What will turn Manly from a good side into a great side

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sheridanstand78

First Grader
We are 7 games into season 2024 and we have enough of a sample as to where the team is? What they are doing well? And where they need to improve?

When I saw the draw for the first 7 games, I believed that getting 4 wins would be a pass mark and so far its been an OK start. Tough wins against the Panthers and Roosters stand out, contrasted by that awful night in Wollongong where the team contributed to its own demise.

The team is a work in progress, we have a new right centre, five eighth, a new left winger and a fullback who barely played over the last 5 years, a winger who got injured for 6 weeks as well so we had our challenges. Our pack is improving, much better consistency from Paseka, Brown when fit is a great addition, Jake and Olakau'atu are strong every week for us. The hooker role is being handled with competency rather that dynamically.

The team right now is in a place that they are learning to win close games, the team needs to manage games better especially at the end of halves. The nice thing is they are averaging 26 points a game so the attack is sound, countered by a concession of 23 points a game, this has to improve if we are to be a serious threat in September!

9 points out of 14 is not too bad. It should be 12 out of 14, as we threw away victories at Parramatta and Warriors through mostly our own mistakes.

For Manly to make the jump from good team to great team will require our spine to be more consistent. Our resilience to mistakes has to improve, too often, the team turns over the ball, concedes a penalty or six again and then a try. This has to change!

The next 7 games are a challenge. Fired up whingers to start with next Friday, Canberra at home, the Dolphins and Donkeys in QLD followed by the drizzle at home, the a bye, Dragons at home and Panthers away, this will be a test of where we are and we will end this period during origin where we will be depleted by the lost of at least 3 players.

This team is capable and can improve. We heard all off season about the Manly way, so far from an attacking perspective its fantastic, from a defensive point of view, there is a lot of improvement to see.

Lets see how the team goes over the next bit!
 

manlyfan76

There is no A.I. Just better computers
We have a very tuff draw coming up.
Parra always lucky against us.
Canberra win
Dolphins
Brisbane
Melbourne
Draw
 

Waz13

Let’s all have a chew!
Win 3/5 going into the draw would be good.
4/5 we are contenders
If we are legit contenders we win the next 3 and win them well. Broncs are a 50/50 proposition for mine. Take Walsh out of that side and their attack gets stifled. I’ve also watched a fair few Storm games and they are far from a polished product. Could easily have lost 3 more games but they seem to find a way to win. We could learn from them. If we get a reasonable run with injuries will we def play finals. It’s whether we are top 4 and contending or just in the 8 playing an extra week or two.

One change I’d make now is get Garrick back to the wing asap.
 

Ryan

Journey Man
I'm actually surprised that we are heading into round 8 next round, and we've only played twice at Brooky Oval so far? Doesn't seem right, does it? And we are (and this is ridiculous) taking a home game to Brisbane (AGAINST Brisbane) in magic round (talk about giving them a leg up).

So maybe a few more home games (I think we play the least of all teams this year - sorry season ticket holders), but as everyone else in this thread has suggested - defense. Who is our defensive coach? That's Siebold isn't it?
 

double hoops

First Grader
I'm actually surprised that we are heading into round 8 next round, and we've only played twice at Brooky Oval so far? Doesn't seem right, does it? And we are (and this is ridiculous) taking a home game to Brisbane (AGAINST Brisbane) in magic round (talk about giving them a leg up).

So maybe a few more home games (I think we play the least of all teams this year - sorry season ticket holders), but as everyone else in this thread has suggested - defense. Who is our defensive coach? That's Siebold isn't it?
It's all good. GFs not played at Brookie. So it's all practice winning away in the big stage for our boys.

So vital we beat Parra and beat em well to get some confidence for that run coming up.
 

Mark from Brisbane

“ Boomer still Booming”
Premium Member
Tipping Member
I think it’s pretty simple really , it’s clear our attack is going very very well , the addition of Luke Brooks has been a revelation.

And we cannot forget , it’s not like Foran / DCE of old ( who knew their games inside out ) it’s “ work in progress “ so we will get better.

But it’s also clear our defence at times is at best “ leaky “ so to go from also rans to a contender, that’s the bit that needs fixing.

I said last year , and at the start of this year , we are another gun forward away from the next step up.

When all our forwards are fit / not suspended , we go okay , not brilliant but okay, but a top bench middle so that when we pull off our first two props we don’t suddenly “ drop intensity “ would be great.

Sipley is going well , Waddell has surprisingly been really good , Bully gives his all and I love his work BUT imagine someone like NAS who’s on the outer at the Storm coming off the bench , wow , we’d be unstoppable.

I’m not yet convinced Garrick is a centre , but young Talau is going great guns , so maybe exactly how it is now is still the best option.

I think , injury permitting , we could be top 4 this year , if so , WOW!!

But I think we are still a player or two short from being a contender.
 

Rocky

Bencher
Manly like always probably has the highest point from peak performance to worst. Although, the Cowboys are probably there as well.

Manly just aren't clinical enough and seem to lose concentration. I said elsewhere they probably have enough points to win a comp but they have these periods of games (for the Dragons game it was the last 70 minutes) where we drop balls and don't defend well enough on the goal line especially.

These are the areas of improvement i can pinpoint.

1. Work out what's going on with Garrick, DCE and that right edge defence. Seibold needs to make some calls around prioritising strengthening the team's defense. whether that is putting Ben T or Talau in the centers and Garrick on the wing, this needs to be solved. If our attack is slightly compromised, then that's still worth doing.

2. Focus on winning the middle over 80 minutes. We seem to do this well against the better teams. But in the games, we have struggled there seems to be a thought that we can just start the razzle dazzle and can forget the middle grind. We did this against Parra, Saints and Titans where we either scored first, or had big leads and then forgot what got us there.
 

Rosko

Reserve Grader
Premium Member
Tipping Member
Great post, but overrating us. We are not a good team by any means yet.
Attack - dangerous but clunky, defence - most weeks abysmal.
Consistency and attitude makes a good team. Quality players and ruthlessness makes great teams. We lack several class players, and we are mentally fragile. And poorly coached, especially in defence. Which has been the case for 10 years.
Hope to see improvement, but no way this is a top 4 side.
 

LeonardCohen

Bencher
If you can score 34 points and only just win a game of football, it's obviously what needs to be fixed. It's really simple. Our spine is fine. Their job is points and we're scoring plenty. The issue is edge defence. Paper thin. If we can keep the opposition to 2-3 tries tops, we can probably challenge for the premiership, such is the strike in this team. Unfortunately, the gap between premiership winning defence and where we are at, is huge and not something that will change overnight.

The way the game is officiated these days, the opposition will always get a shot at the line at some point, be it penalties, six-agains, errors, etc. We need to be good enough to turn teams away.
 

Nordburg

First Grader
It’s obvious that the issues lie with defence and resilience and they won’t be winning anything until they are resolved but one thing that’s also noticeable,and obvious,is the over use in attack of TomT.Just about every set play in the oppositions 20-30,either uses Tom as the “punchline” or he is directly involved.Now he is the teams best attacking asset,I feel that the play is too easy to read for opposition,knowing that Tom is about get the ball
 

Andrew..

Bencher
Tipping Member
For the past few years, we could all see we lacked grunt up front. The problem was identified and the addition of Brown and Lodge was just what the doctor ordered. Yes, we still have the right-side defensive issue to sort out but DCE said they know the problem exists. It's become a target for most opposition coaches, I just hope Seibold is tough enough to make the call before too long if Garrick can't adjust.
I'm probably nitpicking but I'd also love to see a little bit more out of Olakau'atu defensively, the bloke is a beast but I think he tends to drift in and out of games, he's still only young so maybe that will come in time.
All in all I'm really happy with our progression and I think/hope we will only get stronger going forward.
 

Rafferty

Mug punter
It’s obvious that the issues lie with defence and resilience and they won’t be winning anything until they are resolved but one thing that’s also noticeable,and obvious,is the over use in attack of TomT.Just about every set play in the oppositions 20-30,either uses Tom as the “punchline” or he is directly involved.Now he is the teams best attacking asset,I feel that the play is too easy to read for opposition,knowing that Tom is about get the ball
So true, it’s why we had a tough night against the Tits, Des had them set knowing exactly how we’d play, both with the ball and without it, they were all over DCE and with the ball they played down our right side all night looking to expose Rueb’s.

We run sweeping plays with the ball, Tom runs from side to side telegraphing which way the balls going, love his work and his effort but it’s a sell out at the moment.

It was simple for them to pressure Chez kicks, ball goes right on the 5th, hit Chez, we’re playing our halves either side of the ruck and it’s pretty obvious for the opposition to know how where going to run our plays, did Brooks kick last night? I think every time we played left, they realised he’d run or put it through threw the hands, to the point they attempted a couple of intercepts, would of loved to see Brooks spot that or vary our left side attack with a kick in behind the line especially with Koula’s speed.

Instead of Tom taking that 4 play hit up (another easy read for oppositions) it would be nice to get both our halves on the same side of the field occasionally with Tom looming up as an option either side of the ball, (with Koula and Rueb’s channelling the play) with an eye to exposing sides through the middle, (especially when we have them backpedaling) can’t remember the last time we turned the ball inside to find space through the middle.

Koula could come in looking for the odd inside shot as well, (I thought he was to be given licence to roam earlier in the year, just doesn’t seemed to have happened) his running off the outside of those sweeping plays almost always, opposition D pretty much know it and just slide on him towards the sideline. I feel for Koula, his got the heart of a lion, he runs the ball like he thinks his 115kg most the time, it’s hard to communicate in writing, it’s so much easier said than expressed in a forum, but his speed is a weapon we are wasting, it’s different to Saab you want him in space or going after the high ball, even the down town kick chase occasionally, but Koula should come in looking to exploit tired or tirering middles occasionally as should Tom. We have options to mix up our attack big time, Des had the Tits set for us because he knew how we’d play, be great to see some variations in our attack especially through the middle, but first let’s get serious on our D, your right its just not good enough at the moment, we are leaking far to many points, it’s ok while we outscore the opposition, but good sides don’t concede 30 points or leak 23 on average, needs work urgently.
 

Will on the hill

Bencher
Tipping Member
So true, it’s why we had a tough night against the Tits, Des had them set knowing exactly how we’d play, both with the ball and without it, they were all over DCE and with the ball they played down our right side all night looking to expose Rueb’s.

We run sweeping plays with the ball, Tom runs from side to side telegraphing which way the balls going, love his work and his effort but it’s a sell out at the moment.

It was simple for them to pressure Chez kicks, ball goes right on the 5th, hit Chez, we’re playing our halves either side of the ruck and it’s pretty obvious for the opposition to know how where going to run our plays, did Brooks kick last night? I think every time we played left, they realised he’d run or put it through threw the hands, to the point they attempted a couple of intercepts, would of loved to see Brooks spot that or vary our left side attack with a kick in behind the line especially with Koula’s speed.

Instead of Tom taking that 4 play hit up (another easy read for oppositions) it would be nice to get both our halves on the same side of the field occasionally with Tom looming up as an option either side of the ball, (with Koula and Rueb’s channelling the play) with an eye to exposing sides through the middle, (especially when we have them backpedaling) can’t remember the last time we turned the ball inside to find space through the middle.

Koula could come in looking for the odd inside shot as well, (I thought he was to be given licence to roam earlier in the year, just doesn’t seemed to have happened) his running off the outside of those sweeping plays almost always, opposition D pretty much know it and just slide on him towards the sideline. I feel for Koula, his got the heart of a lion, he runs the ball like he thinks his 115kg most the time, it’s hard to communicate in writing, it’s so much easier said than expressed in a forum, but his speed is a weapon we are wasting, it’s different to Saab you want him in space or going after the high ball, even the down town kick chase occasionally, but Koula should come in looking to exploit tired or tirering middles occasionally as should Tom. We have options to mix up our attack big time, Des had the Tits set for us because he knew how we’d play, be great to see some variations in our attack especially through the middle, but first let’s get serious on our D, your right its just not good enough at the moment, we are leaking far to many points, it’s ok while we outscore the opposition, but good sides don’t concede 30 points or leak 23 on average, needs work urgently.
The Saab try was DCE to Brooks to Saab on the right. So we are experimenting with that. Would love to see more of it.
 

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Team P W L PD Pts
13 10 3 97 24
14 10 4 118 22
14 10 4 78 22
13 8 5 66 20
14 8 6 143 18
13 7 6 81 18
13 7 6 -55 18
14 7 6 42 17
14 7 7 37 16
15 8 7 -8 16
14 7 7 -50 16
14 6 7 13 15
14 6 8 -55 14
13 4 9 -126 12
14 4 10 -121 10
13 3 10 -129 10
13 3 10 -131 10
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