2020: A War of Attrition

Two things invariably feature in the premiership winner's CV each year.

1. The best defence...tick (so far)

2. The fewest (or close to) players used throughout the year. (tick so far)

So far this year we have used 23 players, how does this compare to other clubs?

Raiders 21 (more saeson ending injuries announced this week )

Souths 22

Manly + Roosters 23

Panthers + Storm + Knights + Sharks + Dragons 25

Cowboys + Bulldogs 26

Tigers + Broncos 27

Warriors 28

Titans 29 

18 consecutive rounds plus another 4 finals weeks is a brutally taxing assignment and some clubs are buckling under the weight of their injuries and the top heavy structure of their salary cap

So in relative terms we are "very healthy" compared to most clubs and in a better position to our main rivals

To see how bad cap maangement plus injuries can mess things up, look at Manly. Close to 1/3 of their cap is tied up in 3 players - TT, JT and DCE, exposing a wafer thin roster underneath their top 17-18 players.

Parramatta by contrast are reaping the benefit of disciplined cap management. Credit to Arthur, O'Neil and Co for holding firm to their plans when under pressure from various player agents.

We now have a deep, evenly spread roster where you really need it most - the engine room.

I think with over 40 players across all teams either out for the season or out indefinitely- our evenly spread deep squad could be the telling factor in another 14 weeks when we see who the last team standing is....and when we make the "next man up" call, we will have the troops to get the job done.


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  • Great blog Embers.   Hit it on the head perfectly.  This year is about banking as many points as possible early. Because when the injuries come , teams will fall away dramatically.  I honestly think Manly are ready to fall right off the pace after this week. Canberra likewise.  All the talk about this being a bullshit comp due to 20 rounds have underestimated the load on the players due to the stop start and change in the play the ball rules.  Number of players blowing knees and doing ankles is not just bad luck. 

    We just need to keep churning along and get a win off Easts and Melb and win the bankable games and we should finish 1-2 and be in prime position with home semis etc,.   GUTHO is a worry though.  He looks busted to me playing on pure heart and fitness.  Love to give him a week off - and soon. 


    • With Gutho it really comes down to two things, is he likely to make his groin worse by continuing to play, and secondly, is a short break going to help much or is extended rest the only thing that’s gonna make a difference ?

  • The balance of talent in our squad has been one of the best things to watch this year. We have dominant players sure, but not to a point where we're a one-man team. We've beat teams without our halfback, we've beat teams without our best forward. Our fringe players are stepping up and performing when we need it.

    Blake and Fergo are our only risks right now... so it could be a lot worse. They seemed to get their defence right last week against Newcastle so I think it's being addressed.

    I agree with you PT, I'm starting to sweat on Gutho a bit. Is Rankin next in line if he gets injured, or is it Field?

    • Not the spaniel !!!

      please let the spaniel make it through - he deserves it !!!!!

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