I was wondering what people thought about the defensive tactics last night? I noted in the Nofo thread that we seem to be sliding less than we were in the previous rounds?
Certainly last night there was a lot of up-and-in defensive structure, perhaps purposefully against the Knights, but it wasn’t working well, particularly because Ponga is dangerous with the ball but can also pass.
But the thing that stood out for me was Sio’s second try, the pass is from Fitzgibbon. Maybe he has some real passing skills, but if you have a backrower running a line who decides to shift via cut-out to the winger - maybe that’s vision, but I reckon its 90% coaching, i.e. they were instructed pre-game to shift to their LHS like that as often as possible.
I recall a game in 2017 vs Dragons when Widdop did exactly the same thing, run backrowers to suck in the defence then hit the winger. He did it 6 or 7 times in the opening 30 mins and they scored 4 tries, blew us away early.
On a different note, Tigers are second worst team in the comp for missed tackles, behind the Warriors. I am not exactly sure how they are counting missed tackles, i.e. if any effort including line speed counts, because 3 of the worst 5 MT teams are actually in the Top 4 (Tigers, Warriors, Panthers). So clearly MTs are less of concern than overall scramble.
In terms of ineffective tackles, Tigers are not in the top 5 (NRL has bad stats options this year, you can’t dig very deep).
And if Penrith concede > 9 points today, Tigers still have the best defence in the comp after 7 rounds.
HOWEVER, one other thing I did pick up is points conceded, but I don’t have an answer for this trend:
- Tigers conceded 18 points total in 2 games against Storm, who average 17.60 ppg.
- Tigers conceded 8 pts against Roosters, who average 22 ppg
- Tigers conceded 9 against Broncos, no tries, who average 13.8 ppg.
- Tigers conceded 12 against Manly, who average 26 ppg.
But our “blow-outs” against Knights and Eels were 22 and 20 pts respectively, when the teams average 16.8 and 8.8 ppg resp.
What is it about the Eels and Knights games where we essentially doubled our season average points conceded in those two games? They aren’t exactly attacking powerhouses, in fact Eels are abominable in that regard. We have however been very effective against some of the better attacking sides. Just bad games? 2 out of 7 isn’t exactly a trend.