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Sunday, April 10, 2005

Warriors... again 

Well it's now nearly a full 24 hours since I saw the 24-6 loss to the Tigers in Christchurch. For those that don't know it's now their 6th loss from 7 games in NZ outside Auckland. And the one they didn't lose featured a miraculous comeback in the dying stages to draw it.

Anyway, onto how I see it.

Our think our forward pack are definately delivering the goods thus far in 2005. Price has just been incredible carting the ball forward as has Paleaaesina. Nathan Fien had an excellent first half last night and was probably the best player on the pitch in that period and he's impressed in all their previous games as well. He's great out of dummy half and he is a very physical tackler (in other words he has a bit of mongrel in him). Wairangi Koopu has looked good taking the ball forward as well and Guttenbeil has been reasonable since getting on the pitch but he takes the ball into the contact situation too softly for me. He's always looking for offloads and a bit of space to run into which is great but on the occasions when there is no space or when offloads aren't necessary I'd like to see him get a bit tougher.

Where we have major problems is in our backline where we just don't have the strike power to bust teams open and score tries anywhere on the pitch (and no, the rabbitohs don't count).

Not to mention their high error count each day. In last nights game our backs made 13 errors compared to the 3 made by the forwards. Paleaaesina, Fien, Price and Guttenbiel went 80 minutes without making a single ballhandling mistake. In the backline only Tevita Latu and Todd Byrne achieved the same feat.

Going through them from fullback to halfback.

Brent Webb is fine at fullback but obviously has injury problems at the moment and we have no decent backup. Ropati is absolute rubbish, he brings the ball back too slowly and softly and last night managed to almost get taken into touch after recieving a kick in the middle of the field and had to throw it away in desparation. His ball handling is also suspect which is not a good look for a standoff.

Todd Byrne has been very good after looking crap in the pre-season and v the Sea Eagles. He looks to be a decent buy.

Francis Meli is playing too much like a forward. We need him to bust the line or run off people. He should take a leaf out of Byrnes book. If Byrne can hit a hole with his scrawny arse then Meli should be able to do the same with just as much effect. I don't know if Meli has lost some speed or not but he just isn't using himself properly. He also needs to learn where to stand on defence and not go roaming in field for a big hit or an intercept.

Clinton Toopi has got shocking hands there's no two ways about it. He also ponces about too much with the ball (the bloody side to side shimmy has it's place but not everytime you get the bloody ball mate!) and needs to just gas it more. His defence is bloody terrible. He's Ok when the guy has nowhere to go but if he has to cover anybody in space he almost religiously gets sucked out of position and caught on the outside.

Sione Faumuina has looked pretty good in recent games but I'd like to see him breaking tackles and finding a bit of space.

Lance Hohaia tackled his butt off last night (31 tackles), and looked fairly good with the ball in hand. Hohaia runs well and is strong as a bloody ox when it comes to shaking off tackles. I'd like to see him directing play forwards a bit more though.

Stacy Jones took a terrible option last night on the last tackle when it was 0-0. Faumuina probably would have bullocked his way over if Jones had passed him the ball or else could have put Byrne in in the corner but instead he slammed one of his lead boot kicks at Whatuira who went the length of the field to put the tigers ahead. Outside that he still isn't cracking the line open with his speed. Since he lost his pace and that ability to gas it through small holes (which was the feature part of his game) he really hasn't been able to make up for it. His field kicking has always been shit, his tackling is about what you would expect from somebody that size and his passing and direction game is no better than anybody else in the comp.

Quite frankly I'm sick of talking about it. It's not going to change. I've always thought he's been overated since his first couple of seasons. He's played pretty crap football in the last 5+ years and even in the big year of 2003 he only crossed the line 3 times from recollection. Since then he has been even worse. If he is to get anywhere near where he needs to be he should spend all week doing sprint training and field kicking and nothing else.

In short, sell him and buy Mundine.

And Tevita Latu isn't up to this level simple as that. But I guess reserve backs from most other sides aren't that flash either.

But as said, the forwards are good except for Monty 'liability' Betham. He simply cannot control himself. As a footballer he isn't that great and as a leader he is shit because he sets a bad example in terms of discipline.

Expect to see rumours of him getting the arse as the season goes on. Cos I'll start them.

I hope he gets suspended for his spear tackle because I want to see how the side goes without him. Maybe not so good but at least we won't give away a couple of ridiculous penalties.

Fuck in hell! (cor, what would that be like? Hot sex!) The Broncos are leading the Eels 42-0 at halftime. It's an attitude game that's for sure. The Broncos were thrashed by 50 by the Storm while the Eels beat the Panthers comfortably and now look at basically the same teams a week later.

The Warriors talk about consistency and confidence and all that crap but as we see constantly, those things don't need to come into good performances unless you are a bunch of pussies or excuse makers. They are showing guts though this season. If they could show some smarts as well and get some good shit out of a few backs they still should do alright... aaeight!

Guts won't be enough to see them through to the final,(or the semi finals for that matter). Lets face it, there are way too many weak links in this Warriors outfit and too many players prone to brain explosions. Go the Hurricanes I say.
Sheesh, the Hurricanes. Doing well cos everybody else is so awful.

When the Blues can play like complete and absolute shit and still be sitting in the top half of the table it says a lot for that comp.

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