One word: power. We lack power so most of our tackles are competent without being dominant or hurting. We don’t hurt oppositions when they run at us, so they have no fear to take strong runs. Power teams like Canberra just line up to rip in, and we lack that enforcer-type to put a few of them on their bums.
Size-wise we are fine, we have huge bodies in the pack, but they are not overly dynamic. Guys like Woods, Ava, Rowdy, Grant, Taylor - are all capable tacklers, but they are all legs or ball-wrappers, they don’t lean into tackles hard with their shoulders. Well maybe Rowdy does sometimes.
For mine, that is precisely why JT has been persisting with Edwards last year off the bench, because Edwards is the main guy in the team to make high-impact tackles.
TigerTorch made some interesting comments last year about, I think he called them Type A defenders, players who could hit and drop consistently in a 1:1 situation without needing support. We had 3 of them if I recall: Edwards, MCK and Tim Simona, so most of our dominant tacklers were either on the bench or in NSW Cup.
And just having a handful of dominant defenders is not enough.
Otherwise exactly as cochise said, coordination out wide is poor. What I will add there is we have known defensive liabilities in Moses and Brooks, we used to have Benji like that too, so Tigers have always had a weak defensive channel that players need to cover for. Once you start having to cover for positions other than your own, things are more likely to break down. It hurts the Broncos in just the same way - they are a much more consistent defensive unit than us, and in 2015 their scramble / goal defence was amazing, but it’s starting to hurt them in 2016 and I expect this year having to deal with the level of traffic directed at Hunt and Milford who are just small frames in the line.
Brooks should do much better, he’s a big lad and wide in the hips where it counts for defenders, but he makes really poor reads. He just really struggles in picking his target and usually seems to fall for the dummy runner that is covered by his inside man.
Moses being so skinny, he’s often in the right place but can’t make dominant tackles. He has historically tried to compensate by rushing out of the line, but as with Frozone, that tactic is easily exploited in the modern game, players hands are too good.
So we need more power in the pack to hurt oppositions, not just wrap them up. Power also helps stop offloads. We need our halves to dramatically improve their missed tackle rate and be less reliant on support to stop the traffic that inevitably comes their way. Lastly we need better coordination out wide, because if there is a known weakness on the edges, it’s extremely hard to cover (it is the edge after all) and teams will pound away with sweep and second-man plays all game.