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Thread: Scrum half

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    Quote Originally Posted by STIDDY View Post
    I think the NRL might see him as a 'project" to develop further his skill set. He probably put himself in the shop window from the WCC game as much as his first season, if we get to the Grand Final and comes up close to a man of the match performance his agent will activate the "glossy brochure" of his talents.

    Too be honest I would prefer the ideal world were he stays with us improves his attacking game and we have a 5 yr half back partnership of Dodd + Welsby, not sure what the chances of that happening though.
    Heís currently a project for us too in my opinion. The question is can he improve? If so how much in what ways. Iím sure heís dropped below the standards he came in with and we seem to have no genuine competition at scrum half at this stage so I donít know that he needs to consider the idea that somebody else can have a chance if he doesnít perform. I hope he can recover but if he goes to the NRL so be it. In a year or so he will have serious competition from within the ranks but by then Lomax will be at the end of the road. So half back remains our weakest area for me if not immediately in the near future. Davies isnít a half back. Mbye could be. Welsby is in my view though I know lots of people disagree and they all make valid points about him at fullback. Bennison at fullback as cover is an unknown entity at this stage.

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    He's 21 years old so he is not the finished article. When we signed Sean Long, he wasn't the finished article either. Not many kids that age can say that they scored the winner in world club challenge on Australian soil.

    We've won 7 on the spin with an injury depleted side and Dodd has been one of the players that have contributed to that run of success.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pasty View Post
    He’s currently a project for us too in my opinion. The question is can he improve? If so how much in what ways. I’m sure he’s dropped below the standards he came in with and we seem to have no genuine competition at scrum half at this stage so I don’t know that he needs to consider the idea that somebody else can have a chance if he doesn’t perform. I hope he can recover but if he goes to the NRL so be it. In a year or so he will have serious competition from within the ranks but by then Lomax will be at the end of the road. So half back remains our weakest area for me if not immediately in the near future. Davies isn’t a half back. Mbye could be. Welsby is in my view though I know lots of people disagree and they all make valid points about him at fullback. Bennison at fullback as cover is an unknown entity at this stage.
    Bennison isn't good enough and I'd be amazed if he's at Saints past his next contract. Worthwhile while he's cheap as he can cover a few positions adequately, but can't see him ever establishing himself as a starter.

    Is Roberts not highly thought of? He's usually in the Origin and International sides isn't he? He must be 18 now, so 19 next season, surely he'll be pushing by then? Robertson and Whitby are both going to be coming through too, although the first might just knock Bennison out of the squad, or take a place in the outside backs rather than the halves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saddened! View Post
    Bennison isn't good enough and I'd be amazed if he's at Saints past his next contract. Worthwhile while he's cheap as he can cover a few positions adequately, but can't see him ever establishing himself as a starter.

    Is Roberts not highly thought of? He's usually in the Origin and International sides isn't he? He must be 18 now, so 19 next season, surely he'll be pushing by then? Robertson and Whitby are both going to be coming through too, although the first might just knock Bennison out of the squad, or take a place in the outside backs rather than the halves.
    It will boil down to cost and benefit, like you suggest. If he is getting more game time and expecting more money as he becomes established in the team then you have to look at other youngsters coming through. He is decent enough and worth a bit of utility value but if there are youngsters coming through with more potential I don't think he'll get a new contract. If we had more money/higher cap I think he'd be kept longer and I've never seen Roberts in the flesh but on video he looks like a great prospect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saddened! View Post
    Bennison isn't good enough and I'd be amazed if he's at Saints past his next contract. Worthwhile while he's cheap as he can cover a few positions adequately, but can't see him ever establishing himself as a starter.

    Is Roberts not highly thought of? He's usually in the Origin and International sides isn't he? He must be 18 now, so 19 next season, surely he'll be pushing by then? Robertson and Whitby are both going to be coming through too, although the first might just knock Bennison out of the squad, or take a place in the outside backs rather than the halves.
    Roberts, Whitby and Robertson are not good enough at the moment Bennison is much better. They have changed roles in terms of postion Roberts has gone from half back to full back and Robertson from full back to half back, the only player good enough to come into the first ream squad is Vaughan but he is a back rower.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saddened! View Post
    Bennison isn't good enough and I'd be amazed if he's at Saints past his next contract. Worthwhile while he's cheap as he can cover a few positions adequately, but can't see him ever establishing himself as a starter.

    Is Roberts not highly thought of? He's usually in the Origin and International sides isn't he? He must be 18 now, so 19 next season, surely he'll be pushing by then? Robertson and Whitby are both going to be coming through too, although the first might just knock Bennison out of the squad, or take a place in the outside backs rather than the halves.
    We have a few that are not going to be top class: Bennison, Davies, Bruines, Ritson, but I donít know enough about our reserve and academy backs. I should watch them more on Saints TV

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pasty View Post
    We have a few that are not going to be top class: Bennison, Davies, Bruines, Ritson, but I donít know enough about our reserve and academy backs. I should watch them more on Saints TV
    You can't have a squad of top class players in a salary capped sport like rugby league. It's a balancing act financially. Also, how can we just decide that a player isn't going to be top class. The right environment can bring that out of players and Saints are particularly good at it. James Bell wouldn't have been considered a top class player before he came to Saints. Many felt that he would just be fringe squad player and questioned the ambition of the signing...but he's turned out to be an important player for us. There are many who have been let go by the club and blossomed elsewhere like Lee Briers for example.

    I really hope the Saints lads don't read these boards. Bennison & Davies have stepped in and done a fantastic job. It's a squad game now with the amount of injuries and suspensions and I'm made up we have players like them who can step in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Twentyman View Post
    You can't have a squad of top class players in a salary capped sport like rugby league. It's a balancing act financially. Also, how can we just decide that a player isn't going to be top class. The right environment can bring that out of players and Saints are particularly good at it. James Bell wouldn't have been considered a top class player before he came to Saints. Many felt that he would just be fringe squad player and questioned the ambition of the signing...but he's turned out to be an important player for us. There are many who have been let go by the club and blossomed elsewhere like Lee Briers for example.

    I really hope the Saints lads don't read these boards. Bennison & Davies have stepped in and done a fantastic job. It's a squad game now with the amount of injuries and suspensions and I'm made up we have players like them who can step in.
    I agree with what you say but Lee Briers had some tough competition! I personally think Bennison has it in him to be a top flight player. He has the brains, vision, guile and determination to find the try line.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saddened! View Post
    Bennison isn't good enough and I'd be amazed if he's at Saints past his next contract. Worthwhile while he's cheap as he can cover a few positions adequately, but can't see him ever establishing himself as a starter.

    Is Roberts not highly thought of? He's usually in the Origin and International sides isn't he? He must be 18 now, so 19 next season, surely he'll be pushing by then? Robertson and Whitby are both going to be coming through too, although the first might just knock Bennison out of the squad, or take a place in the outside backs rather than the halves.
    Roberts did his ACL whilst playing for Swinton a month or two ago so he will not be fit any time soon.

    I think given how this season has panned out I cannot see Dodd going to the NRL yet. The link/rumour has not really been mentioned outside of redvee for months, which to me suggests that interest has cooled.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Twentyman View Post
    You can't have a squad of top class players in a salary capped sport like rugby league. It's a balancing act financially. Also, how can we just decide that a player isn't going to be top class. The right environment can bring that out of players and Saints are particularly good at it. James Bell wouldn't have been considered a top class player before he came to Saints. Many felt that he would just be fringe squad player and questioned the ambition of the signing...but he's turned out to be an important player for us. There are many who have been let go by the club and blossomed elsewhere like Lee Briers for example.

    I really hope the Saints lads don't read these boards. Bennison & Davies have stepped in and done a fantastic job. It's a squad game now with the amount of injuries and suspensions and I'm made up we have players like them who can step in.
    Hopefully if they do read them they'll realise that there a some ill informed, borderline stupid, statements thrown out at times, but despite that no one actually means any harm

    They should laugh at them really, rather than taking them to heart

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suttoner View Post
    I agree with what you say but Lee Briers had some tough competition! I personally think Bennison has it in him to be a top flight player. He has the brains, vision, guile and determination to find the try line.
    Haha, true. There are many (better) examples though

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    Quote Originally Posted by Twentyman View Post
    You can't have a squad of top class players in a salary capped sport like rugby league. It's a balancing act financially. Also, how can we just decide that a player isn't going to be top class. The right environment can bring that out of players and Saints are particularly good at it. James Bell wouldn't have been considered a top class player before he came to Saints. Many felt that he would just be fringe squad player and questioned the ambition of the signing...but he's turned out to be an important player for us. There are many who have been let go by the club and blossomed elsewhere like Lee Briers for example.

    I really hope the Saints lads don't read these boards. Bennison & Davies have stepped in and done a fantastic job. It's a squad game now with the amount of injuries and suspensions and I'm made up we have players like them who can step in.
    They certainly have done a good job and they do fill an important part of a squad based sport, but can you see either of them classed in same breath as some of the Saints greats? I think Bennison could be a good full back but until we see him play there a bit we can’t tell.

    Some players come in a look awesome: Welsby, Delaney, Dodd ( in his first year), Cunningham, Roby, Sullivan, going back a bit George Mann, Ward, Pinner, Sonny Nickle, Sculthorpe, Martyn, Gary Connolly, Johnny Walsh. Obviously Alec Murphy. It’s a long list at Saints and those are just a few. I don’t see Bennison or Davies in that sort of category, but they don’t need to be in order to make a valuable contribution for us or some other top flight team.

    I’m not sure they will ever be the first players on the team sheet though, that’s all. I hope they prove me wrong, especially Bennison because I like him. Will he ever force Welsby out of fullback? I doubt it, he will only get that position if, for whatever reason, Welsby gives it up to move to the NRL or up into the halves, and if we ever get a actual left winger Bennison probably won’t command that position either. So he’s a squad player filling in gaps for the next short term and so is Davies.

    It’s a forum for debate and I genuinely would not want to hurt their feelings if they do read these things. I couldn’t do half of what either of them do, or any other professional player for that matter.

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    Think that you have to view the likes of Davies, Royle and Bennison in the same context as Mike Bennett,Tony Stewart et al.

    Wouldn't necessarily have been in the first 17 at the start of the season, but contributed in their own ways to some memorable achievements.

    Every successful team has players like those to call on when injuries and suspensions hit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by retro74 View Post
    Hopefully if they do read them they'll realise that there a some ill informed, borderline stupid, statements thrown out at times, but despite that no one actually means any harm

    They should laugh at them really, rather than taking them to heart
    Should make them even more determined to prove the doubters wrong if anything. Having an opinion about someone's sporting calibre at the elite level is just that, an opinion. It isn't a dire personal attack on the person as an individual. And it's all relative, saying someone is 'rubbish' whilst they play elite level professional sport just means 'not quite elite level' and me saying someone isn't going to be good enough for Saints just means their Super League future might lie elsewhere when they want a certain salary level. If Benno is happy to play his whole career on his current wage, I suspect he'd be allowed to.

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    Default Scrum half

    People used to moan at Woolf for playing Welsby on here so I think most comments on potential and player development can be taken with a pinch of salt.

    I think Bennison in particular has lots of development left in him.

    I think Dodd does too - whether playing to instructions or not, can he find a way to be more of a running threat and being more variety to his game. There is more in him IMO but at the same time I donít buy into all the frustrations with him being the fault of Welloís ďinstructionsĒ.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Saddened! View Post
    Bennison isn't good enough and I'd be amazed if he's at Saints past his next contract. Worthwhile while he's cheap as he can cover a few positions adequately, but can't see him ever establishing himself as a starter.

    Is Roberts not highly thought of? He's usually in the Origin and International sides isn't he? He must be 18 now, so 19 next season, surely he'll be pushing by then? Robertson and Whitby are both going to be coming through too, although the first might just knock Bennison out of the squad, or take a place in the outside backs rather than the halves.
    I have to respectfully disagree about Bennison.

    Playing out of position doing a solid job. Will be Fullback once Lomax retires & Welsby moves to 6. No way he's going anywhere

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    Quote Originally Posted by FearTheVee View Post
    People used to moan at Woolf for playing Welsby on here so I think most comments on potential and player development can be taken with a pinch of salt.

    I think Bennison in particular has lots of development left in him.

    I think Dodd does too - whether playing to instructions or not, can he find a way to be more of a running threat and being more variety to his game. There is more in him IMO but at the same time I don’t buy into all the frustrations with him being the fault of Wello’s “instructions”.


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    I agree, a lot of fans are impatient and early on in the season there was some excessive moaning that Wello was useless and just another Cunningham Mk2, and now we are joint top of the league at the moment with a horrendous lack of player availability.

    We also had the moaning on Ritson and Bennison for the wing spot, both are really "project" players but we have done a pretty bad job in developing Ritson into a superleague player a distant lack of quality service and expective him to be a battering ram "Makinson" style. Bennison is a natural full back but has had very little development there this season mostly because Dodd, Lomax and Welsby play every week and we,ve not had the luxury to be plenty of points in front to allow Welsby benched to give Bennison time there, also with the lack of forwards we can't put Bennison on the bench as full back cover.

    Dodd for me is given a different role, that running threat has dissapeared letting Lomax and Welsby play the shots, he is a natural scrum half and a good one at that. I should imagine limiting his natural instinct is very uncomfortable for him especially as fans see it as lack of effort. I,m pretty sure if Lomax or Welsby got injured for certain length of games then the playing role for Dodd would change.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Fridge View Post
    I have to respectfully disagree about Bennison.

    Playing out of position doing a solid job. Will be Fullback once Lomax retires & Welsby moves to 6. No way he's going anywhere
    I'm not sure where he'll end up positionally but I agree that there is definitely a good player there with Bennison. Even in his short career he's shown that he's a level above most youngsters we have seen in recent times (players like Matty Fleming, Costello etc)

    He is definitely good enough

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Fridge View Post
    I have to respectfully disagree about Bennison.

    Playing out of position doing a solid job. Will be Fullback once Lomax retires & Welsby moves to 6. No way he's going anywhere
    I hope you’re right

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Fridge View Post
    I have to respectfully disagree about Bennison.

    Playing out of position doing a solid job. Will be Fullback once Lomax retires & Welsby moves to 6. No way he's going anywhere
    Totally agree.
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    Might have been written by a footballer about football - but never a truer word............

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    Quote Originally Posted by STIDDY View Post
    I agree, a lot of fans are impatient and early on in the season there was some excessive moaning that Wello was useless and just another Cunningham Mk2, and now we are joint top of the league at the moment with a horrendous lack of player availability.

    We also had the moaning on Ritson and Bennison for the wing spot, both are really "project" players but we have done a pretty bad job in developing Ritson into a superleague player a distant lack of quality service and expective him to be a battering ram "Makinson" style. Bennison is a natural full back but has had very little development there this season mostly because Dodd, Lomax and Welsby play every week and we,ve not had the luxury to be plenty of points in front to allow Welsby benched to give Bennison time there, also with the lack of forwards we can't put Bennison on the bench as full back cover.

    Dodd for me is given a different role, that running threat has dissapeared letting Lomax and Welsby play the shots, he is a natural scrum half and a good one at that. I should imagine limiting his natural instinct is very uncomfortable for him especially as fans see it as lack of effort. I,m pretty sure if Lomax or Welsby got injured for certain length of games then the playing role for Dodd would change.

    Excellent post - and I agree with everything.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twentyman View Post
    He's 21 years old so he is not the finished article. When we signed Sean Long, he wasn't the finished article either. Not many kids that age can say that they scored the winner in world club challenge on Australian soil.

    We've won 7 on the spin with an injury depleted side and Dodd has been one of the players that have contributed to that run of success.
    This is my thoughts too on this whole thread. The OP also starts off by comparing Dodd to the best scrum half in the world. If you compare anyone to the best in the world you are going to find holes.

    Compared to Charles Dickens, every post on redvee.net is sh1t.
    I could agree with you but then we would both be wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by STIDDY View Post
    I agree, a lot of fans are impatient and early on in the season there was some excessive moaning that Wello was useless and just another Cunningham Mk2, and now we are joint top of the league at the moment with a horrendous lack of player availability.

    We also had the moaning on Ritson and Bennison for the wing spot, both are really "project" players but we have done a pretty bad job in developing Ritson into a superleague player a distant lack of quality service and expective him to be a battering ram "Makinson" style. Bennison is a natural full back but has had very little development there this season mostly because Dodd, Lomax and Welsby play every week and we,ve not had the luxury to be plenty of points in front to allow Welsby benched to give Bennison time there, also with the lack of forwards we can't put Bennison on the bench as full back cover.

    Dodd for me is given a different role, that running threat has dissapeared letting Lomax and Welsby play the shots, he is a natural scrum half and a good one at that. I should imagine limiting his natural instinct is very uncomfortable for him especially as fans see it as lack of effort. I,m pretty sure if Lomax or Welsby got injured for certain length of games then the playing role for Dodd would change.
    I agree on some parts. Especially the last paragraph. You can't have Lomax, Dodd and Welsby all being the running threats. Someone has to do the passing and the kicking. When Dodd came into the team Lomax had to do this job, which is not his strength. I also heard the Lomax was a little fed up that the media seemed to be obsessed with Welsby/Dodd when it was him that was pulling the strings


    To become the most rounded player Dodd has to be able to execute all aspects of what a scrum half needs to be.

    Regarding Ritson, I feel the arguments that have been made aren't correct. He is less than a season into his full time professional career. No one has been the finished article in that time and Rotsons first year has been pretty good. Also if Ritson has not been given enough service then neither has any Saint winger in the last 10 years. We aren't a team that gets a lot of ball to our wingers and we aren't going to change just to give Ritson more opportunities to prove himself. Grace and Makinson have looked like stars with limited opportunity. Ritson probably needs to work on getting himself in good positions to make the most of his playing time.
    I could agree with you but then we would both be wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noel Cleal View Post
    This is my thoughts too on this whole thread. The OP also starts off by comparing Dodd to the best scrum half in the world. If you compare anyone to the best in the world you are going to find holes.

    Compared to Charles Dickens, every post on redvee.net is sh1t.
    Bang on, mate.

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