A. Red card could be costly for Stankovich
Stankovich’s red card was too harsh a penalty for what was at worst clumsy and exasperated by a slip. But you can’t argue, as I have in the past, that there are too few red cards in games then complain when a referee actually produces the red card. The referee must be commended for having the bottle to send off a Tigers player at Welford Road, even if we must also complain bitterly at the actually decision. I wonder what the referee thought he saw, Tuesday’s disciplinary hearing will make interesting reading as it wasn’t a dirty game or a malicious challenge.
A ban could be very costly for Tigers, missing a key player for potentially 2 league games, but also for Stankovich as it will give our legions of young props the chance to show their worth and potentially play him out of a contract for next season. League points are important but so are mortgages.
B. Young gun finally set to fire
Micky Young has endured a tough start to his Tigers career. Injury, unjust suspension then injury again have robbed him of the chance to get any form or momentum going. Last Sunday was the first time he has been subbed tactically rather than through an injury and he has started to show glimpses of the form that gained him England Saxons honours at Newcastle. His service was sharp and so were his instincts for the break. Unlike in previous games he wasn’t getting stuck into the rucks too much so was available much more often. There are still flaws in his game, a botched attempt at a exploiting a scrum blindside most notably, and we’ve not seen too much of a kicking game yet; but at least he has some positives to build from. Most importantly he is actually fit so should get the chance to gain two or three games in a row to show further such improvements.
C. Ford Transit?
Once again the rumours about George Ford have started up again. They are most unhelpful for the lads emerging career. He’s 19 years old and has already played almost 30 games for the first team, including both major domestic finals last year don’t forget. That is 10 games (and 2 finals) more than Tom Heathcote has had at Bath, one of his apparent destinations. For a recommendation of his other potential home, Northampton, he doesn’t have to go very far at all. Joe Ford was establishing himself in the Leeds team when he went to Saints and promptly played 1 minute of Heineken Cup or Premiership action in the whole season; and that was only when they were 37-0 up, at home, to a Scottish side.
The grass isn’t greener anywhere else and Leicester under Cockerill has a track record of bringing players through to the highest level.
Ford seems to have his head screwed on though so won’t need telling whilst the press won’t listen to sense anyway.