@Tiger Come Lately:
@Tiger Come Lately:
I look forward to watching him play next year.
I hope we don’t coach the creative ability around the ruck out of him and expect him to be a ball scoop.
That’s what JT wants as a Hooker!!... or is it as a hooker/ backrower …or as a winger/ hooker… or maybe as a half/ Hooker (a la Littlejohn)…?
I hope not, I would like to think that was just a ploy to push RF out of the team.
It makes no sense IMO to just pass the ball out of dummy half. It takes precious time away from your halves and allows the opposition defence to shift in unison.
A playmaking 9 will always have the defence in two minds and your more of a chance of creating a gap for your halves to play at if the defence is in two minds.
Other wise just get rid of your hooker and play another prop or second rower in there that can help bash the opposition into submission, but before you can do that you must have a big pack to start with and we don’t have that. We have a skill full young 9 so he has to have the team play to player strengths.
It is my opinion that JT was not installing a game plan to limit the attack from the hooker, but rather to specifically curtail Farah’s default attack pattern, which was becoming blunted.
Cherrington did not lack for attacking ability, in fact that’s mostly what he had, but once you decide that Cherrington cannot handle the defensive load of firsts, and you can’t select Liddle due to 2nd tier cap, you are left with makeshift options like Halatau. In that scenario, you want a Halatau option to just tackle and pass, and let the young halves do the singing.
But back to Farah, his left-foot grubber was still a good option at the line, as was his tactical kick and chase, though he had a slightly bad habit of doing it closer to tackle 3 or 4 at times. Whilst I am not against the concept of early kick and chase, Tigers are not currently the kind of defensive unit to give up possession and hope to bury the opposition in their own 25.
Robbie’s running game was deteriorating in 2016 - his run selection was still good, but he just lacked that turn of foot he used to have, and he isn’t strong enough to make barraging runs of the Isaac Luke type. I also felt that the refs went really soft on squareness of markers all season which hurt ruck creativity.
In the old days Farah was terrific at picking when to run and when to pass, and he would always engage offside markers, but regularly did not get the penalties he deserved. He probably got 50% of the penalties that should have been blown all career. In 2016 that rate fell to next to nothing: the refs were not interested and his slight loss of pace gave the defensive line a fraction more time to get onside.
I feel where Farah really fell down in 2016 was his pass selection, and I think this went a long way to what forced him out. Frankly he held the ball too long and wasn’t getting his forwards consistently over the advantage line. Cam Smith holds the footy a lot but he is still really good at either drawing the markers or stepping quickly out from the mark to give his pack some space on the advantage line. Robbie was continually hesitating, looking for attacking opportunities and his forwards were being hurt with the delay in the pass, as were the backs ultimately. Have a serious think about how easily you can picture in your memory, Farah picking up the footy, hesitating with the pass, having his forward over-run him and being swarmed by the markers, tucking the ball under his left arm and raising his right arm over his head to push off the attackers. It was a regular site and hookers should not be regularly getting caught like that.
I guarantee Rd 1 next year if Farah plays, we will be getting up fast on him and crowding the ruck.
Liddle, well he is halfback-quick over short distances, tall enough to get his arms free and has a good pass on him. I expect he will be given instruction to test a retreating defensive line but focus on getting the ball away early at the start and end of the tackle count. He needs to put passes out in front of Broses at chest height, there was way too much leaping for catches for the halves last year. If you watch your halves jump for the ball consistently once per set or more, that means the distribution is poor. They need to be running onto it.