By DaveAitch
#17704
09:33 "I thought Sam James played very well,..."
17:34 "James certainly wasn't "great"..."

I'm waiting for the match report from the Major to find out just how well he, James, not the Major, did actually play.
By H's D
#17707
Yep terrible.....Marler-esque!
Sam is a decent player, not quite England quality but he offers something different. His lack of pace and resultant defensive vulnerability will always hold him back. Some on here have missed my intended irony of such a player keeping a world class centre like Manu on the gamer changers bench purely because his qualities were more needed by the team,. It's never been a question of "how good he is" for me, but the overall creative balance of the side. Sometimes putting your best 15 players on the pitch , all of them full internationals playing in appropriate positions. isn't the best option.

To a degree it's the same sort of dilemma with Faf and Cliff . A Maserati is a SUPERCAR i.e. a cut above a BMW M3. But in terms of everyday pragmatism Dimes started his saloon car, knowing exactly what he would get, before looking for a superb jaw-dropping finish from one of the two world class players on his bench.
Faf was able to do what he did partly because everyone and his dog was expecting the ball to go out towards Manu....

If you know Dimes, you should know that winning this Final was absolutely his top priority and he based his selection on balance and recent form to give him his best chance to win it.

"Great" is a cut above "very well" Dave. The former might win you a MOM or a "top banana" award , no -one suggested that. "Very well" is more of a consolatory comment. It is not worthy of a full "spotlight " Several players made bigger more significant instrumental contributions to the win, as oultined by others previously. I concur with those comments.
By Van Cannonball
#17709
I think most avid supporters of Sale (not social media skimmers) would probably agree that currently Rohan is a better 12 than Manu in the way that Sale want a 12 to play, and Sam is a better 13 than Manu in the way that Sale want a 13 to play.

Of course Manu has had very little time to adapt to how Sale want to play, and the coaches have had very little time to see if they can adapt the way we play to suit Manu.

Next season will therefore be interesting, although the short turnaround is not ideal for embedding new players through pre-season.
Shark in Exile liked this
By H's D
#17710
Succinctly put. I fully agree.
Put another way , the wonderful thing is, is that we now have credible options in most positions.
I get the impression that even though the MOM award was well deserved, Maginty also offers something different at 10. We have a lovely blend of players for both front and back rows....etc etc
Evolution may well continue at a pace ....
By DavenportSharky
#17712
Well clearly H’sD you know far more about rugby than I do. But I do try to observe the game without blinkers on. I don’t know the James family nor have I watched the James brothers at Manchester rugby club, nor do I particularly follow their performance more than any other players on the field. I do admire both of them and look forward to seeing their development over the next few years.
Meanwhile I think you should self administer a large gin and tonic.
:brickwall:
User avatar
By Major Bloodnok
#17714
DaveAitch wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 7:39 pm
09:33 "I thought Sam James played very well,..."
17:34 "James certainly wasn't "great"..."

I'm waiting for the match report from the Major to find out just how well he, James, not the Major, did actually play.
Ah. Right. Sorry...
By DaveAitch
#17716
H's D wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:32 pm
"Great" is a cut above "very well" Dave. The former might win you a MOM or a "top banana" award , no -one suggested that. "Very well" is more of a consolatory comment. It is not worthy of a full "spotlight " Several players made bigger more significant instrumental contributions to the win, as oultined by others previously. I concur with those comments.
Nothing to disagree with there. I just wonder why your earlier post was almost exclusively about Sam James when you now seem to imply he was some way down the pecking order. Still, that's irony for you.
By DaveAitch
#17717
Major, sorry, my earlier post wasn't meant to be taken as a hurry up for you. I was genuinely interested as to how well Sam James actually played. You know, I don't think you gave him one mention. It's always good to hear your opinion rather than rely on someone who wears rose coloured blinkers.
By Van Cannonball
#17718
Yes options in the squad is great. Ironically I’d say that back 3 now looks to be a bit of an area of weakness based on form rather than past performance, and will be interesting to see whether Reed or Roebuck get more chances early next season, although it’s not an area that’ll be impacted by the Saffers being away.

I’d also like to see how we can try and get Doherty in the mix as U20 captain at outside centre should be getting opportunities, but that’s another potential change of style as looks to be more of a speedster rather than a distributor.
User avatar
By Major Bloodnok
#17720
DaveAitch wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:30 am
Major, sorry, my earlier post wasn't meant to be taken as a hurry up for you. I was genuinely interested as to how well Sam James actually played. You know, I don't think you gave him one mention. It's always good to hear your opinion rather than rely on someone who wears rose coloured blinkers.
Yeah. My comment was referring to the fact that I had posted it about five minutes before and didn't actually mention Sam.

Oh, and I fully admit to (slightly) blue-tinted glasses. Where would be the fun in a completely impartial report?😉
User avatar
By Major Bloodnok
#17721
And I thought Sam had a quiet game by his standards but, really, the frequency of penalties didn't give anyone in the backs much of a chance to shine. Thirty penalties in 80 minutes is a bit excessive.
By DaveAitch
#17722
Major, doubly sorry, then. One doesn't notice a new post on another thread, or even a new thread, when one is reading posts of the current hot thread (and trying to make sense of some of them).

The laws have become even more complicated with the last raft of law changes. They are difficult enough for someone who has been involved in rugby, playing and/or watching over a lengthy period. Someone coming new to the game must have virtually no chance in understanding what is going on.
By H's D
#17724
[/quote]
Nothing to disagree with there. I just wonder why your earlier post was almost exclusively about Sam James when you now seem to imply he was some way down the pecking order. Still, that's irony for you.
[/quote]
Simply because numerous others had covered all of the notable performances. There was no need to duplicate. You of course ignore the fact that I also drew attention to the sportscar analogy of Dimes. Non-one had mentioned that either.
When the Coach has so many different combinations available at centre and he is clearly trying them, it is no wonder one questions how often Sam will start, especially given the quality of RVR and MT in particular. My post was to indicate that although he was relatively quiet I think this game will help Dimes decide, at least temporarily.
By Lord Elpus
#17725
It seems to me we have a surfeit of inside centres and a shortage of locks, 8's and wingers (as long as iBozz & I don't get selected).

Re double Curry - that works for me as long as the third member of the back row isn't Ross. However a) he's the captain although not a very good one imho b) it's very tempting to have one Curry replacing another.
By H's D
#17728
DavenportSharky wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:10 pm
Well clearly H’sD you know far more about rugby than I do. But I do try to observe the game without blinkers on. I don’t know the James family nor have I watched the James brothers at Manchester rugby club, nor do I particularly follow their performance more than any other players on the field. I do admire both of them and look forward to seeing their development over the next few years.
Meanwhile I think you should self administer a large gin and tonic.
:brickwall:
Not at all Davenport. I think of it more that I failed to initially acknowledge the veracity of comments prior to mine and to explain my comment more fully. My focus on the James brothers is indeed personal. Although I try to not let it colour my view. The very idea of Sam being currently preferred to start at 13 in a Cup final over a centre of the calibre of Manu Tuilagi, or Sam Hill for that matter, when both could easily play there, simply amazes me. When one contemplates Sam keeping Manu on the bench everyone's eyes widen, it just seems so unlikely, even to those watching at MRFC. Even after allowing for current circumstance. Nevertheless, it is now a matter of history.
JFYI and amusement I had actually just had a large Dutch "Bols" Jenever and Tonic before making my initial contribution. Feel free to think that significant, although fundamentally we fully agree on centre combinations... :)
We both prefer them to be different types of centre: one of them ideally to be a second playmaker (as do many current rugby connoisseurs?) . Dimes though, evidently, hasn't recently seen it that way, albeit the tight schedule factor is probably significant.. However niether does he have the sort of "blinkers" on for selecting his most powerful centre pairing. I am just relieved that the tight schedule hasn't apparently resulted in a change of selection policy and I saw enough in that game to think that will continue, for at least the short term.... :dance:
By stevene
#17735
H's D wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:30 am
DavenportSharky wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:10 pm
Well clearly H’sD you know far more about rugby than I do. But I do try to observe the game without blinkers on. I don’t know the James family nor have I watched the James brothers at Manchester rugby club, nor do I particularly follow their performance more than any other players on the field. I do admire both of them and look forward to seeing their development over the next few years.
Meanwhile I think you should self administer a large gin and tonic.
:brickwall:
Not at all Davenport. I think of it more that I failed to initially acknowledge the veracity of comments prior to mine and to explain my comment more fully. My focus on the James brothers is indeed personal. Although I try to not let it colour my view. The very idea of Sam being currently preferred to start at 13 in a Cup final over a centre of the calibre of Manu Tuilagi, or Sam Hill for that matter, when both could easily play there, simply amazes me. When one contemplates Sam keeping Manu on the bench everyone's eyes widen, it just seems so unlikely, even to those watching at MRFC. Even after allowing for current circumstance. Nevertheless, it is now a matter of history.
JFYI and amusement I had actually just had a large Dutch "Bols" Jenever and Tonic before making my initial contribution. Feel free to think that significant, although fundamentally we fully agree on centre combinations... :)
We both prefer them to be different types of centre: one of them ideally to be a second playmaker (as do many current rugby connoisseurs?) . Dimes though, evidently, hasn't recently seen it that way, albeit the tight schedule factor is probably significant.. However niether does he have the sort of "blinkers" on for selecting his most powerful centre pairing. I am just relieved that the tight schedule hasn't apparently resulted in a change of selection policy and I saw enough in that game to think that will continue, for at least the short term.... :dance:
I think youre trying to reverse engineer your analysis here. However I agree with your synopsis about Sam earlier in the thread about where he is and his qualities and issues (pace/ defensive vulnerability). I would simply state that he didnt have the greatest game this week (he wasn't alone) however the reason he is consistently selected at the moment is we have 3 very similar centres (Manu, RVJR and Hill) which all to a degree compliment Sam's style. we dont really have an alternate to Sam J to compliment those three. When you combine any of the three what we do have is a combination of directness with an outside with great hands/vision but with some limitations (a modern day Jos Bax). What would give us more alternatives would be to have an OC with a bit more pace and good hands to compliment the three IC and provide an alternative there. It doesnt help that across our backline we are lacking in pace (Yarde and Solomona both a step slower than previous seasons). In addition in the absence of an international level 10 (RDP/AJM similar level to Sam) also put more reliance on the centres to provide that spark.
By Elgar
#17741
ale shark wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 7:49 pm
Can we all agree that Sam James’ latest hair style is terrible, irrespective of the number on his back?
Hear hear.

Superb player.

Criminal barber.
By H's D
#17742
"Superb" is a bit OTT imho. At times Yes, but not in that match: he needs to be far more consistent. Whereas the barber/stylist should indeed get a UB40!

Not really reverse engineering Stevene, I should just have included more detail, or a qualifier like "despite having a relatively quiet game". My analysis is unchanged and the stats do confirm that Sale did make numerous line breaks, a couple of them directly thanks to Sam's good hands and vision. Our backs did start to generate momentum at times only for it to quickly come to nothing because of a turnover, penalty or handling error, as the Major and others have indicated.
In essence we are all agreed on why Sam is to be preferred at outside centre but I would suggest that Dimes has been trying other combos. It hasn't simply been a case of him being unavailable or needing rest.
Since Manu arrived athough I had hope that he wouldn't be displaced, it was, and is, always on the cards. Last season, and this, he was indeed our ( and the whole Prem's) most frequently selected centre but that hasn't been that evident since the restart for several reasons.
Anyway onwards and upwards.......why I feel the need to defend an opine that Sam was preferred over Manu at 13 is indeed tedious in the extreme. It is factually correct. Ditto Cliff over Faf.
The future however will be all the more interesting for such quandries, as it unfolds.....
Last edited by H's D on Wed Sep 23, 2020 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By HR1861
#17744
HD - can you let it go now? It’s been done to death. And have you ever considered that Sam and his Dad might be quite embarrassed by your constant “love in” on a public forum?! Let him concentrate on his game and getting his form back - the players do read these forums!
By H's D
#17745
I thought I just had! :)
Interesting that you think of him as "out of form" or that this constitutes some sort of "love in" or embarassment for him. It is neither, and Sam doesn't, and Nelly would certainly have told me to stfu by email or in person if that were the case!.
I just hate letting go of bones, JRT me!
I was exactly the same defending Cliff when Faf first arrived. :lol
Last edited by H's D on Wed Sep 23, 2020 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By DaveAitch
#17816
Comment in the letters' section of the Daily Telegraph: (in brief)
"I had the misfortune to watch Sale v Harlequins and was left stupefied by the tedium of muscle-bound men hitting muscle-bound men ..............If this is a portent of what is to come then the grounds will be as deserted as they are now."
The writer is from Goodrich, Hereford, so presumably not a supporter of either side.

Addendum: does JRT above (H's D's last post) stand for Junk Removal Tool? If not, then what?
By ale shark
#17829
DaveAitch wrote:
Fri Sep 25, 2020 8:56 am
Comment in the letters' section of the Daily Telegraph: (in brief)
"I had the misfortune to watch Sale v Harlequins and was left stupefied by the tedium of muscle-bound men hitting muscle-bound men ..............If this is a portent of what is to come then the grounds will be as deserted as they are now."
The writer is from Goodrich, Hereford, so presumably not a supporter of either side.

Addendum: does JRT above (H's D's last post) stand for Junk Removal Tool? If not, then what?
Disgusted of Goodrich has a point. Disregarding covid for a moment I'd struggle to sum up the enthusiasm to buy a season ticket right now, I just find myself losing interest in TV games. Even in a cup final with my club and a tight finish it wasn't exactly riveting. It's not just the players fault, it's everything about the sport at a professional level in the UK.

30 penalties, almost every single one of them was borderline and many could have gone either way. I’ve had an interest in rugby for over 30yrs now and I’m further away from understanding what’s going on now than I ever have, it just seems like a lottery most of the time.

I'd rather watch a game in the stadium but a huge proportion of rugby fans will now only be watching internationals and that's not because of pay-TV. I don’t blame them.
By Lord Elpus
#17833
Does the number of Saffers on the pitch affect the quality of the rugby? Does it always become a power fest?

Bath v Glaws on Tuesday was a cracker - though terrible for Sale - in poor weather.
By stevene
#17836
the NH game since lockdown has been a mess and for me its the interpretation at the breakdown which is the primary reason.

Fine for southern hemisphere teams and super rugby style games if thats what everyone wants but to be honest I find that style of rugby (unchallenged by NH styles) pretty boring if I am honest.

did something need to be done at the breakdown yes it did but I find the new rules even more arbitrary then before if I am honest and either a) makes for a messy, broken game where two teams are pretty even b) makes it more likely for a one sided cricket score match where one side is clearly more dominant than the other.

what should have been addressed is clear sealing off and the caterpillar which slows the game and doesnt create a contest at the breakdown. Thats been poorly policed since the rule changes/ not dealt with at all. However the rulings on turnovers (which to me were fine and didnt need changing) are just a mess.
User avatar
By poyntonshark
#17838
Sealing off was supposed to have been addressed, but the only ref I have seen penalise it consistently so far is CMK. I thought I was getting the hang of what they were allowing, and thought the players were too, but last couple of games have gone backwards again. Try not to include games reffed by Foley, he hasn't a clue
By DaveAitch
#17851
It's really quite simple to resolve most of the problems relating to the breakdown: apply the law of the tackle as it used to done umpteen years ago.
By Van Cannonball
#17870
I actually think that the breakdown is much better than it was. If you ignore the first round of games, and ones reffed by Foley that is.

For me, one of the worst things in rugby in recent times has been the weighting towards the attacking team at the breakdown and that teams can endlessly recycle and eventually score (Exeter clearly being the best at this).

If players time it right and if attackers are not closely supported then a turnover is now much more likely and that’s a good thing. Counter rucking can now exist again, and players flying off feet into rucks are mostly gone (much more dangerous than marginally high tackles IMO).

Now we just need refs to apply the same to Exeter...
Olyy liked this
By Olyy
#17871
Yeah, now that sides are becoming accustomed to the breakdown laws I'm enjoying the battle at the ruck far more. You do still get some players giving away silly penalties, but the number of clean turnovers in a game has skyrocketed.

It really is the era of the jackler - which has always been one of my favourite player types (hence Seymour being my favourite Sale player).
By DaveAitch
#17872
What is said in the last two posts may be true, but I would just wonder where the 30 penalties came from.
By Van Cannonball
#17877
I think the main reason is it’s a substantial change in approach, and both the players and refs are getting used to it, and unfortunately it’s varying quite a bit per game which makes it hard for the players to adapt.

Not all the pens are from breakdown too. It’s my perception, although could be wrong, that there have been a lot more scrum pens since the restart. Not sure of the reason for that one.
By H's D
#17886
...and the referee is always right, even when he is completely mistaken. (as iBozz would say.)
Personally i would hate to see a change from where rapid adaptation to the whims of the ref is not part and parcel of a rugby team's success in our complex game. However fustrating it sometimes is....and indeed it was in that game.
Although I also fully agree with Olyy, 'Jackaler heaven', and we have several excellent ones....
Talking of Jacks........
Daveaitch although a 'Junk Removal Tool' might well be needed with some of your posts ( as well as mine), specifically when you seem to have been incapable of looking beyond the first amusing answer on a computer Google search of "JRT"!
In the context of "not letting go" (of a bone of contention) and my vocation, I thought it pretty obvious: Jack Russell Terrier. i.e. self-criticism, not actively being disparaging of others... :shame: :lol
Now please put your stick down. Sit! :evillaugh:
By DaveAitch
#17891
I was fully aware of the Jack Russell Terrior acronym, but somehow junk removal tool seemed more appropriate.
By ageinghoody
#17896
How long do we give it before we start to think that, in the case of the breakdown lottery, the current cure is worse than the sickness?
By DaveAitch
#17906
.....possibly about the same time as it has taken the authorities to not enforce the straight throw-in at the scrum.
User avatar
By iBozz
#17911
H's D wrote:
Sat Sep 26, 2020 3:25 pm
...and the referee is always right, even when he is completely mistaken. (as iBozz would say.)

The Referee may not always be right, but s/he is never wrong.

On the field the Referee is, and should be, the Law (aided and advised by other appropriate officials these days) and their decision should be accepted. Debate the matter off the park after No Side by all means, but on the park be gracious and accept that Referees are human (no, really, they are!) and cannot see or interpret everything absolutely correctly "in real time".

Simples.
By DaveAitch
#17913
I'm afraid refereeing is becoming 'trial by replay', from 25 angles at four different speeds. To make matters worse the experts (whoever they are) don't always agree with each other, even after all those replays: maybe because of all those replays.
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