Geez theres got to be, dont you think. Probably give Hohaia one more chance. Get Luck and Evarn into the starting line-up. It will never happen but I'd bring Webb closer to the ruck area. Probably 7. And Ropati is back. The thing is, we have got to try other things against the Rabbits. Cause the week after, all hell is going to come raining up at us.
Hey how bad was Ah Van's injury? As tri said in another post it happened pretty much right in front of us but I couldn't pick up too much more from Sports Ears. I guess he'll probably be a change at the very least...
Well that's some good news. Probably still be a week or two before we see him though. Depends how his fitness is.
I'm worried for this week. I want to see Vuna in for Ah Van, but I have a bad feeling we're going to see 2. Byrne 5. Martin. At least if that's the case Toopi won't be criticised for not passing the ball, why would ya?
By the time the bye is over Vatuvei, Fai, Mannering should all just about be ready. Ropati is due back this week and Ah Van won't be far away either. Those 5 have big futures and I'd like to see them all be given a chance to build combinations with each other.
1. Webb 2. Vuna/Ah Van 3. Mannering 4. Toopi 5. Vatuvei 6. Ropati 7. Hohaia 8. Wiki 9. Fien 10. Price 11. Anderson 12. Koopu 13. Faumuina
14. Tuimavavae 15. Guttenbeil 16. Rovelli 17. Fai
I'll be shocked if that team ever happens, but it'd be nice to see.
I hear from a good source Vuna's not in top form at the moment.
With that in mind, yes there have to be some changes.
1 Brent Webb 2 Marvin Filipo 3 Tony Martin 4 Clinton Toopi 5 Manu Vatuvei/Miguel Start 6 Jerome Ropati 7 Nathan Fien 8 Ruben Wiki 9 Grant Rovelli 10 Steve Price 11 Awen Guttenbeil 12 Wairangi Koopu 13 Louis Anderson
Sione Faumuina Evarn Tuimavave George Tuakara/Cooper Vuna Michael Luck
A few things:-
* We need pace down the flanks. Crucially we lacked it on the weekend and one play cost us the match. I personally think looking at the strapping on Byrne's thigh he's not match fit and it cost us the match.
* We need to settle on a halves combo. Fien has had 3 men now outside of him in three rounds. Personally, I think Ivan needs to be strong and select Sione at 6 - he needs to prove he believes in his own methods. I'll go with Ropati though, give him 5 or so matches to prove himself in his most comfortable position.
* We need a bit of impact from the bench. Luck is hard on D, Tuimavave is really going well, but I've put in Tuakara because we need someone with the strength to break tackles. Either that, or we select another winger, perhaps Cooper Vuna on the bench to come on and just hunt around the middle of the ruck to use his speed against the Rabbitohs pack.
* Short passes before the line from Steve Price to Ruben Wiki/Evarn Tuimavave. The short passes will mean the defenders aiming up on Price will have to shift to the oncoming second man, and probably only get half a shoulder in on the hit, so either the second man will be able to offload with a degree of security, or be able to get to his stomach for a dominant play of the ball, perhaps a penalty, or even bust the tackle altogether.
* Quick men to support up the guys, be it Vuna, Start, or Webb, or Rovelli. Take good decisive offloads through good communication and concentration, the Rabbitohs tend to fall off up the middle.
* Deep set backline moves. The Rabbitohs are quite poor defensively out wide, particularly Shannon Heggarty, if you ask him to make a decision, generally he'll come out of the line and create a massive hole. Giving Faumuina a bit of time to exploit that, draw him back in and make a hole for Toopi will bring line breaks.
* Second man plays. Half to go to the line, prop to run through, second man play to fullback. Worked a treat v Canberra. Is a simple, yet potentially very effective play.
* Interlinking at the back on kick returns. Use the width of the field. The best kick returners use their outside men to take some heat off themselves. This will help tire the forwards on the kick chase and help create some indecision and perhaps some holes. We are very basic, safe, and methodical on kick returns, we need to pick this aspect up.
Overall: In essence, Canberra played a very bland, boring game. One off the ruck, and a couple of dummy half runs per set. And then a bomb on the end. Nothing more, nothing less. Even then it was ineffective to a degree because even then they dropped a fair bit of pill, and had a couple of penalties against them on attack.
Somehow though, it was enough to beat them. Which begs the question - is our attack even less effective? The answer. Yes. Need more depth, more decoys, and less reliance on the offload out wide. And we need to rely on the basics of football when offloading, "Only pass to a man in a better position than you!" Specifically pointed to C Toopi who offloaded to G Rovelli, who thought he'd pass it to the touchie 10 metres up field in probably the most comedic, and pathetic play in NRL History.
When you look at all the match stats, we beat them all over the field but not on the score board. That is a very worrying trend for coach Ivan. It indicates we have no attacking options and no one in the team that can close out a game. It also brings into question players attitudes.