The perfect loss

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Journey Man
As much as I hate losing, and particularly to vermin like Souths as it brings out all the Manly baggers (where were they when we racked up 50 point wins), I have to say that last night's loss won't hurt us.

I agreed with Des' sentiments in the press conference - the bounce of the ball didn't go our way and every 50/50 call went theirs. Despite all that, we really had their measure and, if they did show up a defensive flaw as Laurie Daley was so sure of, then we have time to rectify it before the finals.

Bottom line is the loss will blow away any hint of complcensy leading into the finals. At best Souths will finish 7th or 8th but our boys will now be aware that any side can beat them if we're slightly flat or have a bad day.

As Choc said - sometimes you learn more from a loss than a win. On the subject of Choc, I was very impressed with his discipline in not blowing up at the referee when he had every right to. He's come a long way in the past 3 years be4cause Des and BK would not tolerate his moments of mediocrity.
The same thought crossed my mind when Choc was penalised. He started going off and then reined himself in. Definitely a positive sign.

My only real disappointment out of the game was that when the boys were fatigued in the second half we fell into the trap of one out trundles from our own end. This is what lesser teams do and is easy to defend and maintain the territiorial advantage. You need to have a few plays in each set that go a few passes wide of the ruck & make the defence work a bit. Orford would have helped that.

Monas' kicking game was a bit off last night. This highlights one of our weaknesses if Monas or Orford is not on the field (& is an issue for next season). Our back up kicking options (both attacking and long) are very average or at least, not reliable. They need to hire a class kicking coach for Matty Ballin so he can develop those skills. Lyon, Beaver and Snake don't seem to have the natural coordination that kickers need.

All in all I think there were more positives than negatives. It just pisses me off that we have contributed to Souths fans having smiles on their faces for the moment.
Don't worry Bradza, it's only a momentary thing. I've said for a long time it would not do us any harm to hire a kicking coach to get those penalties (if they ever happen again) and kicks from our red zone down the far end. It would seem to me that an AFL coach would do the trick. I mentioned this to Des last year but you know what happens.
Mata, because he repeated what you said in the first paragraph :)

I think it showed that we still have some work to do to make sure we make the GF. For this reason alone its good we lost. If we scraped through maybe that bad play could be glossed over.
Kinda hard to be really disappointed when thinking about the efforts in defence last night. Manly did look a little lethargic from the 55th minute and only showed some zip when Souths finally hit the lead.

A different pack starting the game to gain the experience of starting instead of coming on fresh may well have contributed, but it was valuable experience that may be required in finals.

A perfect loss? Not sure what that is, but totally hear where you are coming from in how to take manly's loss.
They hit us with 7 sets in the first half and could not look like scoring.

Worth noting that the most effective kick in the second half was from Brett Stewart.
CW, I thought that we may have strayed away from the game plan which in the first half suggested that we attack their centres. We didn't seem to do that in the second half and that may have been a contributing factor. Monas should stop the punting to the opposition's fullback. Danger there.
If you have a look at it, in the first half we tried to run at Williams an awful lot. Was succesful on at least one occasion. Should have done it more.
Team P W L PD Pts
10 9 1 124 20
10 8 2 81 18
10 7 3 70 16
10 7 3 69 16
11 7 4 59 14
10 6 4 -10 14
11 6 5 107 12
11 6 5 -9 12
10 5 5 -56 12
11 5 5 30 11
10 4 6 15 10
11 5 6 -12 10
11 4 6 -7 9
10 3 7 -103 8
10 2 8 -81 6
10 2 8 -91 6
10 1 9 -186 4
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