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Half way point predictions...

It seems to be common knowledge he has agreed not only an extension but a 2 year one. I thought the club would announce after Catalan and capitalise on a rare win against one of the other top sides whilst we are top. You would think it is coming soon. As a few have mentioned, July could be brutal so you’d think the club will capitalise on the current feel-good (or maybe feel-better more appropriate) factor.

I think the best we can hope for is to finish top 2, avoid Wigan in the semis and then hope for a bit of fortune similar to GF against them in a one off game.

I do still believe there’s strong arguments Welsby/Makinson/Percival/Walmsley/Clark/Lees/Knowles/Sironen/Bell/Matautia all get into Wigan’s starting 17. I think the difference in success in the last 18 months has been down to the quality of coaches in charge of both clubs. I think Good Friday was a good indicator that they won’t be able to do to us what they did to Wire yesterday if we are on it simply through the strength of our defence and quality of our pack.

Overall I would find it tough to give more than a 6/10. 50% of our season in the CC was ended in embarrassing fashion at home. Last 3 games some cause for optimism but hard to take games against Cas and Leeds seriously in their current state.
I think one of the biggest differences has been French
 
I think one of the biggest differences has been French
Best player in the competition in my opinion. That being said, we have done okay against him in recent years I think overall. He looked unplayable at times yesterday picking off Wire’s poor goal line defence.
 
The player pool in the NRL is its strength. But it can also be a weakness. Because there's a tendency to toss guys on the scrapheap after a few bad performances, loss of confidence or injury in favour of the next bright, shiny new object (who often isn't anywhere near as good as you think). Many top youngsters have been bounced out of the league after a run of bad injuries. Teams just give up on them. But these are still players. They can be reclaimed if you put them in the right environment. And the very fact that you were prepared to give them a shot when nobody else would can ignite a fire in them they never thought possible.
 
Looking at our first thirteen league games in 2023 and our thirteen league games this year, we're doing far better this year than last. That's hardly a bold statement, I know.

Looking at the very basics of it, we've won ten and lost three this year and won eight and lost five at this point last year. In 2023 in those first thirteen games we had seven games against sides that made the playoffs in 2022 (Leeds twice, Huddersfield twice, Catalans, Salford, Wigan) compared to only five of thirteen this year against the 2023 play-off participants (Catalans twice, Hull KR, Wigan and Leigh). We lost three of those games against the previous year's playoff participants (Leeds, Wigan and Catalans) in 2023 and there was some mitigation with the Leeds defeat as we had players sent-off. Looking at our thirteen games this year against the 2023 playoff teams, we've lost to Catalans and KR away. On the case of mitigation, there is some around the Salford defeat given Mark Percival's red card.

Looking a bit more at the numbers:

2023
Points scored in our opening 13 SL games: 279
Points conceded in our opening 13 SL games: 175
Tries scored in our opening 13 SL games: 49
Average points per game: 21.46
Average points conceded per game: 13.46

2024
Points scored in our opening 13 SL games: 353
Points conceded in our opening 13 SL games: 136
Tries scored in our opening 13 SL games: 64
Average points per game: 27.15
Average points conceded per game: 10.46

74 points better off, 39 fewer points conceded and fifteen more tries scored. We've also had ten of thirteen games where we have conceded twelve or fewer points this year, compared with eight of thirteen last year. Obviously its good numbers and we are doing better, though we have had "easier" games this year compared to last year.

On to what remains, both July and August/September are the key months. We have Wigan, Warrington and Leigh in July and Wigan and Hull KR in the back end of August and Warrington and in early September. They're six key games and will ultimately be the decider between a top two finish and finishing third or fourth and getting a home semi-final. Four wins in those six and I think we probably make the top two.
 
Looking at our first thirteen league games in 2023 and our thirteen league games this year, we're doing far better this year than last. That's hardly a bold statement, I know.

Looking at the very basics of it, we've won ten and lost three this year and won eight and lost five at this point last year. In 2023 in those first thirteen games we had seven games against sides that made the playoffs in 2022 (Leeds twice, Huddersfield twice, Catalans, Salford, Wigan) compared to only five of thirteen this year against the 2023 play-off participants (Catalans twice, Hull KR, Wigan and Leigh). We lost three of those games against the previous year's playoff participants (Leeds, Wigan and Catalans) in 2023 and there was some mitigation with the Leeds defeat as we had players sent-off. Looking at our thirteen games this year against the 2023 playoff teams, we've lost to Catalans and KR away. On the case of mitigation, there is some around the Salford defeat given Mark Percival's red card.

Looking a bit more at the numbers:

2023
Points scored in our opening 13 SL games: 279
Points conceded in our opening 13 SL games: 175
Tries scored in our opening 13 SL games: 49
Average points per game: 21.46
Average points conceded per game: 13.46

2024
Points scored in our opening 13 SL games: 353
Points conceded in our opening 13 SL games: 136
Tries scored in our opening 13 SL games: 64
Average points per game: 27.15
Average points conceded per game: 10.46

74 points better off, 39 fewer points conceded and fifteen more tries scored. We've also had ten of thirteen games where we have conceded twelve or fewer points this year, compared with eight of thirteen last year. Obviously its good numbers and we are doing better, though we have had "easier" games this year compared to last year.

On to what remains, both July and August/September are the key months. We have Wigan, Warrington and Leigh in July and Wigan and Hull KR in the back end of August and Warrington and in early September. They're six key games and will ultimately be the decider between a top two finish and finishing third or fourth and getting a home semi-final. Four wins in those six and I think we probably make the top two.
Interesting read. I think it’s a funny competition this year in the sense that I can’t remember a season where 3 sides at the bottom have been so poor.

I think last season we generally did a good job of beating the poor sides (only Hull FC A I can think of where we lost to a really poor side) but our record against Wigan/Catalan/KR/Leigh (the top 5 with us that season) was very poor. 1 win in 2 against Wigan. 0 wins in 3 against Catalan. 1 win in 3 against Leigh and 1 win in 2 against Hull KR (I think). That’s including play offs/cup fixtures.

This season we wanted a better style and improved results against the better sides. If we take the current top 5 our record is beaten Wigan. 1 win in 2 against Catalan. Losses to Hull KR and Warrington.

I’ll always back us to beat the dross due to the comparative strength of our squad. Hopefully Catalan was a sign that we are starting to find a way to be effective against better sides. As reading the above we are 5 wins in 15 against top 5 teams since PW took over.

Guess we will find more out in July
 
I’m feeling reckless so here’s a prediction:

We will win 5 of our next 6 games (and I will win Euromillions lottery as well).
 
Let everyone write us off. If Super Jack is on his game and we can pick most of our starting seventeen in the championship rounds - we're in business.
 
It seems to be common knowledge he has agreed not only an extension but a 2 year one. I thought the club would announce after Catalan and capitalise on a rare win against one of the other top sides whilst we are top. You would think it is coming soon. As a few have mentioned, July could be brutal so you’d think the club will capitalise on the current feel-good (or maybe feel-better more appropriate) factor.

I think the best we can hope for is to finish top 2, avoid Wigan in the semis and then hope for a bit of fortune similar to GF against them in a one off game.

I do still believe there’s strong arguments Welsby/Makinson/Percival/Walmsley/Clark/Lees/Knowles/Sironen/Bell/Matautia all get into Wigan’s starting 17. I think the difference in success in the last 18 months has been down to the quality of coaches in charge of both clubs. I think Good Friday was a good indicator that they won’t be able to do to us what they did to Wire yesterday if we are on it simply through the strength of our defence and quality of our pack.

Overall I would find it tough to give more than a 6/10. 50% of our season in the CC was ended in embarrassing fashion at home. Last 3 games some cause for optimism but hard to take games against Cas and Leeds seriously in their current state.
I think the difference in the last 18 months is the threat of & the performances of Bevan French. His speed and off the cuff approach is THE difference IMO
 
I think the difference in the last 18 months is the threat of & the performances of Bevan French. His speed and off the cuff approach is THE difference IMO
Yes, he can turn a match in a second. If I recall, we shut him down earlier this season though
 
Him and Welsby best two players in SL by some distance for me. Struggling to think of who would be third tbh.

It's comparing apples with oranges with, say, players like Welsby and French with props/other forwards.

But, if you're talking about that sort of Welsby/French player, then Mikey Lewis should be in the conversation for third best.
 
It's comparing apples with oranges with, say, players like Welsby and French with props/other forwards.

But, if you're talking about that sort of Welsby/French player, then Mikey Lewis should be in the conversation for third best.
Yep. Good shout on Lewis. He’s really kicked on last 18 months.
 
Every team in this competition has its weaknesses. You saw Warrington's today. Catalans look worse than us going forward. Wigan's forward pack folded against ours. We've struggled to score points all season. Hull KR are up and down. Salford and Leigh have both fallen off. The title is there for whoever wants to reach out and grasp it.
Thats rubbish when we played you last we had a 15 min spell were we was dominating with our forwards winning the game and looked like we were gonna score more than a iffy card won you the game you were struggling upto that point you must have missed all that…
 
Thats rubbish when we played you last we had a 15 min spell were we was dominating with our forwards winning the game and looked like we were gonna score more than a iffy card won you the game you were struggling upto that point you must have missed all that…
A 15 minute spell 🤣 What about the other 65 minutes?

Saints made 400 metres more than Wigan that day and our post contact metres were better by 80m aswell. Our attack was ultimately what let us down that day as despite having the better of the territory, we failed to make it count until the 2 tries near the end.
 
A 15 minute spell 🤣 What about the other 65 minutes?

Saints made 400 metres more than Wigan that day and our post contact metres were better by 80m aswell. Our attack was ultimately what let us down that day as despite having the better of the territory, we failed to make it count until the 2 tries near the end.
and….. the fact is we were on top looking to score more than the ref bailed you out…you were blowing out your arses…not on about the earlier part of the game in that spell there was only one winner and that was wigan then you got your get out of free jail card

You never looked like scoring another point before the card and thats a fact we were well on top
 
and….. the fact is we were on top looking to score more than the ref bailed you out…you were blowing out your arses…not on about the earlier part of the game in that spell there was only one winner and that was wigan then you got your get out of free jail card

You never looked like scoring another point before the card and thats a fact we were well on top

You scored your only try from a kick (albeit a great bit of skill from French) and made ZERO clean breaks in the whole game, whilst we made 4.

Who knows if we'd have scored or not in the last 10-15 mins without the card, but let's not paint a picture Wigan were dominant, you weren't. The metrics show that.

The card was so "iffy", Byrne picked up a 4 match ban afterwards for it btw.
 
You scored your only try from a kick (albeit a great bit of skill from French) and made ZERO clean breaks in the whole game, whilst we made 4.

Who knows if we'd have scored or not in the last 10-15 mins without the card, but let's not paint a picture Wigan were dominant, you weren't. The metrics show that.

The card was so "iffy", Byrne picked up a 4 match ban afterwards for it btw.
I must have watched that hit 20 times and its clearly just below the head so yes very iffy the force makes it look worse and the ref bottles it in-front of the home crowd we all know how you men cry for penalties,you get 4 games for farting these days so that means nothing
 
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