*** Official Rugby League SLXVIII Thread ***

Soldato
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Last year certainly didn't disappoint and I have no doubt that 2013 will live up to all the expectations. As usual, most of the rumours, transfer speculation and drivel is dying down a bit after the end of the season and proper talk can now commence! Please rate this thread as it is easier to spot with the gold stars next to its name!

Here's the new thread and here's to a great 2013!


Post the following:


1. Your team.
2. Your highlight of last season.
3. Your expecatations this season.
4. Your most anticipated new signings.
5. Who you think will win the league leaders shield.
6. Who will be the dark horses of the competition.
7. Any updates from your club, new ground etc.
8. Final league position of your club.
9. What (or who) will be your clubs weakness next year?

My answers:

1. Hull Kingston Rovers

2. Last season was, on the whole, largely disappointing for most Rovers fans. There were however, a few highlights, such as winning away at Huddersfield and doing the double over them in perhaps what was Rovers best game of the season. The best moment was at the Magic Weekend and seeing Rovers beat FC in the last few seconds with that brilliant last gasp try from David Hodgson:


3. Most of all, IMPROVEMENT.

I think I was a little bit over-ambitious last year with my predictions and was perhaps still living on the crest of our over-achievement in 2009 of finishing 4th. With a new coach, it was always going to be a bumpy ride, with Sandercock assessing his inherited squad over the course of a year. I think we have now cut out a lot of the "dead wood" in the squad and have actually recruited well, albeit losing Scott Taylor and Blake Green to Wigan. I'm happy that we have more than replaced Blake Green with our new (and highly anticipated) signing of Travis Burns, but Scott Taylor is a huge loss. What's more he is a young, English prop, whom we are going to struggle to replace. On the other hand, you can't blame him for moving to a side like Wigan.

If you look back at our season, we lost loads of games by 6 points or less. Our attack was good, but our defence let us down. The margins were fine though and if we can tip those small percentages our way, then we could have seen a much better season and certainly could have been challenging for 5th spot. The major difference between last season and Justin Morgan's final year was that whenever we we getting beaten by a team like Wigan or Saints, we didn't roll over and get 50-60 points put on us, which I thought was a massive improvement under Sandercock.

4. Travis Burns. I think teams will try and get in his face a bit but I think he will be an improvement over Blake Green. Green was good, but I just think Travis will provide that class and most of all, aggression, which we badly lacked last year, with the loss of the likes of Ben Cockayne. I am also looking forwards to seeing Evarn Tuimavave, Greg Eden, Adam Walker and Sean Gleeson. A particular mention to Cory Patterson, keep your eye out on him (hopefully) making a huge impact on SL next year.

5. Wigan, I think they've lost a few crucial players such as Leuluai and Finch (who was just starting to come into his own in those last few months), but I think they have signed well and if they keep hold of Hock then it will be more of the same next year. Wire will push them close again, but I think Wire really have got to start thinking about replacing Briers and Morley as they are getting towards that retirement age. Maybe a couple of our resident Wire fans can give their opinion on this? Are they too reliant on their experienced, older players such as Morley, Briers and Hodgson?

6. Hull FC, although they have signed a few oldies, I think they will be a bit of a force to be reckoned with next year and the derbies will certainly be as tough as they come in 2013.

7. Eagerly anticipating the opening of the new stand, work is well on the way with the new stand and it should offer more in terms of matchday hospitality and gaining income throughout the year. Here is what it looks like now:

newstand1.jpg


And this is what it should look like when its finished:

newstand2.jpg


Its going to be more than just a cowshed like the Salford stadium and should bring in more dosh to bring the club to full sustainability.

8. I'm going to get this fantastically wrong, I know that, but, I think Rovers are in that group of clubs that should realistically be challenging for that 5th spot. I think the top four is wrapped up, in some sort of order of Leeds, Wigan, Wire and Saints, and I think there is a group that contains KR, FC, Catalan, Huddersfield and Bradford that should all be aiming for that 5th spot.

9. Probably cover for key players in the starting 17. We have some great subs available to us, but we perhaps put a little bit too much of a reliance on youngsters, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but injuries next year could play a part. I'd say our weakest position may be in our props and our new backline is a bit unproven, but the quality is definately there (Gleeson, Welham, Hall and the potential in Omari Caro).

FORUM MEMBERS AND THEIR TEAMS




  • physichull - HULL KR
  • Evil^ - BRADFORD
  • kidloco - WARRINGTON
  • Fuggan - LEEDS
  • Wonder_Lander - HULL KR
  • TonyM19 _ WIGAN
  • PudWud - WIGAN
  • hoppyintheuk - BRADFORD
  • kefkef - WARRINGTON
  • Dave26 - WIGAN
  • Viper2 - WIGAN
  • cheets64 - WIGAN
  • hargi - CASTLEFORD
  • Vanquish-Storm - WARRINGTON
  • Landy - CASTLEFORD
  • Xinn - LEEDS
  • Lefty - WARRINGTON
  • Serverman - WIGAN
  • SMN - WIGAN
  • gumbald - HULL KR
  • ristac - LEEDS
  • Gilly - LEEDS
  • Kemik - WIDNES
  • Funktopus - WIDNES
  • shawsy109 - BRADFORD


Please tell me if I have anything wrong about the list above!
 
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1. Wigan

2. The Magic Weekend game v Saints. It all went downhill from there tbh, although it can probably be attributed to Leuluai's injury in the Exiles game. The most disappointing game was the CC semi v Leeds when we well and truly got our arses kicked.

3. Top 4 or 5, dependent on inuries (particularly in the backs). Jack Murphy has been given the number 4 jersey. He's a good young second rower, but I can't see his winger topping any try scoring charts.

4. I'm a bit underwhelmed by all the signings. The new hb partnership has the potential to be very good.

5. Warrington. I expect Saints to kick on with their new coach as well.

6. Hull FC have made some very good signings.

7. No major updates. There has been a general feeling of apathy around the town with the realisation that you can just fart about in the regular season as long as you can step up in the play offs. Season ticket sales are down. I've got mine, but I share the opinion that the current Top 8 play offs need another look. eg The difference between finishing 4th and 5th is stacked heavily in favour of finishing 5th

8. As above, top 4 or 5.

9. As above, injuries in the backs. The pack looks pretty solid. It lacks experience but looks ok.
 
Soldato
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4. I'm a bit underwhelmed by all the signings. The new hb partnership has the potential to be very good.

I hope you aren't including Scott Taylor in that! He's awesome and I bet he will be great for you next year (unfortunately :().

Physichull, what's the chance of that new stand being finished for Easter Monday?

No chance. I think we are looking at a June/July date for completion. That is why the fixtures are such a shambles for us. Hudgell asked for all games such as Wigan, Wire and Leeds at Craven Park to be in the latter half of the season so that we could better accomodate teams who like to bring lots of away fans. Instead the RFL have just ignored all that and gave us London and Salford! Great. :(
 
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I think Leeds need to take the season a bit easier and win the final from 8th this time. Beating Warrington away, Wigan away and Saints in the final ;)
 
Soldato
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Rovers won their first game of the year in a friendly against Gateshead 22-8, fielding largely their youth team.

What does everyone think of Sinfield being awarded the Golden Boot award? Personally, I think there are better players out there, but I can't bring myself to criticise the decision. An inspiration captain for two years in a row, no complaints from me.

In other news, it emerged about 3 weeks ago that a takeover could be on the cards at Rovers, with local businessman Tony Larvin likely to be the new majority shareholder. From the remarks on his twitter, its pretty much a done deal and will be announced shortly. Rumoured he is going to be putting in £15M over the next few years, investing in a south stand, training facilities for the gym and field on the back of the east stand to form part of the training ground facility, as well as largely funding the team until such a time as the north stand is open when the club should be funding itself (break even at least). It seems Neil Hudgell will keep his place on the board along with Rob Crossland, but we shall wait and see. Exciting times to be a Robin! (hopefully!)
 
Soldato
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1. Your team: Still Leeds :D

2. Your highlight of last season: Winning another Grand Final after a unconvincing regular season. Sir Kev's Golden Boot topping it off.

3. Your expectations this season: I really don't know, I didn't predict much from us last season and we went the distance again. I'll say Playoffs but going out in 2nd game.

4. Your most anticipated new signings: Mitch Achurch could be an interesting one, and the young lad we signed after he played against Wakefield on boxing day I forget his name.

5. Who you think will win the league leaders shield: Wigan

6. Who will be the dark horses of the competition: Catalans

7. Any updates from your club, new ground etc: New pitch with underground heating, should mean an even nicer surface especially on those cold days early in the season.

8. Final league position of your club: 4th

9. What (or who) will be your clubs weakness next year: Wire
 
Soldato
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Got a friendly coming up against Wigan on the weekend. I'd expect it to be largely a first team affair for the first half, with changes made at half time to introduce the youngsters, much as it was last season. Then play pretty much a first team against the last friendly against FC.

Hoping the Gleeson will be fit and able come the first game of Super League though.
 
Soldato
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A good hit out from the lads against Wigan, finishing 32-10 to the Robins. I'm not reading anything into the result really, you can't with these friendlies. A weak Wigan side and a young side sprinkled with new signings and a few of the older heads.

Cory Paterson looked to have a great game and got MOTM, a powerful second rower who won't let the number 12 shirt down. Con Mika seems to have trimmed up a bit and put some monster hits in and looks to be a bit sharper this time around.

Another stern test coming up against FC next week at the KC stadium then we are back in action with SL season starting! Can't wait.

New photo of the new stand, certainly coming along now! (and covered in snow!)

CPinSnow_zps6d62a146.jpg
 
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Soldato
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I saw that he might be leaving Wigan. Bet many Wigan fans are more than a bit disappointed at that one! He was class last season (when he kept his cool). Something must have gone on. But going to Widnes in itself, with all due respect, is a bit of a surprise move.
 
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1. My Team :Castleford Tigers
2. Highlights: There wasn't any. Other then beating Hudds 52-6.
3. Expectation: Would like a top 8 finish and a good cup run, but failing that Millward to be released after the first 6 games.
4. Anticipated new signing: Justin Carney looks a strong big runner. Hope him and Shenton make a good pairing.
5. League leaders shield :Think it may be Saints year.
6. Dark Horses: Catalans are always a good shout.
7. We have had our ground rewired, turns out someone nicked the cabling over xmas. Its looking like were going to redevelop Weldon rd rather than move, which I think is sensible.
8. Final league position:l anything about 11 is an improvement. This is how bad it is under Millward I'd be happy to finish 8th that would be a good season ( when in reality we should be aiming for at least 6th )
9. Weekness: Millward's tactics. We have never been strong defenders but at least could score, however we now no longer score tries. With one of the best creative players in the league we should be scoring more but Chase doesn't seam to be involved as much or not utilised as well.
 
Soldato
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Craven Park got relieved of its cabling a year or two ago. I dont know how people get away with it. You have to have proof scrap metal is yours etc. Its a right pain, expensive too.

I wonder how Rangi will do next year. I wonder if all the talk of moving from Cas has affected him and any relationship with his teamates. Are you worried that off field isues may affect Rangi for the coming season?
 
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From the roumors rangi has not been happy with the coaching set up and he never wanted to leave but was been forced out, I kind of believe that as he is married to a local lass. I think when milward goes he will be back to his best.

I'm more concerned with Owen he never look interested and is poor under the high ball so lets play him at fullback. After his off field antics and then his apology he still looks the same in the friendly. But I'm thinking when tansy is fit he will be full back.
 
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Aaah, Agent Nilward. I still have nightmares at the shambles he created at Wigan. The best one was trying to sign a South Sea islander from a Cumbrian team who wouldn't play on a Sunday. He also developed the rest of the team so that they couldn't play on any day of the week. I still have nightmares of a half back pairing of Denis Moran and Kevin Brown with the mighty David Vaeliki in the backs.
 
Soldato
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1. Your team: Warrington (The Wire)

2. Your highlight of last season: Challenge Cup victory, first taste of grand finals (though that then becomes the low-light of the season!)

3. Your expecatations this season: League Leaders Shield, lose in final of Challenge cup to Hull KR, win grand final.

4. Your most anticipated new signings: We havent really made any, made Ben Currie a full times squad member though. I think we are holding off this year with a view that we need to be thinking about replacing Morley and Briers in the next year or so.

5. Who you think will win the league leaders shield: Us!

6. Who will be the dark horses of the competition: Hull KR

7. Any updates from your club, new ground etc: Nope

8. Final league position of your club: Top!!

9. What (or who) will be your clubs weakness next year? Lee Briers! and potentially (well, i think this every year) someone will actually unearth how we afford the salaries under the salary cap and we get a slapped wrist like the other well placed teams, rather than a good kicking loke the lower place one's seem to get!!
 
Soldato
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I'm more concerned with Owen he never look interested and is poor under the high ball so lets play him at fullback. After his off field antics and then his apology he still looks the same in the friendly. But I'm thinking when tansy is fit he will be full back.

I think Cas made a mistake in getting rid of Mathers. He may have upset somebody at Cas, but I think he can be quite a good FB. Aggressive and fairly attack minded, but he can be a right hothead at times!

3. Your expecatations this season: League Leaders Shield, lose in final of Challenge cup to Hull KR, win grand final.

Fat chance! :) But I can dream.

6. Who will be the dark horses of the competition: Hull KR.

Now this one, I'd certainly like to think so. The bookies have practically written us off, but I think we should have a much better team this year and am quietly confident. Then again, I said that last year....

9. What (or who) will be your clubs weakness next year? Lee Briers! and potentially (well, i think this every year) someone will actually unearth how we afford the salaries under the salary cap and we get a slapped wrist like the other well placed teams, rather than a good kicking loke the lower place one's seem to get!!

I often wonder about Briers. He can have a brilliant game and totally wipe the floor single handedly agains teams like Leeds and Saints. Next week against Huddersfield or HKR he will be totally none-existant! Maybe this year will see Morley and Briers start to struggle a little bit? Then again, we have people like Menzies who just keep going forever! Who can tell.
 
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