General The Warriors' Bermuda Triangle; Why Are We Losing?

Hitman82

Hitman82

So, as commentators, fans and media observers alike have come to note, our team has this strange habit of turning from prime athletes to quivering, brainless gelatinous masses around the 60 minute mark of every game. We seem to fold on attack and starting making ridiculous errors, allowing the opposition to run us down.

I did a run through our results from the first 9 rounds of this season, highlighting tries scored before and after the 60 minute mark by us and our opposition.

Tries scored for
before 60min / after 60min​
2/1​
2/1​
0/1​
3/0
3/1​
3/0​
3/0​
5/0
3/0​
24/3 TOTAL

Tries scored against
before 60min / after 60min​
3/4​
3/0​
4/1​
2/1
3/1​
2/2​
3/2​
1/3
2/2​
23/16 TOTAL
We are an impressive first 60 team, indeed in a positive differential for tries scored before the three quarter mark.​
It looks like we were extremely lucky to jag wins in Round 4 and Round 8 - as both of these games featured comebacks including a disturbing 3 second half tries to nil versus the Titans.​
We don't look physically unfit. The commentators aren't raving on about the hands on hips, big forwards blowing hard, the general cliches which are brought out when we look spent.​
Are particular players to blame?​
I do note Johnson has a tendency to go into robotic-bombing mode in the second halves of games.​
Does our structure get damaged when we do the hooker swap?​
Are our bench forwards letting us down?​
Or are we simply a head case of a team who can't handle the full 80 minute grind?​
Elliot has commented recently that we tend to fade in the latter periods of training just as we do on the pitch.​
Do we lack the leadership to maintain concentration?​
Are aliens controlling our brains?​
 
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Lord Gnome of Howick MBE

Lord Gnome of Howick MBE

Its certainly not the big forwards argument anymore!
 
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Inruin

Inruin

Contributor
What is the 60min/60min thing? We scored 2 tries in second half vs Titans. I am more concerned with the stat they had on 40/20 last night where we gave up the lead. Something like the 67th, 72nd, 75th, 69th minute mark. Shows we are in the games for long periods. You can see us getting run down every time though as you are watching the game. Interesting what difference some of those dodgy calls made against us would have made, if any, if they had gone for us. I know a big immeasurable but still. Line drop out awarded to canberra when it came off the canberra player (video ref cock up), 40/20 against Melbourne (video ref over ruled linesman) and forward pass for the try too, Mike Ennis not penalised for taking out the Fish and they score next set of six, etc...
 
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ShaunJohnson7

ShaunJohnson7

But weren't we also struggling to score any points in all in the first half until recently? What does that say?
 
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Inruin

Inruin

Contributor
ah, I see. So tries for dont bother me to much. You are comparing 3/4 of game to 1/4 of game so stats should reflect that? so 24-3 is reasonable. a bit light for last quarter but acceptable IMO. Main concern is the tries against. 23-16 very disproportionate (is that a word and is it spelt right) Could highlight a number of things. we get run down easily and as someone said in an interview last night (can't remember who) 'if we just play our game against the warriors, eventually they will fold' and also that once we give up the lead we try for a miracle play and the opposition end up scoring bonus tries. either way its not good.
 
ajofbrisbane

ajofbrisbane

Surely this is where Johnson has to step up and guide the side home.....he needs to learn to do that.
Also is mannering the right choice of Captain??? It seems that it isn't the game plan as they get to a lead.....so maybe he isn't actually leading the sid effectively......could give Friend or Lowrie a go.
 
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Makasene

Makasene

My concern is that in the last 3 seasons the Warriors convert half time leads into wins less than any other team in the comp.

I don't have the numbers on me but they were broadcast by Vossy, I'm sure others heard it. It was astounding.[DOUBLEPOST=1368400977][/DOUBLEPOST]
Its certainly not the big forwards argument anymore!

Exactly.

It's probably worth noting that after 15mins of the second half we had only had 30% of the ball for the second half. As soon as I saw that come up on the screen I knew we were as good as gone.
 
Apus

Apus

But weren't we also struggling to score any points in all in the first half until recently? What does that say?

Haha yeah, wasn't it the first 3 rounds that we didn't score a single first half try? We had to make it up in the second half, in which we had very reasonable 40-60min periods.
 
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ryno

ryno

But weren't we also struggling to score any points in all in the first half until recently? What does that say?

Yeah so the trends that I can remember.

- We couldnt score in the first half
- We would leak 14 -16 points at the start and then try and chase it down
- We started scoring points and then capped off and got run down

Round 1 vs Eels (LOSS)
Got blown out no first half points

Round 2 vs Roosters (LOSS)
Roosters led 16 - 0 early second half and we came back within 2

Round 3 vs Sharks (LOSS)
Got blown out no first half points

Round 4 vs Cowboys (WIN)
Cowboys led 12 - 0 with 5 mins left of 1st half, we scored a try right before the break and went on to win

Round 5 vs Souths (LOSS)
Down 18 - 6 to the Souths we were able to come back and get the lead with 12 minutes left, Souths come back and score a late try to win the game

Round 6 vs Raiders (LOSS)
Up 16 - 4 with 30 minutes left, Raiders chase us down and we drop the ball about 4 times in our half in the last 15.

Round 7 vs Storm (LOSS)
Back and forth game with multiple lead changes. Ended up getting overtaken right at the end with 10 minutes to go.

Round 8 vs Titans (WIN)
Up 16 - 6 in the second half, let the Titans back into the game and just won 25 - 24

Round 9 vs Bulldogs (LOSS)
Up 16 - 0, let the Bulldogs back into the game in the second half and got run down

Here are some theories:

The last couple of games where we have been run down is this due to Friend coming off?
Is fitness an issue?
 
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Raurimu Massive

Raurimu Massive

The one thing you can guarantee is that for an indeterminate period somewhere between teh 0 and 80 minutes marks, we stop playing according to ME's very simple instructions of "follow the plan, respect possession and tackle".

I haven't been all that impressed with Mannering's lack of talking, but the biggest issue isn't captaincy style, it's the fact that our on-field comunication is appalling. We should be seeing Johnson continually barking orders to organise players on attack, and senior team members directing defences, but we don't. We play like individuals, and that's always going to fail.
 
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Sup42

Sup42

The problem is mental.

It really has very little to do with this player or that player coming on or off.

The team irrespective of who is playing ( since last year ) has been making fundamental errors ( different players every week too Mannering and Martells contributions have been the most shocking).

Dropped balls , penalties.

Lack of Leadership /mental experience / composure and patience is killing the team time and again.

We are like a heavy weight prize fighter that can only go the early rounds ( a knock out in league for most teams is an 18 point lead going into the final quarter ).

We just aren't late round fighters in the head yet , all the flashy combo's and gritty defense gets forgotten and like a mentally fatigued prize fighter all the in between rounds instruction is not being heard anymore....then our proverbial legs wobble and the opponent smells blood.

That Dogs game was a gritty performance in a lot of ways , but their seasoned hard heads let us make all the mistakes and capitalised.

Johnson does have a tendency to go to his default Joel Moon Bomb at the wrong time.

Somewhere in the chain the message isn't getting through from the trainers ( they need to grab these guys by the chin and give them a couple of Nathan Brown slaps when they pretend to be listening lol ).

To be fair we are strugglers against the Big rough house forward packs in any case ( how long has it been since we could go the distance against Manly ).

Vatuvei has dug us out of so many holes in his time by posting a couple of freak tries when we are hanging on.....we don't have that trump kick to Manu Card anymore either.....the rest of the team have to dig in.

Leadership is looking the biggest problem in keeping the troops Morale up late in the fight.
 
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Paleaaesina2the20

Paleaaesina2the20

I have spent a lot of time trying to work out what is happening in the second half of games that is causing us to spend it defending our goal line and have come to the following conclusion:

Speed at the play of the ball.

It may sound obvious but it is the only real difference that I have noticed when going back and watching replays.

The reasons for this have become more and more obvious, and the Bulldogs game was the perfect example. The Dogs big forwards were being allowed to get away with second efforts after a tackle was, in my view, complete, and roll our players onto their back. On re-watching the game, their were 7 instances when our player was held and stationary on the ground before being rolled onto their back, none were penalised.

The flip side of this, our undersized guys that make most of the tackles like Lowrie, Friend and Taylor do not have the strength to get these guys onto their backs, so they try and slow down the play of the ball by wrapping up the arms of the player as they get up, and we get penalised for having our hands on the ball.

Solutions:

Firstly, in the pre-game talk to the referees Mannering needs to say "I am concerned about the play of the ball speed, other teams appear to be getting away with second efforts, keep your eye on it please". This will allow us to get quicker plays of the ball, and give our halves a chance to continue what they have been able to do in the first half of games, and Godinet will have a way bigger effect.

Secondly, we need to win the wrestle match on defence more often, a good, middle of the field tackle is an art form and can be performed correctly in many ways, currently we are one of the worst in the comp at it, and often have a guy get caught out of position (not making it back to marker in time) or have them fall on their stomach and we get panalised because Lowrie has his hands on the ball trying to slow them down.

Thirdly, we need to get bigger and stronger. Either as individuals or via recruitment. I always use the defence against big guys as a forward packs yardstick, not whether our props can run through theirs. Every time we play the Raiders, Sharks, Bulldogs, we cannot handle guys like Shillington, Fifita and Kasiano, particularly off a quick play of the ball, you can bet a 20m hit up followed by an offload is coming.
 
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mrblonde

mrblonde

But weren't we also struggling to score any points in all in the first half until recently? What does that say?

That simply indicates that we used to have two problems - scoring in the first half and falling apart after 60m. Now it's just the one problem.

I would add that this happened to three teams this weekend - Warriors 16 pt lead, Knights 14 pt lead, Penrith 12 pt lead - two out of three blown completely as the Warriors and the Knights went on to lose and the Panthers made harder work of their game than a 12 pt lead at halftime should have warranted.
 
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Xfactor

I have spent a lot of time trying to work out what is happening in the second half of games that is causing us to spend it defending our goal line and have come to the following conclusion:

Speed at the play of the ball.

It may sound obvious but it is the only real difference that I have noticed when going back and watching replays.

The reasons for this have become more and more obvious, and the Bulldogs game was the perfect example. The Dogs big forwards were being allowed to get away with second efforts after a tackle was, in my view, complete, and roll our players onto their back. On re-watching the game, their were 7 instances when our player was held and stationary on the ground before being rolled onto their back, none were penalised.

The flip side of this, our undersized guys that make most of the tackles like Lowrie, Friend and Taylor do not have the strength to get these guys onto their backs, so they try and slow down the play of the ball by wrapping up the arms of the player as they get up, and we get penalised for having our hands on the ball.

Solutions:

Firstly, in the pre-game talk to the referees Mannering needs to say "I am concerned about the play of the ball speed, other teams appear to be getting away with second efforts, keep your eye on it please". This will allow us to get quicker plays of the ball, and give our halves a chance to continue what they have been able to do in the first half of games, and Godinet will have a way bigger effect.

Secondly, we need to win the wrestle match on defence more often, a good, middle of the field tackle is an art form and can be performed correctly in many ways, currently we are one of the worst in the comp at it, and often have a guy get caught out of position (not making it back to marker in time) or have them fall on their stomach and we get panalised because Lowrie has his hands on the ball trying to slow them down.

Thirdly, we need to get bigger and stronger. Either as individuals or via recruitment. I always use the defence against big guys as a forward packs yardstick, not whether our props can run through theirs. Every time we play the Raiders, Sharks, Bulldogs, we cannot handle guys like Shillington, Fifita and Kasiano, particularly off a quick play of the ball, you can bet a 20m hit up followed by an offload is coming.
Excellent analysis man.

Somebody find a way to get this post to Elliott and Mannering asap!
 
Hitman82

Hitman82

But weren't we also struggling to score any points in all in the first half until recently? What does that say?

Depends on what you consider recent! I'm just pulling one particular stat out (tries scored for and against in the final 20) to generate discussion about our overall problem of shutting down in the final quarter(ish) of games.

Unquestionable is the fact we cannot perform to acceptable standard for the full 80; often the capitulation in terms of conceding points, making errors, giving away penalties, blowing leads... is coming in the final quarter. Obviously any team will be at their weakest in the final quarter of a game, but to go from being a highly competitive team in the first 60 of matches to being comparitive final-quarter limpdicks is a real worry.

The common cause of this in any sport would be physical fitness, which of course impact on mental fitness. But I just can't buy it this season - we do NOT look unfit - the signs are not present. Therefore, I am really confused by our constant meltdowns late in matches. It doesn't make sense.[DOUBLEPOST=1368405533][/DOUBLEPOST]
The one thing you can guarantee is that for an indeterminate period somewhere between teh 0 and 80 minutes marks, we stop playing according to ME's very simple instructions of "follow the plan, respect possession and tackle".

I haven't been all that impressed with Mannering's lack of talking, but the biggest issue isn't captaincy style, it's the fact that our on-field comunication is appalling. We should be seeing Johnson continually barking orders to organise players on attack, and senior team members directing defences, but we don't. We play like individuals, and that's always going to fail.

Agree with this, definitely. Remember the Souths game, the Sharks game, hell I will even throw the Kiwis game in there since it's a relevant point... you see the experienced players absolutely hammering the victory ethos into their team mates. "Foot on the fucking throat" was a Thurston one I remember clearly. Could you ever picture hearing a Warrior shouting something like that? Where's our inspiration?[DOUBLEPOST=1368406016][/DOUBLEPOST]
ah, I see. So tries for dont bother me to much. You are comparing 3/4 of game to 1/4 of game so stats should reflect that?

so 24-3 is reasonable. a bit light for last quarter but acceptable IMO.

Main concern is the tries against. 23-16 very disproportionate (is that a word and is it spelt right)

Could highlight a number of things. we get run down easily and as someone said in an interview last night (can't remember who) 'if we just play our game against the warriors, eventually they will fold' and also that once we give up the lead we try for a miracle play and the opposition end up scoring bonus tries. either way its not good.

Yeah I am not always that great at making clear points; inane, semi-statistical rambling is more my thing ;).

But yes the disproportionate (great word) tries scored against us in the final quarter vs the first 3 quarters is a major concern, and likely indicative of a number of issues.

Good point about the panic mode. We seem terrified of losing - not surprising considering our last season and a half. Feleti Mateo provides classic examples of low-percentage panic play and loss of reason when we are in a tight situation. Surely this is where the captains and leaders step in and lay the law down? Whoever they are........

The question for Mr. Elliot is - how the hell do we fix it??

Also, when was the last time we made a team bite the curb and stomped them with a barrage of late tries to blow out an already-impressive lead?
 
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eX | Machina

eX | Machina

I'm sure you all noticed the Bulldogs huddled in a circle with Ennis smack bang in the middle laying down instructions after they scored their first try. I think that pretty much sums up the Warriors on field leadership or rather lack there of. I like Mannering, he's an asset to the team. But is he what the team currently requires on the field in terms of a leader? Maybe not. Someone like Nathan Friend might better serve the group as the on field captain in the short term.
 
mode81

mode81

I think the real bermuda triangle is the officials and their dubious calls against us, it's hard enough playing against 13 men let alone two refs as well!

I'm glad Elliott can see what us fans see and that's the fact that there's a bias against us, call it a conspiracy or deliberate sabotage but when it comes to the Warriors more often then not we recieve harsher treatment then the opposition and it's sickening.

I hope Elliott blasts Daniel Anderson and his incompetent erratic officials, they need to be held accountable for their woeful officiating.

Ennis bashes into Fish, nothing comes of it ,in another game Greg Bird does a similar hit on Fien and gets penalised, these are the referee double standards and interpretations going against us
 
Hitman82

Hitman82

I have spent a lot of time trying to work out what is happening in the second half of games that is causing us to spend it defending our goal line and have come to the following conclusion:

Speed at the play of the ball.

It may sound obvious but it is the only real difference that I have noticed when going back and watching replays.

The reasons for this have become more and more obvious, and the Bulldogs game was the perfect example. The Dogs big forwards were being allowed to get away with second efforts after a tackle was, in my view, complete, and roll our players onto their back. On re-watching the game, their were 7 instances when our player was held and stationary on the ground before being rolled onto their back, none were penalised.

The flip side of this, our undersized guys that make most of the tackles like Lowrie, Friend and Taylor do not have the strength to get these guys onto their backs, so they try and slow down the play of the ball by wrapping up the arms of the player as they get up, and we get penalised for having our hands on the ball.

Solutions:

Firstly, in the pre-game talk to the referees Mannering needs to say "I am concerned about the play of the ball speed, other teams appear to be getting away with second efforts, keep your eye on it please". This will allow us to get quicker plays of the ball, and give our halves a chance to continue what they have been able to do in the first half of games, and Godinet will have a way bigger effect.

Secondly, we need to win the wrestle match on defence more often, a good, middle of the field tackle is an art form and can be performed correctly in many ways, currently we are one of the worst in the comp at it, and often have a guy get caught out of position (not making it back to marker in time) or have them fall on their stomach and we get panalised because Lowrie has his hands on the ball trying to slow them down.

Thirdly, we need to get bigger and stronger. Either as individuals or via recruitment. I always use the defence against big guys as a forward packs yardstick, not whether our props can run through theirs. Every time we play the Raiders, Sharks, Bulldogs, we cannot handle guys like Shillington, Fifita and Kasiano, particularly off a quick play of the ball, you can bet a 20m hit up followed by an offload is coming.

Excellent post and now that you highlight them, I have noticed many of the points you mention.

-Second efforts in tackles against us / borderline flops; unpenalised.
-Undersized workbots doing the bulk of our defensive work; non-dominant tackles.

Two absolutely key factors in our lack of physical dominance over other teams.[DOUBLEPOST=1368408435][/DOUBLEPOST]

Unrelated, but talking of concentration lapses etc - why is this on a Kava website:
https://www.vanuatukavastore.com/About-Kava.htm
High profile users of kava include Ruben Wiki, the New Zealand Warriors NRL team and the New Zealand Rugby League team as well as MMA fighters who use it as a relaxing drink after training. However even if you don’t put your body through such high impact sports, kava is a great way to unwind after a busy day.
https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/league/8271179/Vatuvei-has-offers-from-rival-clubs-codes
Under the guidance of Warriors conditioner Ruben Wiki, who passed on to Vatuvei the responsibility for preparing kava in New Zealand team camps,

Correct me if I am wrong, but Kava is a mild sedative yeah? Does anybody know any scientific evaluation of this stuff? I know it's considered very mild in effect, but some people are more chemically/ nutritionally sensitive than others. More to the point, it seems unprofessional and unnecessary to have the Warriors and Kiwis using this stuff. Stick to protein shakes, creatine and carb-loading yo.
 
Raurimu Massive

Raurimu Massive

When it comes to dominance (or even just getting some even ground) in the tackles, I would have thought the wrestling coach was supposed to make a difference in that? A lot of the time when we get rolled in the tackle, it's because of poor body positioning.... our players appear to be going into the tackle way too upright (possibly with offloads in mind) and get spun onto their backs on the way down. If they go in on more of a lean then they're more likely to go down on their fronts which will lend itself to getting up quickly, or at least making the second efforts of the tacklers more obvious.

Only player really to get that forward- lean habitually is Mannering, and it's telling in the extra yards he travels while being tackled. Probably no coincidence that he's regularly at the top of our forwards' metre rates.[DOUBLEPOST=1368409193][/DOUBLEPOST]
call it a conspiracy or deliberate sabotage but when it comes to the Warriors more often then not we recieve harsher treatment then the opposition
It's more a mindset on behalf of the refs, I think. They've been overheard saying they have to 'take the Warriors out of the game' (more from a point of view of not letting us get away with stuff than favouring the opposition), and in a Melbourne game a ref told stand-in captain Michael Luck "you go over and talk to your lot, I'll talk to our mob".

I don't believe there's a "Warriors aren't allowed to win" conspiracy, although I do love an excuse to put on my tinfoil hat. But with the "Your lot, our lot" comment, whether they're conscious of it or not, the refs are guilty of a Aussie-NZ bias.

And for the record, a metal colander works just as well as tin foil.
 
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