LIVE Round 3 Discussion

LittleDavey83

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The thing that impresses me about the Eels is their enthusiasm and energy. Their forwards took it up to the Dogs pack lastnight and came out on top. Similarly to the Cows last week. They have surprised a few teams so far and will continue to do so through the season IMO. They have a solid forward pack, Foran and Norman I believe will be one of the top few halves combos in the comp this year, and their backs are pretty exciting too. They have a great combination of younger guys and experience as well. I fully expect them to be in the 8 this year, though maybe not the 4.

It's only round 3. Very few teams have properly clicked yet, especially those with new players, and everyone is gassed early as it's hot and muggy and they're still settling into the weekly grind.
 

Super Freak

International Captain
Staff
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The thing that impresses me about the Eels is their enthusiasm and energy. Their forwards took it up to the Dogs pack lastnight and came out on top. Similarly to the Cows last week. They have surprised a few teams so far and will continue to do so through the season IMO. They have a solid forward pack, Foran and Norman I believe will be one of the top few halves combos in the comp this year, and their backs are pretty exciting too. They have a great combination of younger guys and experience as well. I fully expect them to be in the 8 this year, though maybe not the 4.

It's only round 3. Very few teams have properly clicked yet, especially those with new players, and everyone is gassed early as it's hot and muggy and they're still settling into the weekly grind.
They are looking good, but this is the Eels we're talking about here.

They are famous for having good patches in a season and then going to shit.

If they can fix that, they'll be up there in the finals mix.
 
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Big Pete

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Thinking on it some more, I'm prepared to accept that this was just the lost the Bulldogs had to have.

They should have lost last week. It took them an age to realise that the Jackson/Holland/Perrett combination wasn't scaring anyone close to the line and start giving it to Williams/Morris/Rona. They were flat, committing coach killing error after coach killing error but were left off the hook.

Parramatta didn't make the same mistake and employed a common sense strategy that proved too lethal for the Bulldogs. They rose to the challenge, getting the better of the Bulldogs in the ruck and when it was their turn they made it a mission to get the ball to Semi. Radradra is a freak of a player and I'm sure NSW are doing everything they can to make him eligible for Origin this year.

It's never nice to lose, but the Dogs can learn a lot from it. Their biggest issue was their inability to play with any shape. They should have drawn first blood in the opening minutes after a good set-piece from Jackson and Perrett. However, Josh Morris and Curtis Rona stood flat forcing Mbye to put through a grubber when the Dogs had a 3 on 1 overlap.

Then when Parramatta got their hands on the ball, they exposed Hopoate's defeciencies at the back. Penrith had great success last week exposing Hopoate's inability to position himself correctly earning repeat set after repeat set. In fact, if it wasn't for a couple of lucky breaks, his play would have been a huge talking point. Last night, Norman put up a nice kick into the corner which Hopoate failed to prepare for and Semi made him pay - sometimes those are the breaks.

I'm willing to give Hopoate more time at the back. While he's got a few issues there, he's also produced a couple of positive plays that are worth persevering with. However, if he doesn't build on those performances and build an effective combination with his halves than I believe the Dogs will either have to move Perrett back there or give Brad Abbey a crack. I really like the latter option, but feel the timing has to be right to ensure that Abbey is mentally prepared to play in the NRL. He has all the talents, but as we've seen with Latrell, it's about staying in the game for the entire 80. It's a daunting task, especially when a lot of these young players are used to different conditions.

Speaking of Sam Perrett, I'm beginning to wonder about his expiration date. He reminds me a lot of Shannon Hegarty in the way that Shannon was effective out of dummy half and could earn a quick play the ball. Perrett's runs have been the impetus for a lot of attacking raids for the Bulldogs but close to the line he doesn't pose much of a threat and he has a few mistakes in his game that have proven costly. For now he's safe but I wonder how long it will be before we see a Reimis Smith or Tyrone Phillips receive a shot? Both are exceptional young talents and given the Dogs lack of potency, could be just the tonic.

And while I'm on the subject of potency, I believe it's time they unleash Shaun Lane on the bench. He was a real weapon for Canterbury last year but has been left out of the team, seemingly to give Adam Elliott some experience at the top level. Across three games, Elliott has only played 34 minutes. It really doesn't seem like an effective use of a bench spot and a player like Lane could provide the Bulldogs with a real danger man that they're sorely lacking.

Another bench spot should be given to a dummy half, the only problem is who. I haven't seen enough of Bronson Garlick or Brad Keighran to vouch for them, but Hasler may have to bite the bullet here. While he hasn't been completely useless, Garvey is clearly struggling to play the entire 80 and has too many errors in him to be the sole dummy half for his team. Lichaa's return should provide a nice boost to the Bulldogs but for the time being they need to consider other options.

Finally, the forwards need to lift. Tolman can be considered a quality clubmen, but his efforts these past few weeks have left a lot to be desired. His runs have lacked venom and he's been monstered in successive weeks. Next week, it maybe in Des' best interests to start with Klemmer to ensure the Dogs have the right balance from the start.
 

Big Pete

International Captain
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Too easy for the Raiders.

Gagai too slow to get there and Williams had a massive target to work with.

Papalii with another try, the Raiders sure love their left hand edge.
 

jd87

NRL Player
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feel so bad for Newcastle fans there team is so woeful this year especially in defence under 20's stuff
 

Brett

State of Origin Rep
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Have you guys noticed the freezing in the replay footage from The Bunker? It seems like frame freezing from the data recording and playback. It's gonna cause issues down the track...
 

jd87

NRL Player
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jeez i hate the obstruction rule. that was dead set raiders player deliberately running into the decoy and falling soccer style to get a penalty. makes out game look utterly soft
 

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