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First impressions

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Matabele, Mar 13, 2005.

  1. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    First impressions:

    It’s no secret that I wasn’t particularly impressed by our last outing against The Melbourne storm, a diabolical last minute win against a second string side. Much of what had haunted our awful campaign throughout 2004 was on display that day at Brookvale.

    So how did the team look in their next NRL game, the first round win against the New Zealand Warriors. Well, firstly, away wins are like gold in the NRL, especially when they come over the ditch, so for the benefit of those who didn’t get to see the game, this is how the team looked in their first outing of the year.

    Speed of the game:
    I watched 4 NRL games over the course of the weekend and I must admit that the speed of the game was not quite up there with some of the games that were on display. I was expecting fireworks but was quite surprised at the gentleness of the opening exchanges. Yes there was some fierce stuff happening and Manly committed a lot to the tackle but I can’t get over the feeling that the game was a gear or two below the season opener on Friday night and the game on show today between the Cowboys and the Broncos. Still – cross game comparisons are fraught with subjectivity and you can only play in front of you. With this being just about the most physical confrontation of the round, our boys came out well on top in the pulverising stakes.

    Fitness: We committed a lot of men to the tackle early in the game. This did reduce as the game wore on but I think it would be fair to say that we finished both halves far stronger than our opponents. The Warriors have done a lot of talking about how hard they’ve trained in the off season so I’d say it was gratifying to get the better of them in this area. However, I’d be waiting to see how we go against an up-tempo team like the Roosters or even the Cowboys before we get an accurate gauge on our true fitness levels. The signs are promising though.

    Cohesion: We were certainly nowhere near as slick as the Bulldogs were on Friday night. Early in the first half our timing was particularly awry. It was obvious we were trying to get Donald in a one-on-one situation but the passes to set up that scenario sailed over the sideline more often than not. Let’s not forget this was a side trying to bed down four new players, including a new halves combination in Monaghan and Witt. So whilst the timing was less than perfect and a few things went wrong, there were also some good touches, particularly our kicking game wide to the wings.

    Defence: This was our Achilles heel last year. In this game our line moved as one and seemed far quicker to react to what was thrown at them. What particularly impressed me was the sense of urgency to get back into the line, with Kite and Kennedy leading the way. The tackling was brutal. Many of the Warriors left the field with their heads swathed in bandages or blood spattered all over their jerseys. I don’t think that opposition teams are going to look forward to running into these boys when they’re on song. The two BKs certainly starched up the defence and hit merchants like Minogue put some thunderous collisions on the Warriors. We very much won the battle of the trenches.

    In general I thought our defence was far more solid than last year. We probably weren’t tested as much as we have been but there were several times where the Warriors had repeat sets and we were able to repel them or force the error. Perhaps the Warriors were their own worst enemies with the amount of ball they dropped but there were several occasions where it seemed to me as though they were looking at who was about to snot them rather than where the pill was. The forwards were solid up the middle and Tezza was very strong on the right side. Steppa had his moments but didn’t do anything too calamitous.

    Attack: This was one of our areas of strength last year and we don’t seem to have lost much over the off season. Monaghan is the creator but Witt occasionally took on the line and looked to put men in the gaps. Witt showed enough to suggest that he has sufficient skill to keep the opposition guessing and from sweating on Monaghan. Witt’s bombing potential is outstanding too.

    Donald is as fast as ever on one wing and he streeted the field for one of his tries. Tezza and Hopp are solid on the other and have enough experience to capitalise on anything that comes there way. Given that we were playing without the silken skills and pace of Hicks I’d have to say we were certainly up to specification in attack. Our forwards laid a good platform against a large pack.

    New signings: Terry Hill was obviously the standout. He was inspirational in defence and put the talented Toopi completely off his game. He did what he had to do to put Hoppa in for his try.

    Kite was impressive in that he had good go-forward and set the platform for us. He was hard to put down and he showed a lot of urgency in defence.

    Kennedy was busy and was always a threat when he ran with the ball. He didn’t get to offload much but it’s also hard to recall any mistakes in his game. A couple of times he was on his haunches after a long passage of play but he did take some big hits too.

    Witt showed a good running game and generally combined well with Monaghan. He made some tackles in key situations that would have most certainly been missed by Walker last year. He also notched a 40/20 kick and it seems as though we’ve done a lot of work in that area over the Summer.
     
  2. byso

    byso Well-Known Member

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    Hard to dissagree with your report.

    Kennedy did force an offload which went to ground after about 20mins, it was forward as well.

    I was so impressed with the commitment in defence.
     
  3. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    Hard marker there byso. !dodge
     
  4. Dan

    Dan Administrator Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    if that offload had mae it to menzis, then menzies was in the clear and probably would have scored
     
  5. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    It was wierd seeing Kennedy in our colours. It doesn't seem real yet! I'm sure he'll give us some moments to savour as he settles in.

    Menzies looked rejuvenated today you know. :clap: :clap: :clap:
     
  6. Dan

    Dan Administrator Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    he did as well.
     
  7. KaZa

    KaZa Well-Known Member

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    hes in his natural position. Menzies was our best forward. Forget Kite.. Forget Kennedy. THE BEAVER today was awesome in both defence and attack.
     
  8. Volley

    Volley Well-Known Member

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    I agree entirely there KaZa, Menzies was brilliant.
     
  9. danno

    danno Member

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    Forget Kite & Kennedy?
    Beaver was awesome because of Kite & Kennedy.
     
  10. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    That's why I say Menzies is rejuvenated. He has some other quality players next to him (especially Kite and Kennedy) and they're sharing the load in inspiring the willing (Hecks, Minogue, Blue arsed etc) and carrying the shirkers.
     
  11. Fluffy

    Fluffy Well-Known Member

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    Willo topped the tackle count again.

    I thought he played sufficiantly well as starting hooker, getting the 40/20 and his delivery was ok. Could be the plan for the year. Certainly no worse than randall was last year.
     
  12. Dan

    Dan Administrator Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Beaver was good, it was like a penthouse mag....... BEAVER everywhere
     
  13. Volley

    Volley Well-Known Member

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    You've been saving that call up for some time, haven't you?
     
  14. Dan

    Dan Administrator Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    nope came up with it as i posted
     
  15. Volley

    Volley Well-Known Member

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    Congrats then, a fine effort!
     
  16. Dan

    Dan Administrator Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    thank you I was quite happy with it.....
     
  17. Ice Fusion

    Ice Fusion Member

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    I was impressed by Hoppa's discipline, apart from when Toopi turned him over he showed no signs of frustration and was very patient when playing the ball.

    The boys were good in taking the opponents by the legs, I particularly remember Monaghan and Beaver using this technique very well in the Warriors half, Monaghan in fact made 3 consecutive tackles. One of the Warriors player even lost the ball close to our line when he was dragged down like this.

    How good was Beavers try, quick hands by Monaghan followed by Beaver positioning himself to run under the sticks.
     
  18. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    Hoppa did behave. But he's like a gurgling volcano. You know he's going to erupt soon.
     

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