Blogs & Opinion


Toothless Sharks

Sale must focus on the basics, says Dewi

Worcester Posted 26th September 2012 view comments

Sale are a side in transition and it will take time for them to get it right. However it will be interesting to see how long they are given to make that transition because there are a lot of reputations at stake here.

A lot of people saw Bryan Redpath as the prodigal son returning and they also have made some big signings like Danny Cipriani - who I have always had my slight doubts about. It is one thing coming onto an established side but another coming into a side that has no structure and that is what Sale are at the moment.

Dave Seymour feels the force of London Welsh

Dave Seymour feels the force of London Welsh

They definitely have the talent but the problem is that the fixtures come thick and fast and if you don't get some early wins then the pressure builds and builds. It is important to get a bit of momentum at the start of the season - it is a confidence builder.

Sale's players are feeling the pressure. These guys are on good money and the supporters are not happy with their performances. They have moved to a new stadium and there is pressure on getting the crowds in - all that would disappear if they were performing on the pitch, but they are not.

I want them to up the guts stuff and lower the fast and furious tempo. Once they have started to grind people down and are getting three, six, nine points ahead, then start throwing it around - but only in the kill zones.

Dewi Morris
Quotes of the week

They were disappointing against London Welsh because they thought they would just turn up, go through the patterns and get the win. The two tries they leaked were very soft and should have been very easy to defend.

Steve Scott has taken the bullet but there are only so many bullets Steve Diamond can fire before the revolver gets turned. I mean that in the nicest way as he likes being a very hands-on coach and will be as frustrated as anyone. He has taken over those reins from Scott and he will also be looking for Redpath to start upping things. They do have some tough fixtures ahead with Bath away and then in our live game next Friday they face Leicester.

Cohesion

I thought Andy Powell and Dwayne Peel were magnificent for Sale but they need to get more cohesion, some of the parts just don't fit at the moment. I don't think it is time for them to panic but I do think that a top-six finish is gone for them which will be very disappointing. The North West needs a successful club that will be hosting the likes of Munster and Toulouse in the Heineken Cup.

They need to calm down, they are very frenetic at the moment and their attempt to move the ball - which is lovely to see - is not working and they need to hold onto it. They need to be a bit more old-fashioned: get a 10 who controls the game, someone who does nothing flash but uses the big centres to carry the ball up and be more direct.

Guts

I want them to up the guts stuff and lower the fast and furious tempo. Once they have started to grind people down and are getting three, six, nine points ahead, then start throwing it around - but only in the kill zones. All the fancy stuff has to go out the window because they have lost the first four games. Now it is all about winning. It is not going to be pretty but it will be effective.

They have the squad to play this way - they have a scrum, a lineout and the halfbacks to really take a game by the scruff of its neck. They have all the parts of the jigsaw; it is Bryan Redpath's and Steve Diamond's job to put it all together.

Dewi Morris team of the week: Round four

1. Soane Tonga'uiha (Northampton): He is probably the most outstanding loosehead I have seen in the Premiership for three four years. Last season was not great for him but he is coming back to his best.

2. Joe Gray (Harlequins): This was a tough one but his all round play against Leicester was superb. He carried well, put in his tackles and is definitely one to watch, a brilliant performance.

3. Paulica Ion (London Welsh): He epitomises a guy who has come on and told to do a job. It is very simplistic but he pushed his heart out to give his team a chance and then got his hands on the ball when he could.

4. Tom Savage (Gloucester): I have not seen much of him but I was very impressed with him - he stuttered a bit at the end but enjoyed his performance

5. James Percival (Worcester): George Robson was outstanding but Percival did not give up. He was on a losing side but just kept on going. How Worcester managed to come back from 37-3 down to finally lose 37-31 I don't know.

6. Sione Kalamafoni (Gloucester): What a performance. You have some old Glos coming from Tonga! Up the jumper stuff, I'm coming through the middle so get out the way! A brilliant signing, a brilliant find and a brilliant rugby player.

7. Phil Dowson (Northampton): he can play across the backrow and was excellent coming off a phenomenally powerful Saints pack. His time may have gone for England but his time is certainly now for Saints.

8. Nick Easter (Harlequins): He is a figure everyone is talking about for England. Stuart Lancaster has made his mind up that he is not wanted but he continues to put in impressive performances. In a Harlequins performance that looked easy, Easter was phenomenal.

9. Tyson Keats (London Welsh): Danny Care was very good but I really enjoyed Keats' performance. I don't know much about him but I am going to be reading up about him! He is only a little lad but he knows how to boss a pack of forwards. He does not mind taking it up and getting dirty and will tell his forwards exactly what to do.

10. Nick Evans (Harlequins): Freddie Burns came close but it was Evans for me. This is why he is paid the big bucks and why French clubs want him - he is a flyhalf who can win you a game and orchestrate everyone around him.

11. James Simpson-Daniel (Gloucester): The older you get the better you get! It is lovely to watch someone with incredible talent doing what he does best.

12. Luther Burrell (Northampton): There was some weak tackling there but also some good play. I don't know why Sale let him go because from what I am seeing si that if you get the right people around him you can get a lot out of him. He is a big lump who can move!

13. Elliot Daly (Wasps): He needs to man up big style in the tackle but his try and his step on Henry Trinder was exceptional!

14. Nikki Walker (Worcester): again it was that never say die attitude. He is a big strong athletic guy and he carried the ball very well - which is what you want when the you know what hits the fan.

15. Tom Arscott (London Welsh): James Wilson played well for Saints but Arscott just cannot stop making breaks. He made one slight error but he gives Welsh a focal point. He is not afraid to give it a go and see what is on.

Comments (4)

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1

Stephen Short says...

i know this is not on the above but i think that your rugby programme should include a ref who can week by week go through the law book and then you can ask questions on why the rules are flouted with the conivance of the irb and refs body at top level but totally ruled on us amatuers it can be shown by video how rules are and are not applaid i for one do not want to play ahybrid mix of union and leage

Posted 17:57 30th October 2012

Jack Taylor says...

Dewi, when it come to the autumn internationals would it be a good idea for Stuart lancaster to make small changes to the line-ups in order counter what southern hemisphere teams do. Would you consider bringing in Billy Twelvetrees in place of Barritt and Turner-hall to other a creative inside centre like Antony Allen, but more Physical. For fiji play some that knocking on the starting line-up door like Freddie Burns and so on. Australia may be hurting from recent campaignes but it must be a full strength line up with Flood starting and maybe playing Tuilagi and Joseph in the centers. South Africa would be a chance to put in Twelvetrees with Tuilagi to combat their physical centres with our own and it would support Flood with the second receiver that also has a great boot and hands. Also i would put Jonny May into the back three on the wing to keep speed and skill but also to try and combat the gary owen kicks Springboks love. New zealand would have to be the most inform players that he has at his expense. 1.Marler (corbs if fit) 2.Hartley 3. Cole 4. Lawes 5. Parling 6. Haskell 7. Robshaw 8. Morgan 9. Care 10.Flood 11. Wade 12. Tuilagi 13.Joseph 14. Ashton 15. Brown.

Posted 15:33 28th September 2012

Andrew Mcbay says...

Hi Dewi, you mentioned that Savage made your team of the week and yet his opposite man got MOTM, Wentzel, even though he was on the losing side. Surely such performances can't be missed? Also, i have agreed in the past that Daly is weak in the tackle but so far this season he surely has already shown huge improvement. Do you think he can break into the england side soon, and if not what does he need ti do?

Posted 15:54 27th September 2012

Jacob Wright says...

Dewi what would your england team be for the upcoming tests? How do you think my team would get on? 1. Myler 2. Hartley 3. Cole 4. Lawes 5. Parling 6. Robshaw 7. Armitage 8. Easter 9. Care 10. Flood 11. Wade 12. Twelevtrees 13. Manu 14. Ashton 15. Brown

Posted 16:59 26th September 2012

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1

back to top

Other Rugby Union Experts:

Latest Posts in Rugby Union:

Stuart Barnes

Rhythm and flow

Stuart Barnes says video referees are ruining the rhythm of games and causing too many delays....

Dewi Morris

Heart and soul

Dewi Morris looks at a crucial weekend in the Championship as we head towards the play-offs....

Latest News RSS feeds

Wilkinson fit to face Munster

Toulon stars Jonny Wilkinson and Bryan Habana have been passed fit to face Munster in their Heineken Cup semi-final.

McCall: Saracens have evolved

Mark McCall insists Saracens boast a “genuine sense of belief” ahead of their Heineken Cup semi-final with Clermont.

Marshall release confirmed

Former New Zealand rugby league captain Benji Marshall has officially been released from his union contract.

New contracts for Dragons duo

Newport Gwent Dragons have confirmed that wing Tom Prydie and centre Ashley Smith have signed new contracts.

Sarries wary of Sivivatu

Sarries chief Mark McCall has highlighted Sitiveni Sivivatu as Clermont's dangerman ahead of their Heineken Cup semi.

Features

Win London 7s tickets

Win London 7s tickets

Click here for your chance to win tickets to the Marriott London Sevens with Game Changers.

Harlequins' Nick Evans speaks exclusively to Sky Sports

Harlequins' Nick Evans speaks exclusively to Sky Sports

While Premier League football managers have spent their run-in perfecting the art of ruling themselves out of contention, Nick Evans insists Harlequins are adopting a far more assertive philosophy as their push for an Aviva Premiership play-off berth reaches a crucial juncture.

Sky Sports have signed the rights to the Top 14, France's premier rugby competition

Sky Sports have signed the rights to the Top 14, France's premier rugby competition

Sky Sports will offer customers even more top class rugby union from next season, after securing a five-year agreement to show France's Top 14 exclusively live.