General The three biggest issues of 2012

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Richie

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2012 is now gone (yeah, yeah, mathematical blah blah). I have little belief that 2013 will be much better, but we can hope (seems about all we can do). Anyway, these are what I believe the 3 biggest problems with the Warriors were in 2012.

1. No cohesion in defence - They say defence is all about attitude... but that's not exactly true. While I attitude may have been poor at times (particularly, not enough urgency around the ruck) I think there are other major problems with the Warriors D. Firstly, the inconsistent mixture of up-and-in and slide defence doesn't seem to work for us. The problems here is that the teams doesn't operate in unison. Some go further forward than others, others are slow to move up and when they slide there seems to be no trust in the inside and outside man so that we compress too much and leave gaping holes in our line. This is especially the case on the flanks, where teams have constantly been going around us all year. The fact that we don't have the fastest outside backs going around makes this even more of a problem, one that teams have repeatedly exploited. I don't know about you all, but after some games I'm left wondering if the Warriors run defensive drills at all and question how seriously they take them if they do. Who is our defensive coach? He needs to be sacked, pronto! There's also the question of fitness (mental and physical). Can we find the Kiwi equivalent of Billy Johnstone, because talent will only get us so far.

2. No structure in attack - By this I don't mean playing A.B.C footy (3 hit-ups one off the ruck, a dummy half run or two and a kick on the 5th). What I mean is that if you look at Manly, Dogs, Storm, Cowboys, etc. (the good teams) they almost always have attacking players moving off the ball. You would think the Warriors attacking coach wouldn't need to have it spelt out to him, but if you have players running lines on the inside and outside it creates OPTIONS. Most of Warriors fans have probably forgot what that means, because most of the time it seems our side has none. It also creates doubt in the minds of the defence, which itself can create opportunities. We have had the fast thinking players to take advantage of this (Johnson, Maloney, Locke and Friend) but we haven't done the work off the ball to give them the chance. Instead the opposition sees 1 or 2 front runners (dummy scoot and forward off the shoulder) or a predictable wrap-around back-line set-up... and it's easy pickings for the defence. This year it has appeared as if we've only had 2 modes in attack - A.B.C and scramble/panic mode. It's up to the attacking core (1, 6, 7 and 9) and the coaching staff to establish some off-the-ball structure and find the right mix between A.B.C and ad-lib. Pleaaaase!

3. We lacked leadership - both on and off the field. I don't know how much the players believe in Bluey's game plans and overall strategy (assuming he has one, that is) but, in my opinion (as everything above is) the lack of cohesion in both defence and attack usually boils down to not acting as a team. Does the coach get the leadership group together during the week between games and training sessions to get everyone on the same page? Do we even have a leadership group? Obviously every player needs to put his own best foot forward each game, but without an agreed to plan (one all the players are aware of and committed to) you're going to lose against a better prepared team more often than not. How often do we see Johnson put in a lovely little kick... that no one had any idea was coming? Too bloody often. The old saying 'A champion team will always beat a team of champions' is spot on. Look at the dominance of Storm in recent times. Yes they have 'the big 3' but their success is more about their unity as a team and their professional preparation and mentality than it is about individual brilliance. Making Manu the captain was the last straw for me. He's a great player (though I think the time has come to shift him into the 2nd row or use him off the bench) but he is not a captain, not by any stretch of the imagination. The leadership he provides is by example, with his big charges helping out the forwards, which he can do without the C next to his name. It's obvious he's not the motivator the team needs. We need someone who can say in a few words, or with a look, what it takes to lift the boys heads when they're down or instil confidence when the game is on the line. I think we've had that kind of leadership in the past with players like Campion, Pricey, Wiki, Luck, Tate and I think we have it again in Mannering (though I wonder at times). My point is that having a winning team isn't all about having mad skills and physical presence. It's also (mostly) about mental toughness, commitment and selfless dedication. That might sound like a Meninga speech but there's a good reason for that. Queensland possess all those things in buckets and have for years.

Anyway, that's my 10c worth. All just personal opinion, of course, but I'd love to know what everyone else thinks have been our 3 biggest problems in 2012... and what we need to do to fix them. Go the Warriors for the rest of 2012, but mainly looking forward to 2013 and beyond.
 
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Danpatmac

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there are way more than 3.
 
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Akkerz

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This is it - well posted
 
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Sebastian

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Outside backs.

Backrow.

Impact of the bench.
 
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wallacenz

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i think terrible team selection sums it up.

Slow 2nd rowers at centre, constantly being run around or easily rounded up.
Poor wingers defencively, they cant pickup grubbers or catch bombs or tackle and arent particularly fast.
Weak 2nd rowers, they can tackle but they cant man handle opposition players, they lack power.
Lazy, unfit props, Im pointing the finger at Packer and Lousi who are constantly exposed slacking off at marker.
Weak tackling halves, the stats dont lie with Maloney and Johnson 2 of the worst in the comp.

Last year Cleary was pretty ruthless when players werent performing and to his credit he kept players that did perform despite having other perceived favourites. Bluey should have learned from that.
 
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Richie

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there are way more than 3.
You're right, DPM. Heaps more. But i think these are the main 3, though if we were to dissect them each would probably be 3 distinct issues in and off themselves. Three was just an arbitrary number that seemed as good a number as any.

Thanks, Akkerz. I'm fairly new to the site, though I've been a Warriors fan since their inception. Being able to type my frustrations out here might just be the thing to keep me from breaking the remote during these difficult times. ;)
 
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facefacts

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1. Lack of experienced depth like we had last season, if a replacement was needed this season, that replacement was either a complete rookie or close to it.

2. No speed, we would be the slowest team in the comp, particularly in the outside backs...and we all know speed is the greatest weapon in the game, and i cant see
any improvement in that department next season.

3. Not recruiting Bennett, Bellamy or Hasler (who i think is now the best coach in the comp)......anyone else is just an also ran coach.
 
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Richie

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Outside backs.

Backrow.

Impact of the bench.
I'm with you, but also think our problems go further than this. It wouldn't be fair to punt Bluey after just 1 year (though if I could, I probably would). I think team planning and structure are just as important as selections though.

wallacenz wallacenz - yeah, I know Brown has played centre before but he was shocking there today. Imagine if we'd had a real centre with pace in position when Manu had batted the ball back near the Sharkies try-line early in the game. Could have been a whole different game (Yeah, I know 'coulda, shoulda, woulda'). I've thought Manu would be better as a ball runner in the 2nd row for a while now (that's where his real value is now, anway). He's a champion, but too slow to turn and chase, to often vulnerable when faced with grubbers and not really canny enough to work the sideline to best advantage. As for Tupou... my mum used to say 'when you don't have anything nice to say about anyone, don't say anything at all'. I'll leave it at that. I've always like Brown in the 2nd row, though that doesn't matter any more. Like it or not, Mateo and Johnson are our only 2 players that consistently threaten in attack (even if they both make poor decisions at times). Taylor and Mannering are tackle beasts which every team needs and Ikahihifo shows promise, though bringing these kids in now is a tough initiation for them. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, I guess. Packer is no Matulino, but he's not been too bad this year I think (though yeah, he's in the Tookey and Rose mould). I'm a bigger fan of Sam Rapira's play, though like a lot of the team I think he's struggling for confidence. You're right about our bench though. We get no value off the bench at all, imo. I'm no fan of the Lousi boys. Lillyman is a real hit-up merchant and hardman, but very rarely ever breaks the line or draws enough defenders to create space (though off our props, only Matulino ever does). Too early to say about Carlos, though he's got the pedigree, that's for sure. I'd love to see a Mara type player (Mara himself, even) on the bench, because when we're running short of attack options what do we bring off the bench at the moment? More of the same. I like having a live wire on the bench who can take advantage of tiring forwards in the back of each half (and give us some utility to cover for injuries in the backs). You're right about Johnsons D, though Maloney's recent poor D is a fairly new development. I thought he defended alright last year. Johnson's defence is a worry, but lots of attacking halves are the same. He'll improve. I think it's his whole mentality needs to be addressed. Individual brilliance he has, but that's not always what the team needs. Sometimes it's like he's working against the boys, rather than with them, or that he's two pages ahead and not bothering for the boys to catch up. As a result, we have no flow in our attack. I completely agree with you that we need a tough coach, and not one who wants to be every player's best friend. Saying 'Ohh, I know we got bet again, but I thought the boy's efforts were really good' gets old real fast. We need someone at the helm who isn't afraid to make the tough selection calls and who has strategic plans (short-term and long) about where he's taking the team.
 
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2012 is now gone (yeah, yeah, mathematical blah blah). I have little belief that 2013 will be much better, but we can hope (seems about all we can do). Anyway, these are what I believe the 3 biggest problems with the Warriors were in 2012.

1. No cohesion in defence - They say defence is all about attitude... but that's not exactly true. While I attitude may have been poor at times (particularly, not enough urgency around the ruck) I think there are other major problems with the Warriors D. Firstly, the inconsistent mixture of up-and-in and slide defence doesn't seem to work for us. The problems here is that the teams doesn't operate in unison. Some go further forward than others, others are slow to move up and when they slide there seems to be no trust in the inside and outside man so that we compress too much and leave gaping holes in our line. This is especially the case on the flanks, where teams have constantly been going around us all year. The fact that we don't have the fastest outside backs going around makes this even more of a problem, one that teams have repeatedly exploited. I don't know about you all, but after some games I'm left wondering if the Warriors run defensive drills at all and question how seriously they take them if they do. Who is our defensive coach? He needs to be sacked, pronto! There's also the question of fitness (mental and physical). Can we find the Kiwi equivalent of Billy Johnstone, because talent will only get us so far.

2. No structure in attack - By this I don't mean playing A.B.C footy (3 hit-ups one off the ruck, a dummy half run or two and a kick on the 5th). What I mean is that if you look at Manly, Dogs, Storm, Cowboys, etc. (the good teams) they almost always have attacking players moving off the ball. You would think the Warriors attacking coach wouldn't need to have it spelt out to him, but if you have players running lines on the inside and outside it creates OPTIONS. Most of Warriors fans have probably forgot what that means, because most of the time it seems our side has none. It also creates doubt in the minds of the defence, which itself can create opportunities. We have had the fast thinking players to take advantage of this (Johnson, Maloney, Locke and Friend) but we haven't done the work off the ball to give them the chance. Instead the opposition sees 1 or 2 front runners (dummy scoot and forward off the shoulder) or a predictable wrap-around back-line set-up... and it's easy pickings for the defence. This year it has appeared as if we've only had 2 modes in attack - A.B.C and scramble/panic mode. It's up to the attacking core (1, 6, 7 and 9) and the coaching staff to establish some off-the-ball structure and find the right mix between A.B.C and ad-lib. Pleaaaase!

3. We lacked leadership - both on and off the field. I don't know how much the players believe in Bluey's game plans and overall strategy (assuming he has one, that is) but, in my opinion (as everything above is) the lack of cohesion in both defence and attack usually boils down to not acting as a team. Does the coach get the leadership group together during the week between games and training sessions to get everyone on the same page? Do we even have a leadership group? Obviously every player needs to put his own best foot forward each game, but without an agreed to plan (one all the players are aware of and committed to) you're going to lose against a better prepared team more often than not. How often do we see Johnson put in a lovely little kick... that no one had any idea was coming? Too bloody often. The old saying 'A champion team will always beat a team of champions' is spot on. Look at the dominance of Storm in recent times. Yes they have 'the big 3' but their success is more about their unity as a team and their professional preparation and mentality than it is about individual brilliance. Making Manu the captain was the last straw for me. He's a great player (though I think the time has come to shift him into the 2nd row or use him off the bench) but he is not a captain, not by any stretch of the imagination. The leadership he provides is by example, with his big charges helping out the forwards, which he can do without the C next to his name. It's obvious he's not the motivator the team needs. We need someone who can say in a few words, or with a look, what it takes to lift the boys heads when they're down or instil confidence when the game is on the line. I think we've had that kind of leadership in the past with players like Campion, Pricey, Wiki, Luck, Tate and I think we have it again in Mannering (though I wonder at times). My point is that having a winning team isn't all about having mad skills and physical presence. It's also (mostly) about mental toughness, commitment and selfless dedication. That might sound like a Meninga speech but there's a good reason for that. Queensland possess all those things in buckets and have for years.

Anyway, that's my 10c worth. All just personal opinion, of course, but I'd love to know what everyone else thinks have been our 3 biggest problems in 2012... and what we need to do to fix them. Go the Warriors for the rest of 2012, but mainly looking forward to 2013 and beyond.
Good post Brother.

1- in alot of sports round the world the saying rings true "Defene wins championships" - i agree with what you said about the structures. its almost like some players are told to defend one way and some told to defend another. i hate how our outside backs seem to back off and run backwards..... back yourselfs to take your man. I have alot of problems with tackling. we seem to go in half hearted and let the attacker offload. i want to see more mongrel in defence and line speed. although line speed is more than likely a fitness issue. I dont think mclennan took Defence serious at all, judging from pre season comments about going back to attacking adlib football. Now if the coach has this kind of attitude its only a matter of time before it trickles down to the players

2- attack. well my biggest gripe all year has been no support play what so ever. a player makes a break or half break and no one seems to be anywhere near him. Add to the fact when we are in the opp 20 we never seem to have players in motion, decoy runners or the ball carrier having options either side. this makes it so easy for defence to mark up and pick off players. i honestly thing mclennan assumed that if we just play hot potato that we will score tries at will. we need to go up the middle before we go out wide - that was happening alot more lately(the going through the middle bit) in another thread someone questioned what Joey johns has done for our halves. i think if you look at the halves he has worked with they have all gone backwards. Ben roberts and daniel mortimer are two players he worked with that have gone backwards.

3 - leadership. I dont know whats going on with the club in terms of this. i dont think we have a leadership group. i always feel that leadership should starts at the top through the coach.Mclenann seems to have taken to having some sort of mate/family type atmosphere. even in press conferences you get the feeling that he is talking about his kids like last week going on about how he was proud of them for having a dig. If i had kids thats something i would say to them if they failed at something. I think they should of been told how it really was, i get the impression that mclennan thinks he is ddoing the best thing by sugar coating everything. on the flipside look at a hasler or bellamy, ask yourself if they throw up crap do you think he will sit there and tell their players "hey guys im proud of how you had a dig".

On mental toughness. this purely comes from XP. asking kids to step up from the juniors into 1st grade and then have any sort of mental toughness is unrealistic, Some of these kids need to learn that your mind will give out long before your body ever does. in fact when your in fatigue or pain your mind lies to you and tells you to quit. only though experience are you going to learn to block those thoughts out.
 
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smac19

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good post

take Mateo & Friend out of the team (2 aussie players) and this NZ team is ratsiht
 
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wallacenz

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When you look at these problems as a whole surely the person to go is Scurrah.

Lack of recruitment and retaining players, loss of coach, loss of football manager, recruitment of new coach, a big announcement that turned out to be nothing.

As a result of many or even all these things we see the club going from first to last in 1 year and the person who is supposed to be responsible for managing all these elements for the betterment of the club is the CEO.
 
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What a sad weekend ....all three teams got smashed and totally outplayed
it just highlights what I think is wrong with the club

That there is development ...or lack of development or perhaps better put mislead development.
Which I blame for the position we are in ....and looking likely to repeat history.

I think they need to get rid of ackland or at least have bell, ackland, ricky henry and co. have a hui lol.
Not a meeting on how to spend more of Owen Glenns money but how they are going to make better decisions.
On how they are going to teach these players to play REAL football at nyc level, and push for their development on a real pathway to first grade.
 
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wallacenz

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What a sad weekend ....all three teams got smashed and totally outplayed
it just highlights what I think is wrong with the club

That there is development ...or lack of development or perhaps better put mislead development.
Which I blame for the position we are in ....and looking likely to repeat history.

I think they need to get rid of ackland or at least have bell, ackland, ricky henry and co. have a hui lol.
Not a meeting on how to spend more of Owen Glenns money but how they are going to make better decisions.
On how they are going to teach these players to play REAL football at nyc level, and push for their development on a real pathway to first grade.
Problem we have with playing "real" football is that we have such physically dominant youths in the junior grades that it seems to me that we end up with big power players across the park, none particularly adept at beating a man.

I can only speak for what Ive seen in the junior rugby grades but in Auckland they are dominated by huge guys who just steam roll over their opposition, and I think Auckland rugby is suffering for that reason. When they cant outmuscle the opposition they have nothing to fall back on but the fact is, at the younger levels thats all they need.
 
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smac19

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Problem we have with playing "real" football is that we have such physically dominant youths in the junior grades that it seems to me that we end up with big power players across the park, none particularly adept at beating a man.

I can only speak for what Ive seen in the junior rugby grades but in Auckland they are dominated by huge guys who just steam roll over their opposition, and I think Auckland rugby is suffering for that reason. When they cant outmuscle the opposition they have nothing to fall back on but the fact is, at the younger levels thats all they need.

^hell yeah...once they get to topside...your Lousi's for example ,the top 2 inches have to be used and bingo its empty

like watching the Fox Memorial...bohemeths who just use brawn & no brain plays
 
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wallacenz

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^hell yeah...once they get to topside...your Lousi's for example ,the top 2 inches have to be used and bingo its empty

like watching the Fox Memorial...bohemeths who just use brawn & no brain plays
yeah im not saying no brains, its more that they dont have to learn any other techniques because bump and run pays off most of the time. Similar to how Manu runs the ball up, he never tries to beat a man.. except that one game where he just kept running around to the sideline and getting pushed out.
 
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Moz

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Just watchin Everingham grab an intercept and turn on the afterburners and leave Gordon behind who is no slouch quicker than anyone we got CANT SUBSTITUTE SPEED ( OR DESIRE in the case of Gordon who chased him till the end )
 
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^hell yeah...once they get to topside...your Lousi's for example ,the top 2 inches have to be used and bingo its empty

like watching the Fox Memorial...bohemeths who just use brawn & no brain plays
yeah thing is these players have been in the system for years and years
plenty of time to teach them to be more well rounded.

As for the fox memorial . . .it is actually a great development tool with some great players
the real reason why the 20s have being going so well.

Just choosing the wrong players or basically taking a short cut.
 
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Problem we have with playing "real" football is that we have such physically dominant youths in the junior grades that it seems to me that we end up with big power players across the park, none particularly adept at beating a man.

I can only speak for what Ive seen in the junior rugby grades but in Auckland they are dominated by huge guys who just steam roll over their opposition, and I think Auckland rugby is suffering for that reason. When they cant outmuscle the opposition they have nothing to fall back on but the fact is, at the younger levels thats all they need.
We dont "end up with big power players across the park" - both ackland and a lesser extent bell pick these players.
The biggest example is the signing and promotion of Raymond Faitala to the vf20s around a month ago.
Then promoted him and picked him over the likes of Kouma Samson already signed.

Samson is one of the form players of the fox memorial and last year captain akld 17s to a national champs.
He was probably the best player for the NZ 18s last year too.

Though why wasnt he picked, he is a bit shorter, bit smaller.
Dont be suprised to see him jump ship to storm or dogs etc.

Yet, the joe public and claim the 20s has being an outstanding runaway success.
I actually enjoy when they play overseas, get a bit more level headed commentary.
Instead of awen and dale giving them nothing but wraps.
 
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wallacenz

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We dont "end up with big power players across the park" - both ackland and a lesser extent bell pick these players.
The biggest example is the signing and promotion of Raymond Faitala to the vf20s around a month ago.
Then promoted him and picked him over the likes of Kouma Samson already signed.

Samson is one of the form players of the fox memorial and last year captain akld 17s to a national champs.
He was probably the best player for the NZ 18s last year too.

Though why wasnt he picked, he is a bit shorter, bit smaller.
Dont be suprised to see him jump ship to storm or dogs etc.

Yet, the joe public and claim the 20s has being an outstanding runaway success.
I actually enjoy when they play overseas, get a bit more level headed commentary.
Instead of awen and dale giving them nothing but wraps.
As I said "I can only speak for what Ive seen in the junior rugby grades"

Your saying that bigger youngsters dont get to the top ahead of smaller more skillful players? thats definitely not the case in rugby from what Ive seen. The top teams are generally jam packed with bigger kids. When I say youths in my original post, Im referring to kids and teenagers in this instance.
 
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