Just a few thoughts. Apologies if it seems all over the place, haven’t had a lot of sleep. I have been sleeping in a cot in the hospital as my wife has given birth to our first clild on Friday.
I have to say, I was expecting a bit of a scrappy “not the best effort, but enough to get the points” match from the team, but was very happy to be wrong in that expectation.
The halves, unlike last week were on the same page and singing from the same hymn-sheet. I was slightly skeptical if Laui could fill the void of Cleary and organise the squad around with Cogger but Luai showed once again why he is the NSW #6. He righted the ship when needed and with Cogger made sure everybody was doing their part.
I noticed that Yeo was much more involved than in past games this season, picking up the slack left in Nathans void. The forwards were on song, really laid a solid platform for the attack and got Cogger on the right foot to place what I thought was a really polished kicking game.
Scott Sorensen just is going from strength to strength. 229 Run Metres (highest in the game), 76 Post Contact Metres, 1 Line Break, 2 Line Break Assists, 3 Tackle Breaks, 17 Hit-ups, and 5 Offloads… and the most more important statistic… 3 more years at Penrith.
I think these types of games really sum up Ivan Cleary’s team strategy of the “next man up” mentality. A champion team will always beat a team of champions. The emphasis is on the “system” and not plunging money into a player to build a team around. The papers casted doubt on Penrith this week with Nathan out for the next 6 weeks with that thinking that he is the player the built the club around. But Cogger blew their theory the water.
The system that IC has made has taken players that would be considered discards from other team such as Kurt Capewell, Scott Sorensen, Jaeman Salmon (and more recently Jack Cogger) and saw their value to the system that he is trying to develop and have paid back in spades. The trust the club has put into their ability has yielded them something some player will never achieve, to be premiership winners. This has also benefitted the club at the negotiating table with these players wanting to return the favour to a club who battles to balance the salary cap. They know deep down their in more years at success at this club, and to them that is worth more than being a ‘Champion’ in a team of plodders. These guys managers are having their doors kicked in to give offers for them, the same teams that didn’t see that potential a few years back. If they choose to go someday, I wish them all the luck in the world, they have already carved their place in this club forever.
On the incident with Leniu and JWH, I totally reject Trent Robinsons opinion about it being a good spectacle as it was a piece of theatre. It was a grub act by JWH and the look in Leniu’s eyes indicated otherwise to the notion that this was a piece of light hearted theatre. If this was allowed to got he course, I imagine the fight would land them on the sideline for several weeks. JWH was out to cause trouble and was grubby and unsportsmanlike. Leniu could have stayed on the field if he would have just calmed down, he let his emotions get the best of him and the grin on JWH face implied that he felt he won the conflict, but in reality he left the field a LOSER, exactly how how should have.
Positive times heading into the middle part of the season.