What are we Judging BA on in 2021?

Before a ball has been kicked... what are you guys judging him on this year?

Where we finish on the ladder? Our style of play? Improvement on last year?

Personally I think where we're going to go with our coaching from 2023 onwards needs to be made over the back end of this season. I've wanted him gone for ages as I think winning big games in this comp comes down to more than 'owning your effort areas' and 'fast starts'. These things might help you beat The Dogs or Dragons in April or May... but they arent going to be what decides games against the roosters, panthers, storm, souths etc.. I think hes extremely one dimensional and has shown for years he doesnt have the answers, or an ability to progress the careers of our young players from promising rookie to even established first grader.

That said, I think to all of us the glaring problem in 2020 was our attack. BA has to have gone into last offseason and seen our attack needs a shake up. To be fair he shouldve seen it in 2017, but it was glaring without a Semi to create trys from our own end / finish 30% chances... or without 28 try assists off of mitch moses boot (which is an outlier year for any half)... we've had nothing against the top teams for a long time. It doesnt matter if our attack is up and down at the start of the season if we are working towards an end game of being better when it counts. We cant play the same width passes followed by turning the play inside over and over and over again anymore. Thats going to be 1 thing i'd want to see out of us this year.

I also think we should judge him on how Reed and Dylan progess over the season. As mentioned BA has a horrible record of progessing the careers of our talented youngsters. Yes, I know Haze, Oregon , Dylan, Reed, Marata have all played first grade for all those that will argue that.. but i'd argue Tepai, Bevan, Ethan Parry, hell even guys like Pauli Pauli.. we didnt get much out of these guys , some of whom had great junior careers. Reed can't be the same player this year he was the last couple. Playing 80 mins as an undersized tackling machine with a good pass aint it in 2021. The top teams are rolling through the middle with a strong emphasis on play out of dummy half. Theyre attacking in behind the markers and playing in tight when the other team is struggling to hang on. We play to the edges. Dylan, we all know has great potential but he should be improving year on year . I think it's way too early to judge his progression but after another season in the top grade we'll have more idea if the team structures are helping him succeed.

Theyre the big ones for me . We need to be creating chances against top opposition and we need improvement out of our youngsters who have now played 30-50+ games. If we get that we'll have a decent season. I won't judge him on if we finish 1st or 8th if we see that. Anything else lower i'll doubt we have seen that at all.  

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  • Good blog mate, ive already judged BA, hes been here for long enough for that.

    Hes way past his used by date, was last year too and anything but a very good year and GF birth i'll have the knives out for him and will turn it right up for him to be sacked.

    We need Flanno, smart and fina attacking coach, knows how to attract talent too.

    • Oh im with you. 

      BA , in fairness is good at getting teams to bring effort. There just needs to be more now. He needs answers to our problems. Its no good running around competing for the title of 5th best team in the comp anymore. The coaching has to evolve with the roster. We don't have a 13th place roster anymore that we need to simplfy the basics for and get competing and showing up with resiliancy and effort. We have a squad that should be pressing from week 2 exits to a preliminary final or better.

      What does it say to people here when we have relatievely the same squad with a 21 year old 6, 22 year old 9, 26 year old 1, 26 year old 7 ...and are starting the season less optimistically in bookies eyes than the year b4? Time will tell.

  • My opinion of BA is that he does his best work during adversity, he is good at getting the best out if players in tough times and is above average at roster building.  His weaknesses are he doesn't seem to be an intelligent coach, he focuses on effort, that's important but only gets you so far. He seems to be stead fast in his beliefs and has little regard for growth,  would rather rely on over the hill experience than trust youth, very hesitant to drop out of form players, in fact just refuses to do it and is extremely reluctant to surround himself with good support staff.

    My pass mark for him in his EIGTH season as head coach is at least grand final qualifier,  nothing less.

    • Perfect reply. Very good at what you write HKF.

    • agree with a lot of it. Ive heard BA say a tonne of times 'if we get our defence right the attack will take care of itself'.. it doesn't. Every new rule that has come in over the last few seasons is designed to favour the attack. Shit pedestrtian attack just puts a tonne of pressure on your defence.

    • fair comment HKF--I hope BA doesn,t visit this site--It will shatter him---his best response is winning the next 2 games

      • I really want him to succeed but he is holding himself back by not surrounding himself with intelligent assistant coaches. I believe he has good enough man management and roster building skills to be one of the top 3 or 4 coaches in the comp if he would only have the guts to hire intelligent technically minded assistant coaches that in future become head coaches.  That's  what tge top coaches do.

        • I 100% agree. I said this a lot last year when BA was copping a lot of stick from us. His assistant coach are so useless. While Gus Gould is annoying af, I remember him saying last year that the best teams don't just have the best coaches but they also have the best coaching systems and staffs. All coaching systems need a mixture of intelligence for game plans and ones who get along well with the players. Unfortunately BA surrounds himself with not the best coaches when he could easily get Shane Flanangan at para right now. He demands respect from the players, very strick and inteligent which would complement BA who is a players coach. If looked at panthers last year they had Cleary, Barret and Ciraldo who are all NRL quality coaches.  All were important for different aspects. 

          • Jason Taylor is out there and available. He is a very smart offensively minded coach who has won premierships at the roosters as an assistant coach,  he would be a massive upgrade on our current assistant coaches. 

  • Premiers maximum and minimum would be runners up with at least a top 3 position at end of NRL season. There needs to be an improvement on 2020. Less is unacceptable.

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