2015 Squad, Tactics, and Depth



  • Excellent thread to all. Well done VT.

    I’m aligned to most points though unfortunately Potter isn’t fitting. I am also holding my breath that Siro will come good.

    I believe Simona will be on the wing again soon. I just don’t see him as a centre. Love him as a player though. He will get pushed out by Seve

    Sue is struggling. Too many penalties and is slow to get back his 10. He may be getting used to the 10kgs he added in the off season.

    Aka has shown glimpses though his concentration has been a battle for him. He looks strong and difficult to tackle. Could grow into anything though my money is that Siro will shine brighter than him in time

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  • People bag Galloway but he NEVER gets pushed back and when he tackles they stay tackled. Most of the other forwards apart from Woods arent that strong particularly in defense but that could be said about the whole team. Until the mentality changes and toughens up,this team of Great potential talent isnt going very far up the ladder at all. A new take no prisoners coach is required !



  • What are we going to talk about in the off season now?
    Surely there’s more staff to sack before we move on to this topic?



  • @Mccarry:

    Excellent thread to all. Well done VT.

    I’m aligned to most points though unfortunately Potter isn’t fitting. I am also holding my breath that Siro will come good.

    I believe Simona will be on the wing again soon. I just don’t see him as a centre. Love him as a player though. He will get pushed out by Seve

    Sue is struggling. Too many penalties and is slow to get back his 10. He may be getting used to the 10kgs he added in the off season.

    Aka has shown glimpses though his concentration has been a battle for him. He looks strong and difficult to tackle. Could grow into anything though my money is that Siro will shine brighter than him in time

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    Agreed, massive thanks to everyone for fostering constructive discussion and not turning it into a slanging match over certain players as I admit I’d expected.
    Echo your thoughts on Sue too, he definitely seems to be slowing down. Could be the added weight he put on and the grind of a full season. Hopefully with another full preseason he’ll really grow in to his role.
    I think Sirro has a higher ceiling than Akauola based purely on his experience in the halves and the ball skills he’s developed from that, but at the moment I would prefer Akauola for the instant upside.

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  • @Mccarry:

    Excellent thread to all. Well done VT.

    I’m aligned to most points though unfortunately Potter isn’t fitting. I am also holding my breath that Siro will come good.

    I believe Simona will be on the wing again soon. I just don’t see him as a centre. Love him as a player though. He will get pushed out by Seve

    Sue is struggling. Too many penalties and is slow to get back his 10. He may be getting used to the 10kgs he added in the off season.

    Aka has shown glimpses though his concentration has been a battle for him. He looks strong and difficult to tackle. Could grow into anything though my money is that Siro will shine brighter than him in time

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    Agreed, massive thanks to everyone for fostering constructive discussion and not turning it into a slanging match over certain players as I admit I’d expected.
    Echo your thoughts on Sue too, he definitely seems to be slowing down. Could be the added weight he put on and the grind of a full season. Hopefully with another full preseason he’ll really grow in to his role.
    I think Sirro has a higher ceiling than Akauola based purely on his experience in the halves and the ball skills he’s developed from that, but at the moment I would prefer Akauola for the instant upside.

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  • We will see some of the same average-rubbish senior players. Guys like galloway, lawrence, moltzen, rowe, blair, bodene these guys will continue to let us down most weeks.

    Ok we have some good young blokes, but some of our senior player are average/rubbish and they are not off the books for a year or two yet.



  • Tactics wise perhaps a shift back to expansive, free flowing footy.

    Fact is that our defence will take some time and is not a strength.

    We have a great touch footy style team (not being sarcastic).

    The back line VT suggested would fit, bar perhaps Pat. The pack with Siro, Patterson, taupau, woods, Farah have excellent hands. Put Austin in as lock and let the ball sing…

    Opposition packs are getting bigger and bigger. Let’s run at centres and halves all day. We need to perfect a style of getting tackled that gets us a quick play the ball. The old on the knees surrender version updated for new rules.

    Thoughts?

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  • Nice thread Vanilla.

    Some comments on Bodene Thompson;

    • we gambled on him after a horror injury run. For several years he was touted as a potential champ

    • he is now a “1st grader”. He knows he belongs and can influence results and for many forwards, this is the biggest hurdle.

    • He can play 80 minutes aggressively, he hits hard and often in defence and has some real mongrel. Something we drastically need.

    • with the ball, Bodene runs hard, has good leg drive and is courageous. With a very good 2014 and 2015 pre season under his belt, he will have the confidence, experience, clever coach and combination with his halves to be a very good right side hole runner.

    • Bodene is one of very few WT gamble purchase who has paid off in that he’s developed. He is now in a position to be great contributor so I dont understand why we’d punt him now, especially when any possible replacement will be doing the “apprenticeship” BT has just completed?

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  • I’m with you on most of the OP, but I would definitely be finding a place for Austin. He seems to have a great brain for attack and can take advantage of options in front of him although I think he needs to work on his kicking game.
    One other thing I’d like to see, is to identify potential kickers in the squad and have Richards work intensively with them. Richards is a weapon and is worth many points per game both directly and indirectly through his kickoffs. He won’t be around forever so the team should be doing everything in its power to learn his craft.



  • @Flippedy:

    @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.

    I agree we definitely need massive improvement in the centres.
    And Simona may well be best on the wing, to make the most of his speed.
    We’re just not getting around teams, which was where we used to score most of our points, especially when Lawrence still had legs.
    The rest of the squad is looking good.



  • @NT Tiger:

    I’m with you on most of the OP, but I would definitely be finding a place for Austin. He seems to have a great brain for attack and can take advantage of options in front of him although I think he needs to work on his kicking game.
    One other thing I’d like to see, is to identify potential kickers in the squad and have Richards work intensively with them. Richards is a weapon and is worth many points per game both directly and indirectly through his kickoffs. He won’t be around forever so the team should be doing everything in its power to learn his craft.

    Agree with the above. I would add that Richards has one more year on his contract and he does give us extra points with his goal kicking.

    I think that we will have new centres next year so I am not sure where Simona fits in with Richards retained. Nofo is a cert. for one wing.

    I thought Lawrence’s game last week was his best for some time and a move to the second row should be looked at carefully. He does run hard and straight and he can hit in defence.

    As for the coach, that will be up to the new board, however we do need a coach with attacking and defensive game plans. I just don’t see this with Potter.

    Some punters on here think that we need some tough love in the JV. I agree and once again I do not see Potter being that man. I know that Brian Smith is unpopular in some circles, but you have got to give him credit in straightening out the teams he has coached and usually left them in better shape than when he started.
    He has been in Grand Finals 4 or 5 times with various teams without ever winning one. However, I am sure that if we could get to another GF in the next couple of years we, as fans, would be more than happy. To say nothing of the players.

    Just another quick thought. I do not see any outstanding centres on the market at the moment. We should be going for all out speed men next year and I think that we have some of those in the lower grades. A good experienced coach should bring out their best.



  • @russelldp:

    Nice thread Vanilla.

    Some comments on Bodene Thompson;

    • we gambled on him after a horror injury run. For several years he was touted as a potential champ

    • he is now a “1st grader”. He knows he belongs and can influence results and for many forwards, this is the biggest hurdle.

    • He can play 80 minutes aggressively, he hits hard and often in defence and has some real mongrel. Something we drastically need.

    • with the ball, Bodene runs hard, has good leg drive and is courageous. With a very good 2014 and 2015 pre season under his belt, he will have the confidence, experience, clever coach and combination with his halves to be a very good right side hole runner.

    • Bodene is one of very few WT gamble purchase who has paid off in that he’s developed. He is now in a position to be great contributor so I dont understand why we’d punt him now, especially when any possible replacement will be doing the “apprenticeship” BT has just completed?

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    Mainly that he just doesn’t fit in the direction I’d like to see the team taken. I admire his work and his improvement, but I’d prefer a shift towards tall, offloading back rowers for the sheer purpose of it being a different body type to handle. On the edges at least, I’d like to see us offloading over the man rather than as the play is slowing down by popping an arm out the bottom.
    Nothing against the bloke, I have enormous respect for him, as I do with Halatau and Fulton, but ideally I’d like to see us try something different.

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  • I would like to see the tigers when they are under the pump just complete sets and aim for repeat sets rather than a low % play on the 2nd tackle. Why not bomb more to Richards side he’s excellent under the high ball in super league that was his bread and butter.



  • I’ve given this thread a bit of thought and realistically, we need to look at who we have on the books for next year and where players fit into the overall picture.

    So who do we have on the books for next year at this stage?

    1.James Tedesco - Fullback
    2. Robbie Farah - Hooker
    3. Chris Lawrence - Centre
    4. Tim Simona - Centre/Wing
    5. Matthew Lodge - Front row
    6. Aaron Woods - Front row
    7. Adam Blair - Backrow
    8. David Nofoaluma - wing
    9. Dallas Graham - front row
    10. Asipeli Fine - backrow/centre
    11. James Gavet - backrow/front row
    12. Ava Seumanufagai - front row
    13. Jack Buchanan - front row
    14. Sauaso Sue - backrow
    15. Sitaleki Akauola - backrow/centre
    16. Luke Brooks - halfback
    17. Mitchell Moses - five eighth
    18. Kurtis Rowe - fullback/wing
    19. Kyle Lovett - backrow/centre
    20. Curtis Sironen - backrow/five eighth
    21. Tim Moltzen - five eighth/fullback
    22. Joel Luani - hooker/backrow
    23. Nathan Brown - front row
    24. Pat Richards - wing
    25. Keith Galloway - front row
    26. Martin Taupau - front row
    27. Blake Austin - utility
    28. Manaia Cherrington - hooker
    29. Delouise Hoeter - wing/centre/fullback

    I am unsure on the status of Paterson, Halatau, Thompson and Lulia so please let me know if they are on board for next year.

    Looking over this, we’ve got plenty of depth in the forwards, less so in the backs and I think we look weak in the centres and wing as we really lack serious speed. Simona and Tedesco can both motor but that’s about it IMO. With Brooks and Moses in the halves, I think our variety and unpredictability in attack will improve, but again, unless we can reduce the number of injuries sustained, I think we’ll struggle in the backend of the season once more. If we can keep our spine healthy though, then the top 8 is realistic.



  • I think the biggest tactic should be reviewing our medical and strength and conditioning staff. There’s no point picking teams now if we can’t even get half the players on the field. Sorry but Skando with his Tafe certificate doesn’t do it for me. No more jobs for the boys, just get ultimate professionals there doing the job they’ve done for years. We’ve been cursed for too long and something’s gotta give!

    Before people jump up and down, I realise a lot of injuries are contact injuries, ACL injuries, etc. but many have happened at training

    All the injuries have taken way longer than expected to heal, why??? It has to have something to do with our staff in my opinion and a review should definitely be done.

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