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Your NRL team’s biggest weakness for 2016 Pt 2

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by mozgrame, Oct 29, 2015.

  1. mozgrame

    mozgrame Well-Known Member

    +5,127 /51
    Sluggish starters: The Cowboys rightly became known as the comeback kings in 2015 but to earn that tag they first had to fall behind in far too many matches.
    Any side would love to be able to rely on their strong finishing ability to get them home but there’s no doubt Paul Green would have preferred his side not to draw on their reserves as often as they did in a season when they came from behind to win 15 matches.
    In seven of those wins the Cowboys trailed at some stage by 12 points or more but it seems unlikely they could manage so many jail breaks two years in a row.
    Don’t be surprised if a big focus of the pre-season in Townsville is focused on coming out of the blocks hard.

    Dropping the clutch: The old adage ‘it’s a game of two halves’ rarely rings truer than it did for the Eels in 2015, with Brad Arthur’s side dropping six of the 10 matches they led at half-time.
    The most embarrassing of these was their round 13 Monday night match against the Cowboys where the Eels got out to a seemingly insurmountable 24-point lead at their home stadium before being run down by a free wheeling Johnathan Thurston and his mates.
    Across the season Parramatta developed the nasty habit of putting the cue in the rack before a game was truly won and their complacency was punished time and time again.
    Perhaps Arthur should be spending some time on his half-time address while his players are getting physically conditioned for second halves this pre-season.

    Misfiring attack: Injuries are no doubt at the core of all Penrith’s woes, but their inability to fire in attack may well have had a big bearing on Phil Gould’s decision to axe Ivan Cleary in favour of a fresh start.
    The Panthers scored just 399 points in 2015, the fewest of any side this year but also the lowest points for total since 1996 — almost two decades ago.
    No doubt this alarming statistic has played its part in lost faith in Jamie Soward and Peter Wallace, with Anthony Griffin set to consider Matt Moylan for a switch to the halves.
    He will also no doubt be keeping a close eye on Te Maire Martin and Will Smith in the pre-season with young gun recruit Martin in particular a chance to help reinvigorate Penrith’s attack with a promotion to first grade.

    The double whammy: When the Rabbitohs gave up penalties in 2015 they invariably gave up points, with 42 per cent of the defending premiers’ tries conceded coming on the back of a penalty.
    That was the highest percentage of any side in the competition and it raises alarm bells about South Sydney’s discipline as well as their ability to defend back-to-back sets.
    Fatigue and injuries played their part in South Sydney’s lacklustre finish to their title defence but Michael Maguire will be keen for his side to rediscover their once admired goal line defence this season.
    Knowing Madge, some brutal fitness sessions could await.

    Rediscovering the magic: The Dragons were tipped by many to be fighting for the wooden spoon in 2015 but after an excellent start to the season they threatened to finish in the top four.
    Their grinding, defensive performances were admired by the rest of the competition but in the end it wore them down as much as any of their opponents and they limped home with just four wins from their last 14 games.
    Within that sequence, the Dragons lost all eight of their eight matches against the other finalists highlighting the need to add to what was at times a one dimensional game plan.

    Ball security: Despite winning the minor premiership three seasons in a row, the Roosters have earned a reputation for ill discipline, after losing penalty count after penalty count.
    But it was their ball security in 2015 that became a bigger concern, making a whopping 12 errors per game, the third most in the competition.
    For a roster with as much talent as the Roosters, this is potentially the difference between a premiership and a near miss.

    Weak minds: The Warriors dropped their last eight games of the 2015 season, sinking from fourth to a finish of 13th after being outscored 260-90 in that period.
    Put this down to a loss of belief that accompanied the devastating season ending ankle injury to Shaun Johnson but the most disappointing thing about that was it was almost expected.
    The Warriors have lacked mental fortitude when the going gets tough for some time now but with the arrival of superstars Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Issac Luke they no longer have an excuse to crumble when they’re without their No.7.
    However, fixing defensive frailty has more to do with attitude than personnel and with the Warriors the only team to concede more than 24 points 14 times in 2015, that’s where Andrew McFadden’s most urgent work must begin.

    Circuit breaker: While the Jason Taylor-Robbie Farah relationship will be the focus of the Tigers’ pre-season, a concern that rivals it is the side’s inability to halt a losing sequence at one game and bounce back the next week.
    Every time the Tigers lost after a win, they lost again the following week. They won consecutive matches just twice all season.
    Taylor needs to find a way to strengthen his young side mentally to enable them to better bounce back from adversity and try to ride the highs for a little longer.
    But it’s no surprise that a side with so many young players in key positions struggle to find consistency.

  2. Mals

    Mals Well-Known Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +1,652 /39
    ZtH probably wrote this...
    Fortress crumbles: Over the past decade Manly have built their reputation as a team to be feared on the back of an intimidating record at Brookvale Oval, or ‘Fortress Brookvale’.

    That wasn’t the case in 2015, with the Sea Eagles winning just 50 per cent of their 10 games played on the Peninsular, their worst return at the ground since 2003.

    Trent Barrett will be eager to ensure that is rectified in his first season at the helm and with membership numbers tracking nicely his new look side should at least start the season with the kind of one-eyed support they need to get on top of visiting sides.

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