Squad depth

All the news on the Canberra Raiders NRL team, all in one place

Moderator: GH Moderators

Post Reply
Green Blogger
Noa Nadruku
Posts: 159
Joined: March 15, 2014, 6:04 pm
Favourite Player: Josh Papalii

Squad depth

Post by Green Blogger »

Last night’s fantastic win was highlighted by our forward pack dominating the Roosters. The depth in our squad next year noting the injuries we have carried this year is pretty impressive.

Last nights forward pack will have an impressive list of players pushing for inclusion which can only drive performance upwards. Those players are:

Hodgson
Guler
Horsburgh
Sutton
James
O’Donnell
Rushton (probably developing).

That gives us three first grade standard hookers and two complete forward packs that will trouble most teams. Credit where credit is due, Ricky has always pushed that you need depth and there is no doubt that we now have the forward depth that means passengers will not be in first grade and he has built an impressive squad.

As long as some of the young outside backs continue the development and potential they have already shown - especially Timoko and Smith-Shields - our premiership window is wide open not just this year but for several more.
User avatar
Matt
Don Furner
Posts: 34264
Joined: May 18, 2010, 4:17 pm
Favourite Player: Wighton, Croker, Hodgson
Location: Canberra

Re: Squad depth

Post by Matt »

Backs that didn't play last night:
Simmonson
Scott
Oldfield
Timoko
Smith-Sheilds
Niko
Cook
Kris**

And looks like we have signed Caleb Aekins from Penrith. TBH, i can see that being at the expense of an Oldfield, be we shall see.

If anything we are short a truly elite winger to replace Cotric. But some of the kids have potential.

**Not sure if Seb Kris will return or not
User avatar
Green_Hammock
Bradley Clyde
Posts: 8575
Joined: June 30, 2009, 10:53 am
Favourite Player: Rapana, Campese

Re: Squad depth

Post by Green_Hammock »

I love our depth. It's just crazy that we have made it to the prelim without the likes of Hodgson, Horsburgh, Guler, Sutton

Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk

Coastalraider
John Ferguson
Posts: 2779
Joined: May 31, 2015, 7:25 am
Favourite Player: Dean Lance

Re: Squad depth

Post by Coastalraider »

Matt wrote: October 10, 2020, 2:14 pm Backs that didn't play last night:
Simmonson
Scott
Oldfield
Timoko
Smith-Sheilds
Niko
Cook
Kris**

And looks like we have signed Caleb Aekins from Penrith. TBH, i can see that being at the expense of an Oldfield, be we shall see.

If anything we are short a truly elite winger to replace Cotric. But some of the kids have potential.

**Not sure if Seb Kris will return or not
I love the way you think Matt.
User avatar
pickles
Jason Croker
Posts: 4954
Joined: November 18, 2007, 2:04 pm
Location: Callala Bay

Re: Squad depth

Post by pickles »

The injury run we have had this year has definitely highlighted the depth we have in the squad. Hopefully we can keep the right players because looking at that list there are genuine first graders who won’t be getting a lot of game time when we are at full strength.

There’s definitely good scope to develop his players and do some secession planning in key positions.
User avatar
BadnMean
Jason Croker
Posts: 4270
Joined: May 13, 2013, 5:30 pm
Favourite Player: chicka

Re: Squad depth

Post by BadnMean »

Green Blogger wrote: October 10, 2020, 2:01 pm Last night’s fantastic win was highlighted by our forward pack dominating the Roosters. The depth in our squad next year noting the injuries we have carried this year is pretty impressive.

Last nights forward pack will have an impressive list of players pushing for inclusion which can only drive performance upwards. Those players are:

Hodgson
Guler
Horsburgh
Sutton
James
O’Donnell
Rushton (probably developing).

That gives us three first grade standard hookers and two complete forward packs that will trouble most teams. Credit where credit is due, Ricky has always pushed that you need depth and there is no doubt that we now have the forward depth that means passengers will not be in first grade and he has built an impressive squad.

As long as some of the young outside backs continue the development and potential they have already shown - especially Timoko and Smith-Shields - our premiership window is wide open not just this year but for several more.
Yeah I think you're right.

Aetkins and another thread saw we signed a young Cowboys winger Elijah Anderson on a train and trial for 2021.

So we didn't get the elite outside back we were looking for but we look ok.

Semi is progresing well. He's had his faults pointed out but has fixed them up quick smart along the way. Melbourne are usually supremely well drilled at targeting a weaknesses so if he stands up to that we might really have a player developing.

Since we haven't recruited high quality we're basically banking on one of Simo, Scott, Semi, HSS, TImoko having a breakout year. They all have some talent so feeling better about our stocks than I was.

Or Rapana pulling a Morris on old father time. He was great at centre last night.
Last edited by BadnMean on October 10, 2020, 6:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
sprintman
Chris O'Sullivan
Posts: 918
Joined: July 11, 2015, 5:57 pm
Favourite Player: Laurie Daley
Location: Canberra

Re: Squad depth

Post by sprintman »

Don’t see how we can retain all of these. I do feel sorry for Oldfield as well, always gave 100% but appears to be on the scrap heap...
User avatar
Northern Raider
Mal Meninga
Posts: 26992
Joined: June 19, 2007, 8:17 am
Favourite Player: Dean Lance
Location: Greener pastures

Re: Squad depth

Post by Northern Raider »

I'll be very surprised if at least one of Valemi, Timoko or HSS doesn't develop into a top level NRL back. Wouldn't be the least bit surprised if all 3 did.
* The author assumes no responsibility for the topicality, correctness, completeness or quality of information provided.
User avatar
greeneyed
Don Furner
Posts: 134363
Joined: January 7, 2005, 4:21 pm

Re: Squad depth

Post by greeneyed »

Northern Raider wrote: October 10, 2020, 6:09 pm I'll be very surprised if at least one of Valemi, Timoko or HSS doesn't develop into a top level NRL back. Wouldn't be the least bit surprised if all 3 did.
I would bank on at least two of the three.
Image
User avatar
bonehead
Laurie Daley
Posts: 14664
Joined: March 1, 2005, 5:29 am
Location: Smelling The Shiraz

Re: Squad depth

Post by bonehead »

greeneyed wrote:
Northern Raider wrote: October 10, 2020, 6:09 pm I'll be very surprised if at least one of Valemi, Timoko or HSS doesn't develop into a top level NRL back. Wouldn't be the least bit surprised if all 3 did.
I would bank on at least two of the three.
agreed, and to think none of those 3 have played any significant senior footy against adults.
Semi probably the most i seem to remember his name at mounties a few times plus now 9 nrl starts.

I've got Simmo and Rapa starting wingers next year with Scott back at right centre off a strong off season.

Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk

Edrick The Entertainer
User avatar
Toviii
Laurie Daley
Posts: 10487
Joined: March 10, 2012, 8:11 am
Favourite Player: Rapana

Re: Squad depth

Post by Toviii »

sprintman wrote:Don’t see how we can retain all of these. I do feel sorry for Oldfield as well, always gave 100% but appears to be on the scrap heap...
I feel sorry for Oldfield too, his bad run with injuries probably hasn’t helped
'I've got 17 blokes in that dressing room that are hurting'
User avatar
Botman
Mal Meninga
Posts: 29324
Joined: June 18, 2013, 4:31 pm
Favourite Player: Nick Cotric

Re: Squad depth

Post by Botman »

Toviii wrote: October 12, 2020, 9:46 am
sprintman wrote:Don’t see how we can retain all of these. I do feel sorry for Oldfield as well, always gave 100% but appears to be on the scrap heap...
I feel sorry for Oldfield too, his bad run with injuries probably hasn’t helped
That's always been the knock on Oldy to be honest. Just cant stay healthy. Reminds me of Robbo, who couldnt stay healthy here, moved on Manly and managed to play 2 years of mostly injury footy and was a real good player for them. But eventually he just fell back into injuries
CREATE PROCEDURE BotMan_Post AS
SELECT * FROM Previous_Post
EXEC quote_post
WHERE UserName = 'Aknalkfgnaa' OR 'Yeah Raiders' OR 'Billy B'
EXEC RAND(good_grief; cheak_notes; uh82cit;)

GO;
TongueFTW
Alan Tongue
Posts: 663
Joined: August 3, 2008, 10:40 am

Re: Squad depth

Post by TongueFTW »

Most interesting thing for me next season is how Hodgson will fit back in, now that Williams and Wighton have been the focal points of our attack. Before his injury there is no doubt we were still working it out. After his injury, Williams and Wighton have stood far closer to the ruck, and recently, Williams has been getting into first receiver much more (with clean, early ball from our dummy half), and it has been effective. How Stuart handles next season will be fascinating, Hodgson will definitely have to adjust his play to fit back in, less engaging the markers, and more clean early ball to the halves late in the set.
User avatar
simo
Ricky Stuart
Posts: 9285
Joined: March 12, 2013, 7:50 pm
Favourite Player: Keghead

Re: Squad depth

Post by simo »

TongueFTW wrote: October 13, 2020, 7:04 am Most interesting thing for me next season is how Hodgson will fit back in, now that Williams and Wighton have been the focal points of our attack. Before his injury there is no doubt we were still working it out. After his injury, Williams and Wighton have stood far closer to the ruck, and recently, Williams has been getting into first receiver much more (with clean, early ball from our dummy half), and it has been effective. How Stuart handles next season will be fascinating, Hodgson will definitely have to adjust his play to fit back in, less engaging the markers, and more clean early ball to the halves late in the set.
Ive got no doubts hodgson has also been watching plenty of the footage and realising that hes now got a halves pairing worthy of that early ball. Hes smart enough to know that hes going to now be an option in the attacking zone instead of sole orchestrator
Dont delete this GE
User avatar
zim
Bradley Clyde
Posts: 8499
Joined: July 8, 2015, 3:38 pm
Favourite Player: Past: Brett Mullins
Present: Elliot Whitehead
Location: Sydney

Re: Squad depth

Post by zim »

He's also been hands on at training and at half time. In the roosters game he was addressing a group of players on what we needed to do in the next half.
The only way he could be more aware / involved in what we're trying to do is if he had a jersey on.
User avatar
Seiffert82
Mal Meninga
Posts: 24105
Joined: March 17, 2007, 12:24 pm
Favourite Player: Bay56

Re: Squad depth

Post by Seiffert82 »

It's great to see Hodgo so involved. I think he'd be a decent assistant coach down the track.

In saying that, after the Melbourne game when he got injured I was quite excited about what the change could mean for the team. I remember commenting about the opportunity it would give the halves to take control and for the middles to step up. Hodgo killed it in round 3 vs Melbourne when the comp returned, but I thought his form in the weeks prior to the injury in round 9 was poor.

I honestly wasn't at all concerned about us falling in a heap when he went down. I didn't necessarily expect us to make a Prelim again, but his injury was seriously the best thing for Wighton and William's development as a halves pairing, not to mention CNK's early foray into ball playing. I've loved the way Stuart has responded to the situation.

Next year when Hodgson returns (hopefully fully fit) I think we will see a much more balanced attack, with Hodgo getting our world class middles on the front foot, picking 5-6 times a game to impose himself and finally trusting his halves to do their job, and do it well.

For that reason alone I'm looking forward to a much slicker attack in 2021.
User avatar
Azza
Steve Walters
Posts: 7786
Joined: February 16, 2005, 10:12 am

Re: Squad depth

Post by Azza »

And let's keep in mind that no way Starling isn't going to play a role at no 9 next year as well.
User avatar
BadnMean
Jason Croker
Posts: 4270
Joined: May 13, 2013, 5:30 pm
Favourite Player: chicka

Re: Squad depth

Post by BadnMean »

Azza wrote: October 13, 2020, 10:18 am And let's keep in mind that no way Starling isn't going to play a role at no 9 next year as well.
We'd be mad not to be using Starling off the bench for 15 minutes either side of halftime at least. He'll play more some games.

With the speed of the new game and Hodgo not being the most mobile bloke even pre 2nd knee reco he'll have to adjust a bit to a new role. I think seeing the effect of changes and how good the team is going and his own professionalism Hodgo would accept that.
User avatar
Roger Kenworthy
Bradley Clyde
Posts: 8789
Joined: January 7, 2005, 10:18 pm
Favourite Player: Ruben Wiki, J-Lo, Jordan Rapana

Re: Squad depth

Post by Roger Kenworthy »

Botman wrote: October 12, 2020, 10:17 am
Toviii wrote: October 12, 2020, 9:46 am
sprintman wrote:Don’t see how we can retain all of these. I do feel sorry for Oldfield as well, always gave 100% but appears to be on the scrap heap...
I feel sorry for Oldfield too, his bad run with injuries probably hasn’t helped
That's always been the knock on Oldy to be honest. Just cant stay healthy. Reminds me of Robbo, who couldnt stay healthy here, moved on Manly and managed to play 2 years of mostly injury footy and was a real good player for them. But eventually he just fell back into injuries
Fake news. Robbo played 25, 27, 27, 25, 25 and 21 matches in his time at Manly. Missing 4 rounds in the middle of his final season was his only significant injury there.
User avatar
afgtnk
Bradley Clyde
Posts: 8333
Joined: April 7, 2007, 1:45 am

Re: Squad depth

Post by afgtnk »

I personally don't see how Starling starts over Havili on the bench. Having a guy only able to cover one player and one position is a waste of the spot.

Havili's utility value by being able to play in the middle and make good, tough metres, especially post contact, is very underrated. He adds a lot of punch there that some others don't have and also helps to cover any mid-game injuries.

We have to be banking on Hodgo getting back up to speed and to his best form, or near enough to it. That Hodgo isn't one you want coming off for anyone, unless he really has to - which Siliva will be able to cover.
User avatar
-PJ-
Mal Meninga
Posts: 20216
Joined: May 8, 2010, 1:58 pm
Favourite Player: Josh Papalii
Location: 416.9 km from GIO Stadium

Re: Squad depth

Post by -PJ- »

Hodgo will have less to think about going forward.

Hopefully he just slides back into the side and gives G&J the job of running the side.

Hodgo will thrive with less expectation on him.
3rd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment..Old Faithful
#emptythetank :shock:
User avatar
Seiffert82
Mal Meninga
Posts: 24105
Joined: March 17, 2007, 12:24 pm
Favourite Player: Bay56

Re: Squad depth

Post by Seiffert82 »

-PJ- wrote: October 13, 2020, 2:19 pm Hodgo will have less to think about going forward.

Hopefully he just slides back into the side and gives G&J the job of running the side.

Hodgo will thrive with less expectation on him.
I reckon taking a step back is a big mental hurdle for him. Whenever he gets praise for being the best dummy half he invariably overcooks it the following weeks.

Cameron Smith is great at what he does because a) he gets the basics right...every single time b) he knows which way the ball should go and he gives his halves with early ball rather than try to engage 4 defenders every ruck and c) he only tries to put on a killer play a few times a game rather than every second set.

Hodgo should be the second fiddle short of kicking option to Williams and second long kicking option to Wighton. He can do both well, but only when the markers are out of position.

I also suspect his running game will be limited for a while, so his focus needs to be on getting clean ball away, rather than worrying about putting in 'surprise' kicks early in the set or engaging the A/B defenders and throwing a risky offload instead of hitting his man on the chest 99.9% of the time like Smith does.

And then his defence. He needs to hold the line, not get isolated and stick the tackle. That's it.

Hodgo has all the skills. He just doesn't need to demonstrate every single one of them every single set.
User avatar
-PJ-
Mal Meninga
Posts: 20216
Joined: May 8, 2010, 1:58 pm
Favourite Player: Josh Papalii
Location: 416.9 km from GIO Stadium

Re: Squad depth

Post by -PJ- »

Seiffert82 wrote: October 13, 2020, 3:24 pm
-PJ- wrote: October 13, 2020, 2:19 pm Hodgo will have less to think about going forward.

Hopefully he just slides back into the side and gives G&J the job of running the side.

Hodgo will thrive with less expectation on him.
I reckon taking a step back is a big mental hurdle for him. Whenever he gets praise for being the best dummy half he invariably overcooks it the following weeks.

Cameron Smith is great at what he does because a) he gets the basics right...every single time b) he knows which way the ball should go and he gives his halves with early ball rather than try to engage 4 defenders every ruck and c) he only tries to put on a killer play a few times a game rather than every second set.

Hodgo should be the second fiddle short of kicking option to Williams and second long kicking option to Wighton. He can do both well, but only when the markers are out of position.

I also suspect his running game will be limited for a while, so his focus needs to be on getting clean ball away, rather than worrying about putting in 'surprise' kicks early in the set or engaging the A/B defenders and throwing a risky offload instead of hitting his man on the chest 99.9% of the time like Smith does.

And then his defence. He needs to hold the line, not get isolated and stick the tackle. That's it.

Hodgo has all the skills. He just doesn't need to demonstrate every single one of them every single set.
Hodgo sure does have all the skills and at times he was killing us. He was so hell bent on steering us around he was overplaying stuff.

Wighton, Williams and Hodgo will have it sorted, Stick will fix it.
3rd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment..Old Faithful
#emptythetank :shock:
User avatar
Lui_Bon
David Furner
Posts: 3599
Joined: June 3, 2009, 4:07 pm

Re: Squad depth

Post by Lui_Bon »

-PJ- wrote: October 13, 2020, 3:41 pm
Seiffert82 wrote: October 13, 2020, 3:24 pm
-PJ- wrote: October 13, 2020, 2:19 pm Hodgo will have less to think about going forward.

Hopefully he just slides back into the side and gives G&J the job of running the side.

Hodgo will thrive with less expectation on him.
I reckon taking a step back is a big mental hurdle for him. Whenever he gets praise for being the best dummy half he invariably overcooks it the following weeks.

Cameron Smith is great at what he does because a) he gets the basics right...every single time b) he knows which way the ball should go and he gives his halves with early ball rather than try to engage 4 defenders every ruck and c) he only tries to put on a killer play a few times a game rather than every second set.

Hodgo should be the second fiddle short of kicking option to Williams and second long kicking option to Wighton. He can do both well, but only when the markers are out of position.

I also suspect his running game will be limited for a while, so his focus needs to be on getting clean ball away, rather than worrying about putting in 'surprise' kicks early in the set or engaging the A/B defenders and throwing a risky offload instead of hitting his man on the chest 99.9% of the time like Smith does.

And then his defence. He needs to hold the line, not get isolated and stick the tackle. That's it.

Hodgo has all the skills. He just doesn't need to demonstrate every single one of them every single set.
Hodgo sure does have all the skills and at times he was killing us. He was so hell bent on steering us around he was overplaying stuff.

Wighton, Williams and Hodgo will have it sorted, Stick will fix it.
Hodgo has surely seen enough from the coach's box to know how he should be playing with the halves. He's got rooky coach written all over him, and besides, what other career is he up for? I jest, but actually he's now a committed Canberran with as far as I know no other qualifications - he will want to coach somewhere.

More interestingly (in a forensic sense) is afgtnk's argument that Havili is a better bench option that Starling. I appreciate the dual role that Siliva can play, but I wonder if the pure speed that Starling seems to be showing isn't more valuable. Do we sacrifice a bit of versatility in the hitup and a robust defensive presence for a marginally less (surprisingly) defensive presence and a more dangerous-looking attack? I wouldn't like to bet but I reckon that Starling is a better bit on offense. He also looks better equipped, amazingly, to play longer minutes. Of course if Hodgson is fit for the full 80 Starling is a bit of a waste, but maybe a ten minute burst with Hodgo as a defensive middle might be all we need? It's a genuine conundrum.

I f only there was any indication that Starling could also play as a third running half...
moto748
Terry Campese
Posts: 88
Joined: October 6, 2020, 12:35 am
Favourite Player: George Williams

Re: Squad depth

Post by moto748 »

I don't know how aware you guys are, but Hodgson comes in for a lot of criticism in England. Most fans would much prefer to see James Roby at 9 in the international side, and the complaint about Hodgson is that he wants to run the show, be a half-back, etc. Bear in mind too that he came from a pretty ordinary SL side and was regarded by nobody as anything special when he played in England. But, of course, players can improve in a different environment. I have countered in the past that what he does obviously works well for Canberra (and from my biased point of view, I could take a sideswipe at Bennett, and say it was his fault he couldn't get the best out of him! :evil: ), but I can also see that now the partnership between George and Wighton is more established, he will have to adjust his game a little. It will be interesting to see how he goes next season, assuming of course that he can return to full fitness.
User avatar
BadnMean
Jason Croker
Posts: 4270
Joined: May 13, 2013, 5:30 pm
Favourite Player: chicka

Re: Squad depth

Post by BadnMean »

Lui_Bon wrote: October 13, 2020, 11:29 pm

I f only there was any indication that Starling could also play as a third running half...
Just posted this in another thread but since you bring it up... watch the highlights of our round 10 match vs the Roosters. Starling playing at first receiver drifts across field, shapes to throw long out the back but instead hits Papa on a flat short ball for Papa to stroll through untouched to score from 20m out (well Teddy could have touched him, but seems to think better of it and veer away as he gets to within 5m :lol: )

He's mobile enough - far better laterally than Hodgo or even Havilii. He has the passing game easy. He's not a worry as a one on one tackler. I'd only worry about his kicking game, but if Hodgo or Havilii was also on the field + Jack, we'd have plenty.
User avatar
BadnMean
Jason Croker
Posts: 4270
Joined: May 13, 2013, 5:30 pm
Favourite Player: chicka

Re: Squad depth

Post by BadnMean »

moto748 wrote: October 14, 2020, 1:07 am I don't know how aware you guys are, but Hodgson comes in for a lot of criticism in England. Most fans would much prefer to see James Roby at 9 in the international side, and the complaint about Hodgson is that he wants to run the show, be a half-back, etc. Bear in mind too that he came from a pretty ordinary SL side and was regarded by nobody as anything special when he played in England. But, of course, players can improve in a different environment. I have countered in the past that what he does obviously works well for Canberra (and from my biased point of view, I could take a sideswipe at Bennett, and say it was his fault he couldn't get the best out of him! :evil: ), but I can also see that now the partnership between George and Wighton is more established, he will have to adjust his game a little. It will be interesting to see how he goes next season, assuming of course that he can return to full fitness.
I watch all the England tests to see how our guys go. And I agree that Hodgo -for whatever reason- just hasn't brought anything special to ENgland that I've seen. I don't know why but it just doesn't happen for him and yes, Roby looks far more lively and the team seems to have a better flow when Roby is on.

I would add that the Britain tour was the worst coached team I've seen for years. Look at the talent they had and how they played. It looked like Wayne had sucked every last ounce of will and enjoyment out of them. Whitehead, Bateman, Hodgo etc- cracking players but he got absolutely zero out of them. It wasn't just Hodgo, when I see Whitehead and Bateman so restricted and mundane then it adds up to a coaching issue on that tour imo. He had Hastings in the halves and Blake Austin on the wing for gawds sake. Any coach who thinks Hastings is better than George...
moto748
Terry Campese
Posts: 88
Joined: October 6, 2020, 12:35 am
Favourite Player: George Williams

Re: Squad depth

Post by moto748 »

Hastings has been good for us (Wigan), probably better than then, but yes, I fully agree with you. Whatever you say about Austin (and he got stick from England fans too), he is not a winger,and unfair to stick him out there. Also. lets be right, Hastings (and Austin) is an Aussie, so although the rules might allow him to play, England fans would not unreasonably ask that he be something exceptional to take the shirt of an English lad. Bennett never seemed to rate or trust George, and just seemed happier to select players that he knew from the NRL, not surprising considering how little time he spent in England. That last tour was a disgrace. We could, and should, have made a much better showing than that. The players all loyally stuck by Bennett and said what a great coach he was, but as you say, it didn't show on the field.
User avatar
afgtnk
Bradley Clyde
Posts: 8333
Joined: April 7, 2007, 1:45 am

Re: Squad depth

Post by afgtnk »

moto748 wrote: October 14, 2020, 11:38 am Hastings has been good for us (Wigan), probably better than then, but yes, I fully agree with you. Whatever you say about Austin (and he got stick from England fans too), he is not a winger,and unfair to stick him out there. Also. lets be right, Hastings (and Austin) is an Aussie, so although the rules might allow him to play, England fans would not unreasonably ask that he be something exceptional to take the shirt of an English lad. Bennett never seemed to rate or trust George, and just seemed happier to select players that he knew from the NRL, not surprising considering how little time he spent in England. That last tour was a disgrace. We could, and should, have made a much better showing than that. The players all loyally stuck by Bennett and said what a great coach he was, but as you say, it didn't show on the field.
The difference in the effect of the halves is interesting between the comps.

Correct me if I'm wrong but right now from what I can see, Hastings, Austin, and Sezer are probably rated top 10 players in the ESL right now.

I know George was highly rated, but if I asked English fans this question, they probably on average wouldn't rate him higher than the three above. Despite that, I and I suspect the vast majority of Australian NRL fans would unequivocally say that George **** on all of them from a great height. He's the far more rounded player, and has the type of attributes that sees a player flourish and withstand the rigours of what is the toughest comp. From the minute I saw footage of the guy, I was quite hopeful that he'd do well here for those specific reasons.

Talent and ceiling wise Austin is probably higher if you look at their overall careers, but Austin had been steadily declining for three seasons with us and ended up as one of the biggest defensive liabilities we've ever seen in our jersey. If you were picking an England team tomorrow and wanted to name the absolute best one possible from the current stocks to give the best shot of beating Australia and NZ, George Williams simply has to start - no question whatsoever.

Overall, I think that the biggest difference is the speed and organisation of opposition defence lines between the two comps, which has a huge bearing on how a half is able to use the skills they may or may not possess. Whenever I see a guy like Hastings lazily strolling across the ground and finding himself a yawning gap he can jog through to put someone over untouched, and then subsequently see English fans going gaga over it, I immediately relate it back to the NRL and dismiss it. **** like that simply doesn't fly in Australia, as seldom do those kinds of opportunities exist.
moto748
Terry Campese
Posts: 88
Joined: October 6, 2020, 12:35 am
Favourite Player: George Williams

Re: Squad depth

Post by moto748 »

That's fair. I watch a lot of SL games and think, they would never have scored *that* try in the NRL, the gap just wouldn't be there. Actually I daresay George got more criticism from Wigan fans that from other England supporters. I'm reminded of Shaun Johnson, who seems to get plenty of criticism from Sharks fans (and did from Warriors fans before). Maybe it's a case of, if you once dance through the opposition, beating half a dozen players, and putting the ball down under the sticks, people complain if you don't do it every week! Despite being top of the try assists lists, etc. As I said before, Hastings has been good for us, and I can't complain about his efforts on the pitch (he seems to play at loose forward half the time these days bizarrely), but of course George is a better player. Isn't it the mark of a good player that he can raise his game in a tougher comp, after all?

As for top halves in SL, I have to admit that I would include Jonny Lomax of Saints. Although of course Bennett, being Bennett, wanted to play him at full-back.
Post Reply