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Re: 2024 l Academy, Scholarship & Reserves News : Sun Apr 07, 2024 12:54 pm  
KaeruJim wrote:
I couldn’t see much evidence they’ve been applied mate. Night and day from last year, common sense may just have prevailed.

I was more bothered about the ref allowing Wire to lay on literally 5 seconds per ruck at times.

I heard a quote from someone in the media that so far in SL the number of tackles making contact with the head has gone from around 12% to 3%, albeit a small sample size so far. So perhaps they're being lenient in the reserves because the adjustments made to the rules in SL is already having the desired effect on reducing contact with the head.

I agree on the play the ball. I'd like to see if the PTB speed has increased, because it still looks a mess and is policed inconsistently
It’s great that head contacts have been reduced, the interpretation has eased now and let’s hope we’re about where we need to be.

Bentley’s concussion issue was making a tackle though; this is not uncommon.

We have to make a hard job easier for refs and keep the rules as effective but simple as possible. Honestly I’d be blowing the pea out for some of the crappy spoiling tactics in the ruck. Sometimes I feel Leeds players could be better at finding their fronts but some of that is physical.
U18s well beaten by Wigan tonight. Presumably we'll hear we fielded a very young team and it will be invaluable for their development. May well be true. GH keeps repeating we currently have the best crop of youngsters for 20 years. I get to as many Academy and Scholarship games as I can and I'm struggling to see the same thing. I see us beaten regularly by the Wigan and Saints of this world which doesn't fill me with any confidence we'll be closing the gap any time soon. Would be very happy to be proved wrong though.
Ive watched a lot of these first years youngsters through the junior game. Im not gunna mention no names. It seems to me that they are giving the ones who are on the biggest contracts all the game time. They are obviously not performing. There are players who i think who are not getting picked i think should be picked who are better than the ones who are. Players who are picked not getting enough time on the field. Surely this is still a results business, even at this age. Time for the axe for a few for a while maybe ?
The only first year not playing regular who deserves to be is Dylan Hutchinson, but he's got Fergus McCormack in front of him so thats undersandable at 6, i personaly think Hutchinson is a better player and fullback than Diskin, so i would play him there...The club seem to love Diskin however.

Other than that, all the best first years are getting plenty of game time.

Unfortunately, our coaching and development at this level just isnt good enough, all other clubs players become tougher and more intelligent rugby players when they move from Scholarship to Academy, ours go the opposite way. Its not good enough and the club need to stop treating the appointments at Academy level as an afterthought and start looking for best in class for that level
Decent turnout in the cold for the U16s tonight.

Standouts for me were Dan Stelfox at prop; big lad with great leg drive. Back row of Lloyd, Tinkler and Jacob Hardy all good.

Halves had good craft. Centres also looked ok, Ellis has decent height and could be interesting once he fills out.

Some weak D from some players at times but overall comfortable win with a couple of well taken tries.
Didn’t see the Reserves game but report sounds like Sinfield and Ned McCormack knocking on the door. Hudson another injury - hamstring this time apparently.
And yet another defeat

Club stance: best crop in 20 year

Tony Smiths performance with said crop over Academy and reserves: won 1 lost 6
Thing is Matts that the academy has only ever produced a couple of first teamers a year even in the golden decade.

The team can lose but you have one or two who go on to make it - that’s actually okay. Flip side of course is that winning games and titles at junior level is a general signal of health.

Looking at our pool, I’d say Jack Smith, Lumb, Cassell, Oladipupo, Gannon we know about, Lloyd, Stelfox, Simpson, Littlewood, Ned McCormack…. All decent chances of making first grade.

There is some quality in there especially at back row and centre.

I do think we’ll see more juniors staring to push into the first team over the next few years than we’ve seen for a while. I do agree that I’d like to see more evidence of their potential with team results though.
KaeruJim wrote:
Thing is Matts that the academy has only ever produced a couple of first teamers a year even in the golden decade.

The team can lose but you have one or two who go on to make it - that’s actually okay. Flip side of course is that winning games and titles at junior level is a general signal of health.

Looking at our pool, I’d say Jack Smith, Lumb, Cassell, Oladipupo, Gannon we know about, Lloyd, Stelfox, Simpson, Littlewood, Ned McCormack…. All decent chances of making first grade.

There is some quality in there especially at back row and centre.

I do think we’ll see more juniors staring to push into the first team over the next few years than we’ve seen for a while. I do agree that I’d like to see more evidence of their potential with team results though.

Jim, im fully aware of the talented players we recruit into the club, theres even more you havnt listed that are more talented than some you have, im also under no illusion that a talented junior does not guarantee a first grade player...But the minum requirement should be a dominant Scholarship intake/player, maintain that into their Academy careers, remain best in class within their peer group, we dont come close, nearly as much as we should

What a club has to do, is to give them the best possible chance of reaching maximum potential, for a club like leeds, that should be best in country, and it isnt anywhere near. The facility's are there, the coaching isnt. You seem to watch a few games like myself, but we are watching through a different lens if you are seeing any kind of learning or mental development in the way these lads are playing, each game is a mirror image of the last...Errors, stupid decisions, weak mentality, bad habits which wernt there in scholarship and generally just not as resilient as the opposition.

The current situation isnt new, its the latest in a long line of poor decisions at Academy/reserves level, so looking historicaly at the pattern of players developing isnt something to eleviate some criticism from the current set up, its more frustrating they haven't yet changed stance on how they operate...Results at this level matter, development coaches hiding behind the cliche phrases associated with development are usually the poor ones. Lads who were best in class at Scholarship but then cant win a game at Academy and reserves and look generally less intelligent players at 17/18 than they did at 15/16, is an issue, They are being cought up and overtaken by their peers

The historic issue since the goldens was 2 fold, recruitment and development, Thankfully we have addressed the recruitment side of our junior programmes, we had become poor, we are now very good, but the development side is not where it needs to be and will eventually harm the recruitment side again.
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