I think wests are just lacking that old head in the backline. They have lost a lot of good players over the last few years (Linde, Fagaase, Greene, Fepuleau & Setu) but the one that hurt the most is probably Brett Gillespie. His experience and calmness under pressure I think is the difference between the dogs closing out games or falling short.
The trick is now is to continue to build this year get 80% of Prems, reggies and 1st grade players to return next year. One year older and another year wiser.
Not that I think it will mater but will JOC (James O'Connor), Karmichael Hunt and Adam Thompson be assigned a club?
I doubt any of the above will roll out for a club side in QPR15.
Reds last game is 13 June and AustU20s last game is 20 June.
Games that will be impacted by returning Reds & AustU20s would be:
QPR R15 - 20 June: Bros v GPS; Snbk v Nths; Uni v Sths; Wests v Easts; Bond Bye
QPR R16 - 27 June: GPS v Snbk; Uni v Wests; Easts v Bros; Nth v Bond;
QPR R17 - 04 July: Snbk v Easts; Bros v Uni; Bond v GPS;
QPR R18 - 11 July: Uni v Sbnk; GPS v Nths; Bond v Easts; Sths v Bros
Semi Final - 19 July
I think the two in bold GPS v Snbk and Uni v Snbk would be crackers if these clubs get back their full compliment of players.
If you call GPS, Snbk & Uni - the big 3 - i.e. most to gain from returning players - then only Brothers (GPS & Uni) and Sunnybank (GPS & Uni) have to play 2 big 3 sides in this period.
It will be a difficult period for all sides leading into the semis with a lot of clashes between sides currently in the top 5 during this run into the semis.
Whoever makes it through to the semis should be match hardened and ready to roll.
The Tigers highest qualified water boy - Ed Quirke - will apparently by given the QRU go ahead to play this week or next.
The Tigers back 5 forwards are doing a great job so it will be interesting to see who steps aside for EQ's inclusion.
Quirkie will just add to the BSHS flavour amongst the current crop of Tigers with Joel Faulkner, James Moore, Tony Bartlett and Tim Sampson all being BSHS OBs. Nice to see given the Easts club was originally formed as the BSHS Old Boys back in 1947.
Hopefully Greg Riley retains his spot as he currently sits on 95 Premier Grade Caps and if he gets to 100 it will be the second Villa Old Boy to achieve that feat this year - Jonny Wilder did so last week.
I watched the Wests V Souths Game via live streaming and have to disagree with Loin in so far as the standard of the game. I am an old Wests supporter but I was dismayed at the lack of structure in the backline. The forwards kept Wests in the game. Souths didn't play well and Wests were worse. The 11 for Wests is a speed bump in defence and Souths went down his side all the time. Souths made plenty of breaks up the 10 12 channel and that should be a worry for Wests. Tim Smith didn't have one of his better games I think he was a little jaded from the weekend. Wests were lucky to get within a point in the second half a bit of one out play be the Wests flyhalf got them up there. The lack of structure in the game from both sides is alarming at Prem level compared to other sides, that in my opinion is the reason for Wests lack of success, they do lack Gillespie's experience but they also lack some good solid defence in the backline. And the comment that they are bringing on young players is a rather strange as most of the players that are playing in Prems have been sourced from outside the club and moved straight into prems. There is hardly any young players coming through from their colts sides in recent times, that is their real problem