Phil Gould's plan for Manly Phil Gould's plan for Manly September 28, 2007 http://www.leaguehq.com.au/news/news/phil-goulds-plan-for-manly/2007/09/27/1190486483184.html YOU don't have to win this game - you just have to wait for the Storm to lose it. Deny the Storm field position and good quality possession. Turn them around with early kicks. Defend aggressively at their end of the field and defend smartly at your own end. Go through them in the middle before you try to attack their vulnerable centre/wing defensive pairings. Bomb their wingers with cross-field kicks. Be patient. Persevere. Frustrate them. Despite the fact Melbourne have the best defensive record this season, I have no doubts about being able to score points against them. In fact, I think they are really vulnerable in certain parts of the field. The Storm defence is excellent when they're in control. If they kick, chase and dominate you in the tackle, their defensive line communicates and moves as one, making them very hard to crack. You have to respect these parts of the game and respond with simple, mistake-free football. However, if they don't get time to reset their defensive line and talk together, they are extremely vulnerable out wide on both sides of the field. However, the trick is to know the right time to spread the ball. Most teams make the mistake of thinking that because the Storm have a great reputation for the wrestle, they need to play away from their forwards and try their luck with the backs. Wrong. You won't expose the Storm's centre/wing pairings by simply making a couple of lame hit-ups in the middle of the field before attempting the big play out wide with long passes and decoy runners. When the Storm are able to defend as a unit they are too smart to concede points to such a basic plan of attack. You have to create uncertainty and panic on the edges by first making inroads through the middle of the field before swinging the attack wide while the defensive line is staggered. This way you force their defenders to work as individuals. When their outside backs have to make big decisions on their own, things can go wrong. You should toil up the centre third of the field with dummy-half running and changes of direction to keep working over the Storm forwards. Be persistent. When you force the line break through a tired forward, attack the edges. If they handle this attacking raid, reset your attack and test those defenders again. If you haven't cracked them by tackle four, kick the ball - this will also isolate fullback Billy Slater. On other occasions, pick up a sideline with your kick and slow the play. The Storm are much easier to handle from set play situations. Employ stop-and-go tactics to break their rhythm. I don't rate either of the Storm wingers under the high ball. Attacking kicks on fifth tackle should be cross-field bombs. When the Storm work the ball out of their own end of the field, their big forwards are easily gang tackled and slowed. When the scores are close and they're under pressure, the Storm can really get bogged down. You must stop the Cameron Smith/Slater dummy-half combination. Don't let Smith engage your markers in their yardage sets. They don't like to spread the ball coming out of their own end of the field, so your speed of line in defence can get great results. Dominate and frustrate them. The Storm have excellent attack close to your tryline. But they have only so many plays. If you repel them a few times early in the game they get frustrated. If you can lead, there's a big chance last year's disappointment could become their nightmare revisited. Remind them about it.