There’s a few things in play. One is the way the Tigers were able to outmuscle much more talented sides by just playing harder and backing everything up in numbers. That’s not sustainable. No amount of motivation, effort or culture can continuously push the body past it’s capacity. Even with very good conditioning, you can’t go a whole season trying to tackle your way out of trouble.
The second factor is that the Tigers attack did well in the early season crackdown on ruck penalties and offsides. Brooks likes to take on the line and get rid of it late and flat. Defenders need good line speed to shut him down, which they’re getting now. The Panthers game was the first time a defence had properly shut our halves out without getting pinged, and the attitude of referees seems to have changed since then.
Third issue has been our inability to keep three fit middle forwards and a hooker on the park for 80 minutes. Godinet/Liddle at dummy half with Packer, Matalino and Taylor replaced by Twal, Eisenhuth and Chee Kam was as good as it got. If you take a first grade prop off and replace them with a reserve grade back rower, that gives the opposition an advantage in the middle. They win the wrestle, get quick play the balls, which forces the back rowers into the middle which in turn creates space on the edges and isolates the outside backs. It starts with the crappy interchange options. Today at Leichardt felt like a Taylor bench.
Fourth issue is the debacle at hooker. It’s not only cost us bench spots in rotating hookers, but in many cases neither habe been up to standard. I was pretty unimpressed to see Taylor’s rubbish service replaced by Reynolds at the 50 minute mark. It did nothing but slow down our pack and our halves.
Er that turned into a bit of a rant, so that’ll do for this installment of ‘what’s wrong with my footy team’ Sorry for the wall of text.