2015 Squad, Tactics, and Depth



  • Fair warning, this is going to be a long post, so either grab a beer/put the kettle on, pick and choose topics, or just comment based on the title
    I’ve had enough of this season so I figured it’s as good a time as any to look forward and have a look at what next year may hold for our beloved Tigers. We’ve finished off poorly but I think early on this year we showed signs that we can be a real force, and the development of some players (and lack thereof of others) can be considered when looking at next year.

    First off, backs.
    I think we’re doing relatively well in terms of backs, with experience being the only real drawback. Moses played well last round and held his own defensively, so I’d have to change my opinion on Austin starting over him. His combination with Brooks is undoubtedly the way forward, and as much as I think Blake provides to the club, I don’t have a spot for him in the 17, and unless he’s content to be a back up I would not begrudge him leaving. I’d like to see Lulia moved on, with only one more year for Richards. The club is evidently putting their stock in our juniors, so I don’t necessarily subscribe to us needing to buy a strike centre/winger. We have the talent, it just needs to be fostered through.
    My first choice back line would be:
    1. Tedesco
    2. Nofoaluma
    3. Lawrence
    4. Simona
    5. Richards
    6. Moses
    7. Brooks

    Second, forwards.
    Easily been one of our biggest strengths this year, I don’t think anyone would debate that, but I’d like to see a bit of a change/refinement of our tactics. The so-called bash bench was vital, and I think that MO should be applied to the whole pack. I’d like to see Thompson let go, as good as he has been for us this year, and Dene given an assistant coach/mentoring/some form of involvement at NSW Cup level, if only to foster a sense of professionalism in the lower grades that will help the transition to firsts. Looking at the likes of the Storm or the Roosters, their back rowers hit the line hard, have good hands, and constantly look for offloads; something I think we need to move towards, instead of small tackle machines.
    I’m a fan of Galloway, but I wouldn’t have him in my top 25 for next year. I also think Blair has earned the co-captaincy, he’s probably been my pick for player of the season to this point, and is quickly becoming one of my favourites. I wouldn’t want much more than 2 or 3 more years out of Farah either.
    All things considered, my first choice pack for next year would be:
    8. Woods
    9. Farah ©
    10. Seumanufagai
    11. Akauola
    12. Paterson
    13. Blair ©

    Third, interchange.
    It’s pretty obvious that a big bench is the way to go, and I’d carry that through to next year, but with a 2-2 prop-back row split, instead of the 3-1 we seem to go with. This would give our young props more of a chance to work in to a spell while maintaining impact in our back row. Sironen must show impact, otherwise I would drop him for Santi to spell Blair.
    My first choice bench would be:
    14. Taupau
    15. Lodge
    16. Sue
    17. Sironen

    Fourth, depth.
    Top 25 and the second tier salary cap have been a major issue for us over the past two seasons, and while injuries are largely unavoidable, there have been some mistakes and misjudgments that have cost us dearly. Having the likes of Vela and Moltzen on top tier contracts when they can hardly string together without getting injured. That being said, I’m keeping Moltzen in my top 25 purely on his utility value. I don’t get to watch much lower grades due to geographical reasons, but everything I’ve seen of Fine and Hitchcox, combined with what I’ve gleaned from other comments, suggests that they deserve to be next cabs off the rank if injury strikes. Hitchcox has jumped Rowe in my queue as well, and between him, Moltzen and Austin we have enough cover for fullback should Teddy go down again.
    Without knowing the ins & outs of contracts, this would round out my top 25:
    18. Austin
    19. Moltzen
    20. Fine
    21. Hitchcox
    22. Buchanan
    23. Cherrington
    24. Santi
    25. Graham

    Fifth, the leftovers.
    As much as Gavet impressed me early in the season, I just don’t think we can carry him in our top 25. He is lazy in defence, and obviously has off field issues and a questionable attitude. I haven’t seen enough of Lovett or Vela to comment on their long term potential, though from what I’ve seen of Kyle we have better options. I’d like to see Liolevave given a run in NSW Cup over the year to see if he can impress without his instinctive combination with Martin, if so then he’d fit well in what I’d like to see from our team. I don’t have room for Rowe, though if Austin gets a better offer and leaves (eg. Sezer to the Roosters rumour could see him go to the Titans) then I’d keep him on.

    Lastly, Coach and Tactics.
    As untenable as Potter’s job is, this post is based on what I would prefer, so I’d keep Potter there, providing he shows more adaptability in game situations. He seems to be very structured in his interchange, sometimes to the detriment of momentum. Our bench needs to be used to break the game open, and in Woods and Ava I think we have props capable of consistently making metres while holding their own defensively, before Taupau and Lodge wreak havoc. If all the rumours and speculation are true then I’d like to see Payten moved on and replaced by an experienced coach to serve as a guide, similar to Neil Henry at the Titans or Mark Williams at GWS. If the team does not reach expectations (and I think a top 8 finish is a must) then we need to look elsewhere.

    Thoughts?



  • Thanks Vanilla for opening my mind.



  • Like your stuff Vanilla

    But if we can’t make some signings in crucial positions I see us finishing in the bottom half of the 8 again in 2015

    Talent only gets you so far

    No Keefy and we’d get no salary cap help for not playing him



  • @happy tiger:

    Like your stuff Vanilla

    But if we can’t make some signings in crucial positions I see us finishing in the bottom half of the 8 again in 2015

    Talent only gets you so far

    No Keefy and we’d get no salary cap help for not playing him

    Really happy ? I think if we can keep our key players (teddy, robbie, woods, brooks) uninjured for the most past of 2015 we should make the top 8

    Posted using RoarFEED V.4


  • Banned

    @happy tiger:

    Like your stuff Vanilla

    But if we can’t make some signings in crucial positions I see us finishing in the bottom half of the 8 again in 2015

    Talent only gets you so far

    No Keefy and we’d get no salary cap help for not playing him

    Yeah, we still need a game breaking centre, imo - not that we’ll probably get one. So Vanilla’s backline looks like it will be the go and it looks good on paper, until injuries strike again. And I worry about Lawrence still being there - although he played better the other night, he has been a huge liability for most of this season. I really don’t think I could sit through another season of watching him struggle there.

    I do like your prop rotation though - definitely the way to go. Ava and Lodge are young and strong and will only get better and I’ve had enough of waiting for Galloway to come good. Not sure about Paterson in the starting side, he hasn’t impressed much this year, but then again he has been injured for a lot of it. Guess he deserves another shot, but I sure hope Sironen will eventually aim up and play to his potential and size next year.



  • we need some damn team spirit!



  • @Tony33:

    @happy tiger:

    Like your stuff Vanilla

    But if we can’t make some signings in crucial positions I see us finishing in the bottom half of the 8 again in 2015

    Talent only gets you so far

    No Keefy and we’d get no salary cap help for not playing him

    Really happy ? I think if we can keep our key players (teddy, robbie, woods, brooks) uninjured for the most past of 2015 we should make the top 8

    Posted using RoarFEED V.4

    Tont , how many times have we said this over the last 10 years



  • Like I said, I disagree with needing a strike centre, it would take money we don’t have and could be used better elsewhere in retention of more important positions. The problem is created in our second rowers not posing a threat and creating space for their outside men.
    Having big, tall bodies like Akauola and Paterson on each edge automatically draws in another defender, and combine that with the offloading ability they both possess and we’re a real threat. At the moment, Sironen and Thompson/Halatau pose little to no threat one on one,and I can’t remember the last time I saw Sirro bump off a half or Thompson being a threat anywhere other than 2 metres out. The likes of Sonny Bill, Guerra, Hoffman and even Tony Williams of late pose a threat because even if the half can get good contact one on one, if they don’t secure the ball then there’s chance of an overlap.

    We play the same game plan as every team in the NRL, but we’re not picking the cattle to take advantage of it.



  • @happy tiger:

    @Tony33:

    @happy tiger:

    Like your stuff Vanilla

    But if we can’t make some signings in crucial positions I see us finishing in the bottom half of the 8 again in 2015

    Talent only gets you so far

    No Keefy and we’d get no salary cap help for not playing him

    Really happy ? I think if we can keep our key players (teddy, robbie, woods, brooks) uninjured for the most past of 2015 we should make the top 8

    Posted using RoarFEED V.4

    Tont , how many times have we said this over the last 10 years

    True 😦 were due for some luck in 2015… Maybe it happens every 10 years or something lol

    Posted using RoarFEED V.4



  • Lawrence?
    God no.
    Shocking.



  • @Demps:

    Lawrence?
    God no.
    Shocking.

    Constructive, thanks mate.

    Posted using RoarFEED V.4



  • @VanillaThunder:

    Like I said, I disagree with needing a strike centre, it would take money we don’t have and could be used better elsewhere in retention of more important positions. The problem is created in our second rowers not posing a threat and creating space for their outside men.
    Having big, tall bodies like Akauola and Paterson on each edge automatically draws in another defender, and combine that with the offloading ability they both possess and we’re a real threat. At the moment, Sironen and Thompson/Halatau pose little to no threat one on one,and I can’t remember the last time I saw Sirro bump off a half or Thompson being a threat anywhere other than 2 metres out. The likes of Sonny Bill, Guerra, Hoffman and even Tony Williams of late pose a threat because even if the half can get good contact one on one, if they don’t secure the ball then there’s chance of an overlap.

    We play the same game plan as every team in the NRL, but we’re not picking the cattle to take advantage of it.

    Thompson has a much better skill set than Patterson and running straight at a defender, would likely pose more of a threat than Patterson.

    Patterson is taller yes, but he would be smaller than Thompson. They both have the ability to run some nice lines though.

    We do have done good centre options coming through the ranks. But the problem is you can’t wait around for them, because the team will then diminish elsewhere. We don’t have to sign a gun, but someone with a bit more lateral movement and speed than Lawrence now possesses.

    Posted using RoarFEED V.4



  • Thompson has 7kgs over Patto but gives up 10cm. They’re completely different body types and completely different defensive propositions. Thompson certainly works harder and is probably a better defender, but he just doesn’t fit with the direction I’d like to see the team taken.
    From what I’ve seen at least Paterson seems a better offloader and just more of a cohesive threat in offense.

    Posted using RoarFEED V.4



  • I’m not sure what the deal is with the NRL top squad. Sometimes I hear it’s 30, sometimes 25. Considering the first 25 the first 25 and the other 5 the 5 I’d include if we had 5 more spots obviously.

    1. Tedesco
    2. Nofoaluma
    3. Simona
    4. Liolevave
    5. Richards
    6. Moses
    7. Brooks
    8. Woods
    9. Farah
    10. Taupau
    11. Lawrence
    12. Thompson
    13. Blair

    14. Seumanufagai
    15. Akauola
    16. Farlow
    17. Lodge

    18. Buchanan
    19. Santi
    20. Galloway
    21. Seve
    22. Sue
    23. Sironen
    24. Cherrington
    25. Austin

    26. Brown
    27. Hoeter
    28. Graham
    29. Martin
    30. Hitchcox


    A) I’m now convinced Lawrence can make it as a backrower. I reckon he’d run the lines we need a backrower to run.

    B) Liolevave is a super talent and we need some size in our backline. He’d make a HUGE centre and he’s plenty fast enough for it. I reckon he could do a job like Hurrell for us and eventually move to the backrow.

    C) Farlow and Lodge have jumped Galloway, Sue and Sironen for mine. Farlow has had an excellent year in the reggies playing in a ton of different positions and captaining the side extremely well. His versatility would be awesome in first grade and he’s a more inspiring leader than Farah tbh. Don’t know what more he has to do to get a crack. He was even pretty good in his one go so far. Lodge is a superstar in the making and is already plenty big enough for NRL and next year will only be bigger. Sue is JUST outside the 17 but Sironen and Galloway are depth at best for mine unless Sirro shows much improvement.

    D) Seve had an unfortunate year but before injury was carving up. Would have debuted this year without injury imo. (Probably around the time Akauola had to play on the wing lol). Will play NRL next year injury permitting.

    Paterson, Gavet, Lulia unfortunately no room for them in the side with the promotion of so many young guys.



  • A very thoughtful post VT and agree with most of it although some discerning purchases in the off season wouldn’t go astray. A couple of young, fast, tall thee quarters (Tupou like) with the ability to be a target for Robbie and Brooks would’ve helped our cause no end this year. We seemed not to have many options in the opposition red zone.

    I actually think we have reasonable talent across the park and our spine when fully fit would be the envy of most teams. We now have size and mobility in the forwards as well and have proven at various stages inthe season that we can match the best packs in the competition.

    I actually believe your final stanza "coach and tactics"could have been expanded a little more. While I think Potter has to move on (I respect him but he obviously doesn’t have the answers), I also believe that you should have included the front office as well! I think with the right coaching and the right administration, the team has a good chance of dramatic improvement.

    Our on field performances are being affected by off field distractions and poor management which has seen us attract media attention for all the wrong reasons.


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