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Thread: 2024 Squad and Depth

  1. #26
    In The North Stand With All The Old Folk STIDDY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Nazareth View Post
    Our players looked gassed throughout the season.

    I think Wellens felt, especially after the early losses to Leeds & Leigh (both robbed by terrible ref decisions, and with post-game suspensions) and how teams were going all-out when they played us (to knock the 4-times SL and World Champs off their perch) that he couldn't afford to rest players.

    That just compounded the problem, meaning we were running on vapours come the play-offs.

    A rookie mistake.
    I should imagine quite a few players played with injuries mid season which coincided with a couple of suspensions, players Lomax, Roby, Makinson and Hurrell came to mind. Didn't think we were too bad at the back end of the season especially after that long run of wins, the Catalan game was an arm wrestle type of game but our pivots were poor.

    The Wigoons are on the top perch now so maybe a couple of teams will raise their game with them but I still think a Saints Scalp still has fair bit of value.


    Worse part of Wello was how he used the bench to maintain energy levels, loads of games he left Roby on too long and he also flogged Lomax for 80 mins instead of giving him a rest when we had the game won.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pasty View Post
    I agree to some extent, but I think the best wingers create opportunities and I haven’t seem him do that. Though to be fair that would require that he gets the ball with even a sniff of a chance and I haven’t seen much of that either. From what I saw last year Bennison did better a taking half chances but he isn’t a winger.
    I can't saw I saw many games only the Live TV, what I saw was you can't create your own chances if you aren't given the ball. I can only remember him catching high balls from deep kicks, no winger can create much from that 90% of the time. However I've seen the highlight clip of him at saints and you have missed out several very good line break returns making 30 to 40, which did lead to tries. Also the other lad you mention had previously played a season in superleague and had a few years training with the squad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnathon Doe View Post
    I can't saw I saw many games only the Live TV, what I saw was you can't create your own chances if you aren't given the ball. I can only remember him catching high balls from deep kicks, no winger can create much from that 90% of the time. However I've seen the highlight clip of him at saints and you have missed out several very good line break returns making 30 to 40, which did lead to tries. Also the other lad you mention had previously played a season in superleague and had a few years training with the squad.
    Yes, I think you make fair points. I hope Ritson does well, but I’m not personally quite convinced yet. Watching YouTube videos from his Barrow days, he does seem to have real speed which is we badly need in our three quarters. He could be the difference between an ok season and a good one. Jury is out in my view

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    We will very rarely have a fully fit first 17 if at all. It's a squad game more than ever now so it's important to use the cap on depth rather than solo pricey contracts for players who will probably end up missing a ⅓ of the season with injuries and suspensions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pasty View Post
    Yes, I think you make fair points. I hope Ritson does well, but I’m not personally quite convinced yet. Watching YouTube videos from his Barrow days, he does seem to have real speed which is we badly need in our three quarters. He could be the difference between an ok season and a good one. Jury is out in my view
    I'm pretty much biased in favour of Ritson due to seeing him play a lot of games for Barrow Raiders, his only weakness at the time was probably defensive reads but it looks as though Saints have improved in that aspect of the game. However his attack was superb and he got loads of good quality ball and had a great partnership, I know there is a difference in the championship and Superleague but the quality ball he receives at Saints is pretty shocking to be honest.

    It reminds me when we signed Shenton from Castleford who was a great player with plenty of skill and international status. When he came to Saints we didn't give him any quality ball either and he just existed on "scraps". We don't always get it right at times.

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    In The North Stand With All The Old Folk Belgian Saint's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by STIDDY View Post
    I'm pretty much biased in favour of Ritson due to seeing him play a lot of games for Barrow Raiders, his only weakness at the time was probably defensive reads but it looks as though Saints have improved in that aspect of the game. However his attack was superb and he got loads of good quality ball and had a great partnership, I know there is a difference in the championship and Superleague but the quality ball he receives at Saints is pretty shocking to be honest.

    It reminds me when we signed Shenton from Castleford who was a great player with plenty of skill and international status. When he came to Saints we didn't give him any quality ball either and he just existed on "scraps". We don't always get it right at times.
    I think if there is some natural ability there it's pretty easy to teach the basics of things like defensive reads, positioning etc. and they will obviously improve with experience. So I would expect to see a lot more of Ritson this season. What we did with Shenton was ridiculous, he was a very good left centre and we only played him on the right, unlike Percy he didn't seem able to adapt, and was that the time we favouring going left to Soliola and Meli. I think that was also about the time we also had Foster? His kicking was incredible, and at times he showed some skill. Pity he didn't seem able to apply himself.

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    In The South Stand Noel Cleal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blobbynator View Post
    As its being discussed a bit in the rumours thread following the announcement of the five youngsters signing full time deals, I thought I'd create a seperate thread to talk about the 2024 squad and squad depth for next year. I've listed the squad below by primary positions and in brackets highlighted the other positions those players can cover:

    Full Back
    Jack Welsby (Centre, Stand Off, Scrum Half, Loose Forward)

    Wing
    Tommy Makinson (Full Back, Centre), Jon Bennison (Full Back), Tee Ritson

    Centre
    Mark Percival (Wing), Konrad Hurrell, Ben Davies (2nd row), Jon Vaughan (2nd row), Dayon Sambou (wing)

    Stand Off
    Jonny Lomax (Full back, Scrum Half), Ben Lane (wing)

    Scrum Half
    Lewis Dodd, Will Roberts

    Prop
    Alex Walmsley, Matty Lees, Agnatius Paasi (injured), Sione Matautia (2nd row, Loose Forward, Centre), George Delaney, Jake Wingfield (Loose Forward, hooker, 2nd row), Noah Stephens, Mckenzie Buckley

    Hooker
    Daryl Clark, Moses Mbye (Full Back, Stand Off, Scrum Half), Jake Burns

    2nd row
    Joe Batchelor (Centre, Loose Forward), Curtis Sironen (Prop, Loose Foward), Matt Whitley (Centre, Loose Forward), Sam Royle

    Loose Forward
    Morgan Knowles (Prop, 2nd row, hooker), James Bell (2nd row), Leon Cowen (prop)
    Ben Lane is more a full back/winger for what it matters. He hasn't had rave reviews when out on loan so he has some work to do to get a game.

    Buckley is also more a backrower as well, he will be nearer getting a few games this year.

    Looking at the squad, you could put the squad on an axis rather than in buckets. We have a few centre/second rowers for example. The whole squad is pretty flexible and interchangeable.
    I could agree with you but then we would both be wrong.

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    Simple question. Who starts Mbye or Clark.
    Humans are more concerned with having than being.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 49er View Post
    Simple question. Who starts Mbye or Clark.
    Simple answer. Clark.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 49er View Post
    Simple question. Who starts Mbye or Clark.
    Clark as he’s the natural proven hooker.
    Mbye plays bench 9 or interchanges across 6 and 7 with injuries to either Lomax or Dodd respectively.

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    In The South Stand Albion's Avatar
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    I have been thinking about this depth thread this morning and it is a worry how little depth we have in the backs.

    If we go NFL style and pick 3 players in a depth chart per position, I am struggling to fill wing and centre without having to use the kids just promoted and we have nobody to put pressure on either Lomax or Dodd.

    FB - Welsby / Bennison
    WG - Makinson / ?
    CE - Percival / ?
    CE - Hurrell / Davies
    WG - Ritson / ?
    SO - Lomax / ?
    SH - Dodd / ?

    However the pack is a different story:

    PR - Lees / Mata'utia
    HK - Clark / Mbye
    PR - Walmsley / Delaney
    SR - Sironen / Whitley
    SR - Batchelor / Royle
    LF - Knowles / Bell

    We also have Paasi to come in and Wingfield too.

    The backs are really sparse and if we have any injuries or suspensions then we are in the mud there.

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    Welsby/ Bennison
    Makinson/ (Dagnall)
    Hurrell/ Vaughan
    Percival/ Sambou
    Ritson/ (Lane)
    Lomax/ (Robertson)
    Dodd/ Roberts
    Walmsley, Lees, Knowles, Delaney/ Paasi, Stephans, Cowen, (Peposhi)
    Clark, Mbye/ Burns, (Nolan)
    Sironen, Batchelor/ Whitley, Royle
    Bell, Matatutia/ Wingfield, Buckley

    Bracketed players are borrowed from the reserves or academy.

    Wing looks the obvious weak spot, though the recruitment seems to be centring on a centre.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Albion View Post
    I have been thinking about this depth thread this morning and it is a worry how little depth we have in the backs.

    If we go NFL style and pick 3 players in a depth chart per position, I am struggling to fill wing and centre without having to use the kids just promoted and we have nobody to put pressure on either Lomax or Dodd.

    FB - Welsby / Bennison
    WG - Makinson / ?
    CE - Percival / ?
    CE - Hurrell / Davies
    WG - Ritson / ?
    SO - Lomax / ?
    SH - Dodd / ?

    However the pack is a different story:

    PR - Lees / Mata'utia
    HK - Clark / Mbye
    PR - Walmsley / Delaney
    SR - Sironen / Whitley
    SR - Batchelor / Royle
    LF - Knowles / Bell

    We also have Paasi to come in and Wingfield too.

    The backs are really sparse and if we have any injuries or suspensions then we are in the mud there.
    I understand that it would be great to just replace great players with other great players at the peak of their ability. But in a salary capped sport that just isn't possible. Saints have been prolific in bringing through talent from their academy system with legends like wello, Roby, Graham, welsby, Makinson all making their debuts fresh out of the academy.
    We need to trust that the current crop of graduates, who have been trained by the same people as those named above will come through, work behind great players and fill in when necessary, getting the experience they need.
    Constantly referring to them as kids and complaining that we need better, won't help them it will just put more pressure on them.
    The five graduates this year are all very skilled players and I have no doubt that several of them will go on to great things in a saints shirt

  14. #39
    In The North Stand With All The Old Folk Scouse Don's Avatar
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    The glaring omission is the lack of pace and cover at centre looking at the squad as a whole but thinking about the way we play it doesn't look like we are really in the market for a pacey centre.I hope I am wrong.
    Happy with the pack which will cope with whatever comes at it but not sure we can turn it on in attack if we need to?
    Learned comment from The Don

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    In The North Stand With All The Old Folk The Wee Waa Womble's Avatar
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    Be interesting to see who gets what when the squad numbers come out. Would expect Hurrell to move to the 3 shirt and an upgrade for Delaney and Mbye. Most telling could be the 5 shirt, will Bennison keep it or will they give it to Ritson? He’s been heavily featured in the kit launches. Will Sironen take the 11 shirt if Mata’utia is moving to prop? 3, 9, 14, 15 and 20 are all free. Squad numbers might give us an indication of who will end up where.
    Forwards win games. The backs decide by how much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wee Waa Womble View Post
    Be interesting to see who gets what when the squad numbers come out. Would expect Hurrell to move to the 3 shirt and an upgrade for Delaney and Mbye. Most telling could be the 5 shirt, will Bennison keep it or will they give it to Ritson? He’s been heavily featured in the kit launches. Will Sironen take the 11 shirt if Mata’utia is moving to prop? 3, 9, 14, 15 and 20 are all free. Squad nng given the role and a long run to settle and bed in because sharing in umbers might give us an indication of who will end up where.
    Surely the wing issue can only be resolved by one of them being given the the position and being allowed to bed in and settle in. Changing between two players every 4 games or so will not benefit either player or the team. The problem is Welsby will be the fullback and an ever present so Bennison will need game time and the only way to get it would probably mean loan spells with recall if injury cover is needed? Ritson been offered and signing a 2 yr deal with option of a 3rd suggests both club and player were happy with the deal and plans for the coming 2 seasons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beaming View Post
    I understand that it would be great to just replace great players with other great players at the peak of their ability. But in a salary capped sport that just isn't possible. Saints have been prolific in bringing through talent from their academy system with legends like wello, Roby, Graham, welsby, Makinson all making their debuts fresh out of the academy.
    We need to trust that the current crop of graduates, who have been trained by the same people as those named above will come through, work behind great players and fill in when necessary, getting the experience they need.
    Constantly referring to them as kids and complaining that we need better, won't help them it will just put more pressure on them.
    The five graduates this year are all very skilled players and I have no doubt that several of them will go on to great things in a saints shirt
    I feel you have done my post somewhat of a disservice there.

    Depth is important and I am not suggesting for one moment that we have 14 players who should be starting each week is positions 1-7 and on first team wages. The issue is that we have depth in the forwards, but not in the backs.

    The club have promoted the kids (they are kids to suggest otherwise is wrong) and those promotions that have happened for next season is completely wrong to want or need to rely upon them. They need to be integrated into the team carefully as saints have done successfully for many years.

    I fear that if the inevitable injury to Percival happens and Hurrell is the player that played for Tonga last week, we are going to have to dump 2 lads into the starting line up who are possibly not ready to do so yet and this puts all kinds of pressure on them and the team. This is especially so given how we use our back line as battering rams. You only have to see what happened to Bennison in those play off games last season.

    Look at what happened with Delaney. It was not a case of just throwing him in. He played a number of first grade games in the championship before he was eased in and then when those injuries bit he was in a position to come in and do well. We may not have that opportunity this season, which was my point, rather than a go at the kids.
    Last edited by Albion; 10th November 2023 at 08:20.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scouse Don View Post
    The glaring omission is the lack of pace and cover at centre looking at the squad as a whole but thinking about the way we play it doesn't look like we are really in the market for a pacey centre.I hope I am wrong.
    Happy with the pack which will cope with whatever comes at it but not sure we can turn it on in attack if we need to?
    I think the importance of a pacey centre is not the be all and end all attribute these days. if you check the stats over the last 5 seasons clean breaks have been in decline and has been replaced by tackle busts. Since season 2018 we had finished top place for clean breaks for 4 out of 6 seasons and this year still finished 3rd place for both TB's and CB's. The shift has been to pacey full backs and wingers with the half backs cutting out the centres or kicking out on the edges.

    Our problem is that we really had only one centre and one winger partnership and the our left edge was a bit "pick and mix". If we can get Hurrell back to form with an offloading game to Ritson, we will look much better and productive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by STIDDY View Post
    I think the importance of a pacey centre is not the be all and end all attribute these days. if you check the stats over the last 5 seasons clean breaks have been in decline and has been replaced by tackle busts. Since season 2018 we had finished top place for clean breaks for 4 out of 6 seasons and this year still finished 3rd place for both TB's and CB's. The shift has been to pacey full backs and wingers with the half backs cutting out the centres or kicking out on the edges.

    Our problem is that we really had only one centre and one winger partnership and the our left edge was a bit "pick and mix". If we can get Hurrell back to form with an offloading game to Ritson, we will look much better and productive.
    It does seem that we will continue with the style we have had but teams have been able to cope with our style recently and we need to find another way?
    Learned comment from The Don

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scouse Don View Post
    It does seem that we will continue with the style we have had but teams have been able to cope with our style recently and we need to find another way?
    Just holding us down and slowing the game down is more than enough to beat us now, if you're a half decent team. We have zero threat other than Lomax and Welsby individually.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scouse Don View Post
    It does seem that we will continue with the style we have had but teams have been able to cope with our style recently and we need to find another way?
    I wonder whether we will. If we do I think we will decline and Wellens won’t stay for long. I just think our fast mobile pack could develop an off loading game which would open gaps and enable spreading the game to the wings. Can Lomax, Dodd, Mbye and Clarke take advantage of that approach?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pasty View Post
    I wonder whether we will. If we do I think we will decline and Wellens won’t stay for long. I just think our fast mobile pack could develop an off loading game which would open gaps and enable spreading the game to the wings. Can Lomax, Dodd, Mbye and Clarke take advantage of that approach?
    When Big Al and Passi where out injured, our pack became smaller but more mobile and lasted longer.

    At times last season, Al was walking round, hands on hips after 5 mins. Previous seasons he wasnt. He may have been carrying injuries , who knows.

    But Lees, Delaney, Matautia, Knowles and Sironen certainly added speed to our forward pack.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sinkers89 View Post
    When Big Al and Passi where out injured, our pack became smaller but more mobile and lasted longer.

    At times last season, Al was walking round, hands on hips after 5 mins. Previous seasons he wasnt. He may have been carrying injuries , who knows.

    But Lees, Delaney, Matautia, Knowles and Sironen certainly added speed to our forward pack.
    Yes, I think that’s the case

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    OK, here is my Axis view of the squad. The positions aren't headings they are more like directions on a compass. Ideally, I would show this as a circle not as a list. Players sit between two related position and are ranked so to speak on how closer they are to one or another. It is a first stab so it won't be perfect but should give a hint as to the balance of the team

    Loose Forward

    Daryl Clark (Hooker)
    Jake Burns (Hooker)
    Hooker
    Moses Mbye (Hooker, Scrum Half)
    Will Roberts (Scrum Half)
    Scrum Half
    Lewis Dodd (Scrum Half),
    Stand Off
    Jonny Lomax (Stand Off, Full back)
    Jack Welsby (Full Back, Stand Off)
    Full Back
    Jon Bennison (Full Back, Winger)
    Ben Lane (Full Back, Winger)
    Tee Ritson (Winger)
    Wing
    Tommy Makinson (Winger)
    Mark Percival (Centre, Winger)
    Dayon Sambou (Centre, Winger)
    Centre
    Konrad Hurrell (Centre, 2nd Row)
    Ben Davies (Centre, 2nd row)
    Jon Vaughan (2nd row, Centre)
    Joe Batchelor (2nd Row Centre),
    Matt Whitley (2nd Row),
    2nd row
    Sam Royle (2nd Row)
    Curtis Sironen (2nd Row),
    Sione Matautia (2nd row, Prop)
    Mckenzie Buckley (Prop, Second Row)
    Prop
    Alex Walmsley (Prop),
    Agnatius Paasi (Prop),
    Noah Stephens (Prop),
    George Delaney (Prop),
    Matty Lees (Prop),
    Jake Wingfield (Loose Forward, Prop),
    Leon Cowen (Loose Forward, prop)
    Morgan Knowles (Loose Forward, Prop)
    Loose Forward
    James Bell (Loose Forward),

    Hooker
    I could agree with you but then we would both be wrong.

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    In The West Stand Ralph Fridge's Avatar
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    We need 2 big props who can do 20 mins a half.

    We need a big, quick winger and a speedy centre.

    To win the competition.

    With what we have, Cup is something we should focus on

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