2023 Top Eight

theshed

theshed

Just a Game
Aug 28, 2010
14,688
33,636
I think defensively we should be much better than the back end of the season. The issue for us this season was that we had two completely busted second rowers who couldn't tackle or slide by the end because they were so injured. On top of that, we had Haas and Staggs also with busted shoulders and a bunch of blokes who fell off a cliff at the back end including Cobbo, Staggs, Capewell, Riki, Reynolds and Haas. We also lost arguably our hardest working and best back going into the business end of the season. We also had a coach who decided for some reason that blokes who weren't good enough at the start of the year suddenly were at the back end of the year and that just accelerated the self implosion. Hopefully the change in assistant coaches and warning shots given to Kevvie to step it up stops that stupidity happening again.
I don’t want to use injuries as an excuse because our defensive structures were poor all season. Not just when the injuries piled up. We could compensate somewhat with pure will against the lesser opponents but any team with any attacking idea rolled us and scored easily.

That isn’t purely a coaching issue but it is a coaching issue. The players also need to take their responsibility too.
 
BroncsFan

BroncsFan

International Captain
Contributor
Jul 28, 2016
20,928
30,708
The other thing getting lost in the tactical specifics is the conditioning.

In the modern era a fast linespeed is vital and it's required for 80mins... hopefully this year there will be no complaints about training too hard, because they fell away at the backend of the year, which could be attributed to insufficient conditioning.

A world cup being thrown into the start of preseason won't help with that though... nor will it help us with a required focus on defence. Luckily our world cup contingent isn't insanely high, but they will end up returning to the fold late in the preseason.

We also had a number of shoulder recos in the off season... I'm not sure if they were all full reconstructions, but that's typically 3 months of rehab, so there could be some guys missing out on the gruelling conditioning sessions that take place during preseason.
 
Sproj

Sproj

Immortal
Senior Staff
Sep 6, 2013
51,868
62,890
Hit the nail on the head. Injuries played a major part in our bed shitting. I don’t know if we had our best side all year. Seasons like that can be pretty tough for everyone including fans because you never quite know where you truly sit. Whether that is a player in the team, the bloke rehabbing or the overall teams quality. I hope to god that Billy won’t be picking heaps of broncos players next year and I hope to god there isn’t international games in there as well cause that just means far to many players are playing in an obviously crucial test period.

I think another reason why the failure to make the 8 was so gruelling as well was because of inflated ego’s. A lot of people including heaps on this forum thought the broncos were far better than they really were. Only 2 games left me truly satisfied with how we played. Rabbitoh’s game because it represented a new era and the Manly game. The next closest thing was the Roosters game at home and we lost. I think that is pretty telling for a team with a positive win record. Every other game left me with this feeling of winning could and has felt far better than that before because we didn’t play all that well. What’s worse is that in the Manly game, Manly completely shit the bed, absolutely 0 competition in that game. Only thing that made me happy was how ruthless we were to pile on the points and not give them a sniff. We weren’t anywhere near capable of challenging in the finals at any point during the season.

I think next year the sky is the limit but there is also no cap on how shit we could be. However, I am fairly confident we will make the finals. Our middle forwards as long as they are disciplined I don’t have a worry in the world about. Hopefully our second rowers stay completely fit or at the very least don’t play injured like imo we have 4 NRL starting quality players in Capes, Riki, Brendan and TC. Obviously I would love Kotoni to get back to form so new year and hopefully no rep interruptions will be nice for him getting back to what earned him his payday. The other 3 in Oates, Cobbo and Herbie I have no qualms about. Reyno, my only ask is that with Jock Madden he never plays INJURED. Ezra, he seemed to take pre-season by storm last year and apart from his inexperience seemed like he was training far better than the other options. Hopefully another amazing pre-season he will be excellent.

I really think 3 players will be the measure of whether we truly become an excellent footy team or a bang average team. Our hooking rotation is so important this year. I think locked into that 14 spot is Paix. I don’t think he has the defence to play big minutes at 9 but he can without a doubt change a game with his movement out of dummy half and his IQ. Heaps of people have been critical of Billy but I think now only him and Smoothy can confidently play the bigger minutes at 9. My pick is Tyson personally but regardless one of those 2 have to be picked in tandem with Paix. Hopefully whoever is chooses performs. Scarily, I think our fate predominantly relies upon Reece Walsh. In attack I think he will be amazing for us, I truely do. Defensively however I don’t. I honestly couldn’t give a **** if he can tackle or not. That’s not what I am worried about. His positioning and defensive reads are so important both from a personal perspective and in organising everyone else. He will either take us to the heavens or leave us on our knees begging for mercy. The ball is in Reece’s court.

Obviously the coaching staff pulling there heads in and focusing on defense, errors and discipline is so important for next years success.

1. Walsh
2. Oates
3. Staggs
4. Farnworth
5. Cobbo
6. Mam
7. Reynolds
8. Haas
9. Smoothy
10. Jensen
11. Riki
12. Capewell
13. Carrigan
14. Paix
15. Flegler
16. Hetherington
17. Palasia

That’s a pretty nice side we are looking at. Probably the best spine we have formed in a while in terms of ball in hand. Defensively I have confidence. Hopefully injuries don’t stand in our way of truely going to that next level and genuinely competing for a top 4 finish. I think anything other than top 6 would be a failure barring certain circumstances such as injury or suspension. I could live with a top 8 finish but you ain’t really competing for nothing if you come 8th. Anything lower than 8th Kevvie is gone and I would start to consider remodeling the build up of the squad so that we aren’t paying so much for depth players and for the likes of Flegler and Hetho if they aren’t in the 13.

I like all of that but just one question, why go Palasia over Piakura or TC?
 
theshed

theshed

Just a Game
Aug 28, 2010
14,688
33,636
The other thing getting lost in the tactical specifics is the conditioning.

In the modern era a fast linespeed is vital and it's required for 80mins... hopefully this year there will be no complaints about training too hard, because they fell away at the backend of the year, which could be attributed to insufficient conditioning.

A world cup being thrown into the start of preseason won't help with that though... nor will it help us with a required focus on defence. Luckily our world cup contingent isn't insanely high, but they will end up returning to the fold late in the preseason.

We also had a number of shoulder recos in the off season... I'm not sure if they were all full reconstructions, but that's typically 3 months of rehab, so there could be some guys missing out on the gruelling conditioning sessions that take place during preseason.
Don’t need your shoulders to run up hills
 
Fitzy

Fitzy

NRL Captain
Sep 10, 2018
3,981
5,609
I like all of that but just one question, why go Palasia over Piakura or TC?
Rather them play cup over a bench stint but I do actually prefer both Piakura and TC over Keenan. I don’t mind what direction we go in for that one though.
 

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