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How to judge a young player

Probably a good example for us has been Lomax and Gaskell although Jonny started a season earlier they were still very raw in terms of experience and match pressure. The opposition were able to get to Gaskell to knock his confidence whilst Lomax was more resiliant.

At times it looked as though Gaskell had the ball handling skills and kicking game whilst Lomax was more conservative. Gaskell's attitude was really tested and was weaker than Lomax, it was similar with Eastmond.

A young player has to overcome adversity, Longy was the best to respond to the pressure. For years I mentioned Longy being one of the hardest players in Superleague with the amount of hits that came his way.
 
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The thing is it's impossible to know how someone is going to pan out until you put them in a first team environment where they are at a huge disadvantage physically and experientially. Can they make good decisions when their bodies are starved of oxygen and they are under extreme duress? Talent and skills count for nothing if you can't hold it together under pressure. One of the reasons Saints love Bennison is they know he aint going to fold when things go sideways. People can wail and cry about his lack of pace and other attributes. But Benno has that dog in him. Type of kid who in WWII would be dragging his injured comrade to safety and then laying down covering fire when everyone else has turned and run. Character counts for a lot with the lads. And it's the reason he'll retain his place in the squad.
He should maybe join the army then, because he's not good enough to play for us.
 
Probably a good example for us has been Lomax and Gaskell although Jonny started a season earlier they were still very raw in terms of experience and match pressure. The opposition were able to get to Gaskell to knock his confidence whilst Lomax was more resiliant.

At times it looked as though Gaskell had the ball handling skills and kicking game whilst Lomax was more conservative. Gaskell's attitude was really tested and was weaker than Lomax, it was similar with Eastmond.

A young player has to overcome adversity, Longy was the best to respond to the pressure. For years I mentioned Longy being one of the hardest players in Superleague with the amount of hits that came his way.
Lee had a lot of talent. One of the best strikers of a deep ball I've seen at the club. But intangibles matter, yeah.
 
Just watched the highlights of the U18's v's Huddersfield and our No6 Robertson scores about 6-7 tries............................ lost count.
 
Just watched the highlights of the U18's v's Huddersfield and our No6 Robertson scores about 6-7 tries............................ lost count.
Think he had a bit of a leg injury so went on the wing and still managed 2 stroll in tries on the edge.
 
I tend to be watching other players but the tall edge back row forward (Davies?) flashed again. He's a bit of a menace. Maybe someone else knows a bit more about him.
 
I tend to be watching other players but the tall edge back row forward (Davies?) flashed again. He's a bit of a menace. Maybe someone else knows a bit more about him.
Don't tell me Super Ben has a brother? Not sure I could cope with another one?
 
I think there is always a minimum standard players have to get to to truly make it as a player at any level.

Off the top of my head...

Rugby Skills
Defence
Rugby IQ
Game awareness.
Basic Skills (catching, passing, kicking)

Mentality
Attitude
Work Ethic
Composure/Nerve
Concentration (no errors)
Coachability

Physical
Toughness.
Durability.
Size
Strength
Pace

I think a players can be strong in some areas but fail to make the grade as they have one or two key weaknesses.

For many young halfback Defence and Size are big hurdles. Dave Hewitt is a great example of a talented half back that is too small and not good enough defensively to make it as a FT player.

Adam Swift is concentration and game awareness. He just makes too many errors at silly times. If he didn't have these weaknesses he is an international.

Lee Gaskell, Coachability
Scott Moore, attitude, defence.
Danny Richardson, Composure
Andre Savelio, Attitude.
Joe Greenwood, Toughness.
Gary Wheeler, durability


The key to player development is to identify these traits early. If you do this then you can focus on players with a better chance of success. The problem is sometimes you don't know a young player can't step up until he actually tries to.
 
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For the veterans out there - I'm interested to hear what you thought about Phil Larder and his Rugby League Coaching Manual. Back in the day it seemed like every amateur coach I bumped into had his nose firmly planted in that book. I mean, you'd swear it had been brought down from the mountain top by Moses himself the way people were talking about it. And yet just a few years later there were folk saying it was a bad influence. A bit like Larder himself. I met him a couple of times - once while taking either a second level coaching qualification at Victoria Park in Widnes. He seemed personable enough. But I got the feeling he believed he was some kind of crusader for standards which I accept were necessary at the time - but it wasn't long before people started questioning how much of a positive role he served. There were many different criticisms but the one I remember most was that it lead to a pretty negative style of play. I know that when Larder was put in charge of the international team there were a bunch of weird selections which contributed to a pretty mediocre record.
 
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