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We are missing that 9

Shane4500

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Sep 4, 2018
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I didn't think he was particularly poor tonight. He got our forwards moving pretty well in the early exchanges, good service and some well-timed darts from dummy half. But we couldn't sustain any pressure, mainly because our fifth-tackle options were so poor. Seemed like a problem with our halves rather than our hooker.
Spot on!
 

HoldenV8

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Take a look at the games we've played since the season restarted under the new rules which have sped up the game.

We beat the Dogs 32-6. Now realistically, the Dogs are crap so that was expected.

We lost 19-16 to the Worms (should have won, but we all know why in the end). Levi was on for the first half, we were down 12-2 at the break. Croker started the second half with Levi on the bench, we suddenly come alive and by rights did mow the Worms down. But we still didn't get the points.

We beat Brisbane 20-18. We were 18-0 down after 30 minutes and it would have been 24-0 had the bunker not ruled that DCE had been obstructed. After about 35 minutes, Croker replaces Levi, Funa scores in the corner and from there Croker plays most of the second half, where we outscored them 16-0 to win. Once again we came alive with Levi on the bench.

We beat Canberra 14-6 really on guts, determination and a very big will to win rather than anything else.

Yesterday we lost 40-22 to Cronulla. They led 18-6 at half time and outscored us 22-16 in the second half. And most of those 16 points came after Cust replaced Levi.

I don't know what the reason is, but we have been playing better, especially the halves, especially DCE, when Levi has been on the bench.
 

XV-1

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Since Fainu decided to become a wannabe gangsta over being a football player, I have a bad feeling that letting Api go will haunt us like letting Green go a few years did.
Api is easily the best NRL buy for 2020 and unfortunately at Manlys expense.

Playing Levi for the whole season will only cause our team to go backwards.

But, who do we play at 9 thou? Cust seems like the only option.

Buhrer make a comeback for 2020? He is better than Levi.
 

ricardo

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Jun 12, 2015
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Ben Hunt is actually killing it at 9 (14) and could seriously be a game controller. As much as I want to death ride him ... of course McInnis is keeping him on the bench but only because McInnis is the recognised 9 (and a very good one).

In the same vein I really like Cust on the park and think he could be the answer to our distribution concerns. Not sure mind you... I think it's a more immediate concern than 5/8 and the position is probably more important.
 

winnyason

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Oct 9, 2011
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Yeah reality is Levi very average. The sooner we no outcome of Fainu then we can plan for 2021. We need to go to market for a decent 9 or develop one but Levi no where near the answer.
 

Simonmyers11

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Yeah reality is Levi very average. The sooner we no outcome of Fainu then we can plan for 2021. We need to go to market for a decent 9 or develop one but Levi no where near the answer.
Good news is Susan has stated looks like his case will be down graded and hopefully available next year, bad news stuck with Levi for 2020.

I happy to have him play the first 25-30 mins, but then needs to be subbed for some variation and creativity, even if it's just a player like Crocker or Cust who comes on and adds some energy and spark, does a bit of ball playing.
 

The better Robbo

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Oct 5, 2017
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Take a look at the games we've played since the season restarted under the new rules which have sped up the game.

We beat the Dogs 32-6. Now realistically, the Dogs are crap so that was expected.

We lost 19-16 to the Worms (should have won, but we all know why in the end). Levi was on for the first half, we were down 12-2 at the break. Croker started the second half with Levi on the bench, we suddenly come alive and by rights did mow the Worms down. But we still didn't get the points.

We beat Brisbane 20-18. We were 18-0 down after 30 minutes and it would have been 24-0 had the bunker not ruled that DCE had been obstructed. After about 35 minutes, Croker replaces Levi, Funa scores in the corner and from there Croker plays most of the second half, where we outscored them 16-0 to win. Once again we came alive with Levi on the bench.

We beat Canberra 14-6 really on guts, determination and a very big will to win rather than anything else.

Yesterday we lost 40-22 to Cronulla. They led 18-6 at half time and outscored us 22-16 in the second half. And most of those 16 points came after Cust replaced Levi.

I don't know what the reason is, but we have been playing better, especially the halves, especially DCE, when Levi has been on the bench.
Interesting facts. It was similar last year with Api being replaced by Fainu.for some reason Chez has a real dependence on who is playing along side him. Hopefully Des sees this sooner rather than later or our season could be on the brink. We really need a win today or our self belief and confidence will be shot
 

winnyason

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Oct 9, 2011
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Good news is Susan has stated looks like his case will be down graded and hopefully available next year, bad news stuck with Levi for 2020.

I happy to have him play the first 25-30 mins, but then needs to be subbed for some variation and creativity, even if it's just a player like Crocker or Cust who comes on and adds some energy and spark, does a bit of ball playing.
Hopefully mail right, nothing personal I would offer Levi a new deal. Cust has vision to go well at 9.
 

Simonmyers11

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Interesting facts. It was similar last year with Api being replaced by Fainu.for some reason Chez has a real dependence on who is playing along side him. Hopefully Des sees this sooner rather than later or our season could be on the brink. We really need a win today or our self belief and confidence will be shot
Been saying it all year, they don't sync well at all. DCE will be in position and Levi will dummy or go the other way. Levi pretty much receives the ball and just does a nice pass to DCE but that doesn't do anything too hold up markers or put the defence in two minds. Faniu looked as though he had spiders on him, defence would hold off him. You don't need a perfect spiral pass, you need to engage the defence, draw the markers, know when to go yourself, or the blind side or open side, when to target certain players in defence, organise a set play
 

The better Robbo

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Been saying it all year, they don't sync well at all. DCE will be in position and Levi will dummy or go the other way. Levi pretty much receives the ball and just does a nice pass to DCE but that doesn't do anything too hold up markers or put the defence in two minds. Faniu looked as though he had spiders on him, defence would hold off him. You don't need a perfect spiral pass, you need to engage the defence, draw the markers, know when to go yourself, or the blind side or open side, when to target certain players in defence, organise a set play
Yeah it's a footy IQ. Levi has all the skills but he has a front rower's footy IQ
 

HoldenV8

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Interesting facts. It was similar last year with Api being replaced by Fainu.for some reason Chez has a real dependence on who is playing along side him. Hopefully Des sees this sooner rather than later or our season could be on the brink. We really need a win today or our self belief and confidence will be shot
The difference is that last year, Api wasn't stinking up the joint when he was out there, he was doing a good job, especially defensively. Yes our attack got better once Fainu would come on to replace him, but we rarely were down by 12-18 points when Fainu did come on. With Levi out there we aren't scoring points (which is even worse now that our two main strike players in Turbo and Walker are on the sidelines) and we are going down by 2-3-4 tries by the time he's replaced.

I hope Levi does have a big game today against the Knights, I really do because he needs to start to repay the faith we showed in him to pick him up when Newcastle let him go (although lets be honest, after releasing Api and then Fainu getting into legal trouble, we had to get a hooker some somewhere). But TBH, I really can see just why they were fully prepared to let Levi go and why he didn't get much of a run with them.

I know Levi is a Kiwi test hooker, but look at it in context. For mine he is just one in the long list of players throughout the games history who have been picked in rep sides, even test teams, simply because in the position they played they were last man standing. The reality is that if others were available at the time, Levi would never get near a test jumper. Hell, if he was from NSW and the game was still played he would never get near the City vs Country game, let alone test football.
 
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The better Robbo

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The difference is that last year, Api wasn't stinking up the joint when he was out there, he was doing a good job, especially defensively. Yes our attack got better once Fainu would come on to replace him, but we rarely were down by 12-18 points when Fainu did come on. With Levi out there we aren't scoring points (which is even worse now that our two main strike players in Turbo and Walker are on the sidelines) and we are going down by 2-3-4 tries by the time he's replaced.

I hope Levi does have a big game today against the Knights, I really do because he needs to start to repay the faith we showed in him to pick him up when Newcastle let him go (although lets be honest, after releasing Api and then Fainu getting into legal trouble, we had to get a hooker some somewhere). But TBH, I really can see just why they were fully prepared to let Levi go and why he didn't get much of a run with them.

I know Levi is a Kiwi test hooker, but look at it in context. For mine he is just one in the long list of players throughout the games history who have been picked in rep sides, even test teams, simply because in the position they played they were last man standing. The reality is that if others were available at the time, Levi would never get near a test jumper. Hell, if he was from NSW and the game was still played he would never get near the City vs Country game, let alone test football.
If he can't stand up thisweek against his old team then he never will. I was actually one of the ones hoping we signed Levi after losing Fainu as we needed someone and he was the best available. I have been disappointed so far and he needs to step up or ship out. Croker and Cust have both offered more at hooker with limited opportunities.
 

Tomay

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Jul 30, 2017
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Cust isn’t there defensively unfortunately. Wish that PNG guy came through for us. I fear this season is a write off without Fainu or a top caliber hooker.
 

HoldenV8

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Cust isn’t there defensively unfortunately. Wish that PNG guy came through for us. I fear this season is a write off without Fainu or a top caliber hooker.
That's my only issue with Cust is his defence in the middle of the park as a hooker. It puts more work on the front rowers and Jake at lock to cover for the weakness. But as an attacking player, even though I have some issues with Cust, he sorta kinda craps all over Levi.
 

winnyason

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Oct 9, 2011
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Yeah ipape back playing with lae in png comp, hope they bring him back offers more than Levi
 

sheridanstand78

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Aug 28, 2011
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We have zero creativity from our 9s. Last year we had such good variety and it freed up DCE to play his game.

It might be too late for this season and we need to assume for now that Fainu is not playing for the forseeable future due to his injury and court case which might take another year to be held. I just wish we knew the outcome so we could move on. It is so frustrating that a key player like that is in limbo and its really hurting us right now.
 

Mataiforerver

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Mar 16, 2015
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Levi I think isn’t doing too bad at all !! I think DCE is our problem he never takes the line on and his kicking game is atrocious !!
Not sure what games I’m watching but when has DCEs kicking game been atrocious? Can not understand this for the life of me, and seen a few people say this. His fault is his short kicking game - he needs to put more grubbers into the ingoal like he used to. He has one of the best long kicking games in the comp, if not the best. In saying this, didnt help when we would finish a large majority of sets on Knights 30 on the 5th tackle. If you are referring to strictly short kicking game though - I agree, big improvement needed.
 

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