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Over the past few years, Parramatta has developed playing structures that play to their strength; ie getting the ball to the edges where we've had Semi Radradra, and in some case Bevan French waiting for the ball.
However, if you look at the likely Parramatta backline in 2018 - it's probably the flanks where are weakest.
And I don't mean any disrepect to either Josh Hoffman or Kirisome Auva'a, who are more than capable NRL wingers. However, nobody is in the same league as Semi Radradra.
Indeed if we look at Parramatta's strengths now, probably for the first time in a while, it's in the halves. In Mitchell Moses and Corey Norman, we have two young halves with representative futures ahead of them.
So it will be interesting to see how Parramatta's structures evolve in 2018, with the possible change in dynamics.
First let me say that, I think Brad Arthur did a particularly good job of building on our basic structures last year and by the end of the year, we were playing with a lot more variety than we did the previous couple of years. That came about, with the addition of Mitchell Moses giving Arthur another genuinely talented playmaker running the show, as well as an increased familiarity with each other as the core of his team have now been together for a good number of years now.
I'm going to be really interested to see what style of footy we play in 2018 because I do think that the structures that have served us so well in recent years, won't work as well without Semi. However, I'm excited about the prospect of building on what Moses and Norman were doing towards the end of last year after having a proper pre-season under their belt.
It all starts with the forwards. We punched above our weight last season; it will be a lot tougher next year. We're in danger of going backwards in my view.
Agreed mate, our pack as it stands is just not good enough.
I reckon the current squad will go backwards and be lucky to make the 8. The Cows won the comp in 2015 had the same top 17 the next season with few injuries and went backwards. If you aren't continually improving the side you go backwards.
A lot will depend on who plays fullback, if it's French then we need to play more up the middle and promote 2nd phase play with French playing the support role ( hayne 09), if Gutho is fullback then probably stick to what we did this year with Gutho being an extra ball player on the edges ( hayne10-14).
I am not sure if you are right Phil.....whilst the strength may be in the halves the key to their success will still be creating the opportunities out wide. Our edge forwards are not good enough to make breaks and for all those reasons I think French should be on one wing and Hayne the other, Jennings still gives us great options and I think that Avuva'a should be the other centre.....hopefully he will be drilled better defensively which is still his weakness.
My guess is that Will smith may start at fullback until Guth is ready to take over, where Guth plays initially when he comes back is the $64 question.....knowing how dedicated he is to his fitness, he maybe able to resume at fullback or work some interchanges with French.
The forwards need to show some consistency to allow the backs to do their thing......there is no doubt about it we need some recruitment to give us the drive.....I have a sneaky feeling your observations are right about a some players coming our way.....Napa would seem to be the big one in the forwards and I guess Hayne in the backs.
Injuries and the quality of the backup players will be vital. Taka on the bench, King to play 80 minutes.
If we are to rotate two hookers in a game we are in real trouble, as Kaysa showed last year its all or nothing, he is useless off the bench.
As you know I had talked about the Morris twins, but it seems that's me and nobody else....I still think we need that winning culture experience.
Looking at pics of Moroea he seems to have lost a bit of the fat and has a bit more muscle on his frame. My thinking is that he will be a big part of the plays with Moses as was shown later in the year, Moses also be the linch pin for the main game plays but he will need more protection and to be cunning in his plays and watching the defence as they come to him, not to be scared but know what is going to happen.
If Scott comes back injury free he should be ok but seriously I see him a bench player and the likes of Edwards and Ma'u needs to lift a bit more as he did not have the impact this last season as he could have, both he and Edwards have to get their silly tactics out of their games as they are to open to giving away penalties.
I watched a couple of the WC games with Brown playing, while he had big minutes and good defence, the thing that concerned me in his play was he tried too many times to try and bluff the defence with some sort of shimmy running, on no occasion did it put the defence in any other mind than to tackle him. He was no where near as strong in his straight running like he showed so often with the eels.
While Mannah as ok with Lebanon, I am concerned that with him and the way that Ma'u and Edwards were playing, we have some areas of weaknesses that can be exploited, likewise Vave and Matagi need to lift, otherwise we will be needing some young players to lift for NRL debuts. This means that Evans will be looked upon to carry a big load of expectations, trouble is, is he up to it?.