Style of Football to play

In a discussion at the nursing home on Tuesday Dr Wong, well known surgeon and astute reader of the game of Rugby League and Geoff you know him as Sluggo were discussing the style of football that great teams of the past have played and that this style in particular can win you competitions purely because it is different and can create a capability for not necessarily the best team on paper being the winner.

Examples here would be the stand out teams of the last decade principally Roosters and Melbourne, now the Roosters would in the first instance be more than likely to have the best roster and Melb not, mainly because they have players that just seem to improve exponentially during a season....By the time the finals come around Melb are starting to standout as a real threat....Why ? because they play a type of contact football of keeping it alive!

This discussion came about because we noted that our 2001 side, brilliant, entertaining and breakers of point scoring records  did not have a lot of name players, personally I thought that Brad Drew was the key to the side but the real key was keeping it alive, with all players in motion.....effectively what Melb do and obviously Roosters can be very good at it as well.

Don't really see it with Raiders, Penrith or no other sides come to mind. Stop and think here, when any side is having a "day on" and really wound up for a game,we see more bodies in motion and support play everywhere...... 

The boys said I should put it into Blog and see how the site discusses it and ask the question why some  teams don't seem capable of doing it.

We/NRL have/had many of our coaches go through the Melb Bellamey school but nobody replicates it.....Why....what is so hard about keeping the ball alive and having all our players in motion. How many times are we flat footed in the opposition 25 and we have guys standing around like stale bottles of piss!

This is our challenge, we need our forwards and backs  to all be off loaders .....with the idea of backing up and supporting the ballcarrier and keeping it alive. It used to be called contact football many years ago with teams like Easts 74/75 sides and the great Souths side before that. I looked up Google and can see no reference to "contact" football in the presence.

My guess is we have to live the process and don't step away, be prepared when opposing sides see and learn what is happening and attempt to counter it..... with at least a plan.

Over to you guys to add to Mick and Geoff's  system of making a lessor side on paper a better one on the field!

I will start by saying motivation is an issue and by having good backup's like we do this year means we drop/rest players very quickly with a view of everyone fighting for their position...... no point in dropping  very good players to Reserve Grade unless its disciplinary, otherwise rest them, our fully fit forward line up is shaping as awesome!


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        • Good comment Mick. It’s not only about how we move the ball.It is also about how we move opposing key players around the field. A bit like chess

    • have a look at those highlights Mick...........

  • We are a lot easier to pick off than the other top 4 or 5 teams, main reason, IMO, is Reed. He offers nothing in attack, players like Cook at Souths, gives them that little bit of extra time and room. It also tightens up the defensive line, giving the outside backs extra time and room to create scoring opportunities, this is the reason Souths outside backs scored more tries than every other team. Without Kaurisau, I don't think Penrith would have gone as good as they did. I think Reed needs to improve his attack, otherwise Lussick and Roache will overtake him.

    • Is Reeds workload in defense a hindrance to his energy/ effort in attack? 

      • Happy days a footy blog .i can come out of Hibernation. IIn my humble opinion i to would like to see a bit more ad lib style of footy . But think most of our problems stem from our out side defence on both sides of  the park more effort should be in this area as this is were we mainly fall down . It always appears that they all dont have trust in their inside man and come in leaving it wide open .naturally this is not always  the case but it does happen quite a lot . But in saying all that  our teams not that bad and im sure the powers that be will be working on certain areas and i for one am looking forward to the up coming season. In the end the best style of footy to play . The answer is simple . That is Winning Footy . As i said just my humble opinion 

        • I think you are right Hector.I am sure the powers that e know better than us what the problems are around playing.Its the implementation that is the issue. When we get to the end of the season what seems to fail us is the mental aspects of composure,eliminating get mistakes and mental disciplines.I am not sure we have that part of playing style right.

          • Disappointing that we only have the usual suspects commenting on this blog, which is not really mine but everyone's to comment on style of play.

            As I read one thing I picked up on was Hector's comment on side defence.

            It seems to me when our players are isolated they are poor at one on one defence....... do others notice this as well? Other sides seem to be better in pulling that last line of defence than we are, then again it might be a false perspective on my part because of being a supporter.

            Come on you lurkers if you out there come in!

            • Pops, are we assesing the team based on 2020?  If so I admit to the aspect of a failed team and in many ways lack of overall direction.  We played with little variation owing to what I believe is lack of players that had different skills and abilities.  The coach pretty much stuck with the same players that likely put them in a comfort zone, likewise the aspect of others in the main 30 never got a run owing to no competition under the NRL main team.

              The loss or leaving of 14 players with most not having great futures, makes way for 9 new faces, which provides a better balance than last year. The only player that has left that would have been a good keep is Andrew Davey, who showed excellent ball skills in his few top games.

              As for the way the team is to play, my belief is to play an expansive game with the forwards being able to draw in the opposition forwards and dominating them.  There were few ball playing forwards, or at least shown last season, but we had more ball players that were rarelly showing their skills, both Jnr & Lane has them but both were reserved in their ball plays.  Thing is we have to have tough skilful forwards who compliment each other, and not scared to try something different and keep the opposition guessing, not just bash and barge.

              We have to also change some areas in the backs, and have those who have speed picked and played to their strengths.  Watching other winning teams they play tight and hard in the forwards, with a back making gains on the outside of tiring forwards, they score tries but know when to run in those areas and score them.

              We have a defense coach, but also need a tactical coach.


              • Well said Colin. Our backs simply ere lost.

                I think there maybe 2 or maybe even 3 styles of football we should focus on. We were ok the last couple of season. To get where we were but failed from there on. Semi finals and grand finals footy are different beasts and need a different approach and skill base. Souths appear to have changed there style and did well. Penrith did very well but couldn,t get over the line.I think Bellamy has worked out how to do it. They embarrassed us in 2019 in the finals.

                What I believe failed us was things around possession management and mentally weakening through various disciplines.A lot has to do is with the mental disciplines required in seeing who will crack under pressure. You need players who are better able to handle that type of pressure. Players that understand finals football is a different game.

                I hope our coaching team has looked at that area and engaged some high quality dude to be working on that already

              • All of the above Colin!

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