Jake - Mr In-Between?

Reserve Grader
Interested in other opinions here but I cant help feeling that Jake is not being properly utilised. Let me say right at the outset that he is easily my absolute favourite player in the team and he would be my first pick week in and week out. His defence is 2nd to none and a must have in the forwards. But here is my dilemma / frustration....I don't see him as a middle forward and I don't see him as a 2nd rower. As a middle forward in attack, I think he is restricted by his size / weight / leg drive while as a wide running 2nd rower, I am not sure he has the pace or power. This was more than obvious when we played the bigger sides towards the end of the season and in particular when Walker came on off the bench. It felt like we had only one middle forward taking the ball up while the opposition had 3. Our forward momentum declined sharply and I thought that's where we lost the forward battle.

So, if I had a magic wand and Jake was a couple of kilo's lighter, I would seriously consider re-inventing him as a hooker. We get the best of his defence in the middle, he expends far less energy in running and getting bashed for very limited metres AND we then have the "luxury" of having a bigger more mobile 3rd middle forward in the pack. Imaging a front row of Alio Olio, Jake and Keppie with Haumole and the Shu in the 2nd row and locked by a Bullymore or heaven forbid, Paseka. Bench would have at least two other big boppers in Marty / Sipley / Boyle. Now there's a premiership winning pack that I reckon would get us moving forward throughout most of the match!!

Am I smoking that funny stuff again??
 
Bencher
Premium Member
Guess that much will depend on whether Walker again plays that roving role in the pack at 14 again . don 't think that Manly lose that much by having Jake reverting to a prop role or continuing pivot forward when Walker comes on. Still quite effective in a prop role at S O O level when he has been used there so no dramas at club level . Jake is not as slow as some might think , not a block busting style forward but still pretty mobile .
 
It's only a game ....
So, if I had a magic wand and Jake was a couple of kilo's lighter, I would seriously consider re-inventing him as a hooker.
Sounds good. It could possibly better utilize Jake's ball distribution skills. He has a short kicking game which probably could be improved with practice. As he is not nimble or quick off the mark, he wouldn't be effective in darting from dummy half. Also, he doesn't have a long kicking game - Croker does, Fainu doesn't (maybe he has been practising in his time off the field?)

If Schuster played lock, he would be more dangerous attacking both sides of the field. This would also increase his defensive workload.
 
Bencher
Premium Member
Good to have the versatility factor for some footy players but really don "t think that would apply to Jake being suited in a 9 role
 
The poster formerly known as Simmo66.
Premium Member
Tipping Comp 2021
Yep, I can see it know: Jurbo scoots from dunny half and beats the opposition markers by sheer speed.
You do know that Jurbo was a beach sprint champion, don't you?

.... Or maybe I'm thinking of another hooker.
As a defensive, ball distributing hooker I think it could actually work. I am not suggesting we try it, but it would be an interesting experiment in a pre-season game. Clearly he doesn't have the "sheer speed" of Cook et al. However, Walker does have speed off the mark, Bullemore does, DCE does (not to Cooks level of course). There is no reason that any of the above couldn't take those runs from dummy half when they were available. Its an interesting suggestion, but the likelihood of it actually happening is extremely low.
 
Bencher
he needs to play long minutes for his defence. if you looked at jake from scratch he is more suited to the hooker role in terms of shape and skills. a bit like steve walters

id also like to see him play like gifty, and own a side and get a davey type player at 13 . i think its his best spot but we then struggle to get all the ball players in the team now and it puts schuster and walker too bench or centres. Jake would need a dynamic centre outside to create panic with tom chiming in off jake a bit wider also

but overall we need to forget reputations and get pack balance right for the game we intend to play. we are starting next season in pretty good shape and competition for spots at training will be huge initially
 
Reserve Grader
While I agree somewhat in Silvereagle's comments, Jake makes up for this with great ball playing skills at 2nd receiver and has a tellopathic connection with Tommy putting him through holes with slight of hand passes. Having Jakes great defensive capabilities with Croker around the rucks makes me sleep better at nights.
 
Feast yer eyes ..
Tipping Comp 2021
Am I smoking that funny stuff again??

No .. your assesment of Jake is pretty spot on IMO .. not sure about the hooker, I am certain he would go okay, but again would be put in the position of being still Mr. In-between, not nippy enough, not creative enough etc etc ..

Having said that .. he would also be the first bloke I would pick each week ... some blokes just punch above their weight division and add value that is often not shown up in stats ...
 
Bencher
Premium Member
Tipping Comp 2021
Jake is our version of Cheese Smith.

He needs to be in the 17, the first guy picked, and should be captain, but we probably have some better options in all positions Jake can play.

Vlandysball has hurt Jakes influence on matches unfortunately.

Who knows what the future holds for the NRL though, the rules are just as likely to change before the next season again.
 
Bencher
Premium Member
Tipping Comp 2021
Just to add to that, I would love to see some more inside ball playing from Jake to Tom in the ruck.

We did it a bit under supercoach Barrett, with some success, so it's clearly a winning play.
 
Reserve Grader
Just to add to that, I would love to see some more inside ball playing from Jake to Tom in the ruck.

We did it a bit under supercoach Barrett, with some success, so it's clearly a winning play.
Thought he was already doing this Mave, can recall at least half a dozen times or more Jake did this play resulting in Tommy try's and near try's. This play can work both ways though, using Tommy as a decoy to keep them guessing to what line of attack we're going to.
 
Member
Premium Member
I love Jake, and I think hes a very good lock. But if he wants to go from a very good lock to the premier lock in the game he needs to fix his diet and his fitness. I think that he carries a gut around, slowing him down significantly and labours badly towards the back end of games. Probably the least fit of all other locks in the top teams in the competition (Yeo, Murray, Finucane, Radley etc). If he fixes his fitness he will become quicker on his feet, more explosive in defence and when hitting up and maintain his quality throughout.
 
Reserve Grader
Knowing Des's phobia for any sort of change, I doubt whether we would ever see Jake in this role. This would be a pity as we would never know how successful this might be. What we do know however is that our forwards were totally decimated by the Storm and then Souths and probably same if we got to meet Penrith. So if Des's only change next year is Bullymore and Andrew Davies or relying on a miraculous Lazarus return of Manase Fainu, then I think we will have a long season.

The Jake move is a structural one that I think would dramatically improve our odds of beating these top sides by better utilising Jake AND probably more importantly, enabling us to play another 3rd middle forward.....same time. Jake's passing game I reckon is top notch so we probably gain something in that dept. Ok so we wont see too many skirts from dummy half....but then again, we have not seen too many skirts from dummy half last 24 months so what's new??

Come on Des....think outside the box.
 
Jake to hooker? After 1 game you would all call for his head. Walker would be ahead of him at hooker in the wacky idea's department. At least he has speed and has bulked up enough to handle the big boys. I can see cook now running circles around poor jake until he gets so mad he eats him
 
Reserve Grader
Jake and Croker are the workhorses of the middle big motors 80 min players great defence ,Jake plays that link player and defends tirelessly and keeps the middle tight that's his job not making huge hit ups and post contact metres that's what the other props and Walker are for.In most games we lost our possession rate was terrible you cannot defend a extra 10 + sets and expect to have enough juice to win,we get close to 50/50 possession rate and we are in the game against Storm, Panthers, South's,
 

rmd

Reserve Grader
Premium Member
Everyone is entitled to an opinion and Jake to hooker is certainly ‘left field’.

In my opinion you would be taking away two of Jake’s strengths:

1) when hits in defence it hurts and it slows down the play the ball as players usually end on their back
2) he is a great link player for a back rower and has a great pass

Maybe he doesn’t bend the line as much as others can and doesn’t eat the metres as much as others however, I wouldn’t swap him for too many others in his position. Maybe Cameron Murray but that’s all.

As for being Captain, sure he deserves it however, despite his passion and how vocal he is, I just think other players are just over ‘another Jake rant’. I don’t think it motivates them.

Jamie Lyon and Jason King were classic co-captains, as they just set the platform and led by example. They never said to much however when they did, everyone listened.

Some guys are destined to be generals while others will always be Sergeants.

I can see Turbo as a captain.
 
oh my really? Some of you people on here seriously have too much time and yes you are smoking crazy stuff. I get sucked in and read some of these threads and wish I had the last 5 minutes of my life back lol. Sadly this was one of those times.
 
Reserve Grader
oh my really? Some of you people on here seriously have too much time and yes you are smoking crazy stuff. I get sucked in and read some of these threads and wish I had the last 5 minutes of my life back lol. Sadly this was one of those times.

Apologies for taking 5 minutes out of your obviously very busy life style. Suggest you be a little more selective in future with what you read on this forum. Posts tend to be more fictional and entertaining rather than factual. Not sure if you caught up with the news recently, but we got bundled out of the semi's in spectacular fashion. So apart from leaving Jake in the same position and same role, I am interested to to understand what you would do differently next year that would give us a better result?
 

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