Jack Wighton - George Williams combination

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Canberra Milk
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Jack Wighton - George Williams combination

Post by Canberra Milk »

Am I the only one starting to lose confidence in it?

I don't think it was even that great last year, but it didn't matter when we had Papa and Tarps firing an all cylinders, and Wighton's running game was on point.

All the good teams now in attack, have a halfback who straightens the attack. That seems to be the iron clad formula. Ours run sideways and diagonal. After a year and a half, Georgey's outside men still don't know what he's doing. If you are going to drift across field and not play straight, then you need your runners to hit hard straight holes, and/or have them come inside as you drift. Neither of these things happen. You can blame the outside men, sure, but I've always thought that good halfbacks take players with them. I don't know how they do it, whether it's talk or intuition, a bit of both, but all good halfbacks did it

Wighton is a brilliant straight runner, but I'm still not convinced is even really a playmaker. I've rarely seen him think a way over the line. Think of someone like Jarome Luai who can craft space in the defensive line and put someone into it. Jack just doesn't do that. He can shuffle the ball left and that used to get results when Croker was in better form/faster, but that's really the extent of his passing game.

I'm concerned!! No halves combo is perfect (ok Cleary/Luai is close) but they are not clicking, have not clicked for some time and perhaps most importantly, are not showing signs of improvement. They are good players individually and I think that's what makes it most disappointing, because it feels like they have potential. I mean Georgey has the skills, he can run, kick and pass... so why can't he put it together

People might suggest it's poor ball from hookers or ineffective fullbacks but I don't think that cuts it either
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Re: Wighton/G Williams combo

Post by -PJ- »

I’m not concerned with our halves.
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Re: Wighton/G Williams combo

Post by Botman »

What i find very interest and have for some time, is we made a switch at halfback a few years ago, and whilst i was a Sezer fan and still am, it was a good move as George Williams is objectively a better footballer than him. We upgraded the position.

And yet, i dont think we've improved as an attacking team as a result. We have gotten worse imo. So better player at a key positon and we're worse... Why is that? And im not suggesting we were an attacking power house previously either. We were fundimentally the same sort of grind them out, defensive team, but we were certainly slicker in red zone.

I dont really know the answer to why it is. Certainly the ball playing at fullback doesnt help but we didnt have that when Sezer was here either. Is it just Jack Wighton and Josh Hodgson are not playing to the same level? Is it our outside backs dont have any strike in them the way peak Rapana/BJ/Croker/Cotric had? Is it the loss of coaching when Crowley left us?
It's likely a combination of all of them and other factors

One thing im sure of it that it's not that George Williams is a very good player.
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Re: Wighton/G Williams combo

Post by Knotincelly22 »

I'd prefer it if Williams only kicked when we are attacking in the opposition 20m. His 5th tackle kicks outside of 40m wouldn't find grass if the game was played in Byron Bay. Also, Jack's kick chase is one of the best in the league so it sets the tone for the entire set if we can pin the opposition deep in their own territory on tackle 1.. Hodgson and the halves is the real issue imo. I'd love to see the stats about how often he goes right(Williams) as opposed to left and when Jack does eventually get the ball he can't play short, becos Croker. And if he plays long, as we saw against Penrith, Rapana doesn't finish like he did in the past. A reason why the athleticism of Semi is a serious option. Yes he is still figuring out the defence but so is Sivo and he does a helluva job for Parra.
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Re: Wighton/G Williams combo

Post by Knotincelly22 »

I'd prefer it if Williams only kicked when we are attacking in the opposition 20m. His 5th tackle kicks outside of 40m wouldn't find grass if the game was played in Byron Bay. Also, Jack's kick chase is one of the best in the league so it sets the tone for the entire set if we can pin the opposition deep in their own territory on tackle 1.. Hodgson and the halves is the real issue imo. I'd love to see the stats about how often he goes right(Williams) as opposed to left and when Jack does eventually get the ball he can't play short, becos Croker. And if he plays long, as we saw against Penrith, Rapana doesn't finish like he did in the past. A reason why the athleticism of Semi is a serious option. Yes he is still figuring out the defence but so is Sivo and he does a helluva job for Parra.
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Re: Wighton/G Williams combo

Post by Rickmando »

Neither of them look like know what they are doing, and neither are taking control of the game and steering the team around the park. They aren’t setting up play any further ahead than one tackle at a time. There is seemingly no targeted game plan to attack an opponent’s weakness. There is no effective kicking, short or long (such a big part of modern football).

And very little of it is their fault as individuals in my opinion. They are both excellent halves players in a vacuum.

If they received even league-average coaching input and decent service from dummy half, this wouldn’t be a thread
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Re: Wighton/G Williams combo

Post by gangrenous »

Knotincelly - if one person does all your long kicking they will be pressured and smashed every single time. There has to be options.
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Re: Wighton/G Williams combo

Post by TongueFTW »

The issue is both are left side dominant players, and struggle playing right. When they go left, Williams can give Wighton the ball, but the Wighton struggles to hit Williams going the other way. The only time Williams has put a second rower through a hole this season, he came left. There is a reason anyone who plays right second rower seems to have to create something for themselves rather than being able to run a line and get a good, left to right, flat ball. If Wighton was able to to pass spiral left to right, he could hit Williams quickly - otherwise, we need Hodgson or someone else as a link to play right.
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Re: Wighton/G Williams combo

Post by Question »

it is absolute garbage.
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Re: Jack Wighton - George Williams combination

Post by greeneyed »

Disappointing that they did not take control, with Hodgson not on the field.
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Re: Wighton/G Williams combo

Post by kiwi raider »

TongueFTW wrote: April 25, 2021, 10:17 am The issue is both are left side dominant players, and struggle playing right. When they go left, Williams can give Wighton the ball, but the Wighton struggles to hit Williams going the other way. The only time Williams has put a second rower through a hole this season, he came left. There is a reason anyone who plays right second rower seems to have to create something for themselves rather than being able to run a line and get a good, left to right, flat ball. If Wighton was able to to pass spiral left to right, he could hit Williams quickly - otherwise, we need Hodgson or someone else as a link to play right.
100% agree with this. Williams is quite good at wrapping aroung and being the set up guy/link man to start off sweep plays on the left. Wighton never even attempts this on the other side. So he either needs to or we need to find someone that can be that link player. I reckon the plan was for hodgson to do this as a ball playing lock, stuart said as much in last weeks presser. That the outside back injuries had meant they couldnt go with the plan they had trained for. I also think Horsburgh is probably our best middle in terms of ball movement/link play so his inclusion going forward should help.

The other option is for wighton to play 5/8( or fullback in attack only) on both sides but he doesnt seem to ever leave that left side channel
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Re: Wighton/G Williams combo

Post by Roger Kenworthy »

Our right edge has never looked threatening with Williams in control. It's hard to pick between whether his cross field running lets the defense slide too easily or whether we just lack physicality on the right edge. Probably a bit of both IMO. Very hard to compete for a Premiership with one side of the field offering so little attacking threat though.
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Re: Jack Wighton - George Williams combination

Post by Botman »

I think many on this forum have unfairly maligned Hodgson and blame his service and his control on the game for the halves misfiring
as i said last night, they got all the football they could have wanted in that game and did nothing with it

Hodgson is not the problem
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Re: Jack Wighton - George Williams combination

Post by Question »

I think its time Jacky boy starts his progression to weapon head, it looks more his bag.
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Re: Jack Wighton - George Williams combination

Post by GreenMachine »

Both can’t seem to control a game.
It’s not hard to fathom why Hodgson seems to take control when he’s on the field.
I’ll also add, both are working with ineffective outside backs, so you can double team them in defence knowing there’s no threat in the outside.
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Re: Jack Wighton - George Williams combination

Post by -PJ- »

Individually I have no issues with George and Jack.

The attack is very clunkity clunk clunk.

Balls that should hitting their mark are going to ground, it’s horrible.

And seriously, can Jack go a game without kicked the ball out..
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Re: Jack Wighton - George Williams combination

Post by -PJ- »

Well..that is an issue I have with Jack.
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Re: Jack Wighton - George Williams combination

Post by Northern Raider »

Our halves are quality. It's the same combo that took us to a Preliminary Final last year. Right now they are down on form and confidence. It's a joint effort from both players and coaches to turn that around.
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Re: Wighton/G Williams combo

Post by julian87 »

Botman wrote: April 25, 2021, 9:58 am it was a good move as George Williams is objectively a better footballer than him. We upgraded the position.

And yet, i dont think we've improved as an attacking team as a result. We have gotten worse imo. So better player at a key positon and we're worse... Why is that?
I think it’s a pretty simple answer. Williams is obviously a better player. But he’s a different player. He’s a running chime in when you want rough and tumble five-eighth with a good short kicking game. Sezer was a no nonsense, play straight, play boring halfback.
well, I guess you could say that I'm buy curious.
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Re: Jack Wighton - George Williams combination

Post by papabear »

Both are running halves, sezer atleast had a nice kicking and passing game on him.

Sezer was unfairly maligned for our **** years pre 2019.. led by the same guy unfairly maligning Cnk now.

Don’t get me wrong williams is a better player but I don’t think it makes out team better...
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Re: Jack Wighton - George Williams combination

Post by kiwi raider »

Sezer is not the difference, the drop in quality of the squad is.

Put the 2019 versions of BJ, Rapana, Croker, Cotric, Bateman etc in to side along side Williams would improve us tenfold compared to putting sezer in instead of George alongside this mob
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Re: Jack Wighton - George Williams combination

Post by rayden83 »

Invidually they are good players but as a pairing they lack symbiosis. JW isnt really a natural five eighth and Williams isnt really a natural halfback, so its unsurprising that at times the attack has looked clunky.

However if you were to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the team our halves would be near down the bottom of things you would change. The first thing you would change are our three-quarters who are way off the pace and thus putting pressure on our halves to do more in attack that is clearly outside of their comfort zone.

The Sezer/Williams comparisons are ridiculous. Sezer departed for a reason and we should count our blessings that we have someone who is objectively a better footballer in every facet of the game.
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Re: Jack Wighton - George Williams combination

Post by afgtnk »

Halves aren't the problem. Their misfiring is a symptom of a much larger one though. Ultimately, I think the issue is Stuart taking charge of our attack since 2019. Ever since Crawley left, we've continually regressed. It's been fairly common knowledge that he's specifically had issues coaching it in the past. If a guy like Gus Gould, who oversaw him during his time at the Roosters, comes out publically and says that a coach who worked under him has always needed help with this aspect of the game, then I'm gonna listen to that and probably believe it.

Until we present real options on both sides of the ball, move at speed and in numbers, either change the structure of the way they're setup/employ a capable second receiver at fullback (just look at the difference Gutherson made on Friday night), and possess some kind of speed outwide to take advantage of the work they do, then we'll see this kind of clunk.

Go and watch other teams and see how they work off the ball, then come back and watch us and tell me what the difference is. Do the same with our teams between 2015-2018. We weren't always like this during Ricky's tenure. People love to rubbish Wighton as a fullback, but the guy helped to carry an attack which was one of the best in the comp over that four season period, playing in his second receiver role.
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Re: Jack Wighton - George Williams combination

Post by LastRaider »

Fox League commentator Andrew Voss exposed the chink in Wighton’s armour after the gin No.6 put a kick into touch on the full against the Cowboys.

“Since the start of 2019, how many kicks do you think Jack Wighton has put out on the full, as the first-choice five-eighth? Double digits,” Voss said.

The answer was 16 – 16 kicks out on the full since Wighton took ownership of Canberra’s No.6 jumper.

It’s a flaw rarely spoken about but one Wighton may now get asked to shed light on, following Voss’s revelation.

https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nrl-pr ... d47c9ff9ac


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Re: Jack Wighton - George Williams combination

Post by dubby »

Jack is rocks and diamonds.

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Re: Jack Wighton - George Williams combination

Post by greeneyed »

Seems to me that Raiders fans talk about Jack Wighton kicking out on the full constantly. How is it a flaw that is "rarely spoken about"?
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Re: Jack Wighton - George Williams combination

Post by afgtnk »

When you have a real think about it and view it in isolation, in the context of the game and its history, Jack's consistent kicks out are absolutely bizzare :lol: I mean we're now just laughing it off, but any other player committing the crime simply as a one-off would get crucified.

There surely would not be a player in the history of the game coming anywhere close to what he's racked up in the time he's been a half, seemingly unable to put a halt to it. I don't see it as otherwise being possible.
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Re: Jack Wighton - George Williams combination

Post by GreenMachine »

On kicking in general, why are we not trying to find touch and slow the game to give ourselves a chance?
I understand the scrum is gone, but surely a tap restart is better than keeping the ball in play so we can gas ourselves out of the contest by the 50 minute mark?
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Re: Jack Wighton - George Williams combination

Post by LastRaider »

GreenMachine wrote:On kicking in general, why are we not trying to find touch and slow the game to give ourselves a chance?
I understand the scrum is gone, but surely a tap restart is better than keeping the ball in play so we can gas ourselves out of the contest by the 50 minute mark?
100% right, this is why we need a game managing half. Williams is not this, he is a running 5/8. We need to recruit.


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Re: Jack Wighton - George Williams combination

Post by SimplyThePest »

afgtnk wrote: April 25, 2021, 3:53 pm Halves aren't the problem. Their misfiring is a symptom of a much larger one though. Ultimately, I think the issue is Stuart taking charge of our attack since 2019. Ever since Crawley left, we've continually regressed. It's been fairly common knowledge that he's specifically had issues coaching it in the past. If a guy like Gus Gould, who oversaw him during his time at the Roosters, comes out publically and says that a coach who worked under him has always needed help with this aspect of the game, then I'm gonna listen to that and probably believe it.

Until we present real options on both sides of the ball, move at speed and in numbers, either change the structure of the way they're setup/employ a capable second receiver at fullback (just look at the difference Gutherson made on Friday night), and possess some kind of speed outwide to take advantage of the work they do, then we'll see this kind of clunk.

Go and watch other teams and see how they work off the ball, then come back and watch us and tell me what the difference is. Do the same with our teams between 2015-2018. We weren't always like this during Ricky's tenure. People love to rubbish Wighton as a fullback, but the guy helped to carry an attack which was one of the best in the comp over that four season period, playing in his second receiver role.
Just had a look at some 2016 footage again. Jeez, the attacking stuff we serve up today is horrible. Whoever the chef is needs to give the pan away to someone else.
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Re: Jack Wighton - George Williams combination

Post by MrMilk »

afgtnk wrote: April 25, 2021, 5:20 pm When you have a real think about it and view it in isolation, in the context of the game and its history, Jack's consistent kicks out are absolutely bizzare :lol: I mean we're now just laughing it off, but any other player committing the crime simply as a one-off would get crucified.

There surely would not be a player in the history of the game coming anywhere close to what he's racked up in the time he's been a half, seemingly unable to put a halt to it. I don't see it as otherwise being possible.
The only other player I can think of is McCrone :lol:
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Re: Jack Wighton - George Williams combination

Post by moto748 »

interested in this, cos naturally how GW fits into the side is my main point of interest. First off I'll say this: as it happens, I watched 80 mins of Sezer the other day playing for Huddersfield. George is comfortably a more talented footballer. That's why he is playing in the NRL, and Sezer is at, well, Huddersfield. But saying that, all is clearly not well. As Tongue says, George is very much a left-sided running half, effectively playing the Wighton tole. That's what he did at Wigan. And he generally had an 'organising' half-back on the right doing the majority of the long kicking. It just looks to me like the team is poorly coached. In recent weeks, the impact of the halves has been reduced, and that's not the direction you want to travel in. Too much one-out football, and not just that, but the worst kind of one-out football, where the rest of the team stands back 10-15 metres away and watched as a sole forward takes the ball forward.
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Re: Wighton/G Williams combo

Post by Knotincelly22 »

gangrenous wrote: April 25, 2021, 10:15 am Knotincelly - if one person does all your long kicking they will be pressured and smashed every single time. There has to be options.
Options? Yes. But Jack's kicking is the preferred option but early doors against Penrith Williams seemed to be the ONLY option.
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Re: Jack Wighton - George Williams combination

Post by Knotincelly22 »

afgtnk wrote: April 25, 2021, 5:20 pm When you have a real think about it and view it in isolation, in the context of the game and its history, Jack's consistent kicks out are absolutely bizzare :lol: I mean we're now just laughing it off, but any other player committing the crime simply as a one-off would get crucified.

There surely would not be a player in the history of the game coming anywhere close to what he's racked up in the time he's been a half, seemingly unable to put a halt to it. I don't see it as otherwise being possible.
It doesn't rattle him and that's the point. How many more in that side would dwell on it and go into their shell? He's a winner, so is Bateman. You should appreciate how rare those players are. We let one go back to the UK. Unforgiveable imo.
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Re: Jack Wighton - George Williams combination

Post by Canberra Milk »

It could be true actually, the left right thing. It didn't even cross my mind that an established Nrl half would favour one side of the field so much, but it could be true. Can they just spend all their time at training hammering their right side... I've learned now that a lot of traits just can't be developed, but surely that's one that can be?!
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