Posted - 12 Jun 2005 : 12:30:08 AM -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- *Please just don't pick the neagatives out of this. Discuss the positives too *Souths 44 Manly 6 (Player Review) Brett Stewart - Credit where credit is due. Brett was a standout in a well beaten team tonight. His positional play was second to none, and his defence - outstanding. He made some critical try saving tackles against South props, and injected himself into the backline in attack early on. His efforts in defence tonight obviously took its toll, because he didn't end with that crisp, sharp, fast finishing action at the back end of the game we are used to. That is obviously not his fault though, and he was fantastic tonight. Scott Donald - Scott is getting a lot more involved these days "in field". That was seen in abundance tonight, and I think is predominantly because he doesn't get enough quality ball from his centre partner. He has been found out quite a bit in 2005 with his positional play, and teams are bombing to his side of the field in attack, and are also shooting long kicks behind him to take advantage of the 40/20 rule. This was seen tonight, when the young Souths 1/2 back took advantage of Scotts poor positional play, and kicked a mighty 40/20. Scotts defence was also pretty poor tonight, as summised by Wayne Pearce, and it looked as though Brad Watts had it over him. Ashley Alberts - If the game was actually won tonight, I would have said Ashley had a fantastic game. His defence early on was fantastic, and his attack is very ruthless. His speed & power is fantastic. When running angles at the opposition in attack, he almost looks and emmulates Shaun Berrigan with his running style. Every time he got the ball, I was expecting something. He did however have one crucial errror in defence, when trying to tackle South young 17 year old 109kg centre. But that could have happenned to anybody. An important note I would like to add, is that of the two centres (Manly's), Ashley was by FAR the better centre. Paul Stephenson - Paul made his usual sliding defence errors, and lacked communication with Chris Hicks on a number of occassions. This was pointed out by the Fox commentators. One point to note, is that Wayne Pearce described Pauls partnership with Chris Hicks as "interesting". His attack is EXTREMELY one dimensional, and defences are starting to wisen up to his dummy 1/2 runs, and assassinate him. I have been REALLY wanting Paul to improve his game, because I really hope the best for Steppa, but unfortunately, I think what we see is what we will get out of him, and I finally think it is time for Dessy to make a hard decision, and have Hill in the centres with young Ash. A partnership of say Berrigan / Ash, or Bell / Ash would be rather enticing. Chris Hicks - If there is one player in the NRL that I would say is down on confidence the most, it would be Chris Hicks. He consistently runs laterally, and doesn't make the metres he should. It almost appears as though he's not interested.At Penrith, he led the NRL in line breaks as a winger, but for Manly it appears as though he's not even there, furthermore, LOSES metres when he gets the ball. That said, I think this lack of form can be attributed to the lack of quality ball received, and with a centre like Hill or Ash, this may improve. As per above, if Hicks had Berrigan or Bell feeding him ball, I think he would be back to his best. THAT'S why he always loked so good in the centres, because he was given quality ball a lot quicker. Michael Witt - Much like Brett Stewart, I thought Witty had a very good game, in a VERY poor team. He seemed to have veriation, and time with the ball. His defence was & has been fantastic ALL year. I would almost like to see him as 1st receiver. His kicking game again was second to none. Not much you can say for Witty, but "very solid game mate". Michael Monaghan - Well after such a long week of drama, and outcries, I was VERY interested to see how our new $240k per year 1/2 back captain would go, and frankly, I was dissapointed. Our attack lacked structure, and our outside backs received ball as they were in the process of getting tackled. The worst part of his game tonight was body language. You know when Monnas is walking with his head down, and shaking it, we are in trouble. He also seems to ne running on the field with a different injury each week. He needs a more Finch like approach. Rally the team. Monnas defence tonight was solid, while not being outstanding, but that's not what he's paid for. It's to organise, structure attack, and score tries. But this is just not happenning right now. Sam Harris attitude seem to drop in 2004 after his contract was signed. I hope all this drama hasn't taken too much out of Monnas, and we see a repeat of harris. There's always next week Mick. Jason King - Well, well, well. FANTASTIC game, and great impact. That's two weeks in a row, and shows why possibly Manly has very high hopes for him. He was agrressive, made lots of metres, and hit hard in defence. If we had 3 forwards emmulating him tonight, I say we could have gone a long way to winning that game. He threw offloads, and got up at marker defence with speed. His play the balls were quick, but it's a shame we were defeated after he made such an ascertive effort. I would LOVE to see that form continue. Espescially when Kite, Kylie & Hecks return!! Definately NOT a soft prop tinght. Chad Randall - Set up our only try to Watmough with a grubber behind the line. Personally, I think this is one game he had it over Dunley, but again, these players seem to do this when their contract is being negotiated. He tackled very, very hard, and drew errors out of Souths with his defence. He passed out of dummy 1/2 with speed & accuracy, and veried from his usual blind side runs. That said, tonights team performance was VERY 2003 / 2004 in viewing, and Randall was a standout in those years too. But this is 2005, and we need a marked improvement yet again to be a force. Mark Bryant - Of all the reserve graders brought up, I thought Bryant was the strongest. He made next to no errors, and was strong in defence. He played the ball quite fast, and was excellent at dummy 1/2 defence. To be honest, I thought & still think he sould edge out Daniel Heckenberg for a 1st grade spot, if we had all players available to select. I WOULD like to see a little bit more aggression ALA Jason King did TONIGHT. But all in all, well done mate. We don't go backwards by having you in the team. Anthony Watmough - While solid, I don't think this was his best game at all, and probably didn't do his SOO # 3 chances any good. He dropped a bit of ball (although it looked as though it was raked on most occassions), and by FAR didn't get involved enough in the 1st 1/2. He is now, and should in the future take a leadership responsability role in the team. He should have been a talker. He dropped off two crucial tackles that led to tries, but that happens when you have double figure amount of tries against you!!! I actually thought the 20 year old second rower from Souths that no-one can pronounce his name had a better game than Watmough. He did chase an early grubber from Randall to score a try. Again, he played a very similar role to what he did in 2003 / 2004, when we were cellar dwellars. Sam Harris - Was quite strong in both attack & defence without being a standout. ALSO very much like 2003 & 2004, which unfortunately isn't good enough considerring it is now 2005. Dropped some ball tonight, but this can be attributed to night / wet track. I thought Sammy didn't get enough time to redeem himself, and should have been there instead of Moorwood & Curtis a lot more. I was quite confused with this from Dessy, but maybe Harris was injured or something. He needs to stand out a little wider off the ruck, and get the ball a lot more from Monnas, like he did in the Penrith game, when making those breaks. Luke Williamson - We shouldn't have been wearing the predominantly maroon jerseys tonight, because Willows efforts HAD to be forced to play like 2003 / 2004. He defended, defended, defended, then defended some more. This REALLY took away from the team, beacause 1, he is a great dummy 1/2, 2, he can be an AWESOME runner wide of the ruck, espescially when running at centres & 3, normally he adds so much in attack. He was a workhorse again tonight, and I think because of this fact, it diminished from his game & skill as a whole. Willow is one player that REALLY shines with Kite, Kennedy, Beaver, Hecks, Hill & Kylie in the team. All in all though, a very solid performance. Something we fans have said about you in a lot of previous years. THIS year though, you have been outstanding, up until, through no fault of your own....tonight. Shayne Dunley - No disrespect intended, but a pretty poor game tonight. Didn't get involved enough, and didn't appear to be turned on. I think Dunley is a confidence player, and without his stars around him, lacks that confidence. He appeared to be injurred, which is a concern. A lot of lateral movement tonight, wheras usually, we see Dunley piercing the defensive line with his hot knife like runs. He is normally aggressive in defence, but again, this was down tonight. I REALLY think it's a night time thing for Dunners. Look what he did at Parammatta !!! Glenn Stewart - Tried to get involved a lot, and had a fair impact off the bench. Lack of skill around him made him not look as good as he should have looked. He hit the line hard, and made some very outstanding crucial tackles. He coverred defensively for Steppa on a few occassions (I don't know if this was coached), but I though with his mobility, he could have ran a little wider on occassions. Phil Moorwood - A VERY umhappy time in 1st grade. He made plenty of errors, little metres & was poor in defence ---Against SOUTHS. I was EXTREMELY dissapointed in his game, as I could tell he was too, by what he was saying on the park. The only reason he was there though, was because Cleal was suspended, and we are REALLY needing our (what is supposed to be called) DEPTH. Jim Curtis - Sorry champ - Worst on ground for mine. As per Phil Moorwood, but gave away PLENTY of stupis penalties.My Mum always said, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all, so I'll keep quiet about Curtis. DES HASLER - The worst part of this loss, was the fact that Newcastle will fire up knowing Souths THRASHED us. As the Fox commentators said, we didn't turn up tonight. An absolute smacking is all you can say we received tonight. I take this as bad as the loss to Penrith last year. Unfortunately, Manly fans will be the laughing stock of the NRL supporter base for at least the next week. I remember last year, the New Zealand tabloids were saying to its fans that they need not worry about it's teams poor performances, because they were about to play Manly, and Manly over the recent past have turned a lot of poor performing teams luck around. That was early in the year. NZ then beat us at home. This year, Saints were down on form, whooped us, and are now on a roll. Souths just whooped us by more, and we may have turned around THEIR season. I hope this year isn't starting to fold in on us, and we are the team yet again to turn around other teams forms. Has the bubble burst. Lets see at Brookie next week eh?