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Sunday, March 13, 2005

It was the same team David!!!! 

Spitting the dummy here....

Well, I sat with a little anticipation in the new East Stand at Ericsson Stadioum in amongst a lot of rather subdued/non-expectant through to fairly expectant fans and what did we get?

Well basically we got the Warriors 2004 edition all ovetr again. The only improvement on last year was that the defence was a little bit tighter but here's the problems as I see them.

* We signed two props who are very influential but in terms of footballing prowess are past their best (that's not to say they won't do some damage for us this season just that it won't be as much as they have done in the past). Aside from them we signed a decent hooker in NAthan Fien and a very, very average winger in Todd Byrne. He's tidyish but guys like him are a dime a dozen in this comp. So therefore what do we really have?

Answer= The same team as last season which finished last equal plus two ageing props.

Now to continue the problems...

* Our kicking game is absolutely atrocious. If there is a team in the league with two worse kickers than Stacy Jones and Lance Hohaia then I sure as hell wouldn't want to be supporting them. I don't know what Ivan Cleary has been doing outside of giving goal kicking tips but I sure as hell hope he focuses on kicking in general play. Jones has been doing the kicking at this level for ten years and still sucks apart from the cross field up and unders which only really account for about 20% of all your kicks. Everything was too deep, straight done somebody's throat or the short kicks looked like they would go further than the long ones. One effort from Hohaia reminded me of Jones at his best years ago when his 'chip' kicks behind the line would end up belting into the fullback who was 20 metres back.

Why oh why they don't just pull out video footage of Alfie Langer putting in little nudges that went 3 or 4 metres behind the line is beyond me. All the kicks have to do is beat the defensive line and allow you time to waltz through and pick it up so you can draw the full back and pass to the 3 guys in support. I know I'm making it sound stupid but these guys have an enormous amount of room to play with which is why they even attempt them in the first place and they just slam it at the fullback and don't get anywhere near regathering it.

Soft feet boys, soft feet.

* Next problem. We struggle to make 30 metres in our sets of 6 as the game gets older while they take a 20 metre tap and the next thing you know they are putting up a bomb near our tryline after they mozzie 60 metres down the field in 6 tackles. We are too slow off the line and when we hit it up we are standing too wide. The Sea Eagles were simply standing 2 metres wide of the play the ball, short pass, the guy gases it and he make 10 metres and get's a quick play the ball. Repeat 5 times and we have stuffed ourselves and our field position.

* Next problem. Clinton Toopi. He spilt the ball 4 times in the first spell and then tried to beat Hill's head in (not a bad thing) but Hill was talking to him the whole half knocking him off his game and Toopi fell for it hook line and sinker. If he repeats a performance like that again I'd drop him completely.

* Next problem. We had an entire year of getting thrashed and the guys never won any game last year by much at all. It's been a long, long time since they carved anybody up and I think many of them have forgotten how to do it. In their ealry days the Warriors got a lot of stick for not being that flash but some of those early teams would have put 40 points past that Sea Eagles team simply because they were actually trying to do just that. These guys are playing a safety first type game which isn't wearing out the opposition and isn't stretching them.

and myth???

Do we really have the most talent in the NRL like we always tell ourselves?

Week after week there are opposition players who make our guys look average. Stacy Jones is nowhere near as good as he used to be, let's not kid ourselves. Hohaia is OK but there are a dozen other standoffs in the comp who can match or better him. Our forwards are tough but dumb. Byrne is not that good, Martin falls in the same category. Toopi is an idiot who needs ahand transplant. He might have some good footwork and have made some great breaks and tries over years but surely being able to drop the ball less often than anybody else in the comp must be taken into consideration when saying he has talent. Francis Meli is a very talented player who really needs to be getting a little more attacking ball in good positions which these guys can't seem to give him. Maybe try bringing him in to run off a few forwards like Webb always tries to do. Now Webb is a pretty decent footballer. Dangerous with the ball and pretty damn keen but even then there are guys in the comp who are better fullbacks than him.

I really hope for much better things as the season goes on but looking at the next few weeks I really can't see it playing out any other way than this...

Loss away to Brisbane, 50/50 call at home to the Cowboys, win over the Rabbitohs at home followed by two 50/50 games away v the Tigers and the Knights.

That's probably the easiest opening draw of any team in the comp. If they don't some out of that with 6 out of a possible 12 points there then it's only going to get worse.

Ah well, nothing we haven't all been through before is it?

and that's why I support the Bulldogs. I get the feeling you're going to have a crappy year.
Yeah but I just can't bring myself to supporting a team based on how they might do. If I was like that I would have just gone for the Broncos 15 years ago and had good times.

What part of NZ are you in indiscretion? I know a few people who support different Aussie teams in the NRL. It's interesting because it was on TV for years before the Warriors joined so people built up allegiances to teams from across the ditch and many have stuck with them.

Also the Bulldogs have been playing their games in Wellington for a few years and the Tigers are starting to do the same thing in Christchurch.
I'm based in Canterbury which makes my support for the Bulldogs kind of appropriate (ie Cant'y/Bankstown). I've just always favored them as a side, and it goes back to before they were consistent winners, I actually started supporting them during the hey-day of the green machine (Canberra). The Warriors just leave me cold, they weren't terribly professional to begin with and haven't really progressed at all (other than that brief flowering under Daniel Anderson).

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