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Was the Penrith loss was down to Scott, Taka and King. Some evidence to help us decide ... So I watched that 2nd half again while on the recombinant bike at home. Notepad in hand. Serious geek stuff but exercise too. Draw your own conclusions from the following:

- Penrith 1st try: Blake's excellent broken field running BUT King and Ma'u fell of the tackle

- Penrith first few sets second half: running straight at Scott/Taka on the right ... (NOT Moses)

- Penrith 2nd try: after Hayne and Moses tackled Cleary on our line, Kikau (sp?) rolls through French's hand-grab and over Hayne coming across from marker. Why was French 4 in from touch, in a second rowers defensive position? Because Scott went to 3 in and Taka was 2 in (at centre). The second rowers (Scott and Taka) were out of position (Taka too far out and Scott failing to adjust inward with the ball runner)

- Penrith penalty goal (to even it up): Kikau went through because King fell of the tackle (Moses had Kikau's legs). Penalized for slowing down

- Penrith penalty goal (to go ahead 2): Kikau slices between ... Scott and Taka (Moses gets binned after he tackles Cleary)

- Penrith 3rd try: With Moses off Cleary breaks Mau's tackle in the set after the kickoff, but Norman collars him. Next play Cleary and Maloney run into each other. But whatever, not long after, with 22 mins left and down to 12 men we finally get the ball into the Riff quarter and Norman puts through a kick aiming for a repeat set. Right idea but bad luck as he hits the ref and Mansour makes a break from the broken play. Cleary breaks down-field right between ... Scott and Auv'a. Right through the spot where Norman would be IF Norman for some reason had not of went down after putting through the kick. Either Norman was fouled (bad luck) or Norman needs to man up and not go down for attention when we already have just 12 on the field. Anyway, it's a runaway and Blake in again.

- Hardly the "Cleary master-class" as said in the papers. Cleary only came into the game twice, backing up Kikau's break and running through a hole left by 11 men on the field. Otherwise he ran into Maloney once and late in the game through a grubber to Maloney for a knock-on. Good for you dude.

- It's now 22-14 and after that it's just a comedy of Eels errors and poor kick options. Notably, on one play Moses creates numbers on the left but Taka had stopped running, and later Edwards made a break after Taka failed to lock up the ball carrier and King missed a tackle.


PS: all good players individually, but collectively they did not work well together.

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I have found out the field temp was 35 degrees Daz.....it becomes too hard to be critical of individuals in those circumstances, albeit same for both sides but it is who catches/creates the momentum.....ours was poor execution, lets say because of fatique and inexplicably how badly we came out after half time.

Agree Pops the heat would have had a telling factor for both sides. It appeared the Penrith side ( probably from a tactical perspective) intended to come out stronger in the second half due to the heat factor which worked for them. However, having Moses out for 15 minutes in the first half didn’t help ( that’s where Will Smith would have come in handy) instead of Taka. Also the 10 minute sin bin in the second half didn’t help either. Still don’t know what the sin bin was for but the Eels were very disappointing nevertheless regardless of weather conditions. Surely they should pre- train for those types of conditions.

I think we do need to make some allowances for missed tackles from players in  high traffic areas. Namely smaller halves and hooker. Thats where players like Kaysa ,Sandow etc always seem to be scapegoated on this site. I think the problem with defensive structures.probably is fatigue and good reads or luck by opposing teams. We could improve that part of our game . If the problem is a "small pack" against big boppas you have to move up to them to stop the torque as quick as you can and tackle low-- I accept it is easier said than done--but some teams have sorted that part of their game better than us. The other thing is sometimes you have to simply accept a bad hair day-- learn --- and move on

Poppa, did you see the after game interview? Some reporter asked about the heat and Mannah replied that it was hotter in the Knights trial game and they played better, "so it wasn't the heat" (said Mannah).

I agree it was hot and we ran out of steam after playing with 12, but I do find it troubling that our line was troubled in the same spot all second half

Pops, the heat at Maitland on the day of the trial game was around 37 degrees and did not start to drop until after the sun had completely set.

I live around 3 Kilometres as the crow flies from that ground and we still had the air conditioner going at 8.00pm. Yesterday up here was not as hot as what you say was the ground temp at Penrith but I would say that if we use that as a guide, I would like to know what the ground temp was at Maitland during the trial match, and would believe that it was worse.

Colin sometimes humidity readings also make a huge difference. Where I live we have temp readings of say 30-with high humidity it says "feels like 36"on BO meteorology readings

Tad, we lived in the Wyong district prior to moving here last year, we have also lived in Shalvey, Werris Creek, Gerringong, Taree and here next door to Maitland, with my work as a train driver I worked to Goulburn, Parkes - Ivanhoe, Moree, Armidale along with a few other places and experienced dry heat and high humid areas as well.

I can say with certainty, that the heat here is totally different to any place I have been in yet.  More especially the heat this summer, in the 3 weeks leading up to the Maitland trial, on one day U walked out the front to get mail and was around 2pm out in the sun the heat was something I have never experienced anywhere before, my eyes burnt as soon as I got out of the shade of the house, I had to go back inside and get sunglasses to go out again.

On each of the days the temps got to around 43degrees, but the weather forecasts up here do not usually show the feels like temp for the Maitland area, at least to what I have seen but its at least 5 - 10 degrees hotter than in Ncle itself, and this year much more.

We have a single air conditioner in the house and it never stopped running on that day and for several others, I do not like air conditioners to be on for extended periods but this year it was very much on early to late.

I cannot stand the humid areas and try to avoid going to QLD for that very reason in summer months.

Scott has played 1 season too many, Taka is not a 2nd rower and if BA wants to play him there he should at least spend some time in reserve grade first. Mau is on the slide and has been since last season. Jennings should be moved back to right centre, he fixed the problems we were having there last season.

Too many changes have been made to keep French happy, put him back on the wing with hayne to fullback.

1. Hayne 2. French 3. Taka 4. Jennings 5. Hoffman 6. Norman 7. Moses 8. Mannah 9. King 10. Evans 11. Mau 12. Moeroa 13. Brown 14. Smith 15. Edwards 16. Alvaro 17. Terepo

This is a far better balanced team than the one that ran out on sunday.

Much better side HKF, but it won't happen sadly.

HKF I wonder if BA is biding his time just waiting for Gutho to return, slot him into fullback, at which point French goes to the wing and Hayne remains centre?

With all the talk amongst commentators about how valuable good wingers are, it is significant that French always kills it on the wing and then is much less prominent from fullback

I'm pretty sure that is what he is doing but there is talk that gutho wont be back until round 8, we can't wait that long and when gutho does come in simply move hayne back to centre and taka out of the 17.


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