I have avoided this thread for ground hog day reasons, I feel like I'm slowly dementing following these Warriors...I swear they make repetitive naggers out of us all.
Manly have the recipe on how to beat us.
They literally do. Step by step they know the exact template to beat the Warriors.
Before the ball is even Kicked, they understand the full picture, from the broad brush strokes, to the careful attention to detail.
My frustration is that they know how we play....while we seem to not understand ourselves (see Lillymans inane comments about I dunno why we didn't show up....he sounds like a donkey from an AA Milne
classic when he talks....said exactly the same thing after the Tigers game).
Lillyman has been scratching his head since he first came here.
Broad picture stuff (wot Manly know and our players are too ignorant to accept) :
The Warriors can't defend for extended periods. Therefore, if you have the ball more often than them, they will not be able to keep you out. They will panic. They will lose.
It really is that simple.
No matter what the coach preps the Warriors for....broadly they can't stay in the game mentally when the other team has the ball...their attention waivers.
The Warriors are a confidence side who rely on a couple or three individuals to carry them in the donkey work. If you concentrate all your efforts of stopping those few select players....the rest are parasites....kill the host.....I think you know where this is going....tis why our lack of off the ball work sees us a soft target.
Perfect example, as mt.wellington
pointed out....Manly chose to drive Ben Mutts back on tackle one. The rest of the game became about their territorial dominance.
When Manu is playing....Brisbane use the same tactic on him.
So...where we should have support runners for our forwards we do not move up in numbers. Where we should have a mindset to soak up the early dominance of Manly's aggression...and dig in....get into the grind with them.....we are too reactive to get the need to be patient.
Another broad stroke Manly understand, is that the Warriors kicking options are very limited. Pressure Johnson
, force him to make long range field kicks....and he will struggle.
I call that the brains part of the machine....the playmakers.....when their forwards (the brawn) are struggling....it is up to the brain to find territory with their boot.
As a fan you are willing the forwards to run even harder....as if somehow that will magically make them bust Manlys three man gang tackles.
Albert Vete made ground by virtue of avoiding the middle.
His best runs were on the edges.
So how do you overcome Manly's gang tackling ?
The Warriors unfortunately do not have enough off the ball drive to be there in support of the offloading runner...which leads to errors.
In fact our players are so far behind the lead runner, that when an offload is fired.....it lands on the grass....at about where the runner started his run in the first place....so yeah our offloads are so shit they lose us ground and the ball.
The other way to deal against being driven back is to surrender in the tackle, go low on contact, get yourself to the ground on your front.....fight in the play the ball (Hold the ball tight, no body resistance....bobble your head and kick feet....we all know the action)....put pressure on the Refs to call it....
Credit to some Warriors at least they tried to find a way around Manly's legendary wall.....credit to Manly....they are the best in the comp at it.
What needs to happen is that the off the ball work needs to go up a gear.
This is an individual responsibility....and where Players....not coaches....need shoulder the blame for our predicament.
Manly players get it....they have had several changes of coach in the time they have played us....yet the player understanding of how easy the Warriors are to 'out effort' is only matched by the obviousness of our own ignorance of our weakness.
We could learn a lot from Manly....not about how to be more like them....but how to be less like ourselves.