As my wife pointed out we beat Storm to nil and Souths beat us to nil and then Storm beat Souths......... I did point out the subtleties of different selections........... but the point remains valid.
I watched this game with the sole intention of tactical differences in the sides as against how they played us (storm's enhanced personnel notwithstanding).
It was a lot simpler than I thought. Quick summary was that Souths made a hell of a lot more errors than against us and storm didn't play that much different other than the game changing ability of Munster and the continued evolution of Paperthouzin (spell) as an elite player. Summary says we can beat Souths if we force errors (our forwards were ineffective) and our backs can coordinate their defence.
A combination of both sides showed up as a speed differential..... we played early season games with much greater speed than the game is now being played at....not sure why but the smart teams have adjusted the pace to suit their styles with wrestling and slow downs in the play the ball.....the refs have slowed down with this and are not as savage as they were in the beginning. Speed is still the essence but it is showing up in the players who are proving the game breakers. Storm will always beat us whilst they have the pace on the flanks that they currently possess. Olam is another bonus for them.
It would seem since we effectively lost Moses and Waqar and Sivo became dysfunctional that we do not have that speed and physical coordination required..... our pack has gone from aggressive and hunting together to one out's with no support and no speed.
This is an in season evolution that we as a team have failed to change with..... Why? I am not sure but we will have the "add water" response of change the coach...... I suspect he has tried but the players have not responded.....that doesn't mean the coaching staff are not responsible....it does ask why are players approaching games differently? approaching? yes, it seems to be that and it is most likely because of Moses injury carryover!
Some people say Moses tries to play too fast....I think not withstanding his injury that he plays at a faster pace for a simple reason, he can. the problem is his team mates can't....now this takes in the whole gambit of being so reliable on Moses..... he since his calf injury is the single biggest difference to our side, notwithstanding the rhetoric of stepping up.....he has had no problem stepping up if his team mates do.
Where does this leave me..... well I think we still have a shot if our forwards can get back to where they were and force errors on the opposition, this will be a tough because they are spending a lot of time covering our dysfunctional backs. I have a feeling that Field is not an answer for us and we need to address the waqar / sivo dilemma. The next key to the backs is whether Moses can regain his pace and become the weapon that he was.
We may beat the Warriors tomorrow but it is only going to delay the inevitable.....maybe it time for the Jack Gibson response, pick the best 17 and play them where they fit best..i.e. if our centres are letting us down start Maranta there, if we have someone that can defend a wing, bring him in...... forget the horses for courses scenario and just play the best 17 we have!..... people may laugh at this and after his first game I can't believe I am saying it, but Gennings is a much more reliable conveyance than Sivo at the moment, I watched him playing for Warriors and he is better than we credit him for. he probably could have scored every try Maiko scored this year other than the Rooster's one. and Maiko has not been the same player since.
If Matterson can play an edge he can play 5/8....the only depth we do have comes from the forwards not the backs, if the forwards are better pick them over the backs. Its only the two to be changed plus the relief of DBrown's injury.