How do we fix Manly's edges.

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Okay so even without Harper running up and looking like a headless chook there is no communication no confidence no trust on the edges in defence.

What is the solution? I don't understand it but I'm going to offer some solutions that may or may not be helpful, correct, insightful, but will hopefully add to or spark discussion.

What we know is;

Harper is a liability. Any team that knows they are up against him target him and he races up.

Saab is now our best winger, but doesn't trust Harper understandably. Koula and Saab are locks but need time 'in game' to build cohesion. It's a shame this hasn't happened.

Parker doesn't have the lateral movement anymore. Heart of a tiger but knees of a Wombat.

Garrick (stay as an almost rep quality winger and give up dreams of centre) has been shocking this year.

Tuipolotu, his head is so big it makes the rest of him look not as big as it actually is. Stop with the first up mid air sidestep and bring it back hard. And stop coming in off your wing. There's only one Horhay!

now for the controversial

you read and hear so much about players now days not watching a lot of football. They watch NFL or NBA or Tik Tok. Generally these players are from the urban areas and more often than not are from Pasifika backgrounds. Many of them have been to Rugby schools and been in academies and pathways from a very early age. They are identified as athletes and the money they can potentially bring in for their families and the lifestyle it can afford them is attractive I can see why they aren't 'footy heads'.

Are we getting players come through (in all clubs) who are just athletic chess pieces for a coach or half to move around. Who can't identify what's happening in a game because they haven't had thousands of hours of watching football to read plays on.

South Sydney seem an exception to me and again this will be controversial for those who want to read it that way but they are a team of pure footballers before athletes and you only have to look at their body types to see it. And they have a lot of indigenous connections and have recently been coached by the Master who announced his apprentice in Demetriou.

And Penrith prove what happens when you get a group of juniors come through who know and trust each other.

So who are the footy heads in our Manly team? Who were the ones that watched every game they possibly could and have that memory bank of where the ball is going to go or which kick the halfbacks going to put in from hours and hours of watching football, not just being told hit this spot and being surprised when the ball goes out the back and you miss your man.
 

jbb/james

First Grader
Premium Member
Tipping Member
We need to stop playing from behind the 8 ball.
better posession, better gameplan , not lose as much ground in our kick and chase game that needs so much attention.
keep em keen , fresh and peddling forward more often with a footy brain to supplement the braun

need to introduce a fine system
doesnt have to be cash.
team bitch for the day maybe, clean the showers

bad passes, stripped ball, dropped ball, crap option,
got to change it up big time this team is too comfortable with convenient excuses to turn it up.

nobody is above the team
 

Wombat64

Game day lubrication specialist
Premium Member
Tipping Member
How to fix the edges? It's been happening for so long that I reckon we should ask the NRL for a special Make Manly competitive again allowance and let us field a team of 15 players. We could ask to be allowed to play with 4 wingers. It would at least make our games competitive and be better for TV audiences.
 

maxta

First Grader
Premium Member
THe Melbourne game was the best example of how to fix this.
The contacts were hard and in numbers, controlling the tempo.
Every team will attack the edges and some succeed and some don't, but in general the teams with the most steel in the middle, then win time to easily cover shifts and 2nd man plays, those who allow quick play ball in the middle of the field will continue to be exposed and stripped for numbers out wide where the illusion appears it's the outside players poor decision, the rot generaly starts from the middle of the field.
 
This is hypothetical but I would think there are a lot of wingers/outside backs that have been overlooked because they weren't physically men at fourteen like Joseph Sualii and used by Cred Courting Rugby ****s at schools who literally have no concern for the child's academic development they just want to one-up some bloke from another private school by having a winning rah rah team (they'd really prefer no it to have to get these guys in but at least theyre an alternative to the natives, that Kurtley Beale experience ended badly, and we can do a cultural excursion for the school in Fiji, much more palatable than Alice Springs, the school chaplain will sort that).
 

Ron E. Gibbs

First Grader
It's been an issue for years and surely it's been identified as a problem area, so it's a worry that nobody has been able to fix it. But rugby league ain't rocket science, and it just can't be as hard as we make it look.

Before we even start thinking about defensive systems and adjustments in specific situations and areas of the field, we need to address the basics. Number one rule of rugby league: hang onto the ****ing ball. If you hold onto the ball, you're not defending, and the less time you spend defending, the less vulnerable you'll be. Our ball security, in attack and defence, is woeful. It's almost like we want to defend, just so we can show everybody how bad we are at it.

Second rule, win the middle. As 47MVEagle says above, if you lose the ruck, your edges are exposed. Our centres and wingers always cop the blame, but the problems start at the beginning of every defensive set. We rarely play with enough aggression and intent in defence, and are always on the back foot.

Once you're doing the basics right, you can work on counting numbers and staying on your man, compressing the line when you need to (attacking with your defence in the opposition half) and systems for goal-line defence. But really, our players should know all of this already. The real question is why they're not able to do it during a game.
 

Chunkytuna

Reserve Grader
Tipping Member
I might be wrong but I seem to recall when we played Melbourne we used much more of a sliding defence, rather than up-and-in. And from memory it worked really well. I recall one instance where they were attacking our line down the southern end and we simply slid across towards the sideline and Saab ended up bundling Coates into touch beautifully. Everyone trusted their inside man to make their tackle and/or slide across. Since then it seems we've reverted to up and in and it doesn't seem to be working. I'm not sure if that's a change of personnel issue or what???
 

Brookie Bob

"I come back to you now at the turn of the tide"
The issue seems spread in varying degrees across all the clubs. Players with special athletic gifts get promoted more quickly, but their ability to think on the field - their 'football smarts' - take a while to catch up.

This is a problem both in the middle and the edge players, but is exposed more brutally on the edges as the defense is more compressed in the middle third, with players covering for bad defensive reads by others near them. Halves and centres (and wingers) look like bumbling idiots by comparison when they make a bad read - usually results in a try.

The exception to this is the ruck - where tired/ lazy/'non-thinking' players can get caught out, and are often targeted by quick/thinking dummy-half play. We don't exploit this anywhere near enough.

On the edge, it's now standard to have a (hopefully) mobile second-rower defend next to a half next to a centre next to a winger. I wonder how often these four train as a unit to perfect / read/ shut-down opposing attacks? Our centres at least could do worse than watching a mountain of Jamie Lyon defensive reads videos - our right edge always felt safe with him. Genius.

Souths seem to have the defensive slide across perfected at the moment, their edges look very good, it's probably why they have beaten quite a few good sides at the moment. If we can't come up with anything else, we could do a lot worse than copy their defensive reads.
 

Seagles68

Bencher
Premium Member
Tipping Member
It's been an issue for years and surely it's been identified as a problem area, so it's a worry that nobody has been able to fix it. But rugby league ain't rocket science, and it just can't be as hard as we make it look.

Before we even start thinking about defensive systems and adjustments in specific situations and areas of the field, we need to address the basics. Number one rule of rugby league: hang onto the ****ing ball. If you hold onto the ball, you're not defending, and the less time you spend defending, the less vulnerable you'll be. Our ball security, in attack and defence, is woeful. It's almost like we want to defend, just so we can show everybody how bad we are at it.

Second rule, win the middle. As 47MVEagle says above, if you lose the ruck, your edges are exposed. Our centres and wingers always cop the blame, but the problems start at the beginning of every defensive set. We rarely play with enough aggression and intent in defence, and are always on the back foot.

Once you're doing the basics right, you can work on counting numbers and staying on your man, compressing the line when you need to (attacking with your defence in the opposition half) and systems for goal-line defence. But really, our players should know all of this already. The real question is why they're not able to do it during a game.
The worst thing that happened after the Storm game was all the hoo ha about how tough our forwards were. A couple of forwards were being spoken about (and they also spoke about themselves) in the media coz of a couple of big hits. Not only was it shown to be unsustainable, I reckon a couple suddenly thought they were legends. They need to bury any thoughts they might have had about suddenly being the feared intimidators of the comp and realise nothing comes easy. They need to get back to hitting hard and not be scared to get down and dirty for the whole match. At the very least, they need to hold their own in the middle. And yep, hang on to the damn ball and take those hard yards so the backs have some momentum.
 

madmax

Bencher
With due respect to Croker…..attacking hooker needed for one (maybe Roache), a Center partner for Koula, replace Tuilagi with Fainu.
Tom T
Saab
Koula
????
Garrick
Schuster
DCE
Aloiai
(Roache)
Keppie
Olakau’atu
Fainu
Jake T
Res: Croker, Paseka, Sipley, Bullemore
Blacktown - Weekes, Tuilagi, Tuipulotu, Johns, Parker, Harper & fight to get back into 1st Grade!!!
 

Terry Zarsoff

First Grader
How to fix the edges? It's been happening for so long that I reckon we should ask the NRL for a special Make Manly competitive again allowance and let us field a team of 15 players. We could ask to be allowed to play with 4 wingers. It would at least make our games competitive and be better for TV audiences.
We need a MMCA t-shirt and cap.
 

deanm

Reserve Grader
With due respect to Croker…..attacking hooker needed for one (maybe Roache), a Center partner for Koula, replace Tuilagi with Fainu.
Tom T
Saab
Koula
????
Garrick
Schuster
DCE
Aloiai
(Roache)
Keppie
Olakau’atu
Fainu
Jake T
Res: Croker, Paseka, Sipley, Bullemore
Blacktown - Weekes, Tuilagi, Tuipulotu, Johns, Parker, Harper & fight to get back into 1st Grade!!!
Roache has played 3 games for Blacktown with a total of 130 mins, If we are promoting anyone it has to GCKT.
 

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