Depth & Juniors

Discussion in 'St George Illawarra Dragons' started by Saints Forever, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. Saints Forever

    Saints Forever Juniors

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    Looking through the squad profiles today its pretty obvious that the club will rely heavily on its juniors in 2018.

    Apart from Allgood and Latimore we have no deadwood. Both Latimore and Allgood provide us with size and experience. Neither will play FG unless the forwards sustain a serious run of injuries.

    Sele and Lawrie were blooded this season as was Dufty.

    May must start the season with Dufty. By week 12 we will know whether he is going to make it as our full back. If he fails I predict Mann will be the replacement.

    Host has the frame, tackling technique and the speed to play FG in 2018. He should see serious minutes in 2018 if Mary removes his blinkers. Thommo is unlikely to be resigned hence Host must be given game time.

    Am expecting Leilua to see plenty of game time given the fact he seems serious about getting fit. Needs to improve his tackling technique if he is to become the gun FG forward we are hoping he will be.

    The whole back line excluding the halves will be under pressure to retain their positions.

    Flo got bless his soul has one foot out the door.

    Aitken & Mann had a fairly serious shoulder injuries during 2017 so there is a chance they may not play consistently well at the beginning of 2018. Herbert is 92 kg same weight as Aitken. He has footy smarts. Expect Herbert to compete during 2018 for a centre spot.

    Lafai with Hunt & Widdop as halves should excel.

    Garrick and Lomax have the speed and size to play FG. Flo and Nene need to pick up their game or they could find themselves playing NSW Cup.

    Robson is actually 1 kg heavier than McInnes and played some NSW Cup in 2017. If McInnes is injured in 2018 Robson is the only other specialist hooker/dummy half in the squad.

    Am both worried and excited at the prospect of the junior backs transitioning to FG.

    2018 is going to be a very interesting season.
     
    Life's Good, jak, ALSGI and 8 others like this.
  2. coast_dragons

    coast_dragons Coach

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    Very good post Saints.

    You have made some very valid points but people will still have a cry that the club doesn't have enough depth and on the other side they don't blood enough youngsters.

    The ISP team will largely be very young so the results may vary throughtout the year but on the plus side it will be more beneficial to players development.

    Alot comes down to McGergor who needs to start listening to others and not be so pig headed and not take advice when its needed.
     
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  3. Crush

    Crush Juniors

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    Thats what a normal club would do but unfortunately Mary will play it safe as possible all the way.
    If dufty doesn't work out it will be nightingale to fullback.
    If Aitken gets injured it will be Mann to center.
    Mann will start in 17 from the bench "just in case" there is an injury.
    Forwards will be
    8. Vaughan
    9. McInnes
    10. Graham
    11. Frizz
    12. Thompson
    13. JDB
    14. SIMS
    15. AuMau
    16. Host (limited mins)
    17. MANN
    All the juniors that you mentioned unfortunately wont get proper consistent game time.
    Sorry to be negative but our only hope is that plan A works because there will be no plan B.
     
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  4. Como Connection

    Como Connection Juniors

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    I think Darren Nichols can also play hooker.
    CC
     
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  5. BennyV

    BennyV Coach

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    This. Except I genuinely expect Latimore to be picked in the 17 round 1 in place of Host.
     
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  6. Crush

    Crush Juniors

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    Funny you say that. I actually originally put latimore in place of Host but thought I might have been being a bit dramatic.
     
  7. redandwhite4evr

    redandwhite4evr Juniors

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    Kurt Mann is going to be very busy in 2018. He is the only NRL experienced back up for 5/8, centre, wing and full-back. If he goes down, we may be screwed. Garrick, Lomax et al might be promising but they are untried at NRL level.
     
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  8. Life's Good

    Life's Good First Grade

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    We seem to have untried depth in the spots we need it most - outside backs. Trials will be a must to give at least a couple of the likes of Lomax, Herbert, Field etc. a run to see how they handle things. This is critical seeing that we appear to have not signed any established outside backs.
    Lets hope/wish Supercoach is on board.
     
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  9. Saint_JimmyG

    Saint_JimmyG Juniors

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    I reckon Latimore is a certainty of snaring a regular, bench spot in 2018.

    Further to that, it wouldn't surprise me if Nightingale claims the fullback role provided Dufty cannot endure the rigours of first grade.

    We will find out soon enough.

    Of course, McGregor often adopts a negative mind set if 'Option A' flunks badly. This said, I find it incredulous, although unsurprising, that Mann hasn't received a shot at redemption playing at the back.

    Elsewhere, I like the idea of Host playing more first grade but not at the expense of Leiliua.
     
  10. coast_dragons

    coast_dragons Coach

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    What experienced outside backs did people expect the club to sign.

    When you look at who was available it was slim pickings at best and the same people who complain about no experienced depth are the same one's who complain about not giving the juniors ago.

    The club cleared out alot of dead wood which was needed players like KFFL and Glymin took up spots and didn't offer alot.

    Dodd was the one i would have liked to have been given a go but it wasn't meant to be and he has moved on.

    Of course players will get a run throughtout the pre-season and with a proper reserve grade team for the first time in years they will have even more exsposure to play against men.
     
  11. goggles

    goggles Juniors

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    welcome aboard...
     
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  12. Dragon Revival

    Dragon Revival Juniors

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    Coast I also liked what I saw of Dodd but Herbert could also be
    productive.
     
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  13. Dragonslayer

    Dragonslayer Bench

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    Dodd's knee injury killed off any chance he had of getting a new contract. Shame because I too think he added value to the squad.
     
  14. coast_dragons

    coast_dragons Coach

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    Funny enough KFFL and Dodd have both ended up at the Blackhawks.

    Hind and Lewis have trained with the Storm.
     
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  15. AyiosYiorgos

    AyiosYiorgos First Grade

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    Probably win a GF and play rep footy under Bellamy's coaching...
     
  16. Dragonslayer

    Dragonslayer Bench

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    Both deserved better from us..............I hope they do well.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017 at 11:50 PM
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  17. Life's Good

    Life's Good First Grade

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    My initial hope was to get an established winger/centre with some pace(like Anthony Don, Ricky Leutele as examples). As time has gone on it’s clear there aren’t that many available so the club is backing the junior talent.
    I am now on board with that and very happy to see the club take this approach. Obviously they will need opportunities(understanding they won’t be first choice)but they need the chance.
     
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  18. dragonssamy61

    dragonssamy61 Bench

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    Agree life good
    when they do make 1st grade mary needs to give them a fair go.
    No in one week out the next.
    And if he has no intention to use the player don't pick him and leave him on the bench.
    All these thing I have mentioned mess up young players confidence.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017 at 10:28 AM
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  19. Life's Good

    Life's Good First Grade

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    So true. The flip side is the enthusiasm and energy the juniors bring. That is why it’s so important to have a club/coach who are committed to bringing them through. Of course not all will make it and some will move on but it must start somewhere.
     
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  20. getsmarty

    getsmarty First Grade

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    Drag Queen likes this.

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