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Widdop seeks release

getsmarty

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Messages
28,764
widdopg-180424-gp-24.jpg


DRAGONS


Widdop rated alongside Bishop and Bolton
Author
Brad Walter NRL.com Senior Reporter
Timestamp
Sat 7 Sep 2019, 08:01 AM
walterbrad-head.png

Former Great Britain international and leading commentator Mike Stephenson has declared departing St George Illawarra captain Gareth Widdop as one of the greatest English backs to have played in Australia and called for a trophy to be named in his honour.

Widdop, who will make his final NRL appearance against Gold Coast on Saturday, has played more premiership matches (194) and scored more points (995) than any other Englishman, won a grand final with Melbourne in 2012, and captained the Dragons for the past three seasons.

Stephenson said Widdop was the best English playmaker of the NRL era and compared him alongside legendary halfbacks Tommy Bishop and Dave Bolton as one of the greatest in premiership history.

"There have been some great English players, like Tommy Bishop (Cronulla 1969-73), Dave Bolton (Balmain 1965-70) and Dick Huddart (St George 1964-68) but I would certainly put Gareth Widdop up there with all of those very, very good players who came out and played in Australia," Stephenson said.

"He is one of the best imports of all time to have come from this country. There are not many who have taken on the world down in Australia, and not only taken them on but shown what they can do the way this lad has."

stat-attack-widdop_20190906.jpg

Bishop was a tough and wily halfback, who led the Sharks to their first grand final in 1973, Bolton kicked two field goals in the No.7 jersey as the Tigers upset South Sydney in the 1969 decider, and Huddart helped continued the Dragons premiership dominance in 1966 and 1967.

Stephenson, who was a member of Great Britain’s 1972 World Cup winning team and played hooker for Penrith from 1974 to 1978 before embarking on a 26-year broadcasting career with Sky TV in the UK, believes Widdop’s achievements should be officially recognised with a trophy named after him.

"I know they play for a Tommy Bishop Shield down in the Cronulla area and I think that it would be a nice tribute to this lad if they could do something similar, like giving the Widdop Trophy for the best junior coming through, because he has certainly left his mark on Australian rugby league," Stephenson said.

"I have met his father many, many times and he has always had the confidence that he would make it but he has not only made it, he has made it and gone to the very top."

Unlike most English players in the NRL, Widdop moved to Australia as a teenager and rose to prominence through the Melbourne Storm's junior ranks.

He was named in the 2009 NYC under 20s team of the year, along with Daly Cherry-Evans, Kieran Foran, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Jesse Bromwich and Trent Merrin, before making NRL debut for the Storm the following season.

Sam Burgess also made his NRL debut in 2010, while James Graham joined Canterbury in 2012. But it has only been in recent seasons that English players have moved to Australia in significant numbers, with 12 playing in this year's Telstra Premiership.

"Sam came across having a background in Super League and having a name whereas for myself I wasn't signed to play football but I had an opportunity to go to Melbourne and came through their system," Widdop said.



Titans v Dragons - Round 25

"As a young kid with no name and no background in rugby league to come across and get named in that team with all the talent that Australia has was something I am proud of and hopefully some other kids might have thought if he can do it so can I.

"It was good to be one of a few three or four English blokes playing in the NRL at the time and help set a trend for more English players to come out to play and be successful as well."

Widdop joined the Dragons in 2014 and is widely acknowledged as the club's best and most consistent player until a shoulder injury limited the 30-year-old Warrington-bound play maker to just nine appearances this season.

"From the day I got here until now I think there is only two [Tyson Frizell and Jack de Belin] others left so it has been a big rebuilding phase and I feel like we have improved a hell of a lot," Widdop said.

"I could have stayed in Melbourne and maybe played in more finals but I certainly have had no regrets. I feel like the move has helped me to develop as a player and a person. Becoming skipper of the club was a huge honour for myself and I would like to think I have played a small part in improving the team and the squad.

"Obviously this year has been disappointing and that is something that is going to hurt for a long time but I'd like to think that I have given everything that is possible, when I step over the white line on a weekend, and I am certainly proud of what I have been able to do at this club.”


https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2019/09/07/widdop-rated-alongside-bishop-and-bolton/
 

Country Dragon

Juniors
Messages
2,269
widdopg-180424-gp-24.jpg


DRAGONS


Widdop rated alongside Bishop and Bolton
Author
Brad Walter NRL.com Senior Reporter
Timestamp
Sat 7 Sep 2019, 08:01 AM
walterbrad-head.png

Former Great Britain international and leading commentator Mike Stephenson has declared departing St George Illawarra captain Gareth Widdop as one of the greatest English backs to have played in Australia and called for a trophy to be named in his honour.

Widdop, who will make his final NRL appearance against Gold Coast on Saturday, has played more premiership matches (194) and scored more points (995) than any other Englishman, won a grand final with Melbourne in 2012, and captained the Dragons for the past three seasons.

Stephenson said Widdop was the best English playmaker of the NRL era and compared him alongside legendary halfbacks Tommy Bishop and Dave Bolton as one of the greatest in premiership history.

"There have been some great English players, like Tommy Bishop (Cronulla 1969-73), Dave Bolton (Balmain 1965-70) and Dick Huddart (St George 1964-68) but I would certainly put Gareth Widdop up there with all of those very, very good players who came out and played in Australia," Stephenson said.

"He is one of the best imports of all time to have come from this country. There are not many who have taken on the world down in Australia, and not only taken them on but shown what they can do the way this lad has."

stat-attack-widdop_20190906.jpg

Bishop was a tough and wily halfback, who led the Sharks to their first grand final in 1973, Bolton kicked two field goals in the No.7 jersey as the Tigers upset South Sydney in the 1969 decider, and Huddart helped continued the Dragons premiership dominance in 1966 and 1967.

Stephenson, who was a member of Great Britain’s 1972 World Cup winning team and played hooker for Penrith from 1974 to 1978 before embarking on a 26-year broadcasting career with Sky TV in the UK, believes Widdop’s achievements should be officially recognised with a trophy named after him.

"I know they play for a Tommy Bishop Shield down in the Cronulla area and I think that it would be a nice tribute to this lad if they could do something similar, like giving the Widdop Trophy for the best junior coming through, because he has certainly left his mark on Australian rugby league," Stephenson said.

"I have met his father many, many times and he has always had the confidence that he would make it but he has not only made it, he has made it and gone to the very top."

Unlike most English players in the NRL, Widdop moved to Australia as a teenager and rose to prominence through the Melbourne Storm's junior ranks.

He was named in the 2009 NYC under 20s team of the year, along with Daly Cherry-Evans, Kieran Foran, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Jesse Bromwich and Trent Merrin, before making NRL debut for the Storm the following season.

Sam Burgess also made his NRL debut in 2010, while James Graham joined Canterbury in 2012. But it has only been in recent seasons that English players have moved to Australia in significant numbers, with 12 playing in this year's Telstra Premiership.

"Sam came across having a background in Super League and having a name whereas for myself I wasn't signed to play football but I had an opportunity to go to Melbourne and came through their system," Widdop said.



Titans v Dragons - Round 25

"As a young kid with no name and no background in rugby league to come across and get named in that team with all the talent that Australia has was something I am proud of and hopefully some other kids might have thought if he can do it so can I.

"It was good to be one of a few three or four English blokes playing in the NRL at the time and help set a trend for more English players to come out to play and be successful as well."

Widdop joined the Dragons in 2014 and is widely acknowledged as the club's best and most consistent player until a shoulder injury limited the 30-year-old Warrington-bound play maker to just nine appearances this season.

"From the day I got here until now I think there is only two [Tyson Frizell and Jack de Belin] others left so it has been a big rebuilding phase and I feel like we have improved a hell of a lot," Widdop said.

"I could have stayed in Melbourne and maybe played in more finals but I certainly have had no regrets. I feel like the move has helped me to develop as a player and a person. Becoming skipper of the club was a huge honour for myself and I would like to think I have played a small part in improving the team and the squad.

"Obviously this year has been disappointing and that is something that is going to hurt for a long time but I'd like to think that I have given everything that is possible, when I step over the white line on a weekend, and I am certainly proud of what I have been able to do at this club.”


https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2019/09/07/widdop-rated-alongside-bishop-and-bolton/
It’s just a shame he never got to play under a coach while at the Dragons!!!
 

getsmarty

Referee
Messages
28,764
Gareth Widdop brings up 1000th NRL point as St George Illawarra Dragons defeat Gold Coast Titans
NRL Premiership
d87277c0db59be00ab98165affe702d0

Gareth Widdop of the DragonsSource: AAP
St George Illawarra have momentarily taken some heat off coach Paul McGregor with a 24-16 victory over Gold Coast to finish a disappointing 2019 NRL campaign on a high.

McGregor’s future has been a hot topic, particularly since former Penrith supremo Phil Gould’s appointment to lead a review into the club’s football department.

Stream Wests Tigers v Cronulla Sharks on KAYO SPORTS. Live & anytime on your TV or favourite device. Get your 14-day free trial and start streaming instantly >


745943_640x360_large_20190907213703.jpg

Leilua magic cuts up Titans


Jai Arrow and Jonus Pearson exchanged fist-half tries, before the game sparked into life in the second half.

But the Dragons did just enough on Saturday night to fend off an improved Titans outfit, who struck first in front of a home crowd of 11,274 fans at Cbus Super Stadium when Jai Arrow burrowed over between the posts in the 14th minute. In a scrappy contest, befitting of its bottom-of-the-table status, the Dragons picked up the pace either side of halftime with a pair of impressive tries, starting with a Jonus Pearson long-range effort from a seemingly routine scrum movement.


Soon after the break, Gold Coast rookie Tanah Boyd was punished for a dropped ball over the tryline with Corey Norman scoring off the next set, capitalising on a Luciano Leilua offload just as he was being bundled out of play by six Titans.

From there, the game opened up dramatically with a series of end-to-end phases, as momentum shifted back and forth, but two Ben Hunt tries in the final 15 minutes sealed the deal for the visitors.

98a8094ecc49d6e72371fca0bb25aaf4

Ben Hunt of the Dragons scores a trySource: Getty Images

The first of those paved the way for Gareth Widdop to bring up the 1000th point of his NRL career in his final game before returning to England to play for Super League club Warrington.

Widdop was joined as a last-game winner by retiring Dragons forward Jeremy Latimore.

Michael Gordon was not so fortunate, his Titans side slumping to an 11th- straight loss despite the veteran fullback pulling off successive try-saving tackles on opposite sides of the field.

The defeat leaves departing Gold Coast interim coach Craig Hodges winless from 10 games at the helm across two stints and means the wooden spooners will finish the year with just four wins in their worst season.

ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA 24 (B Hunt 2 C Norman J Pearson tries G Widdop 4 goals) bt GOLD COAST 16 (J Arrow M Rein P Sami tries M Gordon 2 goals) at Cbus Super Stadium. Referee: Gavin Badger, Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski. Crowd: 11,274.

https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nr...o/news-story/86dd9f0f5b427101812ff87ba565dd3b
 

getsmarty

Referee
Messages
28,764
Gareth gave us confidence and belief: McGregor
Author
Tony Webeck NRL.com reporter
Timestamp
Sun 8 Sep 2019, 12:14 AM

He creates tryscoring opportunities, kicks goals and leads his team yet it is a sense of confidence that St George Illawarra will need to find in the wake of Gareth Widdop’s departure to the UK Super League.

In his 195th NRL appearance and 125th for the Dragons, Widdop guided his team to their eighth win of the season on Saturday night, a 24-16 defeat of 2019 wooden spooners, the Titans.

With the Dragons clinging to a 12-10 lead midway through the second half, it was the skills of Widdop, halves partner Ben Hunt and fullback Corey Norman that separated the two teams at the end of 80 minutes.

A dislocated shoulder suffered in round three against the Broncos meant that Widdop played just 10 games in his final NRL season, one of a number of factors that conspired to bring the Dragons’ 2019 campaign undone.

Labelling the Englishman the most talented player he has ever coached, coach Paul McGregor said that for 16 weeks what his side missed most was the sense of confidence a player of Widdop’s stature has on the entire group.

"Confidence. He gives the team confidence,” McGregor said.

“He gives the team belief. He makes other people around him better. He makes people feel comfortable and that's pretty important in rugby league.



Match Highlights: Titans v Dragons

"He's a guy that come to us in 2014, Steve Price was the coach, and from the day he arrived you could see the natural talent that he had.

"He was that gifted and he could see things that others couldn't, even on the training field. And as soon as he took the park he just become the best player.

"He's been our most consistent player without a doubt the last six years.

"He's the most gifted player I've coached in my journey. He's got a left and right-foot kick, he kicks goals, he plays an important position, he leads the team around, he's the captain.

"The legacy he's going to leave behind will be a good one for people to follow. I feel that he goes about training very well, he's one of those guys that doesn't talk too much but becomes competitive as soon as he crosses the stripe.”

In converting the first of Ben Hunt’s two tries in the 66th minute Widdop became the first Englishman to score 1000 points in the NRL, eventually finishing with 1003 points made up of 43 tries, 412 goals and seven field goals.



McGregor explains thought process behind review

“Obviously you don’t set out to achieve those sort of goals but when they come around I'm certainly very proud to have that achievement." Widdop said.

“That’s another little thing that I can hold when I finish my career and look back on what I’ve achieved.

“It’s been a bit of a roller-coaster. Being able to skipper this club has been a huge honour. It is a famous jersey and to be able to do that for the last couple of years has helped me as a person on and off the field."

Admitting that he and the group got distracted by the players they didn’t have available in Widdop and Jack de Belin rather than focusing on who was, McGregor believes a thorough review is required in the wake of the joint venture’s lowest ever finish.

"I just feel that we need a full review and we need an external review. That wasn't only my thought, that was the club's thought,” McGregor explained.

"Whether it's Phil Gould or anyone, it needs to be someone. When you look at someone like 'Gus', he's a very educated person that's got a bigger knowledge than most in the game.



Pearson weaves through the Titans

"When teams don't finish in the top eight and they finish in the bottom eight, your review's a lot deeper.

"Last year we obviously still had a review but it was done internally.

“We all thought that this one needs to be done externally and looked at thoroughly and that's what will happen.”


https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2019/09/08/gareth-gave-us-confidence-and-belief-mcgregor/


P.S So is this next Year's excuse ?....LOL
 

Wittenberg

Juniors
Messages
1,140
Not sad to see Widdop go. Was more unhappy about Mann leaving to be honest. Prefer Norman at 5/8.
Let’s see if you have that opinion this time next year. Mann now only plays from the bench at Newcastle and Norman, well is Norman, maybe one good game in five. Every Parra supporter I know says getting rid of him was the best thing the club ever did. Look at Moses this year compared to last year and Parra twice winning the wooden spoon under Corey’s on field guidance. He is an overrated, lazy player. But we will see, maybe I will be the one to eat my words next year, but I doubt it.
 

Wittenberg

Juniors
Messages
1,140
Widdop played with McCrone on one side and Aitken and Lafai outside him, and in the early days, Rein as hooker. He carried the team and the weight of fans constantly thinking as our marquee player he should win more games for us....and oh yeah he had MacGregor as our coach. I remember that semi final against Canterbury when, Benji and Frizell had to go off injured, he scored one try and set up our other and kicked a penalty near the sideline virtually on full time to send the game into extra time. To me what summed up the Widdop knockers were the number who abused him for taking the field goal attempt from too far out and missing. I thought he should have held off with the shot too but he single handedly nearly won the game. He has been excellent for us, 1000 points, our captain and a player who put his body on the line for us. Let’s see Corey do that for us next year. I doubt we’ll see that but time will tell. I think Cam has captained the side better than Gareth, but I remember a number of forum members calling for JDB to be captain. No Widdop has been a wonderful player for us and he deserves our gratitude. Look how well we have gone this year without him...enough said.
 
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2,866
Widdop played with McCrone on one side and Aitken and Lafai outside him, and in the early days, Rein as hooker. He carried the team and the weight of fans constantly thinking as our marquee player he should win more games for us....and oh yeah he had MacGregor as our coach. I remember that semi final against Canterbury when, Benji and Frizell had to go off injured, he scored one try and set up our other and kicked a penalty near the sideline virtually on full time to send the game into extra time. To me what summed up the Widdop knockers were the number who abused him for taking the field goal attempt from too far out and missing. I thought he should have held off with the shot too but he single handedly nearly won the game. He has been excellent for us, 1000 points, our captain and a player who put his body on the line for us. Let’s see Corey do that for us next year. I doubt we’ll see that but time will tell. I think Cam has captained the side better than Gareth, but I remember a number of forum members calling for JDB to be captain. No Widdop has been a wonderful player for us and he deserves our gratitude. Look how well we have gone this year without him...enough said.
I gotta say that Widdop is a great player but objectively speaking, he was part of the problem.
He came to St.George with the promise of being the club's chief playmaker whereas at Melbourne, his role in the team was as a link man. Not as the chief playmaker.
Bellamy played him there for good reason which ultimately resulted in a premiership.
Now once he came to us with an iron clad guarantee that he was going to be our key playmaker, that in itself was problematic and stifled any possibility of a change of philosophy that may have worked better.
As for McCrone, he was hand picked by Widdop and was under instructions to focus on a very simple support role that included doing his extra share of tackling.
The two flaws in Widdop's game (which I realize is subjective) are:
1. His inability to close out tight games. If your chief playmaker can't ice a big percentage of those games, you are going to struggle to get to the finals let alone win a premiership.
2. IMO Widdop was the wrong choice as captain of our team.
Great player but not an inspirational leader.
Finally McGregor idolizing of players like Widdop (Gaz) and DeBelin has greatly harmed our club and it is reflected in our performances on the field.
That is not how you build premiership winning teams.
Ask Bellamy and the other real coaches in our game.
 

getsmarty

Referee
Messages
28,764
I gotta say that Widdop is a great player but objectively speaking, he was part of the problem.
He came to St.George with the promise of being the club's chief playmaker whereas at Melbourne, his role in the team was as a link man. Not as the chief playmaker.
Bellamy played him there for good reason which ultimately resulted in a premiership.
Now once he came to us with an iron clad guarantee that he was going to be our key playmaker, that in itself was problematic and stifled any possibility of a change of philosophy that may have worked better.
As for McCrone, he was hand picked by Widdop and was under instructions to focus on a very simple support role that included doing his extra share of tackling.
The two flaws in Widdop's game (which I realize is subjective) are:
1. His inability to close out tight games. If your chief playmaker can't ice a big percentage of those games, you are going to struggle to get to the finals let alone win a premiership.
2. IMO Widdop was the wrong choice as captain of our team.
Great player but not an inspirational leader.
Finally McGregor idolizing of players like Widdop (Gaz) and DeBelin has greatly harmed our club and it is reflected in our performances on the field.
That is not how you build premiership winning teams.
Ask Bellamy and the other real coaches in our game.


Sorry, Don't agree...Widdop has been one of our best......when he is out we usually are a lot poorer as a result.


McGregor's tactics are the problem....he could coach the current Melbourne side or roosters out of the 8...

I wish Gareth all the best and well done on breaking the shackles and getting away from our useless setup.
 
Messages
2,866
Sorry, Don't agree...Widdop has been one of our best......when he is out we usually are a lot poorer as a result.


McGregor's tactics are the problem....he could coach the current Melbourne side or roosters out of the 8...

I wish Gareth all the best and well done on breaking the shackles and getting away from our useless setup.
My post was never going to be popular but it's more an observation than a criticism.
I also dislike the contract farce that presides over our game.
Clayton's contracts that players and their agents can manipulate at a whim.
To me it's obvious Widdop could see time running out and at some point decided that there was no chance of winning a comp at St. George, so he bailed.
The system allowed him to do so but that doesn't make it right.
Widdop has been one of our best, it's true, but after 5 years, we still have only 2 finishes in the bottom half of the 8 to show for it.
 

True_Believer

Juniors
Messages
1,310
He came to St.George with the promise of being the club's chief playmaker

I don't remember this ever being stated, however, even if it was, he was the obvious choice given the timing of his signing and the partners he's had to work with through the years. I'd suggest this was more out of circumstance rather than a request.

that in itself was problematic and stifled any possibility of a change of philosophy that may have worked better.

Based on what? So you think they recruited poorly in the half position because he was apparently guaranteed the role of being the chief playmaker?

As for McCrone, he was hand picked by Widdop and was under instructions to focus on a very simple support role that included doing his extra share of tackling.

Completely wrong. Chosen because he was the only player that remotely complemented Gareth's game style. The other options were too similar (eg Benji). The reason he was chosen was because he was meant to control the team and leave Gareth to play his natural game. Basically, the only choice in a bad bunch of options.

His inability to close out tight games. If your chief playmaker can't ice a big percentage of those games, you are going to struggle to get to the finals let alone win a premiership.

He closed out his fair share of games. Actually, there is one game that comes to mind against (I believver it was Souths?) that epitomizes the situation he faced during his time here. We held a narrow lead and he repeatedly kicked to force repeat sets down their end of the field close to the end of the game (attempting to close out the game and good game management). It was an error on the edges that let souths back in the game and ultimately led to them winning. Often team errors outside of his control and basic game plans limited his ability to take appropriate action. Also, being the only creative option in the team for many years made him an obvious target and most teams were able to adjust and shut down our options quickly. They just had to make sure they contained him. He wasn't perfect but suggesting he was unable to close out games shows a lack of understanding of the game as a whole.

2. IMO Widdop was the wrong choice as captain of our team.
Great player but not an inspirational leader.

Based on what? I really don't understand what you've seen to come to this conclusion.

Finally McGregor idolizing of players like Widdop (Gaz) and DeBelin has greatly harmed our club and it is reflected in our performances on the field.
That is not how you build premiership winning teams.
Ask Bellamy and the other real coaches in our game.

So Bellamy has never talked up his star players? Smith? Slater? Cronk? I reckon I could find loads of footage of him praising these players over the rest of the team.
 

getsmarty

Referee
Messages
28,764
My post was never going to be popular but it's more an observation than a criticism.
I also dislike the contract farce that presides over our game.
Clayton's contracts that players and their agents can manipulate at a whim.
To me it's obvious Widdop could see time running out and at some point decided that there was no chance of winning a comp at St. George, so he bailed.
The system allowed him to do so but that doesn't make it right.
Widdop has been one of our best, it's true, but after 5 years, we still have only 2 finishes in the bottom half of the 8 to show for it.

There's more to it in Terms of him leaving...anyway not his fault we have finished poorly...The finishes lie fair and squarely @ the coaches feet....

Have a Good day Dennis.
 
Messages
2,866
I don't remember this ever being stated, however, even if it was, he was the obvious choice given the timing of his signing and the partners he's had to work with through the years. I'd suggest this was more out of circumstance rather than a request.



Based on what? So you think they recruited poorly in the half position because he was apparently guaranteed the role of being the chief playmaker?



Completely wrong. Chosen because he was the only player that remotely complemented Gareth's game style. The other options were too similar (eg Benji). The reason he was chosen was because he was meant to control the team and leave Gareth to play his natural game. Basically, the only choice in a bad bunch of options.



He closed out his fair share of games. Actually, there is one game that comes to mind against (I believver it was Souths?) that epitomizes the situation he faced during his time here. We held a narrow lead and he repeatedly kicked to force repeat sets down their end of the field close to the end of the game (attempting to close out the game and good game management). It was an error on the edges that let souths back in the game and ultimately led to them winning. Often team errors outside of his control and basic game plans limited his ability to take appropriate action. Also, being the only creative option in the team for many years made him an obvious target and most teams were able to adjust and shut down our options quickly. They just had to make sure they contained him. He wasn't perfect but suggesting he was unable to close out games shows a lack of understanding of the game as a whole.



Based on what? I really don't understand what you've seen to come to this conclusion.



So Bellamy has never talked up his star players? Smith? Slater? Cronk? I reckon I could find loads of footage of him praising these players over the rest of the team.
You are entitled to your opinion but you can rationalize just about anything if you try hard enough.
I know Widdop has a lot of support but I stand by my post.
It wasn't meant to win a popularity contest.
 

Gareth67

First Grade
Messages
7,045
You are entitled to your opinion but you can rationalize just about anything if you try hard enough.
I know Widdop has a lot of support but I stand by my post.
It wasn't meant to win a popularity contest.

I can see where you are coming from Dennis , however just about all the faults that you have mentioned with Gareth would had been corrected by a coach that had a better understanding of the game then the one that he played under during his time at the Dragons. Said coach would most certainly had made the appropriate changes within the team so as to compliment Widdop’s style of play . That most unfortunately was never going to occur under the maestro.

His signing was never going to be the answer to all of the Dragons problems, but in saying that he certainly gave it his best .
 
Last edited:

since77

Juniors
Messages
1,232
My 2 cents on Widdop.
He’s clearly been our best player over this dark period since 2012. Only Friz and in recent years, McInnes come close.
Should never have been appointed captain.
Really only had 1 stable year with a decent halves parter, 2018 which showed how criminal it was to have him paired with both an over the hill Benji and a woefully poor McCrone prior to that.
Like all recent Dragons players, he’s not footy smart. Brilliant player, but rarely took the smartest option out on the field. Short kicking game could be diabolical. Lost count of how many times he kicked directly into an opponents legs close to the try line when there were smarter options.
I’m convinced that even if Widdop wasn’t injured earlier in the season, we win at most maybe 3 extra games in 2019. Having Widdop in the team all year doesn’t fix the glaringly inept coaching, defensive deficiencies and mental weakness the team suffered from this year.
 
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2,866
I can see where you are coming from Dennis , however just about all the faults that you have mentioned with Gareth ( and as you have mentioned he was not the perfect player ) would had been corrected by a coach that had a better understanding of the game then the one that he played under during his time at the Dragons. Said coach would most certainly had made the appropriate changes within the team so as to compliment Widdop’s style of play .

That most unfortunately was never going to occur under the maestro.
I think that is where people misunderstand my position.
Coach's job is to pick the best players in their best positions with the Team and results being his priority.
I think that an accomplished coach would have set up the team differently and probably made better use of Widdop's undoubted ability.
I thought signing Benji was a mistake because we suddenly had 2 really different styles of 5/8 that did not compliment each other.
The problem is, neither could play half back and we suffered as a result.
Instead, if MCgregor had the balls, he could have introduced a specialist half back,namely Drew Hutchison, a year earlier and he had the potential of building a great combination with Widdop.
Once again, McGregor's reluctance to rely on the up and comers resulted in a disjointed halves pairing even though our forwards were kicking ass.
Anyway, we'll have to deal with life after Widdop next year and I dread the spin we will hear about "losing our best player and captain".
Widdop's departure just adds another dimension to the excusathon that we will be subjected to in 2020.
 

ALSGI

Bench
Messages
3,007
I think that is where people misunderstand my position.
Coach's job is to pick the best players in their best positions with the Team and results being his priority.
I think that an accomplished coach would have set up the team differently and probably made better use of Widdop's undoubted ability.
I thought signing Benji was a mistake because we suddenly had 2 really different styles of 5/8 that did not compliment each other.
The problem is, neither could play half back and we suffered as a result.
Instead, if MCgregor had the balls, he could have introduced a specialist half back,namely Drew Hutchison, a year earlier and he had the potential of building a great combination with Widdop.
Once again, McGregor's reluctance to rely on the up and comers resulted in a disjointed halves pairing even though our forwards were kicking ass.
Anyway, we'll have to deal with life after Widdop next year and I dread the spin we will hear about "losing our best player and captain".
Widdop's departure just adds another dimension to the excusathon that we will be subjected to in 2020.
Ah yes......."losing our best player and captain"....this will be trotted out from November and right through next season.
In addition to losing the experience Lats gave us, and JDB’s court case just before round 1.
 

True_Believer

Juniors
Messages
1,310
You are entitled to your opinion but you can rationalize just about anything if you try hard enough.
I know Widdop has a lot of support but I stand by my post.
It wasn't meant to win a popularity contest.

Just as your post is a rationalization of your opinion.

At least I've tried to give examples and ask questions to provide an alternative to your opinions. The "you can rationalize anything" response seems like a copout given I'm offering you the opportunity to expand on that.

My bad though. I probably shouldn't have expected anything different.
 
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