What I saw of the game, missed tackles does not do justice to our lack of effort in defence. If a player doesn’t reach out to tackle, or doesn’t chase, where does it show up in the stats? Without Reddy there to get repeatedly stood up, there is no excuse. It looked like a bad game from the 80’s, with semi-professionals hoping someone else would tackle for them.
Over and over again, I saw one player trying to tackle and the rest watching. Blair was a big offender, “chucking a Lui” and staying out of position so he wouldn’t be expected to tackle. But guess what, I do expect him and the rest to do exactly that. With few exceptions, the effort was terrible. The writing was on the wall two weeks ago, now it’s a disaster and the players are acting like we can’t make the 8. A new coach and few stints in NSW Cup for repeat offenders is well overdue. /rant
Posted using RoarFEED 2012
My problems with our defence:
#1 Effort. As you have pointed out Twodogs, there are far too many blokes who dont even attempt the tackle unless the player runs straight at them. Many times you will see one of our blokes struggling with the attacker whilst everyone just jogs beside them watching. By the time someone helps, the attacker has made 5 extra meters or has even off loaded the ball.
#2 Aggression. Only Woods and Ellis have any. Robbie, Liam and Heighno make a lot of tackles, but they never hurt the attacker. Very rarely do you see a Tiger make a legal tackle and the attacker is winded or struggles to get up and play the ball. Most often they get straight up and play the ball quickly.
#3 Lateral. It seems very easy to wrong foot our defence when changing angles. Our blokes hangoff and slide but are still stepped or worse…they are run around. Our defenders lack of leg speed is unsatisfactory. Attackers have a lot of time to suss the situation.
#4 Line speed. We have none. Sides regularly make 50 meters in attack against us without kicking the ball or making a line break. Some of this stems from our kick chase which is very disjointed (do we even have a nominated kick chase team?), but the majority is from our failure to move up and meet the attackers at the advantage line.
#5 Goal line. It is totally shocking. The ‘hardest’ thing good opposition teams do in a game is get to our 20 meter zone. Once there, they are usually gauranteed a try or at least a repeat set and then a try. This seems to be a mental thing. We almost resign ourselves to the fact that them scoring is inevitable.
As you can tell, there isnt much I like about our defensive structure, committment or skill level. We have some excellent defenders who make many tackles a game and miss very few. However as a team we are attrocious. This has always been the case. Even in 05 our defense was aweful. Our saving grace was that everyone had the speed to scramble and save the try. How many times did you see a line break not result in a try in 05? More times than not. How many times do you see that now? Hardly ever.
I have been saying for years that we need some aggressive mongrels in our pack. The type of guys - like the bulldogs of 04 and the dogs of war of the 80’s - who scared attackers. We have never had any. These blokes give penalties away but they also make opposition attackers run in 2 minds and render them an easy pickup. Dwyer looked to have the makings of one…we need to find a couple for next year and fast.