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Looking ahead

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Pittwater Legend, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. Pittwater Legend

    Pittwater Legend Well-Known Member

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    We've got to move past the 'you're only as good as your last game' attitude and reflect on the season so far.

    We're are all disappointed after two straight losses to teams below us. By their standards however both the Tigers & Souths played well. We can all agree that we gifted the Tigers with a victory after conceding several streaky tries. Had we not it could have easily been a game we could have run away with. I can't help but feel that it's a game we should have won comfortably but the Tigers had an unholy amount of luck and we didn't help our chances. Hopefully the last two losses will be used as a learning curve. I know Des would see it this way. Losses like these will help to cure complacency and address deficiencies.

    The Tigers beat us on the Monday after we pushed them until the very end. It was a match in which we became fatigued as we heavily chased down a lead which we gifted the opposition. We than had a short turnaround of five days and faced a team who was desperate to keep their finals hope alive and who had been in decent form. Understandably I can see why we lost these matches however we would have won both if we showed the composure and urgency that we've displayed in recent seasons. It's something we can time and build up to for the finals if the team wakes up to themselves.

    Seeing the boys pull back from a 0 wins 4 losses deficit, I'm not ready to throw in the towel just yet. The boys have broken even in cruise control. 10 wins and 10 losses with a positive differential so we should still be planning on putting up a respectable title defence. This is a team who has gone to the last two grand finals with relative ease so they must be capable of something.

    Phil Gould criticized our attack over the last round as it was disorganised. Ironically he was also the one who praised our attacking strategies when we were flogged by the Dragons. Our forwards seem to be scoring alot of tries up the middle. Rose is unstoppable when he is set up on the tryline and Watmough is a tank with speed. Perry has good grunt too. Bailey, King and Rodney are very handy at making metres. Overall we do have strength in the middle which is where Gould said we were lacking. Our attack isn't hopeless but this season we have panicked a lot and it has made us look second rate at times. Our defence isn't too bad. We're rushing out of the line well and can seem to pin oppositions in their half when the game is on the line. But we are conceding far too many tries from kicks and our kick returns are poor.

    Our biggest weakness at the moment are our wingers. They are killing us. David and Tony are conceding too many tries and not scoring nearly enough. David is lacking the confidence which made him so reliable last year while Tony is too vulnerable to attacking kicks due to his size, lack of speed and lack of flexibility. If Tony and David had also not bombed tries in the Titans and Tigers games respectively than we would be sitting pretty with 12 wins and 8 losses with a somewhat easy draw over the last four rounds. We were far dominant than both teams in these games, it's a disgrace that we lost both matches. The absence of Brett Stewart is massive. Because of his absence we have been weakened in three positions on the field. Both wings and fullback. If we had Stewart at fullback and Robertson on one wing in the games against the Panthers, Warriors, Titans & Tigers I'm sure we could have won all four. Win those four and we sit with a record of 14 wins and 6 losses.

    Our kicking game isn't strong but we seem to have no problem at getting the field position we need to win games. Orford mostly needs to plan his kicks better on opposition trylines because the tries we conceded in the Tigers game were F**king traumatic. Orford has looked good at times when running the ball but he needs to stop running so far across the field and needs to time the teams attacking raids better.

    Attitude has been our biggest problem this year. Our stars are having quiet seasons. Matai, Lyon, Ox, Kite and Glenn Stewart have not reproduced the form they displayed last season. Kite is of the most concern, for some reason he has morphed into Luke Williamson. Solid in defence but nowhere to be seen in attack which is a shame because with big input from him we would arguably have the most dominant forward pack in the competition. The boys aren't placing enough value on completing their sets and forcing the opposition to bend over. We were the kings at this last year and it was no surprise that we scored 100+ points in last years final series and only conceded 12 with most of these points being scored in the later stages of every game. Discipline needs to improve. Ironically we were one of the top two teams penalised last year when we stormed to premiership glory.

    Moving onto the positives. Our performances against the Bulldogs and Titans this season should give us optimism. In the Titans game we held one of the competitions heavyweights by the neck before bombing several tries and than having the win stolen from us by the referee. In the Bulldogs match we played with finals like intensity to come from behind and seal a remarkable win. We should look to these wins with optimism as we showed potential.

    The biggest positive will be the return of Brett Stewart. Brett will improve our attack and defence at the back significantly. Robertson will have benefited from playing at fullback for a lengthy period and I believe he will be a much better winger when he returns to that position. David Williams will hopefully get his S**t back together so that we can regain possibly the best back three in the game. Our attack centred around Brett last season with the number of tries and try assists he had to his name so it's no surprise that we struggled early on when several players in the backline were shuffled around. I think Brett may have played a part in a 1/3 of the 100+ tries we scored last season so his addition will be very much welcome. He doesn't even have to have superstar performances if his return at the very least settles the backline.

    Going from here, I think a whole weeks break will suit us well when we take on the Roosters next week. I believe we can put solid wins against the Roosters and Sharks in the last four weeks. With luck that should be enough to sneak us into the eight. If we can manage a third win from somewhere then we will definitely be figuring in this years final series. Highly unlikely but a fourth win will give us a chance to finish 5th.

    A team that I think can go all the way is,



    1. Brett Stewart

    2. Michael Robertson

    3. Jamie Lyon

    4. Steve Matai

    5. David Williams/Ben Farrar

    6. Chris Bailey

    7. Matt Orford

    8. Jason King

    9. Matt Ballin

    10. Josh Perry

    11. Anthony Watmough

    12. Shane Rodney

    13. Glenn Stewart



    14. Heath Le'Strange

    15. Brent Kite

    16. George Rose

    17. Glenn Hall
     
  2. CliffyIsGod

    CliffyIsGod Well-Known Member

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    Our wingers aren't the problem. By time the ball gets out to them, there is no room left. Our problem is our halves the crab cross-field whenever we are close to the line.

    Our feel more confident when we are attacking from 40 out than 10 out.

    My team that will go all the way:

    1. Stewart
    2. Robertson
    3. Lyon
    4. Matai
    5. D Williams
    6. Foran
    7. Orford
    8. King
    9. Ballin
    10. Perry
    11. Choc
    12. Rodney
    13. Stewart

    14. Heath
    15. Kite
    16. Rose
    17. Bailey/Hall
     
  3. Chip and Chase

    Chip and Chase True Supporter Staff Member Administrator Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Does anyone think that Bailey might be worth a shot at dummy half when Ballin needs a rest. Heath has offered nothing off the bench this season and is wasting a spot. Bailey can pass, is happy to take the line on and can kick as well. I reckon it'd be worth a shot, presuming that Bailey starts on the bench.

    5/8 is the most problematic spot at the moment. Bailey is OK there but doesn't take enough pressure of Ox as an alternative playmaker. Lyon has been ordinary the last few weeks, but given that he almost singlehandedly turned our season around this time last year than he is probably the best option if he can find some form / space. Foran is too big a risk IMO, sure he looks capable but I'd rather see him in a few more games before hailing him as the Messiah. We can't afford to be blooding someone this time of year.
     
  4. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

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    Good summary PL. Even in the Titans game we owned all the play up the middle yet bombed too many opportunities. The problem now is that we don't own the middle and don't even have the opportunity to bomb tries. Our wingmen our out of form and are being exploited. But like you I haven't given up hope - a week is a long time in footie.

    C&C, Ballin can easily do 80 minutes and Bailey is solid but seems to offer nothing in attack options. I personally want Lyon to stay at 5/8th because of his footie nouse and kicking game (when he gets it together), and the doubt he can put in the minds of the opposition by being a foil for Ox. What is killing us is lack of speed at the back and gang tackles from the big boys controlling the middle.
     
  5. DSM5

    DSM5 Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    The play the balls were so slooooow last Saturday.  Giving Souths oodles of time to reset their defences.  Speed these up and we give ourselves a chance.  Crabbing across field is a problem as well.  Fix these two things and we are more than a chance. 
     
  6. fLIP

    fLIP UFO Hunter

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    When B Stewart is back we can fix one of the wings. That will go a long way to fixing a lot of areas tries are being scored on us.
     
  7. eggson

    eggson Well-Known Member

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    I agree with DSM's play the ball comments.  I know it's hard to keep up the pace for 80 mins but just so slow lately.  During our 'comeback' against the Tigers we played the ball hard and fast and made over 50m! 

    Use that intensity and we should get a cricket score against the roosters who have pretty much put the cue in the rack.  Then again, i thought we would've done that on saturday too..
     
  8. Mark from Brisbane

    Mark from Brisbane Living the dream Premium Member

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    PL...one of the best posts I have read on this forum...congratulations and well said.Nothing much I can add.
     
  9. Kiwi Eagle

    Kiwi Eagle Moderator Staff Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Only 34 posts in total, but already with 1 of the best of the year

    A good read
     

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