Special mention to Harper

The bottom line is that when Tommy does not fire there is no strike in our centres
You may as well have said that if Tommy does not fire there is no strike in our team and call for them all to be replaced. Why don't you call for DCE and Foran's heads?
The truth is that Tommy didn't fire because opposition packs shut us down. Nobody in our side had any space to do anything, not just our centres. This is what really happened but it seems you only see what you want to see because it fits your agenda. It appears you don't really know anything about the game and just want to sate your hedonistic desire with speed.
 
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Tragic
Tipping Comp 2021
You may as well have said that if Tommy does not fire there is no strike in our team and call for them all to be replaced. Why don't you call for DCE and Foran's heads?
The truth is that Tommy didn't fire because opposition packs shut us down. Nobody in our side had any space to do anything, not just our centres. This is what really happened but it seems you only see what you want to see because it fits your agenda. It appears you don't really know anything about the game and just want to sate your hedonistic desire with speed.
Thats mean and unnecessary. Lock down blues I expect.
 
Snake's Alive!
He wasn’t the issue at centre v Souths that’s for sure
I've been a big fan and supporter of Harper but he made two crucial missed tackles (both one on one misses) that directly led to tries in the first half of the semi-final; one on Gagai and one on Cook. I thought he was pretty average to be honest.

In saying that, I am firm in the notion that we need to persist with him. I think he was obviously busted by the end of the year. The knee looked troublesome, he looked a yard slower and the tackles stopped sticking. He'll come good!
 
Snake's Alive!
You may as well have said that if Tommy does not fire there is no strike in our team and call for them all to be replaced. Why don't you call for DCE and Foran's heads?
The truth is that Tommy didn't fire because opposition packs shut us down. Nobody in our side had any space to do anything, not just our centres. This is what really happened
I saw it this way too.

I couldn't believe the amount of tripe in the media about Melbourne's tactical genius in shutting down Tommy. We turned over a heap of ball, gave away field position and got rolled in the forwards as a result. No wonder Tommy couldn't have an impact.
 
Yeah, I thought that to MT, the last 6 games he seemed to be noticeably carrying his arm/shoulder after making tackles. In the game against the Titans he did a number on Fifita every time he touched the ball Lionel just kept bringing him down with text book tackles. Looking forward to a fit and injury free Lionel next year, cause I know what this guy is capable of.
He was great for us this season many have short memories. Im certain he will get better and better as the years go on. A new haircut and 3 extra kgs and he will goto another level in 2022 👍
 
The Incomparable Immortal Bob Fulton
Premium Member
Tipping Comp 2021
You may as well have said that if Tommy does not fire there is no strike in our team and call for them all to be replaced. Why don't you call for DCE and Foran's heads?
The truth is that Tommy didn't fire because opposition packs shut us down. Nobody in our side had any space to do anything, not just our centres. This is what really happened but it seems you only see what you want to see because it fits your agenda. It appears you don't really know anything about the game and just want to sate your hedonistic desire with speed.
These staggering stats validate my concern of lack of strike power without Tom

The truth is here and this is what really happens without Tom
Under Des Hasler since 2019, the situation is even more critical with Manly's probability of winning almost three-times higher with Trbojevic, going from 28.12 per cent without him to 75 per cent with him.
 
These staggering stats validate my concern of lack of strike power without Tom

The truth is here and this is what really happens without Tom
Under Des Hasler since 2019, the situation is even more critical with Manly's probability of winning almost three-times higher with Trbojevic, going from 28.12 per cent without him to 75 per cent with him.
No teams win when their forward pack is dominated by their opponent. It is RL 101 mate. It is as simple as that.
 
The poster formerly known as Simmo66.
Premium Member
Tipping Comp 2021
No teams win when their forward pack is dominated by their opponent. It is RL 101 mate. It is as simple as that.
Mate the post is dead accurate. However, I can also see where Bozo is coming from. Both of our centres are fantastic defensive centres. They are not, and never will be, considered as strike centres. But they are both more than adequate in playing their role in attack, when our forwards are winning the middle. As long as our forwards are dominating, our attack will look after itself, with or without having more strike in our centres.
 
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Reserve Grader
Premium Member
Tipping Comp 2021
Both Harper, who was very good for most of the year, and Tommy, who was fantastic, were way below that standard when we needed it most.
I agree our forwards were dominated, so our backs could not dominate - but lots of individuals were well down in the finals.
Long season for a team without that level of experience and toughness. Hopefully we progress from that.
 
Reserve Grader
Both Harper, who was very good for most of the year, and Tommy, who was fantastic, were way below that standard when we needed it most.
I agree our forwards were dominated, so our backs could not dominate - but lots of individuals were well down in the finals.
Long season for a team without that level of experience and toughness. Hopefully we progress from that.
Thank you for pointing out the elephant in the room… Tom seems to be a protected species, but I think the pressure was too much for him in the big games.

Sure, our forwards didn’t dominate which limits the backs space. But Tom made numerous mistakes and panicked decisions in the finals. For example, dropping the ball over the line against Souths - he hadn’t done that all year.

He’ll be better for the experience.
 
Sea Eagle forever
Tipping Comp 2021
Thank you for pointing out the elephant in the room… Tom seems to be a protected species, but I think the pressure was too much for him in the big games.

Sure, our forwards didn’t dominate which limits the backs space. But Tom made numerous mistakes and panicked decisions in the finals. For example, dropping the ball over the line against Souths - he hadn’t done that all year.

He’ll be better for the experience.
Agree and they are the 1% desperation plays that we didn't get right. DCE and Saab running over the sideline, Keppie trying to throw an impossible pass, Suli getting in the wrong position and costing us the try, Tom dropping the ball over the line as well as dropped balls at crucial stages by Olak, Oshay and others.
 
Snake's Alive!
If you watch the GF, Penrith's centres did nothing that Harper or Parker couldn't do...OK, Burton scored a try but it was just a simple catch and fall over the line...it wasn't even a hole run. The defence was all at sea. Also, Burton is going to be a 6 next year, such is his talent.

These days, centres are paid the least amount across the starting 13; less than wingers. The days of Gasnier, Cooper, Lyon, etc. are over because the game has shifted. The idea of a strike centre is 10 years out of date. They don't 'strike' much in the modern game because it's not played like that anymore.

It's also futile to compare what other clubs have to our centres because our salary cap is different and doesn't allow for spending a 600k on a centre.
 
Member
It was Harper’s first full season in first grade and he was definitely carrying a niggling knee injury which was clearly effecting his mobility. I felt bad for him after the criticism from the Storm game, the bloke could barely change direction.

I think a lot of our players who had their first full seasons will be better off for next year (Schuster, Harper, Saab, Haumole). Most of these guys started to fall of towards the end of the season.
 
Bencher
Ide like both centres replaced to be honest... They are just average first grade players.. nothing wrong with that, but if you have a legitimate star available then you need to play them... To me Walker is easily the best centre manly have... To play him off the bench moving forward while persisting with average centres will kill any chance we have of a title..
I feel the same about Croker... He's a regular, average half playing hooker... You can't win a comp with that... I said it heading into the finals, Penrith have API, storm have grant and cheese, rabbits have cook, all of those absolutely s&$t on what Croker offers... And that was a big part of why only those 3 had any shot at the title this season once we got to a top 6 situation...

Ide be hitting the market for another star centre and a hooker.... Or atleast be training Lawton all offseason as the starting hooker...
Carrying average centres and an average makeshift hooker into 2022 will guarantee we fall short again..

Just my opinion, hasn't changed since 2020 when we got trounced every week.. only diff between then and now is we had the best player in the world trying to drag us kicking and screaming into the finals but that only gets you so far
 
Member
Centres have become the least important position on the field. Makes no sense to invest our salary into top centres. Harper and Parker are solid enough imo.

Improving our forward pack is the most important thing for me. We should naturally improve with a lot of the younger guys getting more experience. Fingers crossed Fainu gets off since that will provide more spark around dummy half.
 
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Sea Eagle Lach
Staff member
Premium Member
Tipping Comp 2021
No doubt someone will remind me but I'm actually struggling to think of a clean line break made by any centre this year. I think Staggs made one, and it was so unusual it was replayed as a highlight clip about a million times. There's very few scrums these days and scrums used to provide some opportunity for centres to attack a bit more one-on-one.
The best performances by a centre this year were probably Turbo and Mitchell in the Origin series. Manu had a couple of good games for the Chooks but he was fullback at the time.
 
The Incomparable Immortal Bob Fulton
Premium Member
Tipping Comp 2021
No teams win when their forward pack is dominated by their opponent. It is RL 101 mate. It is as simple as that.
When Tommy plays our chances of winning goes up to 75 % from 25 %
He plays in the backs and not the forwards
Tommys win rate is with the same forward pack but the difference he makes when we win is he adds strike power to our back line and that includes our centres

We all say it as we perceive it and
We will agree to disagree feathered friend
 
The Incomparable Immortal Bob Fulton
Premium Member
Tipping Comp 2021
Ide like both centres replaced to be honest... They are just average first grade players.. nothing wrong with that, but if you have a legitimate star available then you need to play them... To me Walker is easily the best centre manly have... To play him off the bench moving forward while persisting with average centres will kill any chance we have of a title..
I feel the same about Croker... He's a regular, average half playing hooker... You can't win a comp with that... I said it heading into the finals, Penrith have API, storm have grant and cheese, rabbits have cook, all of those absolutely s&$t on what Croker offers... And that was a big part of why only those 3 had any shot at the title this season once we got to a top 6 situation...

Ide be hitting the market for another star centre and a hooker.... Or atleast be training Lawton all offseason as the starting hooker...
Carrying average centres and an average makeshift hooker into 2022 will guarantee we fall short again..

Just my opinion, hasn't changed since 2020 when we got trounced every week.. only diff between then and now is we had the best player in the world trying to drag us kicking and screaming into the finals but that only gets you so far
I see what you see feathered friend
In the fast power game slow and passive players are a liability in both attack and defence and we saw it in the finals when we were completely dominated .

The forwards do make a difference and lay the foundation but you also need striking backs to to add the final blow and blow teams away

At the end of the day and the game you need to out score your opponent to win

Any one that thinks that quality centres in a team would not make a difference to a side like the Lyon Matai combination is watching another game

Every team is rebuilding on their weaknesses so they can go one level higher next season and part our teams Weakness is our dormant hooker and centres
 

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