General Squad rebalancing

Hi Fonzie,

Thanks for the compliment - have noticed you like a few of my posts over the past 6 months so appreciate the feedback!

I did wonder if I had overplayed my point in my post about Chanel Harris-Tavita as Shaun Johnson is good enough provide enough direction on behalf of both halves and carry Chanel Harris-Tavita to a degree.

I guess we will find out next year.
Certainly if Shaun Johnson gets injured or if Chanel Harris-Tavita tries to "express himself" to use a Brendon McCullum saying rather than playing a supporting role then things will get pear shaped.

I picked 2023 I assumed by then we would have replaced Chanel Harris-Tavita with a better accomplice for Shaun Johnson.

The other thought I had was Manu. I think a halves pairing of Shaun Johnson and Manu would be better than Shaun Johnson and Chanel Harris-Tavita. And I viewed that Chanel Harris-Tavita would hold back that pairing from happening for about 10 games or so until Brown could palpably see Shaun Johnson needed a halves option that drew defenders away from keying on him and rushing him.

Regarding CHTs pass. It has come along way, I think I used the word mediocre for his distribution. By NRL halves standards he is a mediocre passer. Neither good nor bad. He has come a long way since last year. I really like how he takes the line on and then turns and pivots and passes out the back to his edge. It is good you are correct. I docked him a few points as he doesn't yet have sleight of hand that a Cleary, DCE or even Nikorima has, his pop passes are a bit laboured, and doesn't always make the correct call of when to run vs pass (although this aspect has improved remarkably). His play making and setting up of players needs to improve.
This year he has 7 appearances and 1 try assist and 1 line break assist.
Actually the big stat there is the 7 appearances out of 19 games. Poor guy isn't getting much time to develop by being injured. So I can see why many of the fans here want to give him more of a chance taking his down time into account.

Sorry for long answer !

Reading between the lines I get the impression that you think he is not developing quick enough and has a low top end. I think what you say is correct, but could I chuck a couple of different perspectives your way.

He is a Rookie Half and as Kodi isn't a game manager has had to take over that role. Added to which he has been struggling playing with injuries as a Half in a struggling side where he has had little front foot ball.

Secondly it is hard to under estimate the value of a strong defender in the Halves, next year we will have two. Warriors defensive systems are designed to cover the shortcomings of our players so the opposition gets a double whammy. With strong middles, and good defensive backs is going to make a lot of difference.

I just think that Chanel Harris-Tavita is a glass half full/empty type of player, my opinion is as long as he does his role that is enough, good post buddy.
 

eudebrito

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Contributor
Most coaches go for the big player clean out the offseason after their first season, Brown just sped his up a lot faster, aided by the fact that teams are more into player swaps now and being based in Australia makes it 1000 times easier to get midseason transfers coming our way.

Lodge/Addin Fonua-Blake/Harris would go alongside Melbourne and Manly as the biggest middle 3 in the NRL so I guess it makes sense to go quicker on the edges, and not try and triple down on size with Ben Murdoch-Masila.

Sironen is looking better with consistent minutes, he seems to want to play both Sironen and Curran at lock though, one of them has to go onto the edge – they give Katoa too much “run over the half in front of you” ball, for whatever reason last year they were able to put him into holes, this year he just goes straight at the opposing half. Murchie seems pretty clearly the 5th out of 5 back rowers, and that’s before entertaining this Aitken shift, so he might be on the move if they need to free up a spot during next season.

Seeing Ken top the meter count for the tigers without ever looking like causing danger was eye opening for me, I did respect his donkey work, but that’s kind of all it was, even Montoya ran over the top of someone in the same game.

Now would probably be the time to stop reshaping the squad TBH and get some combinations and consistency going!
 
Hi Wrighty

You won’t get flames from me, in fact I’d like to hear more from you on my threads because you are the kind of analytical uncorrelated thinker that moves my thinking forward 👍

Next year Shaun Johnson will be kicking drop goals, managing games, kicking long, and (subject to injury) Chanel Harris-Tavita will be learning from him with Walsh adding a third ball playing and kicking option. So my take is we don’t need Chanel Harris-Tavita to be the complete package next year to make the 8. I would also disagree about his pass, I think he has a great flat pass to his edge.

Why do you think we will make the 8 in 2023?
So by signing Shaun Johnson they are saying Chanel Harris-Tavita isn’t an organising half for at least the next 2 years.

What’s his role for the next 2 years? He has stated he spent the last year taking the creative element out of his game and introducing structure. It will be interesting to see what he offers at 6 because I don’t currently see him suited to that role. At all.

Manu would definitely be a much better 6…. Chanel Harris-Tavita doesn’t really have a place with Shaun Johnson there. Injury cover for Shaun Johnson? 14? UK?
 
So by signing Shaun Johnson they are saying Chanel Harris-Tavita isn’t an organising half for at least the next 2 years.

What’s his role for the next 2 years? He has stated he spent the last year taking the creative element out of his game and introducing structure. It will be interesting to see what he offers at 6 because I don’t currently see him suited to that role. At all.

Manu would definitely be a much better 6…. Chanel Harris-Tavita doesn’t really have a place with Shaun Johnson there. Injury cover for Shaun Johnson? 14? UK?
I think Shaun Johnson will play 6 and they will continue to progress Chanel Harris-Tavita in the 7. The only thing that halves combo will lack is pace. This normally matters when you make a line break and are looking for support. With faster centres, wingers and fullback now I am confident we can compensate that
 
Reading between the lines I get the impression that you think he is not developing quick enough and has a low top end. I think what you say is correct, but could I chuck a couple of different perspectives your way.

He is a Rookie Half and as Kodi isn't a game manager has had to take over that role. Added to which he has been struggling playing with injuries as a Half in a struggling side where he has had little front foot ball.

Secondly it is hard to under estimate the value of a strong defender in the Halves, next year we will have two. Warriors defensive systems are designed to cover the shortcomings of our players so the opposition gets a double whammy. With strong middles, and good defensive backs is going to make a lot of difference.

I just think that Chanel Harris-Tavita is a glass half full/empty type of player, my opinion is as long as he does his role that is enough, good post buddy.
50% of the reason I am against Chanel Harris-Tavita is an unfair one and I should rise above it.

When he was 19 he was already playing first grade but was up and down a bit that season between first grade and ISP.

I watched him in ISP as they used to broadcast it and he was pants. He showed potential in first grade but at ISP he was gawd awful.
1) He took wrong options and I don't think you can teach that or get that from experience. You either read the game well by instinct or you don't. And the wrong options he took were egregious.
2) The execution of his options was weak. Especially from a tactical kicking perspective in the red zone. Weak is an understatement. Hopeless might be a better adjective.

I was really worried when I saw that as figured if he can't be effective at an ISP level, the fact he is 19 notwithstanding, what hope does he ever have of being an NRL standard half.

NRL standard halves are outstanding. They would carve up and get man of steel in the UK easily or whatever that award is called.

Being called a not standard half or non standard NRL centre is taken as a great insult to the player on this forum when the expression is used. But some perspective is needed, not aiming this at you Gizzyfan, but in general. The NRL is the premier professional league competition in the world. Guys who do very well in other leagues and lower levels can look like chumps in the NRL. The NRL standard players are simply outstanding and most or not all of the NRL "standard players" would be good enough to hold their own very nicely playing for New Zealand or Australia at international level if they had to fill in as an injury replacement. NRL standard halves are people like Luke Brooks, Ash Taylor, Dylan Brown, Chad Townsend. Those guys are really really good.
My suspicion and intuition says if you can't shine at ISP level even at 19 years old or 20 years old then you aren't going to turn in Chad Townsend/Dylan Brown/Luke Brooks with 30 more games under your belt.

But to finish where I started. 19 was how old he was when I saw that footage and he is much better since then. So I do need to let go of that first impression. Nonetheless it clouds my perception of him ie the fact he looked below average compared to other ISP players.
 
When he was 19 he was already playing first grade but was up and down a bit that season between first grade and ISP.
I'm happy to give him leeway as a youngster in both the NRL & ISP (to some extent). However some players are "winners" & he's yet to show that he is (7 wins-19 losses as a starting half). In 4 out of the 5 biggest defeats our NYC team had, he was our #7. The 2 longest losing streaks the side had coincided with him as a starting half. He did win their POY award but that team finished dead last & 2 wins away from 15th place.
He's an incredible tackler (not to be confused with defender) & plays square on attack which is an underrated skill. At just 3kg lighter than Victor Radley I believe he has a future in the NRL but not in the halves
 
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I know this sounds crazy but could Bunty be turned into a edge forward? I never understood why we didn't atleast trial Ken there. I also think Fusitua with his power running, great hands and aerial skills would make a good edge back rower.

But I never played league so have no idea what I'm talking about.
 
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So by signing Shaun Johnson they are saying Chanel Harris-Tavita isn’t an organising half for at least the next 2 years.

What’s his role for the next 2 years? He has stated he spent the last year taking the creative element out of his game and introducing structure. It will be interesting to see what he offers at 6 because I don’t currently see him suited to that role. At all.

Manu would definitely be a much better 6…. Chanel Harris-Tavita doesn’t really have a place with Shaun Johnson there. Injury cover for Shaun Johnson? 14? UK?
Chanel Harris-Tavita is a backup if the 6,7 or 9 get injured, i see no other job for him, he isn't fast enough to be a 6 with Johnson playing a managing role at 7. Too small to be a 13, His defence is A+ and is the only reason we don't get rid of him.
 
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That's where he started but hasn't featured there since 2017.
This was his first start there & just his second NRL game https://www.nrl.com/news/2016/07/16/rd-19-sea-eagles-v-warriors-hls/

I'm sorry there is so much to dissect in that short video.

1. Bunty looked the goods on the edge - scored 2 trys and doesn't play again?
2. Ken had pace on him before we bulked him up too much
3. I've never seen Leluia make a break before
4. LISONE DROP GOAL!
5. Of course DCE drop goals wins it for Manly. What else.
 
What do you think Brown's role of the #13 to be? We've seen Tohu Harris, Sironen, Tevaga & Curran (despite his limitation passing left to right) all play there.
Largely I think he sees #13 as just another middle, albeit bringing a different type of threat to the line. Jazz is obviously smaller, quicker, with footwork an offload and some passing; Sironen is similar.

Tohu Harris has been used more as a prop but with Addin Fonua-Blake fit and Lodge back I'd expect him to play more of a finesse game going forward from #13. Tohu Harris, Addin Fonua-Blake and Lodge is a very big, slower middle combination though so I can see why Brownie is trying to balance that with faster edges.
 
50% of the reason I am against Chanel Harris-Tavita is an unfair one and I should rise above it.

When he was 19 he was already playing first grade but was up and down a bit that season between first grade and ISP.

I watched him in ISP as they used to broadcast it and he was pants. He showed potential in first grade but at ISP he was gawd awful.
1) He took wrong options and I don't think you can teach that or get that from experience. You either read the game well by instinct or you don't. And the wrong options he took were egregious.
2) The execution of his options was weak. Especially from a tactical kicking perspective in the red zone. Weak is an understatement. Hopeless might be a better adjective.

I was really worried when I saw that as figured if he can't be effective at an ISP level, the fact he is 19 notwithstanding, what hope does he ever have of being an NRL standard half.

NRL standard halves are outstanding. They would carve up and get man of steel in the UK easily or whatever that award is called.

Being called a not standard half or non standard NRL centre is taken as a great insult to the player on this forum when the expression is used. But some perspective is needed, not aiming this at you Gizzyfan, but in general. The NRL is the premier professional league competition in the world. Guys who do very well in other leagues and lower levels can look like chumps in the NRL. The NRL standard players are simply outstanding and most or not all of the NRL "standard players" would be good enough to hold their own very nicely playing for New Zealand or Australia at international level if they had to fill in as an injury replacement. NRL standard halves are people like Luke Brooks, Ash Taylor, Dylan Brown, Chad Townsend. Those guys are really really good.
My suspicion and intuition says if you can't shine at ISP level even at 19 years old or 20 years old then you aren't going to turn in Chad Townsend/Dylan Brown/Luke Brooks with 30 more games under your belt.

But to finish where I started. 19 was how old he was when I saw that footage and he is much better since then. So I do need to let go of that first impression. Nonetheless it clouds my perception of him ie the fact he looked below average compared to other ISP players.

A big problem is being a young NZ based Half who hasn't gone through that Aussie Coaching from a young age. Yours is a valid viewpoint.
 
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If the pack is lodge and Addin up front and Brownies compensating with a faster back row like Euan and Curren and Sironen.

Eli , Ben Murdoch-Masila , Bunty and to a lesser extent Kane and maybe Pene being impact players.
Jazz and Nikorima sort of filling that utility role.
Where's that leave Tohu Harris our potential captain?
At Lock? Does he provide enough link play like I think sironen can? Prop? Great metres and footwork, or back to the edge?
 
Fonzie Fonzie - in hindsight, when we review the season, do you think the plan was always to be in a window in 2022? (Ie challenging for top 6)…. This year was about signing some quality through the season, removing some dead wood and they traded off stability in a COVID year for building culture and adding quality…. Given the decisions of the last few weeks I’m starting to think this is planned.

whilst we are two wins out of the 8 (but we should be in it!) it feels like being 7th or 8th was this years target… with a push for 2022.

thoughts?
 
Fonzie Fonzie - in hindsight, when we review the season, do you think the plan was always to be in a window in 2022? (Ie challenging for top 6)…. This year was about signing some quality through the season, removing some dead wood and they traded off stability in a COVID year for building culture and adding quality…. Given the decisions of the last few weeks I’m starting to think this is planned.

whilst we are two wins out of the 8 (but we should be in it!) it feels like being 7th or 8th was this years target… with a push for 2022.

thoughts?
Definitely. I believe playing Walsh above Roger Tuivasa-Sheck proves this.

I think they thought they could scrape into the top 8 even while rebalancing the squad, until injuries became too disruptive.
 
Fonzie Fonzie - in hindsight, when we review the season, do you think the plan was always to be in a window in 2022? (Ie challenging for top 6)…. This year was about signing some quality through the season, removing some dead wood and they traded off stability in a COVID year for building culture and adding quality…. Given the decisions of the last few weeks I’m starting to think this is planned.

whilst we are two wins out of the 8 (but we should be in it!) it feels like being 7th or 8th was this years target… with a push for 2022.

thoughts?
Pre season Robbo was loudly talking top 8 minimum and Brownie was more circumspect..I think..Sully said he was a year ahead on his 4 year plan..So yeah agree I think they thought/hoped they’d finish 6-8, and would have been looking for top 4-6 next year

Then the rule changes added to the need for roster rebalancing, and with a new coach and new players already learning a new system, the whole thing became like ‘mid air refueling’.. and then you have the injuries to the players that needed to kick on, Chanel Harris-Tavita and Egan, and all the others..

So I think we are a 6-12 months behind where we thought we were
 

St George Warriors

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Theres been some interesting comments from Brownie lately culminating in the wild call to put Aitken in the second row and (apparently) keep him there. A few observations on how Brownie has adjusted the squad:

Ken out, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak in - less size, more speed
Ben Murdoch-Masila to middle/out - wants faster edge forwards
Lodge in - instructed to ball play to overcome lack of speed/footwork
Jamayne Tounua-Brown down/out - wants props with size and at least one of passing game/footwork/acceleration
Pene in - see Jamayne Tounua-Brown above
LAM out - see Jamayne Tounua-Brown above
Aitken to 2RF - wants small agile edge forwards (see also Sironen, Curran; Katoa needs less weight more speed? Murchie?)
Curran extended - see Aitken above
Kodi to 14 - doesn't organise, too limited; going with Chanel Harris-Tavita/Shaun Johnson instead
Montoya - see 'Ken' - fast, good trainer

Interested in other thoughts/challenges?
Browny definitely realising with the new rules you need guys who can quickly get over the advantage line, have good leg speed and quick play of the balls. Look at the top clubs. Especially at lock. Hence Sironen, Curran, Aitken and the signing of Pene.

Also our team 1-17 named this week are all going to put in effort. Could argue Kodi is questionable. But everyone else are effort players which I like.

We still need a gun half to complete our spine if we’re going to make the 8 next year.
 
Fonzie Fonzie - in hindsight, when we review the season, do you think the plan was always to be in a window in 2022? (Ie challenging for top 6)…. This year was about signing some quality through the season, removing some dead wood and they traded off stability in a COVID year for building culture and adding quality…. Given the decisions of the last few weeks I’m starting to think this is planned.

whilst we are two wins out of the 8 (but we should be in it!) it feels like being 7th or 8th was this years target… with a push for 2022.

thoughts?
I think so. Something like releasing Lawton to give Otukolo game time and a contract is a decision that makes us less likely to win games this year but should help us in future years. Same with playing Walsh at fullback and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck on the wing.

Even the last few games Brown seems to be picking players in positions based on next year's team like playing Kodi as bench hooker when we had no halves or only using Jazz for the last 25 off the bench even though we were missing a stack of forwards.
 
I like what Brown is doing because it helps answer some long held beliefs of mine.

One being, that the problems at the Warriors stem more from the player type than the Coaches....whereas the Warriors have always blamed the coaches.

Without Brown, the changes even with POS there would be slowed by the Coach not being someone players want to come to the Warriors and play under.

SK was stuck with ex Kiwi players he had a relationship with.

And some of them became toe rags when they got here.

Brown is running a conveyor belt...what is particularly exciting, is he is churning through guys like Kose, players that we would never get to see, yes I can see the eye rolls.....but this is what should be happening, we should be trying a bunch of locals who are not the usual pets in local comps.
 

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