Single biggest issue…

The single biggest issue holding Manly back is:

  • Tom’s injuries

    Votes: 23 17.3%
  • Lack of forward mobility and leg speed

    Votes: 41 30.8%
  • Dessie’s coaching (structures, use of bench, etc.)

    Votes: 20 15.0%
  • Overall team fitness and conditioning

    Votes: 19 14.3%
  • DCE’s leadership and/or contract size

    Votes: 17 12.8%
  • Lack of genuine 9/threat around the ruck

    Votes: 13 9.8%

  • Total voters
    133
Snake's Alive!
With the season pretty well done and dusted, I’m curious to know what people see as the biggest footballing issue at Manly…

Of course, there can be (and probably is) more than one contributing factor, but what is the biggest?

Personally, I don’t like the lack of leg speed in the middle. I think our forwards play too slow. Every now and then, Aloiai will lift the tempo but there’s just no speed to anything that happens in the middle third of the field. The Cowboys and Penrith are 1 and 2 respectively and have heaps of leg speed in the middle. Sharks are another side with zip in the middle.

Melbourne’s forwards are starting to age and they’re struggling to play uptempo footy and have been brought back to the pack somewhat. It’s vital in the modern game.

I did put lack of genuine 9 in the poll, but I think Croker would find it easier to have an impact if he was playing off the back of a more effective pack. It’s not just about play the ball speed either, it’s about line speed in defence and sucking in defenders with speed.
 
“ Triggered Boomer”
Premium Member
Everyone is so keen to blame DCE, and yes I know he makes a few mistakes but look how he plays when he has a dominant forward pack ( ie for QLD).

We’ve got some good , up and coming , young backs who are developing well.

Yes we could do with a strike centre but in my opinion our forwards rarely ever dominate their opposition.

But yes there’s more than one reason too but this is the biggest one in my opinion.
 
Snake's Alive!
Everyone is so keen to blame DCE, and yes I know he makes a few mistakes but look how he plays when he has a dominant forward pack ( ie for QLD).

We’ve got some good , up and coming , young backs who are developing well.

Yes we could do with a strike centre but in my opinion our forwards rarely ever dominate their opposition.

But yes there’s more than one reason too but this is the biggest one in my opinion.
I think we'd really notice what DCE does if he wasn't there. He has some weaknesses in his game but he was playing behind the Penrith pack, I think he'd be destroying opposition.
 
Journey Man
Despite being the merchant of doom, I think given all the injuries across the board is the most significant issue for our team.

We have players who are being forced to play out of position due to this (many). We have players leaving the club for being forced to play out of position in my opinion.

I have no doubts (fully fit and slimmed down) the below team gives the whole comp a shake , and this was actually the club's hope:

01. Tom Trbojevic
02. Jason Saab
03. Tolu Koula
04. Dylan Walker
05. Reuben Garrick
06. Kieran Foran
07. Daly Cherry-Evans
08. Josh Aloiai
09. Manase Fainu
10. Marty Taupau
11. Haumole Olakau'atu
12. Josh Schuster
13. Jake Trbojevic

14. Karl Lawton
15. Taniela Paseka
16. Sean Keppie
17. Andrew Davey

Depth: Brad Parker, Morgan Harper, Christian Tuipulotu, Lachlan Croker, Toff Sipley, Ethan Bullemor, Kaeo Weekes, Alec Tuitavake, Ben Trbojevic, James Segeyaro (all quality depth at any club).

Then we have numbnuts ripping players like Garrick / Croker / Walker / Lawton / Schuster for having to play out of position through lack of better alternatives and/or experience.

Next season we have a chance at this again. With the signings we have (or will have) the holes will be plugged, and we'll be in a similar position. If the Rugby League gods are kind to us injury / suspension / other wise, we'll compete, I'm sure of it.
 
Enthusiastic Amateur
Despite being the merchant of doom, I think given all the injuries across the board is the most significant issue for our team.

We have players who are being forced to play out of position due to this (many). We have players leaving the club for being forced to play out of position in my opinion.

I have no doubts (fully fit and slimmed down) the below team gives the whole comp a shake , and this was actually the club's hope:

01. Tom Trbojevic
02. Jason Saab
03. Tolu Koula
04. Dylan Walker
05. Reuben Garrick
06. Kieran Foran
07. Daly Cherry-Evans
08. Josh Aloiai
09. Manase Fainu
10. Marty Taupau
11. Haumole Olakau'atu
12. Josh Schuster
13. Jake Trbojevic

14. Karl Lawton
15. Taniela Paseka
16. Sean Keppie
17. Andrew Davey

Depth: Brad Parker, Morgan Harper, Christian Tuipulotu, Lachlan Croker, Toff Sipley, Ethan Bullemor, Kaeo Weekes, Alec Tuitavake, Ben Trbojevic, James Segeyaro (all quality depth at any club).

Then we have numbnuts ripping players like Garrick / Croker / Walker / Lawton / Schuster for having to play out of position through lack of better alternatives and/or experience.

Next season we have a chance at this again. With the signings we have (or will have) the holes will be plugged, and we'll be in a similar position. If the Rugby League gods are kind to us injury / suspension / other wise, we'll compete, I'm sure of it.
Man love your new profile update to be honest you remind me more of a grounds keeper willie type of character from the Simpson’s on the forum. Lots of fiery passion…( which is of course different to real life)

In regards to your post I agree we do have a good platform to work from if managed right and with some good luck with injuries….

 
Bencher
Premium Member
2nd half fade outs should be one of the main issues to try and address . incomplete sets seems have improved in recent times but was pretty ordinary for many previous games as well . Wouldn 't be that critical of the forward pack , maybe a bit of an issue in lateral defence but when all available , Manly forward line up is more then competitive . Obviously will miss Walker 's presence though ' . Missing Turbo on a regular basis is one heck of a serious issue . A few listed here but to maintain a full game time of intensity and endurance with the added good completion rates would probably top the list
 
No single issue - there are multiple issues in play here. Tom's injury certainly didn't help but we have a top 8 side without him - I have no doubt about that. I think some really really poor referee decisions have cost us and which then impacted our confidence in a few games. We struggle after we have been duded. Our right side defence is always questionable and to me that starts with DCE - he seems to be the cog where it all starts to go wrong with him making poor decisions/reads. He also is not the leader we need when the forwards are on the back foot. We seem rudderless when we are struggling. Foran to me was the man to lead us around the park at those times and now he is going.... arghhh. We seem to play with great intensity for most games and for the majority of each game but then seem to fall away. I am sure it is not fitness... more the mental toughness of some of them is questionable or we just put the cue in the rack which we did a heap of times and got burned ie Cowboys. When it comes to the mental toughness/intelligence - we certainly have some boneheads - Keppie and Marty at times... pretty hard to teach game intelligence. Our forward mobility is fine but when people like Keppie clock off week after week on the inside of defence... again you can't teach brains and concentration. We need at least one really mobile big bopper though - we certainly lack that ability to draw in multiple defenders and to bend the line. Croker has been great... maybe not the offensive weapon we could use but gee his defence is amazing - very Jake like and he cuts people in half. I wouldn't swap him at the moment - he offers great things in defence and with his kicking game which I thin is under utilised. Des does have some questionable benck strategies that is for sure... but his coaching to me can't be questioned.. you need to put the responsibility of the losses and fade outs on the players - squarely on the players. We certainly lack depth across the squad and we need more keen dogs of war - like another Davey or some youngsters wanting a chance. We keep hanging our hat on our juniors and we are all hoping they will be the fix but we let Feledy go which to me might be a really bad decision, Haumole has been great but quiet over the last say 5 games. Koula also great but apparently (I haven't watched the second half yet of the Eels game) he was singled out and was shown up when a big bopper is coming at him. We are going to miss Walker, Davey and Foran massively - no way around that and I think they will be huge shoes to fill that I just don't see us filling. Schuster this year is all promise and poor attitude/effort/application. Will be interesting to see if the other juniors - Fifita, Weekes (I like this kid in the halves), Tuitavake can take the step up. In Fulton just from that cameo - we might have another mini Jake and wouldn't that be a great unexpected find. The issues with the Boycott 10 I also think will hang around for a long long time yet... that mess aint over. The reliance on the juniors coming through I think is hampering our recruitment.... most of these juniors are still on their way and are certainly not NRL proven... so we need some serious reinforcements somehow this offseason.
 
Bencher
The Cowboys and Penrith are 1 and 2 respectively and have heaps of leg speed in the middle. Sharks are another side with zip in the middle.
Agree fully, leg speed is lacking, as good as Haumole can be close to the line, he has very little leg speed in general play, usually flat footed when he receives the ball, and we know Jake has no leg speed, Schuster none, Croker, not much dummy half running, props go okay at times, Davey, well he's leaving, we all notice the difference Walker makes when he comes on, just his leg speed, and he's gone. It's also where we're missing Tom, he spots the holes and gets us on a roll.
Noticed the Cows yesterday when they got on a roll there was no way the dogs could stop them, speed up the middle and making 60/70mts per set, all there forwards have good leg speed especially Cotter, ran for 182mts off the bench.
 
Reserve Grader
Our forwards are up there with the softest in the comp but it doesn't help that Des can never seem to pick the right ones. Obviously Aloiai has missed a bit of time through injury but blokes like Paseka and Bullemor, who do show good leg speed and mobility, have almost spent more time playing for Blacktown while Taupau and Keppie are for some reason automatic selections when fit. And as good as Jake is he doesn't really help at all in the go forward department (but was good there playing prop in Origin - take note Des)

With that said I can't use this as an excuse for DCE. Kicking straight to the fullback on 2nd tackle has nothing to do with the forwards. Forcing a nothing pass off the scrum when up 2 with 5 minutes left (see Cowboys game) has nothing to do with the forwards. Maybe if he spent more time directing our sets properly and also taking it to the line himself, rather than trying to pull off tricky plays we'd be in a better spot, but at 33 he isn't going to change now
 
Bencher
Is there an "All of the above" option? Seriously, none of it has helped.

But our biggest issue - for years - has been our terrible defence and lack of resolve as a team. We can't tackle for sh**, and if any NRL coach's game plan against Manly isn't simply "hold onto the ball and throw it left", then they aren't doing their job right. It is just that easy to beat us.

The poor defence and inability to overcome adversity is probably symptomatic of a larger problem, ie a lack of unity/cohesion/chemistry (call it what you will) in the playing group. When you've got players who don't want to play and you need to hire a professional mediator to negotiate between rival factions in the team, you are well and truly f**ked.
 
2022 Tipster
I think 5 of those choices lay in our problem @Snake
I say let the Dolphins take Dce off our hands and grab Jock Madden for a third of the price.
Maybe with some of the savings on Dce & Marty off the books we can buy a angry forward leader.
Spine consisting of -
A fit Turbo
Fresh start/New look Schuster
Madden
(A innocent & fit) Fainu.
Jake our new Captain ,time for a change .
Im happy to start off again with a fresh new look team.
Lets be honest -Dce isnt taking us anywhere .

Quote Reply
 
Bencher
I think it’s lack of effort and mongrol in the side.. ESPECIALLY when the team is on the back foot…
Maybe they just need a point to prove… against the roosters with the 7 sitting out, everyone showed up and busted their a$Se 100%.. jake ran hard and tried smashing everything that moved, tent and bullemore were brilliant.. everyone ran like their lives depended on it…
This week… same old s$&t, soft running, soft shirt grab tackles, most sets couldn’t make it out of our own 30 after 6 tackles…

We look like we are running in quicksand and none of the big boys up front put in any extra effort when we’re struggling.. ESP tent and Olakautu… he’s great when we are infront and 10 out from trylines he’s unstoppable, but nowhere to be seen when the teams really on the back foot and not making meters
 
First Grader
We need another choice - all of the above

Keppie and Sipley are plodders and have no leg speed and rarely bust tackles

China doll Tom always injured

Fitness and Strength are well below the top teams

Des is still stuck in 2011

We lose our best go forward prop in Marty, our best bench player on Walker and our best 5/8 in Foran next season

Heard talk on the weekend from someone associated with the tigers that Tuilagi is having second thoughts and may try to backflip on his contract
 
Reserve Grader
Our forwards are up there with the softest in the comp but it doesn't help that Des can never seem to pick the right ones. Obviously Aloiai has missed a bit of time through injury but blokes like Paseka and Bullemor, who do show good leg speed and mobility, have almost spent more time playing for Blacktown
I agree, hopefully bully and Paseka get their chance next year, both big, strong and have great leg speed. Assuming Taupau is leaving, that opens one spot in the middle for Bully or paseka and hopefully keppie can have a big preseason and improve.
 
Reserve Grader
There's obviously quite a lot of issues and you've listed most of them in the poll.
So its hard to choose one
For me though, another issue is the lack of consistency in some key positions (and use of the bench.)
 
Bencher
Heard talk on the weekend from someone associated with the tigers that Tuilagi is having second thoughts and may try to backflip on his contract
The fact that our single "marquee signing" for next season (who is really nobody's idea of a marquee signing anyway) might be having second thoughts about leaving the Tigers - the Tigers! - for us and I can actually understand his line of thinking and wouldn't blame him for changing his mind speaks volumes about where we're at as a club.
 
Feast yer eyes ..
With the exception of Tom's injuries ... All those other options come slamming home to Dessie and coaching ...

If we don't have the forwards with the necessary mobility and leg speed ... well, Dessie put this team together.

If we aren't fit enough ... well, Dessie runs the football dept ..

DCE ... well, Dessie just extended him .. .
 
Bencher
Premium Member
While every point you've mentioned Snake is a contributing factor to some degree, what Friday night showed me is we are lacking in the front row.

AFB was a big loss and while Oshay has been great at 8, the lack of an equally potent 10 has been an issue. You saw the Slime grow a leg when Paulo and RCG came back on and in contrast, we had nothing.

Makes me think Lodge might not have been the worst idea in the world given what he's doing at the Rorters. But I'd prefer that someone in house stepped up and played at the level needed. Jake, in my opinion, is not the answer. He's too small.

Having dominant props will be a massive help to DCE because we know he's not going to excel behind a beaten pack. Tom is also so much more lethal attacking a retreating defence.
 

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