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The Roar

Jack Aubrey

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Joined August 2015

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Rugby League fan. Panthers tragic. Appreciate sport of any kind when it is at its best.

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The Panthers have had a good run with injuries and have sort have managed the fatigue amongst players already. A few got a rest last weekend, a few more this weekend. This is a young side that I think is better off riding momentum and really should be thinking that they will get a rest if they earn it in week one of the finals. I wouldn’t be surprised if Cleary goes to his extended bench ahead of the game though and gives a few more a break though

Ricky Stuart playing the odds in quest for Raiders glory

Well despite their inexperience they have made it into first position, being the second youngest team in the competition. Melbourne and the Roosters obviously have big match experience. The Raiders too, but not as much as people may think. Dylan Edwards, Josh Mansour, Nathan Cleary, James Tamou, Api Koroisau, Villiame Kikau, Issah Yeo, James Fisher-Harris, Tyrone May, Kurt Capewell and Zane Tetevano have all played finals matches or big games. I think they will cope OK.

Ricky Stuart playing the odds in quest for Raiders glory

Ricky has obviously decided that the rest is more important than the chance to go top 4, judging by the amount of players he is resting this weekend. Finishing fifth and hosting the Sharks in Canberra isn’t a bad scenario at all, if they can get the win and the Eels do slip up then at least his troops will be fresh taking on the Panthers. I don’t think the Tigers are a lock by any means. Both teams have lots of points in them, and if the Tigers start well than they could make the Eels very nervous, wouldn’t be surprised either way.

NRL finals predictions: Where your team will finish and who claims the spoon

I definitely agree that the six-again rule needs work as the current application, doesn’t always work. Particularly coming out of trouble, first tackle inside their own 10, you see a side get a six-again call and it would barely make a difference. The NRL though has gotten so much more technical in some rule interpretations and applications that then applying it only in certain situations or giving the team a choice just makes it harder to follow. It should be discretionary, something the refs just don’t have anymore being overcoached. They should be able to identify more often than not what would be of greater advantage to the team with the football. That may sound a bit silly but the same way players have match sense the refs should. That will never happen though, that is the state of officiating so the rule does need to be changed if they are going to stay.

I’m also not sure about the narrative of speeding the game up. We might have done so with this rule but the constant use of the Bunker, even more so this season with the captains challenge may very well negate that if it continues. There are always going to be stoppages in play. How often before, and do we continue to see the attacking team dithering about before taking the tap and going on the attack? This notion that it is a massive advantage when the players themselves waste time in attack needs some consideration too. If we truly want to speed the game up, it will come down to much more than the six-again call.

How I'd improve the six-again rule

The six again doesn’t necessary fit the crime. If it is tackle one, with the ball in hand ten out the old piggy back out was a big advantage where now to restart just doesn’t help all the much. Similarly if you are down by 2. What I would advocate for is giving more discretion to the ref to blow a full penalty, although that has proven to be a hard thing to do with the League seemingly wanting blanket definitions and rules for everything. I don’t have a problem with Gutherson appealing for the change in decision as he was indeed correct, I just think it is telling that he was so desperate not to have the Panthers take the 2, and maybe we have created a contentious issue down the track.

New rules need tweaking with finals fast approaching

If we are going to persevere with the captains challenge than it could be improved with some changes. If it were up to me than the less bunker the better, let’s get on with the game and get over any decisions that are incorrect, that’s life, move on.

New rules need tweaking with finals fast approaching

I didn’t go into it all that much, but the seven tackle set rule isn’t a great one for all the reasons you mentioned and I just have a feeling that the six-again will go the same way, great for some situations, ridiculous for others.

New rules need tweaking with finals fast approaching

I couldn’t agree with you more. We have just given ourselves more of the bunker which no one wanted. It is at odds with speeding the game up like we have been trying to do. That and it is so rarely worth the payoff that we get from it, I’m yet to watch a match where the challenge would have changed the result or really made enough of a difference to bother

New rules need tweaking with finals fast approaching

The under 20’s meant you were guaranteed something to watch before the game. It is disappointing these days that you don’t necessarily get the opportunity to arrive early and soak up the atmosphere on a nice day before a big game while you watch the young talent come through. It seems like something that was real worth while to invest in that has just been inexplicably cut and makes development through the grades more challenging and detracts from the game day experience.

Season structure exposing big deficiencies in our game

Yeah one of those “NRL things”, him not playing should be enough of a disadvantage in winning the medal without docking points too. But it will come for the young man soon enough in any case

The Panthers are playing as well as they have in years and it could win them the premiership

The best teams can win anywhere. If you aren’t the Bulldogs or Rabbitohs you don’t get the luxury of playing at your home ground for the Grand Final, regardless of how dominant you are throughout the year. The Panthers would have played that Preliminary Final at ANZ regardless of the opposition, it was just unlucky it was one of the two regular tenants. The big games need to be played at big stadiums, and to lock 25k fans out of a match, just to appease one fanbase would be a ridiculous commercial decision, the NRL is a business after all.

The Panthers are playing as well as they have in years and it could win them the premiership

I don’t think Penrith have peaked. I think they need a loss sometime soon. They would have been beaten by plenty of other teams the way they played against the Cowboys and Titans, and I think maybe they need a bit of a reality check just to refocus and stop them reading their own press too much.

The benefit of the youth that they possess is I think they can ride this wave for a while without coming down

The Panthers are playing as well as they have in years and it could win them the premiership

The Storm and Roosters have equally as many question marks as the Eels and Panthers. I suppose what I mean with the Storm is that as the season wears on, outside of Victoria those pressures and time away from family and support may take a toll mentally. It is an unusual situation that they are handling at the moment, but as the weeks wear on, maybe we will start to see the impact. The Roosters and Storm have the big game experience, no doubt about it, and once finals roll around they will be the real test for the Panthers. Yes, they have just got it done a few times recently but they have also been sensational when it has counted, and as long as they can keep aiming up, they will keep winning.

The Panthers are playing as well as they have in years and it could win them the premiership

We should have, we had plenty of possession and territory right down to the final siren but couldn’t get it done. The Rabbitohs would have been too strong on Grand Final day, although I do think we would have made a better account of ourselves than the Bulldogs.

The Roosters did slump mid last year, they lost a big game to the Knights mid season and looked pretty busted. History shows they found a way back and without Origin to navigate this year if they can get personnel back at the right time they know what to do in big games.

It is really hard to see why Burton would stay when he undoubtedly would get a run at other clubs, and is getting zero game time at the Panthers. Tamou will be offered something, and he seems like the kind of guy to stay.

The Panthers are playing as well as they have in years and it could win them the premiership

I think Penrith are really challenging the notions of youth and experience as ingredients for success in our game. They have fielded one of, if not the youngest teams in the League on plenty of occasions in recent seasons. Their spine has less games combined than Cameron Smith.

It shows what a good development system can do, their youngsters get to first grade and look ready to handle it while other clubs have to blood players who just aren’t ready yet. They have experience where necessary but they aren’t afraid to put faith in their youth.

The Panthers are playing as well as they have in years and it could win them the premiership

I think any club that gets a home final in week one should be able to host it wherever they wish. Manly having a home semi at Allianz is just ridiculous for everyone involved. However when it comes to a preliminary final I think they do need to consider fans in terms of the venue. The Panthers had a week off, they got double the crowd that they could have fit into Penrith, and they were playing a busted dogs side coming off a golden point win. It was may have been the Bulldogs home ground but they Panthers were well represented in the stands that night, and just weren’t good enough to progress.

The Panthers are playing as well as they have in years and it could win them the premiership

Gould touched a bit on it during 100% footy regarding Edwards. They don’t really need him to be the ball playing fullback that other clubs have with the halves a bit wider and the skill on the edges. Aekins does even less ball playing than Edwards but they still posted 42 points on Saturday. Edwards just does what he needs to do. Support up the middle, good positional play, hard work out of trouble. It is easy to forget too that some of these players are still fairly new to first grade. Edwards is just 50 odd games in, those skills and ball playing will develop

The Panthers are playing as well as they have in years and it could win them the premiership

Yeah that’s an error on my part. Storm will finish fourth.
Thanks mate

Pre-season preview: Who can stop this perfect Storm

Those are all fair questions to ask but most sides have similar ones to be asked about their seasons. We are about to have plenty of them answered.

As Big Daddy has pointed out their reserve grade team has been performing so perhaps their perceived lack of depth isn’t quite the reality they face.

Robinson can coach, but certainly he has taken an easier way in than plenty of others. The team selection in the final against the Cowboys was astonishing. Carrying an Tupou on the bench, and they looked very exposed in the forwards at points during that game

Pre-season preview: Can Cronk make the Chooks champs?

Cowboys yes, I would say are a stronger side. The Storm on paper aren’t really that different and going back to back these days is no mean feat, often we see the premiers fade over the long season.

The Roosters had a great recruitment drive. They bought Cronk and Teddy, right up there with the best in the game and could have kept Pearce if he wanted to stay. They gave up those first graders on their own terms, they had money in the bank for the likes of Cronk and Crighton so they have got what they wanted.

They upgraded Gordon to Teddy, Pearce to Cronk. Was Guerra setting the world alight? Did Newcastle pay overs for Watson, why wouldn’t he want to go there for more game time?

They will struggle if injuries strike, no doubt, but keep close to their top 17 on the park at the pointy end and they will be very hard to beat.

Pre-season preview: Can Cronk make the Chooks champs?

Career defining in the sense that maybe he can do something towards separating his legacy from that of Smith and Slater. You look at someone like Matt Orford and his catastrophic stint at Canberra, Cronk is taking a risk with so much atttention on him. I really feel for Pearce, but as you say the discipline that Cronk has, is something the Roosters really need.

Pre-season preview: Can Cronk make the Chooks champs?

It’s the role of a good modern day winger. Semi Radradra for the Eels. Josh Mansour for the Panthers. Either winger for the Storm. Kyle Feldt for the Cowboys. They do win you games these days whether it be the finishing or the carries out of trouble. Semi certainly was the difference in a few games last year. Moylan and Moses in the halves for NSW? That’ll do me.

Pre-season preview: Can the Eels break their premiership drought?

That was certainly the case last year. We also saw how badly Penrith started without powerhouse Josh Mansour last season. A big strong winger is so important in the game today. In saying that the Eels get a trio of potential backline stars back early in the season. They won’t be able to rely on Semi but they aren’t exactly short on firepower

Pre-season preview: Can the Eels break their premiership drought?

Too early to say exactly how any of those sides will be going in the last few rounds, but it is an undeniably a tough way to finish the season. They didn’t seem to fear the big sides last year so no reason they can’t be claiming big scalps from the get go this year

Pre-season preview: Can the Eels break their premiership drought?

The luxury that the Eels and Brad Arthur have, and that the Titans and Neil Henry didn’t, is the depth. If Hayne isn’t having the desired impact that he should be, there are three or so players that proved they deserved a spot in the backline last year. Brad Arthur just isn’t going to tolerate Hayne being sub-par, but he got the best out of him in 2014 and maybe will again this year.

Pre-season preview: Can the Eels break their premiership drought?