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 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' 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.


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  • I'll break it down even simpler for you with one word. DIRECT. 

    In attack last night, both sides played very direct. All runners were running straight, all support players running straight as well. Direct out of dummy half, direct at first receiver, direct in support. Roosters play the same way. 
    The Bunnies backline shifts are very effective because they stack deep but also start off close to each other. This means the defence also lines up compressed leaving space towards the sideline. As Souths go through their shift each ball carrier is direct before passing which again, keeps the defence compressed and space out wide. It's only when it gets to the centre do the players go wide and attempt to burn their opponents down the sideline. Souths made plenty of yards doing this and kept at it all night. Parra couldn't nullify this because we didn't push up from our inside hard enough. That was the effort area BA was talking about. We basically let Souths dictate to us all night. 
    Storm only know one way. That's straight. They rely on their speed and passing to create opportunities and it usually comes as once the defence is back pedaling. It's a very touch footy style of attack but when you're blessed with lots of pace it's all you need. 
    Parra on the other hand seem obsessed with long passes and going around teams. It's super easy to defend, everyone knows the ball is going to Gutherson and cut-out to Sivo most times. Our barely used right side never has space as Moses runs towards the sideline and squeezes Waqa and Blake for space. 
    Until Parra switch up their attack to running direct we will be easy meat for every NRL side. And I believe it's this inability to score points that eventually puts pressure on your defensive systems as well. You can't always just rely on defence, defence and hope the attack will come. It's most definitely a balance. 
    In summary, run straight FFS!!

    • Yes Mutts, could not agree more.... if I was writing a longer blog I would title your post CHAPTER 2 it stands yours is the perfect post to fit in under the blog.

      I have focussed on personel whereas you have focussed on the "how to"......

      PS If I had wrote the whole blog and encompassed that they would have been put to sleep.....with another "Poppa Blog" your credibility will add a lot of value to the discussion!

      LOL just gave you editorial coverage in the title, you can share my fee Lol

    • Yep and not one out!

    • Too Right Muttman! Too right..

      Yesterday the Dogs were guilty of the same. Trying to burn the opposition on the flanks by swinging the ball fast to the backs without success!


  • The Storm will be hard to beat whenever referees boss Smith is on the field. Klein bent over backwards to accommodate the storm getting back into the game. Seems Storm kept getting repeat sets at will and bunnies couldn't buy one despite the clear slowing of the ruck by Smith and Co. Soft offside penalty when storm dropped the ball, but storm were meeting the 1st receiver at the advantage line all night, simply couldn't have been onside. And don't get me started on how they missed Smiths forward pass for the try that levelled the scores....

    • The referees have always favoured the Storm. 

      • Brissy you know I respect you but that pass was line the angle from the touchie... I thought it was marginal at first but am more than satisfied with it.

        In response to yours and Monto's comments I will say this" you can only control the controllable" we need to stop focusing on what referees respond to ........  

        PS Monts... do you know what a broken record sounds like?

        • In general the better teams get more than equal share of the 50/50 calls - usually because they are in the lead and have the ascendancy it's just how it goes 

        • Agree to disagree on that one Poppa, it was clearly forward out of the hands for mine. The trouble with contolling what's controllable, is the Smith seems to be able to control the refs, therefore, it is not controllable when you're playing them. I'd love it if we had a Smith that got all the refs onside, but it pisses me off watching him at the Storm and Qld. You know there was only 1 time I saw him not get his way - playing for Australia agains the Kiwis with a pommy ref that didn't take his crap and kept penalising him for slowing the ruck and his other grubby tactics. And guess what, the Kiwis beat us easily when they were allowed to play an up tempo game and Smith was taken out of the equation. Really, he's that influential and it's a joke.

      • The referees have nothing to do with it Monto . That's a ridiculous statement 

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