By AndaleManito
#8434
So, given that Sarries can't win anything apart from the Prem Cup and Europe, I expect they might go all out on this (or they could go all youth, and exclusively focus on Europe?) Regardless, I think it will be an all-or-nothing situation: their strongest 23 or the academy.

This is a real chance for us to win some silverware, and although it's a bit of a mickey mouse comp, a trophy is a trophy and it would give us some tangible success if we won it this year. I would therefore suggest we put out our strongest team, with maybe a little rotation on the bench, so here's what I'd go for:

1. Harrison
2. AVDM
3. JCW
4. Postlethwaite
5. JLDP
6. Ross
7. T. Curry
8. DDP
9. Cliff (Faf if ready)
10. RDP
11. Yarde
12. Williams
13. S. James
14. Roebuck
15. Ashton

16. Langdon
17. Oosthuizen
18. WGJ
19. LDJ (if ready, otherwise Evans starts and Poss on the bench)
20. Wilson (if ready, otherwise B. Curry on the bench)
21. Warr
22. L. James
23. Solomona

This gives young players: Poss, Williams, Roebuck, Langdon, Warr and L. James game time, would allow us to introduce LDJ and Wilson, but ensures the rest of the squad is strong enough to not put to much pressure on them. Those young players are the ones who have taken their chances and look ready for high level rugby, those left out are still too young/not big enough. Williams and Poss in particular look really good, think we've got something quite special there.

AJ being out is maybe a bigger deal that people are thinking, means we can't really put a proper 10 in the 22. shirt, and puts a lot of pressure on Rob. I really don't want to have to go back to the days of Sam James playing 10. He's a phenomenal player, but he is a 13.
By chris1850
#8444
We should be starting Denny. For one reason or another, he has missed a fair few games this season and, assuming he is fit, we need him up to full speed for the second half of the season.

On his day, he is still our most potent threat
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By Clutch
#8462
10s can play the full 80. I don’t see AJ being injured as an issue unless of course Rob gets injured.

Wouldn’t be surprised to see Sarries go full hog.
By AndaleManito
#8464
Ewok shark wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:59 pm
Think it's a six nations weekend so some of those will be away. Not as many as sarries lose though.
Completely forgot about that! Seems it's on Tom Curry and WGJ who will be away. I also now feel pretty sure Sarries will put out their best possible 23.

Revised 23:

1. Harrison
2. AVDM
3. JCW
4. Evans
5. JLDP
6. Ross
7. B. Curry
8. DDP
9. FDK
10. RDP
11. McGuigan
12. RJVR
13. S. James
14. Solomona
15. Ashton

16. Webber
17. Oosthuizen
18. Jones
19. LDJ (or Phillips)
20. Wilson (or Nield)
21. Cliff
22. L. James
23. Yarde

I would imagine that's the best 23 we could put out, would be hesitant to start Lood and Wilson given their return from injury. Hopefully we also put out our strongest possible team against Exeter!
By AndaleManito
#8465
Clutch wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 12:05 pm
10s can play the full 80. I don’t see AJ being injured as an issue unless of course Rob gets injured.

Wouldn’t be surprised to see Sarries go full hog.
I agree that 10 can play the full 80 I suppose I was more thinking about AJ coming off the bench allows us to change tactics etc. I think we're in a difficult position squad-wise as getting another 10 in at the moment would probably delay the development of Wilkinson and Curtis, but those two just aren't ready from Prem rugby just yet, at least not for the next few months.
By StalyShark
#8796
Thinking of making the trip down for this. Does anyone know more about the buying tickets and receiving shop vouchers deal?
By ale shark
#8797
You should have an email from the club. Reasonably straightforward. I think you need to do it by 29th Jan
By StalyShark
#8799
ale shark wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:50 am
You should have an email from the club. Reasonably straightforward. I think you need to do it by 29th Jan
Thanks. Is it just for season ticket holders?
By StalyShark
#8830
Given that Sarries can’t have a home final I really doubt they’ll put in that strong a team. They’ll be missing Farrell, Vunipolas x2, Daly, George, Itoje, Kruis, Maitland and Earl. So the best they could put out is pretty similar to what they put out today. Somehow I doubt they’ll play their best team away from home to try to keep supporters happy at the Allianz. Therefore I think we’ll have a pretty mixed team again. Looks like most of the players have a week off and I’d give those that have played a lot 10 days so they’re fresh for Sarries away.

If I was Dimes:

Morozov
Langdon
JCW
Postlethwaite
Phillips
Nield
Wilson
JLDP
Cliff
RdP
Yarde
L James
S James
Solomona
Hammersley

Akker
Harrison
Jones
Ross/Lood (hoping and praying)
Dugdale
Warr
RJVR
Ashton
User avatar
By IrishShark
#8833
Was just thinking that Morozovs ban will be eaten up by Russia's game against Spain next week so should be back for semi.
By StalyShark
#8834
IrishShark wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 10:43 pm
Was just thinking that Morozovs ban will be eaten up by Russia's game against Spain next week so should be back for semi.
The ban said he’s back by the 3rd yes.
By ale shark
#8843
What’s happening in New Delhi? The game is next week not this week. Aren’t non international players on a break this week?
By StalyShark
#8845
ale shark wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:35 am
What’s happening in New Delhi? The game is next week not this week. Aren’t non international players on a break this week?
My reasoning being that you probably wouldn’t go as far as New Delhi for only a week. However I haven’t been there so who knows?!
By Lord Elpus
#8862
ale shark wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:35 am
What’s happening in New Delhi? The game is next week not this week. Aren’t non international players on a break this week?
Massive air pollution and food poisoning - same as in old Delhi.
By H's D
#8898
Sam James is off for a well-earned pre-planned holiday break in India, but only for just over a week.
The earth is evidently getting smaller.
He'll be back for the next game.
He probably wouldn't go for any longer, for fear of younger brother Luke nicking his starting spot! :googledeyed: :lol
By stevene
#8912
I suspect we will be as close to full strength as possible a week on Friday. I would imagine SO/GM and Dimes want some silverware this season alongside top 4.

If fit I imagine Wilson and LDJ will be on the bench, possibly start with Wilson. Seems sensible as we have sarries away the week after. Might be good to keep RJVR in cotton wool and possible might in HIA protocol anyway. Faf now needs consistent game time with us so if fit he starts for me.

I agree with others that Solomona needs games now as he actually looked fit against Glasgow, first time this season and is our most effective winger all round. Again starts for me.
By ale shark
#8913
Two home games in a row with under-strength selections (rightly or wrongly) and people will just stop caring.
By Thekeg
#8922
I think we will go about 70% full strength and also give a few younger lads like roebuck some exposure to a big (ish) game. Good chance to integrate Wilson and Lood from the bench if fit. I’d rest Rohan and anyone vaguely borderline injury wise.
By AndaleManito
#8972
I really hope we go all out, I've revised my selection after remembering who's away for 6N:

1. Harrison
2. Webber
3. JCW
4. Evans
5. JLDP
6. Ross
7. B. Curry
8. DDP
9. Cliff
10. RDP
11. Solomona
12. RJVR
13. S. James
14. Ashton
15. Hammersley

16. AVDM
17. Morozov
18. Oosthuizen
19. LDJ
20. Wilson
21. FDK
22. L. James
23. Yarde

Faf on the bench - I think Cliff has done a great job whilst faf has been injured, and fully deserves to start. I know this is a "mickey mouse" comp and Sarries might not put out their strongest team (though I think they will) but I really want to see us cut them up and keep the momentum going off the back of the Exeter win.

If we lose this game and don't put out our strongest team it will be a huge regret. Over the course of the 6N I would hope that Poslethwaite, Williams, Langdon, Nield, Redpath (at 15) and Warr get some game time in the GP, as IMO they're the most senior academy players.

Poss in particular seems to be really developing nicely and don't think he would be out of place in the starting 15, though obviously he isn't first choice. No flashy stuff from him just yet, but he does his job well, has a low error count and can run a line out.

I really hope Quirke can get some game time this season, for me he is the most exciting prospect.
By stevene
#9013
I find it strange for anyone saying we need to play a full strength XV and then say that Cliff should start over Faf if both are fit. Cliff has played well recently while Faf has been injured. He didn't do as well at the start of the season.

For me the reason is simply our pack is starting to function well as a unit and is more dominant on the gain line. Faf has barely played for us this season, is considered the best scrum half in the world at present and was critical to SA winning the world cup working with another dominant pack. I'm sorry but if Faf is fit he needs game time behind our pack to get some rhythm and re-adapt to our style of play. That will be critical come end of the season when we are competing against full strength packs where we don't have as much dominance sometimes.

From where I am sat to do anything else would be short sighted.
By AndaleManito
#9016
stevene wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 10:50 am
I find it strange for anyone saying we need to play a full strength XV and then say that Cliff should start over Faf if both are fit. Cliff has played well recently while Faf has been injured. He didn't do as well at the start of the season.

For me the reason is simply our pack is starting to function well as a unit and is more dominant on the gain line. Faf has barely played for us this season, is considered the best scrum half in the world at present and was critical to SA winning the world cup working with another dominant pack. I'm sorry but if Faf is fit he needs game time behind our pack to get some rhythm and re-adapt to our style of play. That will be critical come end of the season when we are competing against full strength packs where we don't have as much dominance sometimes.

From where I am sat to do anything else would be short sighted.
Ah don't get me wrong if Faf had been fit the last few weeks I would want him to start, and Im 100% sure he would be starting. I'm more putting him on the bench in the same way I'd want LDJ and Wilson on the bench returning from injury - to come on at 50 mins.

But I do think we need to give Cliff credit - other people have noticed too, he's been nominated for Prem player of the month!
By H's D
#9025
If you only ever select and start what you perceive to be your strongest side, then a couple of unfortunate injuries and you have no-one match sharp and tuned-in to step in and perform.
Ideally two or three players should be competing for, and fairly regularly playing in, each and every position. If only for parts of games. Cliff has clearly shown he is good enough, let him play, share the load and keep both of them fresh, and eager to play.
The win away against Exeter really should have shown everyone on here what can be achieved if our top performing players occasionally get a week or two off in order to recuperate, settle niggles down and freshen up. It also helps get others into proper contention.
If Dimes and the rest of the coaching staff see that a particular player is ready to play a role based on numerous hours of observation and analysis in both games and training, they are in a far far better position to judge than anyone on here.
Last edited by H's D on Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By Clutch
#9026
Stevene is right, as usual!

Still, difficult to argue with Cliff's nomination. Over the two games he's played really well, regardless of the undoubted advantage a dominant pack provides.

Don't think he will win though. Some players on the list didn't even play both games, so hope one of our boys wins.
By H's D
#9028
Stevene is completely oblivious of how Faf is performing in training, and whether he is completely ready to start again, as are we all!
By stevene
#9033
H's D wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:04 pm
If you only ever select and start what you perceive to be your strongest side, then a couple of unfortunate injuries and you have no-one match sharp and tuned-in to step in and perform.
Ideally two or three players should be competing for, and fairly regularly playing in, each and every position. If only for parts of games. Cliff has clearly shown he is good enough, let him play, share the load and keep both of them fresh, and eager to play.
The win away against Exeter really should have shown everyone on here what can be achieved if our top performing players occasionally get a week or two off in order to recuperate, settle niggles down and freshen up. It also helps get others into proper contention.
If Dimes and the rest of the coaching staff see that a particular player is ready to play a role based on numerous hours of observation and analysis in both games and training, they are in a far far better position to judge than anyone on here.
Im sorry H's D cant agree with the logic of a lot of this.

1. Cliff has started 9 games for Sale and 2 off the bench for Sale this season. De Klerk has started 5. Cliff has played the last four out of 5 games. De Klerk not Cliff needs game time.

2. I agree we need a strong squad but both players need consistent game time to get into our playing style. De Klerk has played in January so how is that two match fit players?

3.do you honestly believe Cliff would have started vs Exeter or Quins this month if De Klerk was fit? or against La Rochelle for that matter?

3. De Klerk has been 'refreshing' in SA in early January. So if he is fit he will also be fresh.

4. would we even be having this debate if De Klerk were a local lad and Cliff the overseas player based on the level these players are playing at/ reached at this point in their careers?

5.I cant think of anyone in the top 6 who doesnt have a clear first choice 9 with a clear back up/understudy. Those back ups are good and need game time but you wouldn't expect them to play as much as Cliff has done to date normally.

6.re Exeter away if we play them again in March (with the play offs in reach) with Nic White at 9 do you really think De Klerk won't be starting? Last weeks result was great but their international call ups offset a few key people we were missing. Cliff was brilliant last week but against Exeters back up 9 as White is injured. Townsend is not White who is annoyingly good/cynical (no need to delete as appropriate as hes both).

I am in no way saying Cliff isnt playing well or justified his shirt in Faf's absence. You make the point about Dimes and what he sees in training. Be honest do you really think if Faf was around and fit and the game is important Faf doesnt start? Lets be practical/ realistic here!

Ultimately Dimes may well select Cliff and keep Faf for the premiership game the following week / for the remainder of the season if fit. I would be amazed if Cliff starts any Premiership game from Sarries onwards if Faf is fit. Thats not a knock on Cliffy far from it. He has deputised brilliantly and his form/ execution of his skills (kicking in particular) are much better this year than last.
By stevene
#9035
H's D wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:10 pm
Stevene is completely oblivious of how Faf is performing in training, and whether he is completely ready to start again, as are we all!
Im sorry but you're wrong.

all of my posts are caveated by IF Faf is fit.

As for performing in training point I am sorry but you are showing you are oblivious to reality. If Dimes deems it an critical game for the club (as all premiership games are) and IF Faf is fit and available then he plays currently. Thats whats happened since he has joined the club and I cant see any logic as to why it wouldn't continue.
By DaveAitch
#9038
I seem to recall on 'this' forum last year that the big argument was that this completion was for the 'lesser' players, and that clubs should not be turning out first-choice teams, or even a team heavily laden with first-choice players. I think Dimes made noises on the same theme at that time, so we should expect selection along those lines (whatever that means).
By AndaleManito
#9039
DaveAitch wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 2:00 pm
I seem to recall on 'this' forum last year that the big argument was that this completion was for the 'lesser' players, and that clubs should not be turning out first-choice teams, or even a team heavily laden with first-choice players. I think Dimes made noises on the same theme at that time, so we should expect selection along those lines (whatever that means).
hmmm, agreed. Though I wonder if the nature of the competition this year i.e. when the games fall, have meant teams approach it differently? Can only speak for myself but I would rather we won this comp and finished 4th in the league, than win nothing and finish 3rd - though I imagine not all would prefer that outcome.

We haven't won anything for such a long time, and a trophy would be a tangible sign that we've improved from last season (though performance wise I can see we've obviously improved ).
By StalyShark
#9277
Looks like we’ll be going whole hog on Friday (on Wilson’s role):
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By Flumpty
#9280
StalyShark wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:29 pm
Looks like we’ll be going whole hog on Friday (on Wilson’s role):
I now no longer believe any of Steve Diamonds pre match team "hype" and wait for the line up to be officially named.
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By H's D
#9304
stevene wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:47 pm
H's D wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:10 pm
Stevene is completely oblivious of how Faf is performing in training, and whether he is completely ready to start again, as are we all!
Im sorry but you're wrong.

all of my posts are caveated by IF Faf is fit.

As for performing in training point I am sorry but you are showing you are oblivious to reality. If Dimes deems it an critical game for the club (as all premiership games are) and IF Faf is fit and available then he plays currently. Thats whats happened since he has joined the club and I cant see any logic as to why it wouldn't continue.
Do you mean FIT to indicate a player looks sharp in training and is outperforming the competition for his place to start? In my book that quality is separate from 'absense of injury' and is even more important than reputation.
IF he is doing both then of course we agree! FAF needs gametime.
But given Dimes' interview comments that he is looking at FAF and Lood to be back for Tigers, then IMHO he can currently be neither FIT, nor competitive in training. He is some way off.

Are you really of the opinion that if Cliff excels in training and on the field , Dimes would still pick an uninjured, but 'underperforming in training', Faf to start in an important match? Classic 'class over form'.
In, presumably, the vague hope he will still rekindle form in his first game back.
By stevene
#9307
H's D wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 12:18 pm
stevene wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:47 pm
H's D wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:10 pm
Stevene is completely oblivious of how Faf is performing in training, and whether he is completely ready to start again, as are we all!
Im sorry but you're wrong.

all of my posts are caveated by IF Faf is fit.

As for performing in training point I am sorry but you are showing you are oblivious to reality. If Dimes deems it an critical game for the club (as all premiership games are) and IF Faf is fit and available then he plays currently. Thats whats happened since he has joined the club and I cant see any logic as to why it wouldn't continue.

Are you really of the opinion that if Cliff excels in training and on the field , Dimes would still pick an uninjured, but 'underperforming in training', Faf to start in an important match? Classic 'class over form'.
In, presumably, the vague hope he will still rekindle form in his first game back.
Moot point now but yes I am when you factor in the here and now.

If fit one is a seasoned international of proven quality, our best player over the last two seasons, who won the world cup 3 months ago and was a world player of the year nominee just over 12 months ago. Considered one, if not the best, scrum half in the world.

The other is a premiership quality back up scrum half who is considered a great club man and great squad member. Top bloke and solid 9. However pretty much a career back up (at both Sale and Bristol) and coming towards (at 31) the back end of his career.

As they (whoever they are) form is temporary class is permanent.
By H's D
#9319
Are you Eddie Jones in real life then? :joy:
He also sometimes picks classy players who are out of form, or indeed have no "form" at all in a particular position.....and he sticks by them when they have a mare....all on the basis that Curry has more class than Dombrandt and Hughes??!
IMHO form is more about the current state of a player, Class is a more general, overall, less specific, judgment. If possible use a player with both in full flow, but it's a foolish coach who completely ignores form.

Even a classy player can need time getting back to his best after an injury. If a classy player is a bit out of Form you can still bench him and get him to play a second half (once ahead in the game), to get him back into it whilst under slightly less pressure.
I have little doubt that Faf has looked in better form in both training and games than Cliff for almost all of his tenure as the "starter". Hence he has almost always started.

But I also I think Dimes has now learned to start putting faith in 'form' players and rotates his squad where he can see that they are performing consistently at a high level.
This season there is, probably for the first time, true competition for starting places in almost all positions, most weeks, at Sale Sharks. We are making progress....
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By poyntonshark
#9321
Pretty much every coach in every sport picks the players they believe they can trust for the important games. That often means picking the "Class" or experience over short term form. Loss or gain in form obviously has varying levels and I agree it is foolish to ignore it completely.

In this specific instance, if Sale were playing a Heineken Cup Final tomorrow and Faf could walk, he would play. I reckon 90%+ would make that same decision.
By Lord Elpus
#9355
28-7 full time

very scrappy 2nd half - Sorries down to 13 men at one point.

We won. Wilson appeared at last. That's about it.
By StalyShark
#9357
Other than the first 17 minutes I’d say we should be pretty dissatisfied with the performance. We definitely thought we’d keep scoring from all over the place and were far too loose in attack. Yes, we won but we can’t play like that next week and hope to win.
Glad we’ve made it to a final, especially one at home, but to really become big time we’ll have to become relentless.
By eBike
#9361
Being a half full sort I was very satisfied with last night; fabulous tries, could have been more, brutal defence, offloading all over the place, a free scarf and the glo-tubes are still working. Yarde was on fire, Rohan and Sam dominated midfield and Will Cliff had a stormer. The starting pack was horribly effective and again Ross and the Du Preez brothers were utterly outstanding.

They did get a bit giddy at times and subs changed the dynamic but Sale knew they had the game in the bag. Had Segun not shown a flash of brilliance that would have been a walkover score.

I'll take winning a semi in that way any day.
By Lord Elpus
#9362
StalyShark wrote:Other than the first 17 minutes I’d say we should be pretty dissatisfied with the performance. We definitely thought we’d keep scoring from all over the place and were far too loose in attack. Yes, we won but we can’t play like that next week and hope to win.
Glad we’ve made it to a final, especially one at home, but to really become big time we’ll have to become relentless.
We'll have to be much more accurate next week. Maybe we'll see Lood & Faf for a full Salford Saffers turnout.
By Monty9
#9363
Saracens fans seemingly upset at the “unfair” strength difference of the teams last night.

Guess they know how every team in the Prem has felt for the last 5+ years.

Think they only had 4 internationals last night instead of the usual 23 😁
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By eBike
#9366
Well said Monty.

Next week's a different match altogether. Judging by the demeanour of Sarries players (Ben Spencer for one) leaving last night the full impact of their situation is sinking in.
User avatar
By Flumpty
#9367
DDP was brutal last night. Watching the game from behind the sticks, each time he took the ball into (very heavy) contact, he took 3 Sarries players with him.
Good to see Mark Wilson playing his first game for Sale (& getting a big cheer when he came on), defensively, he was like a big slab of granite. On legs.

Finally, Hamish Smales the ref had a good game. From reflink his communication was good with the players and he seemed to be enjoying a good raport with both teams and his AR's.
Yonah, ExRAFShark liked this
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