My MOM goes to Bluey :
Taking the whole Season in context , the most exciting thing he has achieved with this team is the Introduction of our Junior stars Hurrell / Henry and Lousi and the promotion of Mara to our number 2. Hooker balanced by making Godinet a replacement half and resisting the temptation to do to Godinet what was done last year....shoved into hooker in a show of no faith in Mara.....and less Faith in Godinet as a half option.
Bluey has shown he has balls , he's not a conservative coach , in the early rounds his lack of results was a real shock to the Warriors family ( Fans / players/ management) but credit where it is due , under massive pressure and calls for his head , he has turned around the low Morale of the players , to a four Game solid streak of top four form ( including the Storm loss.....top four teams lose games people )
Last year we went into the finals with one win over a top four side....the year before none. To be fair some of Bluey's risk calls backfire, (Maloney at Fb tonight was a Horror) . Still the way he has us placed this week and the promise of the next sixteen rounds.......means we may see a player like Omar tested as well.
Blueys selections are perturbing to fans , but equally a challenge for opposition coaches to read.
I was a huge Bluey fan before his arrival, but now not so much. I can't agree with him having balls.
He introduced Benry to the centres as a "safe" centre option. He was selected because he was seen as a strong defender, and it was hoped he would sure up our edge. To begin with, that couldn't have been further from the truth. Now Benry is fitting in nicely. But, for me, a big part of the reason Bluey persisted with Benry was because he didn't want Inu. Ropo was injured at one stage, and covering for Locke at others, and Hurrell was just seen as being too green and too soft to handle 80 minutes. He didn't have a lot of choices.
Hurrell, apart from game 1, was only used as injury cover when Inu was the only choice, and even then he had been passed over for Krisnan at times. Again, not a sign of genius, but more a selection of neccessity.
And Bluey can't take the credit for introducing Lousi. Ivan debutted Sione and Bluey only turned him into a prop because we couldn't field enough props to start the season. The same thing has happened with Ta'ai. There is no way either Lousi or Ta'ai would be playing if they had remained as second rowers, and the only other choice he had in his full squad to step up as prop would probably be Sione's "little" brother, who is a maybe a bit too lazy and relaxed for prop.
Bluey made his intentions clear at the start of the year regarding hookers. He ranked Brown as second choice with Mara behind him and said that Godinet was NOT a hooker, but was halves cover. I can accept that, but would prefer to have Brown remain in the 2nd row. Bluey had no intention of playing Mara for 80 minutes (with Brown obviously meant to interchange between Mateo and Mara, rather than being shifted to the bench), and my choice would have still been to have Godinet on the bench to interchange with Alehana, thus giving sustained impact and also allowing cover for any (though it has been pointed out to me that injury to backs is too big a what-if to need cover for) injury in the backs.
I know Jimmy wasn't great at FB last night, and that we were lucky the Roosters missed their opportunities to test him, but Bluey had no other choice. The only other option I could see would be moving Tupou to FB with Brown maybe shifting to the wing - a horrible choice, in my mind.
I am hopeful that Bluey will eventually, with a full squad to choose from, make the right choices for the right reasons, and become a real Top 4 coach. Right now, I have my doubts.