Working it out with our backs

This is causing us so much trouble getting the out of our own end. We have had stretches now in the past 5 or so games where we don’t touch the ball in the opposition half for up to 20 minutes from the end of the 1st half to start of the 2nd.

It gets to a point where we have:

1. Thompson/Watene-Zelezniak/Naiqama get the kick return, run along the field sideways, get cleaned up and have a slow play the ball.

2. After the slow play the ball another of these guys gets it and makes about 5-6m before being slowed down again at the PTB.

After that we have another ineffective hit-up, or on occasion Fonua will take a run and make 10m. It’s often not until 4th tackle that a forward gets their first carry of our set. Without our forwards getting involved, we can’t build momentum and we can’t get field position and as a result score points.

I understand the approach given it keeps the forwards fresher, but what’s the point of having fresh forwards if you aren’t going to use them?

Hopefully this changes when Mbye gets to fullback but we need our kick returners to run it back full steam, get on the front foot and let the next back to carry it make extra metres off the back of this quick play the ball. Then our forwards will be onside quicker and able to get involved earlier and instead of making a paltry 25m per set, we can be working the ball into the opposition half and building pressure.

The other major gripe I have with the back heavy approach is that it limits the effectiveness of us spreading the ball. When the backs are taking hitups, the defence can compress. We won’t make breaks through the middle from that and we won’t make breaks on the edges without wingers/centres being out there. Luke Brooks is effective when he can run in space and pick out holes in the opposition’s defensive line. When he’s got his winger outside him playing the ball after hit-up, if Brooks goes wide he’s going to have no space as there’s 1 less man to account for the defence.

I understand a lot of this ineffectiveness owes to the fact that Nofoaluma is injured and he’s one of the best in the game at doing it, but it’s something that’s been bothering me for a while. Why pay Packer & Matulino like marquee players so they can play 40 minutes and have a combined 8 runs between them?

Our backs are slow and their role is to play like forwards 7-11. No wonder we have no potency in attack.

Fonua has a broken arm, so there’ll be changes to personnel

Unless Nofa is back from injury, we don’t have anyone. Centre options would be Kev, MWZ, Lolo, MCK, Lawrence or Gamble.

Are we still getting Brian Kelly next year?

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Fonua has a broken arm, so there’ll be changes to personnel

Might turn out to be a blessing and return some potency to the team with Kev at left centre. Sure, Mahe can make some good ground every now and then and barge over for the odd try, but I think we suffer as a team overall.

I go further to state that apart from our dummy half issue, the way that our centres are being increasingly utilised stifles our attack and is not far behind in area that needs the most attention.

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Are we still getting Brian Kelly next year?

Bloody well hope so, or at least some other true centre. We lost our two of our three proposed players for those positions and they badly need replacing.

Yeah i agree with the OP. Far too many ineffective hitups from our backs. Some sets there weren’t a single hit up from the forwards and we were making 30m a set. Backs running teh ball should be limited to the first 2 or so hitups, unless there’s a quick play the ball which suits another scoot.

Our backs are too small to consistently take hit ups and be expected to make metres.

Thompson took the first hit up of the day …says it all !

Our forwards are not carrying the load on the field and then spend a heap of time off the field.
Fonua and Marsters may as well be forwards because they are playing like them.

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Our forwards are not carrying the load on the field and then spend a heap of time off the field.
Fonua and Marsters may as well be forwards because they are playing like them.

That’s Clearyball

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Our forwards are not carrying the load on the field and then spend a heap of time off the field.
Fonua and Marsters may as well be forwards because they are playing like them.

When Penrith made the prelim in 14, their back 5 made more dummy half runs than any other team by some margin. It looks like Cleary is trying the same here but they had Mansour in his peak, Moylan, DWZ, Blake and Hiku(?). So a vastly superior backline to work with

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Our forwards are not carrying the load on the field and then spend a heap of time off the field.
Fonua and Marsters may as well be forwards because they are playing like them.

That’s Clearyball

Could be.

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Our forwards are not carrying the load on the field and then spend a heap of time off the field.
Fonua and Marsters may as well be forwards because they are playing like them.

When Penrith made the prelim in 14, their back 5 made more dummy half runs than any other team by some margin. It looks like Cleary is trying the same here but they had Mansour in his peak, Moylan, DWZ, Blake and Hiku(?). So a vastly superior backline to work with

Interesting.

I can’t reas IC head but have always believed with our squad and tactics after setting the groundwork of good defensive structure team spirit and ball control the teams attack will evolve to a second phase style.
Sadly he got the first two right but the ball control is poor on anything other than one out stuff and offloads and moves end with passes hitting the ground so it’s like they put it away to stay in the game. That’s where the problem lies for me. And as opponents work this put they burn no juice in defence and hit us on the counter. As an example what of the nice move just before HT with the pass hitting the ground.
So what’s the issue and can it be rectified this year?
Number 1 it’s the hooking position. The dummy half work is real poor and notice yesterday that while Mcillrick was on we had direction in attack but his goal line defense led to a try that ET may have stopped but when ET came on who I rate as a back rower we lost our attacking direction while simultaneously Canberra got theirs with Hodgson. We need Farah if available to play 80. He could probably do it at near rep standard for the rest of the year as a cameo.
Number 2 issue I feel is lack of support. And much of this is created by as above posters write by our backs doing rucking out work and maybe because guys like Reynolds and Tui for injury or form are not available. Mybe may help.

Sad because atm the only guy who looks dangerous is Rowdy because of his ability to hold a pass and hit a hole.

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