- Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:22 pm
My team for La Rochelle would be:
7. T. Curry
8. Dan DP
12. Rob DP
20. B. Curry
22. L. James
The most encouraging thing I saw yesterday was AJ and RDP at 10 and 12. They are both great defensive 10s, and don't have a problem taking contact. When only one plays, and takes contact, it means the next phase we don't have a distributor. When both were on the pitch yesterday the dual playmaker system looked very sharp, and we moved the ball about in a great way. We looked best in attack with them both on the pitch by a country mile.
Redpath just isn't quite there yet, not sure if he's really a centre until he puts on a bit more size/gains some more speed. At the moment he looks too pedestrian, and while he doesn't make many mistakes, he offers too much of the same at 13. I think long term he might be either 15 or 12, but certainly is not a 13. Luke James looked pretty solid but shines when there are other carrying options around him. When next to Redpath the opposition know that Luke is going to be the main running threat so mark him accordingly. When he's had RJVR or RDP inside him he's looked much more dangerous.
I think Morozov should get the start, our scrum has been weak, and if you look back at past footage Morovoz is a seriously strong scrummager. IMO he's well on his way to being as good as if not better than Cobilas. I think Morozov has a higher ceiling because of his carrying game, and he's no slouch for a big guy.
I also think that yesterday's match proves Jono Ross's worth. When he came on the momentum shifted entirely. With two Du Preez on the pitch in the opening 40 it's too attack minded. I think we would be much better for bringing on Jean-Luc after 55/60 minutes once Jono has softened up the opposition, and then get the offloading game going.
I find Papier slightly confusing. Obviously a very quick player, but in contrast to Faf he doesn't keep the opposition guessing from the base. He should be sniping from the base much more often. He's too predictable at the moment and isn't using his strongest asset. I also think his service is painfully slow at times, though his box kicking was on the money yesterday I thought.
Still not sure about Hammersley. He has a very low error count, and his positional play is second to none, but does he offer enough going forward? He hasn't really brought that mazey, elusive counter attack running from Newcastle. He hasn't really done anything wrong but when I look at other top 4/6 teams they invariably have a running threat from 15 which we don't have: Puitau, Gallagher, Hogg, Tuala, Woodward, Brown, Watson. Even Pennell offers more of a running threat.
It's still glaringly obvious that we need second row cover. We're not looking great as it is, and there's no way Bryn can keep playing every game. Postlethwaite looked decent when he came on, and won a good lineout, but we really need someone and fast. Whilst AVDM throwing has been far from great, I think it isn't helped by the fact that every opposition knows that Bryn is the main option. You can have all the complex codes and moving around, but if they know who it's going to it's pretty easy to steal.
I don't think we played thaaaat badly, our defensive at times was magnificent, especially in the tight, but our set piece is letting us down, and our centres were under-powered and too predictable in the first half. Still, a losing bonus point at Glasgow with only one true lock (Phillips is a tall prop imo - still a great player but can't offer what Beaumont can for example), two teenagers in the centres, without faf, an inability to win our line-out, and a few last minute changes to the squad, isn't a terrible result. Especially when we nilled them in the second half.
Hopefully we start against La Rochelle as we finished in Glasgow!