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20 man squad v Wigan

Personally i'd prefer Robertson to debut at 6 rather than at FB as he'll be less exposed in defense, and i'd prefer Vaughn at centre instead of 2nd row so we can drop donkey Davies. Unfortunately it still means we're left with Royle but on balance he offers just slightly more than Davies (only just)
He would actually do more defending at 6 than 1 to be fair. At 1 he is the last line of defence if/when they make a break and would sometimes go 10 minutes without making a tackle. At 6 he would have 2nd rowers and centre running at him every set.
 
Hope you lads are ready for him to drop Dodd but name Bennison at fullback!


That's much more likely to happen than bringing Robertson into the starting 13.

I actually wouldn't drop Dodd. But I'd give him round-the-banks and an ultimatum. His defence hasn't actually declined and will be needed this game.

Vaughan needs to come in at right centre, though. Him and Ritson have played together a few times as a right edge combo and looked decent (albeit the division below) and Vaughan is very industrious.

Our starting props are unbalanced; we're going with two hard-working, more defensive props with two barnstormers on the bench. It's not working. I know putting two youngsters in Delaney and Stephens on the bench isn't ideal, but I think it overall gives a better balance.

Burns' skillset makes him a better starting hooker, with Clarke to come on after 20 or so mins to run at gaps in [hopefully!] tiring defences. Doing it the other way round makes much less sense.

Royle would be in under sufferance. But he's shown a good workrate and is steady. Although I'd like Cowan in, perhaps Davies is the better choice at this stage as he can cover both centre and SR (obviously not to a great standard) and Royle has seemed to get gassed during games.



I'd like to see:

Welsby
Ritson
Vaughan
Percival
Blake
Lomax
Dodd
Lees
Burns
Paasi
Royle
Sironen
Bell

Clarke
Cowan/Davies
Stephens
Delaney



I think we'll see:

Bennison
Ritson
Davies
Percival
Blake
Welsby
Lomax
Lees
Clarke
Delaney
Royle
Sironen
Bell

Burns
Vaughan
Stephens
Delaney

(but perhaps he'll swap Vaughan and Davies)
 
He would actually do more defending at 6 than 1 to be fair. At 1 he is the last line of defence if/when they make a break and would sometimes go 10 minutes without making a tackle. At 6 he would have 2nd rowers and centre running at him every set.
It's not just the work rate either, it's the nature of the tackle, as you know.

At full back you're in cover and can chop legs which suits smaller players. If he's defending in the line he'll have to make initial contact upright and has a much much higher risk of being bumped off. If he starts chopping legs in the line it'll just end up with Wigan getting a roll on and is counter productive. By far the position to 'hide' him best is Full Back, yes he'll be exposed with any mistakes on kicks but he'd have a harder time than that at 6.
 
I hope he isn’t at fullback. God forbid!!!
I would be amazed. It would be the single most bizarre decision Wellens has made all year.

I think the Bennison at 1 experiment is over and as of last week he was even behind Ritson on the wing.

I don't actually think we will see Bennison at all but if we do it would be on the wing; of that I am 99% certain.

Dropping Dodd to spice up our attack and then playing Bennison at 1 would be like opening the windows because it's too hot and then turning the heating on. (The most random but quickest analogy I could invent on the spot).
 
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I would be amazed. It would be the single most bizarre decision Wellens has made all year.

I think the Bennison at 1 experiment is over and as of last week e was even behind Ritson on the wing.

I don't actually think we will see Bennison at all but if we do it would be on the wing; of that I am 99% certain.

Dropping Dodd to spice up our attack and then playing Bennison at 1 would be like opening the windows because it's too hot and then turning the heating on. (The most random but quickest analogy I could invent on the spot).
It's a very good analogy that.
 
It's not just the work rate either, it's the nature of the tackle, as you know.

At full back you're in cover and can chop legs which suits smaller players. If he's defending in the line he'll have to make initial contact upright and has a much much higher risk of being bumped off. If he starts chopping legs in the line it'll just end up with Wigan getting a roll on and is counter productive. By far the position to 'hide' him best is Full Back, yes he'll be exposed with any mistakes on kicks but he'd have a harder time than that at 6.

A perfect example of this is Wigan playing Field at 6 against Catalans at Magic last year. He was constantly targeted in the line and had a nightmare, you could see his back-rower and centre working overtime in vain to try and cover for him but once they got near the line he was nothing more than a speedbump, I think Whitley scored 2 or 3 against him.
 
At least God is on our side. Because as we all know - when he raised up Billinge Hill it was to allow all the fruits and nuts to roll north.
 
Robertson
Ritson
Vaughan
Percival
Blake
Welsby
Lomax
Lees
Clark
Stephens
Davies
Sironen
Bell

Burns
Delaney
Paasi
Royle

Ritson and Vaughan have played together plenty for Swinton and reserves so I think that would be our strongest combo for the right edge.

I think we need to pair Lees/Stephens and Paasi/Delaney so each prop partnership has one workhorse and one big ball carrier. Let Stephens absolutely empty the tank for 20 minutes then have a big rest before doing the same in the last 20 minutes.
 
Personally i'd prefer Robertson to debut at 6 rather than at FB as he'll be less exposed in defense, and i'd prefer Vaughn at centre instead of 2nd row so we can drop donkey Davies. Unfortunately it still means we're left with Royle but on balance he offers just slightly more than Davies (only just)
If he plays 6 he'll get more defensive exposure than playing at 1.
 
Robertson
Ritson
Vaughan
Percival
Blake
Welsby
Lomax
Lees
Clark
Stephens
Davies
Sironen
Bell

Burns
Delaney
Paasi
Royle

Ritson and Vaughan have played together plenty for Swinton and reserves so I think that would be our strongest combo for the right edge.

I think we need to pair Lees/Stephens and Paasi/Delaney so each prop partnership has one workhorse and one big ball carrier. Let Stephens absolutely empty the tank for 20 minutes then have a big rest before doing the same in the last 20 minutes.
I like the look of that team its a risk but an ambitious one, they would target Robertson so the team would have to protect him.
 
Stephens is better carrying the ball during the first twenty and the last. I don't like forwards taking it off the back fence on kickoffs. But if he chose to do so he's less likely to get jacked up than Delaney who charges in like a maniac without putting any late footwork on. But ... the game tends to get quick in the opening quarter. The risk is the game will get so quick Stephens could begin to tire very quickly. He's got the horsepower. But with so few games under his belt he's still running on limited fuel reserves. Put Delaney on second quarter where speed becomes more of a factor.
 
He would actually do more defending at 6 than 1 to be fair. At 1 he is the last line of defence if/when they make a break and would sometimes go 10 minutes without making a tackle. At 6 he would have 2nd rowers and centre running at him every set.
Playing at 6 you get more traffic running at you but you also get tackle support from the 2nd rower / centre / winger around you depending on where your defending in the line. Far less chance of a missed tackle (or whats more likely an ineffective tackle) costing you points. At FB your usually completely isolated as the last line of defense and a missed tackle usually leads to a try.
 
Playing at 6 you get more traffic running at you but you also get tackle support from the 2nd rower / centre / winger around you depending on where your defending in the line. Far less chance of a missed tackle (or whats more likely an ineffective tackle) costing you points. At FB your usually completely isolated as the last line of defense and a missed tackle usually leads to a try.
It does but I still think there is far less "exposure" on a full back to make his tackles than there is a half back. If those in front of him do their job then the full back shouldn't be needed to make try saving tackles all night. Also, a good attacking side can target and spot a weak defender in the line far more than they could if he was at full back.
 
Stephens is better carrying the ball during the first twenty and the last. I don't like forwards taking it off the back fence on kickoffs. But if he chose to do so he's less likely to get jacked up than Delaney who charges in like a maniac without putting any late footwork on. But ... the game tends to get quick in the opening quarter. The risk is the game will get so quick Stephens could begin to tire very quickly. He's got the horsepower. But with so few games under his belt he's still running on limited fuel reserves. Put Delaney on second quarter where speed becomes more of a factor.
We definitely need to change the rotation, I'm not too concerned with which pair starts but we need to split Lees and Delaney.
 
That's much more likely to happen than bringing Robertson into the starting 13.

I actually wouldn't drop Dodd. But I'd give him round-the-banks and an ultimatum. His defence hasn't actually declined and will be needed this game.

Vaughan needs to come in at right centre, though. Him and Ritson have played together a few times as a right edge combo and looked decent (albeit the division below) and Vaughan is very industrious.

Our starting props are unbalanced; we're going with two hard-working, more defensive props with two barnstormers on the bench. It's not working. I know putting two youngsters in Delaney and Stephens on the bench isn't ideal, but I think it overall gives a better balance.

Burns' skillset makes him a better starting hooker, with Clarke to come on after 20 or so mins to run at gaps in [hopefully!] tiring defences. Doing it the other way round makes much less sense.

Royle would be in under sufferance. But he's shown a good workrate and is steady. Although I'd like Cowan in, perhaps Davies is the better choice at this stage as he can cover both centre and SR (obviously not to a great standard) and Royle has seemed to get gassed during games.



I'd like to see:

Welsby
Ritson
Vaughan
Percival
Blake
Lomax
Dodd
Lees
Burns
Paasi
Royle
Sironen
Bell

Clarke
Cowan/Davies
Stephens
Delaney



I think we'll see:

Bennison
Ritson
Davies
Percival
Blake
Welsby
Lomax
Lees
Clarke
Delaney
Royle
Sironen
Bell

Burns
Vaughan
Stephens
Delaney

(but perhaps he'll swap Vaughan and Davies)
I agree with pretty well every detail of this post. Apart from him picking Ritson and Blake on the opposite wings, as against Castleford, which I couldn't understand then and won't understand if he does it again.
 
We definitely need to change the rotation, I'm not too concerned with which pair starts but we need to split Lees and Delaney.
I don't see either as being a problem - but they can't be just charging into three-man reception committees. They are both very, very quick for props. Use what advantages they have, run where the space is, put on some late footwork and try to get the ball five yards further out from where they usually take it on tackles three and four. And that's another thing - going wing, centre, prop, prop, inside drop off puts no pressure on the opposition defence whatsoever. They have to break this pattern up a bit. It's too damned predictable. Sure, it helps with possession stats. But the good teams aren't losing any sleep over it.
 
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I don't see either as being a problem - but they can't be just charging into three-man reception committees. They are both very, very quick for props. Use what advantages they have, run where the space is, put on some late footwork and try to get the ball five yards further out from where they usually take it on tackles three and four. And that's another thing - going wing, centre, prop, prop, inside drop off puts no pressure on the opposition defence whatsoever. They have to break this pattern up a bit. It's too damned predictable. Sure, it helps with possession stats. But the good teams aren't losing any sleep over it.
Not many teams are losing sleep over it to be fair, nevermind the top teams

So predictable and reliant on individual pieces of magic
 
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