Connect with us

More RL

Watson: GB fixtures should have been switched

Salford Red Devils Head Coach Ian Watson believes the Great Britain teat matches against Tonga and Papua New Guinea should have been switched.

Watson was part of Wayne Bennett’s coaching staff that went over to the Southern Hemisphere, and lost all four matches, including two against New Zealand.

“I think probably playing Tonga in the first game didn’t help. I think they hit us more than we possibly expected at that level.

“When you haven’t played together for a while, or at all, and you are trying to bed a team in and you come up against a settled side like Tonga.

“When you are trying to learn your way around and your processes as a team, that was really diffcult to be fair.

“Maybe it should have been the other way around, and play Papua New Guinea first and then grow into it from there.

“You can label lots of little things, and fine-tune stuff. But at the end of the day, our performances just weren’t good enough.”

Watson also believes player fatigue was potentially a factor. Some players flew out weeks after competing in Grand Finals on both sides of the world.

Ian Watson believed a longer season, coupled with a short turnaround, was a disadvantage to Great Britain. Credit: Simon Whitehead/News Images

“A lot of players came in after playing a lot of games. You look at Saints for example, who got to the Challenge Cup Final and the Grand Final, they were playing close to 50 games.

“Then you look at Tonga and New Zealand, a lot of them had six weeks off, so they were able to prepare themselves the right way.

“Whereas some of our players flew straight out after winning or losing a Grand Final. On both sides of the world because we had people like John Bateman who played in the NRL Grand Final.

“So some of our players were probably overcooked a little bit.”

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Must See

More in More RL