General Defensive Game.

Hey Guys,

Not sure if there was a thread for this so feel free to remove mods if so.

Just want to have a discussion about the warriors and how the club can fix its defense up.

For far to long I feel like this has been neglected, Kearney was trying to instill this in his time here but struggled, so wanted to see where you guys think it is going wrong here?

Someone posted the other day a video of Ryan Papenhuyzen in pre season training with the storm and what he was put through to make him more mentally tough in hard situations on the footy field.

We all see how in a short time season before last when Todd Payten was here how tough we got in that period, and now looking at the Cowboys with so much envy it's easy to see why they are enjoying success on the back of the tough stuff.

All thoughts and opinions welcome please.
 
Two issues for me in terms of defense this year.

1) We have had to make so many changes to our 11-13 this year due to injury and suspension. If we could have some sense of consistency with selections in this area, it would certainly help.

2) Our fitness in this area is not good enough as has been mentioned so often on this board. You can see the difference between our team and the top 4-8 squads at how fast they get off the line consistently throughout games.

Possibly other issues as well but those are the two biggies for me.
 

matiunz

This year yet?
Contributor
I really don’t know what’s up with us constantly being out numbered out wide? Seems all teams need to do is spread it and they’re a good chance to score. Even against the Sharks against 11 men they somehow managed to find overlaps
 
  • Like
Reactions: Big_Fattz
I really don’t know what’s up with us constantly being out numbered out wide? Seems all teams need to do is spread it and they’re a good chance to score. Even against the Sharks against 11 men they somehow managed to find overlaps
I did a little film study and its abit of everything thats leading to it. The first try the rabbitohs got there were bad numbering particularly had pene, lodge and katoa locked on 2 players which is silly, then katoa is late to get to his next spot once he checks his defender then Asi delays and Pompey delays until its too late and Montoya jams all on his own for no reason. If you look at those chain of event in a microcosm youll see its a inability due to fitness of our inside men to push the line out, its indecision from the halves to engage, its one guy choosing one thing and another guy another and perpetuates into a huge mess.

Its coaching, knowing how to read shapes and strategies, then its down to players communication between themselves. Defence is about commitment but also having the whole team on a string knowing if a and b happens we respond with x y z.

Also another element is Reeces positioning on defence, he is out of position alot of the time, he offers little in terms of a second line of defence and is rarely in place to help. Thats another issue
 
I did a little film study and its abit of everything thats leading to it. The first try the rabbitohs got there were bad numbering particularly had pene, lodge and katoa locked on 2 players which is silly, then katoa is late to get to his next spot once he checks his defender then Asi delays and Pompey delays until its too late and Montoya jams all on his own for no reason. If you look at those chain of event in a microcosm youll see its a inability due to fitness of our inside men to push the line out, its indecision from the halves to engage, its one guy choosing one thing and another guy another and perpetuates into a huge mess.

Its coaching, knowing how to read shapes and strategies, then its down to players communication between themselves. Defence is about commitment but also having the whole team on a string knowing if a and b happens we respond with x y z.

Also another element is Reeces positioning on defence, he is out of position alot of the time, he offers little in terms of a second line of defence and is rarely in place to help. Thats another issue
Its clear we dont push out hard enough on D from the middles, this is where (in the past) guys like Luck and Mannering we're worth their gold as they we're always working and filling that space, which gives the outsides a lot more confidence they can hold the line a bit longer or push out having that trust their inside man has their back.

However u look at the 4 tries Rabbito's scored on the back of throwing shape at us and at the very crux of their decoy runner creating the overlap, u tell me its not a defence coached policy for our outside man to come in and take the decoy - ist try they threw 2 decoys at us - Katoa shut in on the first one Pompey on the next decoy. 2nd try Pompey again comes in on the decoy, third it was Vailea, 4th try it was Johnson......christ even against an 13 v 11 man Sharks they got overlaps in exactly the same way.....decoy runner targetting the inside shoulder of the centre.....we've been getting opened up consistently like this for so long now no matter who plays on the edges it has to be a policy.

Your also not wrong about Reece, that first try look at the lack of urgency he shows shadowing the ball across, its only when Pompey gets beaten he puts on a burst of speed which is a mile too late by that time.
 
So what would be your best Warriors defensive 17, assuming we are at full strength? As in, lets say you had to pick a team whose sole task was to keep the opposition to 18 points or less, regardless of how many they can score; but also you can't pick players wildly out of position.

I'll have a stab:

1. Walsh
2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
3. Aitken
4. Pompey
5. Montoya
6. Chanel Harris-Tavita
7. Shaun Johnson
8. Addin Fonua-Blake
9. Egan
10. Lodge
11. Curran
12. Tohu Harris
13. Jazz

14. Pene
15. Bunty
16. Murchie
17. Sironen
 
So what would be your best Warriors defensive 17, assuming we are at full strength? As in, lets say you had to pick a team whose sole task was to keep the opposition to 18 points or less, regardless of how many they can score; but also you can't pick players wildly out of position.

I'll have a stab:

1. Walsh
2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
3. Aitken
4. Pompey
5. Montoya
6. Chanel Harris-Tavita
7. Shaun Johnson
8. Addin Fonua-Blake
9. Egan
10. Lodge
11. Curran
12. Tohu Harris
13. Jazz

14. Pene
15. Bunty
16. Murchie
17. Sironen
Pretty good right there!

Take away atkin, murchie, Pene and add Walker, Barnett and Niukore and that's a pretty tough outfit on paper.
 
Its clear we dont push out hard enough on D from the middles, this is where (in the past) guys like Luck and Mannering we're worth their gold as they we're always working and filling that space, which gives the outsides a lot more confidence they can hold the line a bit longer or push out having that trust their inside man has their back.

However u look at the 4 tries Rabbito's scored on the back of throwing shape at us and at the very crux of their decoy runner creating the overlap, u tell me its not a defence coached policy for our outside man to come in and take the decoy - ist try they threw 2 decoys at us - Katoa shut in on the first one Pompey on the next decoy. 2nd try Pompey again comes in on the decoy, third it was Vailea, 4th try it was Johnson......christ even against an 13 v 11 man Sharks they got overlaps in exactly the same way.....decoy runner targetting the inside shoulder of the centre.....we've been getting opened up consistently like this for so long now no matter who plays on the edges it has to be a policy.

Your also not wrong about Reece, that first try look at the lack of urgency he shows shadowing the ball across, its only when Pompey gets beaten he puts on a burst of speed which is a mile too late by that time.
Its true what your saying about policy, we are biting hard on the decoy runner, I mean its a big burgess so sometimes you feel you have to but our boys are constantly jamming in. Its a trust thing, they're basically telling their inside man they dont trust them to hold that spot so im going to come in as well. Its like you say it is.
 
So what would be your best Warriors defensive 17, assuming we are at full strength? As in, lets say you had to pick a team whose sole task was to keep the opposition to 18 points or less, regardless of how many they can score; but also you can't pick players wildly out of position.

I'll have a stab:

1. Walsh
2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
3. Aitken
4. Pompey
5. Montoya
6. Chanel Harris-Tavita
7. Shaun Johnson
8. Addin Fonua-Blake
9. Egan
10. Lodge
11. Curran
12. Tohu Harris
13. Jazz

14. Pene
15. Bunty
16. Murchie
17. Sironen
Our best defensive team based straight off 2022 defensive stats:

1. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 71%
2. Pompey 87%
3. Aitken 96% (second row)
4. Arthar’s 90%
5. Kosi 78%
6. Asi 87%
7. Chanel Harris-Tavita 88%
8. Addin Fonua-Blake 96%
9. Egan 94%
10. Bunty 96%
11. Katoa 95%
12. Tohu Harris 96% (2021 stats)
13. Curran 94%

14. Pene 92%
15. Jazz 94%
16. Murchie 92%
17. Ben Murdoch-Masila 96%

Others:
Montoya 68%
Berry 88%
Shaun Johnson 85%
Sironen 89%
Lodge 89%
Walsh 63%

Obviously minutes and opposition are factors not included in these stats.
 
Our best defensive team based straight off 2022 defensive stats:

1. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 71%
2. Pompey 87%
3. Aitken 96% (second row)
4. Arthar’s 90%
5. Kosi 78%
6. Asi 87%
7. Chanel Harris-Tavita 88%
8. Addin Fonua-Blake 96%
9. Egan 94%
10. Bunty 96%
11. Katoa 95%
12. Tohu Harris 96% (2021 stats)
13. Curran 94%

14. Pene 92%
15. Jazz 94%
16. Murchie 92%
17. Ben Murdoch-Masila 96%

Others:
Montoya 68%
Berry 88%
Shaun Johnson 85%
Sironen 89%
Lodge 89%
Walsh 63%

Obviously minutes and opposition are factors not included in these stats.
Reece's poor stats are obviously blown out because he's exposed one-on-one at the line more, I wonder if Berry at FB would make better defensive reads, might be safer than Walsh at the back.
 
Last edited:
Reece's poor stats are obviously blown out because he's exposed one-on-one at the line more, I wonder if Berry at FB would make better defensive reads, might be safer than Walsh at the back.
Fullbacks a hard position defensively. But defence is not Reece’s strength :

Nicoll-klokstad: 89%
Drinkwater: 89%
Edwards (Panthers): 87%
Mitchell (South’s) 82%
Papenhuyzen 78%
Duffy: 77%
Tedesco: 76%
Trbojevic: 75%
Ponga: 75%
Campbell (titans): 74% yep - that scrawny 80kg kid is currently defending better than Reece

Walsh 2021: 72%
Walsh 2022: 63% 🤔
 

Bushman

Contributor
Our best defensive team based straight off 2022 defensive stats:

1. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 71%
2. Pompey 87%
3. Aitken 96% (second row)
4. Arthar’s 90%
5. Kosi 78%
6. Asi 87%
7. Chanel Harris-Tavita 88%
8. Addin Fonua-Blake 96%
9. Egan 94%
10. Bunty 96%
11. Katoa 95%
12. Tohu Harris 96% (2021 stats)
13. Curran 94%

14. Pene 92%
15. Jazz 94%
16. Murchie 92%
17. Ben Murdoch-Masila 96%

Others:
Montoya 68%
Berry 88%
Shaun Johnson 85%
Sironen 89%
Lodge 89%
Walsh 63%

Obviously minutes and opposition are factors not included in these stats.
Montoya is a bit of a shock, somehow thought he was better that. Is it him or his centre inside? Berry while terrible better than he seems on this forum.
Wonder what Walsh's first 5 games of the year versus his second 5 games.
*Edit he's played 9 games this season, not pretty reading.
Screenshot_20220518-174502_Samsung Internet.jpg
 
Last edited:
So what would be your best Warriors defensive 17
Ill try for a 13

1. Matthew Ridge
2. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
3, Euan Aitken
4. Dean Bell
5. Francis Meli (just ask Brent Tate)
6. Lance Hohaia (just ask Petro Civoneciva)
7. Chanel Harris Tavita
8. Richard Villasanti
9. Nathan Freind
10. Reuben Wiki
11. Simon Mannering
12. Kevin Campion
13. Michael Luck

Not sure how they'd go scoring points but they'd be a good bet to keep a few teams to zero. ;)
 
Its true what your saying about policy, we are biting hard on the decoy runner, I mean its a big burgess so sometimes you feel you have to but our boys are constantly jamming in. Its a trust thing, they're basically telling their inside man they dont trust them to hold that spot so im going to come in as well. Its like you say it is.
Hence why all teams have a big 2nd rower running at a halfback 3 in, with the hope they drag that centre in as well.

In that instance would rather the work come from the inside with the backrower playing inside the half playing bodyguard.....soon as our centre comes in we're stripped for numbers straight away.

Actually i hate that its set in stone halves have to defend 3 in......everyone knows their going to be target with plays specifically set up for this.....why make it easy for them.....chuck em on the wing or 4 in......change it up every now and then.
 
Last edited:
Fullbacks a hard position defensively. But defence is not Reece’s strength :

Nicoll-klokstad: 89%
Drinkwater: 89%
Edwards (Panthers): 87%
Mitchell (South’s) 82%
Papenhuyzen 78%
Duffy: 77%
Tedesco: 76%
Trbojevic: 75%
Ponga: 75%
Campbell (titans): 74% yep - that scrawny 80kg kid is currently defending better than Reece

Walsh 2021: 72%
Walsh 2022: 63% 🤔
That’s not good reading.
The other thing that worries me about Walsh on defense is his communication.
As mentioned we don’t number up well and that should be Walsh telling guys where to go.
Our outsides are green af and have made some bad reads and fallen off tackles they should've made but a lot of the time they’re just following policy and if u follow it right back it’s our middles getting caught on the wrong side of the ruck with too many defenders on the short side-there’s an overlap before the rucks even cleared- throw in a decoy or two and it’s all too easy.
 
A interesting question we could ask is who on this current team can actually stick a one on one tackle with no help? Like a mannering tackle where you wrap the ball up, no offload, no metres gained and no help. Like who can do that on this team? I can only think maybe Tohu Harris, Jazz tries to but doesnt always work. We may lack some true defenders in our team and our defence maybe compounded by not having enough of those type players especially in the one on one areas of the field such as centre backrow and halves. Just a thought and maybe im over thinking it but would be interested to see what you guys think about lacking true one on one capable defenders like manners was.
 
Our best defensive team based straight off 2022 defensive stats:

1. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 71%
2. Pompey 87%
3. Aitken 96% (second row)
4. Arthar’s 90%
5. Kosi 78%
6. Asi 87%
7. Chanel Harris-Tavita 88%
8. Addin Fonua-Blake 96%
9. Egan 94%
10. Bunty 96%
11. Katoa 95%
12. Tohu Harris 96% (2021 stats)
13. Curran 94%

14. Pene 92%
15. Jazz 94%
16. Murchie 92%
17. Ben Murdoch-Masila 96%

Others:
Montoya 68%
Berry 88%
Shaun Johnson 85%
Sironen 89%
Lodge 89%
Walsh 63%

Obviously minutes and opposition are factors not included in these stats.
Highlighting Kosi, barring the Melbourne Massacre he made alot of good reads up until that game. I would say he is slightly more conservative than montoya who is a straight out gangster trying to rip heads off when comes in to tackle
 
That’s not good reading.
The other thing that worries me about Walsh on defense is his communication.
As mentioned we don’t number up well and that should be Walsh telling guys where to go.
Our outsides are green af and have made some bad reads and fallen off tackles they should've made but a lot of the time they’re just following policy and if u follow it right back it’s our middles getting caught on the wrong side of the ruck with too many defenders on the short side-there’s an overlap before the rucks even cleared- throw in a decoy or two and it’s all too easy.
Its so true what youre saying, how is it possible that we are so outnumbered even against the sharks that theres almost 3 unmarked players to the outsides. This is going to be the downfall of the season if it continues, do we think its a skill issue where Reece cant actually figure it out in time to get the numbers right or is it lazyness effort etc?
 
A interesting question we could ask is who on this current team can actually stick a one on one tackle with no help? Like a mannering tackle where you wrap the ball up, no offload, no metres gained and no help. Like who can do that on this team? I can only think maybe Tohu Harris, Jazz tries to but doesnt always work. We may lack some true defenders in our team and our defence maybe compounded by not having enough of those type players especially in the one on one areas of the field such as centre backrow and halves. Just a thought and maybe im over thinking it but would be interested to see what you guys think about lacking true one on one capable defenders like manners was.
Can see Barnett and Niukore being able to do that. Someone like Katoa should be able to do that with his frame, so many work on's for that kid.