Des's Bizarro Selections

It's only a game ....
Sometimes players can be selected out of position and there are no hitches. Usually, this is when the team has strong winning momentum and/or it is an exceptional player who is switched to the new position.

I can remember in the 60's when lock, Bill Bradstreet, was selected as halfback for one game - no problem, the team continued on its winning way. Also, in the 90's, Nik Kosef & Steve Menzies were sometimes selected at five eighth - again, no problems.

In Des's first coaching stint, he may have successfully selected players out of position. Maybe forum members can remember some instances? For example, did we win when T-Rex was selected at halfback? I wouldn't consider moving Lyon to five eighth, or moving a half to dummy half as unorthodox selections.

In Des's current coaching stint, he has made some selections which I term 'bizarro' and feel have contributed to losses. These are the games:

1. Round 25 v Eels 2019. Paseka was selected in the second row (I think AFB swapped places with him pre kick off) & Garrick was switched pre game for his first match at fullback. Elliot was switched to the wing to mark Sivo who proceeded to run over him a few times & score three tries. We lost 16-32

2. Round 12 v Knights 2021. The week after our excellent win v Eels, Funa was selected for his first game at five eighth whilst Lawton, a former five eighth, was selected in the back row. We lost 10-18

3. Round 17 v Raiders 2021. Walker was selected for his first ever game as 7 with Foran as 6. The logical choice would have been to select Walker as 6 and Foran as 7 as he'd had extensive prior experience in that position. Cust was on the bench. We lost 16-30

4. Rd 19 v Dragon 2022. Walker was selected as 9 for the first time. His prior short spells at dummy half had been very uninspiring. On this occasion, it appears we didn't have a specialist dummy half to bring into the team. Both Lawton & Segeyaro were unavailable and maybe Gordie was also injured. Even so, IMO, it would been more logical to select Foran as 9 and Schuster (or even Walker) as 6. We lost 6-20.

For me, these are Des's 'bizarro' selections which have a history of not working. I don't have confidence whenever Des makes such left field selections - beware the bizarro!

Here are links to the games I've mentioned:




 
Bencher
Premium Member
Whilst most fans remember sublime attacking plays, I think all of these selections were more about defence. Take Friday night as an example, in attack we may well have been better off with GCKT or Weekes at 9 and Walker playing his normal role or even starting at lock. However who has proven they can defend in the middle for long periods and also provide adequate service from hooker? The only answer is Walker. A slightly more effective hooker with no first grade experience wouldn't have made a lick of difference in attack and could've been a liability in defence.
 
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It's only a game ....
The only answer is Walker.
My suggestion was Foran, who I think would have been able to organize the ruck better than Walker. He is a tireless & ferocious defender, so I assume he could have handled the work load okay. Overall, it wasn't an an ideal game to promote Weekes and someone posted on Silvertails that they saw Gordie at the game in a moon boot.

The thrust of my post was that we have a history of losing whenever Des makes these out of position selections.
 
Bencher
My suggestion was Foran, who I think would have been able to organize the ruck better than Walker. He is a tireless & ferocious defender, so I assume he could have handled the work load okay. Overall, it wasn't an an ideal game to promote Weekes and someone posted on Silvertails that they saw Gordie at the game in a moon boot.

The thrust of my post was that we have a history of losing whenever Des makes these out of position selections.

Foran really was the best pick, but Uncle Des would not want to hurt his favourite son, Kieren bu having to tackle a lot.
 
Bencher
Yes, agree some of those decisions proved to be very wrong -namely Funa at 5/8.

Lawton has never played 5/8 in the top grade. Not sure about juniors.
IMO Foran at hooker is not too far off the other bizzare selections! He's never played hooker before.
 
Yes, agree some of those decisions proved to be very wrong -namely Funa at 5/8.

Lawton has never played 5/8 in the top grade. Not sure about juniors.
IMO Foran at hooker is not too far off the other bizzare selections! He's never played hooker before.
Yes... totally crazy suggestion - Foran to Hooker and change the whole dynamic on that right sight. The best and easiest solution which didn't destroy the whole dynamic of half the side of our attack was to put Walker at hooker. Any other suggestion was just plain fantasy on the night. Walker's attack was stifled.. probably due to the amount of defence but it wasn't Walker at 9 that cost us the game... it was the disorganised attack in that second half - nothing else. That is on DCE and Foran... and not because Foran played at 6 and not 9 lol.
 
Bencher
Really beginning to think Des has been left too far behind in the coaching realm as the game has continued to change and develop into what it is today. His game plans and team selections suit an older style of footy.

The better teams game plans have almost developed into a form of touch footy. Momentum is key.

We did this so well last year off the back of Turbo through the middle. He destroyed the ruck last year. That up tempo eyes up footy is where the game is at.

This year we are back to sweeping set backline plays which are predictable and almost always get pushed sideways resulting in a reset defensive line and lost momentum.
Of course, set plays play a role, but you have to earn the right once you’ve smashed holes into the middle third so you are attacking a retreating broken defensive line.

I don’t think we have the cattle to keep up with the best teams. Our ruck control in attack isn’t what it needs to be. It’s slow. Predictable.

We need some cattle changes to mix things up and move with the times.
Speed through the ruck is key.
Guys like Paseka, Sipley, Keppie, Marty are battering rams we no longer require.

We need quick play the balls and eyes up footy players.
 
Reserve Grader
A good list there. Some of my favourites:

  • Cust man of the match vs Cowboys round 11 2020 and dropped the next week
  • Olakau’atu best Manly player on field vs Warriors round 13 2020, didn’t start another game all year and stuck behind Corey Waddell and Jack Gosiewski (!!!)
  • Harper back in from COVID vs Talakai after we’d won 4 on the trot and Koula was starting to establish himself
  • Paseka being ignored this year behind two net negatives for the team (Marty + Keppie)
  • Bullemor starting as an edge second rower to start the season despite being a middle his whole career. Has not been sighted since despite being our only off season signing

As much as people don’t want to admit it, we will never win a comp under Des again and worst of all, will continue to be a treadmill team so the pressure will never build and mediocrity will become something we need to accept.
 
First Grader
Sometimes players can be selected out of position and there are no hitches. Usually, this is when the team has strong winning momentum and/or it is an exceptional player who is switched to the new position.

I can remember in the 60's when lock, Bill Bradstreet, was selected as halfback for one game - no problem, the team continued on its winning way. Also, in the 90's, Nik Kosef & Steve Menzies were sometimes selected at five eighth - again, no problems.

In Des's first coaching stint, he may have successfully selected players out of position. Maybe forum members can remember some instances? For example, did we win when T-Rex was selected at halfback? I wouldn't consider moving Lyon to five eighth, or moving a half to dummy half as unorthodox selections.

In Des's current coaching stint, he has made some selections which I term 'bizarro' and feel have contributed to losses. These are the games:

1. Round 25 v Eels 2019. Paseka was selected in the second row (I think AFB swapped places with him pre kick off) & Garrick was switched pre game for his first match at fullback. Elliot was switched to the wing to mark Sivo who proceeded to run over him a few times & score three tries. We lost 16-32

2. Round 12 v Knights 2021. The week after our excellent win v Eels, Funa was selected for his first game at five eighth whilst Lawton, a former five eighth, was selected in the back row. We lost 10-18

3. Round 17 v Raiders 2021. Walker was selected for his first ever game as 7 with Foran as 6. The logical choice would have been to select Walker as 6 and Foran as 7 as he'd had extensive prior experience in that position. Cust was on the bench. We lost 16-30

4. Rd 19 v Dragon 2022. Walker was selected as 9 for the first time. His prior short spells at dummy half had been very uninspiring. On this occasion, it appears we didn't have a specialist dummy half to bring into the team. Both Lawton & Segeyaro were unavailable and maybe Gordie was also injured. Even so, IMO, it would been more logical to select Foran as 9 and Schuster (or even Walker) as 6. We lost 6-20.

For me, these are Des's 'bizarro' selections which have a history of not working. I don't have confidence whenever Des makes such left field selections - beware the bizarro!

Here are links to the games I've mentioned:




You need to get out more.
 
Bencher
Yes, agree some of those decisions proved to be very wrong -namely Funa at 5/8.

Lawton has never played 5/8 in the top grade. Not sure about juniors.
IMO Foran at hooker is not too far off the other bizzare selections! He's never played hooker before.
And despite Foran’s durability since his return to the club,not sure you want him making 40+ tackles in the middle of the field,nor do I expect those tackles to be as affective as Walkers were.Fair chance Dragons just roll up the field with ease if Foran is made to defend in the middle.The person suggesting Foran was not selected at 9 because Des was playing favourites,is laughable and quite offensive to Des’ credibility
 
Let’s all have a chew!
My suggestion was Foran, who I think would have been able to organize the ruck better than Walker. He is a tireless & ferocious defender, so I assume he could have handled the work load okay. Overall, it wasn't an an ideal game to promote Weekes and someone posted on Silvertails that they saw Gordie at the game in a moon boot.

The thrust of my post was that we have a history of losing whenever Des makes these out of position selections.
Did not really think of this on the night but did yesterday. Foran to 9 and Schu to 6. Could still spell fox with Walker as well. Was also thinking with all the Schu criticism about when he comes on in the back row and with Foz leaving, at what point do we look at giving Schu sone more game time at 6? Do we wait until we are no chance of finals? Now I’m a big Foz fan but he ain’t our future. At best we will scrape into the 8 this year and prob head home week one. I’d actually like to see Schu start getting a chance in the 6 before seasons out. Play a few games in a row and actually see if he can build sone momentum there. Des will never do it but right now I think we are getting to the point where is it really going to create that much difference with Foz or Schu in the 6? Who knows it could really start to spark Schu into sone brilliant footy we know he’s capable of.
 
Reserve Grader
Premium Member
G'day all,I'd like to know why De Luis wasn't brought in for Fridays game,especially given the conditions meant the game was always going to be a slog fest.He may be no superstar,but you know what you're going to get,no frills,plenty of tackles and effort, and we were without our two hardest workers.
cheers mike
 
Bencher
G'day all,I'd like to know why De Luis wasn't brought in for Fridays game,especially given the conditions meant the game was always going to be a slog fest.He may be no superstar,but you know what you're going to get,no frills,plenty of tackles and effort, and we were without our two hardest workers.
cheers mike
I’ve never really rated DeLuis(not that my opinion carries any weight nor would he be too concerned about my thoughts)but given the conditions and the two workhorses that were ruled out,he may of been just what the team needed.I know it’s only reggies but he regularly plays big minutes there so I suspect he has a fair tank.
 
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Snake's Alive!
It would have been Foran’s last game in Manly colours if he had to defend in the middle. His body is pretty banged up and he would have had a torrid time. Walker handled things well in middle.

There’s no replacing Croker and Jake. I don’t blame team selections for our loss the other night. No other combination would have made a difference.

The only way to win without those players we were missing, was for everything to go our way. Hunt slips over and scores. The ref blew the pea out of his whistle and players made errors off the back of fatigue. It wasn’t our night.
 
Bencher
A point lost in this argument:

Would you rather have Anthony Griffin as the coach, or Manly club great Hasler, who as coach has delivered the club two premierships?
But he did also tear the club apart immediately after our 2011 premiership and hasn’t tasted a premiership in over a decade…

I love that Dessie is a Manly bloke.

Just think he’s falling behind.
 
Bencher
Premium Member
G'day all,I'd like to know why De Luis wasn't brought in for Fridays game,especially given the conditions meant the game was always going to be a slog fest.He may be no superstar,but you know what you're going to get,no frills,plenty of tackles and effort, and we were without our two hardest workers.
cheers mike
De Luis was the one who i thought may have been a better option at 13 if Walker started as the 9 but then who to leave out . Burbo deserved his shot , more a problem with no recognized 9 and probably only Walker or Weekes viable options . Weekes still needed for a bit of cover too if not starting as the 9 . Seemed to have enough issues with mobile ruck defence and being able to cover best for Jake 's absence , then a big , limited agile bopper in his place , Hardly ideal , good man Sipps but a big ask to adapt to a 13 role
 
Bencher
It would have been Foran’s last game in Manly colours if he had to defend in the middle. His body is pretty banged up and he would have had a torrid time. Walker handled things well in middle.

There’s no replacing Croker and Jake. I don’t blame team selections for our loss the other night. No other combination would have made a difference.

The only way to win without those players we were missing, was for everything to go our way. Hunt slips over and scores. The ref blew the pea out of his whistle and players made errors off the back of fatigue.
I don’t think everything had to go our way, we just needed players to stand up in crucial moments.

Jack Wighton showed that when your 14 nil down, a half can turn the momentum of a game with his kicking. 2 40/20s that led immediately to tries mounting a comeback.
DCE (who we know is super inconsistent but has done it before) on the other hand persisted with mid field bombs the entire game. It was hard to watch.

For everything that was against us, we had chances to win that game and didn’t. That’s the disappointing part.
 
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Bencher
Premium Member
It would have been Foran’s last game in Manly colours if he had to defend in the middle. His body is pretty banged up and he would have had a torrid time. Walker handled things well in middle.

There’s no replacing Croker and Jake. I don’t blame team selections for our loss the other night. No other combination would have made a difference.

The only way to win without those players we were missing, was for everything to go our way. Hunt slips over and scores. The ref blew the pea out of his whistle and players made errors off the back of fatigue. It wasn’t our night.
Foz to 9 would probably have been the worst option on offer and as you say not on ability but body preservation . in any case just has been so impressive most weeks with his passing and set up plays as 6 . outstanding in many instances . Would have been just so limited in the 9 role and again of course the toll on his body . A bit of an off night against the Dragons but still one of the few proven players who still might be able to lift Manly in the 8 , a lot harder after Friday night unfortunately Getting a battering in the middle would not have helped one bit for him or Manly
 
Snake's Alive!
I don’t think everything had to go our way, we just needed players to stand up in crucial moments.

Jack Wighton showed that when your 14 nil down, a half can turn the momentum of a game with his kicking. 2 40/20s that led immediately to tries mounting a comeback.
DCE (who we know is super inconsistent but has done it before) on the other hand persisted with mid field bombs the entire game. It was hard to watch.

For everything that was against us, we had chances to win that game and didn’t. That’s the disappointing part.
Jack Wighton was playing with his best players around him...regular 9s and a full compliment of players in the forward pack.

On the surface, it looks like we had our chances to win the game but we couldn’t get our attack going because the middle was heavily fatigued by the extra workload in defence. We had one forward left on the bench. Haumole barely ran because he was injured (so he was a virtual passenger).

Guys like DCE and Foz (like any halves) need to play off momentum in the middle to have space to execute plays on the edges.

If we’d won the other night, it would have been a miracle...
 

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