Fresh after the bye this game was a defining season moment to right the wrongs and tighten the grip on the top 4. A loss however would send us heading for 5th-8th quicksand.
Brett Stewart: Our fullback god returned, safe as ever under the high ball, (except when tackled illegally), but try as he might there was little he could do to spark our flat as hell attack.
Jorge Taufau: Looked dangerous when he got the ball, but no Foran starved him of chances.
Steve Matai: Tried hard as always but seemed to have a hundred Roosters swarming nearby.
Jamie Lyon: Typical try from nothing to create something, but it we needed 2 more of them.
David Williams: Looks busy but ultimately not much doing.
Tom Symonds: Picked at 5/8 so should have played 80 mins. Once again a badly wasted talent. Why?
Daly Cherry-Evans: Overplayed his hand on a night when he probably had little other options given we had no left side playmaker. Kicking game looked desperate rather than measured.
Glenn Stewart: In all seriousness looks like a park footballer. That last run of the game in the dying moments summed it all up, sideways, crabbing, zero penetration, and ultimately sloppy lost ball. Where do we go from here?
Justin Horo: Tried hard all night as usual.
Anthony Watmough: 42 bone jarring tackles but nothing in attack, largely presumably to origin fatigue.
Brenton Lawrence: Our only prop to cause any havoc, which is the same story for the last 8 dismal weeks.
Matt Ballin: It's awfully tough to make a criticism after 52 workaholic tackles, but the great teams have 9's who create havoc with the ball too. Smith, Luke, even Friend tonight. If that's simply not possible given the defensive 80 min workload then it's time Ballin didn't play 80 mins. See Buhrer.
Brent Kite: The Landcruiser never stops working, but the problem is the newer models do far more damage. Kite 11 runs 96 metres - Hargreaves 21 runs 180 metres. There lies the difference.
Peter Hiku: Presumably on the bench only in case Brett broke down, so ended up being the 4th time in our last 7 matches we've WASTED a bench spot.
James Hasson: Shocking head clash ended what was a badly needed big game, reducing us to 15 men.
Jamie Buhrer: Sure much bigger players have been held up over the line, but that missed try on half time proved critical. Too small and simply ineffective as a back rower. Toovs its time to play him at bench no 9 or not at all. Seriously it's time.
George Rose: The big man threw the shop at the Roosters and came up with a try that gave us seemingly improbable hope.
Bench in 2013:
Rd 8: Sene-Lefao - ZERO MINUTES
Rd 9: Hasson - ZERO MINUTES
Rd 10: Gower - ZERO MINUTES
Rd 16: Hiku - ZERO MINUTES
The remarkably strange thing is that for a team who were just awful in attack we still held one of the best in the comp, on their home ground, to a very unlikely competitive 18-12 scoreline.
A couple of shocker ref calls on our line in the 2nd half, one of which gave them a damaging 14-6 lead, but THE UGLY is why we lost.
Our attack. Where the hell has it gone? Absolutely zero penetration. Absolutely no direction. Absolutely no spark. Nothing could have been uglier than seeing an extraordinary 8 consecutive sets of 6 in the first half amount to precisely nothing. The Manly of March-April would have nailed 2-3 tries minimum with that ball. But we have no forward penetration leaving our inside backs to runs in sideways circles. That leaves our our outside backs, our match winning centres, wingers and fullback, with pretty much NOTHING to work on.
Our left side success relies on the hero Foran setting up Matai and Taufua. But Foran was replaced with a part time back rower. Result = no Foran, no attack.
Our right side success relies on DCE feeding Glenn who breaks the line and feeds Jamie with Brett and Wolfman ready to take the spoils. Result = DCE and Glenn have both swallowed an entire bottle of indecision pills marked "RESULTS IN SIDEWAYS CRABBING RUNNING".
Where do we stand now?
Rd 7 - loss Souths home
Rd 8 - win Saints away
Rd 9 - loss Roosters home
Rd 10 - draw Melbourne away
Rd 11 - win Canberra home
Rd 12 - bye
Rd 13 - loss Warriors away
Rd 14 - loss Dogs home
Rd 15 - bye
Rd 16 - loss Roosters away
Last 8 games: 2 wins, 1 draw, 5 losses.
Last 3 games: loss, loss, loss
Last win: round 11
As per the last report we are somehow STILL clinging to 4th place, but ONLY due to the additional 4 points fro the two byes, plus the inconsistent averageness of those teams below. Any further losses however will sink us like a stone near as hell out of the 8 altogether. Sure we've had critical injuries and played ALL the top teams including Roosters twice in the last 6 matches. Nonetheless, we now MUST turn things around and beat ALL the lesser likes of Parra, Cowboys, Gold Coast, Tigers and Parra again. 5/5 wins is a total and utter must or it's goodbye 2013.
An appeal to all supporters. Now is the time the team REALLY needs our support. A half full Brookie will do nothing to help. Let's show up and in numbers and keep the faith in our team. See you next Mon night.