Is the Manly pack much improved 2023 ?


First Grader
So the battle in the trenches was lost in the majority of games in 2022.
Opposition was winning constant quick play the balls and blowing up our ruck area, before shifting wide for easy tries.
Defensively contact was soft and often only hand grabs and 1 player involved n the tackle.
As opposed to this, out attack in 2022 was often 1 out and 3-4 tacklers were getting our players rolled into their backs eating up juice and slowing the game to a standstill.

Personally have seen just in ALL 4 games including trials, FAR more energy through the middle, winning many contacts in defence and adding numbers in the tackles and running harder, not this stand still waiting to flop out a pass to a bloke in a worse position.
When hitting the line at pace, the chances are far greater at picking up a runner on the fly, as you are punching through the line and presenting the ball to a runner at pace, where as this flat standing still pop pass, can create great 2nd phase and is perfect against a structured defensive line like Melbourne Storm, generally the ball will go back to a flat footed team mate and that's ALL we were doing in 2022.

Early day's and much is no doubt to some fresh coaching tips that include tougher footy in general and more energy than I have seen from a Manly side in a long time.
Make no mistake - Sattler a great legend out Bunny way will have these blokes coming out to eat raw meat, but I have a feeling we will be waiting and can rattle Souths through the guts and show this 2023 pack is sick of being bullied by teams.....Keppie is back as an Enforcer, Paseka running with gusto and hitting hard defensively, Jake cutting players in half AND winning great momentem bending opposition defence and bending the line, Tuilagi has been a strong addition, Aloiai is back after MIA much of last season and Olakalatu is 1 of the scariest forwards in the business hurting players with and without the ball, Croker - many have formed opinions and I'm 1 who loves zip from the 9 - but he is 1 tough, rugged buggar and at times have mistaken his defence for Jake (that is a BIG compliment) and credit he has had a few more scurries from half, just needs to play that ball cleanly ....

What's the thoughts Silvertail friends ?? Are we on the rise in 2023 with this forward pack ??
Positive start but still early days. Broncos started 2020 with a couple of great wins, going in "undefeated" into their 3rd game, and they finished with the spoon. So let's all practice cautious optimism when judging whether our pack really has turned a corner or not
I'm assuming this is a rhetorical question.

Paseka and Keppie were the swing guys in the pack given they had the biggest gap between potential and current output. They both look considerably fitter and the very early returns have been impressive.
Jake to front row is back where he belongs and it shows, defense up the guts is much better now. No ball playing lock stuff Jake's not a halfback he is a prop and a very good one at that. Brad fitler putting him their in origin has shown manly the way lol.
Comfortably better. Yes a very small sample size but if you compare their average run metres through 2 games to last year, you can see the improvement already and we have 5 (nearly 6) forwards up over 100m compared to just 3 last year

Paseka - 167m (2023) - 85m (2022)
Jake - 135m (2023) - 87m (2022)
Olakau'atu - 127m (2023) - 103m (2022)
Aloiai - 126m (2023) - 130m (2022)
Keppie - 113m (2023) - 60m (2022)
Bullemor - 96m (2023) - 53m (2022)
Tuilagi - 70m (2023) - 63m (2022)

Now obviously this year's figures are probably inflated given the two games we've had so far but the key differences are Paseka and Jake. Paseka has always had the potential but has dealt with injuries, a lack of aggression and no faith from the coach, while Jake was being horribly misused as a link man which not only stunted our go forward but made our attack entirely predictable. For mine their improvements are almost solely from the change in coaching.

It is a long season though so hopefully they can keep this up, it's been a long time since we beat a top 4 calibre team and to do that we need to be winning the forward battle and not just playing Tommy-ball. Good opportunity this weekend to start showing that
Bulldogs and Eels had injury weakened packs and whilst we got on top for long periods it wasn't a great test. Even Souths this week are missing quite a few and we are basically at full strength.

Paseka has definitely stepped up so that's something and I don't think we are missing Marty at all so there's definitely some positives. I'd say its a solid pass mark so far.

Time will tell though.
The crowds tell the story of where we were in the last 2 years . We then got new coaches ,release a couple of old players and only signed one ,the crowds have turned up in droves .Now the same forward pack left is not taking a backward step and the same backs left are growing in confidence .Hopefully with a less share of injuries ,we will compete for the title in the next 3 years . Let's go Manly .
I think the Souffs game will tell us a bit more where we are at. p.s. I dread the thought of Latrell, Walker and Johnson toying with Tui so forward dominance may end up being redundant.
First 4 games this year Vs last four of 22.
Light years.
Aloa vera, pillow and keppie are a light year from where they were.
The second rowers will trouble most sides this year.
Jake, oh Jake.
Might have been Keppie who remarked they are playing a bit different this year. Does look like a more direct forward game so far, just running forward more, instead of using Jake or Walker to swing the ball from side to side.

Playing like forwards makes the forwards look better, they are all good players and do seem to be benefitting from the new 'connected' close-knit team environment. Will keep us well in the game v Bunnies, regardless of any Sattler factor.
Absolutely running with more gusto and hitting with more intent. But they are big boys and we did look suspect when they started throwing the ball around. Lets put that down to the heat for now. I'm not sure this week will be the defining game coz Souths have injuries (unless they belt us, then we know theres a problem still). As mentioned, I'm more worried about Johnston scoring many. But so far so good with forward improvement.
Now obviously this year's figures are probably inflated given the two games we've had so far but the key differences are Paseka and Jake.
More over I think the fact we played the Red Hot panthers followed by a much better Roosters skew the above numbers too much to make a call.

I believe the forwards are going better especially in the hard defence and smacking opponents.

Time will tell.
Team P W L PD Pts
12 8 4 147 20
14 10 4 89 20
14 9 5 105 18
12 7 5 80 18
12 7 5 -1 18
13 8 5 -49 18
13 7 6 12 16
13 7 6 -7 16
13 6 7 -33 16
12 6 6 -66 16
12 5 6 -18 15
12 5 6 -26 15
13 6 7 52 14
14 6 8 -65 14
13 5 8 -94 12
13 3 10 -59 10
13 3 10 -67 8
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