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Thread: Cunningham MK2

  1. #101
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    Always a bit late to threads by the time I check on a Monday morning!

    We should be 0/3 really, Cas had plenty chances. To lose to Leigh 20-0 in the second half shows both how far off it we are but also that they're a lot better than they've been in recent years.

    Nobody wants him to go etc as we sit here. People just have some concerns but atm I think that's based on the last time we appointed an ex player rather than the current situation.

    My only thing is I hope he's judged as a coach and not as PW the legendary player.

    The reason KC got so long in the end is because he is a club legend on the field but that's irrelevant when it comes to judging people as a coach. Wellens is nothing like KC at this stage though so I'm not comparing their jobs, just a blanket statement on former players as coach.

    I'm sure all will be fine and by fine I mean probably top 4 then see what happens - as many have said the way the sport is this isn't an issue really as of yet.

    I imagine Wellens is hurting more than anyone at the minute, though. No way he'd have envisaged this start even after Aus.

    In a sport like RL it does go in cycles and we will have our time away from trophies, which is fine, but I'd hate for us to leave some on the table this year as we are still the best team in the league when we're on it as the WCC shows. That's the pressure on Wellens.

    On a positive note, we're playing a team at home Friday who have just conceded 100 points in their last 2 so he's got an easy enough game to get the season going.

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray77 View Post
    Ask anybody on this forum with their head screwed on if they'd have taken winning the WCC for losing 2 of the opening 3 league games and I think the vast vast majority would have taken it without any hesitation. Some people are still under some false apprehension that league games mean loads, they simply don't.
    If anyone is raising concerns purely on the basis of the results then I agree. But there seem to be 4 major themes across the 3 games so far, which for me is more troubling than just the results;

    Attack; Arguably an inherited problem as we have been clunky in attack for the best part of 12 months. However with the return of Dodd you only have to look at how we were terrorising teams before Easter to see what it could look like and we are nowhere near at the moment.

    Defence; Was always Woolfs saving grace, but its all rather gone to pot. As I have posted elsewhere, Wellens needs to either fire a rocket to get the effort levels in defence back up to the 110% that they were so that the benefits of the compressed defence can be realised again, or we need to adapt how we defend to be slightly more traditional until we do/can, because "just riding it out" isn't an option as its one of our major killers at the moment.

    Discipline; Again, arguably an inherited problem, but that just gives me even less faith we can resolve it. The cards we have seen this season haven't been malicious, but just tired efforts, and again in some ways come back to "change it until the team is ready for the high energy model again". Its easy to see the reffing conspiracy at times, but as I have often said, the refs aren't intelligent enough for it to be more than incompetence so we just have to find a way to cut out the penalties, back to 6s and cards.

    Attitude; Has been touched on quite a bit in this thread, but its hard to assess whether some of the things were seeing is fatigue or attitude. Mata'utia talked about it in his "im off to Aus" interview about how hard it is that every team every week wants to take down the champions, and that's going to be only worse with the WCC in our pocket. Couple that with lots of talk about winning the WCC being the pinnacle of the history of the club and it raises the question about whether some of the players will be able to find that extra 2%, or are we going to average 50 missed tackled a game for the rest of the year. I am sure that 5 in a row, and Do it for Roby will kick in later in the year, but its hard to know if that will be enough to change the tide.

    I may or may not have a 5th element on team selection, as I still think we should have played the kids against Castleford, and allowed the senior players a clean break between WCC and SL, but thats somewhat situational, and with everything else may also have seen us 0-3 so its just one to watch for now!

    Win or lose against Hull wont influence my response to this thread, seeing improvement in these 4 areas will.

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesSL View Post

    On a positive note, we're playing a team at home Friday who have just conceded 100 points in their last 2 so he's got an easy enough game to get the season going.
    Disagree with this. Its the worst time to play them, they will want a response

  4. #104
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    Nothing happens from the hooker position with Lussick there , if he is fit put Pemberton there and tell him its make or break for him , put Ritson in and tell whoever is playing centre to him to pass the ball , the way that Percival lays centre he might as well be in the second row.

  5. #105
    In The West Stand Dux's Avatar
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    For me the biggest hangover of winning a trophy early or mid season is psychological rather than physical. It brings with it a sense of 'mission accomplished' and players unavoidably relax at a point when everyone else is firing up. This is why I've always thought Challenge Cup winners tend to struggle for the rest of the year, unless they have some serious mettle.

    I think we've seen our intensity drop a level or two for this reason. With the way that we defend the effect of that is exaggerated. We leave a lot of space out wide so that we can dominate the middle of the field, but it's a bit like a high press in football if you don't commit to it with high energy and intensity then teams can play through it and you're left exposed at the back. By crowding the middle but not defending with our usual intensity we're leaving ourselves wide open on the edges.

    This has been magnified by the problems with yellow cards, injuries and suspensions. We've got makeshift setups on both edges having to deal with an unusual amount of traffic and having to make lots of decisions, sometimes while a man short.

    If this was happening after a CC win, with only a few rounds to go, I'd be worried, but we're only three games in. I think it will be sorted soon; the WCC already seems like a long time ago and the players will be stinging, especially after that last result, so I'm expecting to see an upturn in intensity. We have Sironen back this week and possibly Hopoate (I know), which will help tighten things up on the edges.

    I'm expecting us to give it to Hull at the weekend.

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reacher View Post
    Disagree with this. Its the worst time to play them, they will want a response
    I know what you mean but they've just conceded 100 points in 2 games for a reason and we will want a response as well.

    If we can't beat them at home Friday then I'm not sure where we are at.

  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dux View Post
    For me the biggest hangover of winning a trophy early or mid season is psychological rather than physical. It brings with it a sense of 'mission accomplished' and players unavoidably relax at a point when everyone else is firing up. This is why I've always thought Challenge Cup winners tend to struggle for the rest of the year, unless they have some serious mettle.

    I think we've seen our intensity drop a level or two for this reason. With the way that we defend the effect of that is exaggerated. We leave a lot of space out wide so that we can dominate the middle of the field, but it's a bit like a high press in football — if you don't commit to it with high energy and intensity then teams can play through it and you're left exposed at the back. By crowding the middle but not defending with our usual intensity we're leaving ourselves wide open on the edges.

    This has been magnified by the problems with yellow cards, injuries and suspensions. We've got makeshift setups on both edges having to deal with an unusual amount of traffic and having to make lots of decisions, sometimes while a man short.

    If this was happening after a CC win, with only a few rounds to go, I'd be worried, but we're only three games in. I think it will be sorted soon; the WCC already seems like a long time ago and the players will be stinging, especially after that last result, so I'm expecting to see an upturn in intensity. We have Sironen back this week and possibly Hopoate (I know), which will help tighten things up on the edges.

    I'm expecting us to give it to Hull at the weekend.
    I agree with this, but also think it's easy to overlook the psychological impact of the Leeds loss too. I'm no sports psychologist, but I suspect that the impact of a narrow loss in a big game can be as great as that of a narrow win, especially a loss in those kind of circumstances.

    I know that, in reality, the Leeds game was no-where near as 'big' as the WCC game, but my hunch is that the club set itself the goal of winning the WCC, getting a win in the first two games by hook or by crook and then pausing for breath. But for a pretty shocking call by the ref they would have (probably) pulled it off too, and to fail in those kind of circumstances must be pretty deflating. Instead they found themselves as knackered as if they had won both league games, with holes in the squad caused by suspensions away to a Leigh team with their tails up and looking for a scalp. Pretty near a 'perfect storm' I'd say.

    Problem is this kind of thing can quickly lead to players feeling sorry for themselves and things going from bad to worse, which is where the coach comes in. I've no reason to believe that Wello can't turn it round (although (so far) no real reason apart from sentiment to assume he can either).

    In the current circumstances I can't see a better opportunity to start the revival than against a Hull team in complete disarray, so I'll be really interested to see how we go.

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saint Ged View Post
    Nothing happens from the hooker position with Lussick there , if he is fit put Pemberton there and tell him its make or break for him , put Ritson in and tell whoever is playing centre to him to pass the ball , the way that Percival lays centre he might as well be in the second row.
    Great defender.

    A bit of a blunt instrument on exit sets but getting better and is looking for holes.

    The thing that lets him down is he has developed Mark Bailey hands since Holbrook left.

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Mander View Post
    Great defender.

    A bit of a blunt instrument on exit sets but getting better and is looking for holes.

    The thing that lets him down is he has developed Mark Bailey hands since Holbrook left.
    I wonder how he'd go at second row? Obviously we're generally well stacked in that department usually but as a fill in that may not be the worst idea ever.

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