- Mar 30, 2012
We are past the halfway point of the regular season, so now is a good time to assess where we stand after Bluey's first 13 weeks at the helm.
The better facet of our play this season. Individually our players look sharp and can threaten the line. We have found a penetrative centre in the form of Hurrell, and our big men have been rumbling up the middle, with Matulino particularly dominant. On the other hand some of our last tackle options have been found wanting, and Johnson has overplayed his hand a little at times and sought out the "hero" play. Great at times (eg vs Easts), but teams are getting better at shutting these down. The ability to sum up and control a game will come given time and XP. Missing has been a ballplaying forward in good form (Mateo's role) - whether this is due to coach-induced uncertainty, or purely player-specific, is up for debate.
Team Offence Rating = B+
The most disappointing aspect of the season to date and a massive decline from 2011. Fringe defence has been particularly woeful. Some individuals have shown significant weakness in their game whether it be decision making (Vatuvei) or technique (Maloney). There seems to be a general lack of "starch", composure, and the ability to hang tough on our own goal line - the absence of Luck has been damaging here. Also disruptive has been the absence of Locke, whose positional play at the back is generally very tidy. Mannering has once again shone, and truly justified his title as the Kevin Costner of the side, cleaning up others errors and generally being in the right place at the tight time.
Team Defence Rating = C-
Coaching and Selections:
Easy to focus on the bad selection calls (Inu, Ropati?) and forget the good. Henry and Hurrell have been blooded, and though there have been a few shaky moments, noone could deny that we are better off for that. Highly questionable though has been the use of the interchange bench - a wide gulf from how Ivan was able to marshal his resources. Examples range from the questionable (a rampaging Matulino regularly being off the field long enough to watch a MySkyed Game of Thrones episode) to the insane (his continual use of Ta'ai at the wrong moments, and against the wrong opposition). Questions also need to be asked about his ability to prepare the team for gameday, given the number of slow starts conceded this season. As per above, the fact that defence has gone so far backwards from 2011 also suggests that something is amiss.
Coaching Rating = C
The Warriors were a 2011 Grand Final side and predicted by many to take out the title this year. To be outside the 8 at the halfway point of the season clearly comes up short of what fans could expect. The positives are that the team is within striking distance of the Top 8 (though a win over the Panthers is vital this weekend), and there is still time to turn things around. What really needs to change is attitude and execution on defence, as we are clearly a team with enough points in us to win games. Keeping a fit team throughout the second half of the season will be crucial.
Overall Rating: C