Official 2024 Sharks NRL General Discussion

BurgoShark

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Splitting up the general discussion thread…

All things Sharks go here. Lineup, schedule, etc.

For general NRL discussion keep posting on the other one :)
 

Jaz

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I’ll kick things off..

First one of these I’ve seen with no Toby.
I don't hate it. Obvs Toby was forgotten, so him to start and BHU or Dale or Cam to bench with Hunt to 18th man.

I don't expect Iro to be an instant upgrade over Sifa, but reckon he's at least earned a shot. We can always move Talakai back to centre if it's not working.
 

BurgoShark

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Not bad for a Roar article.

One of the comments goes quite in depth too l:

The Sharkies have both the most beautiful acting structures in the NRL and the most seamless transitions between tackles but a structure that has already hit its ceiling. Watching the Sharkies transition from attacking one corner, with the two 6.5’s wrapping, then immediately switch corners to a waiting pod of three runners, then rinse and repeat, is a thing of wonder. The pace of transition and bodies in motion on changing lines will overcome weak or poorly structured defences every time. For solid defences with an alert caller in the backline, it’s just another options play. It also brings a bogey in that the rate of energy expended in attack by necessity reduces the energy for defence – which in part explains Fitzgibbon’s bench utilisation.
I definitely agree on the bold bit.

The weakness in the system is that it hinges on creative play being generated solely from the halves. Without a third creative option the defensive read simplifies to tracking Hynes and Trindall. The structure makes this easy for a good defence, as they are usually found together. One of the pet plays was Hynes running a straight line off a short ball from 9 following play executed by Moylan / Trindall – this worked far more often that it should as the defence over-read the expectation that Hynes was resetting as the next playmaking option. It’s been successful enough that defences will track this as a set play unless deception can be masked.
I see this one a little differently, but I can see the commenter’s PoV.

Fonua Blake will fix a number of problems, at the forefront providing a tackle breaking run option on the inside during sweeps, which will also act to pin the defensive slide. The most effective inside run option from the current roster is McInnes, who relies on speed for effect. Again an effective option for weaker attacks but not a threat for the better teams.
I agree here for the most part, but I do think there are some other guys who can be good inside attacking options - but weren’t healthy.

The type of player Fitzgibbon urgently needs is a third playmaking option. Joey Manu types are in short supply, so most teams generate this from 9, 1 or occasionally 13. Neither Brailey nor Kennedy are this type of player while Finucane and McInnes give something very different. Short of a wunderkind materialising in the junior grades, the tough question Fitzgibbon needs to ask is which otherwise strong contributor in the pack he needs to move on so he can bring in a third playmaking threat.
So what I’m reading here is that we need another lock.
 

Sparkles

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I definitely agree on the bold bit.
Do you think that expenditure in offence contributes to our defensive issues? Forwards not sliding in cover on our line feels in that realm. Perhaps we don't have the balance right with so many bodies in motion so often?
 

BurgoShark

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Do you think that expenditure in offence contributes to our defensive issues? Forwards not sliding in cover on our line feels in that realm. Perhaps we don't have the balance right with so many bodies in motion so often?
Not really. What I mean is that I agree that the Sharks have a very high amount of off the ball movement in attack compared to other teams - and Fitz tries to offset this by running middles for shorter stints and having the back 5 take a lot of runs (i.e. having the forwards do less inside their own end).
 

Sparkles

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Not really. What I mean is that I agree that the Sharks have a very high amount of off the ball movement in attack compared to other teams - and Fitz tries to offset this by running middles for shorter stints and having the back 5 take a lot of runs (i.e. having the forwards do less inside their own end).
Yep, got you. I'm just not sure we've got the right balance of minutes though. Injuries haven't helped, given, but Toby looked to be playing too many for example.
 

BurgoShark

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Yep, got you. I'm just not sure we've got the right balance of minutes though. Injuries haven't helped, given, but Toby looked to be playing too many for example.
The idea that Toby is playing too much was around through the season. Plenty of people said he makes mistakes late in his stint, or makes more mistakes and misses more tackles when he plays longer.

He definitely played too many in the finals game - which was injury related - but I did a massive analysis of Toby’s stints across the entire season and found that it wasn’t actually true other than for the finals gane and one other game. It’s in the Toby thread somewhere.

That was comparing Toby to himself… but what I also did at the end of the season was compare all players based on how long play. Basically, for all of the props Toby is the one who maintains his game the best at more minutes (In Toby thread here).

So… while there were a couple of games where Toby’s performance did drop after playing more than 45 minutes, his performance in the 45th minute was closer to his best than any other 105kg+ player when they are playing more than 35.

That’s a long way of saying that when someone gets injured, Toby is usually the best choice of all big men to leave out longer than his planned stint.
 
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Thresher

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Also, Toby wasn't able to train much with the rest of the team because of his toe injury, so his playing fitness was coming mostly from match fitness whilst needled up.

Reckon he's got a good engine but not on display last year.

Angus Crichton would have chopped it off by now.
 
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Also, Toby wasn't able to train much with the rest of the team because of his toe injury, so his playing fitness was coming mostly from match fitness whilst needled up.

Reckon he's got a good engine but not on display last year.

Angus Crichton would have chopped it off by now.
Toby needs to go to old mate from the windes team doctor. After his 7fah he must have magic spray
 
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BurgoShark

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Also, Toby wasn't able to train much with the rest of the team because of his toe injury, so his playing fitness was coming mostly from match fitness whilst needled up.

Reckon he's got a good engine but not on display last year.

Angus Crichton would have chopped it off by now.
I’d agree that Toby was a little below his best at times because of the injury - but what I said above was true in spite of it. Even playing with 9 toes and hardly training he was still the best 105kg+ player to leave out there longer than planned if/when circumstances made it necessary.

E.g. Toby takes more runs after being on for 45 than Royce or Tom do after being on for 20 - but doesn’t miss any more tackles or make any more errors than he normally would.

People thinking otherwise is recency bias based on the one game (the finals game) which was the exception.
 
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