The big Debate - Centres ?

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Eagle 1

First Grader
Parker and Koula for now. but what happens when Saab is back. Do you move Garrick to centres and replace Parker (what was promised) or get rid of tippy toes and keep the current centre pairing?
I wouldn't be moving Parker or Garrick, It'll be a shootout between Saab and Tui, while Saab's injured Tui has the opportunity to store up some brownie points. Saab may have to fight for his place, and that's a good thing.
 

Seagles68

Bencher
Premium Member
Tipping Member
Tippytoes needs to work on his defence decision making. He turns too slowly and will be exploited by good sides.
I think Saab does also. It will be interesting to see what work he's done/is doing with the new coaches on that. Running the ball back has also been a bit of challenge for Saab. I remember seeing an interview with him late last year where he wanted to work on this, including bulking up a bit I think. He didn't look like he'd "bulked up" when he was on the sideline Saturday.
 

Eagle 1

First Grader
I think Saab does also. It will be interesting to see what work he's done/is doing with the new coaches on that. Running the ball back has also been a bit of challenge for Saab. I remember seeing an interview with him late last year where he wanted to work on this, including bulking up a bit I think. He didn't look like he'd "bulked up" when he was on the sideline Saturday.
yeah, that's the bit I don't like also, he tends to get owned by opposition chasers when bringing the ball out from the line. His one big weapon is his speed, with Tommy playing he shines without Tommy it's usually a quite game.
 

ElectricEagle

Reserve Grader
yeah, that's the bit I don't like also, he tends to get owned by opposition chasers when bringing the ball out from the line. His one big weapon is his speed, with Tommy playing he shines without Tommy it's usually a quite game.
Agree. Saab is a great 'finisher' and scores the flashy tries, but sometimes he struggles to get into the game.

I'd like to see Koula drop back on the last tackle instead of Saab to take that hit up.
 

SeaEagleRock8

Sea Eagle Lach
Premium Member
Tipping Member
If our backs are ranked on the basis of pure talent, the top group would be Turbo, Garrick, Saab, Koula, Weekes, Schuster & DCE
A lot will depend on whether Schuster remains "a back". This will be revealed as the season unfolds and is one of the most intriguing questions, & will certainly have a bearing on where Weekes ends up.
 

manly al

First Grader
No doubt Weekes would have been given some time in the centres in the trials if the coaching staff presently do see him as an option there and again in the short term . Think that he had a brief time there in the latter stages of the Roosters trial but doubt if it was planned . Also recall him playing at half a couple of years ago in a trial and not his best position at that stage on indications but with a bit more experience now, no doubt would do better there . Really should be on the bench at a minimum right now , could give Froggy a break once the majority of games would tend to open up a bit . Alioia seems the best 13 option right now , no doubt that Kaeo could be used there for a limited time , attack no problems or offering something in attack , much more demanding in defence Puzzle also with Latu Fainu and how to try to accommodate him soon if his form is up to par and plays to his potential . Just have to take it as a weeks to weeks proposition for best available or most suited 17 . Really can see no comparison with Tui and Saab with Saab fully recovered and confidence back , a real weapon if used properly .
 

maxta

First Grader
Premium Member
yeah, that's the bit I don't like also, he tends to get owned by opposition chasers when bringing the ball out from the line. His one big weapon is his speed, with Tommy playing he shines without Tommy it's usually a quite game.
Very fair and accurate summary - with Tommy on the field, Saab is a must, as we can cash in on his speed....without Tom in a tough physical game, he is bashed and our field position is terrible.
I still feel Saab could be more effectively used as a tall target with cross field kicks in the big games, as every time these kicks land in goal for him to take they often end in tries, the problem on other occasions has been execution with kicks landing 5m out and Saab taking the ball, but having to offload as gets hit by defenders.
 

Bearfax

Grizzly old fart
I look for backs who have the ability to create opportunties for try scoring as a starting off point. Forwards are primarily to offer backs opportunties to score tries by doing the grunt work, defending the middle, making ground up the centre, tiring out the opposition. Sometimes you get talented forwards like Watmough, Stewart, Ola, who can create things, but that's a fortunate extra.

However, the backs are there to use the opportunities to score tries. The half and five eighth are there to create opportunities primarily for the centres to offer good opportunities for the wing men and full back. Defense is important but secondary in my mind, to getting the ball over the line. So its important to have backs who can create for themselves or their team mates a means to score.

DCE is excellent at creating scoring opportunities for himself including being a Terry Lamb like backer upper. Schuster creates opportunties for those around him and has the skill to deceive the opposition. Koula has sheer speed and evasivenss that creates openings needed for the full back and wing men. Garrick can create his own breaks, Saab just has sheer speed and Turbo just has it all.

The important ingredient is that the halves and centres can win games for you, if they have the skill. DCE, Schuster, Koula I believe can win you games. I suspect Weekes can also, but that's to be seen. Saw enough with that magic trial break.

That's what you need in the backs, Players who create situations that result in tries. Now I look at Parker and I see a hard working, reliable player, excellent defender, hard runner, usually wont let you down, almost a latter day Foran type. But I dont think he's going to win you games. He'll back up well, he'll hit hard in defense, but I haven't seen him create tries. Could be wrong. Haven't seen all the games, but a more creative centre would add another string to the attacking bow. He's not going to let you down mind you and if we had no one else of quality I would say he's the best option. Its just that I think we may have someone better
 

Woodsie

Feast yer eyes ..
Tipping Member
Saab .. is fast, very fast ... and every time he has been given the ball .. with no one in front of him ... he has scored a try ... he is also good at catching bombs that are coming towards him, when defending ... and he also has a good pass to a support if needed ...

His tackling is deplorable ... his agility and lateral movement/recovery defensively is lamentable, or funny if you are a fan of slapstick comedy ... his leap timing on attacking kicks is very poor ... he gets a hand to about one in ten ... his ability to either beat a defender with a step, or break through a tackle does not exist ... his kick return is the worst in the NRL .. but was improving ...

He is a very limited footballer ... Seibs will have a hard decision to make with him ... as Maxie said ... with a rampaging Tommy creating space and opportunities ... he can finish and be a star ....

But if he wants a dependable all round football player ... then ?

PSS ... He also looks like a good bloke and a happy team mate ... I like him ... really ...
 
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Will on the hill

Bencher
Tipping Member
I look for backs who have the ability to create opportunties for try scoring as a starting off point. Forwards are primarily to offer backs opportunties to score tries by doing the grunt work, defending the middle, making ground up the centre, tiring out the opposition. Sometimes you get talented forwards like Watmough, Stewart, Ola, who can create things, but that's a fortunate extra.

However, the backs are there to use the opportunities to score tries. The half and five eighth are there to create opportunities primarily for the centres to offer good opportunities for the wing men and full back. Defense is important but secondary in my mind, to getting the ball over the line. So its important to have backs who can create for themselves or their team mates a means to score.

DCE is excellent at creating scoring opportunities for himself including being a Terry Lamb like backer upper. Schuster creates opportunties for those around him and has the skill to deceive the opposition. Koula has sheer speed and evasivenss that creates openings needed for the full back and wing men. Garrick can create his own breaks, Saab just has sheer speed and Turbo just has it all.

The important ingredient is that the halves and centres can win games for you, if they have the skill. DCE, Schuster, Koula I believe can win you games. I suspect Weekes can also, but that's to be seen. Saw enough with that magic trial break.

That's what you need in the backs, Players who create situations that result in tries. Now I look at Parker and I see a hard working, reliable player, excellent defender, hard runner, usually wont let you down, almost a latter day Foran type. But I dont think he's going to win you games. He'll back up well, he'll hit hard in defense, but I haven't seen him create tries. Could be wrong. Haven't seen all the games, but a more creative centre would add another string to the attacking bow. He's not going to let you down mind you and if we had no one else of quality I would say he's the best option. Its just that I think we may have someone better
Defence wins premierships.

In 2021 we had the most scintillating attack in the comp and tore through every team that had less than exceptional defence. Then we had to play the teams that had exceptional defence and we couldn't break them down. Our own defence wasn't at the same standard and we got battered in the handful of games that actually mattered.

Attack is nice to watch and therefore dominates highlight reels but if you don't defend well you will never achieve the consistency required to reach the top of the mountain.
 

Will on the hill

Bencher
Tipping Member
Saab .. is fast, very fast ... and every time he has been given the ball .. with no one in front of him ... he has scored a try ... he is also good at catching bombs that are coming towards him, when defending ... and he also has a good pass to a support if needed ...

His tackling is deplorable ... his agility and lateral movement/recovery defensively is lamentable, or funny if you are a fan of slapstick comedy ... his leap timing on attacking kicks is very poor ... he gets a hand to about one in ten ... his ability to either beat a defender with a step, or break through a tackle does not exist ... his kick return is the worst in the NRL .. but was improving ...

He is a very limited footballer ... Seibs will have a hard decision to make with him ... as Maxie said ... with a rampaging Tommy creating space and opportunities ... he can finish and be a star ....

But if he wants a dependable all round football player ... then ?
Add 10kg and subtract 2km/h he could be anything. Right now I prefer Tui but Saab has a greater potential.
 

KaZa

Bencher
Saab .. is fast, very fast ... and every time he has been given the ball .. with no one in front of him ... he has scored a try ... he is also good at catching bombs that are coming towards him, when defending ... and he also has a good pass to a support if needed ...

His tackling is deplorable ... his agility and lateral movement/recovery defensively is lamentable, or funny if you are a fan of slapstick comedy ... his leap timing on attacking kicks is very poor ... he gets a hand to about one in ten ... his ability to either beat a defender with a step, or break through a tackle does not exist ... his kick return is the worst in the NRL .. but was improving ...

He is a very limited footballer ... Seibs will have a hard decision to make with him ... as Maxie said ... with a rampaging Tommy creating space and opportunities ... he can finish and be a star ....

But if he wants a dependable all round football player ... then ?
He's allowed to improve right? People forget Saab is 22. Matai was pretty ordinary in defence early on too. He's also added 5-6kg I believe.
 

Woodsie

Feast yer eyes ..
Tipping Member
He's allowed to improve right? People forget Saab is 22. Matai was pretty ordinary in defence early on too. He's also added 5-6kg I believe.

Of course ... his kick returns were slightly better ... but some of his issues have his athleticism and coordination at there heart ... and I fear, perhaps wrongly, that any improvement will be minimal ...

A poor tackler can become a better tackler ... but I have never seen one become a good tackler ...
 

Will on the hill

Bencher
Tipping Member
Of course ... his kick returns were slightly better ... but some of his issues have his athleticism and coordination at there heart ... and I fear, perhaps wrongly, that any improvement will be minimal ...

A poor tackler can become a better tackler ... but I have never seen one become a good tackler ...
He has looked like Bambi out there at times. I don't think it's permanent and his upside is so great he only needs to improve his deficiencies to adequates.
 

Bearfax

Grizzly old fart
Defence wins premierships.

In 2021 we had the most scintillating attack in the comp and tore through every team that had less than exceptional defence. Then we had to play the teams that had exceptional defence and we couldn't break them down. Our own defence wasn't at the same standard and we got battered in the handful of games that actually mattered.

Attack is nice to watch and therefore dominates highlight reels but if you don't defend well you will never achieve the consistency required to reach the top of the mountain.


I accept your comment there Will. Defense is important and I didn't suggest it wasn't. I was merely suggesting that if you are going to win premierships you must have a collection of top attacking players in your side. You'll find that the teams that defeated us in 2021 also had top attacking backs. Look down the list of teams and you'll find those who don't have good backs don't win games. Defense can be learned. Attack, the type I'm referring to, is innate. You're born with it. Parker, for all his efforts will never develop the skills of a Koula, Turbo, Schuster, DCE and maybe Weekes, though that is yet to be fully seen. He will try hard and as I said wont let you down. Defensively he is outstanding and I've often suggested he'd make a good lock. However as we've already seen, Seibs seems to be hopefully addressing the defensive issues in this side ( I always felt the forwards were not sufficiently committed to work as a group under Des and he consistently had his backs congested, leaving gaps out wide). Defense is about every player doing his part. Attack is often the genius of a few outstanding backs.
 

KaZa

Bencher
Of course ... his kick returns were slightly better ... but some of his issues have his athleticism and coordination at there heart ... and I fear, perhaps wrongly, that any improvement will be minimal ...

A poor tackler can become a better tackler ... but I have never seen one become a good tackler ...
Yeah I get you. Matai did. But look it's upto him to put the efforts Matai put in. He fixes that side of his game he could be anything. He knows his carries need to improve. His father called him up on it too apparently. Shame he got the injury
 
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