Discussion in 'Rugby Discussion' started by RugbyReg, May 9, 2019.
Err yeah whoops
Well that doesn't make for a very interesting discussion then.
I still think the loss of the big bruisers and inability to replace them is by circumstance more than plan. Absolutely the recruitment has been bad but I don't think it has been intentionally targeting specific types of players.
The best forward signing we've had in the last three years is Rob Simmons. He has helped our set piece tremendously. Different style of lock to Kane Douglas but outside of that 2014 season, Rob Simmons' overall play has been substantially better. Douglas had one great season and a lot of inconsistent play.
We lost Skelton and haven't been able to replace him. Holloway is now one of our best two locks and he couldn't make the team in the past. Staniforth has produced his best rugby this season but is a below average Super Rugby lock.
Palu retired and we haven't been able to replace him. Dempsey should be our starting 8 and is probably the second best option in the country after Naisarani.
We've lost TPN and everyone just moved up the pecking order so that is a clear downgrade. Even then, Latu has made the situation worse by doing everything he can between injury and suspension not to be our first choice.
Our backline recruiting has been better with Rona, Newsome and Hunt being decent recruits in the last few years but we haven't replaced Taqele (and there really isn't anyone to do that) and losing Folau this season is a huge blow.
I think in general the recruitment has been subpar as opposed to really targeted to acquire a certain type of player. Guys who should have just been squad level recruits have ended up being required as starters. Timing has been off with various signings meaning we've missed out on some better options from other teams.
Most of the players we've signed suggest to me that the recruitment budget is not big enough to sign the level of player we need to fill the gaps. Hopefully the departures of Folau and others frees up enough coin to chase a couple of good targets.
I agree on Simmons. He adds what the Tahs lacked, a set piece General. Not an enforcer but does what was needed. The Tahs need the other lock to be the big bruising type. Problem is Gibson didn't buy one.
Staniforth is rubbish. No go forward.
I disagree on Dempsey. He is a six playing 8.
Palu retired, did the Tahs even try to replace him for a player in similar size and strength?? Nope not Gibson.
In all these years Gibson has recruited to his plan and mindset of light and mobile pack. In all those years Tahs have lost players to other clubs who including Phillips and Loto who would have been the ones to keep.
Recruitment has been poor but the recruits are the kind Gibson wants.
Tahs lost Skeleton and bought Staniforth on a 3 year deal.
In relation to money explain to me the Brumbies and Rebels. The Brumbies have bought the big forwards and have the same cap the Tahs do. It comes down to recruitment mind set and strategies or lack of.
This is the squad type Gibson wants. Cheika left and the cap has gone up so it isn't money. He had big units and new that this was what was needed to win a comp. Gibson over and over again wants his light mobile pack.
The Tahs bought what Gibson wanted.
The myth of big bodies. The size difference between Hannigan for instance and other damaging runners of the ball is not that significant. Size is not the only factor, it is dynamism, drive in contact and a certain mental aspect which I'd call mongrel, that Potgeiter certainly had and no Tahs forward has consistently showed since. The same could be said about Fitzpatrick when we compare him to a smaller bloke than him from a few years ago in Adam Frier. I just don't accept that size is the key factor. Again look at Ben Mowen as an example or from this year McCaffrey. These blokes are all about the same size as the Tahs backrowers but actually run with effect.
Okay, swap 'size' for 'ball running ability' and the point remains.
The Tahs have more Wallabies than the Reds and Brumbies. Folau, Hooper, Beale and Foley are certainly in the upper tier of contract sizes. Then there's Kepu, Phipps, Dempsey, Simmons, Robertson, Hanigan, Latu, Gordon, Hunt and AAC.
The Rebels have a great squad but a fair chunk of their Wallabies have played very few tests and wouldn't be on particularly high value contracts. Their list of Wallabies is Genia, Coleman, Hodge, DHP, Koroibete on likely higher level contracts (although all except Genia would be below that Waratahs quartet), Maddocks, Cooper, Ainsley, Faulkner, Jones, Hardwick, Uelese, Philip, Toomua.
Toomua is presumably on very little this year from a Rebels perspective. Presumably they have to make him fit in next year. I think a few of those guys that came across from the Force like Hardwick are probably getting paid significant unders because they wanted a contract and wanted to play under Wessels.
Clearly I'm not going to convince you but I really don't think it is about recruitment strategy so much as it is about having the budget tied up in big names and not having the money available to sign the few big players that have come on the market and would have improved the side when they did.
I really don't think the Tahs have shelled out big dollars for Staniforth, Wells or Miller etc.
I 100% agree that they should have signed Salakaia-Loto rather than letting him go to the Reds.
I agree with Braveheart- the recruitment was driven more by availability than targeted recruitment. Although in saying that the Waratahs could have potentially worked harder on someone like Naisarani to sigh with the 'tahs as opposed to the rebels.
So who are potential solutions/ candidates over the next couple of years to fill some of the obvious gaps? Sam Jeffries from the Rebels might be a candidate?
Clearly Naisarani would have been a great recruit for anyone but I just don't see how the Tahs could spend more money there when they've got an all Wallaby backrow.
I reckon Dempsey will be in the RWC squad if fit and probably the second choice number 8 behind Naisarani.
I don't think Sam Jeffries is good enough. If they're not a clear upgrade on Simmons or Holloway then I don't see the point. We've already got Staniforth in that space. Looking at contract timing, all the Reds locks are signed for 2020 so we probably should base our contracts around trying to snag LSL for 2021.
Worth remembering that LSL was a fair bit overweight, had been playing rugby for only a couple of years and signed up to continue his relationship with his under 20s coach (Thorn).
He wasn't a sure thing by any stretch in 2015
Pat has been a disappointment, then. I do recall seeing some excellent SS games from him.
But I agree, Harris especially will be a top class player in a year or so. IMO clearly the standout at the recent U20s tournament on the Gold Coast. And that's not disparaging the likes of McReight, Wilson etc.
What do you mean Pat has been a disappointment? Are you talking about Pat Tafa or Pat Sio?
I don't think Pat Sio is a bad player, just that I don't think he's a likely starting number 8 in Super Rugby which is what the Tahs essentially need in the next couple of years out of a recruit.
As I said, I'd back Harris or Tafa to have a far higher ceiling and surpass Pat Sio fairly quickly.
I think this is the crux in 2019. Without the likes of Folau, Kepu, Phipps, Foley and possibly Beale in 2020, there should be a surfeit of funds available for recruitment for 2020. But who's available for it to be spent on?
Yeah, I meant Sio. I was also impressed with a couple of Norths' games I saw Pat Tafa play. He is good, but I do think Harris is the outstanding back rower so far on display in the U20s.
I reckon Beale will end up staying for a couple more years. I think he'll get a very strong offer.
I'd say there probably aren't a lot of top end names that will be available for next year. I expect the Tahs will struggle a fair bit. They need to be looking at players that become available in 2021 and making sure their current contracts put them in a position to be in the market for those players in the positions they need. That will probably mean moving on some current players to better structure the forwards in particular.
I expect the Rebels might have to offload a couple of players and there could be some opportunities there (perhaps Billy Meakes).
The conundrum facing the Waratahs over the next couple of years is what to do with Dempsey, Hanigan and Swinton. My take is that longer term Swinton and Hanigan probably need to be predominantly Super Rugby locks, particularly if they want to stay at the Tahs. Hanigan the lineout general/workhorse and Swinton the bruiser type.
Ideally Harris emerges rather quickly as the number 8 we need, Dempsey moves to 6 and Hooper obviously stays at 7.
Until that time, Dempsey remains the first choice 8.
They could plan ahead. Use next season to save up their dollarydoos and blood some young fellows and just be a bit shit generally whilst mapping out their recruitment strategy for good players coming off contract.
So does that mean a no from Gibson for Big Will?
Too big for Gibson, send him down the Hume Highway to Lord Laurie we will take the big man.
I have a feeling that is the reason Gibson would say no
Tahs have lost Phipps, Rona, Kepu, Folau so far and have signed no one new. There should be plenty of money unless
A it has already been spent on decent recruits
B It has already been wasted
C Too many players need pay rises
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