General Turn It Up: Round One

PB_old

Guest
From TVNZ

Turn It Up: Round One

Mar 13, 2006
By Dale Budge

Same story, different season. It appeared that way at least as the Warriors slid to an opening round defeat to Melbourne, citing lapses of concentration as the reason for the loss.

That, to me, is a worrying sign given that the same problems plagued the side for the entire 2005 season.

As every other NRL team copped a good old fashioned hiding at least once during the season, the Warriors were competitive in just about every match but too frequently came out on the wrong side when the fulltime siren sounded.

Coach Ivan Cleary and skipper Steve Price both said they thought the side was close to the mark but just dropped off at crucial times and while I completely agree with them on those sentiments, I worry that fixing the problem might not be as easy as they think however.

Players need to take responsibility for that themselves and it didn't happen at all in 2005.

I don't want to sound like I am bagging coach Cleary because I think he has a smart footballing brain and will form a top coaching partnership with assistant coach John Ackland but I did find a couple of his team selections bizarre.

Aside from playing Sione Faumuina at five-eighth, which I have already spoken about in the pre-season, the omission of winger Todd Byrne and dropping of Wairangi Koopu back to the bench astounded me given that the pair were the Warriors most consistent performers in 2005.

They paid the price of having a make-shift winger in place of an everyday player when Tony Martin - usually a centre - was caught out on defence in allowing the opening try to Greg Inglis.

He found life difficult a couple of other times during the game and will definitely be targeted by opposition coaches if he remains out wide.

Martin's goal-kicking keeps him in the side but I would much rather see him playing at centre.

That would open up a spot for last season's top try-scorer Byrne on the wing.

It would be hard on Jerome Ropati, who produced a strong game on Sunday, but I think his versatility could be better suited to the bench.

Ropati can play almost any back-line position, and while I would like to see him handed a position and left there for the season, he may be the best option coach Cleary has off the bench.

He covers injuries but would ideally be used as an option at dummy-half much like Grant Rovelli was used on the weekend.

Rovelli showed me enough in the time he was on the paddock that there is plenty of talent there to work with and I hope he is given a crack at stand-off alongside Nathan Fien.

Faumuina, who may find himself in judiciary trouble when charges are listed later on Monday, could well end up being out of contention for Saturday's clash with Parramatta in Hamilton.

Either way I would like to see him start in the lock position and pop up at five-eighth for periods on attack.

Koopu has to start in the pack - he is an 80 minute player and a workhorse defensively - and I would like to see Awen Guttenbeil come off the bench.

The veteran second-rower made some real impact when he came on after 20 minutes at times last year and would provide the side with the leadership qualities needed when the likes of Ruben Wiki and Steve Price take breaks.

Dale's side for Parramatta: 1. Brent Webb, 2. Todd Byrne, 3. Tony Martin, 4. Clinton Toopi, 5. Manu Vatuvei, 6. Grant Rovelli, 7. Nathan Fien, 8. Ruben Wiki, 9. Lance Hohaia, 10. Steve Price (capt), 11. Louis Anderson, 12. Wairangi Koopu, 13. Sione Faumuina. Interchange: Evarn Tuimavave, Awen Guttenbeil, Michael Luck, Jerome Ropati.

If Faumuina is suspended, then I'd give big George Tuakura a crack in first grade.
 

Hawk_old

Guest
Shame about the result,but it sounds like the Warriors put up a good battle and can build on this opening performance.Sione and Rovelli seem to have had a good game and i look forward to seeing the game on nrl video tomorrow.Think Martin deffo needs to be in the centres though.
 

mosh_old

Guest
I dont agree with Dale's side. What exactly did Tuimavave to keep his place on the bench?
 

warriors4life_old

Guest
I think he is right in some respects, but he is a bit too quick to pull the trigger on Faumuina after just one game. Give him some more time in the Number 6 jersey first.
 

Skinny_Ravs82

Guest
Sione can practice all he likes, but the bottom line is he doesn't have that instincts in him to play in the halves. I just don't think he's suited to the role. As an all out attacking player yet he has it but just not there.
 

LeagueNut_old

Guest
Dale Budge said:
Same story, different season. It appeared that way at least as the Warriors slid to an opening round defeat to Melbourne, citing lapses of concentration as the reason for the loss.

That, to me, is a worrying sign given that the same problems plagued the side for the entire 2005 season.
One thing I was thinking on Sunday was how similar our performance was to what we did in 2005 ... close match, "concentration lapses", no x-factor on attack. I reckon Budge is right on the money here.

Still, it's only Round 1. Fingers crossed that our new "brains trust" can find a solution for us.
 

Trotbags_old

Guest
Going out on a limb here - but why not drop Martin back to centre, Byrne on the wing, Ropati in at centre in place of Toopi. (Ropati played a strong game on Saturday and made a few decent breaks and Toopi runs hot and cold).

And please start Wai - the man is a machine.
 

Etern0L_Warrior_old

Guest
Polar Bob said:
From TVNZ

Dale's side for Parramatta: 1. Brent Webb, 2. Todd Byrne, 3. Tony Martin, 4. Clinton Toopi, 5. Manu Vatuvei, 6. Grant Rovelli, 7. Nathan Fien, 8. Ruben Wiki, 9. Lance Hohaia, 10. Steve Price (capt), 11. Louis Anderson, 12. Wairangi Koopu, 13. Sione Faumuina. Interchange: Evarn Tuimavave, Awen Guttenbeil, Michael Luck, Jerome Ropati.

??#4 and #17??, ??#14 and #15??

Swap Ropati with #4.Toopi or Martin depending who is worse in defense. With Ropati's defense we might not be trialing by far at halftime. #14, #15: keep the bench competitive. Rotate fresh players like 05' Kiwis.

We all know Toopi can be dangerous in attack, maybe he is bored with starting the game, shift him to the bench and use him as a impact player. His seven tries last season isn't impressive. Maybe he'll fire up off the bench.

One of the main things to concentrate on is our 1st half defense. If we are behind by 6points or ahead by 6 at halftime we will see a strong contest throughout the last 40 minutes. The warriors attack aren't fancy enough to play CATCH-UP football against teams like the Cowboys. We need a strong start to the game,, reduce penalties and errors by using SAFER players. If we achieve this, we'll be confident after halftime and hopefully that confidence will show in attack.

~Warriors 2006
 

Iafeta_old

Guest
Mosh said:
I dont agree with Dale's side. What exactly did Tuimavave to keep his place on the bench?

I thought he overshadowed Ruben Wiki, to be honest.

Hame Lauaki was the man who made a meal of the bench.
 

warriors4life_old

Guest
PHANTOM MENACE said:
Hame will be player of the year come November

We'll have to wait and see but I think the odds would have to be against him.
 

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