By Lord Elpus
#17333
Fwiw we have suffered from the hiatus. Other sides have recruited well - Spencer to Bath for instance - and got players back from injury , enforced rest periods, and international squad duty.

We have lost senior experienced players especially Evans & Webber. For some reason (extended holidays perhaps) the Saffers have been very slow to get back to any sort of form. Only the Curry twins and John seemed to be up for it from the get-go.

We were very fortunate that Pat Lam got it so wrong in fielding his first team v Exeter and his second string against us.
By DavenportSharky
#17349
I think we would have beaten Bath at home just preCovid without a doubt. Just like Tigers they have recruited an experienced coach to help a promising but naive one. Six months of over hype may have instilled overconfidence. Tuilagi is anonymous when at 13 especially when you have someone at 12 who prefers contact to a pass. Reed for all his alleged speed has not had an opportunity to show it and does not seem to have the “Ashton” knack of popping up on someone’s shoulder off his wing at a crucial moment. Roebuck on the other hand does give the impression that he has the vision to do that.
The lineout has been our Achilles heel for a few seasons now. It is such a potential winner for us that we are very unlikely to be champions unless we solve it. Kicking to the corner is now a poorer option. Neild would be a first 23 hooker if he could throw. Akker is worse than Cameron and like the golfer with yips he looks apprehensive at every lineout. The Sale forwards can guess what is coming and so can the opposition. A poor scrum and you concede penalties; a poor lineout and you lose possession but also your maul, confidence and waste great kickers to touch like Sam James and Faf. If there is a lineout guru available find him.
James Phillips is unlucky not to start more. He reminds me of Mills. The scrum always seems more lethal with him in and he rarely fails on the few occasions he is lifted (with difficulty) at the lineout. He has slipped down the list further with Weise and Postlethwaite’s emergence. He would have had a point to prove against Bath who I think also underrated him.
When this season is over we will probably look back and think this is one we could have won if only..... Not quite as close as the loss to Gloucester at home but at least that missed kick cost us only 3 points and it was not against a play off rival.
By Clutch
#17350
I agree re Phillips. It’s not always about getting your best 8 on the pitch. The balance has to be correct. Phillips isn’t the greatest player in the world but he massively improves our tight play.

Disagree for once with the major. Don’t think we were awful. Frustrating as hell, but Bath had major rub of the green in what was a pretty even contest. The gap was 3 points with 20 to go, which isn’t a score line for an awful performance against a v good Bath side. Cue Webber’s brain fart (was it really a yellow?!) and the game was lost. So despite the lineout disaster and bombing chances it came down to some idiocy and a 50/50 decision from the ref going against us (generous to Carley). Fine margins for 2 good sides going toe to toe.

I know that’s a bit glass half full. I understand why folks are massively disappointed but when all 4 tries have an element of luck, most 50/50 calls go against you, you lose games. Not even mentioning the lineout and messing up chances on top of that. Plus the missed kicks at goals.

Just need to win next 2. Saints will be tricky as they will be desperate. Hopefully just desperate for the season to end.

I have a feeling the final will be huge. The momentum from winning that should see us scrape into top 4!
User avatar
By poyntonshark
#17356
I agree that we weren't awful, in fleeting spells we were as good as we have been all season. The nature of the Bath scores, though, isn't the point. We made so, so many basic mistakes, both that allowed Bath to score, and prevented us from scoring, when not scoring was the difficult option. Yes it was definitely a yellow for Webber, blatantly and deliberately playing the ball on the floor, and on the wrong side, halting Bath Momentum
By Lord Elpus
#17358
It may well prove that home advantage in the semi is no longer what it was in 2006. Ditto the PRC final though.

Phillips is definitely underused , iirc he doesn't give away the daft pens that the dP twins do.

Ashman and Roebuck looked promising but haven't featured since they did look promising.
By Surbiton_Shark
#17361
I guess not having to travel from London to Manchester and the familiarity of surroundings etc., still give an advantage but agree that the main one is lost not having a home crowd behind the players plus the natural influence on the ref.

Our scrum and more noticable defending rolling mauls is much better when Phillips is on - do we need to worry about quins rolling maul? - not sure we do. Hopefully Harrison is back for the scrum.

Interesting to see what happens with the lineout thrower - would we ever be brave enough to play Akker at 2 but have someone else throw? Akker's confidence on the pitch looks badly impacting by the lineout failings - take away that part of his game for now. For me Langdon deserves his chance - lineout looks a lot more solid and he massively puts it in around the pitch.

If Bryon is fit would also have him in ahead of Yarde.
By Olyy
#17363
Surbiton_Shark wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 12:22 pm
would we ever be brave enough to play Akker at 2 but have someone else throw?
Unless we played Langdon or Ashman in the backrow, I can't see it
It's all well and good having Jono throw in during a yellow card period, but that level of throwing won't see you through a full 80 (not that Akkers is atm, either tbf).
User avatar
By Yareet
#17365
Surbiton_Shark wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 12:22 pm
I guess not having to travel from London to Manchester and the familiarity of surroundings etc., still give an advantage but agree that the main one is lost not having a home crowd behind the players plus the natural influence on the ref.

Our scrum and more noticable defending rolling mauls is much better when Phillips is on - do we need to worry about quins rolling maul? - not sure we do. Hopefully Harrison is back for the scrum.

Interesting to see what happens with the lineout thrower - would we ever be brave enough to play Akker at 2 but have someone else throw? Akker's confidence on the pitch looks badly impacting by the lineout failings - take away that part of his game for now. For me Langdon deserves his chance - lineout looks a lot more solid and he massively puts it in around the pitch.

If Bryon is fit would also have him in ahead of Yarde.
Whilst I don't necessarily disagree, I wonder what impact it would have on his confidence if we took throwing duties off him. If his mental state is that fragile, could it impact the rest of his play?

When all said and done, he's a pro rugby player who should be able to fix the issue. We've seen enough back rows (and centres) become hookers and learn to throw in Test matches. We've also seen props learn to pass off both hands, wings learn to scrummage and 10s learn to tackle.

As such Akker should be able to learn to do the basics of his role - especially of he harbours international ambitions.

That said, I'm also of the opinion that it's not all Akker's fault. Before his injury, Lood seemed to be getting the overwhelming majority of our lineout ball. It's pretty basic to just put your best jumping pod up against him. That then means you can steal or disrupt a couple of our throws and suddenly confidence is shot. Whoever was calling those throws (Lood?) should take some of the blame.

Akker can throw straight (look at the over the top ball to Rohan) so he just needs to calm down and recipient should be mixed up more.
By Surbiton_Shark
#17366
For Akker - as a whole the lineout doesn't operate consistently well when he throws - even if he throws straight and we drop it or throw the ball at the scrum half's feet, he's getting told to throw a 'bad option' - whatever - if Akker throws it's worse than when others throw. Our forward pack knows and it - the oppo know it. His throwing seems to start badly then slowly gets better in matches - it's a reoccuring theme - we can't afford to put up with all the bad ones.

We are in the last few games of the season - why on earth would we continue with him throwing when we know it's substandard compared to other options? As someone pointed out on twitter - even if the other team don't compete he's been called for not throwing straight.
User avatar
By dinogyro
#17371
To paraphrase 'it's not the despair... it's the hope'

We've come to hope for and get better performances. This last one was a reprise of all the classic mistakes the team used to make a season or two ago.
User avatar
By MikeGC
#17373
colour me baffled
chucking in seems to be the bone of contention after every match
Sharks are coached by not one but two retired hookers, yet the lad (of seeming international quality) can barely hit a cow's rear end with a banjo.
One might expect (if nothing else) his professional pride would keep him on a bit of grass somewhere chucking a ball towards (he seems to be barely capable of "at" ) a couple of donkey rows for hall an hour post general training.
Work on his "muscle memory" so that the jitters in heat of battle matters less.
I've seen hookers at level 7 taking this initiative, why not a Springbok ??

I'm not trying to belittle the lad, I suspect he's trying his hardest but clearly needs a wise old head to set him on the right path
By ageinghoody
#17382
FarnhamShark wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:37 pm
Shouldn't his 1st or 2nd throw be a quick one to the front prop? Guaranteed possession, and hopefully a bit more confidence?
I know b****r all about forward play, as was made very clear to me a few years ago when I made a similar suggestion on the previous forum. (I forget who the problematic thrower was at that time!)

Apparently it's far too easy for the opposition to shove any resultant drive into touch, especially when they've a good idea what's coming.

Or so I was (very strenuously) told! :silenced:
By FarnhamShark
#17384
I'm at the same level of knowledge about the dark arts of the pack, but Jono got away with it OK, and you don't have to try and drive it every time. For me, the issue is that with Dimes and Dorian to coach it, we should have a near-perfect lineout, but match after match we lose more than we steal.
User avatar
By dinogyro
#17416
MikeGC wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:42 pm

Work on his "muscle memory" so that the jitters in heat of battle matters less.
I've seen hookers at level 7 taking this initiative, why not a Springbok ??

I'm not trying to belittle the lad, I suspect he's trying his hardest but clearly needs a wise old head to set him on the right path
This is so important.He has to have the drills and muscle control as second nature. It should be something he can do without thinking. A musician practices for hundreds of hours to deliver a flawless performance under the pressure of a live gig (and also works with the rest of the band to make sure timing is perfect). I don't know how many drills they expect Akker to learn, but I would suggest learning three drills to perfection.
User avatar
By poyntonshark
#17418
Awful implies, to me at least, that mistakes were all we accomplished. We did play some very good rugby, which cancels out some of the bad, elevating the performance on my, admittedly personal, scale to somewhere between below average and poor.


Times must be hard, the Major has forgotten how to use a dictionary and is relying on Americans to provide definitions.
By ageinghoody
#17423
poyntonshark wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:26 pm
Times must be hard, the Major has forgotten how to use a dictionary and is relying on Americans to provide definitions.
So long as he (or anyone else) doesn't stoop to "sucks"!

When reading a review of anything, I've concluded that the use of that, or "awesome", is usually a reliable signal that it's best ignored.
User avatar
By Flumpty
#17427
ageinghoody wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:55 pm
poyntonshark wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:26 pm
Times must be hard, the Major has forgotten how to use a dictionary and is relying on Americans to provide definitions.
So long as he (or anyone else) doesn't stoop to "sucks"!

When reading a review of anything, I've concluded that the use of that, or "awesome", is usually a reliable signal that it's best ignored.
the word/term "uptick" ratttles may cage whenever I see it.
Beardedshark liked this
User avatar
By Major Bloodnok
#17439
ageinghoody wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:55 pm
poyntonshark wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:26 pm
Times must be hard, the Major has forgotten how to use a dictionary and is relying on Americans to provide definitions.
So long as he (or anyone else) doesn't stoop to "sucks"!
Wash your mouth out...

(And don't get me started on "blows".)
By ageinghoody
#17452
FarnhamShark wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:06 pm
So......................
The Times style guide says that's all right, provided the sentence it starts refers to a preceding one.

And it says it's OK to start a sentence with a conjunction. But only for emphasis!
:lol
By eBike
#17457
I'm a big fan of John Rentoul's "Mea Culpa" articles in the Independent as he has a keen eye for grammar and any issues of misuse. Well worth reading his puncturing of pomposity.

As an aside for non Indie readers, most (?) libraries offer an on line service called "PressReader", Derbyshire certainly does. It gives access to a massive resource of newspapers and magazines the world over. The broadsheets (except the Times), loads of sports papers such as The Rugby Paper and the ultimate Man-Mag, New Zealand's "The Shed".

Seek it out. PressReader that is, though "The Shed" is well worth a read :chuckel:
User avatar
By poyntonshark
#17460
The Shed, was no doubt a location for the New Zealand Deck oil adverts, parodied by Aussies here. If you are male with the typical male juvenile sense of humour, follow the link, well worth a chuckle.
eBike, Flumpty liked this
By stevene
#17471
bit of a shambles on sunday if I am honest. However putting in perspective when we started last season (with chris ashton minus manu) I would have settled for top 4. we are still on track for that so perhaps we need some perspective.

comments from me:
set piece is a bit of a mess. scrum was always going to be tested vs bath but the lineout is a shambles. massively missing evans esp with Akker's dodgy darts. the loss of lood and I suspect Josh till next season is massively limiting our options. I think we have to get Wiese into the second row ASAP as whilst having JLDP in at lock is great in other areas I do think its affecting our set piece. Having the ability to rotate JL and D Du Preez at 8 has to be the way to go.

Pre lock down lineout was a strength. its now a massive weakness and means we cant play the same gameplan. we need to fix this.

The tactic of double Curry and Manu/RJVR didnt work. However thats linked to our poor set piece and ball control. I think we will start to see a little bit of Rohan on the wing shortly.

I like Marland Yarde but he is still struggling to get back to anywhere near his pre injury level. Its a great story (his comeback and turning his career round post quins) but wing has also gone from a strength (Ashton leaving, McGuigan injured) to an area of concern.
By FarnhamShark
#17483
Absolutely agree with stevene. Hopefully, Wiese will be a slightly bigger and better version of Phillips, which would help both the set scrum and the maul. We need JL or Dan at 8, and we have to have Sam James in the centre. Rohan on the wing would be an interesting experiment - Marland still isn't the player he was before the injury.
The Next Six Months?

Yes Ted I was at that game at Rugby too and rememb[…]

There's an interesting article here; re finances..[…]

The problem for Warr, Quirke, Roebuck, etc. has be[…]

Lurkers......

Every year or so, in another place, it was a bit o[…]