Do we have the Forwards to match the Best in 2024

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maxta

First Grader
Premium Member
It's tricky to say.....
Why ??
*Paseka is imo up with the Best in "moments" and if he can turn that into a consistent high level, we have a true big bopper.
  • Lodge love or hate him, was absolutely fantastic in his limited game time and made a HUGE difference and is a quality front rower.
  • Aloiai is another hot/cold and needs glue on his hands to stop dumb dropped ball, but physically can play tough
  • Shu is the "KEY" imo, as he no doubt has quality, but the fact is you can be a 9/10 player and perform like a dud if not fit and head is not in the game....keep hearing its his time "now".....and seen very little, talk is cheap and time to perform.
  • Jake is a Machine and though often appears no frills, have seen his couragous efforts win games and needs to keep up the motivational never say die efforts which spread to his team mates to give any legitimate chance.
  • Oka is a Monster and the X factor player and 1 of the games best backrowers, with a bit more intent from his mates he will go to another level in 2024.
  • Bullemore offers some legs speed and is definitely a worthy impact off the bench, more in the tank I believe and needs less grabbing in tackles and more shoulder.
  • Waddell seems ok as a backup player and may add pressure for a bench spot and offers a reasonable all round game.
  • Sipley is an awesome metre eater and can bend the line - I say use him off the pine for impact.
  • Lawton I was a fan, but has not come back near the player and not convinced....good versatile backup.
  • Ben Turbo is getting better, slowly but surely, I'm not sure what to say, as he seems to be still improving and his ceiling just maybe good enough as a good versatile edge backrower....just looked stronger with better defence when available in 2023.
  • The BIG part is imroving at hooker....and just maybe the 2 headed monster of Croker/ GCKT can offer this, but just Croker over 80 minutes gets very limited.
If we can inject Gordie off the bench it's an auto increase of ruck tempo at the same time the oposition ruck slows down making it a perfect match, especially after Croker has toughed out the rugged early exchanges to play his part.

All in all we have Paseka, Aloiai, GCKT and Lodge (when fit) almost like new players as spent much of 2023 missing.....so at full strength I feel we do have a competitive pack, not the Best - not the worst, but definitely Top 8 if can keep our best available in 2024.
What's the thoughts and why....interested to hear opinions on our forward pack looking ahead to next season.
 

LeonardCohen

Bencher
I'm gonna say absolutely not.

Each of our forwards when critiqued in isolation, have something to offer, but there are too many 'system' players and not enough dynamic ball runners to threaten the top sides.

The principal of what I am saying is this - put Paseka next to Haas and Carrigan in a Brisbane jumper as a replacement for Dolphins bound Flegler, and you've got yourself a great footballer! However, Paseka is our 'Haas' at Manly and therein lies the problem. It's not that Paseka is no good, it just that he should not be your best middle. If he is, the rest must be pretty average and that's what we've got at Manly.

Lodge had a decent crack last year but he is not a rep level middle, he is just OK. Again, he is no Haas, Leota, JFH, Tapine, etc. He is just a club footballer. To think that he could be viewed as some kind of marquee signing, when he (a) is going to miss three quarters of the year and (b) was already a bit of a plodder who will now come back from knee surgery, leaves me with little confidence.

Then you've got Schu who is Bryce Cartwright 2.0, running around in the forwards when we are lacking toughness as it is. Jake will hold the middle together and should ball play a little because he is no longer fast enough to be dynamic as a runner. Ola is the only one that really changes the momentum of matches and without him, I shudder to think where we finish on the ladder last year. We've got a bit-part 9. I like what Bully and Sipley bring off the bench, but again, it'd be great if they were coming on after a rousing performance from Haas or JFH.

It all adds up to one of the weakest packs in the competition. We really needed to sign Flegler who showed in the GF that he is willing to get personal in the middle. He also has the leg speed we lack.

I hate to sound negative but I think we're in for a world of pain next year in the middle. I like the look of our backs and think we should be able to finish somewhere in the bottom of the 8, if things go our way. But challenge the best sides with this pack? NO!
 

frank stokes

I discriminate indiscriminately
No… I think our forwards are genuine but they are not in the same league as the riff (even tho they lose Leniu), the donkeys (even tho they lose Flegler) or the tits…
 

Eagle 1

First Grader
And the best are the Riff and Broncs. We proved we can match it with the rest, ie; Storm game at Brookie. With a fit and firing pack and once Lodge becomes available, we are some chance of going toe to toe with the rest.
 

XV-1

First Grader
Do we have the coach to get the systems, total ownership of roles, structure, fitness and overall mongrel and team spirit to match the best in 2024?

Our forwards are better than the Warriors, but is the coach?
 

Stewbojevic

Reserve Grader
Do we have the coach to get the systems, total ownership of roles, structure, fitness and overall mongrel and team spirit to match the best in 2024?

Our forwards are better than the Warriors, but is the coach?
Fonua Blake and Tohu Harris are better than all our forwards
 

Pete W

Bencher
I'm gonna say absolutely not.

Each of our forwards when critiqued in isolation, have something to offer, but there are too many 'system' players and not enough dynamic ball runners to threaten the top sides.

The principal of what I am saying is this - put Paseka next to Haas and Carrigan in a Brisbane jumper as a replacement for Dolphins bound Flegler, and you've got yourself a great footballer! However, Paseka is our 'Haas' at Manly and therein lies the problem. It's not that Paseka is no good, it just that he should not be your best middle. If he is, the rest must be pretty average and that's what we've got at Manly.

Lodge had a decent crack last year but he is not a rep level middle, he is just OK. Again, he is no Haas, Leota, JFH, Tapine, etc. He is just a club footballer. To think that he could be viewed as some kind of marquee signing, when he (a) is going to miss three quarters of the year and (b) was already a bit of a plodder who will now come back from knee surgery, leaves me with little confidence.

Then you've got Schu who is Bryce Cartwright 2.0, running around in the forwards when we are lacking toughness as it is. Jake will hold the middle together and should ball play a little because he is no longer fast enough to be dynamic as a runner. Ola is the only one that really changes the momentum of matches and without him, I shudder to think where we finish on the ladder last year. We've got a bit-part 9. I like what Bully and Sipley bring off the bench, but again, it'd be great if they were coming on after a rousing performance from Haas or JFH.

It all adds up to one of the weakest packs in the competition. We really needed to sign Flegler who showed in the GF that he is willing to get personal in the middle. He also has the leg speed we lack.

I hate to sound negative but I think we're in for a world of pain next year in the middle. I like the look of our backs and think we should be able to finish somewhere in the bottom of the 8, if things go our way. But challenge the best sides with this pack? NO!
Agreed for the most part, particularly re Paseka and Schuster.

I think you're underrating Lodge however. It was just end of last season when he was being talked about Kangaroos jersey, and picked up that Roosters pack leading them to finals. If you say we needed Flegler (and I agree), well Lodge is not far off in many key indicators. They play very similar, and I would say that Lodge probably blows open a defensive line more often than Flegler (I'm not saying Lodge is a better player - but they are very comparable)
 

Pete W

Bencher
Do we have the coach to get the systems, total ownership of roles, structure, fitness and overall mongrel and team spirit to match the best in 2024?

Our forwards are better than the Warriors, but is the coach?
2024 the year everyone, including himself, will know if Seibold can lead a successful NRL team. All excuses have been expired
 

Ron E. Gibbs

First Grader
The coach has been calling for a lot of players in our team to find consistentcey. Consistency. Consistency.

What shouldn't be forgotten is this is no longer a young team. It's full of seasoned first graders.

No excuses. Time to stand up as a pack as a team.
Spot on. It's all about closing the gap between our best and worst performances. At our best, we can compete with anyone. The problem is, for whatever reason, that only happens once a season.
 

LeonardCohen

Bencher
Agreed for the most part, particularly re Paseka and Schuster.

I think you're underrating Lodge however. It was just end of last season when he was being talked about Kangaroos jersey, and picked up that Roosters pack leading them to finals. If you say we needed Flegler (and I agree), well Lodge is not far off in many key indicators. They play very similar, and I would say that Lodge probably blows open a defensive line more often than Flegler (I'm not saying Lodge is a better player - but they are very comparable)
the reality is Lodge didn’t earn that Australian jumper, the media just speculated. He has never got a look in for the Blues either. I think he is a club footballer. If he didn’t tear his ACL, I would lean towards keeping him for this coming season, but it’s frustrating that our top prop is a club footballer facing months on the sideline with an injury that impacts the commodity we lack the most - speed.

Even the Tigers have a prop that has played Origin. I just think we need a dynamic leader in the middle, more than we probably need anything else.
 

silvereagle

Reserve Grader
I am not sure if we have that all important middle forward power to be competitive in 24. Same issues as we have had in last few seasons.

Firstly, as has been already mentioned, I don't think we have that middle forward leader or leaders that scream follow me boys up the middle which then gives us a nice roll-on...that momentum in attack. Potentially we could have this problem covered with a fit Lodge, Sipley and Paseka , Bulleymore and Alio Olio. Skinny beyond these guys BUT there is some definite hope there with a good injuries run.

Secondly, and arguably more important than the above. I think we do go into games with only two genuine middles. Most of our opposition always start with three. This has been the case now for a number of seasons and why IMO we have consistently struggled for yardage and possession with the ball. The main reason for this (again IMO) is that we have Jake playing as a middle. I love the guy to death and he is my first pick each week but fact is he is all about defence these days and unfortunately offers very little in attack. Definitely does not add any valuable metres up the middle. The devil if you have him and the devil if you don't. Now we might be able to cover this if we had 2 great middles to start and 2 equally good middles off the bench. Potentially the case with the cattle above. But still a handicap start for the team.

Bottom line, I think will be tough again in 24 given the above. However if we can keep these middle guys fit and healthy, they may just be able to hold and maybe even progress that middle ground for us. If that is the case, we certainly have the backline to blitz any opposition.
 

manly al

First Grader
Yet Jake is considered good enough to be a run on prop in the Australian side , even taking into account a bit of a horses for courses consideration in regard to club footy and his situation at Manly
Challenge still remains to match that intensity of the Panthers and Broncs but a couple of other sides like the Roosters are getting close again .
Lodge should still have it in him to provide that necessary input up front but to manage it right through a vigorous contest could be another matter
No doubt if the rest of the forward pack could consistently aim up and able to maintain it again for the full 80 , would make it much easier for him .
Paseka is definitely up to the task when fit , Sipley and Bully clear improvers last season , Jake again more then capable doing what is required .
No idea how much James can provide or able to get better . Be interesting if Parker may be considered as an edge .
Surely some reasonable prospect Shu can come good again on an edge , Burbo sort of being able to compete there . .
Haumole sure can but does seem an impact type forward still short in the present circumstances ,.
Alioia may or may not be able to boost the pack again but may not be on the scene much longer so could be totally irrelevant
 

silvereagle

Reserve Grader
Yet Jake is considered good enough to be a run on prop in the Australian side , even taking into account a bit of a horses for courses consideration in regard to club footy and his situation at Manly
Challenge still remains to match that intensity of the Panthers and Broncs but a couple of other sides like the Roosters are getting close again .
Lodge should still have it in him to provide that necessary input up front but to manage it right through a vigorous contest could be another matter
No doubt if the rest of the forward pack could consistently aim up and able to maintain it again for the full 80 , would make it much easier for him .
Paseka is definitely up to the task when fit , Sipley and Bully clear improvers last season , Jake again more then capable doing what is required .
No idea how much James can provide or able to get better . Be interesting if Parker may be considered as an edge .
Surely some reasonable prospect Shu can come good again on an edge , Burbo sort of being able to compete there . .
Haumole sure can but does seem an impact type forward still short in the present circumstances ,.
Alioia may or may not be able to boost the pack again but may not be on the scene much longer so could be totally irrelevant
Al, the challenge and the issue is in the middle. I think we are ok in the 2nd row and out wide. I believe we have the cattle so I would be focusing the pre-season training all around their leg speed and stamina. Less weights and more short burst speed drills ala gridiron. Then keep your fingers crossed for a good run with injuries and solid return from Paseka and Lodge. Lots of "ifs" and conditions I know but that i think is the reality. If the case, I think we can challenge in 24.
 
Team P W L PD Pts
12 9 3 83 22
14 10 4 78 22
13 9 4 110 20
13 8 5 66 20
13 7 6 81 18
13 7 6 -55 18
13 7 6 133 16
14 7 7 37 16
15 8 7 -8 16
13 7 6 -34 16
13 6 6 27 15
13 6 6 26 15
13 6 7 -47 14
13 4 9 -126 12
13 4 9 -111 10
12 3 9 -123 10
12 2 10 -137 8
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