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Mid-season team MVPs

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gerg_861 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 04 Jan 2019 at 09:03
Given the lack of games at the minute, the forum is quite dead, so I thought that it might be interesting to consider notable players at (essentially) the half way point of the season for each team. I'd suggest that we name an Most Valuable Player, Most Likely to be Poached, and Most Disappointing. I only really know Ealing, so I'll comment on them.
 
Most Valuable Player: Jordan Els. This might surprise some people, but before adding Jordan at the end of October, I watched the Ealing scrum get routinely beaten and their Rolling Maul was pathetic. Since he has joined Ealing has had half a dozen games where the hookers have multiple rolling maul tries where he has played, and I don't believe that they had any before that. Honorable mention: Craig Willis. Trailfinders have been a much better team with him on the field to distribute.
 
Most Likely to be Poached: Jordy Reid. Jordy's ability at the breakdown is something that I feel like a lot of Premiership clubs will be interested in. He also is quite marketable, and is a strong runner. I didn't put him in as MVP because his offloading game needs work - he has a tendency to just try to run everyone over, and he managed to fail to ground not one but two balls in the game against Jersey (petty, but this is just my opinion). Honorable mention: Alun Walker. There is actually a bit of a Hooker crisis up in Scotland at the moment with injuries ahead of the six nations. I'm slightly surprised that no one has come looking to sign Alun to Edinburgh or Glasgow just as cover if nothing else.
 
Most Disappointing: Guy Armitage. Guy has flashed huge potential while on the field, and has been highly elusive. Ealing is a better offensive team when he is out there. However, he seems to be a bit of a liability in defense, and he has hardly seen the field recently. I thought that he'd be a huge contributor, but just hasn't worked out. Dishonorable mention: Segundo Tuculet. A very, very fast winger from Argentina, but once again has not been able to break into the first team. Second Dishonorable mention: Sam Dickinson. I know he was injured against Quins in July, so it isn't his fault, but I'm still disappointed that he hasn't been on the field since pre-season. The team has really missed his presence in the middle of the field from a leadership point of view, and I think he would have really helped the team gel faster at the start of the season when they were failing to play 80 minutes.
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OldNick View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote OldNick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2019 at 09:26
Gerg,
On the basis of having seen Ealing once, on a day when Coventry really didn't put a performance together until the second half, I have to agree with your comment on Armitage. As pretty well the one player in your team who I could recognise instantly (a side effect of being away fromt he Championship for years), he didn't impress, and was well beaten to allow the Coventry try.

Of the others you mention, Els hadn't joined at that point, Reid looked effective, and of course scored, (although his try was very much a pack effort), and Tuciulet showed his speed, but his try cvame from two dreadful pieces of play by Coventry.

The other disappointment with Armitage was his decision when failing to prevent a Coventry try  (I think Max Trimble's second), in order to prevent running out over the dead ball line, to slide feet first into a prone Trimble as a way of stopping. A cheap shot, and potentially dangerous.

I'll see if I can put together a similar selection for Coventry. One, at least, is easy.


Edited by OldNick - 04 Jan 2019 at 11:35
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gerg_861 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gerg_861 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2019 at 10:58
Good to see that at least in someone's opinion I'm not totally off base. I'll look forward to seeing these from other teams.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bluesman11 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2019 at 11:17
Bedford:

MVP: Very hard to pick one. I’m going to go for Mark Flanagan. Great coup to get him back, has made Clare and Fields look like reliable lineout throwers which tells you everything! Honourable mentions for Sean McCarthy, Ollie Curry (my signing of the season) and Will Hooley. It’s actually very interesting to compare Bedford’s record with and without Hooley. With P8 W8, without P8 W2. Slightly skewed by playing Irish 3 times without him and we haven’t had a recognised 10 without him with Sheppard out for season, but hopefully having Sharp will rectify this.

Most likely to be poached: Dean Adamson. No idea how we kept him this season but had been the standout winger in the league for a couple of seasons now. Jarad Williams will also be on prem radars. Hooley will be in shop window in the World Cup. McCarthy is a modern day prem prop. Great scrummager, incredible hands, has even put a couple of beautiful grubbers in over the season, one which provided an assist.

Most disappointing: Chris Czekaj. Only still on the books as he signed a 2 year deal. Not up to this level anymore. Tried to convert him from 15 to 12, which has helped but still not sure what he offers.

I’m going to add a most improved category. Ryan Hutler has taken to this league like a duck to water after being promoted from the acadamy. Jacob Fields has started to put together some good performances and become more reliable in the lineout after looking out of his depth for his first couple of seasons.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margin_Walker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2019 at 11:25
For London Irish:

MVP - Ben Meehan. Gone from being one of three average 9s battling it out last season to a key player now. Big improvement and is at the centre of a lot of the good stuff we do. Honourable mentions to Rogerson, Myler, Porecki, McNally and Hoskins

Most likely to be poached - Josh McNally. Bath are sniffing around and would be surprised if he was with us next season, regardless of whether we go up.

Most disappointing - Whole host of injury related ones with Tom Parton doing his ACL after a great start to the season at the forefront. On the playing side, perhaps players like Cowan and Schantz not really imposing themselves in the back row. Whilst Kidney's selections, especially in the backs, have been pretty uninspiring.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gerg_861 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2019 at 11:27
Originally posted by Bluesman11 Bluesman11 wrote:

Bedford:

MVP: Very hard to pick one. I’m going to go for Mark Flanagan. Great coup to get him back, has made Clare and Fields look like reliable lineout throwers which tells you everything! Honourable mentions for Sean McCarthy, Ollie Curry (my signing of the season) and Will Hooley. It’s actually very interesting to compare Bedford’s record with and without Hooley. With P8 W8, without P8 W2. Slightly skewed by playing Irish 3 times without him and we haven’t had a recognised 10 without him with Sheppard out for season, but hopefully having Sharp will rectify this.

Most likely to be poached: Dean Adamson. No idea how we kept him this season but had been the standout winger in the league for a couple of seasons now. Jarad Williams will also be on prem radars. Hooley will be in shop window in the World Cup. McCarthy is a modern day prem prop. Great scrummager, incredible hands, has even put a couple of beautiful grubbers in over the season, one which provided an assist.

Most disappointing: Chris Czekaj. Only still on the books as he signed a 2 year deal. Not up to this level anymore. Tried to convert him from 15 to 12, which has helped but still not sure what he offers.

I’m going to add a most improved category. Ryan Hutler has taken to this league like a duck to water after being promoted from the acadamy. Jacob Fields has started to put together some good performances and become more reliable in the lineout after looking out of his depth for his first couple of seasons.
 
Hooley's quality really surprised me over the last few months on international duty with A.J. McGinty out for the U.S. Very impressed, and I agree that he's a prime poaching target. Heroic kick against Samoa to win. Ollie Curry also very quality.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gerg_861 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2019 at 11:29
Also - I'll say that my vote for Most Improved for Ealing would have to go to Matt Cornish. Last year when Alun Walker went off our scrum fell apart and our line outs suffered. This year there has been very little fall off when Matt has come in, and he scored 3 tries in a single game.  Also nice as he has come up through Ealing's ranks. Of course, given that only about 30% of the team came back from last year, there weren't many other choices!

Edited by gerg_861 - 04 Jan 2019 at 11:30
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SirBurger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2019 at 14:11
Originally posted by Margin_Walker Margin_Walker wrote:

For London Irish:

MVP - Ben Meehan. Gone from being one of three average 9s battling it out last season to a key player now. Big improvement and is at the centre of a lot of the good stuff we do. Honourable mentions to Rogerson, Myler, Porecki, McNally and Hoskins

Most likely to be poached - Josh McNally. Bath are sniffing around and would be surprised if he was with us next season, regardless of whether we go up.

Most disappointing - Whole host of injury related ones with Tom Parton doing his ACL after a great start to the season at the forefront. On the playing side, perhaps players like Cowan and Schantz not really imposing themselves in the back row. Whilst Kidney's selections, especially in the backs, have been pretty uninspiring.

Would have McNally as MVP as well as most likely to be poached and it seems highly likely he will be with Bath next season which is pretty gutting. 

Most disappointing has probably been Nalaga who can't seem to break into the team which, given his background, is a shame. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margin_Walker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2019 at 14:25
So would I probably, but didn't want to use the same player twice! Meehan would certainly win a most improved award.

I honestly have no idea with Nalaga and had him broadly lumped in the injury category. Off for more than a year, gets himself fit and plays a couple of 2nd team games before complete radio silence again. Can only imagine fitness is still an issue, as he surely could have had a run in one or two of the cup games at least given our lack of wings in the squad.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote OldNick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2019 at 14:59
Coventry
MVP = Adam Peters. Ten appearances, 9 of which were from the start. Probably first on the list each week. Honourable mention to George Oram for reliability and commitment at lock.

Most likely to be poached = Luc Jeannot. Promoted from the development squad last season after covering at tight head for a lot of injuries. Was expected to play about half this season, with plenty of rests as he grew as a player - in the end played the first nine matches, before suffering an injury which is likely to keep him out for the rest of season.

Most disappointing - Jake Sharp. Announced on the same day as Adam Peters. Arrived unfit following back problems, never really got into his game. Released late in the cup competition group stage when the previous two seasons'  primary 10 - (Will Maisey) had proved he could cope at this level. A great shame we couldn't get the best out of him.

Most improved = Tony Fenner. Nominally a 10, has [p;layed 12,13,14,15 and done well in all of them.  Also a mentoipn for Pete White whp has really competed for his place at 9 once Tom Kessell was fully signed. Instead of playing second fiddle they've both [payed 10/10. with Tom usually starting and Pete usually finishing.


Edited by OldNick - 04 Jan 2019 at 15:25
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pappashanga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2019 at 15:17
Glad to see Adam Peters is thriving. He was a great asset at Richmond but decided to make the transition to full time pro with Rotherham and it looks as if it has paid off.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brizzer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2019 at 20:23
Tricky one for Jersey, but my stabs are:

MVP: A toss up between Van Dam, Sexton, Venter, but I will go for Slowik, not just because of finishing off 'that' try, but for being rock solid at 15 all season with blistering pace and actually for finishing the winning try in the LI game.

Most likely to be poached: This is Jersey mate, all browsers please form an orderly queue.

I don't like most disappointing, instead I will go for most missed and 2 names spring to mind: Alec Clarey at 3 and Koch Marx on the wing. Our scrum has not been itself so far this season, so I will go for Clarey.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bluesman11 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 2019 at 00:27
Actually, I’ve just realised most improved at Bedford should be Alex Penny. Has gone from playing second fiddle to Ben Cooper to being one of the most destructive props in the league. Our front row of McCarthy Clare and Penny is arguably the best scrum we’ve had under Rayer, and we’ve now turned what was probably the weakest scrum in the league a couple of years ago into one of the best.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote islander Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 2019 at 10:14
Originally posted by Brizzer Brizzer wrote:

Tricky one for Jersey, but my stabs are:

MVP: A toss up between Van Dam, Sexton, Venter, but I will go for Slowik, not just because of finishing off 'that' try, but for being rock solid at 15 all season with blistering pace and actually for finishing the winning try in the LI game.

Most likely to be poached: This is Jersey mate, all browsers please form an orderly queue.

I don't like most disappointing, instead I will go for most missed and 2 names spring to mind: Alec Clarey at 3 and Koch Marx on the wing. Our scrum has not been itself so far this season, so I will go for Clarey.


Agree with this Brizz, notably your latter point. We know injuries are part-and-parcel, but Alec's was especially cruel - few opportunities last season, but knuckled down over the summer when the Prem came calling for our front-line props, impressed in pre-season and was then rock-solid for 50 mins in our opening league match at Cov. His replacement was stood on the touch-line waiting to come on when Alec suffered a terrible Achilles injury. It looked to have ended his season there and then, but in fact we hope there may be a chance he could yet feature in the latter stages...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Blues Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 2019 at 12:37
My Blues perspective

MVP - McCarthy - modern day and probably Premiership quality prop, scrums, great hand, puts in grubber kicks to create tries, carries, tackles and can do it all for 80 mins

Signing of the Season - Flannagan - best lineout forward in the league

Biggest problems - lack of fly halfs (now resolved) and a No. 7 who turns the ball over.  We have been lacking a quality 7 for a while.

Most improved - Hutler - couldn't catch the ball last year, now one of the leagues top try scorers, he certainly benefitted from a former Dream Team Championship winger being out injured for a few months (Tapley).  I do agree Penny has also developed, starting at the end of last season.

Biggest disappointment - scrum half - I do not feel Dickson is providing the quick service we like to play with and with a young back up there is no real competition to keep him on his toes.

Player to watch out for 2nd half of the season - Worthington No. 6/8 - was a one man wrecking ball for 55 mins v Irish and he has the potential to kick on 2nd half of the season.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kimbo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 2019 at 12:59
Been said already, but:
Adam Peters for me too. I think most were expecting it to be Nutley or Kessell before the season, but neither have impressed so much as Peters.
And, yes, Fenner. What a revelation. I wasn't his biggest fan last term, and thought the step up might be too much, but how he's proved me wrong.
Pete White, too, has done exceptionally well, and I'd rate him above Kessell on current form.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gerg_861 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jan 2019 at 21:02
I'll pat myself on the back. According to forwards coach Glenn Townson in the Rugby Paper, Premiership clubs have been sniffing around Alun Walker, Jordy Reid and Rayn Schmidt at Ealing. So got 2 out of 3, and as Meatloaf says, that ain't bad.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pappashanga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2019 at 10:44
Well done Gerg. I expect it'll be all change at Ealing next season again.Continuity doessn't seem important in the professional game.
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