Then based on this, do we give our management a pass mark for pivoting and changing our team dramatically through the season? I’d say - yes.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
And looking forward, based on the squad currently signed for 2022, what are the gaps we will look to fill from November 1 to continue our rebalancing?
firstly, to me, the Fusitua situation needs resolving and I’d suggest given we are looking at another season away from Mt Smart, I’d bet that he may be released. That opens up a speed merchant spot on the wing.
Ale, Frei remain unsigned and probably are gone. Pride Peterson-Robati will likely slot in to one of those slots.
we obviously need halves - Sean O'Sullivan remains unsigned, Kodi is probably a likely leaver during next season (or before) and Chanel Harris-Tavita is off contract at the end of 2022. Next year is a big one for the young fella - perform or potentially we will replace you. I’m expecting a half being signed to complement Shaun Johnson - people talk Manu but I think he is better in the backs - if we land him, expect him to play like Turbo does for NSW - in the Centres but actually a ball playing destructive pacy runner alongside Berry (or Aitken who may be in the forwards too). Pompey ends up being back up.
so a 6 and backup 7 look like gaps we need to fill for 2022 for balance alongside a winger/utility to replace Fusitua and a Manu (great warriors pedigree name that…)
I’m expecting POS to find another Walsh to take Sean O'Sullivan slot.
then of course, we need a hooker like cheese. Or similar…to work with Egan.
So still lots of work to be done in the next few months for POS…. But my goodness, look how far we’ve come?!
that’s positive in itself.