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Posted by secondstanza on Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:15 pm
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Leaving out the obvious issue of the props failing to lay a platform I think our biggest issue is that we're already losing at the play the ball. Our distribution is poor and predictable. This WC has shown what happens when it's this way (Hodgson) and it stifles attack. All of a sudden Roby comes on, speeds things up, gives the PTB a bit of variety and the attack gets some vigour. Our halfs look so much better because they have that bit extra time and space to move.

I think outside of sorting the props, our biggest way to improve should be at 9. Mickey Mac did okay against Ireland (against inferior opposition though) but whoever we go with, I want a dynamic hooker who can switch things up and make the defenses guess. When this happens I suspect you'll see the halves playing much better.
Posted by Itchy Arsenal on Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:32 pm
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secondstanza wrote:
Leaving out the obvious issue of the props failing to lay a platform I think our biggest issue is that we're already losing at the play the ball. Our distribution is poor and predictable. This WC has shown what happens when it's this way (Hodgson) and it stifles attack. All of a sudden Roby comes on, speeds things up, gives the PTB a bit of variety and the attack gets some vigour. Our halfs look so much better because they have that bit extra time and space to move.

I think outside of sorting the props, our biggest way to improve should be at 9. Mickey Mac did okay against Ireland (against inferior opposition though) but whoever we go with, I want a dynamic hooker who can switch things up and make the defenses guess. When this happens I suspect you'll see the halves playing much better.

I believe that in training the mantra from Winder at the play the ball believe or not is speed and keep it simple and the quality of the pass is less important.
I think you are spot on in saying that distribution is poor and predictable.
MM looked a different player with Ireland so hopefully he can bring some of form back with for next season but speed isn't his greatest asset even when he plays well.

Roby is in a different league to all of our players bar SOL and maybe ST on a good day.
Posted by Wigg'n on Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:52 pm
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Roby is easy to play against in SL though when we do it properly. If you make him work his booty off in defence making 50+ tackles he’s not as effective at dummy half. We’ve done that pretty well a few times.

Which ironically is one of the main reasons I think we struggled last year. Our forwards were doing ridiculous amounts of tackling and having nothing left when they have the ball.

I think it’s due to a change in our game plan since the 7 tackle rule was brought in. When we get within the 20m we’re an all or nothing team, seemingly scared to put the ball in the in-goal so barely get any repeat sets. We do the kick behind defence but in ridiculous situations like 30m from the line on the second tackle of the set.
Posted by jonh on Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:43 pm
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The hooking role is a good point. Neither MM or Powell offer that threat. Neither does TL.

There is a place for one in the squad as a hooker but not both for me.

Given the current squad I would perhaps not be shocked to see 1 of MM and Powell starting with Escaré coming off the bench as “impact” changing things up.

I also think MM could do a job at loose off the bench similar to Milner at Cas off the bench when Locky needs a rest.

I’d have loved to see Dwyer at Wigan as our bench option, but the reality is we have to lose 1 maybe 2 players who can play hooker from the squad before we look to bring in a new more dynamic 9.
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Posted by BrisbaneRhino on Fri Nov 24, 2017 2:12 am
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McIlorum got plenty of praise from Aussie commentators playing for Ireland, in particular for his smarts at acting half.

O'Loughlin OTOH has come in for some criticism for not really doing very much. That may well be because Bennett isn't used to having a ball-playing 13 as such, and has now effectively got three halfbacks on the field anyway with Widdopp at fullback.
Posted by NickyKiss on Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:43 am
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McIlorum looked to play a less structured game for Ireland then he does for us and he did it very well.

Food for thought maybe.
Posted by Grimmy on Fri Nov 24, 2017 9:44 am
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BrisbaneRhino wrote:
McIlorum got plenty of praise from Aussie commentators playing for Ireland, in particular for his smarts at acting half.

O'Loughlin OTOH has come in for some criticism for not really doing very much. That may well be because Bennett isn't used to having a ball-playing 13 as such, and has now effectively got three halfbacks on the field anyway with Widdopp at fullback.

Lockers stands out against the big teams IMO. I thought he was good against Australia (didn't they only score when he was off the pitch?) and expect him to play well against Tonga tomorrow.
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Posted by BrisbaneRhino on Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:34 am
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As an aside, it really looks like Williams has gone backwards this year. In the brief periods he played for england he looked like he had no idea what role he had or what he was trying to do. He looks like he needs to sit down and reboot his game, because there's no doubt he has raw ability, and it would be a crying shame if he never kicks on.
Posted by NickyKiss on Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:02 am
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BrisbaneRhino wrote:
As an aside, it really looks like Williams has gone backwards this year. In the brief periods he played for england he looked like he had no idea what role he had or what he was trying to do. He looks like he needs to sit down and reboot his game, because there's no doubt he has raw ability, and it would be a crying shame if he never kicks on.


Agree to a degree but I'd read very little in to his World Cup form. He's played 20 mins against Lebanon when the team had fallen to bits and couldn't hold the ball and 40 mins against France when again the team had fell off a cliff. In that 40 mins he started at stand off, moved to hooker and finished in the centre.

No wonder he wasn't sure what his role was!!
Posted by BrisbaneRhino on Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:59 pm
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I know what you're saying, but what you really want to see is him grab the game by the scruff of the neck and make things happen regardless of what his role is supposed to be. Its that next step which Aussie halfbacks seem to make with ease and ours don't. In less than a season Michael Morgan has gone from support act to easily ready to start for Queensland/Australia as halfback, and there are signs Munster will do the same. Both have been brilliant in cameo roles in a variety of positions and have looked at home anywhere they're played - Munster has looked great at fullback, centre and stand off, Morgan at centre, halfback (and hooker when required).

Again off topic, but its being reported here that the Raiders are looking at McIlorum now Hodgson is injured.
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