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Maybe BA isnt the greatest coach in the NRL. But I wonder if any of the Supercoaches could have improved this team?
BA, unfortunately, had very little quality to recruit. He had to provide a top 30 players to meet the NRL rules. The recruiting was abysmal. Instead of recruiting, or promoting youthful players, he went for the old stagers. He failed with that.
Dean Pay has set a very good example that BA (or the next coach) should follow. Get rid of the over paid under performing players and give youth a chance. Success wont come over night but it will come.
You look at the older players like Gower though, he’s been one of our best this year and things could have been a hell of a lot worse without him. Hayne is also an older player who caused the opposition a heap of problems.
The rookies stood up, it was the mid twenties blokes who generally played shite, apart from Brown.
One good thing to come from this season is the arrival of some good and young players which partnered with a few experienced and good players, bodes us well for the coming seasons. It really comes down to who we recruit.
IMO basically 2 reasons.
1. Complacency. We came 4th in 2017 so IMO BA probably assumed that we were already competitive for 2019. Probably BA felt that our pack was good enough & recruiting Evans would just be icing on the cake. My impression is that Williams was a late opportunity that was worth a gamble on minimal pay. I really doubt that he was in BA's initial 2019 plans.
2. BA gambled that recruiting Princess would compensate for losing Semi. In a nutshell, class versus power. In one sense BA was correct in that Princess did eventually prove worthwhile however we really did miss Semi's impact. I suppose if one wanted to be critical with the benefit of hindsight, Semi should have been replaced with a powerful winger & Princess should have been an added bonus. However maybe BA expected Auva'a to step up to that role vacated by Semi.
The rest of the excuses IMO r essentially incidental.