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  1. #1
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    Default Next season

    Going to be an interesting table next year.
    There seems to be quite few comings and goings at most clubs so difficult to weigh up who will be the contenders for top 6
    I guess that the Bookies will have Wigan as favourites and Saints not far behind. Catalan have lost a few key players so I don't think they'll be as strong.
    It will be interesting to see if Leigh are just a flash on the pan, same with Hull KR, can they kick on from last year
    A big question re Burgess at Warrington, they've got a good squad but will he be any good as a coach?
    Leeds, again difficult to predict they have had a few in and out, Brodie Croft from Salford could be a good signing for them

    Think the rest are just of the teams are also rans

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    As you say, Wigan will be favourites, Saints should be top 2 if everyone stays fit and doesn't get banned. Leeds could fly or die. Having a new 1,6,7 and 9 is a massive change and if they struggle early on, i can see Smith getting the sack. Wire.. .who knows. I think Hull KR will be up there again. Recruited well, especially May and Peters seems a really effective level headed coach. Leigh.... I think Leigh's problems will come home to roost over the coming 18 months. Beaumont invested heavily to get promoted and stay in Super League with a lot of experience. granted they are starting a reserves side, but only Saints, Wigan, and to a lesser extent Leeds, regularly produce top home grown players. They are a squad with an ageing backline ..... Hardaker 32, Briscoe 33, Leutele 33, Charnley 32 and as we know, there is a dearth of quality backs around.

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    Despite me banging on for a few weeks now about underwhelming transfer activity, I still have our squad more than capable of having a good crack on all fronts and we should be aiming for top 2.

    As the poster above me has stated - Warrington could be anything, Leeds similar. Catalans losing Tomkins and Pearce is massive. I feared the worst for Salford when losing Ackers and Croft, but Cust and McDonald are decent signings. Still think they need a 9.

    I am quietly confident in the top 4 and bottom 2 but the rest could be anything:

    Wigan
    Saints
    Catalans
    Warrington
    Hull KR
    Leeds
    Leigh
    Huddersfield
    Hull
    Salford
    Castleford
    London
    NEVER WRITE OFF THE SAINTS

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Yellow Giraffe View Post
    Catalans losing Tomkins and Pearce is massive.
    I think it's worse than you make out for Catalans, not only have they lost the two above, but also Adam Keighran, Tiaki Chan, Mickael Goudemand, Tyrone May, Siosiua Taukeiaho & Matt Whitley.
    Granted, they have signed Chris Satae, Theo Fages, Tariq Sims, Jayden Nikorima & Bayley Sironen, but as we know, the NRL signings could fly or die and I'm not sure that either Satae or Fages adds anywhere near the quality that they have lost.

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    It would be interesting to get people's thoughts on who has done the best business in the close season:

    Ignoring the players that departed each club, it seems that London are planning to go straight back down (more than certain given the IMG grading criteria), Salford are deeply hamstrung by their lack of funds and their signings reflect this, Leigh haven't signed anyone of any note, Castleford have signed nearly a whole team, etc.

    I think that Wigan have made the strongest gains, Warrington could go one way or the other.

    Castleford Tigers (10)
    Ins: Nixon Putt (Central Queensland Capras), Elie El-Zakhem (North Sydney Bears), Sylvester Namo (North Queensland Cowboys), Josh Hodson (Batley), Josh Simm (Wynnum Manly Seagulls), Sam Wood (Hull KR), Luke Hooley (Leeds), Rowan Milnes (Hull KR), Innes Senior (Huddersfield), Samy Kibula (Batley)

    Catalans Dragons (5)
    Ins: Chris Satae (Hull), Theo Fages (Huddersfield), Tariq Sims (Melbourne Storm), Jayden Nikorima (Melbourne Storm), Bayley Sironen (New Zealand Warriors)

    Huddersfield Giants (7)
    Ins: Thomas Deakin (Sydney Roosters), Adam Swift (Hull), Andre Savelio (Hull), Elliot Wallis (Castleford), Hugo Salabio (Wakefield), Jack Murchie (Parramatta Eels), Adam Clune (Newcastle Knights)

    Hull FC (9)
    Ins: Herman Ese’ese (Dolphins), Jayden Okunbor (Canterbury Bulldogs), Franklin Pele (Canterbury Bulldogs), Jack Walker (Hull KR), Liam Tindall (Leeds), Jack Ashworth (Huddersfield), Morgan Smith (Wakefield), Damel Diakhate (signed permanently following successful trial), Fa’amanu Brown (Newcastle Knights)

    Hull KR (8)
    Ins: Oliver Gildart (Leigh), Peta Hiku (North Queensland Cowboys), AJ Wallace (Bradford), Tyrone May (Catalans), Niall Evalds (Castleford), Jai Whitbread (Wakefield), Reiss Butterworth (Dewsbury), Kelepi Tanginoa (Wakefield)

    Leeds Rhinos (7)
    Ins: Mickael Goudemand (Catalans), Lachie Miller (Newcastle Knights), Matt Frawley (Canberra Raiders), Paul Momirovski (Sydney Roosters), Brodie Croft, Andy Ackers (both Salford), Kieran Hudson (Castleford)

    Leigh Leopards (7)
    Ins: Dan Norman (St Helens), Owen Trout (Huddersfield), Louis Brogan (Swinton), Lewis Baxter (St Helens), Jack Darbyshire (Warrington), Kavan Rothwell (Wigan), Ben McNamara (Hull)

    London Broncos (2)
    Ins: Sadiq Adebiyi & Robbie Storey (both Keighley)

    Salford Red Devils (5)
    Ins: Nene Macdonald (unattached), Ethan Ryan (Hull KR), Matty Foster (St Helens), Kai Morgan (Leeds), Cade Cust (Wigan)

    St Helens (3)
    Ins: Daryl Clark (Warrington), Tee Ritson (Barrow – loan made permanent), Matt Whitley (Catalans)

    Warrington Wolves (7)
    Ins: Lachlan Fitzgibbon (Newcastle Knights), Rodrick Tai (PNG Hunters), Wesley Bruines (St Helens), Toby King (Wigan – returning to parent club from loan spell), Jordan Crowther (Wakefield), Zane Musgrove (St George Illawarra Dragons), Brad Dwyer (Hull)

    Wigan Warriors (6)
    Ins: Kruise Leeming (Gold Coast Titans), Adam Keighran (Catalans), Tiaki Chan (Catalans), Sam Walters (Leeds), Luke Thompson (Canterbury Bulldogs), Sam Eseh (Wakefield)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Samphire15 View Post
    It would be interesting to get people's thoughts on who has done the best business in the close season:

    Ignoring the players that departed each club, it seems that London are planning to go straight back down (more than certain given the IMG grading criteria), Salford are deeply hamstrung by their lack of funds and their signings reflect this, Leigh haven't signed anyone of any note, Castleford have signed nearly a whole team, etc.

    I think that Wigan have made the strongest gains, Warrington could go one way or the other.

    Castleford Tigers (10)
    Ins: Nixon Putt (Central Queensland Capras), Elie El-Zakhem (North Sydney Bears), Sylvester Namo (North Queensland Cowboys), Josh Hodson (Batley), Josh Simm (Wynnum Manly Seagulls), Sam Wood (Hull KR), Luke Hooley (Leeds), Rowan Milnes (Hull KR), Innes Senior (Huddersfield), Samy Kibula (Batley)

    Catalans Dragons (5)
    Ins: Chris Satae (Hull), Theo Fages (Huddersfield), Tariq Sims (Melbourne Storm), Jayden Nikorima (Melbourne Storm), Bayley Sironen (New Zealand Warriors)

    Huddersfield Giants (7)
    Ins: Thomas Deakin (Sydney Roosters), Adam Swift (Hull), Andre Savelio (Hull), Elliot Wallis (Castleford), Hugo Salabio (Wakefield), Jack Murchie (Parramatta Eels), Adam Clune (Newcastle Knights)

    Hull FC (9)
    Ins: Herman Ese’ese (Dolphins), Jayden Okunbor (Canterbury Bulldogs), Franklin Pele (Canterbury Bulldogs), Jack Walker (Hull KR), Liam Tindall (Leeds), Jack Ashworth (Huddersfield), Morgan Smith (Wakefield), Damel Diakhate (signed permanently following successful trial), Fa’amanu Brown (Newcastle Knights)

    Hull KR (8)
    Ins: Oliver Gildart (Leigh), Peta Hiku (North Queensland Cowboys), AJ Wallace (Bradford), Tyrone May (Catalans), Niall Evalds (Castleford), Jai Whitbread (Wakefield), Reiss Butterworth (Dewsbury), Kelepi Tanginoa (Wakefield)

    Leeds Rhinos (7)
    Ins: Mickael Goudemand (Catalans), Lachie Miller (Newcastle Knights), Matt Frawley (Canberra Raiders), Paul Momirovski (Sydney Roosters), Brodie Croft, Andy Ackers (both Salford), Kieran Hudson (Castleford)

    Leigh Leopards (7)
    Ins: Dan Norman (St Helens), Owen Trout (Huddersfield), Louis Brogan (Swinton), Lewis Baxter (St Helens), Jack Darbyshire (Warrington), Kavan Rothwell (Wigan), Ben McNamara (Hull)

    London Broncos (2)
    Ins: Sadiq Adebiyi & Robbie Storey (both Keighley)

    Salford Red Devils (5)
    Ins: Nene Macdonald (unattached), Ethan Ryan (Hull KR), Matty Foster (St Helens), Kai Morgan (Leeds), Cade Cust (Wigan)

    St Helens (3)
    Ins: Daryl Clark (Warrington), Tee Ritson (Barrow – loan made permanent), Matt Whitley (Catalans)

    Warrington Wolves (7)
    Ins: Lachlan Fitzgibbon (Newcastle Knights), Rodrick Tai (PNG Hunters), Wesley Bruines (St Helens), Toby King (Wigan – returning to parent club from loan spell), Jordan Crowther (Wakefield), Zane Musgrove (St George Illawarra Dragons), Brad Dwyer (Hull)

    Wigan Warriors (6)
    Ins: Kruise Leeming (Gold Coast Titans), Adam Keighran (Catalans), Tiaki Chan (Catalans), Sam Walters (Leeds), Luke Thompson (Canterbury Bulldogs), Sam Eseh (Wakefield)
    Definitely think the pies have recruited the strongest. Covered all their outgoings (arguably improved) a couple of project players that will have time to bed in as they have a strong pack anyway. No real disruption in the backs. I think Hull KR have recruited well too. Leeds, toss a coin, could be a master stroke, but could also implode if the spine don't hit the ground running. Wire are also an unknown quantity. Leigh have simply padded out their squad, wouldn't be impressed with any of those. Salford may not even start the season at this rate. Burning money they haven't got and keeping afloat with player sales.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Samphire15 View Post
    It would be interesting to get people's thoughts on who has done the best business in the close season:

    Ignoring the players that departed each club, it seems that London are planning to go straight back down (more than certain given the IMG grading criteria), Salford are deeply hamstrung by their lack of funds and their signings reflect this, Leigh haven't signed anyone of any note, Castleford have signed nearly a whole team, etc.

    I think that Wigan have made the strongest gains, Warrington could go one way or the other.

    Castleford Tigers (10)
    Ins: Nixon Putt (Central Queensland Capras), Elie El-Zakhem (North Sydney Bears), Sylvester Namo (North Queensland Cowboys), Josh Hodson (Batley), Josh Simm (Wynnum Manly Seagulls), Sam Wood (Hull KR), Luke Hooley (Leeds), Rowan Milnes (Hull KR), Innes Senior (Huddersfield), Samy Kibula (Batley)

    Catalans Dragons (5)
    Ins: Chris Satae (Hull), Theo Fages (Huddersfield), Tariq Sims (Melbourne Storm), Jayden Nikorima (Melbourne Storm), Bayley Sironen (New Zealand Warriors)

    Huddersfield Giants (7)
    Ins: Thomas Deakin (Sydney Roosters), Adam Swift (Hull), Andre Savelio (Hull), Elliot Wallis (Castleford), Hugo Salabio (Wakefield), Jack Murchie (Parramatta Eels), Adam Clune (Newcastle Knights)

    Hull FC (9)
    Ins: Herman Ese’ese (Dolphins), Jayden Okunbor (Canterbury Bulldogs), Franklin Pele (Canterbury Bulldogs), Jack Walker (Hull KR), Liam Tindall (Leeds), Jack Ashworth (Huddersfield), Morgan Smith (Wakefield), Damel Diakhate (signed permanently following successful trial), Fa’amanu Brown (Newcastle Knights)

    Hull KR (8)
    Ins: Oliver Gildart (Leigh), Peta Hiku (North Queensland Cowboys), AJ Wallace (Bradford), Tyrone May (Catalans), Niall Evalds (Castleford), Jai Whitbread (Wakefield), Reiss Butterworth (Dewsbury), Kelepi Tanginoa (Wakefield)

    Leeds Rhinos (7)
    Ins: Mickael Goudemand (Catalans), Lachie Miller (Newcastle Knights), Matt Frawley (Canberra Raiders), Paul Momirovski (Sydney Roosters), Brodie Croft, Andy Ackers (both Salford), Kieran Hudson (Castleford)

    Leigh Leopards (7)
    Ins: Dan Norman (St Helens), Owen Trout (Huddersfield), Louis Brogan (Swinton), Lewis Baxter (St Helens), Jack Darbyshire (Warrington), Kavan Rothwell (Wigan), Ben McNamara (Hull)

    London Broncos (2)
    Ins: Sadiq Adebiyi & Robbie Storey (both Keighley)

    Salford Red Devils (5)
    Ins: Nene Macdonald (unattached), Ethan Ryan (Hull KR), Matty Foster (St Helens), Kai Morgan (Leeds), Cade Cust (Wigan)

    St Helens (3)
    Ins: Daryl Clark (Warrington), Tee Ritson (Barrow – loan made permanent), Matt Whitley (Catalans)

    Warrington Wolves (7)
    Ins: Lachlan Fitzgibbon (Newcastle Knights), Rodrick Tai (PNG Hunters), Wesley Bruines (St Helens), Toby King (Wigan – returning to parent club from loan spell), Jordan Crowther (Wakefield), Zane Musgrove (St George Illawarra Dragons), Brad Dwyer (Hull)

    Wigan Warriors (6)
    Ins: Kruise Leeming (Gold Coast Titans), Adam Keighran (Catalans), Tiaki Chan (Catalans), Sam Walters (Leeds), Luke Thompson (Canterbury Bulldogs), Sam Eseh (Wakefield)
    Thanks for posting. A few names I'd pick out from here who I'm interested to see how they go, are:

    Jayden Nikorima- championed him for Saints a few times. As a young player, he looked like he would be a star when at the Roosters. Exciting player. Had his off field problems and never got back to those levels in the NRL. Can play 1, 6 or 9. Let's see what he does over here. McNamara knows him well and may be able to get the best out of him.

    Adam Clune- could be a very good half in SL. Think he could do what Aidan Sezer did, when he first came over here and made the big impact at Huddersfield.

    Nu Brown- Can play in the halves or at 9. Played for New Zealand at 9/14 in the recent tests, although they were missing Brandon Smith.

    Lachie Miller- Used to play RU sevens, Quick and evasive. Could go well in SL. Think he'll play full back for Leeds.

    Luke Thompson- if he can produce the form he was showing when he last played in the competition, he'll be a very, very good signing for Wigan. He has it all to prove though.
    *Not to be confused with Mike Stephenson, MBE

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    It will all boil down to injuries and suspensions next season, our forward pack is still very strong and have adapted well to the absence of props.

    Our back line took a big hit last season with only Welsby staying fit, you would think Dodd and Lomax will go a bit better next season and they have got to make Ritson work as a threat on the wing. You would think Wello will change the attack next year because he won't have a "rookie first hit" now and will be more judged on next season.

    The usual threat will still come from Wigan, Warrington and Catalan, those teams have fresh faces in the team and sometimes need a bit more time to settle in. Saints need to take advantage and make a good start tto the season next year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Infamous Grouse View Post
    Going to be an interesting table next year.
    There seems to be quite few comings and goings at most clubs so difficult to weigh up who will be the contenders for top 6
    I guess that the Bookies will have Wigan as favourites and Saints not far behind. Catalan have lost a few key players so I don't think they'll be as strong.
    It will be interesting to see if Leigh are just a flash on the pan, same with Hull KR, can they kick on from last year
    A big question re Burgess at Warrington, they've got a good squad but will he be any good as a coach?
    Leeds, again difficult to predict they have had a few in and out, Brodie Croft from Salford could be a good signing for them

    Think the rest are just of the teams are also rans
    Definitely one of the most interesting seasons.

    Wigan will likely win Super League. With the players they have and the investment they've made, if they fail to win any of the trophies they should regard it as a failure. They are basically us, but with three marquee players and with squad depth.

    Catalans were better than us this season, but have changed so many players it's very hard to judge where they are at. They could be anywhere from 2nd to 10th. Leeds and Warrington also fall into this category. Leeds because they have an entirely new backline and Warrington because of the impact of Burgess and their new signings. Huddersfield? I'm not sure where they will be either, they've made some very good signings, but also lost a few key players and their squad seems unbalanced.

    Hull KR will also likely be far stronger than this season given the business they've done.

    It's not difficult to see us finishing 2nd in the table. It's also not difficult to see us finishing behind Leeds, Catalans, Warrington, Hull KR and Leigh either. I think London, Cas and Salford will struggle, Hull FC will be Hull FC and be inconsistent.

    We need a good start to next season. We don't want to be creating a big gap we need to close down, like we did this season. Starting well would also give Wellens a bit more time to work on actually improving us, rather than just fire fighting game by game which it felt like we were doing this year. A poor start and the pressure on him will ramp up. I'm still completely unconvinced he's got what it takes to be successful as a coach. The similarities to the Cunningham era are the elephant in the room no one is talking about.

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    Very interesting season ahead for lots of teams, none less than ourselves.

    The bookies odds will tell you we still have probably one of the best 2 squads in Super League.

    If we get off to a slow start and, particularly, struggle to put points on like 2023, the knives are going to be out for Wellens and his staff. He's out of contract at the end of the season and needs to show that he can impact the way we play and get a tune out of a very good squad or questions are rightly going to be asked. It's such a big period of transition coming up - legendary player and beloved club icon status aside, we need to see some proof that he's the right man to oversee it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saint View Post
    Very interesting season ahead for lots of teams, none less than ourselves.

    The bookies odds will tell you we still have probably one of the best 2 squads in Super League.

    If we get off to a slow start and, particularly, struggle to put points on like 2023, the knives are going to be out for Wellens and his staff. He's out of contract at the end of the season and needs to show that he can impact the way we play and get a tune out of a very good squad or questions are rightly going to be asked. It's such a big period of transition coming up - legendary player and beloved club icon status aside, we need to see some proof that he's the right man to oversee it.
    I was thinking about this earlier, there are alot of coaches/managers that will be under pressure if results don't go their way early on. I would imagine Peet, Lam and Peters, possibly Mcnamara will be spared any pressure early season. All eyes will be on Wellens, Rohan Smith and Tony Smith as each didn't have a great season last season. Sam Burgess will be given a free hit this season I guess, like Powell was in his first Wire season.

    I can't think of a name out there I'd want at Saints to be honest with you. Peters probably the best but he seems to have loyalty to KR.

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    We will be fine if we can improve the attack but I'm afraid I have reservations at the moment.
    Learned comment from The Don

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    Wigan look strong on paper. Theyíd have to start the season as favourites.

    Catalan will be going from Tomkins, May and Pearce in the pivots to Mourgue, Nikorima and Fages, all good players but a different style. Sims, Satae and Sironen in for Whitley, Chan and Goudemand all seems fairly like for like as well. Youíd expect them to be there or thereabouts the top 4.

    Saints havenít really moved forwards or backwards. Our defence will keep us in with a shout. Our attack is the area we really need to improve, big seasons ahead for Lomax and Dodd in the halves. I canít see us not being there or thereabouts the top couple of places either.

    Hull KR have lost some real experience but seemed to have decent replacements on paper, they certainly have one of the best back lines in the league with Hiku, Evalds, Opacic, Gildart, Hall, May and Lewis. Top 6 contenders certainly.

    Leigh donít seem to have done much recruitment for their 1st 13 but have filled out their squad a little bit. I think they possibly overachieved a little bit last year and will have a battle to make the play offs this time round.

    Warrington are an absolute coin toss. Think Burgess will either be a huge success or a catastrophic failure with no middle ground. Expecting the latter to be honest, the club is rotten. Still plenty of worse clubs though.

    Salford are a bit of a shitshow at the moment. Financially troubled and concerns about the stadium. Could be a difficult season, especially if they have to keep selling players.

    Leeds might take a bit of bedding in with a new 1, 6, 7 and 9 but Croft and Ackers already have plenty of super league experience. They are still too light in the forwards in my opinion though and that could cost them.

    Huddersfield were pretty crap last year and canít see them being any better this year.

    Hull have had their usual revolving door of mediocrity. Canít see them finishing any higher than 8th.

    Castleford are lucky that Wakefield were so awful last year as they were dreadful themselves. Unfortunately there will be a worse team than them again this year so can see them escaping relegation again as they continue to contribute nothing to super league.

    London look to be on a hiding to nothing. Donít think they had a plan in place for promotion and they look like they are going to struggle.

    1. Wigan
    2. Saints
    3. Catalan
    4. Hull KR
    5. Leeds
    6. Leigh
    7. Warrington
    8. Hull
    9. Huddersfield
    10. Salford
    11. Castleford
    12. London
    Forwards win games. The backs decide by how much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wee Waa Womble View Post
    Wigan look strong on paper. Theyíd have to start the season as favourites.

    Catalan will be going from Tomkins, May and Pearce in the pivots to Mourgue, Nikorima and Fages, all good players but a different style. Sims, Satae and Sironen in for Whitley, Chan and Goudemand all seems fairly like for like as well. Youíd expect them to be there or thereabouts the top 4.

    Saints havenít really moved forwards or backwards. Our defence will keep us in with a shout. Our attack is the area we really need to improve, big seasons ahead for Lomax and Dodd in the halves. I canít see us not being there or thereabouts the top couple of places either.

    Hull KR have lost some real experience but seemed to have decent replacements on paper, they certainly have one of the best back lines in the league with Hiku, Evalds, Opacic, Gildart, Hall, May and Lewis. Top 6 contenders certainly.

    Leigh donít seem to have done much recruitment for their 1st 13 but have filled out their squad a little bit. I think they possibly overachieved a little bit last year and will have a battle to make the play offs this time round.

    Warrington are an absolute coin toss. Think Burgess will either be a huge success or a catastrophic failure with no middle ground. Expecting the latter to be honest, the club is rotten. Still plenty of worse clubs though.

    Salford are a bit of a shitshow at the moment. Financially troubled and concerns about the stadium. Could be a difficult season, especially if they have to keep selling players.

    Leeds might take a bit of bedding in with a new 1, 6, 7 and 9 but Croft and Ackers already have plenty of super league experience. They are still too light in the forwards in my opinion though and that could cost them.

    Huddersfield were pretty crap last year and canít see them being any better this year.

    Hull have had their usual revolving door of mediocrity. Canít see them finishing any higher than 8th.

    Castleford are lucky that Wakefield were so awful last year as they were dreadful themselves. Unfortunately there will be a worse team than them again this year so can see them escaping relegation again as they continue to contribute nothing to super league.

    London look to be on a hiding to nothing. Donít think they had a plan in place for promotion and they look like they are going to struggle.

    1. Wigan
    2. Saints
    3. Catalan
    4. Hull KR
    5. Leeds
    6. Leigh
    7. Warrington
    8. Hull
    9. Huddersfield
    10. Salford
    11. Castleford
    12. London

    1. Wigan
    2. Catalan
    3. Hull KR
    4. Saints
    5. Leeds
    6. Warrington
    7. Hull
    8. Leigh
    9. Huddersfield
    10. Salford
    11. Castleford
    12. London

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    1. Saints
    2. Wigan
    <space>
    Everyone else

    Big season for Lomax, Dodd, Clark and Knowles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by magic superbeetle View Post
    1. Saints
    2. Wigan
    <space>
    everyone else

    big season for lomax, dodd, clark and knowles.

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    Default Next season

    Bennison, Ritson and Delaney will all be better for an off season and hopefully we can do a little better with injuries and suspension than last year.

    No Roby is a worry but I actually think we could be more dynamic with the ball having Clark in there now vs 2023 Robes.

    I think weíll be top2 with top spot decided by the derby games.

    Should be a cracking SL season, with the only shame being London likely to be miles off the pace.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by FearTheVee View Post
    Bennison, Ritson and Delaney will all be better for an off season and hopefully we can do a little better with injuries and suspension than last year.

    No Roby is a worry but I actually think we could be more dynamic with the ball having Clark in there now vs 2023 Robes.

    I think weíll be top2 with top spot decided by the derby games.

    Should be a cracking SL season, with the only shame being London likely to be miles off the pace.

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    Not just Bennison, Ritson and Delaney, but Welsby, Dodd, Lees and Knowles are still on the ascent performance wise as well. As established as they are they still improving in their roles as mature first teamers. If Makinson, Lomax and Walmsley maintain their standards (an if for sure) then thereís still a lot of progress within the existing team, even before you look at the academy players stepping up and being more competitive for places than the likes of Davies and Royle.

    Couple that with an improvement in coaching, having an off-season to change things, no WCC distraction, new motivation, actually coaching attack etc I still think we should be very very competitive (meaning top 2 minimum, and a better than 50:50 record with Wigan).

    What we are doing is carrying far more risks than normal. Iíve already mentioned Makinson, Lomax and Walmsley maintaining their standards, thereís obviously a question over Hurrell, thereís a question of what we do if we donít see an improvement in Dodd, thereís a question mark over Ritson/ Bennison improving enough to be competitive, and thereís a question mark on our depth in the backs in general, and the big question mark over whether Wellens can improve some of the naive mistakes he made last season. My worry is weíre using the Hopoate spot to be reactive to whichever of these risks are realised, which leads to Quinlan/ McDonnell eating cap space for far longer than desired.

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    Default Next season

    Personally, I think itíll be a long old season if we continue Ďthe long gameí tactic. Teams are wise to it, throw bodies in the ruck, slow us down and number up on lomax and welsby. Job done. We lost both semi finals because we didnít score enough points when on top due to our lack of ideas and attacking threat.

    Iím also worried by our lack of squad additions the last few seasons, thereís a danger weíre stagnating and itíll be same old, same old. Whilst the crusts are getting rid of their dead wood and have added quality to their squad, weíre going into the season one injury away from kids being in the back line.

    We need more imagination, more off loads and
    better tactics with ball in hand, otherwise Wellens will be under serious pressure and I canít imagine the board will let another poisonous situation develop like it did with KC.

    I hope Iím wrong, but for the first time in 5 years Iím not confident we will finish top 3.

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    With regard to which coach if any who may get the chop I think Watson is the only one walking on thin ice.
    A lot of money has been spent there, in 2022 they were 5 mins away from winning the Challenge Cup but last season they were disappointing.
    Unless there's an improvement I can see him not making to the end of the season

    London seem certain to go down so no real pressure on other coaches

    If Salford don't sort their financial problems I could see Rowley deciding to walk, he was doing a decent job there may feel its pointless staying on.

    Tony Smith at Hull is another one who could possibly throw the towel in.
    He's a good coach, been there and won it all but he seems to get fed up if the players don't respond.

    Don't really see Wellens being under pressure but we have got used to success.

    For any other club getting the GF and maybe losing to say Wigan would be disappointing but still classed as a decent season that's not good enough for us :-)

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Infamous Grouse View Post
    With regard to which coach if any who may get the chop I think Watson is the only one walking on thin ice.
    A lot of money has been spent there, in 2022 they were 5 mins away from winning the Challenge Cup but last season they were disappointing.
    Unless there's an improvement I can see him not making to the end of the season

    London seem certain to go down so no real pressure on other coaches

    If Salford don't sort their financial problems I could see Rowley deciding to walk, he was doing a decent job there may feel its pointless staying on.

    Tony Smith at Hull is another one who could possibly throw the towel in.
    He's a good coach, been there and won it all but he seems to get fed up if the players don't respond.

    Don't really see Wellens being under pressure but we have got used to success.

    For any other club getting the GF and maybe losing to say Wigan would be disappointing but still classed as a decent season that's not good enough for us :-)
    The two leading the sack race for me are Ian Watson and Rohan Smith. Both are going into their 3rd or 4th season and have been backed quite heavily in terms of getting the players they want on board and both underachieved massively last year. Pressure is on.
    Forwards win games. The backs decide by how much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fizzy rascal View Post
    Personally, I think itíll be a long old season if we continue Ďthe long gameí tactic. Teams are wise to it, throw bodies in the ruck, slow us down and number up on lomax and welsby. Job done. We lost both semi finals because we didnít score enough points when on top due to our lack of ideas and attacking threat.

    Iím also worried by our lack of squad additions the last few seasons, thereís a danger weíre stagnating and itíll be same old, same old. Whilst the crusts are getting rid of their dead wood and have added quality to their squad, weíre going into the season one injury away from kids being in the back line.

    We need more imagination, more off loads and
    better tactics with ball in hand, otherwise Wellens will be under serious pressure and I canít imagine the board will let another poisonous situation develop like it did with KC.

    I hope Iím wrong, but for the first time in 5 years Iím not confident we will finish top 3.
    I think ďthe long gameĒ is a dead duck as well. Iím not sure weíve got blistering pace anywhere on the pitch, unless Ritson proves me wrong.

    I think our best hope in attack is with our fast, mobile pack developing an off load game with the half backs and hookers profiting from that. If thatís going to work, Lomax and Dodd have to play better or at least differently. Especially Dodd because I think age has caught up with Lomax and while he can open a gap I donít think he will score many from more than 15 or 20 yards out. That type of attack could open space for Welsby and give our powerful, but increasingly slow, three quarters room to exploit.

    I hope that is what happens.

    I think weíre a top 4 side but not favourites to win anything. That doesnít mean we wonít, but I think we are outsiders.

    I wonder whether the apparent lack of desire to replace Hopoate means the team has faith in Vaughn or Sambou and they are more ready than could be expected. That seems unlikely! I hope Davies doesnít get promoted up the order because heís a solid replacement for multiple injuries, not a first team starter in any position in my opinion.

    Alternatively, perhaps Whitley will get the number 3 shirt, but Iím not sure thatís the way to go with Mataíutia filling a prop role, unless Stevens is also ready to kick on, which I also think is unlikely. I assume the coaching staff have a plan, but I suspect our recruitment is finished unless a very lucky development happens unexpectedly.

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    Just my opinion but I feel we will hover somewhere between 6th and 4th, maybe make it to the semis of the CC with a lucky draw, and probably get knocked out in the quarters in the playoffs.


    I think itís gonna be the same flat and lacklustre attack as last year, but I think our defence isnít gonna be able to withstand as much as it did this year.

    Weíve signed a replacement for Roby and LMS, but nobody to replace Hopoate or anyone to add abit of depth. Iggy or Al get injured again and weíre light on props.

    The dominance is very much over and my expectations have been lowered a fair few notches.


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    Quote Originally Posted by complex.matt View Post
    Just my opinion but I feel we will hover somewhere between 6th and 4th, maybe make it to the semis of the CC with a lucky draw, and probably get knocked out in the quarters in the playoffs.


    I think it’s gonna be the same flat and lacklustre attack as last year, but I think our defence isn’t gonna be able to withstand as much as it did this year.

    We’ve signed a replacement for Roby and LMS, but nobody to replace Hopoate or anyone to add abit of depth. Iggy or Al get injured again and we’re light on props.

    The dominance is very much over and my expectations have been lowered a fair few notches.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I would love you to name 5 teams that have a better squad than us next year.

    We still have the best forward pack in the league and even with Paasi out better depth than all bar Wigan. The problem is obviously the backs, however a “flat and lacklustre attack” was a combination of a number of factors; an incredibly limited off season due to the World Cup and then WCC tour, an out of form Lomax, and a second season, returning from injury, had no real competition Dodd. None of those things are true this year; so I don’t understand why you would think it’s going to be the same attack. Indeed if it is Wellens should be gone before Easter.

    But let’s suppose it is more of the same; then I don’t understand how you draw the conclusion that our defence won’t hold like it did last season. Either it’s going to be the same or it isnt, arguing it is going to be the same in attack but different in defence is just trying to be negative.

    As for signings. We still don’t know we haven’t signed anyone to replace Hopoate, we have just left it late. But last week we were linked to King and to Hunt so there’s clearly something still going on. I’ve openly said I think we need another project prop, but unglamorous as it is, the depth you’re looking for comes from the promoted players of which we have added 6, most of which should be able to contribute more than a Davies or Royle to a game even in their first season. I am as pro us signing a winger as they come, yet even I admit signing a Greg Eden or a Lee Kershaw is pointless because of the likes of Sambou and Dagnall coming through. We effectively have better cover in most positions than 99% of the league (and it can be argued about Wigans depth in the backs).

    Honestly, I get the negativity around the club at the moment. I get it was a poor season and the way the club have gone about comms has been atrocious. But there’s no reason to throw the baby out of the bath water. What does need to happen is a really strong season start to reestablish the narrative. In 2019 we came out round 1 and scared the poop out of Wigan. In 2022 we came out and scared the poop out of the whole league by dominating a very fancied Catalans. Neither scores were huge, but the manner we went about both games was what set the tone. If Wellens isn’t able to get similar early doors then there’s more room for concern, but he has the players and the squad to do that currently.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by complex.matt View Post
    Just my opinion but I feel we will hover somewhere between 6th and 4th, maybe make it to the semis of the CC with a lucky draw, and probably get knocked out in the quarters in the playoffs.


    I think it’s gonna be the same flat and lacklustre attack as last year, but I think our defence isn’t gonna be able to withstand as much as it did this year.

    We’ve signed a replacement for Roby and LMS, but nobody to replace Hopoate or anyone to add abit of depth. Iggy or Al get injured again and we’re light on props.

    The dominance is very much over and my expectations have been lowered a fair few notches.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I,m thinking slightly more positive despite the poor end to our season. My expectation is that our 1, 6,7 and 9 pivots will perform better than last season, Roby and Lomax struggled for form with Roby a season too far and Lomax playing injured again.

    The club let quite a few fringe players go who were not up to standard and at the same time resisted temptation to sign the likes of a Kasiano, Eden or Russell. A bit more emphasis of a few more acadamy lads coming into the first team squad with perhaps Vaughan and Stephens the ones to have the better transition.

    Our season will probably be defined again on injuries and suspension but we should still be a top 4 side. I would like to think our medical and conditioning team have micro analysed all those excessive hamstring injuries especially as it effected our attacking edge forwards and left us with just middles for lengthy periods.

    A few asked asked when the player numbers come out, can't remember what was the answer.
    Last edited by STIDDY; 14th November 2023 at 10:29.

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