I’m open to suggestions on the final bench spot - bags, begs, Redman, another trade target…
I feel the rest looks pretty settled though smack selection is no doubt speculative and some what controversial.
The other thing to consider is that if Francis explodes next year we could be afforded the luxury of playing hooker forward again and posting one of Ambrose, brown or Hartley back again. Really the only direct match up I’d say hooker has to take is Hawkins otherwise we like him to float as much as possible for his intercept ability. If Francis, and a fit gleeson can provide that I’m not sure there are too many forward lines which would force him back.
It’s a fascinating 22 now. Blokes that are almost always picked when available are now real chances of missing a spot.
I think the Hooker forward or back argument is real. Linked to this is Ambrose selection. He is an important cog I think given all the medium forwards running around now. Smack obviously won’t fit if Hooker forward, which I think in some ways would be a very sad result.
I also have Redman in my 22. What that kid showed in his 2 games is very difficult to ignore. And I say that knowing Gleeson has to find a spot, and Ridley and Begley we’re both given opportunities before him in 2018.
In addition our coaching panel continually back in experienced players. I think Baguley and Myers will get played almost every game in 2019. While I’d play younger players in front of them, it cannot be denied that their 2018 form had them in the 22.
I think tippa is the best and most reliable kick in our side. McKenna can really hurt opponents by foot. So can Francis though he is still erratic.
I think our issue is not so much having enough guys who really hurt as it is having too many that hurt us by foot. Across the board we need to set a decent standard of efficiency by foot and make sure players who aren’t elite kicks aren’t going for too much. Those same guys also need to make damn sure they don’t burn overlap runners who should get the handball. Heppell does this routinely and he most certainly does not have the kicking licence that zerret has.
I hope Shiel’s inclusion sees Hepp’s role simplified somewhat.
I thought we burned him out a bit at times with how much work he got through spreading and presenting on the outside, as well as leading the charge on the inside. End result, huge TOG, huge posessions, but a few too many turnovers. Feel like he’s the type who tries to do everything all the time, until you tell him not to. Shiel’s skillset helps us balance things out.
Hepp should be set as the primary clearance mid; Shiel, Smith and Zerrett inside/outside. Langford off the back of the pack and Myers the fresh legs off the bench. Sounds good in theory…