Observations from the WIN hill

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Tipping Member
The Missus and I went down to WIN on Saturday and these are a few snippets from what we observed. I agree with a lot of what has been said on this forum and have tried not to be too repetitive.

• There were heaps of Manly supporters there which was great to see and reminded me of the mid nineties when we had a large contingent of travelling fans. That is the reason the crowd was quite good. I don’t think I’m being biased with an estimate of 2-3,000 Manly supporters in the total of 16,000. We arrived with about 15 to go in Premier League with the Dragons up 14-10. From the back of the hill we heard a reasonable cheer go up and thought bugger it, another Saints try. Lo and behold, Manly had actually scored.
• The Dragon supporters are also low on confidence and it took ages for them to find any voice. It wasn’t until it got to about 26-6 that they made some noise.
• Taking a penalty goal when you’re up 8-6 said it all. (I’ll forgive them for the first shot at nil all). You could feel how nervous the team and supporters were about Manly getting into the game. Unfortunately, with the penalties and the dropped ball they never gave themselves a shot.
• I agree with many others that it was apparent that we didn’t capitulate towards the end of the match. This is an important difference to previous years.
• The other score lines (Nth Qld, Melb etc) did make us feel better but not that much. This is because we have been raised to expect more. Let’s hope the players also expect more from themselves.
• In my opinion, Kite was our best. Watmough also ran hard but his hands let him down. I thought Sam Harris looked good on Saturday. He was one of the only forwards to consistently get himself through the line a bit. Unfortunately he couldn’t get his arms free..
• The Duck is getting more hard yards this year after building up a bit in the off season. (He also knocked off Matt Peterson in the Boots ‘n’ All ten pin bowling challenge on Sunday. Love the DK Lillee headband Duck!)
• We have huge doubts that Steppa will ever be true 1st grade standard. There’s already been enough said in various debates on the different sites. The 70 year old woman sitting next to me on the Hill kept saying “who’s that No 4??� every time some one went through or around him. She was a Manly supporter originally from South West Rocks currently staying with her daughter in the Gong. Good on ya Granny!
• The attack must get deeper to give the backs some space to use their pace and skills. God I’d like to see a few of the long range tries we scored last year. Des has obviously come up with an approach this year that is based around defence as the cornerstone. Good defence and just as importantly, good handling, is why we won the first three matches. It is effective but you’ve got to implement it well to consistently win. The 2nd half handling on Saturday was the worst I can remember in years.
• Despite our good start our brand of footy, while solid, is well below some of the other teams at present. As Sue put it on another thread, we are realistically a 5-8th place team at present. Keep your perspective around that benchmark.
• Driving back to Sydney we were noticeably calmer than in previous seasons after a loss. This was a pleasant discovery and comes from having greater confidence in our team this year. I know it’s not about to all fall apart because I’ve seen a consistent substance to our play.
• Looking forward to a big crowd and a big win next Sunday.


UFO Hunter
Good stuff Bradz. Good to hear it from someone at the game. Do you think the centres running too flat is a tacktic or in experience?


First Grader
Thats a top report Bradza. Was it cold out there?

When the wind gets up it can be shocking.

I also think Kite was our best.


Tipping Member
Byso, it was pretty mild. There was a breeze but for Wollongong it wasn't very strong.

I think that the whole backline from 7 out to 2 is doing exactly what Des is telling them. I've seen all four games and I can't remember one instance of a classic seep set backline. This could be to help keep the defensive line straight if a mistake is made. It could be that there has been little emphasis on attack until our defense shapes up consistently.

I don't have a huge problem with this approach as I think the defense is the No 1 priority and the attack will improve over time. I just wish they could mix it up a little bit between flat and deep. Surely the fellas could handle that?


Tipping Member
By the time we got something to eat and found a spot on the hill there was only a minute left in Premier league so we did not get to see who was playing. Mullane was definitely listed on the reserves bench.


i dont think Mullane played.
JP Cherry and Burns were the halves... wheres Clint Halden?

Nice write up. I agree that weve been the same throughout the year.. only difference was the ill discipline and ball control from the other 3 games. Otherwise we play the same. Centres need creativity and to use their wingers more.

The Wheel

Premium Member
I have heard Karl Johnson "killed" them in P/L - can anyone who went down to the Gong verify how Karl went?

The Wheel

Premium Member
I though he would have been in the centres, big tall kiwi with dark hair - he might have played full back because I think Lennon was out - not sure though.


Journey Man
He was brought here as a centre and in the pics on Me looked to be playing either centre or wing


First Grader
Karl was playing centre, Fullback was Taylor.

Karl look dangerous with the ball in hand, however he did not seem to give much ball to his wingers on Saturday but I only saw the 2nd half and was not watching 100% of the time.

He made one outstanding run down the touchline near fulltime, he turned the dragons fullback inside out 4 or 5 times. Did not score but it looked good!!! I think he turned him inside out 1 time too many.


Reserve Grader
I only caught the last 15mins of PL but the Manly fullback looked impressive, he ran the ball beautifully and looked real solid in defence. I was very impressed and will try getting to Brookie early this weekend so I can have a closer look

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