General Squad rebalancing

Teeps4Shore

Teeps4Shore

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
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.

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.
 
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Geoff Public

Geoff Public

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I think they want someone with speed. Both Hughes and Manu have some tow. Aitken is in the 2nd row to help with leg speed.

Medium term our biggest problem is that we are going to keep going to market. Every year Covid provides barriers to return travel to Australia is another year our pathways program is stalled
 
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6Again

Backs aside I think Brownies real focus is in trying to find the right balance amongst his forwards. We started the year with plenty of excitement around our “monster pack” but that of course backfired because the game has sped up considerably, POS mentioned how some players values dropped overnight and it’s been a problem for us since then.

What‘s clear to me is how we struggle to contain the middle once fatigue sets in and how the good teams have exposed that weakness throughout the season.
Brownie has tried plenty to cover it up. Playing down our edges to give our middles a breather was one tactic, giving our edges time in the middle was another. It now looks like we’re moving the ball through the middle not solely to break down opposition defensive structures but to fatigue their big men so they’re less impactful through our middle defensively.

This tactic is still largely a work in progress and we’re yet to get this right for long periods barring 20 minutes against Penrith but he‘s at least pulling the right rein now imo. Though in saying that I’m not sure it’s an “all weather” strategy and could backfire once we’re back playing through the Auckland winter months keeping in mind how important control of possession is now.

I guess one refreshing aspect of Brownies coaching and the current administration is they don’t just sit on their hands so I am expecting to see more changes in personnel/tactics. Hopefully it yields positive results soon.
 
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Juno

Really appreciated your latest podcast and thought, here is a student of the game. Most fans, like kids when they first start playing, follow the ball around & its like watching a flock of swallows following the leader - creating a great display but still following the leader is what it is. TV coverage has us all doing the same so unless you watch a game live you never get the full picture.
Anyway, in this thread you are talking about re-shaping the squad.
There's a place for instinctive players who may have some nous as well as natural talent and some room for grunt players who don't have to do anything else but hit it up, some journeymen who regardless of whether they have footy brains will get the job done, some bright and shining stars that have it all etc etc.

If Storm is the ultimate structure its well-known that Bellamy expects his spine (and that is the halves, hooker and fullback?) to be game-makers and that requires the top 2 inches imo. You can get away with 2 out of four there, perhaps if the other two are instinctive freaks lol.

I know who I think has footy brains in the team now but I only have insight into a couple of them - so my question for you and others is just how important is the top 2 inches, in what positions, and who they think has that important top 2 inches in this current squad ?
 
Cces

Cces

so my question for you and others is just how important is the top 2 inches, in what positions, and who they think has that important top 2 inches in this current squad ?
Another podcaster I listen to often refers to ruck recognition when evaluating #9's. I view this as a skill that is learnt rather than an instinctive one. He's highlighted Danny Levi as an elite runner & solid passer but that he has poor decisions making skills hence why he didn't attract much interest when off contract & had to drop to Q Cup. Egan appears to have developed his ruck recognition in 2021 which is promising
 
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Mr Bob

Mr Bob

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If Storm is the ultimate structure its well-known that Bellamy expects his spine (and that is the halves, hooker and fullback?) to be game-makers and that requires the top 2 inches imo. You can get away with 2 out of four there, perhaps if the other two are instinctive freaks lol.

I know who I think has footy brains in the team now but I only have insight into a couple of them - so my question for you and others is just how important is the top 2 inches, in what positions, and who they think has that important top 2 inches in this current squad ?
pretty simple really.

the decision making positions, that also touches the ball the most need the most top 2 inches, which is why it’s always your spine.

The position with the least top 2 are obviously the ones with the least thinking involved, that is Prop. Catch the ball and run straight. This is why your ball players and those with a high iq or talent, in my opinion eg Tohu Harris, are wasted playing prop. Leave that for Bunty and Ben Murdoch-Masila.

Squad rebalancing

1. Size & Bulk - limited 2 inches
Advantage: physical dominance
Disadvantage: speed & lack of creativity
Eg Prop Wings & Prop

2. Slim build & high IQ
Advantage- speed and creativity
Disadvantage- bullied in defense/ wrestling near the line & INJURY
Eg everyone in the Warriors squad

NB needs to get his balance right.

There’s a real chance we will see Kodi, Jazz and Aitken in the forward pack playing at the same time this weekend. If I was Lodge and Addin Fonua-Blake, I’ve got to be wondering, where is my forward pack?????

Walsh is the tiny, Sean O'Sullivan is that tiny, DZW and Montoya are slim build…. This whole lacks a real real physical presence about it, and will get bullied on the park…
 
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Gizzyfan

Gizzyfan

Really appreciated your latest podcast and thought, here is a student of the game. Most fans, like kids when they first start playing, follow the ball around & its like watching a flock of swallows following the leader - creating a great display but still following the leader is what it is. TV coverage has us all doing the same so unless you watch a game live you never get the full picture.
Anyway, in this thread you are talking about re-shaping the squad.
There's a place for instinctive players who may have some nous as well as natural talent and some room for grunt players who don't have to do anything else but hit it up, some journeymen who regardless of whether they have footy brains will get the job done, some bright and shining stars that have it all etc etc.

If Storm is the ultimate structure its well-known that Bellamy expects his spine (and that is the halves, hooker and fullback?) to be game-makers and that requires the top 2 inches imo. You can get away with 2 out of four there, perhaps if the other two are instinctive freaks lol.

I know who I think has footy brains in the team now but I only have insight into a couple of them - so my question for you and others is just how important is the top 2 inches, in what positions, and who they think has that important top 2 inches in this current squad ?

French Rugby Union have a great saying about grunt players and instinctive creative players 'There are those that play the piano and those that move the piano'
 
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Gizzyfan

Gizzyfan

As far as the Warriors go I don't think the 6 again speeding up the game has made the difference that people think. Once we lost Addin Fonua-Blake, Hiku, Aitken they essentially reverted to the standard of previous years.

For me the one thing that was beyond their control was the injuries, mistakes, basic missed tackles and the failure to convert opportunities in close games contributed along with a defensive system that doesn't handle pressure.

What needs to happen, and this is Brown's big test, is to learn from the mistakes and improve for next year. Personally I think individually players have stood up to be counted and given 100%.

One player who has copped it on here has been O'Sullivan, step back and consider he is essentially a Rookie coming back from a serious, long term injury who is thrown in the deep end and has to be the game manager because Kodi goes on walkabout. I would retain him on a mild upgrade and spend money elsewhere.

Despite all the issues the team has progressed this year. so many what might have beens.
 
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Cces

Cces

Despite all the issues the team has progressed this year.
Despite all the issues our most complete performance remains our Round 1 victory over the Titans. Some individuals like Egan & Curran have progressed but they're few & far between. The majority of the pluses this season are on the back of recruitment rather than development
 
The Falcon

The Falcon

It’s great reading the feedback on this topic, some really considered opinions.
At the moment to me ,outside of the halves conundrum which is well documented, our back row seems to be missing some speed and dynamism - Kaufusi at Melbourne, Crichton from Roosters, Kolomatangi at Souths. Hopefully Katoa can develop into this type of player, but it feels like there might be a slot to fill here also.
 
Gizzyfan

Gizzyfan

Despite all the issues our most complete performance remains our Round 1 victory over the Titans. Some individuals like Egan & Curran have progressed but they're few & far between. The majority of the pluses this season are on the back of recruitment rather than development

What I meant was being competitive, they have been in the mix for most games, I take your point of recruitment v development, we will not see that till next season.
 
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Mr Bob

Mr Bob

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What I meant was being competitive, they have been in the mix for most games, I take your point of recruitment v development, we will not see that till next season.

You don’t get bonus points for being competitive when you lose.
 
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Cces

Cces

But are scores blowing out more than last season?

It's 1st year into the Brown rebuild. It's not complete and this season reflects that.
After 19 rounds in 2020 we had been beaten by 20+ on 5 occassions & 14+ those same 5. In 2021 it's 20+ x4 & 14+ x6.
No significant difference
 
Geoff Public

Geoff Public

Contributor
After 19 rounds in 2020 we had been beaten by 20+ on 5 occassions & 14+ those same 5. In 2021 it's 20+ x4 & 14+ x6.
No significant difference
Thanks but I meant scores in general. The perception is that the top 5 teams are winning by bigger margin. Which means the rest are loosing by more.
So if the points spread is greater this year then there is improvement If our average is the same.
 
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Cces

Cces

Thanks but I meant scores in general. The perception is that the top 5 teams are winning by bigger margin. Which means the rest are loosing by more.
So if the points spread is greater this year then there is improvement If our average is the same.
I like your positive outlook. I'm going to remain a little less positive based on the fact we've had 6 games in 2021 against top 5 sides & had 7 games against them at the same stage in 2020 but held a slightly better points differential
 
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