Observations from the Hill (Rd 12)

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Tipping Member
I’ve been away and also busy at work recently so haven’t had time to contribute. How exciting was that yesterday?! Even an eternal optimist like me had given up at 6-26. It wasn’t just the deficit, it was the way in which three players threw their arm out at Lewis as he went through to score without paying the toll.

My thoughts from the day were,

 I’m starting to become convinced by the argument of using Monas as a hooker and going for another half. It all comes down to who is available and how much they will accept. Putting a premiership winning team jigsaw puzzle together usually takes a couple of years – and that was before the salary cap. I think that Des would love to have a good chat with Monas about moving to hooker down the track but he can’t really do it yet for a number of reasons. It may upset the current harmony and it openly flags that we probably have made an indirect approach to another half.
 Mr King is hanging on to this supporter by a very thin thread. Injuries or not, he must do better.
 The Panther support (or lack thereof) probably totalled a couple of hundred and left us with a solid crowd instead of a good one. It’s a shame we don’t have Parra and Easts at home this season.
 My two nieces and my nephew were at the game yesterday – 8 to10 years old. It was great seeing how excited they were with the comeback and crowd noise. It is also amusing to see them staring at my wife and I (& others) when we react to poor decisions, bad defence etc. Geez it’s hard to watch your language.
 The passion and belief that was shown and then rewarded will take us a long way. I think that our defence will take us to the finals but it is improved attack that will determine how far we get once we are there. Barring injuries it will be interesting to see what we can achieve in that area over the second half of the comp.
 My long term goals for measuring our progress to once again being a force are,
1. Showing backbone at Brookie and improving our home record - done
2. Avoiding capitulations in general – done, (so far)
3. Beating a good team that has played well – done, Melb 2005
4. Winning three in a row – done 2005
5. Being awarded a Ch 9 TV game when it is a full round - done
6. Winning a Ch 9 TV game to prove ourselves to a wider audience - done
7. Being awarded a Friday night match of the round - done
8. Winning a Friday night match of the round
9. Making the top 8
10. Having a home final in front of 24,000 screaming fans
11. Winning the Comp.
We've made quick progress but Items 8-11 are yet to be achieved leaving plenty of motivation for the rest of the year.
 When 2GB did the betting round up before the game they said that one punter had taken a five stage bet that ended with Brett Stewart being the last try scorer in our game yesterday. I don’t know what the first 4 legs were but they must have been at good odds and had already come through on Friday/Saturday. Supposedly he was set to win $10,000 for a $10 bet. Imagine how tense he would have been between the 66th and 76th minutes yesterday and how shattered he must have been when the Duck waddled over in the corner. As a very sharp coach once said, "That's footy!".

Canteen Worker

First Grader
I look forward to the weekly installment of the Bradza report. Great stuff once again.

I think your comments on getting to the finals on defence and then winning them on attack are good ones.

Someone in the JM stand yesterday was quoted as saying Manly are in a similar postion as to Penrith in 2003 - in the groove with a well balanced side and going places but can we kick on. (Maybe a season or two premature but funnier things have happened and it is 2005 and a key year in the 9 year cycle!!)

This is great optimism for a punter who originally tipped us to come 10th!


Tipping Member
thanks guys
CW - You can argue the other way, that defence wins finals matches but my take on our position is that the best teams will ramp up their defensive intensity and our attack will struggle to score points if we don’t improve.

The Panthers of 2003 and Newcastle in 2001 both had average defences and went by the credo that they could always score more points than the opposition. Come finals time, their defence improved and they won the comp. For us it would be a different kind of fairytale and even more remarkable.

Common sense tells us that we are still a year or two off serious contention but the 9 year cycle might be more than just a curious coincidence – you never know!.


Good report as per usual- just on the 24,000 crowd, is that the capacity of the ground at present ?

The Wheel

Premium Member
PJ - 24K the place would be packed, hanging off the rafters.

I reckon 21 or 22K would be tops.


There is less room when Fluffy shows up, his ego takes up more room than twenty dollars should allow.

The Wheel

Premium Member
When the government forks out the cash, not in the very near future I would suggest


Tipping Member
How soon we all forget!

It was only a little over 10 years ago that we had a crowd of over 24,000 for a late season game against Canberra where we were trying to get into the top 3 (five team semis) in 1994.
Unfortunately we went down fighting to the eventual premiers that day.
I remember turning up at about 12:30 on the Sunday and, fair dinkum, the hill and seats along the fence were already packed!
The ground configuration was not that different back then. Instead of the Kenny Arthurson stand there was a small grassy knoll in the corner. I would think that the stand would hold more than could be fitted on that little hill. You would be surprised how many more you can squeeze on the hill and along the pathways and under the Sthn stand if needed.

For safety reasons, they may not want to go that far again. For a home quarter final against a Sydney opponent I reckon it would be shut the gates and 24k would be given a good nudge. Wouldn't it be great to put my theory to the test!

Canteen Worker

First Grader
I was there for the 28,000 back in 86. Was absolutely so packed on the hill that everybody stood for the whole game. Atmosphere was so electric!!! Ray Price was given heaps that day. Not a space anywhere and that was when the tunnel went under the southern end to the exit/entrance.

Reckon there was 22,000 at the Rorters game last year and there was room to fit more in - getting squeezy tho!

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