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Mick and Woody Show Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:49 pm  
Lord Tony Smith User avatar
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Just a heads up for anyone looking to kill an hour or two in lockdown. On that famous video website Paul Wood and Micky Higham
have done an interview with Paul Cullen and Mike Cooper. The account is called Mick and Woody show. I’d highly recommend it, it’s great viewing and some very funny stories.

Love Cullen’s honesty and enthusiasm still, he didn’t deserve to be forced out by the fans in the way that he was, IMO.
Re: Mick and Woody Show Wed Jul 08, 2020 8:23 am  
The Railwayman Cheeky half-back
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Will give that a listen.
Agree about your sentiments about Cull although I think he had taken the club as far as he could helping us move from fodder to almost contenders. Is he involved with the club anymore in any capacity? Should be an ambassador or something as he he has the club in his blood.
Re: Mick and Woody Show Wed Jul 08, 2020 8:41 am  
Deus Dat Incrementum Cheeky half-back
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I think PC heads up the match review panel. Poacher turned gamekeeper really,
Re: Mick and Woody Show Wed Jul 08, 2020 9:53 am  

rubber duckie User avatar
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Lord Tony Smith wrote:
Just a heads up for anyone looking to kill an hour or two in lockdown. On that famous video website Paul Wood and Micky Higham
have done an interview with Paul Cullen and Mike Cooper. The account is called Mick and Woody show. I’d highly recommend it, it’s great viewing and some very funny stories.

Love Cullen’s honesty and enthusiasm still, he didn’t deserve to be forced out by the fans in the way that he was, IMO.


His success was PC undoing. We excelled under the top 5 system with extra loop fixtures as a poor team, avoiding 5 games against the top guns. It got us into 4th.
The season after our loops were all the top 6 against each other. That became the undoing the season following.
In hindsight, finishing 7th would have been progressive and bought Cullen another season of development.
He may well still be at Wire now, had things been different in structure.
once a wire always a wire
Re: Mick and Woody Show Wed Jul 08, 2020 1:47 pm  
Lord Tony Smith User avatar
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The Railwayman wrote:
Will give that a listen.
Agree about your sentiments about Cull although I think he had taken the club as far as he could helping us move from fodder to almost contenders. Is he involved with the club anymore in any capacity? Should be an ambassador or something as he he has the club in his blood.
He admits that himself during the interview. Cracker of a watch. The story about John Duffy at Widnes is a belter.
Re: Mick and Woody Show Wed Jul 08, 2020 3:16 pm  
sally cinnamon User avatar
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rubber duckie wrote:
His success was PC undoing. We excelled under the top 5 system with extra loop fixtures as a poor team, avoiding 5 games against the top guns. It got us into 4th.
The season after our loops were all the top 6 against each other. That became the undoing the season following.
In hindsight, finishing 7th would have been progressive and bought Cullen another season of development.
He may well still be at Wire now, had things been different in structure.


If we'd finished 7th in 2005 there would have been no playoffs that year and no Andrew Johns.
The end of season league fixtures weren't our undoing the following season as we made the playoffs anyway and we knocked Leeds out. Our undoing was we lost in the playoffs at Bradford who were better than us at that point regardless of where we'd finished the league before.

SL scrapped that system of playing the previous season's top 6 against each other in the extra 'loop' fixtures after 2006 so we got to play Catalans, Hudds and Salford in the end of season fixtures in 2007. We finished 7th and missed the playoffs.

We were 7th again at the midpoint in 2008 despite having a team which was much more stacked with talent than several teams above us, that's why Cullen left. It wasn't that he was unlucky with the league schedule, he just wasn't able to get that team to the next level. Tony Smith came in 2009 and started winning trophies straight away with that team.

I like Cullen too and he made a good contribution to our history taking us from where we were in 2002, to leaving Wilderspool in high spirits (which was by no means guaranteed on the road we were on the past few seasons), to changing the mentality and ambition of the club, and also getting us to play good quality exciting rugby even when the results were inconsistent. But we stopped moving forward a while before he left and we probably kept him as coach a couple of years too long, the same happened to TS.
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Re: Mick and Woody Show Wed Jul 08, 2020 3:56 pm  

rubber duckie User avatar
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sally cinnamon wrote:
If we'd finished 7th in 2005 there would have been no playoffs that year and no Andrew Johns.
The end of season league fixtures weren't our undoing the following season as we made the playoffs anyway and we knocked Leeds out. Our undoing was we lost in the playoffs at Bradford who were better than us at that point regardless of where we'd finished the league before.

SL scrapped that system of playing the previous season's top 6 against each other in the extra 'loop' fixtures after 2006 so we got to play Catalans, Hudds and Salford in the end of season fixtures in 2007. We finished 7th and missed the playoffs.

We were 7th again at the midpoint in 2008 despite having a team which was much more stacked with talent than several teams above us, that's why Cullen left. It wasn't that he was unlucky with the league schedule, he just wasn't able to get that team to the next level. Tony Smith came in 2009 and started winning trophies straight away with that team.

I like Cullen too and he made a good contribution to our history taking us from where we were in 2002, to leaving Wilderspool in high spirits (which was by no means guaranteed on the road we were on the past few seasons), to changing the mentality and ambition of the club, and also getting us to play good quality exciting rugby even when the results we you re inconsistent. But we stopped moving forward a while before he left and we probably kept him as coach a couple of years too long, the same happened to TS.

My point being 7th instead of 4th was progressing and none of us would have been disappointed had we finished 7th. Johns is irrelevant other than adding more expectations and lack or patience to the fans.
once a wire always a wire
Re: Mick and Woody Show Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:22 pm  

User avatarAsgardian13 wrote:
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rubber duckie wrote:
My point being 7th instead of 4th was progressing and none of us would have been disappointed had we finished 7th. Johns is irrelevant other than adding more expectations and lack or patience to the fans.


Johns coming to the club was a fantastic highlight so hardly 'irrelevant'. The night of the Leeds match was one of the best atmospheres I've ever experienced at a match ( though even that does not compare to England v Tonga in Auckland in 2017 WC). I still find it hard to believe how we blew it against Hull in the ployoffs - especailly when they went on to be mullered by the Bulls in the next round. A short period, yes, but not insignificant.
Waiting for the 2021 RLWC
Re: Mick and Woody Show Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:46 pm  
sally cinnamon User avatar
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rubber duckie wrote:
My point being 7th instead of 4th was progressing and none of us would have been disappointed had we finished 7th. Johns is irrelevant other than adding more expectations and lack or patience to the fans.


We would have been disappointed with 7th in 2005, given that we'd signed Gleeson, Fa'afili, Swann, Kohe-Love. We were 6th and in the playoffs in the last season at Wilderspool, so after moving to a new stadium with a lot of investment in new signings, having two seasons outside the playoffs while clubs like Wakefield and London had been getting in, would have stalled the momentum we were trying to build.

I think the 2005 season was crucial in the history of the club and in the context of us climbing out from the small-time mid-table mediocrity which we'd been in for a decade really since Davies, Bateman and Mackey left. We won 11 out of 13 games at one point which came to be more normal later under TS but I don't think we'd seen that sort of run since the year we finished jointed top. It was such a change to turn up to the HJ expecting to win, including when it was against Bradford, Wigan and Hull. We also played some great rugby in that time as well - the Swann/Gleeson/Fa'afili attack on the right edge; Briers and Wood in the halves, Danny Lima was in good form then doing similar to what BMM did in spells recently, and also we had Brent Grose in the form of his life from fullback (best fullback in the league that season). I really enjoyed that whole summer, the weather was good, England beat Australia in that great Ashes series, it was just a real feel-good time. Then we signed Johns and had all the excitement and momentum about that leading up to the playoffs.

Even though we underachieved in the next three seasons, the memories of that spell in 2005 gave some hope that the club did actually have potential to build something big and we saw a glimmer there of what it was like to turn up to the HJ and watch a team who you knew would play really good rugby, which we would see more regularly from 2010-13.

That was important in putting us on the map to the point where we could sign guys like Johns and Morley and Monaghan and King later, and have some credibility that we were trying to build something. Without a bit of success it would have been much harder for Simon Moran to sell a vision to players - look at what happened when Marwan Koukash was trying to stay credible after year after year of zero improvement at Salford.

I think a factor that really scuppered Cullen after 2005, wasn't the league schedule or the fact that he'd "overachieved" (I agree that is a thing...Shane McNally for instance got burned by taking Wakefield to the playoffs in 2004 when they massively overachieved, then got ditched far too early the year later), but the departure of Nat Wood, and us failing to land our top 2 targets (Matt Orford and Michael Monaghan) and having to scramble for a very poor replacement in Michael Sullivan. Not only was Sullivan a much less talented player but his whole attitude and commitment to the club was a million miles off what Nat Wood had been. Taking Nat Wood out of the dressing room took the spirit out of Cullen's team, we never had the same spark under Cullen once Wood was gone.
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Re: Mick and Woody Show Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:07 am  

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My point is only that while finishing 4th we had 5 easy extra games. The season following that we played the top 5 for 3 times each. The forth was a false position of where we were at. The season following, the same, we wasn’t as poor as the stats shown.
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