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Re: Is it all doom and gloom?
Posted by: Nath-coys (IP Logged)
Date: 23 February, 2020 19:45

Itís not as bad as it seems. I think if anything itís some squad depth thatís getting exposed rather than suddenly we are this really bad team.

We are definitely missing Courts and Biggar, there ability to play near to Test match physically, and Biggs ability to drive the team around the field is sorely missed.

Add too that Ribbans and Api, we are down on what was a lot of our go forward ballast in the pack. Tei canít do it on his own as much as he tries too.

We will see where we are at 2 or 3 games after the 6Nís are over and the boys are back.

Re: Is it all doom and gloom?
Posted by: Hollywood JK (IP Logged)
Date: 23 February, 2020 21:16

Yeah but we have to adapt to injuries, international call ups, thatís the same for all 11 clubs!

What it showed today is why a number of players are on the fringes, they canít be trusted to step up. We lost just about every collision today, have to be much more physical.. A big missed opportunity for a number of players to stake a claim as a regular start..

Iím not defending them but thought the ref was poor today. Exeter slowed our ball down so many times, and were offside on a number of occasions and didnít get pinged. Only his second premiership game and it showed..

Re: Is it all doom and gloom?
Posted by: Hymenoptera (IP Logged)
Date: 23 February, 2020 22:47

Do you think your league position has been sqeuwed a bit having Navarro..how many games do you think he has won you, or having him in the team has won you, I reckon he has a lot to do with your perceived progress.
When he hasn't been allowed to impact the game, you have tended to lose.

Re: Is it all doom and gloom?
Posted by: SaintsAsh (IP Logged)
Date: 23 February, 2020 23:33

Quote:
Hymenoptera
Do you think your league position has been sqeuwed a bit having Navarro..how many games do you think he has won you, or having him in the team has won you, I reckon he has a lot to do with your perceived progress.
When he hasn't been allowed to impact the game, you have tended to lose.

He has been part of winning us games as well as losing us games with his defense.

Re: Is it all doom and gloom?
Posted by: chappers_saint (IP Logged)
Date: 24 February, 2020 07:51

What worries me is that we are nearly into March and not a sniff of a signing for next season. We are light in many areas after losing some big names that will see us well under the cap.

To me we need another:
Hooker
Lock
8
FH
SH
Inside centre
Wing/FB

Re: Is it all doom and gloom?
Posted by: Aberavon Wizard (IP Logged)
Date: 24 February, 2020 09:03

Quote:
chappers_saint
What worries me is that we are nearly into March and not a sniff of a signing for next season. We are light in many areas after losing some big names that will see us well under the cap.
To me we need another:
Hooker
Lock
8
FH
SH
Inside centre
Wing/FB

Hard to disagree with that list Chappers - we have too many 'average' players who cannot make that next step when it really matters.

Re: Is it all doom and gloom?
Posted by: ajack (IP Logged)
Date: 24 February, 2020 09:22

Not sure we have many more "average" players than say Sale or Bristol both of whom are above us. Basically our skill levels have dropped off, we are not scoring tries any more, our defence is very weak and according to Boyd we are not sticking to the game plan. That is a pretty toxic mix.

I really don't think one or two signings or players returning is going to turn that around. We need the whole squad and coaches to step up a level.

Re: Is it all doom and gloom?
Posted by: tedge (IP Logged)
Date: 24 February, 2020 09:46

Then Ajack the question must be asked - why are they not sticking to the game plan - I'm sure Exeter are sticking to theirs ?

Re: Is it all doom and gloom?
Posted by: Duckonstilts (IP Logged)
Date: 24 February, 2020 10:01

Its not all doom and gloom, There is plenty of both right now but if we are to have a dip then the usual mid season Saints dip (that is a month or so late due to the world cup) is not only preferable to the end of the season it also tradition ;-)

Lets be honest, we are a bit short of our best team and our young players are not quite there yet. Thats fine, you dont build a championship team over night. For me, the biggest issue is we are rebuilding our defensive structure right now, The last one was probably in place for years so we are asking the team to change everything. Mid season is not an ideal time to do this. Away to Exeter is definitely not a good time.

Lets be honest, with our full team, no coaching changes and a sunny day we would have been surprised to win, so we are just looking at the size of the defeat. That is all to do with defence, and we know our old one was not good enough. So lets give them time.

My other concern is with our attacking play. Our centres looked totally one dimensional. They might be good players but I have not seen much of it yet. They almost look like they just met the team yesterday, running down blind alleys, taking it on when a pass would be better... That needs to improve.

Re: Is it all doom and gloom?
Posted by: Toulousian Firefighter (IP Logged)
Date: 24 February, 2020 13:39

I don't think Big T has skewed our league position. If anything, our gameplan of 'get in to Big T' is a hinderence. In general, we are so easy to play against. Run at us hard, we will fall off tackles. When we have the ball, we will try to fool you with some tricks in midfield, but inevitably we will try to get the ball to the wing. The opposition's defence just has to drift and wait.

Why do we kick it so much in the opposition's 22? I can't think of a time this has worked. We're just giving the ball back. It's made worse when we're asking Big T to chase as well.

At first, under Chris Boyd I thought that our kick chase got better but it's certainly not the case now. When Grayson went for an up and under from a free kick in the first half, why wasn't Collins next to him from the kick and chasing as hard as he could? He was jogging on the wing.

Another gripe of mine is why we barging into dead rucks? I see it in games, not just involving saints, but why? I'm talking about when the ball is at the back of the ruck and the contest is over, inevitably with about 5 players on the floor. There is zero chance of the defending team getting the ball... yet Wood, Tei, Eadie and the rest are putt maximum effort into charging into people on the ground. A waste of energy, a defender down in the line and a risk of a TMO intervention. Dumb.

I'm all up for playing the 'Chris Boyd way' but sometimes you've surely got to mix it with some northern hemisphere pragmatism. Our pride in not keeping the ball in the scrum could be seen, by some refs, as us saying our scrum isn't good enough to keep it in and win penalties.

What happened to looking after the ball, instead of trying miracle offloads that rarely work? We're in a dip of form. Trying to be flashy on a wet pitch (it was raining before kick off) against the top team in the competition? No.

I'm not often a fan of calling out individual players and not wanting them at Saints but I can see the point regarding Ace and TC. With Ace, it doesn't seem like he's that quick, he struggles to catch/pass/run and his positioning is poor. Think back to Wasps away last season, too. You could see him involved in giving away points yesterday. Him and TC fall off many tackles. TC's main attribute is pace. He doesn't seem as quick as he used to be and has join the Ben Cohen school of running to the line, stopping, doing a dance and not making ground. And what was that yellow card about?

I think a good test of the value of a player in your squad is 'would they get into other teams? 'would I envy another team if they played for them?' 'would their season highlights reel last more than a minute or two?'

Sorry to go on. Grumpy today. I have to say, Sandy Park is one of the worst grounds to visit in the calendar, not just for the likely thrashing. Invest in some decent stands and don't copy Saracens in playing 'Sweet Caroline'.

Re: Is it all doom and gloom?
Posted by: Brackleysaint (IP Logged)
Date: 24 February, 2020 14:07

Unfortunately or fortunately some may say, I was working all day yesterday and have not yet had the chance to watch the game.
I noticed that in both the Irish and Bristol game that when we were pushing to try and restore the lead, the ball seemed to be shipped to Big T all the time, even if other options were available, almost as if the rest of the team have become over reliant on him to produce go forward ball, where before another option may have been taken. Could be my imagination though.

Re: Is it all doom and gloom?
Posted by: Duckonstilts (IP Logged)
Date: 24 February, 2020 15:28

Big T is a good weapon but not on his own. What he does is break the gain line but he needs someone there to pass to. We dont seem to attack in numbers right now, so we cant offload into the gaps. This is a change from early in the season. If you watch us when we were scoring for fun or Saracens in previous years there are always people around the ball carrier giving options.

How we miss Furbs, Hutch and Francis to name but 3.

Re: Is it all doom and gloom?
Posted by: tedge (IP Logged)
Date: 24 February, 2020 15:43

On his current form I don't think we are missing Hutch - I agree about the other two. Big T was supposed to be on the bench on Sunday so may be they were trying something different. Possibly the gloom and doom is not so much about losing away to Exeter but the margin of the defeat must have surprised many. Losing any match by 50 points cannot do anything but harm to a team's morale, even if the DoR plays it down afterwards

Re: Is it all doom and gloom?
Posted by: Duckonstilts (IP Logged)
Date: 24 February, 2020 15:52

Its probably easier to cope with a loss like that rather than a close one for the coaches. In a close one you think about all the small errors that could have gone the other way, Other than Exeter forgetting to put out 15 men I cant see anything that would have changed the result at the weekend ....

For fans however its probably the other way. A close loss makes us keep belief that we were close and if not for some obvious cheating by the opposition we would have got the Win ;-) A drubbing makes you wonder why you wasted a couple of hours of your weekend as there was very little to actually enjoy.

Re: Is it all doom and gloom?
Posted by: EXDJ (IP Logged)
Date: 24 February, 2020 16:31

Quote:
Toulousian Firefighter
Sorry to go on. Grumpy today. I have to say, Sandy Park is one of the worst grounds to visit in the calendar, not just for the likely thrashing. Invest in some decent stands and don't copy Saracens in playing 'Sweet Caroline'.

Apologies if SP doesnít meet your standards. Having only moved in 14 years ago, it is still a work in progress and as a member-owned club without a megabucks backer like Bristol, it will be a few years yet before itís finished (you can see the plans online). If it helps, it is a definite improvement compared to where we were playing before.

And yes, we hate Sweet Caroline too.

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