Slammin' Handbag & other thoughts After reading the article on the back of the Daily on Sat. morning the highlight of the game for me was seeing the Handbag get smashed. Dunley got him with a big shoulder early but it was the five minutes just before halftime that I enjoyed. First up Watmough and Matai got him in a synchronised hit about 20 out from our line. The picture of it was in the Sun Herald yesterday. Great impact and they crushed him on his back. (whole new meaning to the nickname SlamminÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ Sam). The ball then went back to the middle of the field on the next tackle and was then shifted back to the right where Harris was recovering. He got the ball, did a shimmy and Matai proceeded to man handle him in his usual angry manner. As the wrestling went on, another three Eagles came in to completely smash him and say ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“welcome backÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â. Early last season I thought we showed superior fitness in the heat compared to a lot of other teams. It contributed to our good start but as the season progressed and the weather cooled we lost that advantage. I was very happy to observe our superior fitness in the heat on Saturday. There appeared to be a real effort in the last half an hour to play at pace and the Tigers did not cope with it. The key is to carry that facet throughout the season. A couple of times in the second half we were able to shoot the ball out the backline with quick passes when in the opposition quarter. Doing that quickly gives you room to put more dangerous plays on and is something we lacked last year. When Brett Stewart got in the clear I was astounded to see him run down. It should be noted that he and his brother have been fighting a virus over the last two weeks. The large trial crowd demonstrates the anticipation for the season to start. It is really important that we win our first couple of home games (at least) to keep the fringe supporters coming back for more and build up a solid average crowd base. The Tigers seem to want to add even more complexity to their offence this year. Early in the game they bamboozled our back line defence and the inability to read the play and communicate in defence remains a key weakness for us. I will say however, that the Tigers seemed to have a borderline forward pass or decoy/shepherd in virtually every attacking raid. The refs need to be on to this.