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Thread: Basic instinct works best for Stannard

  1. #1
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    Basic instinct works best for Stannard

    Nick Taylor, The West Australian
    February 27, 2012, 6:44 am


    James Stannard. Pic: Getty Images

    Western Force fly-half James Stannard needs to return to his instinctive best if the Force are going to make an impression against Super Rugby champions Queensland on Saturday.

    When Stannard stepped into the playmaker role at the end of last year he was a revelation, creating holes with his natural running game honed on the international stage with the Australian Sevens side.

    In the first-round 19-17 loss to the Brumbies on Friday, he put that game in his pocket and rarely took off on angled running lines. He also needed to stand flatter to allow his runners to come from deep and hit the ball at pace.

    It is not the style of play coach Richard Graham has been preaching. He wants his side to play a wide game with Stannard taking on the line before sending out his passes.

    Stannard has been under enormous pressure since becoming the Force's No.1 playmaker after the resignation of Willie Ripia.

    But he cannot shoulder the blame alone for the sub-par performance in a game against a new-look Brumbies that the Force should and could have won.

    After all, he scored all his side's 17 points and there were critical moments when other players made crucial errors.

    One player who made a big impression was prop Pek Cowan, who was ignored by Wallabies coach Robbie Deans for the World Cup.

    But if he continues to chalk up the type of figures he finished with against the Brumbies, Deans will have to recall him to the national squad.

    Cowan carried the ball more than any other forward on the night.

    Only his wingers and full-back made more ground, and they did not have to do it through the heavy traffic of the forwards.

    And he still had his everyday job of 80 minutes in the grind of the front row.

    Being ignored has given Cowan, who has three more seasons at the Force, a huge incentive.

    "Obviously I would have loved to have been there (at the World Cup) but playing well for the Western Force is my goal this year," he said.

    Though he was pleased with his own performance in Canberra, Cowan was frustrated with the result. "On a personal note I was very, very happy with my game," Cowan said.

    "I thought I contributed a lot but it was one of those games you can play your best game but still lose.

    "The Brumbies picked big forwards for a reason. We took that personally because they thought they were going to run over us.

    "The game was there for the taking the whole time and the most disappointing thing is that we've grown as a group and still let a close one slip away. It was game we should have won."

    Graham will assess his playing stocks at training today with Sam Wykes, Pat Dellit, Ben Whittaker and Cameron Shepherd in contention for the clash with the Reds.

    http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/spo...-for-stannard/

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    Immortal Contributor jono's Avatar
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    So there was a game plan. But perhaps the boys underestimated the brumbies on the night. They seemed to surprise everyone
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    Veteran Ecky's Avatar
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    Even if he stands flatter, the rest of the back have to STAND DEEPER so they are actually at pace when they hit the contact.

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    Veteran Sheikh's Avatar
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    It also helps if the ball is passed in front of them, not behind as happened too often last week.

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    Immortal Contributor jono's Avatar
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    I think looking towards this week's game is probably better than goon over and over last week's one
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    Veteran Contributor normie's Avatar
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    I agree. Most things are better than goon. Good to see Pek get some recognition.

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  7. #7
    Immortal Contributor jono's Avatar
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    Without a doubt.
    Auto correct is not kind...
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