chopped his legs, he also got clattered at the line a few times to give Johnny a bit more space.
    For me it was Coote`s long kicks even when they went dead in goal, that meant Catalan had to get back behind the restart whereas our lads just waited on the 30, it helped to break any of their momentum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallaght Tiger View Post
    I remember a few elder supporters used to say that about Murphy, when the ref said "if he hits you again Alex I`m sending you off".

    Theo`s sliding defense on Folau was excellent twice he bumped Welsby off and came inside Theo chopped his legs, he also got clattered at the line a few times to give Johnny a bit more space.
    For me it was Coote`s long kicks even when they went dead in goal, that meant Catalan had to get back behind the restart whereas our lads just waited on the 30, it helped to break any of their momentum.
    Do you mean Lomax’s defence? Fages was on the other side of the pitch in defence.
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    I've always had the sense that Woolf's fairly rigorous methods would have us in good shape for a game like that because this is now the time of year when controlled and disciplined RL wins games. I was never that worried about the game and thought we'd win it handily, and we put in a very good performance which was suited to the opposition and the occasion. I'm very confident we'll win next week, I have been for a while really. Catalans offered nothing but grubby tactics last night which we handled well for the most part. I'd have loved someone to floor Maloney at some point but I suppose the best response to that stuff is destroying them on the scoreboard. When they fell apart it was nice to see us really take the •••• and keep at it for the 80. That must have hurt them and they deserved a good caning for their tactics.

    I think the debate needs to cool down a bit. If we lose the coach is an idiot, if we win he's a genius. Woolf is easily a good enough coach to win us trophies, but he's also a coach who will be needlessly conservative in the weekly rounds when we want the team to be a bit more exciting. Both of those things can be true. I've had a go at him but at the same time said that I think we'll win trophies under him. Again, I don't think there's a contradiction in that. He'll have us ultra prepared for next Friday and I think we'll win the game. Doesn't mean I'll love the weekly rounds but it does mean I'll see us do the business at the end of the season.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wee Waa Womble View Post
    Do you mean Lomax’s defence? Fages was on the other side of the pitch in defence.
    I thought it was Theo, I know they both have skull caps but is my eyesight that bad. They do swap offensively do they defensively ?
    If I have got it wrong I am getting my Nanny`s B/W portable from the loft and watching the final on that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by STIDDY View Post
    I don't think you watched the game correctly in that first half, we threw the ball out wider from the PTB and had a lot of second phase which stretched the defensive line that happened for quite a few early sets. Knowles and Bentley were like terriers in that first quarter, bashing everything that came there way and took a lot of pressure off our front row.

    Fages also made a big improvement from the Wigan game, linking well with Lomax and Coote and Catalans had problems trying to mark all three. Our set completions were better last night and our defence was so good I can only remember Catalan being within our 10 metres on one occasion in that first half.

    Wilkin often talks up that Pressure is a Privilege and Saints did that in the second half, that was done in the form of putting pressure on Rat Boy who came up with 2 errors result was 2 tries (12 points) we played smart rugby. As for expressing ourselves that was more to do with the Catalans compounding more errors with Naiqama and Grace benefitting from that.

    But the most impressive part of our win was our defence, this is the "Woolf Mantra" and wants this before anything else, some fans don't like it............at the end of the day they handled a lot of rough treatment and stuck to their task, very proud to be a saints supporter today.

    We have made it to 12 grand finals in 22 seasons win or lose that is mighty impressive.....Well Done the Players and the Coaching Staff.
    I watched it correctly. We loosened up when we were well in front.

    Look, don't get me wrong. It was an excellent performance. The best of the season by a long way, and that's why I said it was a 9 out of 10 performance. The defence was a 10 out of 10 and that gives us a chance against anyone, but if we get bogged down in a midfield slog against what is the best of the rest, I don't think the system allows us to open them up and get the win. I'm happy to be proved wrong, but that's my opinion.

    It's absurd the way that people who were all largely in agreement about the issues with a coach and style have all mentally scrubbed out everything that has gone before because of one game. It seems like there has been a collective reset button press. A giant system restore. Well, I'm not fickle enough to let one excellent performance against an ill-disciplined Dragons side change everything. It does not scrub out the analysis of the season. It does not alter the trajectory. All trends have peaks and troughs.

    If we go out and win next week, I will hold my hands up and say that I got it wrong. However, I stand by my comments. When we are allowed to express ourselves, we are the best team in the competition by far. My belief is that conservatism in our play has cost us two pieces of silverware this season. My hope is that it won't cost us a third. If we are to win next week, we have to have learned from the way we approached games against Wigan and Warrington earlier this season, because if we utilise the tactics that we did against Wigan last time, then I'm sure that we will lose. We simply must test them round the edges.

    I'm not getting into further discussion on this now, because I want to believe we can doof the Pies as much as anyone this week. I won't say "I told you so" to anyone if I'm proved right, because I want to be proved wrong, but I promise you this, if I am wrong I am the kind of guy who will hold his hands up and say so, and I'll gladly come on here next week and give chapter and verse on why I was. :-)
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    Quote Originally Posted by DD View Post
    I watched it correctly. We loosened up when we were well in front.

    Look, don't get me wrong. It was an excellent performance. The best of the season by a long way, and that's why I said it was a 9 out of 10 performance. The defence was a 10 out of 10 and that gives us a chance against anyone, but if we get bogged down in a midfield slog against what is the best of the rest, I don't think the system allows us to open them up and get the win. I'm happy to be proved wrong, but that's my opinion.

    It's absurd the way that people who were all largely in agreement about the issues with a coach and style have all mentally scrubbed out everything that has gone before because of one game. It seems like there has been a collective reset button press. A giant system restore. Well, I'm not fickle enough to let one excellent performance against an ill-disciplined Dragons side change everything. It does not scrub out the analysis of the season. It does not alter the trajectory. All trends have peaks and troughs.

    If we go out and win next week, I will hold my hands up and say that I got it wrong. However, I stand by my comments. When we are allowed to express ourselves, we are the best team in the competition by far. My belief is that conservatism in our play has cost us two pieces of silverware this season. My hope is that it won't cost us a third. If we are to win next week, we have to have learned from the way we approached games against Wigan and Warrington earlier this season, because if we utilise the tactics that we did against Wigan last time, then I'm sure that we will lose. We simply must test them round the edges.

    I'm not getting into further discussion on this now, because I want to believe we can doof the Pies as much as anyone this week. I won't say "I told you so" to anyone if I'm proved right, because I want to be proved wrong, but I promise you this, if I am wrong I am the kind of guy who will hold his hands up and say so, and I'll gladly come on here next week and give chapter and verse on why I was. :-)
    I think you're right to be honest.

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    We had opportunities to shift the ball and to play wider in the second half because kept our composure, defended well enough and completed enough sets earlier in the game to wear them down IMO. Had we done that in a couple of the bigger games in previous years (Challenge Cup Final last year, Challenge Cup semi final the year before and the Warrington play off game a couple of years ago), we’d have lifted a couple more trophies I think.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tez the Saint View Post
    We had opportunities to shift the ball and to play wider in the second half because kept our composure, defended well enough and completed enough sets earlier in the game to wear them down IMO. Had we done that in a couple of the bigger games in previous years (Challenge Cup Final last year, Challenge Cup semi final the year before and the Warrington play off game a couple of years ago), we’d have lifted a couple more trophies I think.
    Exactly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tez the Saint View Post
    We had opportunities to shift the ball and to play wider in the second half because kept our composure, defended well enough and completed enough sets earlier in the game to wear them down IMO. Had we done that in a couple of the bigger games in previous years (Challenge Cup Final last year, Challenge Cup semi final the year before and the Warrington play off game a couple of years ago), we’d have lifted a couple more trophies I think.
    Absolutely Tez. You earn the right to play in semi's. Do that again next week and we retain our title, simple as that.

    Maybe he's finally come up with a system that works?

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    Whilst being far from perfect Liam Moore at least penalised the pond life tactics of Catalans, problem is (especially in the GF) will an official penalise Wigan when they do the same? I doubt it. I can't see a couple of sin binnings in a GF, can you? It was delightful to see McNamara whining about the sin binnings, I just wish Jenna had said to him, "You do realise players are sin binned for illegal dangerous fouls upon opponents don't you Steve?", because he seemed to think (or not!) that a couple of his players were just arbitrarily sin binned because the ref felt like it. I love rugby league and I want the game to be played, tough , fast and exciting. I don't want to see lying on, headshots, late tackles and constant offsides not being penalised. I know that the likes of Mc Namara think offenses being penalised breaks up the game, but it's called playing to the rules Steve (unless you're Wigan). If the ref gives us protection (by enforcing the rules of the game) next week, we'll turn Wigan over. We'll see.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DD View Post
    I watched it correctly. We loosened up when we were well in front.

    Look, don't get me wrong. It was an excellent performance. The best of the season by a long way, and that's why I said it was a 9 out of 10 performance. The defence was a 10 out of 10 and that gives us a chance against anyone, but if we get bogged down in a midfield slog against what is the best of the rest, I don't think the system allows us to open them up and get the win. I'm happy to be proved wrong, but that's my opinion.

    It's absurd the way that people who were all largely in agreement about the issues with a coach and style have all mentally scrubbed out everything that has gone before because of one game. It seems like there has been a collective reset button press. A giant system restore. Well, I'm not fickle enough to let one excellent performance against an ill-disciplined Dragons side change everything. It does not scrub out the analysis of the season. It does not alter the trajectory. All trends have peaks and troughs.

    If we go out and win next week, I will hold my hands up and say that I got it wrong. However, I stand by my comments. When we are allowed to express ourselves, we are the best team in the competition by far. My belief is that conservatism in our play has cost us two pieces of silverware this season. My hope is that it won't cost us a third. If we are to win next week, we have to have learned from the way we approached games against Wigan and Warrington earlier this season, because if we utilise the tactics that we did against Wigan last time, then I'm sure that we will lose. We simply must test them round the edges.

    I'm not getting into further discussion on this now, because I want to believe we can doof the Pies as much as anyone this week. I won't say "I told you so" to anyone if I'm proved right, because I want to be proved wrong, but I promise you this, if I am wrong I am the kind of guy who will hold his hands up and say so, and I'll gladly come on here next week and give chapter and verse on why I was. :-)
    For me we won that game in the first half, the second half was very much by how many we were going to win by.

    Watched a lot or replays lately and in the majority of cases we play and win well when Fages plays more like a scrum half. Last night he was up on the defensive line a lot more, created a couple of switch plays, executed a couple of set plays and gave early second phase to free up Lomax and Coote.

    If Fages can replicate that then we will be in with a very good shout, I,m not sure if the Goons can improve on our last meeting but I believe for Saints we can. I should imagine the goons will have concerns with our tough attitude last night.

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    Quote Originally Posted by STIDDY View Post
    For me we won that game in the first half, the second half was very much by how many we were going to win by.

    Watched a lot or replays lately and in the majority of cases we play and win well when Fages plays more like a scrum half. Last night he was up on the defensive line a lot more, created a couple of switch plays, executed a couple of set plays and gave early second phase to free up Lomax and Coote.

    If Fages can replicate that then we will be in with a very good shout, I,m not sure if the Goons can improve on our last meeting but I believe for Saints we can. I should imagine the goons will have concerns with our tough attitude last night.
    Best he has played for a while. The height he was getting on those kicks last night really helped our chasers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tez the Saint View Post
    We had opportunities to shift the ball and to play wider in the second half because kept our composure, defended well enough and completed enough sets earlier in the game to wear them down IMO. Had we done that in a couple of the bigger games in previous years (Challenge Cup Final last year, Challenge Cup semi final the year before and the Warrington play off game a couple of years ago), we’d have lifted a couple more trophies I think.
    One key difference last night is that we took the lead first and played composed rugby to control the game.

    Secondly, Catalans were neither anything like as good at holding the tackled player down to slow the PTB, nor played the persistent offside and racing into the faces of first and second receivers tactic that Wire use to stifle opposition attacking ability.

    But more importantly, Catalans offered next to nothing in attack. Our defence was fantastic, and maybe it was that which simply nullified them.

    But the scum will pose a greater attacking threat (as Warrington do) and this is where I totally get where DD is coming from.

    The scum will play the same tactics in defence as Catalans did - try to intimidate and injure opposition players, crossing the line and hoping the ref is lenient. Their forwards are younger and far more athletic than the Catalans pack, though. Far less skilful with the ball, but they're proper yard-dogs (apart from Farrell, who also has vision and skill) who will hurl themselves at the opposition for 80 mins. As a team, they're also probably the most adept at slowing the PTB whilst getting away with it.

    Assuming all 3 of Walmsley, Graham and LMS are fit, we should have too much for them, though.

    But if we play too conservatively and if we make that one defensive error that allows them to get in front, I don't think we have either the variety and slickness of gameplan, nor the mentality, to overhaul them.

    It's therefore crucial we get the first try, keep our composure and control the game.

    Almost as vital is that we have a ref who will penalise shithouse play by the scum, and not stand for their anti-rugby slowing the PTB.

    I'm not sure SL has such a ref.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Webbo Again View Post
    One key difference last night is that we took the lead first and played composed rugby to control the game.

    Secondly, Catalans were neither anything like as good at holding the tackled player down to slow the PTB, nor played the persistent offside and racing into the faces of first and second receivers tactic that Wire use to stifle opposition attacking ability.

    But more importantly, Catalans offered next to nothing in attack. Our defence was fantastic, and maybe it was that which simply nullified them.

    But the scum will pose a greater attacking threat (as Warrington do) and this is where I totally get where DD is coming from.

    The scum will play the same tactics in defence as Catalans did - try to intimidate and injure opposition players, crossing the line and hoping the ref is lenient. Their forwards are younger and far more athletic than the Catalans pack, though. Far less skilful with the ball, but they're proper yard-dogs (apart from Farrell, who also has vision and skill) who will hurl themselves at the opposition for 80 mins. As a team, they're also probably the most adept at slowing the PTB whilst getting away with it.

    Assuming all 3 of Walmsley, Graham and LMS are fit, we should have too much for them, though.

    But if we play too conservatively and if we make that one defensive error that allows them to get in front, I don't think we have either the variety and slickness of gameplan, nor the mentality, to overhaul them.

    It's therefore crucial we get the first try, keep our composure and control the game.

    Almost as vital is that we have a ref who will penalise shithouse play by the scum, and not stand for their anti-rugby slowing the PTB.

    I'm not sure SL has such a ref.
    We scored first against Wigan and led at half time, we scored first against Wire in the CC.
    I think we need to mirror the way the game is being refereed, we did this with Catalan, don`t worry what they will do just be ready and adapt.
    Bentley and Knowles put it about a lot on Friday, rightly so in my opinion, I posted earlier that I hope they are not cited. Watch the Bentley the tackle before Regan`s try, he brings back his arm for Moa, in front of Moore, if some of Cats are sanctioned I fear one of ours will lose out on a final.
    I do not share Gray`s confidence in tight matches because of our history but we are all the better for that game Friday.

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    Im happy with how we played on Friday. It was a good performance. I watched it back this morning. I still have concerns over how we will react in the face of adversity, like the opposition scoring a try against the run of play or a few bad calls from the ref. On Friday their was a period when the score was 8-2 and the game got a bit scrappy with both teams making handling errors before we pulled away with Naiqamas first score. I wonder how things would have turned out if Catalan found a score to bring it 8 all.

    We were all over Warrington in the cup game, then we lost Percy, the ref gave Warrington a bunch of repeat sets and average Anthony scored from that kick against the run of play. Then we crumbled for a 15 minute period and Warrington capitalised.

    We seem to be very good when our tales are up and the other team lets us play. Im taking nothing away from our win on Friday. Especially considering the rough stuff from Catalans. Our defence was brutal. But brutal defence doesn’t stop us conceding a try from a kick, bounce of a ball, interception. Great defence doesn’t stop the ref from putting us in tight spots.

    Don’t get me wrong, i think we are more than capable of beating Wigan. Im just worried how we will react if we get put us some tight spots and things don’t go our way.
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    It was very clever of KW to praise Liam Moores refereeing of the Catalans game. I would much rather have him than Kendall in the final.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tilly2006 View Post
    It was very clever of KW to praise Liam Moores refereeing of the Catalans game. I would much rather have him than Kendall in the final.
    Agreed. Put Maloney in the bin where it was deserved then later issued a further warning and acted on it with the next high tackle. Maybe Thaler had an input too but at least we didn’t see the complete bottle jobs of last week in Hicks and Kendall. I think Moore would be in pole position as a result - he had a lot on his plate and dealt with it fairly well

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    The only thing you can guarantee about a big game involving wigan is that it will be refereed to suite them unless they got too far eg Ben Flowerpot and even then they will usually only be a yellow.
    Learned comment from The Don

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Day View Post
    Agreed. Put Maloney in the bin where it was deserved then later issued a further warning and acted on it with the next high tackle. Maybe Thaler had an input too but at least we didn’t see the complete bottle jobs of last week in Hicks and Kendall. I think Moore would be in pole position as a result - he had a lot on his plate and dealt with it fairly well
    I can’t believe whats happened to Kendall.when he first came through he looked like really solid and fair referee. He’s gone to pot lately.
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