Defensive Pattern

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Canteen Worker

First Grader
One of the things that concerned me in 2005 was our defensive pattern.

Too often our line stayed stationery and didn't move up to meet the oncoming ball runners. As a result we conceded about 60 metres a set on too many occasions. I noticed the same thing most of the time on Saturday night. Why?

We also seemed to be badly caught out in poor decision making when run-arounds and second man plays took place. We were caught in two on three situations and noone took on the ball runner, ultimately causing tries. This demonstrates a lack of communication and decision making rather than the pattern.

Also on Saturday we had repeat sets at them several times and yet they held us out easily and we had to resort to the kick, which in many cases is a 30% proposition at best.

Yet they only had two or three sets in our quarter and managed to score on two of them and almost on the other. We don't seem to have what it takes to defend well in our own quarter.

This is what concerned me most on Saturday - same defence. We had more possession than them and our field position wasn't that terrible but we couldn't defend against an average side.
We have to use the same style of sliding defence as the great 95-97 team. That was why they were so good - not because of the points they scored, but because no one could score any points against them.
195 points in the 95 season. Compare this to the 754 in 2004 and the 600 and something last year.

Harder with the speed of the game.

I will say though that slide defence has changed due to evolution in the game. Wonder what the revolutionary defensive structure is that has been mooted by Manly???
I've heard that a number of the RTA barriers seen outside the oval on Saturday will be placed across the defensive 10 yard line. This will assist in slowing down opposition raids.
The more things change the more they stay the same.

You are spot on, this is what concerned me most about Saturdays performance as well. I stated last year that our "come to me" style of defence is outdated. We need to get up and meet the ball carrier on the adv line, and get our defence in motion, which will also help with the slide as you are not flat footed. The most important aspect of having a defence line in motion is that you are less likely to concede momentum to the ball carrier and have a better chance of a dominant tackle, thus an opportunity to slow down the play. If we employ a static line against the likes of the Tigers and Roosters we will be backpedalling for 80 minutes. Our read on second man plays and decoys was poor as well.

We allegedly have the fittest side in the comp if you believe the rhetoric, so there should be no problems with the players bustling up in defence and still getting back the 10. We need to get busy in defence, and tighten up the ruck.

The 5th tackle options last year were, on a whole, diabolical. I was hoping Orford might change this and I'm still willing to give him time to settle in and work out combinations. Hopefully this area will improve.
I heard Blocker was going to stand in the middle of the field. Only opposition wingers will be able to get around him by squeezing down the sideline. That shouldn't be too hard to defend!
I have faith as I'm sure everyone is trying too, but the players don't seem to have faith in each others defensive ability, therefore standing back and not getting in the oppositions faces. It seems to be an attitude thing, unfortunately I think we have seen it too often....

Quote Manly Daily.

AMID all the tension, expectation and hype, someone forgot to tell Manly to enjoy themselves on Saturday night.

The Sea Eagles went out there looking as though they'd been asked to put in a double shift at the city morgue.
The Sea Eagles went out there looking as though they'd been asked to put in a double shift at the city morgue.
There weren't too many of us smiling on Saturday night. Having to tell Mata by phone what was going on was anything but enjoyable. :( :( :(
Defensive pattern? We have a defensive pattern? News to me.
It looks to me like each player simply does whatever takes his fancy at the time. Some of them move up, some of them stand still, some of them slide, and some of them stand around and point at opposing players waltzing through our line.
"Look at that bloke. I reckon he might score a try."
"Maybe Stewey'll stop him."
"Doesn't look like it."
"Bugger. Still, good run."
"Yeah, nice one."

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