Looking at Manly's defence

First Grader
Have a few opinions on this and keen to hear others.
Noted a post the other day from Snake, who gave an interesting insight on the Manly defence and though not a Massive stats man (though possession and errors are factors), this was a good 1....Manly are up there for "Least missed tackles" - yet we let in plenty of tries.....
My thoughts are starting at the play the ball (ruck area)....though we often win good contact in the tackle I think -
  • They are not put on their back and controlled
  • Only 1 or 2 in the tackle so early release
  • Too often stand and not put on the grass
  • Allowed to dictate the mark, as they are first off the ground (often playing it 1m off the mark taking out markers)
The Run off effect to this -
  • Dummy half scooting out 100mph blowing up the A defenders with support runners pushing up
  • No line speed, as the defence is still getting back the 10m as the attack is already coming at them
  • Jagged defence line, as communication struggles, as retreating to reload into position and get onside
  • Panic - Edge players will shoot in panic to cutoff a shift, leaving holes inside and out - leaving team mates stranded
In Fairness, Manly defence has improved in patches and I feel to a man they are having a dig, but as a team often on different tangents and are not unified as 1.
Watching a heavyweight like Penrith defend, they have numbers in Every tackle, no attacker stands - they are put on the grass on their backs, the defence has time to be set, the line speed is Massive on the back of the control from the tackle, the markers "set" the mark and attack never get to step forward, this translates the edge defence being far more in sync and working from inside out.....I really feel this is the difference between those Top sides and if Manly can adjust to dominate more around this ruck area defensively, can go up another level or 2.
 
Tragic
Premium Member
Part of the problem is that the referees really stuffed us up by smashing us with penalties and 6 agains early in the season whilst allowing our opposition to lay all over us and yelling "milking". We have had to change to stay in the contest. We need to win the impact so as to put them onto the ground quickly and onto their backs. Too often they stand up and are allowed to take a huge step forward by the referees and to play the ball taking our markers out of the defensive line.
 
Snake's Alive!
I really like our contact. Jake T and Croker are two of the best defenders in the NRL. They have really helped us compete in the middle, the last couple of months. We've competed against some really strong packs. The Eels, Cowboys and Storm were all kept quiet for the bulk of our matches, due to our solid showing in defence around the ruck...Mahoney, Robson and Grant all had quiet games by their standards. Proof is in the pudding.

The concern is primarily the decision making on the edges. In particular, the right side defence of Haumole, DCE, Koula and Tui. Sure, they are all willing and make strong contact. However, that doesn't mean they defend as a unit and make smart choices. The main culprit is DCE but he is not getting a lot of help. If Daly holds on the lead runner (which he will, 9 times out of 10), Koula and Tui have to bite in hard (The Olam try on Thursday is a classic example of passive defence on the try line). What chance have we got when defence slides on a guy like Olam? The idea is for the defence to hit in hard, make the opposition throw a perfect pass to the winger, with Garrick to sweep around and provide the last line of defence.

Daly could leave the lead runner and number up, if Haumole was less passive on the inside. Think the opposite of Beau Scott and Jamie Soward of 09-11, where Sowie got a heap of help from the inside. Too often Ola' is nonchalant in his attempt to cover the space inside DCE, which is enough time for the opposition to get him interested in the lead runner. Fix that, and we'll leak a lot less points. The left side is proving much harder to pull apart. The middle is holding its own.
 
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Reserve Grader
Have a few opinions on this and keen to hear others.
Noted a post the other day from Snake, who gave an interesting insight on the Manly defence and though not a Massive stats man (though possession and errors are factors), this was a good 1....Manly are up there for "Least missed tackles" - yet we let in plenty of tries.....
My thoughts are starting at the play the ball (ruck area)....though we often win good contact in the tackle I think -
  • They are not put on their back and controlled
  • Only 1 or 2 in the tackle so early release
  • Too often stand and not put on the grass
  • Allowed to dictate the mark, as they are first off the ground (often playing it 1m off the mark taking out markers)
The Run off effect to this -
  • Dummy half scooting out 100mph blowing up the A defenders with support runners pushing up
  • No line speed, as the defence is still getting back the 10m as the attack is already coming at them
  • Jagged defence line, as communication struggles, as retreating to reload into position and get onside
  • Panic - Edge players will shoot in panic to cutoff a shift, leaving holes inside and out - leaving team mates stranded
In Fairness, Manly defence has improved in patches and I feel to a man they are having a dig, but as a team often on different tangents and are not unified as 1.
Watching a heavyweight like Penrith defend, they have numbers in Every tackle, no attacker stands - they are put on the grass on their backs, the defence has time to be set, the line speed is Massive on the back of the control from the tackle, the markers "set" the mark and attack never get to step forward, this translates the edge defence being far more in sync and working from inside out.....I really feel this is the difference between those Top sides and if Manly can adjust to dominate more around this ruck area defensively, can go up another level or 2.
So why doesn’t Des see this considering he gets paid the hundreds of thousands dollars !!!!
 
First Grader
n
Agreed Snake, numbering up is the issue. these days the ball is sent out so quickly, you can't come in and help out a weak defender. the idea is to number up, hold the line and MAKE the tackle. Coming out of the line nearly always leads to disaster
 
First Grader
Part of the problem is that the referees really stuffed us up by smashing us with penalties and 6 agains early in the season whilst allowing our opposition to lay all over us and yelling "milking". We have had to change to stay in the contest. We need to win the impact so as to put them onto the ground quickly and onto their backs. Too often they stand up and are allowed to take a huge step forward by the referees and to play the ball taking our markers out of the defensive line.
100% true with Jake in particular - there's "No reward" for a legs tackle, as it's the textbook tackle that the game should be promoting...."get off Jake" is all you hear, from the moment they hit the ground.
Then the NRL are all over anything that "smells" high, yet our defensive systems particularly at NRL level, are to aim high and lock up the ball, 2nd man in to control help the tackle and 3rd man legs (again tempting defenders to make the worst tackle in the game (The Cannon ball).
Opposition attackers land far to often on their front, or stand in the tackle, which are key factors in teams exploiting this area.
Totally agree Manly seem cautious about giving away penalties in that ruck and have improved with numbers in tackles to allow that extra time, but still a fair way from the top teams in controlling the play ball tempo and I feel it's both execution and fitness......but on the improve I reckon.
 
Bencher
One on one tackles are not rewarded, simple as that.

As soon as one player makes a tackle, 2 players either side need to simultaneously join the tackle and put the player on their back. This is what Penrith do perfectly. They then take their time getting off the player, freeing up tine to get the D line back in order.

Manly and other sides are too slow in getting the 2nd and 3rd defender immediately into the tackle.

Are Manly not coached to do this?
Are Manly not fit enough to do this for 80 minutes?
Are some Manly players just lazy and ill disiplined?

All of the above
 
To improve our defence, we only need one thing - absolute fitness.

All tackles have to be hard enough to stop the attacker. To do that we have to be up in their face, every time, until they start looking for you.

That takes absolute fitness to do that for as many minutes Dec has allocated.

The tackle has to be hard enough to put the attacker on his back, or heading that way and this is the function of the 2nd man in.

The back line is a different proposition (again at the direction of the coach), but we dont have anyone reading the direction of the attack and marshalling defenders. T.Turbo was pretty good at this, but as good as Garrick may be, he doesn't read the opposition.

Consequently, both right and left hand side are only playing man-on-man, which won't work when the defender is not fit enough to get to the attacker and put him on the ground, or at least tie up the ball carry.

The FB and one other nominated fit non stop mobile forward are necessary to get to finish off those tackles or close up any holes which may eventuate in our line.

Once again, non stop, hard hitting, fitness freaks, lasting their allocated game time 110%. The bench has to pick up where that player left off - that means 4 superfit players in waiting!

It all seems impossible, but give Des 17 Superfit players and we can solve the defensive problem.
 
100% true with Jake in particular - there's "No reward" for a legs tackle, as it's the textbook tackle that the game should be promoting...."get off Jake" is all you hear, from the moment they hit the ground.
Then the NRL are all over anything that "smells" high, yet our defensive systems particularly at NRL level, are to aim high and lock up the ball, 2nd man in to control help the tackle and 3rd man legs (again tempting defenders to make the worst tackle in the game (The Cannon ball).
Opposition attackers land far to often on their front, or stand in the tackle, which are key factors in teams exploiting this area.
Totally agree Manly seem cautious about giving away penalties in that ruck and have improved with numbers in tackles to allow that extra time, but still a fair way from the top teams in controlling the play ball tempo and I feel it's both execution and fitness......but on the improve I reckon.
Agree about the NRL should reward tackles around the legs by one player. These should be classified in the same category as dominant tackles and allow the tackler extra time to get on his feet.
 
Bencher
Premium Member
100% true with Jake in particular - there's "No reward" for a legs tackle, as it's the textbook tackle that the game should be promoting...."get off Jake" is all you hear, from the moment they hit the ground.
Then the NRL are all over anything that "smells" high, yet our defensive systems particularly at NRL level, are to aim high and lock up the ball, 2nd man in to control help the tackle and 3rd man legs (again tempting defenders to make the worst tackle in the game (The Cannon ball).
Opposition attackers land far to often on their front, or stand in the tackle, which are key factors in teams exploiting this area.
Totally agree Manly seem cautious about giving away penalties in that ruck and have improved with numbers in tackles to allow that extra time, but still a fair way from the top teams in controlling the play ball tempo and I feel it's both execution and fitness......but on the improve I reckon.
It happens to often
You watch any tackle when there is more than one in the tackle and you can count 1 2 3 4. Then the ref is yelling held
A legs tackle dropped player to the ground and it’s lucky you can count to 2 , There are plenty of black and white rulings but there are too many grey areas in the way the game is refereed
Same with players moving off the mark and the marker left behind then will get penalised for not marking up
But getting back to subject I think Manly’s defence is more of a mental thing of not being able to focus for the full game , That could be a fitness thing with fatigue one way or another it needs to addressed it’s the difference between the good teams and the ones just making up the numbers
 
2022 Tipster
One on one tackles are not rewarded, simple as that.

As soon as one player makes a tackle, 2 players either side need to simultaneously join the tackle and put the player on their back. This is what Penrith do perfectly. They then take their time getting off the player, freeing up tine to get the D line back in order.

Manly and other sides are too slow in getting the 2nd and 3rd defender immediately into the tackle.

Are Manly not coached to do this?
Are Manly not fit enough to do this for 80 minutes?
Are some Manly players just lazy and ill disiplined?

All of the above
All of the above
 
Reserve Grader
It happens to often
You watch any tackle when there is more than one in the tackle and you can count 1 2 3 4. Then the ref is yelling held
A legs tackle dropped player to the ground and it’s lucky you can count to 2 , There are plenty of black and white rulings but there are too many grey areas in the way the game is refereed
Same with players moving off the mark and the marker left behind then will get penalised for not marking up
But getting back to subject I think Manly’s defence is more of a mental thing of not being able to focus for the full game , That could be a fitness thing with fatigue one way or another it needs to addressed it’s the difference between the good teams and the ones just making up the numbers
I like the idea of referees counting 1, 2, 3 (as in amateur wrestling) and penalising the player/s if they stay longer on the tackled player than that. Currently, referees do too much talking in the ruck about "dominant," "non-dominant" etc which is unnecessarily complicated and hard to adjudicate on the run. At least a count would/should/could in theory lead to greater fairness and consistency. In addition, it would provide feedback for the players "in the moment." I would also add that players must penalised for moving off the mark over a tackled player. This "sneaky maneuver" continues to be a blight on the game.
 

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