Not sure if this has been mentioned, however I think we were left a little exposed with our lack of impact from 14-17. I don’t want to take away from a stunning comeback win and a memorable night. However when Galloway and Gibbs departed we looked lightweight and unbalanced. Compare this with Manly who bought on Kite, Rose and Rodney, with the first 2 making huge inroads and offloads up the ruck.
For mine Cayless looks about 2 months away from producing something decent. He looks a lot leaner and a bit meeker then i remember. Moors had a go but made a criminal error and was flagging arounf the middleof the ruck in defence. Then you have another lighter player in Flanagan who also made a horror error, and a whole 5 minutes of Fitzhenry.
The balance is not there for mine. Not saying they are all bad players however the mix meant we were exposed after 20 minutes.
Spot on. Our starting line up all really put in, but we didn
t get any impact from the bench. As people have stated, we just have to be a little bit patient with Cayless, I know Moors is much better than that effort and I suppose we also need to give Flanagan time to settle in, but we are definately gonna need a lot more from the bench to keep winning games. I know hes young and raw, but I really don
t think we can afford to hold Andrew Fifita back, hes got the size and aggression that we desperately need.
The whole time the Manly side were steamrolling us with their extra aggression, I couldn
t help but think how good Willie Mason would have been for us. I know we cant do anything about that now, but gee he would have helped us fight fire with fire.
Cayless will get better and needs to stay on the bench as we are short in that area. Moors was good. Made a couple of mistakes but will get better.
Flangan and Fitzhenry should not both be on the bench. Flanagan looked a little out of his depth and someone like Mataka or Dwyer (injured) would be a better option. Maybe even Jason Schirnack.
Fitzhenry I think was there in case Tuqiri struggelled so I don’t expect to see him there next week. Somone like Fifita or Alan Schirnack would be better suited to the bench if Payten is not yet fit.
With you all the way on this one Eddie. The bench was poor last night. Not through lack of effort, but lack of impact in Cayless and Moors, and Flanagan only played around 10 minutes and Fitzy only got 5 minutes. The top 13 all put in and went well, but Sheens needs to re-structure the bench. I’m confident Cayless and Moors can improve, but it’s going to take time.
In the meantime I’d be dropping Flanagan for Mataka, Gower or Schirnack and as for Fitzy, well I’d drop him too.
Andrew Fifita will play FG this year, just a matter of when. Same goes for Blake Lazarus IMO.
Cayless and Moors are our two next best of the rest Forwards… Todd Payton to come back soon and ???
Fitzy will do us OK as he is a Vet and wont be overawed at playing an unfamilier position.
While not overly impresive we need to remember this is Round 1 and that we shouldnt be all that happy with the game in general. We still allowed the enemy to get out by heaps in the first half.
I think the game plan was to use a heap of smaller mobile players to work and run Manly big pack off their feet and in the end it worked a treat. Early season games when fitness levels are a bit low and with the warmer temps its a good tactic.
As for impact,the bench offered none, as for work rate offered plenty. Although come round two I would be looking at replacing both Fitzy and Flanagan and having Fulton as my back up back if we got a injury 1 thru 7 and carrying four forwards on the bench.
I just think it didn’t really work pulling both starting props at once. We seemed to lose the tempo when that happened.
I said the same thing to my dad when he pulled them off. I think it looked worse as Moors come on dropped the ball and Cayless seemed to hit it up a few times and just get smashed…
On a side note… Moors thighs are the size of tree trunks!
The bench was woeful
Cayless needs a month playing for Balmain to get fit. He won’t get fit playing 15-20 mins a week off the bench.
I am dissapointed Flannagan got a start……our toyota cup team had a great season and Schirnack was superb. Why does a young Pom get a walk up start? If he was an international, okay.But he’s no better than anyone in our toyota cup team from last season.
Shirnack…Dwyer and Fifita all are better options long term than Cayless, Moors and Flannagan.
Fitzy = not knocking him, it’s not his fault, but a complete waste of a bench spot.
It is a big concern and again our go forward suffers when Galloway goes off.
I think you have to look at the starting pack and the bench to work together.
Props: Starting - Gibbs & Galloway. Bench: Payten and Cayless/Fifita
2nd Row: Starting - Ellis & Fulton (I like him as a wide running 2nd rower even though he is too small). Bench: Shirnack (the younger one) / Mataka / Moors / someone else who offers some impact.
Lock: Starting - Heighno.
At the moment I would have the extra bench spot held by one of the props. So I would have 2 starting props and 3 bench props - i.e. Payten, Cayless and Fifita. If two out of these perform the other player can be dropped and we could play someone like Arana.
This means that Ellis, Heighno and Fulton have to play a lot of minutes but hopefully we still get go forward throughout the game.