Snake's Alive!
Should the Eels surrender meekly in this upcoming finals series, I think serious questions should be asked of Dalai's coaching...you couldn't assemble a better squad when you really think about it. On paper, they are arguably the most stacked team in the comp. He gets them up for the contest and hungry but tactically, there are some shortcomings in his ability to coach the team. The Raiders line speed was great last night but at no point did the Eels try anything different to combat the rushing defence.

Year after year, they are thereabouts but cannot seem to take it to another level. With a better coach, I think they could take it to another level. He is average.
 
Bencher
Their run home is ridiculously tough with the Roosters and possibly Manly a fair chance of over running them.Questions would have to be asked if they finish 5th or 6th
 
Reserve Grader
Should the Eels surrender meekly in this upcoming finals series, I think serious questions should be asked of Dalai's coaching...you couldn't assemble a better squad when you really think about it. On paper, they are arguably the most stacked team in the comp. He gets them up for the contest and hungry but tactically, there are some shortcomings in his ability to coach the team. The Raiders line speed was great last night but at no point did the Eels try anything different to combat the rushing defence.

Year after year, they are thereabouts but cannot seem to take it to another level. With a better coach, I think they could take it to another level. He is average.
I think you’re right to a certain extent… but I believe the Eels lack of a genuine superstar is what costs them in big games. They don’t have a Munster, Turbo, Latrell, or Teddy who can go to that next level and blitz a team.
 
Sea Eagle Lach
Staff member
Premium Member
Tipping Comp 2021
They (or the dalai) have carefully put together a squad stacked with strong running forwards and some big explosive backs. Huge kicks from Moses on top of the constant battering from those forwards wears down most defences, and it has over the past couple of years.

Where this strategy differs from most of the other leading clubs is that I don't think the Eels have 2 or 3 marquee playmakers on huge contracts. I doubt they have anyone close to a million dollars, probably Gutho and Moses would be the highest paid.

Without those couple of elite high-paid (and often maligned!) playmakers their attacking options are a bit more limited. That has told against them at the business end and if Moses is missing or functioning at less than 100% it could again be their downfall.

(Which would be wonderful to watch) @:D
 
Bencher
Should the Eels surrender meekly in this upcoming finals series, I think serious questions should be asked of Dalai's coaching...you couldn't assemble a better squad when you really think about it. On paper, they are arguably the most stacked team in the comp. He gets them up for the contest and hungry but tactically, there are some shortcomings in his ability to coach the team. The Raiders line speed was great last night but at no point did the Eels try anything different to combat the rushing defence.

Year after year, they are thereabouts but cannot seem to take it to another level. With a better coach, I think they could take it to another level. He is average.
i would disagree that they are the most stacked team. If you look at the history of NRL Era grand finalists & winners, inclusion in the GF has almost always been off the back of a top 3 player in the competition. i.e. hayne eels, sharks & dogs ben barba, teddy chooks, smith storm... shall I go on? Eeels probably have the most balanced team with lots of top players in respective positions... but no 'guns'.

A well balanced squad like they have can get you to 3rd-5th each season. But come finals if you don't have a player that is in the top 5 players in the competition, with the ability to completely change a game, you won't win, simply because the other teams you're facing WILL have that player and the game will be unwinnable.

When you look at the comp at the moment there's few teams with a 'top' player: us with turbo, chooks with teddy, panthers with cleary, storm with munster, souths with trell... and then thats it. Then theres players around the 5th to 15th best players in the game that can also make a difference, i.e. DCE, Grant, Big Dave when he is on..., Papenhuyzen, Ponga (on his day can probably make top 5), etc... Eels would be lucky to have Gutho in there and thats about it.

Until they have a player go from 'great' to 'the best' they won't be winning a competition.
 
Snake's Alive!
I think you’re right to a certain extent… but I believe the Eels lack of a genuine superstar is what costs them in big games. They don’t have a Munster, Turbo, Latrell, or Teddy who can go to that next level and blitz a team.
Not to be contrary but I don't think they fall short because of a lack of superstar power.

Gutherson, Sivo, Dylan Brown, Moses are consistently terrorising opposition sides with excellent attacking plays. Brown is one of the most electric young halves in the competition. They have players who can do devastating things. They just don't put it together when it matters.

You look at the likes of Nicho Hynes and Jermone Hughes who are arguably less naturally gifted than the Eels players i've just mentioned and they perform consistently for their coach. That's my whole point.

Then you've got origin forwards the like Brown, Paulo, Campbell-Gillard and a hooker who would have debuted for QLD. Ryan Matterson on the cusp of Origin.

They are well stacked.
 
Snake's Alive!
i would disagree that they are the most stacked team. If you look at the history of NRL Era grand finalists & winners, inclusion in the GF has almost always been off the back of a top 3 player in the competition. i.e. hayne eels, sharks & dogs ben barba, teddy chooks, smith storm... shall I go on? Eeels probably have the most balanced team with lots of top players in respective positions... but no 'guns'.

A well balanced squad like they have can get you to 3rd-5th each season. But come finals if you don't have a player that is in the top 5 players in the competition, with the ability to completely change a game, you won't win, simply because the other teams you're facing WILL have that player and the game will be unwinnable.

When you look at the comp at the moment there's few teams with a 'top' player: us with turbo, chooks with teddy, panthers with cleary, storm with munster, souths with trell... and then thats it. Then theres players around the 5th to 15th best players in the game that can also make a difference, i.e. DCE, Grant, Big Dave when he is on..., Papenhuyzen, Ponga (on his day can probably make top 5), etc... Eels would be lucky to have Gutho in there and thats about it.

Until they have a player go from 'great' to 'the best' they won't be winning a competition.
They've got players who could be guns in the right system and that's my point.

Gutherson, Moses, and Dylan Brown are all talented enough to be the big player. Even Waqa Blake has the athleticism to be the most destructive centre in the game but he is just average in this Eels system.
 
Snake's Alive!
You've only got to look at Melbourne and view the skill set of their players to understand what I am saying about Dalai.

Hynes, Papy, Hughes - all unwanted by various clubs but are now marquee players. Cronk never had the best skillset and he was coached to become a top tier player.

It's Arthur's job to turn his talented roster into one with top 3 players.

It's not good enough to suggest that until the likes of Tedesco or Trbo come onto the market, the Eels can't win a comp because Arthur doesn't have the cattle.

Teddy was never a 'best player in the NRL' at the Tigers. He went to the Chooks and went to another level.
 
Bencher
They've got players who could be guns in the right system and that's my point.

Gutherson, Moses, and Dylan Brown are all talented enough to be the big player. Even Waqa Blake has the athleticism to be the most destructive centre in the game but he is just average in this Eels system.
None of Gutherson, Moses and Dylan Brown have the potential to be the best player in the game.

There's a big big difference between being a 'great player / gun' and being the best player in the world. Rugby league is another game where the talent is normally distributed and theres usually 3-6 players in the competition that are head and shoulders above the rest on their day. None of the players mentioned will have the impact on a game like Turbo, Tedesco, Cleary, Ponga, Mitchell and Munster.
 
Bencher
You've only got to look at Melbourne and view the skill set of their players to understand what I am saying about Dalai.

Hynes, Papy, Hughes - all unwanted by various clubs but are now marquee players. Cronk never had the best skillset and he was coached to become a top tier player.

It's Arthur's job to turn his talented roster into one with top 3 players.

It's not good enough to suggest that until the likes of Tedesco or Trbo come onto the market, the Eels can't win a comp because Arthur doesn't have the cattle.

Teddy was never a 'best player in the NRL' at the Tigers. He went to the Chooks and went to another level.
Tedesco was always extremely talented. I'm surprised how far he did go up a notch though.

Throughout their juniors and early times of NRL career the following (Turbo, Tedesco, Cleary, Ponga, Mitchell) were all the most talented players and hyped up to be the best.
 
Snake's Alive!
None of Gutherson, Moses and Dylan Brown have the potential to be the best player in the game.
I respect your opinion but we'll have to disagree. Maybe Gutho and Moses don't, but Dylan Brown was an elite junior, an Australian Schoolboy (albeit got injured) and at 21, has already played 47 games. If he was in the Melbourne system, he'd be one of the game's elite. He is an incredible talent.

Moses was also an Australian Schoolboy and early in his career at the Tigers, was tipped to become an elite player in the game. Andrew Johns rated him as the form player of the competition at one point and he was tearing teams apart. Then he went to the Eels and has struggled in big games.

This all comes back to the point that Arthur is somewhat responsible for how this team plays and the development of an extremely talented squad. It's the coaches role to take their talented players to the next level...
 
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Bencher
G
I respect your opinion but we'll have to disagree. Maybe Gutho and Moses don't, but Dylan Brown was an elite junior, an Australian Schoolboy (albeit got injured) and at 21, has already played 47 games. If he was in the Melbourne system, he'd be one of the game's elite. He is an incredible talent.

Moses was also an Australian Schoolboy and early in his career at the Tigers, was tipped to become an elite player in the game. Andrew Johns rated him as the form player of the competition at one point and he was tearing teams apart. Then he went to the Eels and has struggled in big games.

This all comes back to the point that Arthur is somewhat responsible for how this team plays and the development of an extremely talented squad. It's the coaches role to take their talented players to the next level...
Fair enough Snake.

One thing tho is that you can always say 'if X was in Melbourne's system they'd be better'... you can apply that to us and the bunnies too... and I think we are a decent chance.

The thing is in the NRL era the most valuable people have been Bellamy and the GM there - they have created a system that gets the best out of players like no other. However I think it is unrealistic to expect other lcubs to have as successful a system - I believe we have a great system here however I believe our recent (and future) successes have been a result of having a couple really really top end players...

The storm can push talent that extra ~10%, but the rest of the clubs need to find talent and nurture it... they'll never completely copy the system
 
Moderator
Staff member
I enjoy watching them trip and stumble their way though

Huge nursery out there that they put no time into developing, they mainly just buy established players from other clubs

What I’m liking about our current side is how many are Manly only at the top level, Turbos, DCE, Parker, Schuster, Haumole etc
 
First Grader
Parra always buckle in the big games and when put under pressure by teams

They no backbone and when plan A doesn't work (which it usually doesn't against the better sides) they don't have a plan B
 
Snake's Alive!
The storm can push talent that extra ~10%, but the rest of the clubs need to find talent and nurture it... they'll never completely copy the system
100% agree with the notion that the system cannot be copied.

I suppose I look at star players as partly perception based - that is, we measure off what we see at any given time but it is not necessarily a player's ceiling.

Look at Anthony Milford as an example - He signed for a million bucks in Brisbane. Was the best player on the ground in the 2015 GF. He started the following year strong, kicking the Broncs to victory with field goals, etc. Milf was set to become the next Thurston; a darling of the NRL and then it all fell away. Now he can barely get a run. He had all the talent in the world...If a club signed him now, he wouldn't be classed as an elite player in a system because he is no longer hitting his ceiling.

I believe that there are certain players in this Eels roster that, were they hitting their ceiling, playing their best football consistently and in big games, would be considered elite players in the competition. As it stands, they are somewhat (to a lesser extent) like Milford. Talented and with huge ceilings, but because of over level of form, are perceived as a rung below the best in the game.

If the likes of Milford can go so far backwards and Tedesco can go so far forward, I don't think we can rule out some of this Eels roster as being 'short of star quality' when it might be a case of how they're being coached and/or playing at the present moment.

But hey, I've articulated what I mean and it is certainly only one man's opinion.
 

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