General Ropati: Defence is key

Skinny_Ravs82

Guest
sporta.co.nz

Incumbent New Zealand Warriors five-eighth Jerome Ropati believes the Sydney Roosters will try and exploit his side's right-hand defence in their Sunday afternoon clash at Aussie Stadium.

The Warriors came within inches of dispatching the Brisbane Broncos at Ericsson Stadium last week and Ropati believes a number of defensive lapses on the right edge proved to be the home side's downfall.

"I don't think we went wrong in too many areas. I think they [the Broncos] just had classy players who knew how to win the game at a crucial time," he said.

"Our right side defence was a bit weak and I was on that side so we will be looking to fix that up this week.


"There's no doubt the Roosters will be looking to exploit that."

Ropati has become a regular first-grader for the Warriors in the last two seasons and he has been used in a number of different positions over the course of his short career.

The utility back, who admits his preferred position is in the centres, says he is still coming to terms with his latest role at five-eighth.

"At number six I am still trying to get familiar with it and still trying to get back to playing a basic six game," said Ropati.

"It's going to take me a while to be honest."

Ropati also admits that the kicking-game of a five-eighth, an area the Warriors have struggled with in 2006, is not one that sits comfortably on his shoulders.

"I guess my goals really are to do the basics well, attack well, defend well and pass the ball properly," he said.

"The kicking game is one that doesn't really come as naturally to me as it does to other number sixes.

"In training I can kick the ball well so I guess through experience and more games at number six I will be able to improve in that area."

Warriors head coach Ivan Cleary is also closely monitoring Ropati's progress at five-eighth and he believes the young Kiwis representative is improving with each passing week.

"He's still coming to grips with playing the position and it's not an easy position," said Cleary.

"As I've said before, we've got young halves and they are both finding their way.

"It's not easy coming up against the best five-eight in the world and that's what Jerome came up against last week.

"He should take a lot out of that game that he matched it with a high quality opposition with some of the best players going around."
 

JonB_old

Guest
He is just talking crap now because I have always heard that he said he wants to be a centre not a standoff. Crazy.
 

Skinny_Ravs82

Guest
He says he's been practicing his kicking? Byt the looks of yesterday game he hasn't done enough. He also says it takes time...it's been 13 rounds! How much more time does he need?!
 

sebastian_old

Guest
He said he's prefered position is in the centres not 5/8 so obviously he knows he sucks & clearys pushing him. Hes had ample time to improve his skills but no improvement & he'll probally never cut it with the best. This is a bad move by cleary that will just waste time.
 

Iafeta_old

Guest
I thought he gave an improved performance yesterday to be honest.

There were times when he linked well with Sione Faumuina on the left hand side, that was a development from previous weeks. He also came up with some terrific cover defence.

I think he only got one kick in yesterday, and it was perhaps the right time to run it with a fractured defensive line in front of him, but at the end of the day the ball went into touch 10 metres out from their corner post so you'd take that.

There was one occaision where he looked very close to getting through the line and another instance where he did bust them open, there was only one time in that game yesterday where he made an ordinary decision running across field and nearly giving up a shepherd penalty from what should have been a second man pass out the back for a good crack at the line.

Overall though, I thought a much improved performance from Jerome.
 

sebastian_old

Guest
Well hopefully he does improve over time because clearys dead set on him being 5/8.
 

warriorfaithful*_old

Guest
sebastian said:
He said he's prefered position is in the centres not 5/8 so obviously he knows he sucks & clearys pushing him.

Thats where i want jerome playing... in the centres. Hes got heaps of talent ,5/8 isnt his position and playing there is making him look useless.
 

sebastian_old

Guest
warriorfaithful* said:
sebastian said:
He said he's prefered position is in the centres not 5/8 so obviously he knows he sucks & clearys pushing him.

Thats where i want jerome playing... in the centres. Hes got heaps of talent ,5/8 isnt his position and playing there is making him look useless.

Agreed , hes a super ball runner, to me thats where the talent ends.
 

Northern_Union

Guest
I've been bagging Ropo for a while now, and at 5/8 i believe he is a passenger at best and a liability at worse but as you say Sebastion, he is a very good ball runner. Perhapes center is his best position.....however i'm not sure his defence is up to fast skillfull men running lines at him.
 

JonB_old

Guest
huh Maybe Tony Kemp did somthing right by not putting JRo in at standoff. Who would of thought ehhh.
 

JonB_old

Guest
he has played there before actually and went ok didn't have to do much defence though
 

Skinny_Ravs82

Guest
JonB said:
he has played there before actually and went ok didn't have to do much defence though

His defense can be suspect at times. He does beaten on the outside a few times but when he does get in and tackle he does it well. If the Warriros want to keep him at 5/8 then he really is going to have to work alot harder otherwise we'll all still be calling for him to be moved. I wouldn't mind if he proves me wrong and starts playing well there just as long as it happens soon!
 

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