I’d imagine what happed to Nathan after the first Origin might have spooked Ivan a fair bit. I think he thought it would be best to keep his powder dry and play the team that played last week. To put it into perspective they took a pretty decent Cowboys outfit to extra time.
This week they learned from what didn’t work in the Cowboys game and put in a concerted effort to put away the Knights. It keeps us in touch of the Minor Premiership, and gave the Origin stars a well needed rest.
We will need a lot of those guys on deck and fresh to take on the Storm in Melbourne.
We played with an almost 50% NSW cup team, learnt our lessons from last week, and stuck to our game plan well.
Knights are rubbish of course, if it wasn’t for the bulldogs, tigers and dragons they would be vying for the spoon.
Holbrook must consider himself unlucky considering O’brian appears untouchable.
I was really impressed with Lindsay Smith, I think in our prop pecking order he is now second only to Leota.
Edwards, Leota of course keep just performing week in week out. Glad for Edwards that he finally gets his first win as captain.
Our 3/4’s all performed well, and the Peach had his best game since 2016. Was also quite impressed with Jenkins and his catching. Only thing is Tago obviously needs more time working with him on timing.
A low point once again unfortunately was Luke. We just seem to loose all momentum and defensive structure when he comes on to the field. The bright side is that Kenny is improving in leaps and bounds, playing 80 minutes, and questions the need for a second hooker, when Salmon could provide injury coverage from the bench.
We never looked like loosing and had the game under control from the start. Great game atmosphere and large crowd considering the opposition. Shows how starved we have been of early season home games.
Next week will be a real test, but thankfully the Storm are not undefeatable unlike in years gone by.
Mitch Kenny has stepped up drastically. The thing i liked the most from him last night, as when Edwards was caught tackling in the line. He dropped back to fullback just in case. Sure enough, he was in the right position to save a certain try.
Just sums up his desire to be a part of our footy team. I love him. It’s strange. The better Kenny has gotten, it seems Luke has gotten worse. I’m not sure what the fix is.
This illustrates the point perfectly. Kenny has come a long way since coming off the bench last year. His play the speed is up against the average Play the Ball speed of the team, and his tackle efficiency is very good, the game where we was off the average, he wasn’t too far off the pace in most instances. He also plays a low error game (See the chart below for specifics).
Though last night I saw Salmon do a few things from dummy half that I wish that Kenny would pickup. A few quick darts form the dummy half to catch some lazy markers off guard and the drive close to to the line to get a try.
That being said I feel Kenny is moving in the right direction an his game awareness is one of the best out there right now. I thought before the start of the season that if he can get a year witht he 9 under his belt he will be all the better for it, because he has a good “footy brain”.
I know may people love Soni Luke, and he is a fine player, but he performances are not living up to the expectation that was placed upon him. He isn’t delivering, and his defence is poor in comparison to Kenny.
Kenny is fully deserving of the #9 jersey, and it is his to lose, if his performance so far this year is any indicator of that, I don’t see him handing it over anytime soon.
I’ll put my hand up and say I am certainly one of those people. I also agree 100% with your post.
I actually find this a little frustrating. This is where Soni Luke should excel. He often comes on with 20-30 to go and teams are at their most fatigued. He has a smaller frame than Kenny & Salmon and looks more agile.
His minutes have been: 26, 45, 3, 54, 36, 32, 51, 18, 27, 17, 28, 33, 15. Is that enough game time?
A handful of games in the last 6 weeks I’ve noticed Kenny looking fatigued (end of first half), but Luke doesn’t come on. It hasn’t been until the last quarter of the game when he comes on. Why doesn’t Luke get used in the same manner as Leniu?
Does he need more game time to mature and develop in NRL? If so, is 15-20 minutes enough? Or has he just hit his ceiling?
Coach obviously has a plan with re-signing Luke for another 2 years.
Just on this SBF, IMO it’s a bit harsh but what makes you say he is average at best? From what I’ve seen he has a good kicking game, he has taken the line on and on most occasions gets very close to breaking the line so his intentions and timing of when to run are good. Maybe his defense overall but he is no turn style. You can’t have Adam Reynolds as your back up half so not sure what you see that i don’t?
I’ve been saying Leota is the best prop in the game for some time, happy to see everyone else is coming around lol
Why would you want a Reynolds in our squad?
Cogger cannot kick goals unless right in front, his kicking game is poor at best and cannot kick long, or for a 40/20 or even has trouble finding grass.
His defensive reads are terrible, cast your mind back to the Cowboys game where they exposed him big time.
Like i said we played absolute rubbish on Saturday and the upcoming game will be a further guide to his ability. And note i am not marking him against Cleary but what is he was your full-time 7???
I wonder what you would say.
And as i said even “average” he looks OK surrounded by world class players…its a gift to come into the Panthers side and system and his job is to simply fit into the system, he isn’t going to win us any games.
Glad to see you agree with me about Leota and the hole he leaves in our offence when he is not playing as was evidenced against the Cowboys
JFH doesn’t run anywhere near the intensity Leota does and indeed continues to turn into the defence when running.
Martin is closest to Leota in venom in attack but just lacks size but nothing in heart.
The guy who has the size but lacks doing bigger minutes and fails to run onto a ball and is almost always starting from a standing start is Lenui and i am glad to see him go to Roosters.
Hi SBF, I hope you didn’t take my post as an attack on your commentary mate, it wasn’t meant to be like that. I was just asking for reasons why Jack is considered average…and you’ve done that in spades lol.
Cogger does have his flaws, that’s certain. I feel his game organisation needs some work as in pressure situations it is at sixes and sevens (no pun intended).
In both the past few games you can see that Salmon had to drive the play as the communication had broken down from Cogger. I find that Cogger likes structured plans as well as set plays and does a good job of executing them, but where he struggles when it comes to the game plan not exactly going to plan. He ad hoc play is lacking and his 5th tackle options can be enough to make you cry at times.
Salmon is very much a player that can take advantage of ad hoc play, and can switch gears when the plan has hit a wall.
But for the job Cogger is doing he is fine. The storm will be a big test for him and he will need to step up, but we need to put him into perspective, he isn’t dethroning Cleary anytime soon, and when Nathan returns he will be back playing NSW cup having a blinder.
Cogger is a backup half and did ok as such, but I’d not believe he has any first grade potential in front of him.
That said w have no salary cap room for Renolds, Hunt etc to sit in reggies as a back up (note I don’t mention Brooks - good luck Manly, I wouldn’t pay him A-grade money).
That said I would be prepared to make a play for Jake Arthur as back up half (flame suit on ).
What I can most certainly agree on though is Leota - he had been the best prop in the game, and one of our best players since grand final last year where he must of been a close second to Edwards for the Clive Churchill.
I absolutely love the big guy, and his aptitude and performance this year has been second to none.
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