Does Manly pack have enough Mongrel ?

First Grader
Premium Member
The Manly pack has size, skill and a mix of most things - but to call it out, lacks intimidation....
Keppie is a fiery customer and Big Guoc the young back rower makes the odd hit....but I just don't see too much fear factor- apart from 1 angry performance vs Eels late in the season, personally my favourite game of 2021.
Watmough, Kennedy and the underrated tough Gifty, had that hard resilience to fight over a bone and I feel our success when it comes to the crunch again, are players who can some how find this.
We do have a young side, so maybe seems a bit harsh and overly expectant, but I really feel it's an area lacking and physically - the finals put a glaring spotlight where we were basically bullied through the middle.
Make no mistake- the number 1 components in the modern game revolve around speed and momentum through the middle....but the physical toughness unlocks these factors and any team with an aggressive mental and physical toughness at the forefront will contest Premiership honours and I feel the 3 teams who finished ahead Manly in 2021, beat us most Clearly - in this area.

Marty is getting old and probably done. Did not look up to it once in Week 1 & 3. For 2022 we’re basically relying on one of the other 3 props (Keppie, Paseka and Aloiai) to really step up if we are to win the comp

Have said for a while we should use any and all cap space to sign Stefano Utoikamanu from Tigers - on $275k at a basket case club, make it $600k a year when Marty’s rolls off in 2023 and we’ll be one massive step towards a title.

Of the top 6 sides we are looking good: Melbourne, Souths and Penrith lose a few. Chooks gain a few and Parra are the same. Can see chooks in top 4 with us and Souths sliding with no Wayne and Reynolds
The poster formerly known as Simmo66.
Premium Member
Tipping Comp 2021
No we don't. Our pack as a whole simply doesn't have enough mongrel. We have lots of clever, ball playing forwards (often too many on the field simultaneously), but we seriously lack intimidation. We don't have a recognised enforcer, but we are mostly lacking in the mongrel resilience and intensity it takes to get over the top packs.
We have a few of them that are going to emerge into fully fledge mongrels. Aloiai is already grubby, just needs to stop being a loose cannon at certain times and use his aggression better. Haumole is the most intimidating player in our team that brings fear into opposition and has trampled over many players this year and will only get better. Keppie established himself in the roosters semi final that he will emerge into one of our premier front rowers and has that mongrel in him, just needs to play that style consistently. That roosters semi final performance, he bullied JWH and Radley, if that doesn't get u excited for what he will become then I don't know what will. Him and Paseka are our emerging premier front-rowers and they are both some intimidating mofos. Marty has lacked that intimidation with his ageing so we should replace him with a Leniu or Stefano. When Schuster goes 6, let's hope Bullemore or Davey can turn into a hard-hitting and scary backrower.

We got the pieces and are going in the right direction, just need a few more.
No...but I can feel it growing and Kelpie is the linchpin. Slippers has it but needs to improve his motor and he will. Tent has grown immeasurably in a year, Aoli has it in him and Guac will find more of it as he gains experience. Bully would be a very good add to the pot. It will come in time...we are very inexperienced. Have patience grasshopper, we have the ingredients.
Reserve Grader
I think we have a good squad of forwards ,Marty is best used of the bench he is not the enforcer type that will run over you but he is agile and has a offload , Paseka ,Toff , Aloia are more the run straight and hard, Keppie is only 23 and he has a bit of everything in his game good defence,runs hard and has a offload he is only going to get better,Jake's a workhorse ,Big Oka is going to be one of the best backrowers running around,Shu just needs early ball and a bit of room ,Davey,Burbo,Delouis,Bullmore If this pack gets 50/50 possession it could compete with the top sides
Sea Eagle Lach
Staff member
Premium Member
Tipping Comp 2021
We have enough mongrel. We have enough size, and we have enough talent. We lacked in experience this year but with the 3 finals games behind them we'll be in better stead next year.

I think the playing style is what distinguished us from the the top sides in this year's finals. Constant gang tackling, sprinting up (offside) for every play, forcing the opponent to forever be coming off their own line.

So we need a bit of tweaking with the way we play. Interesting to hear someone on tv point out the Panthers forwards conserve energy by not all running back after an opposition kick, some of them just wait for their backs to bring the ball forward. But to do that you need to make ground on your own set and then kick to their 10m zone. Often we were kicking from our own 40 so they start their set on their 30 or 40. Need very strong back 3 returns to get that momentum starting? Its that bloody chicken and egg thing again :)
I dont see the Panthers or Souths as packs full of "mongrel"

Seen a lot of threads about everything we need to fix but really we are close just need some tweaks.

In regards to our pack, it will naturally improve next year with age and experience. Olakau'atu, Schuster, Keppie, Paseka all young and still on an upward trajectory.

Future remains bright
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