Snake's Alive!
Obviously Bennett is a special coach but I think last night's match and our performance on Friday night really exposes the flaws in Manly's game plan this season. As long as I have watched RL, defence wins big matches....moments win big matches...the grind wins big matches (yes, even the 40-0 GF was 8-0 at halftime).

I just don't see how our razzle dazzle football is ever going to be the catalyst for success in big games. It's entertaining but it's not effective when defences tighten up and the refs put the whistle away. There is enough natural talent and ability in our squad that an attack focused mentality is completely unnecessary. You'll jag points with the likes of Tom and DCE in the team. We just need the team to get us into the rhythm of the game and win some rucks and get some field position off the back of strong defence and line speed. The points will just come.

I fear, until our approach to the game changes and we trust our pack to take on the teams in the middle and improve our completion rates, we haven't got much hope against top shelf sides in big games. You're just not going to blow them off the park with shifts to the edges.
 
Bencher
Premium Member
Tipping Comp 2021
2005 Tigers is the one and only outlier I can think of.

It's highly unlikely, but possible, with a lot of luck, and a Benji.
 
Snake's Alive!
2005 Tigers is the one and only outlier I can think of.

It's highly unlikely, but possible, with a lot of luck, and a Benji.
Yes, but if you look at statistics, they conceded 6, 6, 12 and 16 in the finals so they certainly got their defence in order. But take your point. They did like to let the ball sing. I think Panthers of 03 were also a flamboyant side. It's not impossible but it's certainly the exception!
 
Obviously Bennett is a special coach but I think last night's match and our performance on Friday night really exposes the flaws in Manly's game plan this season. As long as I have watched RL, defence wins big matches....moments win big matches...the grind wins big matches (yes, even the 40-0 GF was 8-0 at halftime).

I just don't see how our razzle dazzle football is ever going to be the catalyst for success in big games. It's entertaining but it's not effective when defences tighten up and the refs put the whistle away. There is enough natural talent and ability in our squad that an attack focused mentality is completely unnecessary. You'll jag points with the likes of Tom and DCE in the team. We just need the team to get us into the rhythm of the game and win some rucks and get some field position off the back of strong defence and line speed. The points will just come.

I fear, until our approach to the game changes and we trust our pack to take on the teams in the middle and improve our completion rates, we haven't got much hope against top shelf sides in big games. You're just not going to blow them off the park with shifts to the edges.
Des knows defence is our weakness, that's why guys like Harper and Parker are getting start cos he knows we are already weak in this area. Its just laziness, defence is an attitude thing and we have too many forwards that don't like the hard dirty stuff.
 
Bencher
Obviously Bennett is a special coach but I think last night's match and our performance on Friday night really exposes the flaws in Manly's game plan this season. As long as I have watched RL, defence wins big matches....moments win big matches...the grind wins big matches (yes, even the 40-0 GF was 8-0 at halftime).

I just don't see how our razzle dazzle football is ever going to be the catalyst for success in big games. It's entertaining but it's not effective when defences tighten up and the refs put the whistle away. There is enough natural talent and ability in our squad that an attack focused mentality is completely unnecessary. You'll jag points with the likes of Tom and DCE in the team. We just need the team to get us into the rhythm of the game and win some rucks and get some field position off the back of strong defence and line speed. The points will just come.

I fear, until our approach to the game changes and we trust our pack to take on the teams in the middle and improve our completion rates, we haven't got much hope against top shelf sides in big games. You're just not going to blow them off the park with shifts to the edges.
Mate that's the best and most relevant post I've seen. Spot on champ.
 
Bencher
Premium Member
Tipping Comp 2021
I think our game plan against the dogs and cowboys was altered
Not sure why but it was

I also think that the storm game was odd in a number of ways including selections and interchange

again ,not sure why but there was some third gear and predictability about the way we went about our business

not suggesting tanking
Or am I
Surely not

Wonder if 14 days without a game in lock down is an advantage as we would normally know it

Problem is that I am not a very good judge and next weekend will determine if Des has any trick shots to fire

if we win three games in three weeks
We win the comp
Pff
Been done before
 
Bencher
I think it might have something to do with the Bulldogs and Cowboys being pathetic teams. This gave us a false sense of security and made us non battle hardened against the top sides. Don't forget the Bulldogs gave it to us right to the end and they are the spooners. We were by far the worst team of the 8 this weekend. If we don't we'll and truly bring it next Friday then we'll be pantsed.
 
Bencher
I think it might have something to do with the Bulldogs and Cowboys being pathetic teams. This gave us a false sense of security and made us non battle hardened against the top sides. Don't forget the Bulldogs gave it to us right to the end and they are the spooners. We were by far the worst team of the 8 this weekend. If we don't we'll and truly bring it next Friday then we'll be pantsed.
And let's be honest, we were far from impressive against the Dogs and Cows coming in
 
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Bencher
Des knows defence is our weakness, that's why guys like Harper and Parker are getting start cos he knows we are already weak in this area. Its just laziness, defence is an attitude thing and we have too many forwards that don't like the hard dirty stuff.
Marty always wears clean gym gloves when dead lifting records, though I hear Walker doesn't mind a bit of Pizza off the car park bitumen...

All they really need is a Tony Robbin's positivity meme.
 
Snake's Alive!
Des knows defence is our weakness, that's why guys like Harper and Parker are getting start cos he knows we are already weak in this area. Its just laziness, defence is an attitude thing and we have too many forwards that don't like the hard dirty stuff.
Yeah it's a pack that doesn't like getting dirty. Aloiai doesn't mind getting pissed off but I don't see anyone else in the pack that wants to make it personal. Even Haumole, who is a good footballer, seems prone to bouts of laziness as he waits for an opportunity to get the ball. With the exception of Jake, it's like our pack are all guys that play RL for thrill of using the ball and defence is just something you have to do until you get the ball back.
 
First Grader
Premium Member
Des knows defence is our weakness, that's why guys like Harper and Parker are getting start cos he knows we are already weak in this area. Its just laziness, defence is an attitude thing and we have too many forwards that don't like the hard dirty stuff.
If that's so I expect to see DeLuxe's name in the 17 this week.
 
Reserve Grader
yep, good post. you need to play like melbourne (easier said than done)
1. They defend well(almost suffocating)
2. The control the ball well
3. they pass the ball along from player to player with purpose.
4. they make you come out of your corners deep in your territory
5. then they have good players all across the park

with a lot of other teams, they are hoping for a player crashing through the line to create a second phase play(all one out stuff) There is no structure to their attack and defence is often found wanting.
 
First Grader
Several people have pointed out our most experienced forwards didn’t show the way. I thought Jake was OK, his signature hold downs accepted, but Tapau was well below par.

However neither player has a lot of finals experience. Jake has played four finals’ games (out of 150+ FG appearances) and unless Tapau played in some at the Bulldogs, he will also be making just his fifth finals’ appearance in his 200th FG game. Compare that to some of the other veteran forwards out there - for example this Friday night’s opponent, JWH. Even young Radley has probably clocked up more finals’ games than either Jake or Marty.

Unfortunately the stop-start/false dawn nature of Manly’s recent finals’ campaigns - 2017 in, 2018 out and so on, hasn’t allowed these blokes the chance to build a solid portfolio of finals’ experience.
 
Bencher
Kicking seems to be an after thought for this team ,as if they have no belief in a good kick chase game, It seems to me des has to remind them on the way out to the field each week and as a results gets his 2 kick per game

The lack of vision and patience is a characteristic that has followed this team for years even though our key players are getting more experienced
 
Tragic
Tipping Comp 2021
We need to win the middle and bend their line before shifting wide all of the time. Tommy needs to avoid overplaying his hand and wait for opportunities when the defence starts to tire. Finish your sets, kick into the corners and hit them hard in defence when they are working it out to drain their energy. Its not rocket science that's semi final football. Then carve them up when they are gassed in the second half. We never got to a game plan last week it was chaos.
 
Reserve Grader
Manly have the nucleus of a great footy side in the future. It's just a matter of getting the right players around that nucleus to take the next step. Hopefully we can beat the Rorters but if we can't it will be disappointing to come this far and not win 1 game in the finals. 😔
 
Reserve Grader
Yeah i was really disappointed we didn't get into the grind on Friday night. The writing was on the wall when we last played the Storm. I think we were a bit lucky to lead that game with the Saab intercept try. Melbourne was clearly winning the arm wrestle and i was hoping Des would address this going into the Finals game. Instead it felt like he doubled down on the attack from your own line playbook.

Maybe he did have that plan to be in the grind? Like the old Mike Tyson boxing saying goes, "everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face". And boy did we get smashed hard in the head. We were so rattled and couldn't get off the canvas until 18-6 and then Tom's error that sealed our fate.

I'll keep repeating this..but until we can match the middle and slow the play the ball down like the Storm do we will be extremely lucky to beat them. I saw stretches of it, but we dont do it for long enough and often the slow the play the ball becomes Jake just holding down too long and the ref has no choice other than to blow a penalty. We need to be more disciplined, smarter and practice this stuff until we can match the Storm in these areas. We have enough strike power to score the points to beat them. But that becomes a moot point without winning the grind.
 
Team P W L PD Pts
24 21 3 499 44
24 21 3 390 44
24 20 4 322 42
24 16 8 252 34
24 16 8 141 34
24 15 9 109 32
24 12 12 -143 26
24 10 14 -3 22
24 10 14 -36 22
24 10 14 -97 22
24 8 16 -142 18
24 8 16 -171 18
24 8 16 -214 18
24 7 17 -249 16
24 7 17 -288 16
24 3 21 -370 8
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