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Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
Posted by: ancient mariner (IP Logged)
Date: 09 November, 2018 10:13

Some interesting input from Matt Ferguson in the Chron. May confound a few wanting the monsters, though. However, if there's another Tiny out there he might just do for Boyd's plans!

Here's the link

Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
Posted by: Abington Adam (IP Logged)
Date: 09 November, 2018 10:48

Quote:
Matt Ferguson
"Yes, we can look at the quality of the Clermont front row but I'm not sure they touched the ball outside of scrums. Did that get them the result? Well, they won five scrum penalties that played a part in it."

I know that he's arguing in favour of a balance, but this quote is slightly troubling. The dominance Clermont had in the scrum totally change the complexion of the contest.



COME ON YOU SAINTS!
Church's Stand season ticket holder
EMRU Referee

Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
Posted by: andysaint (IP Logged)
Date: 09 November, 2018 11:06

It strikes me that they are trying to reinvent the wheel and play a way that the premiership and Europe does not play. Brave or short sighted? Winter may well be an eye opener in that respect.

Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
Posted by: Duckonstilts (IP Logged)
Date: 09 November, 2018 11:21

We are fine on our own ball. So if we just stop knocking on we will be fine ;-)*

Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
Posted by: fair_weather_fan (IP Logged)
Date: 09 November, 2018 11:34

Quote:
Abington Adam
Quote:
Matt Ferguson
"Yes, we can look at the quality of the Clermont front row but I'm not sure they touched the ball outside of scrums. Did that get them the result? Well, they won five scrum penalties that played a part in it."

I know that he's arguing in favour of a balance, but this quote is slightly troubling. The dominance Clermont had in the scrum totally change the complexion of the contest.

However the source of the dominance was Rabah Slimani who is not a monster but a superb technician like Tom Smith or Garry Pagel.

Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
Posted by: ElySaint (IP Logged)
Date: 09 November, 2018 12:09

With our win : loss ratio so far it doesn't yet seem to be a successful approach.

He mentions about upskilling players' scrum skills who are good in the lose but surely you could equally upskill a scrum 'monster' to catch-pass? I'd rather see less pens and more parity at scrum with improving handling skills than have flashy passing footballing forwards who get folded up consistently in the scrum. Just my opinion, and maybe we'll start to win more than we lose, but don't see form to suggest such as yet.

Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
Posted by: Saint Stokey (IP Logged)
Date: 09 November, 2018 12:29

Perhaps theres an element of diplomacy in the article.

I doubt that the a coach, or any member of the club for that matter, is going to publically say that any player is not good enough.

In an ideal world, I'd love us to have a set of props that have the handling skills of a Sonny Bill, have the bulk of a Vunipola or Naiyaravoro and the pace of a Collins or Reinach, but until such time as we start genetically engineering our players or a freak comes along, that's not going to happen.

For now, a front row that can hold their own in a scrum, whilst being competitive at the line out and breakdown is what we can hope for.

When contracts are up at a point where we can look to recruit new players within our budget, I'm sure it will be investigated. Until then, we are in a position where we have to play with the players that we have. They are the size that they are and so adopting a strategy where the scrum is a launching platform rather than a source of penalties has probably been deemed the best strategy.

I'm sure that if we have props that were not agile, couldn't catch or pass for toffee but we all 'monsters' then out scrum tactics would be different.

Hopefully the coming weeks show improved performances and we can start to put this concern to the back of our minds... at least until the summer.



on another note, its good to see players like Trinder, Hill and hopefully soon, JFR coming back to fitness. Franks can then revert to his normal LH role and give Waller some greater competition.

Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
Posted by: Saint For Life (IP Logged)
Date: 09 November, 2018 12:30

Greater openness and insight as to direction etc - should be welcomed . If some keyboard warriors donít like the message , adopt a glass half empty stance , are naive enough to think that Rome was built in a day then carry on worrying . I personally am very happy to 100% support the current set up and recognise that the road in front will inevitably be extremely bumpy and at times painful . COYS

Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
Posted by: Duckonstilts (IP Logged)
Date: 09 November, 2018 13:37

Same message as on th Saints show.

We are working with what we have. Thankfully all our Hookers can hook well so route 1 ball is a solid option.

Things are not that bleak either. Painter is doing well for his age. The experience he is getting will help him masses over the next 10+ years and he is not only pretty good in the scrum but looks good in the loose too.

Hill might not be a monster but he has a lot of potential.
It will be great to see him play again.

And if it comes to it we can let Boyd recruit soon enough.

Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
Posted by: ElySaint (IP Logged)
Date: 09 November, 2018 14:11

Quote:
Saint For Life
Greater openness and insight as to direction etc - should be welcomed . If some keyboard warriors donít like the message , adopt a glass half empty stance , are naive enough to think that Rome was built in a day then carry on worrying . I personally am very happy to 100% support the current set up and recognise that the road in front will inevitably be extremely bumpy and at times painful . COYS

Just because some people, myself included, are not 100% convinced by the message, the performances or the results, doesn't make them a keyboard warrior. There is nothing abusive or aggressive in this thread to suggest and keyboard warrior is there? Just opinion and discussion.

Our performances have been hit and miss, and for me, generally more miss than hit so far this season - and that rings true in the microcosm of the scrum, under discussion here. I am allowed to be 'glass half empty' if I feel that way about the rugby surely? Not wrong or naive, just different.

What a boring place we'd occupy if we all felt and thought the same.

I'm delighted that you're happy with the way things are going so far by the way. And I hope you continue to enjoy supporting the club; I certainly do.

Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
Posted by: Chris Hoddle (IP Logged)
Date: 09 November, 2018 14:15

As the tall duck says he explained this on the Saintsís show so well worth a listen.
(In glaws now but not raining.....yet)



http://chrishoddle.smugmug.com/photos/i-TsCHdzK/0/M/i-TsCHdzK-M.gif

Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
Posted by: tedge (IP Logged)
Date: 09 November, 2018 14:44

It seems fairly obvious and totally understandable that coaches have to be pragmatic and make the most of what they have. Whether the style of play they claim to promote is a permanent conviction or merely to suit circumstances will only be known in the longer term when they have the freedom to recruit,or not.

Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
Posted by: BrianB (IP Logged)
Date: 09 November, 2018 14:57

I love seeing quick ball taken by the no 8. Far more interesting that successive scrum re-sets. As the man says, they need to hone their skills on the oppos put in to reduce the advantage.

Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
Posted by: LeicesterSaint (IP Logged)
Date: 09 November, 2018 15:56

Why didn't we start a Tiny cloning project all those years ago?

In seriousness he was a bit of an anomaly in terms of a big unit that could also shift and pass but even then he likely wouldn't have looked so good without Mooj on the tightside as an anchor.

Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
Posted by: fair_weather_fan (IP Logged)
Date: 09 November, 2018 16:18

Quote:
BrianB
I love seeing quick ball taken by the no 8. Far more interesting that successive scrum re-sets. As the man says, they need to hone their skills on the oppos put in to reduce the advantage.

And this approach has been facilitated by the law change allowing the 8 to pick the ball up before the ball is out. WE got most of our own ball against Clermont going backwards.

Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
Posted by: Saint Stokey (IP Logged)
Date: 09 November, 2018 16:36

I think our biggest problem is not so much that we're looking to play with a lighter, more agile pack, its that we only have the one option.

I'd prefer us to keep some of our props for games where a mobile pack is an advantage, but in games where its going to be an arm wrestle, we can draw on 2 behemoths and bully the opposition into penalties.

I'm happy to wait and see who Boyd brings in. This evolution was never going to be a quick process.

Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
Posted by: Chris Hoddle (IP Logged)
Date: 09 November, 2018 16:44

I suppose Chris B is from a culture where the scrum is a restart so nobody really builds a big pack. Here it is the opposite. I wonder what it is with the all blacks that do it against a big pack?



http://chrishoddle.smugmug.com/photos/i-TsCHdzK/0/M/i-TsCHdzK-M.gif

Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
Posted by: SaintsAsh (IP Logged)
Date: 09 November, 2018 16:45

Quote:
Saint Stokey
Perhaps theres an element of diplomacy in the article.
I doubt that the a coach, or any member of the club for that matter, is going to publically say that any player is not good enough.

In an ideal world, I'd love us to have a set of props that have the handling skills of a Sonny Bill, have the bulk of a Vunipola or Naiyaravoro and the pace of a Collins or Reinach, but until such time as we start genetically engineering our players or a freak comes along, that's not going to happen.

For now, a front row that can hold their own in a scrum, whilst being competitive at the line out and breakdown is what we can hope for.

When contracts are up at a point where we can look to recruit new players within our budget, I'm sure it will be investigated. Until then, we are in a position where we have to play with the players that we have. They are the size that they are and so adopting a strategy where the scrum is a launching platform rather than a source of penalties has probably been deemed the best strategy.

Could not agree more Stokey, very well put.

I'm sure that if we have props that were not agile, couldn't catch or pass for toffee but we all 'monsters' then out scrum tactics would be different.

Hopefully the coming weeks show improved performances and we can start to put this concern to the back of our minds... at least until the summer.



on another note, its good to see players like Trinder, Hill and hopefully soon, JFR coming back to fitness. Franks can then revert to his normal LH role and give Waller some greater competition.

Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
Posted by: SaintMaul (IP Logged)
Date: 09 November, 2018 17:28

Quote:
Saint Stokey
I think our biggest problem is not so much that we're looking to play with a lighter, more agile pack, its that we only have the one option.
I'd prefer us to keep some of our props for games where a mobile pack is an advantage, but in games where its going to be an arm wrestle, we can draw on 2 behemoths and bully the opposition into penalties.

+1

I love Chris Boyd's intent. But for the game plan to work we need a scrum that can achieve close to parity so we are not an easy penalty machine whenever the opposition have the put in such as when we knock the ball on in wet weather trying to play expansive rugby.

We can't do anything about this season but it would be a serious misjudgement if rectifying our scrum isn't a top recruitment priority IMHO.

Re: Front row 'monsters' not the main priority for Saints
Posted by: oldtoastersaint (IP Logged)
Date: 09 November, 2018 17:50

I'm getting pretty fed up about the time-consuming mess that's been created by the excessive awarding of 'technical' penalties and yellow cards in what should be the straightforward restart of play via a scrum. I suspect I'm not alone. If the authorities were at all forward-thinking on making the game more spectator friendly that would be justification on its own for changing the scrum laws. More importantly though they should be concerned about being held legally responsible in future for any injuries consequent on the undue forces currently being channeled through the front row. They must be fast approaching an exponential breaking point beyond which its entirely unsafe to go physically. As the rules currently stand they still favour the 'monster' approach to front row selection- often widely advocated on this site as the solution to all Saint's woes- forgetting the undoubted ability of richer clubs to continually out 'monster' our 'monsters'


It's high time the authorities removed the 'technical' penalty option at scrums, which often amounts to an incomprehensible 'Buggins turn' anyway, reserving it only for odd instances of dangerous play and to replace it with the free kick.


Sides may possibly want to go for scrum after scrum after scrum on winning a succession of free kicks but I doubt it without the genuine prospect of any escalation to a full penalty or a pushover try. Then it would be up to the referees to allow advantage to be played wherever and whenever possible, their remit to be encouraging the restart of open play which seems to be no part of their current instructions.

Wouldn't it be great to see the wholesale return of the tap penalty and a faster game steadily holding in check the 'monster' trend without requiring an outright ban on size that may ultimately be required?

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