@Balmain_Boy Yes I was. Sharks were very strong and seemed to make very easy metres up the middle rolling forward.
When we took the ball up they seemed to have much better line speed and we struggled to get across the advantage line. They had a couple of very big forwards (one an Australian Schoolboy prop - Franklin Pele(?)) who scored a couple of soft tries barging it up. Not sure if we were taking advantage of the ref the same as they were in defence?
In fairness to our boys we fought back from 20-4 to 20-16 right on half time which I thought showed good character and we were still right in the contest.
Unfortunately in the second half we were camped down in our 22 and just could not seem to get out and in the end we ran out of puff. We just couldn’t stop them and our defence was pretty poor. Our right winger did save a great try coming from far behind in cover to roll over the Sharks player right on the line in what looked like would be a certain score. Whilst we were still in it, after that we struggled and had too many injuries - 2 to concussion, Henry did his knee (not sure how bad but didn’t look good) and then Madden had a problem with his hamstring. I think we ran out of reserves?
My thoughts? We didn’t seem to be up for this game and didn’t have the urgency the Sharks did. Our attack seems to be one out all the time with Madden occasionally turning the ball back inside to runner hitting it up. These tactics seemed strange to me when the Sharks were so big up the middle and we needed to run them around a bit. Running at them time after time while they just waited for us wasn’t working. Whilst ball security early in the tackle count is priority, either a ball playing forward or some more adventurous plays tackles 3 and 4 would be beneficial.On the rare occasion when we did send it our OC scores twice.
I just don’t understand why we can’t get it wide and we don’t even seem to look - Curtis the right edge player very good as is Zac but they don’t always pass it when they should. Basically both wingers are starved of the ball unless they run it out from the red zone. Lee was pretty much MOTM the week before but couldn’t get anywhere near the ball this week unless he went in. Talau seemed to be better at giving it on the right edge when required but of course he was unavailable. Both our centres though have a lot of ability and go well.
My mail which could be incorrect was that 3 players pulled out on Friday night and one of the reserves didn’t turn up to the captain’s run Saturday morning so wasn’t picked. Not sure what is going on - maybe injuries and lack of communication somewhere?
I think the boys were frustrated but they were all doing their best. They did at least fight back but the Sharks are a strong unit and if we don’t turn up and be aggressive we have no chance but they are definitely beatable. There were too many soft tries which if stopped would have had us in there. They did miss a lot of goals so score could have been worse but that’s irrelevant if we man up in defence.
I think there will be changes this week due to performance and injuries. I expect a more enthusiastic showing - we were definitely off last Sunday.