Lehi Hopoate

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Waz13

Let’s all have a chew!
Leave Koula at full back. Give him a more games and you will see him dominate. His speed just creates so many opportunities.
More acceleration and speed off the mark that creates the opportunities. That’s what he has over Tom. You could see the space on the outside he was creating with second man plays. Now if we focus a little more on dominating the middle and sucking the opposition outside men in, that space will open up even more. Problem is we go side to side de too much.
 

LeonardCohen

Bencher
More acceleration and speed off the mark that creates the opportunities. That’s what he has over Tom. You could see the space on the outside he was creating with second man plays. Now if we focus a little more on dominating the middle and sucking the opposition outside men in, that space will open up even more. Problem is we go side to side de too much.
Koula is my favourite player at Manly but I still think Tom is a far superior option at 1. I agree Koula is dangerous on those sweep plays, given his speed, etc. It's the organisation and reading of the play in both attack and defence that he is not going to offer. Tom is broken and a shadow of his best self, but he reads the game better than probably any other fullback in the competition. He has lost some of his acceleration through injury, looks tentative in defence, and has been making too many errors. However, he still provides more game awareness and we'll need that at the business end of the season (if we get there).
 

Rocky

Bencher
Koula is my favourite player at Manly but I still think Tom is a far superior option at 1. I agree Koula is dangerous on those sweep plays, given his speed, etc. It's the organisation and reading of the play in both attack and defence that he is not going to offer. Tom is broken and a shadow of his best self, but he reads the game better than probably any other fullback in the competition. He has lost some of his acceleration through injury, looks tentative in defence, and has been making too many errors. However, he still provides more game awareness and we'll need that at the business end of the season (if we get there).
I agree with what you say Leonard, regarding Toms' superior organization etc.

But I prefer a longer-term view be taken here and that is to leave Koula at fullback

But as we know it is likely a moot point.
 

rj90

Yeah, Nah.
Tipping Member
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maxta

First Grader
Premium Member
Yeh I was suprised to see Koula named as looked cooked and wincing in pain through the 2nd half last week....good Luck young hoppa - I'm judging this kid on his own abilities and he has had a 'quiet" Rise and just got it done to get this opportunity.
Just on Koula, he done great with those sweep plays as he was able to get outside his man and create a 3 on 2 with ease and I feel we didn't take the best possible advantage on a few occasions and ended up a bit "sideways".....the Tom T at his best in these situations doesn't have that blinding acceleration, but has the guile and power in the same situation to play "Through" the defence breaking his man to straighten the attack up and make the opportunity even better....but that Tom has been gone a while based on what I've seen.
 

LeonardCohen

Bencher
Just on Koula, he done great with those sweep plays as he was able to get outside his man and create a 3 on 2 with ease and I feel we didn't take the best possible advantage on a few occasions and ended up a bit "sideways".....
Yeah I noticed that too. Further complicating the matter was Talau's lack of pace. We had 3 on 2 a number of times and a combination of Koula running his outside men out of space and Talau's lack of acceleration, allowed Staggs to eventually get across in cover and break the play down.
 

Andrew..

Bencher
Tipping Member
Koula is my favourite player at Manly but I still think Tom is a far superior option at 1. I agree Koula is dangerous on those sweep plays, given his speed, etc. It's the organisation and reading of the play in both attack and defence that he is not going to offer. Tom is broken and a shadow of his best self, but he reads the game better than probably any other fullback in the competition. He has lost some of his acceleration through injury, looks tentative in defence, and has been making too many errors. However, he still provides more game awareness and we'll need that at the business end of the season (if we get there).
I'd choose a fully fit Tommy any day of the week but, the reality of the situation is Tom's injuries are now chronic. For the last 5 years, Tom has missed huge chunks of the season. Fullback is more of a specialist position; these constant disruptions make it harder for the team to build momentum.
I understand we'd still probably lose Tom just as often but we'd only have to cope with one positional change and centre is an easier position to cover.
 

silvereagle

Reserve Grader
Koula is my favourite player at Manly but I still think Tom is a far superior option at 1. I agree Koula is dangerous on those sweep plays, given his speed, etc. It's the organisation and reading of the play in both attack and defence that he is not going to offer. Tom is broken and a shadow of his best self, but he reads the game better than probably any other fullback in the competition. He has lost some of his acceleration through injury, looks tentative in defence, and has been making too many errors. However, he still provides more game awareness and we'll need that at the business end of the season (if we get there).
Tolu is also my favourite player in the team. Turbo definitely the more experienced but you are comparing a 21 year old rookie with very limited NRL experience (especially at FB) to a 27 y/o established Australian and SOO superstar. When Tom gets back, I would like to see Manly continue with Tolu at FB and Tom at centre. Also by that stage I have a funny feeling we may also have Lehi in the run on team (wing?).
 

Nordburg

First Grader
I'd choose a fully fit Tommy any day of the week but, the reality of the situation is Tom's injuries are now chronic. For the last 5 years, Tom has missed huge chunks of the season. Fullback is more of a specialist position; these constant disruptions make it harder for the team to build momentum.
I understand we'd still probably lose Tom just as often but we'd only have to cope with one positional change and centre is an easier position to cover.
You are the first person that has made a sensible argument about moving TomT to centre.The idea that he’d get less injured playing centre,is laughable.As you said,his injuries are chronic and it won’t matter where he plays.He wouldn’t train any less if he was playing centre and he was injured at Origin playing there
But as you said,less disruption to the team if he’s playing centre
 

LeonardCohen

Bencher
I'd choose a fully fit Tommy any day of the week but, the reality of the situation is Tom's injuries are now chronic. For the last 5 years, Tom has missed huge chunks of the season. Fullback is more of a specialist position; these constant disruptions make it harder for the team to build momentum.
I understand we'd still probably lose Tom just as often but we'd only have to cope with one positional change and centre is an easier position to cover.
Yeah I tend to agree and have no problem moving him to centre. I am more or less pointing out exactly what you just said, i.e. a fully fit Tom is still a better fullback. I feel some of us are getting carried away with his speed out the back of shape...there's so much more to the position than moving quickly with the ball.
 

LeonardCohen

Bencher
Tolu is also my favourite player in the team. Turbo definitely the more experienced but you are comparing a 21 year old rookie with very limited NRL experience (especially at FB) to a 27 y/o established Australian and SOO superstar. When Tom gets back, I would like to see Manly continue with Tolu at FB and Tom at centre. Also by that stage I have a funny feeling we may also have Lehi in the run on team (wing?).
Yeah that's all fine. I am just making a point that don't be fooled by Koula's speed out the back of shape as a measure of 'value added'. We've lost heaps with Tom missing. It's an extremely difficult position, with so many 'off the ball' responsibilities. The entire dynamic of the team depends on the fullback. They load up on most set plays and organise the defence. Massive impact. As Andrew suggests, having someone there consistently (e.g. Koula) to build combinations and continuity, could help immensely. If we lose Tom down the track, it would just mean finding a centre to plug a hole, instead of completely altering the team dynamics.
 

Bearfax

Grizzly old fart
Oh dear. Is it too soon for Lehi. I hope he leaves much flowing albumen dripping down my face. Go for it young Hoppa. Don't listen to this old fart's reservations.
 

eagle66

Bencher
Premium Member
Turbo should be #14. He can cover every backline position seamlessly and lock.
Please don't hate and yes I know, $1m sitting on the bench. Just think how a game can shift when he comes on.
 

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