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apezza

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Having a middle who can ball play (Finucane) makes a big difference when attacking inside 20. McInnes just isn’t on the same level.
Yeh we are not getting offloads inside their 20 to take advantage of.

We are either going sideways or one out hit ups.
 

burgess1978

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Yeh we are not getting offloads inside their 20 to take advantage of.

We are either going sideways or one out hit ups.
It's not offloads necessarily. Finucane can play at the line better than any other Sharks middle.

The other thing to consider is that when a team is tired it is their attack that suffers - not their defence. People incorrectly assume that when you have to defend for long stretches or get tired that it makes you miss more tackles or make "lazy" plays - but that is not true. Teams tend to defend just as well no matter how tired they are, but losing the ruck and doing long stretches defending leaves the tank empty and has a measurable impact on a team's ability to attack. E.g. your 115kg middle is going to give 100% effort to make that cover defending tackle every single time, but he may need a take a 2-3 tackle breather on the next possession. This means 2-3 plays where a teammate runs one-out and gets turtled in a 4 man tackle. Having a lead/support runner on those plays make them 1-2 man tackles and the team is on the front foot.
 
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mr.sharkiee

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In the first few rounds of the year we were kicking early in the 4th, we had a great kick chase and we kept the opposition down in their half.
Not sure why that has gone. Building that suffocating defence is what wins games.

We have a smaller forward pack, and we aren't playing to their strengths. Kick early on the 4th, pin the attackers in their half, get them really working and tire them out. When the opposition forwards are tiring it out, that's when our smaller forwards will have more impact in their hit ups.

Honestly we have the team to play it simple but we panic as soon as our game plan gets tested.
 

Wizard

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In the first few rounds of the year we were kicking early in the 4th, we had a great kick chase and we kept the opposition down in their half.
Not sure why that has gone. Building that suffocating defence is what wins games.

We have a smaller forward pack, and we aren't playing to their strengths. Kick early on the 4th, pin the attackers in their half, get them really working and tire them out. When the opposition forwards are tiring it out, that's when our smaller forwards will have more impact in their hit ups.

Honestly we have the team to play it simple but we panic as soon as our game plan gets tested.
It’s almost like at the beginning everyone was trying to impress and now they’ve stopped trying to keep that high standard and are just taking what’s easy/shortcuts
 

burgess1978

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In the first few rounds of the year we were kicking early in the 4th, we had a great kick chase and we kept the opposition down in their half.
Not sure why that has gone. Building that suffocating defence is what wins games.

We have a smaller forward pack, and we aren't playing to their strengths. Kick early on the 4th, pin the attackers in their half, get them really working and tire them out. When the opposition forwards are tiring it out, that's when our smaller forwards will have more impact in their hit ups.

Honestly we have the team to play it simple but we panic as soon as our game plan gets tested.
There are two mistaken assumptions here:

1 - When you pin a team in their corner it usually isn't the bigger forwards doing the early work coming out of trouble. Primarily it's the back 5, maybe with help from a back rower. The middles don't usually get involved until late in the count.
2 - There is no evidence to suggest that smaller forwards are more effective at the back end of games than at the start. If that was actually true, the majority of NRL coaches would bring their smaller guys off the bench so as to avoid the "ineffective" period early on when the opposition is fresh. If anything the opposite is true. Smaller guys play a similar role across the 80, but we see coaches making well-timed subs of big boppers for impact.

The way to tire out opposition forwards is to hold the ball, win the ruck and to ask questions everywhere on the field and in different ways. When you do that, it takes the sting out of those play 4 or 5 hit-ups and you start winning the field position battle too. Pinning teams in their end is part of the picture and it can certainly have a mental/momentum effect - but it doesn't wear out big forwards. They just walk back and rest for a few tackles while the back 5 do the hard yards.
 
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Wizard

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Having a middle who can ball play (Finucane) makes a big difference when attacking inside 20. McInnes just isn’t on the same level.
This is true but this is something we’ve known.. the team and the coach know he’s not going to be around for a while, it wouldve be nice to see a plan to work around this rather then what we have seen. We are 7th and without a short kicking game we don’t know how to build pressure through getting repeat sets when we can’t score neither
 

Super Impose

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Again, we had plenty of ball in their red zone to score tries, nothing to do with the ruck and no excuses there
The Roosters test the refs resolve inside their own red zone - and once they establish that the sin bin will not be used - they are hard to score against .

This was a factor - along with a lack of cohesion on our part ..
 

burgess1978

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This is true but this is something we’ve known.. the team and the coach know he’s not going to be around for a while, it wouldve be nice to see a plan to work around this rather then what we have seen. We are 7th and without a short kicking game we don’t know how to build pressure through getting repeat sets when we can’t score neither
Yeah - fair call.
 

bort

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The Roosters test the refs resolve inside their own red zone - and once they establish that the sin bin will not be used - they are hard to score against .

This was a factor - along with a lack of cohesion on our part ..
Yeah they killed us with their goal line defence, aided by no limit to the set restarts they could give and things like marker playing at hookers arms not being penalised
 

burgess1978

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Think Wade should step in there?
I would play him there until Finucane returns - but based on last week's 13 it seems like he is going back to the edge.

I'd give Jesse a shot at playing Finucane's role, but that's really only based on his one outstanding trial game. I haven't seem him play for the Jets this year. He is playing big minutes and keeping Pele on the bench though, so you'd have to think he is doing something right.
 

Sparkles

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I would play him there until Finucane returns - but based on last week's 13 it seems like he is going back to the edge.

I'd give Jesse a shot at playing Finucane's role, but that's really only based on his one outstanding trial game. I haven't seem him play for the Jets this year. He is playing big minutes and keeping Pele on the bench though, so you'd have to think he is doing something right.
Seems like the best option all round. Wade wouldn't have to play 80, or could rotate back to the edge if that's the sticking point. That'd get Teig back on the edge for longer. Wade still has good hands for ballplaying and like I said before, has that cool NFL style swim action through tackles that makes him really hard to wrap up, so there's good opportunity for some offloads. Defences would be in three minds every time he touched the ball. He'd also get good support in defence now he's a step or three slower... What's not to like Fitzy!
 

mr.sharkiee

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There are two mistaken assumptions here:

1 - When you pin a team in their corner it usually isn't the bigger forwards doing the early work coming out of trouble. Primarily it's the back 5, maybe with help from a back rower. The middles don't usually get involved until late in the count.
2 - There is no evidence to suggest that smaller forwards are more effective at the back end of games than at the start. If that was actually true, the majority of NRL coaches would bring their smaller guys off the bench so as to avoid the "ineffective" period early on when the opposition is fresh. If anything the opposite is true. Smaller guys play a similar role across the 80, but we see coaches making well-timed subs of big boppers for impact.

The way to tire out opposition forwards is to hold the ball, win the ruck and to ask questions everywhere on the field and in different ways. When you do that, it takes the sting out of those play 4 or 5 hit-ups and you start winning the field position battle too. Pinning teams in their end is part of the picture and it can certainly have a mental/momentum effect - but it doesn't wear out big forwards. They just walk back and rest for a few tackles while the back 5 do the hard yards.

1 - Agree and disagree too. I get the backs are usually the ones backing up those hit ups. But pinning the opposition down in their half causes that suffocation. Both mentally and physically it tires you as a player. When you kick early you are also turning the team around and then they gotta run back on side constantly. I can't elaborate as well via post.
2 - I wasn't talking so much of back end of the game. Was more explaining that the suffocating defence tires the opposition, which means when they are defending, our smaller forwards will have more of an impact in their runs.

Apologies if I haven't explained as well, just difficult on here. I hate long posts lol
 

burgess1978

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1 - Agree and disagree too. I get the backs are usually the ones backing up those hit ups. But pinning the opposition down in their half causes that suffocation. Both mentally and physically it tires you as a player. When you kick early you are also turning the team around and then they gotta run back on side constantly. I can't elaborate as well via post.
2 - I wasn't talking so much of back end of the game. Was more explaining that the suffocating defence tires the opposition, which means when they are defending, our smaller forwards will have more of an impact in their runs.

Apologies if I haven't explained as well, just difficult on here. I hate long posts lol
I think you are conflating a few different things.

I agree 100% that kicking to corners, pinning teams in their end etc. definitely has a mental effect, and it can be a useful strategy. What I am disagreeing with is that when you kick early and pin a team in their end, that it makes middle forwards expend extra energy. They are coached to walk back onside these days (they are specifically told not to run). This includes hookers. The back 5 are told that it is their responsibility to "get the ball back to your forwards".

Try this out: pick a random point in time in a random game to start, ignore the ball and watch one middle forward only for 10 minutes. You'll see him regularly walking back whenever their is a kick down field, and not being involved at all until the ball gets back to where he has casually walked to. The exception is a set start (kick-offs, penalties, 20m, etc.) where everyone is already in position behind the ball.

Here's a moment from the weekend 1 minute in to the second half.
- Roosters kick from just inside half way.
- Ronaldo fields it on the 10 and is tackled on the 20. The Sharks then shift wide and Hynes is tackled.
- Sharks Tackle 2 - about to be tackle 3 - here is Brailey - who walks over and gets to dummy half 30 seconds after the ball was kicked

If you watch any of the forwards from either team, this is how they play all the time. No "running back" required.

1653891308763.png
 
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Gumby

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We’re starting to go backwards.
Our defence is non existent and our attack inside the opposite 30 is barely nsw cup worthy. We’re a mess atm.
 
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