I can't wait for team naming Tuesday.
will definitely be drawing on Brian Smiths opinion after his first loss of the season.
If Smith tells Kearney
to stick to his guns and we see a largely unchanged team (that bench) I look forward to the mob reacting lol and if he does that conservative thing and beats the Dragons he is a genius.
is a different player to Tevanga imo, he is a ball player - Tevanga can't give crisp service out of dummy half, nor does he offer them a kicking option. Lawton
is faster as well.
The similarities are that Lawton
can tackle, and Lawton
is small for a second rower. Jaz is amazing at going low in the tackle, Lawton
has good upper body strength and can take someone high and Wrestle them onto their back.
Even if they only introduce Lawton
from the bench, the team will have a different dynamic to it (extra play maker).
There is a very good chance Luke is gone this week with that cannon ball tackle, so it looks at though we see Lawton
in action in any case.
It would be just like Kearney
to start Jazz
at hooker in place of Luke and introduce Lawton
carefully off the bench....Kearney
is a formulaic guy...he tends to stick to the same template.
It is also likely that Kearney
would play Lawton
at the same time, that is what he liked to do with Luke and TL when he was Kiwis coach, have multiple play makers over lapping.
If they went with a backrower to cover at center I would preffer they experimented with Lawton
, Mannering is a horrible Center stop gap (been tried before, he will get stood up by his opposite and offer zero in attack).
Papalii is arguably better than most of the forwards running around out there (overall work rate both sides of the ball is immense) so it's great news he is back.
Papalii at the moment I would rate better than Mannering, Tevanga, Pulu
, Sao, Gavet, Lisone
. Admittedly I am going off one game in round one, but he edged out all those guys better performances in that one game...he was forward of the match...him or Bunty.
After yesterday it was a bit depressing thinking about this week, but if you sit back and do a stock take, we have tremendous depth to keep us competitive in times like these, so no need to give up, we have a great squad.
Center is really worrying me, I really hope Beale
by some miracle is fit a week early, it has happened before, and baring in ,mind our Left Center doesn't do a lot as far as Core center play, the left is an arrested development dysfunctional limb of the team, where Beale
will lack, is the dummy half running which Kata is a monster at work load wise.
In that regard a forward will have to step up on hit up two - three, and run it earlier than we have been getting away with...that is what they should have done yesterday anyway...when Kata was getting crunched and making no ground...they should have adjusted the running order...so that Kata had a go after a forward like Paasi
or Bunty won a ruck contest. Even a run from straight running grunts...middle forward hard workers like Sao and Gavet has been a better option when our back five are losing. An 8 meter run from Sao is gold when we are losing the ruck.
As TD pointed out it is a collective effort with pur team, we dont have the Burgess Twins to line bend, we are more like the Storm pre the Bromwich, NAS, McLean era...a fit mobile hard working forward group.
is a big loss but not ireplaceable, we have seen how Papalii follows that ball, he brings something of his own.
Off the ball work is where Papa is special...we will see at least one man running block plays ffs and being live in a 2nd phase situation....kick chase improves....welcome back kid...dont let anyone get that Jersey off you...its yours..
Unfortunately the Dragons are one of the last teams in the NRL that you want to face with a rejiged edge defence...but as these guys have shown already, they can survive ten sets on a try line, twelve men on the field when they show up to work.
The performance yesterday falls on the senior players in a good side. This week they come into their own, Blair
, Green, Tohu Harris
, Luke, Mannering, Shaun Johnson
, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
, the spot light is on them, this is what having a group with that much experience is for, to lead and inspire the young guys who will be stressing this week...in the coming days...those men...not Kearney
...hold the keys to getting back up after a knock down.
They've established this great culture, it's in their hands to lead the inexperienced through the first loss.
do make it in, I hope they have blinders....that has been the pattern....the standard of the new....one guy out...next guy takes his Jersey.