The end of that game was a debacle.
It's nice to beat quality opposition, at home, on super hot days (we did beat Parra 54-0 last time we played them in serious heat..) - but the way we fell apart at the end of that game had shades of the NthQld and Melb games from last year - as well as i'm sure other late-game capitulations I haven't mentioned.
Let's not kid ourselves, Guac's intercept try was against the run of play and was 6-pts we probs shouldn't have had. Take that out and we lose. Parker's try would have been called back and overruled if it was Atkins or some other prick as Ref. Then not even Guac saves us.
Both Gutho's tries were soft as sponge-cake, and momentum turners both times.
Playing that first 30 and going in only 4 in front at Half Time was disappointing. Having Parra in front in the early part of the 2H - concerning. We pulled it back, and whilst that was encouraging that we didn't mentally capitulate, it was not a win I would gloat about. How does Seibold say what needs to be said (as the defence coach he should be fkn ropable) without being too critical? We'll see...
Our completions went to absolute ****e in the 2nd half - to finish at what - 65%? - horrible. Souths will destroy us on that showing.
Our fitness - which looked so encouraging in the pre-season and Bulldogs game - seems to have disappeared in a fortnight after 1 week off with the bye. That's a worry. Lots of guys cramping in the conditions, some seriously. I get it, it was a sticky bog of a night - but the Parra team were not overcome as noticeably.
Our intensity in the early stages of each half was a positive - but we had drained the tank by 30-mins in 1st-Half and by 25mins in the 2nd. I couldn't even pin it on the defence on 1 edge, we were pretty horrible on both - but the left edge attack for Parra was more potent (basically where Parker wasn't - even though he wasn't perfect either).
That try to Hodgson was downright embarrassing. Their ability to score at will late in that 2nd half simply needs to be addressed or we will be lucky to make the 8 - and be churning out scores like tonight's 34-30, if we're lucky. Rubbish touch-footy crap.
Some player observations:
Tuipolutu - kid has some serious upside in return-carries and 1-on-1 hits (like big Jorge), but his ability to read the play is so far Suli-esque. I don't know if his ability to put in strong carries is worth 2-3 tries per game, as it feels like his decision making led to that many tonight.
Schuster's attack today showed a lot of promise, his timing and crisp passing accuracy was immensely impressive. However, his Defence has regressed and his fitness - even at his lighter weight - still needs to improve. I really hope he plays within his scope of role, as when he was involved in backline plays we almost looked certain to score on every jinking goosestepping no-look-pass he produced. Fkn mental skill-cap on that one.
Koula's miss on Gutho was unfortunate - that no other team member was awake to backup his aggressive pressure. Otherwise kid had an off night for him. A few mistakes, no really clean breaks. But far out I can't fault his enthusiasm - and how in the actual FK does he smash guys twice his size and hit the line the way he does with 3-4 guys and STILL make post-contact meters? I think he was off his best tonight, especially on our line, but he was still in our top-half.
Keppie was great, I thought. It was the little things he did in tackles to control the speed of play combined with some decent runs. Reminded me of his impact in the finals game against the Roosters in '21. Great when he's not making stupid errors too.
Paseka is a lot of pundit's pick for this game, and his level of involvement improved as the game went on I thought. Most importantly, he stood up at times we needed him to with some big carries when Parra were on the ascendancy. If he can get this hot'n'cold **** out of his game and maintain focus he can be a huge asset.
Aloiai finally had a cause worth getting riled up about - copping a shoulder-charge to the face, then immediately after getting penalised for a bit of over-roughage on a tackle. Then him and Guac absolutely minced some poor Parra fwd - and the team intensity lifted (for about 30-secs). Even if it was a brief lift however, it beats being completely derailed by rainbows.
Some of the players above are the ones I feel will either win or lose us the Bunnies game. Let's see what Seibold does to sort out the deficiencies of the night. Stoked we got the 2pts though, and other than Turbo's performance and not getting injured, that is what matters at this stage of the the year - we're 6pts clear of both the spoon and the Eels.