Is the playing squad up to the job?

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Rugbyflanker
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Re: Is the playing squad up to the job?

Post by Rugbyflanker » Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:10 pm

BFG,MOC has never picked youth lol,why would he start now? And Wells,Evans and Thacker are proven players who never have a bad game,they are not youth anymore,all criminally.underused and a million percent good enough!

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Re: Is the playing squad up to the job?

Post by RagingBull » Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:36 pm

Rugbyflanker wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:09 pm
In fact i would say Evans is up there with the Currys,Simmonds,Mercer etc but hes been criminally underused. Hes been wasted and if i was him id look for a move,he was being talked about as our openside for RWC2019,hes was picked for a training squad and Eddie Jones even asked for some footage of him.to be sent over! This fascination of size is nonsense,see Wasps! Evans is definitely good enough for this level and we are killing his progress by picking big useless lumps at times,i feel sorry for him!
Evans isn't up to the Curries or Simmonds level yet physcality wise in fact i would say he is also behind Willis at Wasps.
He makes tackles but he doesn't YET dominate hits which is what 7's have to do now and it's what both curries and Willis do better than him, technicality wise he is great but in the game currently that doesn't mean as much as it used to.

He does need to bulk up.

What do you mean "This fascination of size is nonsense,see Wasps!" their back row is huge way bigger than ours on the whole.
Thomas young, Sam Jones and Jack Willis are each over 2 stone heavier than Evans!
Thompson is nearly 3 stone heavier
Haskell over 4 stone heavier.
Just 2 stone is a hell of a difference in size.
And thats not going into their big number 8's like Hughes, Reider and Carr.
Wasps front 5 aren't very big (Outisde Launch) and that is their biggest weakness on the whole.

Unless you are talking about Wasps backs which is pointless becuase the jobs are completely different.

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Re: Is the playing squad up to the job?

Post by Rugbyflanker » Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:50 pm

My point being there is a fascination with size as a whole these days. Evans job isnt to make dominant tackles,he completes his tackled and gets the man to ground everytime. We cant all be Underhills 😉 leave that to the 6,8 and front 5. His job is to be a nuisance at the BD which he is and bar Mapapalangi who plays the Dane Coles role on the wing our backrow is so slow you could paint them! The only one who has got a bit of nous is Hamilton who uses his brain when targeting the BD. Like i keep saying Will always averages 5m per carry too while the rest manage between 1-2,i appreciate they are probably carrying in heavy traffic but Evans gives us an option wider out. The main point is he definitely good enough as is Wells and Thacker.

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Re: Is the playing squad up to the job?

Post by FrontRowUnionMember » Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:10 pm

I think our recruitment needs some serious review. Take a look at Exeter's pack yesterday, club level players in the main, no big international names, but they get about their business with an intensity and accuracy we can't match.

Exeter
Hepburn, Yeandle & Williams, the latter is the only international there, and that's only been this last lot of internationals.
Simmonds & Hill, limited top flight experience.
Ewers, Armand & Waldrom, again the latter the only one with international caps, and they were a few seasons ago now.

Compare that with Tigers pack.
Mulipola, bigger reputation than Hepburn, devastating in the loose, but terribly unreliable in terms of availability. Polota-Nau, too early to say, still settling but definitely a bigger reputation than Yeandle. Cole still ahead of Williams.
Kitchener and Fitzgerald vastly more experienced than the Exeter pair.
Back rows, probably not much in it in terms of experience and reputation.

Now whilst I keep referring to players reputations, that's just a loose point towards assumed salary, and are we getting value for money in comparison.

Beyond that starting pack, Cilliers has been far to inconsistent in terms of repeated availability, so our bench front row lacks the game changing ability you'd expect. Barrow, shows glimpses of a real core player, but maybe has lacked an experienced head to show him the way, think Johnson alongside Kay. O'Connor, see Mulipola and Cilliers.

If we could get a well drilled, physicality competitive pack, our backs would slice teams apart.

The backs however don't escape criticism. Tuilagi's injuries have robbed us of a phenomenal attacking talent, and I wonder if on his repeated returns, we expect him to plough straight back in as a battering ram, becoming very one dimensional. Tait has the brains, but perhaps now lacks the explosiveness. Smith, for all his good qualities, will only ever be a stand in for Toomua or Tuilagi, and lacks the cutting edge they bring.

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Re: Is the playing squad up to the job?

Post by Leicestertinytiger » Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:26 pm

Sad thing is the playing squad is more than good enough! Look how well Gloucester are doing with the squad the my have, it is obviously down to poor coaching for us. Same with Exeter, not an amazing squad just really good ethic and coaching.

If you look at all the different positions, in most areas we have more than enough resources to compete and should be making the top 4.

Front row: international class front 3 in Genge, TPN and Cole. Gigena, Youngs, Bateman are all able backups and normally stay fit. Mulipola and Cilliers are class but questions remain around their fitness. Sack off Traynor and Baumann in a heartbeat, waste of money from day 1.

Second row: not as bad as people make out and have shown in past seasons they are capable. However, also needs improvement, would keep Barrow, Wells and Kitchener for depth but need more quality for the starting locks. Spencer would be a good addition. Fitz sadly needs to go as doesn’t offer what we need for the premiership.

Backrow: too many good players but none that are great. Williams for me hasn’t shown the levels he can and for me has been poor this season. Need to get back to playing a proper 7, for me the best backrow currently is Mapa, O’Connor and Kalamafoni. Have always liked Ryan, Evans and Hamilton as backup but could do with a world class signing.

Half backs and centre: both positions when fit are world class. Could do with some more strength in depth, ideally a player who could cover 10/12 like Mills or Flood. Good players coming through like Worth.

Back 3: for me we have far too many wingers. Ideal world would be signing Cordero and letting go of Brady and Malouf. Full back seems to be fine.

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Re: Is the playing squad up to the job?

Post by voice of the crumbie » Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:10 pm

The majority of posters seem to agree that our main problems lie in the forwards so I tried to take a look at each of our current senior squad forwards and provide an assessment. These are purely my opinions. Feel free to agree or disagree as you see fit.

Front Row
Genge – abrasive but in the right manner, superb carrier, improving as a scrummager definitely a keeper.
Logo – in coming back from injury has performed better than I expected. Possibly more to come if he keeps fit. Possibly one more serious injury away from retirement. Covers both sides so a great bench option when Cole and Genge are starting.
Cole – British Lion, Leicester through and through, remains England’s 1st choice tighthead; Regularly plays the full 80 minutes or close to it. One of the bright points of our scrum at the moment.
T Youngs - British Lion, Leicester through and through, continues to give his all but is he really captain material? Can be rested more now that we have Polota-Nau.
Polota-Nau – like what I’ve see so far. Picking up the line out calls but good around the park and in the scrum. Vast international experience. I have high hopes for him at Tigers.
Bateman – Mr Versatile. Reliable in whichever front-row position he plays. Good around the park with good hands. Glad we have tied him up on an extended contract.
Rizzo – a mystery to me as to why he isn’t being selected at least for the bench. Vast international experience. Good scrummager. Not seen any reports that he is injured so can only assume he’s out of favour. If he is out of favour then why not release him and use his wages to strengthen other areas of the team.
Cilliers – seems to be injury prone or is he just unlucky? Needs to prove himself before we extend his contract. If he doesn’t can be released.
McGuigan – failed to fulfil the potential he came here with. IMHO can be released especially now that we have Taf.
H Thacker – leaving aside the “is he big enough to play hooker” debate, I believe he is worth keeping for his versatility and what he offers around the park, at the breakdown and in defence. His throwing in isn’t bad either.
Baumann – Not impressed. Can be released.
Traynor - Not impressed. Can be released.
Kerr – Not seen enough to form an opinion.

2nd and Back Rows (have looked at these together as we have a number who can play either)
Kitchener – Not performing to the level expected. If we can acquire an “enforcer” type of lock to play alongside him he may come into his own again.
Fitzgerald – brought in to be part of the Mauger “revolution” and therefore possibly not right for what we now need. Could be let go if we get an enforcer.
Barrow – thought, like many, he might develop into a Louis Deacon type player. However has been injured a lot so hasn’t had chance to push forward. Does seem to give away penalties in the “wrong” areas so needs to improve discipline. The jury’s still out on him for me.
Wells – for me good enough to play in the premiership but hasn’t been given enough opportunities. Good line out operator and good at defending the driving maul. Also a good breakdown operator. I’d give him a run of games in place of Fitzgerald to see if he can really “cut the mustard”.
Maksimiw - hasn’t been given enough opportunities to see if he can make the step up. Would like to see him more so that a realistic assessment can be made.
Williams – made a good impression when he first came and performed well enough to be on England’s radar. Then he got injured several times in succession. For me has not reached his early performances. Possibly best used as an impact player off the bench.
O’Connor – unlucky with injuries since he came here. Despite changes in the breakdown seems to produce the goods when he plays. Worth keeping to give us a different approach to the big back row plan we seem to have at the moment.
Evans – similar to O’Connor unlucky with injuries. Despite changes in the breakdown seems to produce the goods when he plays. Worth keeping to give us a different approach to the big back row plan we seem to have at the moment.
Kalamafoni – doesn’t make enough yards off the back of the scrum or break the gainline consistently. However currently the best option at 8 we have. If we can acquire a “beast” of an 8 then move him to 6 and see how he goes.
Mapalangi – very skilful and showed in the Castres game that he can be a good link between forwards and back. IMHO opinion needs to be selected with a big ball carrier and an Evans or O’Connor type. Otherwise use as an impact player against tiring legs.
Hamilton – was “on fire” before he got injured in the Autumn internationals but has not reached those heights since returning form injury. Could he develop into a big ball carrying 8? Maybe. To get the right back row balance if he’s not at 8 play him at 6 with Kalamafoni plus O’Connor or Evans.
Ryan – need to see more of him to make a proper assessment. MOC obviously thinks he’s good enough.
Tigers for the premiership and European Cup. Get behind the team and make some noise!!

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Re: Is the playing squad up to the job?

Post by Bristol Tiger » Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:53 pm

FrontRowUnionMember wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:10 pm
I think our recruitment needs some serious review. Take a look at Exeter's pack yesterday, club level players in the main, no big international names, but they get about their business with an intensity and accuracy we can't match.
I think this sums up our problem. Tigers individual players compare favourably against many (not all) other clubs. Our backs are international class, and our forwards should do better. We were totally outplayed by a more determined, better drilled, seemingly fitter and more focused team. Exeter look hungry and driven - Tigers looked defeated as they came out at Sandy Park.

For me, we lack in on-field leadership (which given the calibre of our players we shouldn't) and unfortunately, the coaching seems non-existent. Clear examples in the forward play yesterday - Exeter drive in 2s and 3s, we had single players running. Then we wonder why Exeter's forwards make metres and our single runner gets driven back.

For me, we have the playing squad to be a top 4 side. We don't have the coaching to match though.

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Re: Is the playing squad up to the job?

Post by Tiglon » Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:17 am

Sometimes when players play badly, it's the players fault, not the coaches!

Can I blame my manager every time I screw up at work?

People say the squad is good enough, that it is a top 4 squad, that Hamilton, Mapapalangi, Kitchener etc are all good.

Someone mentioned Mapapalangi as being our best back rower - how many are better than him in the Premiership?

Lawes
Itoje
Underhill
Curry
Louw
Burger
Armand
Vunipola
Faletau
Haskell
Hughes
Moriarty
Ackermann
Ludlow
Morgan
Young
Kvesic
Ewers
Robshaw
Wilson
Wood
Ross
Denton
Rhodes
Wray

That makes him the 26th best back row forward in the Premiership, and I've probably missed a few. Some will say Hamilton is our best back rower, others Kalamafoni. They'd rank similarly. I'm pretty sure you'd get similar results if you ranked our best 2nd Row.

Our best back row forward is 26th best in the Premiership. Wake up, this is not a nailed on top 4 squad.

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Re: Is the playing squad up to the job?

Post by Soggypitch » Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:50 am

Good point Tiglon - with the exception of the obvious front row players, our entire squad of forwards is second rate. Therein lies the problem.

Fixing it unfortunately will not happen over night.
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Re: Is the playing squad up to the job?

Post by Tigerbeat » Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:50 am

One player does not make a team.....there are fifteen cogs in the playing wheel.....if one or more are not functioning to full capacity this impacts on the rest of the team.

It is a team game.
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Re: Is the playing squad up to the job?

Post by Leicestertinytiger » Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:26 am

Last couple of games have definitely proven the saying forwards win the game, backs decide by how much.

If our forwards gained parity with any team, our world class backs would rip them apart. Sadly in the last month our pack, bar the scrum, have been dominated by the opposition.

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Re: Is the playing squad up to the job?

Post by mightymouse » Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:53 am

This issue of the A squad is the fundemental one. Versus what Chiefs are doing (Which is what we used to do) we are miles behind. It was apparent some years ago we gave up on the academy and concentrated in buying in players. The academy has gone down hill dramatically unsurprisingly and therefore we lose the conveyor belt of new talent fed to the A team and thus onto 1st team.
We are doing what Saracens used to do years ago... packed with individual stars but look clueless as a team. Meanwhile saras and chiefs do the the opposite (indeed looked at our previous model and copied it) and suprise suprise they are successful. They have good home produced talent fed all the way through to national team. Great team ethics. Clear playing style. And no superstars who are bigger than the club. For years everyone admired what we did ... the only people who didn't seem to admire what we did was ... US!
This is what Dean Richards fell out with the club about. Look at what that man did for Quins (leaving aside the obvious brain f ..t of bloodgate) he built a team from the bottom which Oshea later benefited from. Once again at Falcons he is slowly doing the same in the most unfancied of places. This can only be done from the Base slowly but surely. Do our board have the courage to give a coach the reins to do it again? Probaby not!

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Re: Is the playing squad up to the job?

Post by TTRITH » Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:56 am

Tigerbeat wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:50 am
One player does not make a team.....there are fifteen cogs in the playing wheel.....if one or more are not functioning to full capacity this impacts on the rest of the team.

It is a team game.
Aye but you are only as strong as your weakest cog.

Also, we aren't playing as a team atm.
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Re: Is the playing squad up to the job?

Post by chewbacca » Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:00 pm

mightymouse wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:53 am
This issue of the A squad is the fundemental one. Versus what Chiefs are doing (Which is what we used to do) we are miles behind. It was apparent some years ago we gave up on the academy and concentrated in buying in players. The academy has gone down hill dramatically unsurprisingly and therefore we lose the conveyor belt of new talent fed to the A team and thus onto 1st team.
We are doing what Saracens used to do years ago... packed with individual stars but look clueless as a team. Meanwhile saras and chiefs do the the opposite (indeed looked at our previous model and copied it) and suprise suprise they are successful. They have good home produced talent fed all the way through to national team. Great team ethics. Clear playing style. And no superstars who are bigger than the club. For years everyone admired what we did ... the only people who didn't seem to admire what we did was ... US!
This is what Dean Richards fell out with the club about. Look at what that man did for Quins (leaving aside the obvious brain f ..t of bloodgate) he built a team from the bottom which Oshea later benefited from. Once again at Falcons he is slowly doing the same in the most unfancied of places. This can only be done from the Base slowly but surely. Do our board have the courage to give a coach the reins to do it again? Probaby not!
Totally agree. Board should all assess their positions, they after all set the direction and culture, downward and individualist by the looks of it.

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Re: Is the playing squad up to the job?

Post by Soggypitch » Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:13 pm

Very fair assessment mightymouse, if a little sad. Where did it all go wrong?!
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