Hooker

Pete W

Reserve Grader
Croker is a very good player but his extremely high work load in defence results in fatigue that results in no running game and slow service. Croker needs to start and be given a breather when we inject GCKT. I don't believe GCKT is no where near his ceiling and his defence is fine..
Works well for Kenny-Luke combo at Penrith
 

maxta

First Grader
Premium Member
Croker is a tradesman like 9, not an explosive 9.
Something to consider is at ''Full strength" he maybe does not need to be so sharp and just play his role and we have enough strike elsewhere to add the needed attacking threat....but I still like the idea of Croker at 50 - 55 mins a game, with a zippy option off the bench.
He is not 1 of the better dummy halves in the comp, but maybe the toughest and also maybe the best value considering he is on half the money of most of them.
IF we can work out a dynamic 9 off the bench 25m - 30m into each half it could be the perfect 1 - 2 and that could well be Gordie who WILL get a good shot at it.
 

SeaEagleRock8

Sea Eagle Lach
Premium Member
Tipping Member
Prediction - I expect Lachie to have his best season so far.

Even his knockers acknowledge his defence and guts. True, 3 ACL injuries naturally affected his zip, he'll never be a Damien Cook type.

But he's very smart (studying 2 degrees) and with his junior background as a half he understands the game. Has shown vision in coming up with important 40/20s several times.

So if ... as expected ... our front row is more consistent, Brooks adds threat on the left, and Turbo returns to add threat here there and everywhere... then more opportunities will arise through the middle. Crokes is shrewd and skilful enough to take advantage. Go Croker!
 

manly al

First Grader
Wouldn "t underate Humphries ability or suitability for a back up 9 role .
Certainly seems to have most of the attributes required .
Not that much different from a host of other players over time who primarily had a halfs background and could continue to still go O K there but also a natural fit for a 9 role .
Jacob Arthur no doubt could fill in there but starting to reach the limited to quite limited input side then .
Wonder if Nathan Roache is staying on at Blacktown .
Seemed to have a few injury concerns last season but still looked a quite handy type 9 .
Unlikely to be in the picture however .
Maybe Dean Matterson another consideration . Sharp in attack , natural type footy player , not sure how he would fare with the ruck workload required in that 9 role however .
 

silvereagle

Reserve Grader
IF we can work out a dynamic 9 off the bench 25m - 30m into each half it could be the perfect 1 - 2 and that could well be Gordie who WILL get a good shot at it.
Agreed. I think the Croker / Gordie combination is an obvious one and potentially the best in the league. That's a given in my mind. The unknown proviso of course is that 1. Turbo and Cherry playing for most of the year and 2. We get a decent run with injuries with our middles. Throw in a good year for Brooks and a fit Shu and I believe we can seriously challenge for the premiership.
 

Briza

Maroon and White - Born and Bred
Prediction - I expect Lachie to have his best season so far.

Even his knockers acknowledge his defence and guts. True, 3 ACL injuries naturally affected his zip, he'll never be a Damien Cook type.

But he's very smart (studying 2 degrees) and with his junior background as a half he understands the game. Has shown vision in coming up with important 40/20s several times.

So if ... as expected ... our front row is more consistent, Brooks adds threat on the left, and Turbo returns to add threat here there and everywhere... then more opportunities will arise through the middle. Crokes is shrewd and skilful enough to take advantage. Go Croker!
I agree, injury free 024 will be his best year and a coming of age so to speak.
Ennis will prove to be the signing of the year.
 

rmd

Reserve Grader
Premium Member
Tipping Member
I think Ennis has been brought to the club to help Froggy and GCKT with their lateral vision, and when I say that, it’s about, ‘Do I pass left, or do I pass right?”. Ennis was good at it, however, love him or hate him, Cameron Smith was brilliant at it. He could see exactly what was unfolding in front of him with the opposition defence lines and he’d play exactly to that and create a ‘numbers situation’. It didn’t work every set, however, it worked more often than not. In my opinion, he’s probably the greatest ever hooker (9) to play NRL.

I don’t think Froggy has that lateral vision to the degree that’s desirable of a ‘champion 9’, however, there’s no doubting his strengths in other areas (defence and 40:20’s).

The thing that’s going to be interesting in 2024, is with Brooks likely to be on the left and DCE (captain) on the right, how Froggy and GCKT can identify which side to pass to (lateral vision) and where there are the most opportunities to set up a play, maybe three plays ahead.

The on field communication between Brooks and DCE is going to be critical and no doubt Seibold will do intensive research to try and identify defensive trends of opposition teams, as hopefully the key players will also do.

In reality, NRL is no different to a game of chess, you have to look at least three plays (moves) ahead to identify where the potential opportunities exist. It’s the same in defence.
 

Pete W

Reserve Grader
I think Ennis has been brought to the club to help Froggy and GCKT with their lateral vision, and when I say that, it’s about, ‘Do I pass left, or do I pass right?”. Ennis was good at it, however, love him or hate him, Cameron Smith was brilliant at it. He could see exactly what was unfolding in front of him with the opposition defence lines and he’d play exactly to that and create a ‘numbers situation’. It didn’t work every set, however, it worked more often than not. In my opinion, he’s probably the greatest ever hooker (9) to play NRL.

I don’t think Froggy has that lateral vision to the degree that’s desirable of a ‘champion 9’, however, there’s no doubting his strengths in other areas (defence and 40:20’s).

The thing that’s going to be interesting in 2024, is with Brooks likely to be on the left and DCE (captain) on the right, how Froggy and GCKT can identify which side to pass to (lateral vision) and where there are the most opportunities to set up a play, maybe three plays ahead.

The on field communication between Brooks and DCE is going to be critical and no doubt Seibold will do intensive research to try and identify defensive trends of opposition teams, as hopefully the key players will also do.

In reality, NRL is no different to a game of chess, you have to look at least three plays (moves) ahead to identify where the potential opportunities exist. It’s the same in defence.
I think you nailed it with the chess game analogy. It's not so much a question of lateral vision I.e. eyes up footy...

What Cameron Smith did better than everyone else was executing a strategic end point to any particular set of six from tackle 0. He not only maintained overall game awareness from the middle (e.g. what the coach and team planned throughout the week), but on a set by set basis, Smith would know where and how his team should be playing tackle 5. Every decision he made, barring eyes-up opportunities, were all on the basis of deceiving his opposition in order to allow his troops to reach point z.

There are always a few top line, dynamic and incisive 9s, but there is only one Cam Smith unfortunately
 

Will on the hill

Bencher
Premium Member
Tipping Member
I think you nailed it with the chess game analogy. It's not so much a question of lateral vision I.e. eyes up footy...

What Cameron Smith did better than everyone else was executing a strategic end point to any particular set of six from tackle 0. He not only maintained overall game awareness from the middle (e.g. what the coach and team planned throughout the week), but on a set by set basis, Smith would know where and how his team should be playing tackle 5. Every decision he made, barring eyes-up opportunities, were all on the basis of deceiving his opposition in order to allow his troops to reach point z.

There are always a few top line, dynamic and incisive 9s, but there is only one Cam Smith unfortunately
Every play Smith would assess where the defence had made a tiny error and was struggling to plug the hole. Then he'd target that small deficiency to create another bigger deficiency elsewhere. It was like death by 1000 cuts.

The advantage CS had was becoming the conductor and senior play maker very early on. When his halves over called his decision he had the final decision.

At the moment Froggy defers to DCE and Tommy. He is getting to the point where he will over call Jake and whoever happens to be our 5/8.

If Froggy can own the responsibility of reading the defence and directing the team all the time he will excel but it's hard for a guy who is still relatively new to his position and has more experienced players around him.
 

BOZO

Journey Man
Tipping Member
The "dynamic" rhetoric is painful. Cam Smith was far from dynamic, he wasn't a "natural hooker" yet is widely regarded as one of the best ever.

Can you name 6 that you'd happily take over Froggy?
The pain in our spine Perspective time

It is painful that we lack the Xfactor Dynamic number nine in our spine
An Xfactor Hooker is the Ace of spades in a teams spine

Cam smith was X factor Dynamic , He was a dynamic game changer .
Can smith was not a natural Hooker . he was a Supernatural hooker

Can I name 6 hookers over froggy ?
Easy !
Grant
Api
Cook
Smith
Mahoney
Robson

I have BIG Hopes on this Little Guy
1702074236092.png
 

BOZO

Journey Man
Tipping Member
It’s not beyond the realms of possibility. He is highly regarded.
Parker is highly regarded as well
Maybe we can make Parker captain
Forget DCE and Tom and Jake as Prime Leaders of our team
Lets give the captaincy to the highly regarded Croker and Parker
 

Will on the hill

Bencher
Premium Member
Tipping Member
The pain in our spine Perspective time

It is painful that we lack the Xfactor Dynamic number nine in our spine
An Xfactor Hooker is the Ace of spades in a teams spine

Cam smith was X factor Dynamic , He was a dynamic game changer .
Can smith was not a natural Hooker . he was a Supernatural hooker

Can I name 6 hookers over froggy ?
Easy !
Grant
Api
Cook
Smith
Mahoney
Robson

I have BIG Hopes on this Little Guy
View attachment 25630
Smith is retired so he doesn't count.
Robson is on 200k more and the rest are on 400k+ more than Froggy.
Which 500k+ player would you drop to a minimum wage player in order to accommodate a hooker on that list?
 

BOZO

Journey Man
Tipping Member
Smith is retired so he doesn't count.
Robson is on 200k more and the rest are on 400k+ more than Froggy.
Which 500k+ player would you drop to a minimum wage player in order to accommodate a hooker on that list?
Brendon smith is not retired my feathered friend
The rest a worth more than froggy for good reason
As all better things in life are worth more

I would drop the incompetent Manly people that manage our cap
If the other top clubs can have top players and a top Hooker
We should be able to do so as well
The fact is the salary cap is only as affective as the affective people that manage it

It seems that like we have Manly People Representing our club going through the motions like a 9 to 5 Cushy job
This Current Manly self Entitled Mediocre Culture has to end if we are to end our premiership Winning Drought
Because being Real Manly Premiership Winning People is not an entitlement it is a great Privilidge
1702148523270.png
 

SeaEagleRock8

Sea Eagle Lach
Premium Member
Tipping Member
The pain in our spine Perspective time

It is painful that we lack the Xfactor Dynamic number nine in our spine
An Xfactor Hooker is the Ace of spades in a teams spine
One of the things I love most about watching the career of Lachie Croker unfold is that it prolongs your embarrassment. You know, if only you stopped bagging the guy then eventually most people would forget the awful comment you made about him when he first started. But you just keep doubling down, it's very amusing!

Meanwhile ... 'Perspective' !!! Manly's last 2 premiership sides featured a number 9 who was a tremendous player but definitely no Dynamic X-Factor out of dummy half. Fyi as starting hooker Croker scores tries at twice the rate Ballin did. Not that being a dynamic X-factor is that relevant in my opinion. Definitely it helps to have some in your team but they don't always have to be the 9.
 

LeonardCohen

Reserve Grader
Prediction - I expect Lachie to have his best season so far.

Even his knockers acknowledge his defence and guts. True, 3 ACL injuries naturally affected his zip, he'll never be a Damien Cook type.

But he's very smart (studying 2 degrees) and with his junior background as a half he understands the game. Has shown vision in coming up with important 40/20s several times.

So if ... as expected ... our front row is more consistent, Brooks adds threat on the left, and Turbo returns to add threat here there and everywhere... then more opportunities will arise through the middle. Crokes is shrewd and skilful enough to take advantage. Go Croker!
I agree he is not 'Damien Cook' explosive, but I actually don't think a lack of speed is the problem for Croker. He still has pretty decent toe and the last couple of years he has scored tries as a support player and managed to race away with some fast players chasing him.

I think the issue is his service at times, particularly in yardage sets. He has a tendency to simply 'dish off' and his forwards are sitting ducks. It's not all the time and he has done well to introduce some variation, it just needs to be consistent across the full duration of his stint (whether it's 80 minutes or 60). I like what he does inside opposition red zones, where he has shown deception.

I think he will good for us next year because he seems to keep improving.
 

jbb/james

First Grader
Premium Member
Tipping Member
The frog cops a hard time because others have deficiencies and there is a hope that a kick arse hooker would mask that

the 2 teams in the gf had limited hookers and halfbacks that game manage

as our game is flamboyant and lacks the patience and structure that brings success there is a feeling that another key spine player could lead us. It can be a bonus but not the role of a hooker

with tom, dce and brooks we have a very good spine on paper. While the frog should be looking to improve his game, its good enough now considering his team mates. Its up to them to guide the team. Froggys job is service, defend with a bit of kicking

if a hooker is the answer the question is wrong
 

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