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Was it actually that bad?
Posted by: OldMarovian (IP Logged)
Date: 07 September, 2020 19:54

I didn't catch the Saracens/Wasps game live but rather just caught up with it and my question is was it really that terrible on reflection? ie after the emotion had worn off.

My feeling was the game was rightly not being viewed in isolation but both as what a "full" team could do to a "second" Wasps team and what shape that same "full" team where with a fortnight to go to the Leinster game.

Of main interest to me were I'd read in the papers and heard form other supporters that Saracens were lazy, played badly, petulant, penalty-machines etc and ofc about Farrells tackle. With that in my mind I watched in some trepidation and yet the game I saw didn't really reflect those views. Nothing below should detract from how well Wasps played but I'm obviously looking at the game with a Saracens view.

The general impression was of a team in a decent shape but not quite clicking. I saw no lack of effort from the players and whilst they certainly didn't dominate the opposition like you might expect in a Firsts v Seconds team type game neither do I think any players had bad games. I didn't see any petulance. I saw several players being peanlised quite questionably and simply accepting it. In contrast Riley at several points in the game can be heard talking to Wasps players about their behaviour and he makes a special point of talking to Bassett who seemed to spend much of the time sledging/niggling Saracens players (and getting a response to that)

With the big caveat that obviously this wasn't Wasps strongest side (however well they played) Saracens were largely dominant at the scrum and the lineout. You can see in this game and recent weeks that we seem to be trying harder throws (long more often) than we would do normally. We lost one over throw by Jamie and a second with clear interferance in the air not penalised where Wray then loses the ball. The Maul continued to be an issue which is slightly concerning. In open play we probably played more attacking rugby but it quite often broke down closer to the line. Again appreciating that this isn't Wasps main team and also they may not have been targetting the breakdown but our work there was very clean right up until the last ten minutes or so where the Wasps bench winger grabbed a couple of vital turnovers. The players from the bench played well when they came on and the communication seemed good between starters and bench. Daly was magnificent. Best player on the field for me. Cutting in attack and brilliant in defence where him jamming in a few times with big overlaps outside him almost certainly saved tries being scored. I also thought in this game and recent weeks both Lewington and Maitland look to be playing well.

I have to talk about Riley at this stage. I thought he had a very good game and whilst both sides will probably have calls they didn't agree with my feeling was none of the calls he made were the difference between a win and a loss.

The not good. Farrell is the very obvious one. My feeling is he'll be lucky to get a mid-level sanction. It was a horrednous tackle and whilst Atkinson both stepped back into him and ducked that is the risk you take when you leave the margins for your tackle being right so fine. I am really glad Atkinson seems alright. I am totally serious when I say that tackle could have been a career-ender. Farrell simply has to sort this out. Even in this game we saw the value of when he gets these hits right. two turnovers including one in our 22 in the first five? minutes because he dislodges the ball but it is simply to big a risk with it going wrong and I mean for the player he's tackling not him. Despite being dominant in several areas of play even with 15 men we didn't feel the dominant side.

Anyone else with different, or the same, feelings a few days after the loss?

Re: Was it actually that bad?
Posted by: The Bard (IP Logged)
Date: 07 September, 2020 21:31

I felt the Billy penalty reversal and the 5m scrum just before HT had very significant impacts on the momentum of the game and were not good decisions.
Christophe Ridley is one of the best young refs Ive seen so hopefully this was a one-off.
The significance for me was that our first choice team just DONT usually play badly at home, maybe Clermont in the snow being the last such example.
After that performance a few home truths were spoken and we had a very good run, sadly ended by a defeat in Dublin...

Re: Was it actually that bad?
Posted by: OhMaroItoje (IP Logged)
Date: 07 September, 2020 21:41

Set piece wise, it was the best weve looked in a while. We got on the wrong side of the ref early and ultimately that cost us the game. Any momentum wed ever pick up would be slashed by a penalty. There were a few basics errors in places but I think that was due to trying to force it a bit due to the scoreboard. If our pack can play like that, we sort out the discipline and Leinster dont improve from their Munster performance then weve got a real chance I think

Re: Was it actually that bad?
Posted by: AP (IP Logged)
Date: 08 September, 2020 10:01

Goppert kicked seven penalties and strangled us. It was like watching the Saracens tactics of a few years back!



Successful hills are here to stay
Everything must be this way
Gentle streets where people play
Welcome to the Soft Parade

Re: Was it actually that bad?
Posted by: mrangry (IP Logged)
Date: 08 September, 2020 10:34

I felt that we set off with the wrong mind set. An early try and we seemed to switch off even more. The reffing was a bit dubious- but Ridley had TMO (Luke Pearce?) in his ear, often correctly, can't blame the officials. I said to MrsA after the try this could be an easy win, or Wasps could easily come back and beat us. Fair play to Wasps, they were sharper, more focussed and played like we used to when successful. They deserved tries in the first half, and were able to keep us at bay with effort and application. I felt we were trying too hard at times, and lacked onfield discipline too often. The Farrell tackle was clearly red, and unneccessary, had he gone low (as we old fogeys were taught) the collision could well have caused Atkinson to knock on. So wrong tactical choice there, and from others all through the game. It wasn't as bad as the last home defeat to Wasps ( and they played brilliantly that day too) and Wasps are in form and hungry. But a lot of talking needs to be done, and attitudes changed before we face the might of Ampthill and Scottish, let alone Leinster.

Re: Was it actually that bad?
Posted by: boomer! (IP Logged)
Date: 08 September, 2020 13:08

"Was it actually that bad?"

For me I just couldn't understand why we let such a poor wasps team into the game.
Gopperth played the pragmatic game and took the points when they were on offer. Fair play to him.
We didn't.
Whatever happened to the notion of keeping to points ticking over?
Why kick for the lineout in the corner (we are not Exeter) when the pen lick was in front of the posts?
On that showing wasps have no chance of being champions.
Yes, we will be told it was their 2nd XV which it may or may not be so, but to lose to such a poor performance sheds light on how bad we were.

Too much has already be written about Faz, so all I shall say is that under the current laws hitting someone in the neck from a swinging arm is a red. Period.



It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.

Re: Was it actually that bad?
Posted by: RossM (IP Logged)
Date: 08 September, 2020 13:42

Speaking as a Wasps supporter, before the game I was hoping for a bonus point of some description but not expecting one. The first 5 minutes was all Saracens and I thought that we were going to get a stuffing. However the experience of Gopperth, taking 3 points whenever he had the option kept us in the game. I thought that some of your players looked strangely out of sorts: Maro and Billy Vunipola, who was getting nowhere, to name but two. Maybe some of your other core players found this unsettling. Some of your players looked like they needed a rest - I don't know how you've managed rotation.

I posted on onceawasp.com at half time that McCall should sub off some of your valuable players. The game which was slipping away from you was essentially meaningless. If I had been him, I would have been worried about injuries before the Leinster game. If he had done that then Farrell would not be in the dock this evening. Frankly I was amazed but very happy when the final whistle went. Good luck when you go to Dublin.

Re: Was it actually that bad?
Posted by: The Bard (IP Logged)
Date: 08 September, 2020 15:10

It has struck me since the game the one player who would have made a difference is Ben Earl. We really miss his speed around the breakdown and is the kind of player making hay at the moment.

Re: Was it actually that bad?
Posted by: OldMarovian (IP Logged)
Date: 08 September, 2020 17:08

Quote:
boomer!
For me I just couldn't understand why we let such a poor wasps team into the game.
That seems a bit disrespectful to me boomer. I think it's too easy to equate B team = poor and they certainly weren't. I also think it's easy to slip into the mindset of "if their B team did that what would there Firsts have done" which leads us to the below.

Quote:
boomer!
Gopperth played the pragmatic game and took the points when they were on offer. Fair play to him.
We didn't.
Whatever happened to the notion of keeping to points ticking over?
Why kick for the lineout in the corner (we are not Exeter) when the pen lick was in front of the posts?
The two teams where playing completely different games. Wasp came as plucky underWasps with nothing to lose loking to take everry single point and get any result they could. Sarries were obviously still practicing things for the Leinster game (this is at least the second game with the main team where we have "lost" or given away a significant advantage in a game by chosing to kick to the corner rather than take points. Likewise we are throwing many more risky lineouts, again I'd suggest practicing for Leinster. Whether that was the right call or not I guess we'll find out when we play Leinster?

Agreed about Earl the Bard. We have a very good but quite slow backrow. Earl adds speed in both attack and defence.

It's interesting what you sau about Maro and Billy Ross M. I disagree about Maro. He disrupted your lineout and in open play, stole balls from your maul and stopped some of your bigger runners. I thought Billy had a decent game too although he was certainly picked out by the TMO for close scrutiny.
As I said above I think the biggest difference is that one team took every point on offer the other was trying things that didn't work out. Normally Saracens would bank any kickable points.

Re: Was it actually that bad?
Posted by: AP (IP Logged)
Date: 08 September, 2020 20:08

And Ben Earl uses his pace to make Bristol's third try less than 20 minutes in against Saints ...



Successful hills are here to stay
Everything must be this way
Gentle streets where people play
Welcome to the Soft Parade

Re: Was it actually that bad?
Posted by: Sarriebone (IP Logged)
Date: 08 September, 2020 21:30

Quote:
AP
And Ben Earl uses his pace to make Bristol's third try less than 20 minutes in against Saints ...

And scores his own... putting him on 10 tries for the season only 1 behind Thorley who has scored the most with 11

Edit: And gets MOTM



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/09/2020 21:40 by Sarriebone.

Re: Was it actually that bad?
Posted by: OldMarovian (IP Logged)
Date: 08 September, 2020 21:51

To think that many Bristol posters were of the view that they didn't need him and he wasn't good enough to start in their 23.
Great to see him show how good he is. Nice little cameo from Malins too.

Re: Was it actually that bad?
Posted by: KingoftheHill (IP Logged)
Date: 09 September, 2020 16:51

Quote:
OldMarovian
To think that many Bristol posters were of the view that they didn't need him and he wasn't good enough to start in their 23.
Great to see him show how good he is. Nice little cameo from Malins too.

He definitely has Bear DNA . . . BEneARl

Re: Was it actually that bad?
Posted by: TonyTaff (IP Logged)
Date: 09 September, 2020 17:13

Quote:
KingoftheHill
Quote:
OldMarovian
To think that many Bristol posters were of the view that they didn't need him and he wasn't good enough to start in their 23.
Great to see him show how good he is. Nice little cameo from Malins too.

He definitely has Bear DNA . . . BEneARl

I understand that Ben has played so much that Pat Lam has exhausted his playing quota and that Ben cannot feature unless/until Bris appear in the playoffs.



721.05 (*) donated to the Saracens Foundation due to visits to the Sarries frontpage [www.rugbynetwork.net]

Please read and submit articles for publication.


(*) As at October 31, 2018.

Re: Was it actually that bad?
Posted by: Rinkadink (IP Logged)
Date: 11 September, 2020 08:30

Quote:
OldMarovian
To think that many Bristol posters were of the view that he wasn't good enough to start in their 23.
Evidence please.

Quote:
TonyTaff
I understand that Ben has played so much that Pat Lam has exhausted his playing quota and that Ben cannot feature unless/until Bris appear in the playoffs.
[Citation needed]

Re: Was it actually that bad?
Posted by: TonyTaff (IP Logged)
Date: 11 September, 2020 11:04

[quote TonyTaff]
I understand that Ben has played so much that Pat Lam has exhausted his playing quota and that Ben cannot feature unless/until Bris appear in the playoffs.[/quote]
[Citation needed][/quote]

It was mentioned on BT Sport. Unsurprisingly, they didn't provide a reference.



721.05 (*) donated to the Saracens Foundation due to visits to the Sarries frontpage [www.rugbynetwork.net]

Please read and submit articles for publication.


(*) As at October 31, 2018.

Re: Was it actually that bad?
Posted by: Barty II (IP Logged)
Date: 11 September, 2020 15:46

[quote Rinkadink][quote OldMarovian]To think that many Bristol posters were of the view that he wasn't good enough to start in their 23.[/quote]
Evidence please.

Here's one from the Bristol forum:

Re: RUMOURS
Prop Joe 13 February, 2020 21:39
The problem with the Ben Earl rumour is that Earl is at the stage where he would want to be a first choice starter but I honestly don't think he would get in ahead of Luatua Hughes and Thomas.

Re: Was it actually that bad?
Posted by: OldMarovian (IP Logged)
Date: 11 September, 2020 20:05

Quote:
Rinkadink
Quote:
OldMarovian
To think that many Bristol posters were of the view that he wasn't good enough to start in their 23.
Evidence please.

You have a "best team" or similar thread where I seem to remember he didn't make certainly some XVs and I think even a 23. I am remembering back but I also think with the exception of Timothy Q few were that impressed in the original Loan thread on your board. Tbh lifes too short for me to go and check those threads but I'm pretty sure. Feel free to come back and correct me if I am wrong.

Ah, I see Barty has found one at least. Tks Barty.

Re: Was it actually that bad?
Posted by: Rinkadink (IP Logged)
Date: 11 September, 2020 20:31

No, that's not one at all... that's one saying he wouldn't get into the starting XV ahead of that 6 ,8, 7 in their current form/injury permitting.

Nowhere does it say he was not good enough for a 23/system player and there should be "many Bristol posters" who thought he would only be playing the A league for you to quote here given your bold claim.

Where are they all?

Re: Was it actually that bad?
Posted by: OldMarovian (IP Logged)
Date: 11 September, 2020 21:43

One is one, two is many. Look the threads mentioned above and the first fixture against Sarries. I'd suggest that not making a XV ahead of Thomas or a 23 ahead of Thomas and another backrow cover suggests he was not rated.

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