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Phil Clarke looks at St Helens' successful youth programme and debates the play-off system.Back to story
Phil. This is the first time I have ever written an e-mail of this nature to an individual or organization before. I am writing to talk about my utter disappointment of the anti St Helens presence in the Sky Sports studio on Saturday night. You made a number of comments during the game and it was all about Leeds. Leeds this, Leeds that. I understand that yourself and Brian Carney have an affinity with the Wigan Rugby League club but still you work for a national TV channel and you should have a totally un-biased opinion. Not once did you talk about how St Helens played during the game. You didn┐t highlight anything positive about them and would rather talk about the un-doubted talents of Leeds. Yes Leeds are champions but St Helens could quite easily have won that on another day. We had two big injuries along the way on Saturday with both Wellens and Shenton leaving the field. St Helens also had five youngsters playing in the backs. Gaskell and Lomax are barely out of nappies and yet they gave Leeds one hell of a fight. A bit of un-biased appreciation wouldn┐t go a miss. Thank you. Ross
Posted 15:19 9th October 2011
Phil, I would appreciate your opinon on the following, which may produce a solution to the farce of a team finishing third or fifth to be crowned Champions ! I am a Saints fan but in my opinion the real Champions are Warrington as they have been the most consistant team over a season, not just one game.1. I suggest that the RFL purchase a new trophy worthy of presentation to Champions 2.The playoffs to be retained with the top eight teams but on a knockout basis with a proper draw similar to the Challenge Cup selecting the venue and teams. The final being played at Old Trafford with the current trophy being presented to the winners. This would ensure the exitement and revenue the playoffs produce would be retained, without the farce element. The winners of the Leauge and the Playoffs could then play each other with the winners of thatt game going on to play in the World Club Challenge. Obviously if the winners of the League and the playoffs are the same team they could play the winners of the Challenge Cup.
Posted 08:57 7th October 2011
Phil, Just a quick question, in your opinion, how come Kevin Sinfield never seems to get mentioned when it comes round to man of steel time, if there is a more influential player in the superleague, I've yet to see him, there's no biast in my question, I'm a Wigan fan but nearly every time I have watched Leeds on tv Kevin Sinfield either baffles the opposition with his brains to gain advantage or manages to win a game with his kicks under massive pressure, do these things not count for anything????
Posted 11:28 6th October 2011
Phil, For an English player, does playing 1st team rugby in the NRL guarantee a starting spot in the national side? The standard of the NRL is higher than ESL and with Gareth Ellis, Chris Heighington possible second row canditates do they automatically command a starting spot due to the higher standard of the league they play in? With Eng RL not having a rule whereby players not playing in the ESL are not eligible to be selected to play in the national team it is a very difficult task for Steve Mac to fairly judge because although Ben Westwood & Jamie Jones Buchanan say for example have been form 2nd rower's but are acknowledged to be playing in a lesser competition. Should Gareth Widdop be chosen before Danny Brough will more English players be tempted to go to the NRL because they are more likely to start for the national team. Should an international playing rule simiar to Austrialia be considered whereby players only playing in their national competition be eligible to play for the national team? Our problem is lack of depth and competition for places and Steve is trying to increase this via controversial means but also importing NRL playing resources. If I was a form centre playing in ESL should I be worried of a starting place because Jack Reed, an extremely talented option, is a NRL player? I don't envy Steve's selection choice but should NRL players be chosen ahead of ESL players Buderus's thoughts could prove correct.
Posted 17:26 5th October 2011