I understand the OP and the reality is we do make good yardage once we play into the match. E.g. after 20 mins we had absorbed the Knights early line speed and were handily getting over the advantage line. The set after our first try went about 70m.
I think a lot of it has to do with player speed - we have several forwards who lack any explosive speed, so they really can’t charge onto the ball before the defensive line has already hit them, not if they want to cross the advantage line.
I also agree that it’s part of a safety-first approach I think Madge wants from the team, where we are happy to spread the ball but we don’t really charge onto face balls much this year. I can sort of understand this, whenever I think of Lawrence or Aloiai bursting onto a pass out wide, the immediate next thought is of the bad Brooks pass and the dropped ball.
But I do agree that I wish we saw more hard line running. Garner was reasonably effective last night taking on Mann, even though he was also not really coming onto it at speed, rather he was picking his line smartly.