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BigGordon

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It’s nice to see you writing a “glass half full” story about Bangladesh cricket, Arnab. I seem to recall some quite scathing thoughts from you about the way their cricket was structured about this time last year.

If the pundits are right, the teams that will progress past the Super 8 stage have to win at least two games. Given Bangladesh is in the same group as Australia, India and Afghanistan, that’s a pretty tough ask.

I wouldn’t be placing too much on them but, if the team is genuinely starting to believe and a bit of luck goes their way, who’s to say they can’t make the semis?

Najmul Hossain Shanto does the improbable as Bangladesh begin to believe

If Madge told Hynes and Luai to simply play what they saw, then I think they were the sole cause of the poor attacking options the Blues used. I’m not sure that’s the case though.

As contributors like The Barry have pointed out, the Qld attack uses lots of guys in motion to create confusion in the defence. NSW does not. It barely did it at all last series and it certainly didn’t do it in game 1 this year. Surely some of that has to be down to the tactics & game plans the coach wants his squad to use?

I don’t think Luai’s up to SOO and given his poor showing in game 1, it’s hard to see Hynes in a Blue 6 or 7 jumper for any length of time, That said, if they and the coach decided to use more decoys, etc then maybe they could be effective at this level.

Why Origin I was already over before Suaalii send-off: Blues rose to the occasion statistically but lacked Maroons' intent

This is an article about Qld having better intent from minute one, yet you’ve decided NSW had nothing once they were “monstered”, which didn’t happen for the best part of 65 minutes.

You’ve then decided that proves NSW weren’t going to match it even if they had 13 on deck, even though they did for 3/4 of the game.

This is Qld logic at its very best.

Why Origin I was already over before Suaalii send-off: Blues rose to the occasion statistically but lacked Maroons' intent

The sport wants to get more kids involved as well as people new to rugby league. The table should be a) accurate and b) simple to read, so a person reading it or parent explaining where their kids favourite team sits on the ladder, can do so without resulting to university level maths!

Perhaps AJ was right when he suggested a few weeks ago that byes should attract zero points. Either that or start every team on 6 points from the 3 bys they’ll be given.

Round 15 Talking Points: Some teams need to look in mirror, NRL has to fix interchange rules and Dogs win without playing

Right now, I think it’s hard to see any sides bar Melbourne and Penrith pulling it all together, Paul. You hit the nail on the head when you said there are 13 unreliable sides this year.

NRL Power Rankings: Round 15 - Two teams on title trajectory, another 13 who can’t get their act together ... and two duds

If the Blues lacked the same intent as the Maroons, why did they stick with them for as long as they did in the 2nd half? They were 8 points down for the best part of 25 minutes and there were plenty of times where they dominated Qld.

It wasn’t a lack of intent on the Blues part, but poor attacking choices which comes down to the coach and his plans. The Maroons intent only surfaced when the Blues ran out of puff with 15 minutes to go.

Why Origin I was already over before Suaalii send-off: Blues rose to the occasion statistically but lacked Maroons' intent

The team dubbed “easily the most unreliable side in the NRL” has an 8 – 7 record, has not had a bye yet, but if they did have the 2 byes, the Cowboys would be sitting in 6th place on the ladder. That presumably means they wouldn’t have a rating of 11.

Perhaps playing 15 rounds in a row without a break might have contributed to that reputation.

NRL Power Rankings: Round 15 - Two teams on title trajectory, another 13 who can’t get their act together ... and two duds

I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

If he was running too much, why didn’t Robbo send out a message asking him to be more selective? If that didn’t work, why wasn’t he benched?

Watson goes from bench to Blue after 558-day hiatus from the NRL

I think they’ve set such a high bar in the past few seasons that when IMO they don’t achieve similar standards, they appear flat or certainly not as dominant as they’ve been previously.
I don’t think the Panthers of 12 months ago would have let the Knights back into that game, with or without Cleary. They’re still a very good team, but seem more vulnerable this year.
As for the Sharks, they should not have been 22 nil down to start with. This is a team who wants punters to believe they’re grand final material. Top 2 teams don’t defend like the Sharks did against a good but not great attack

Round 15 Talking Points: Some teams need to look in mirror, NRL has to fix interchange rules and Dogs win without playing

And yet there were a swag of tries scored when teams were down players this weekend just gone.

Round 15 Talking Points: Some teams need to look in mirror, NRL has to fix interchange rules and Dogs win without playing

One team’s loss is another team’s gain. Burton has to be really disappointed at missing selection all together, so will be even more determined to play well against the Roosters. That game could be a beauty with Teddy also wanting to prove a point.

Maguire defends under-fire skipper, reveals reason for Latrell recall - and calls out Maroons in 'glass houses'

No argument that was a very good win, but against a hot & cold team like the Sharks, it’s tough to know just how strong that win was.

Cleary’s due back in a month and if he’s fully fit, will obviously make a huge difference. I’m sure Ivan’s pretty happy he’s only got a couple more games till his son is playing again

Round 15 Talking Points: Some teams need to look in mirror, NRL has to fix interchange rules and Dogs win without playing

The question we need to ask isn’t “who should come into the team” it’s “why aren’t we playing with any attacking shape”. Exactly.

Perhaps that’s one for Paul or the other experts to examine. Completely agree that’s what’s killing the Blues attack and that’s what Maguire needs to fix quickly.

Maguire’s team overhaul strengthens Blues but their lack of cohesion is a major concern

Thanks TB. I too can’t speak for Paul but your first paragraph in particular makes good sense, though it raises one question – at this level, surely these guys have enough time together to work these plays out?

At the end of the day, most of the set pieces are copied from Club teams, only the guys executing them are different. I’d have thought time in camp, time playing together at Club level, etc, should be enough to make these work, assuming this is the plan the coach wants players to implement?

As others have mentioned, Freddy didn’t have guys in motion enough, nor has Maguire in game 1, which was presumably part of their plans. Unless that changes, I’m not sure whether all the cohesion in the worl will lead to a Blues win?

Maguire’s team overhaul strengthens Blues but their lack of cohesion is a major concern

At least Maguire’s picking guys on form. Watson’s playing well at present and hope he does at least as well in 10 days.

Watson goes from bench to Blue after 558-day hiatus from the NRL

The potent part of the Qld side are the backs and they remain intact. All are in form ranging from good to seriously good and they’re the guys Billy will be banking on to get the Maroons home.

What he wants from his forwards is simply an honest effort and to hold the Blues pack for 80 minutes. They just have to do enough to allow their backs to do what they do very well, create chances through superior speed and better attacking structures.

Unless the Blues pack gets well on top, I can’t see this being anything but another Maroon win, assuming all players from both sides are fit and well and it remains a 13 v 13 game!

'Not quite 100 per cent': Slater explains brutal Cobbo call as Maroons recall veterans for Origin II

Sorry D, my point about the sin bin was suggesting teams who lose players are now being penalized on the scoreboard, as it should be. It wasn’t that long ago, teams like the Storm almost didn’t mind being one down because they had the defensive patterns to cope and the Laws of the Game let them slow things down.

I remember when my father first explained how the ladder worked as a very young fella. It allowed me to really get excited when my team won because they’d generally move up places. Now, you can have a bye and move up!

You’re right, for people who have been around the game for ages, it’s not a huge issue if the Storm or Panthers are top right now, but we’re not the only ones who look at it on Monday mornings

Round 15 Talking Points: Some teams need to look in mirror, NRL has to fix interchange rules and Dogs win without playing

They also need to run straight themselves, not prance around looking for non-existent openings.

My biggest concern is each thinking they have to win the game, rather than playing as links to guys who can win the game for the Blues. That’s the strength of the Maroon halves; they make good calls on what to do and are happy if others make breaks, score tries, etc.

Maguire’s team overhaul strengthens Blues but their lack of cohesion is a major concern

I thought the main reason we lost recent series was poor planning, TB. The Blues attack lacked variety and guys in motion. That allowed the Maroons to bottle up our single point of attack and forced guys to try and go it alone, which rarely works, not at this level.

If Maguire gets the plans right, which these guys already know how to execute AND Moses & Luai don’t try and do it all themselves, then the Blues are a chance

Maguire’s team overhaul strengthens Blues but their lack of cohesion is a major concern

Why is fatigue a factor when deciding how the interchange system should work? Rugby League is a physical game and part of the physicality is players getting tired, especially the bigger guys. That in turn opens up opportunities for small players to take advantage. In other words, tiredness should not be a factor when talking about interchange.

I also think the comparison with Union is not right. If anything, Rugby has it completely wrong, allowing 8 replacements. Sure it might allow teams to win games, like South Africa in the World Cup, but is also leads to really boring football because guys aren’t getting tired.

By all means, have 6 guys on the bench, but halve the number of coaches interchanges (teams regularly don’t use all 8 nowadays). Allow players who are ruled out through the HIA process to be replaced (an injury interchange) as well as guys who are ruled out through other injuries from the match, with that assessment done by an independent doctor.

It's time to change up the NRL interchange and finally bring it up to speed with other codes

Good teams win games when they’re flat and that’s what the Panthers seemed to be, certainly in that second half. In fairness, the Knights really lifted, but the “real” Penrith would never have allowed that Bradman Best break from a kickoff in the second half.

I also think glossing over Luai’s defensive failings in favour of his attack is a mistake. One of his missed tackles led to the opening try and it was an effort a 10 year old would be ashamed off. He also gave up on the play. I compare that to the 2nd half effort Edwards put in to hold up a guy in the corner when the tackle before, he was the other side of the goal posts. That’s commitment.

Penrith too professional as Luai and Edwards seal Blues spots despite gallant Knights showing some ticker

The “credible results” AL mentions when talking about the Titans only applies when it comes to coaches justifying a poor season. Des really needs to do something significant in the remaining 10 rounds to give the Board confidence they made the right call in bringing him in.

The one thing that would have please Robbo the most from the Eels game was the commitment his players showed right until the final whistle. Parra made a break and had every right to expect the Roosters to allow them a consolation try, but there were 3 guys across in cover, including Tedesco, bundling the winger over the sideline. That sort of effort can lead to grand final appearances.

The NRL needs to make a simple amendment to its ladder to show where each team really is on the table.
Right now, if all teams had two byes, the top 10 would read, Panthers, Storm, Sharks, Roosters, Dolphins, Cowboys, Sea Eagles, Bulldogs, Broncos, Dragons. Instead, we have the Dolphins in 4th, the Raiders in 7th and the Cowboys in 10th.
All they have to do is put the “real” position in brackets after the team name.

How many points did sin bins cost this weekend? I reckon there were at least 4 or 5 tries conceded while guys were in the bin and that was in only 2 games which the Roosters and Storm won.

Round 15 Talking Points: Some teams need to look in mirror, NRL has to fix interchange rules and Dogs win without playing

In fairness though, the Sharks were playing a top 8 team. I compared their effort to that of the Panthers who got across the line against a team 11 places below it on the ladder. Sure Penrith won but gee the Knights made me wonder whether they’re a top 4 side without Cleary.

Round 15 Talking Points: Some teams need to look in mirror, NRL has to fix interchange rules and Dogs win without playing

I worry when I read generalisations like a “lack of cohesion”. What specific “cohesion” is being referred to? In any event, the Blues have 10 days to find that missing cohesion which, for highly paid professionals, should be enough time, I’d have thought.

The bigger issue is decision making and that comes down to Moses & Luai realizing they are not the stars in this lineup, but merely part of a group of very talented players. As Paul mentioned, there are some very good, very big guys outside them who are in form and in the case of LM, hungry to show they’re up for it at SOO level.

If the halves don’t find that elusive cohesion but do kick, pass or run at appropriate times, the Maroons will be in for a helluva fight in Melbourne

Maguire’s team overhaul strengthens Blues but their lack of cohesion is a major concern

cop out!!!!!

Round 15 judiciary: Tuilagi hit with hefty ban for spear tackle, JWH, DWZ in strife, Riki charged for cheap shot

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