11th April 2018
The team took on the high flying Dragons with Sam Burgess, but were not able to get into the game early on after another spate of errors. But one thing the team has done well this year is improved our defence. Since round 2 we have conseeded on averaged on only 14 points a gane. And again in this gameour defence was very solid. It allowed us a platform to launch a late comeback and almost steal the game. But in the end it was 2 tries a peice with the difference being two penalty goals.
Reynolds made a return from injury, and immediately you saw his ability with boot to get points. It was oly his second hitout for the season, and you could see he was a bit off the pace. I suspect he is still being troubled by his jaw. But will be better for the run.
Congratulations to Jason Clark who was a late incluion in the team and played his 200th grade premiership for South Sydney. Jason debuted back in 2007 and went on to be our inaugural NRL-NYC U20s captain the following year. He capped off a great career when he lead the team out as captain in the Wigan trial this year.
Campbell Graham also as been making his return from injury. Last week he came back via U20s and immediately made a impact scoring 2 tries. One the weekend he stepped up into reserve grade and bagged a hattrick and was called into the 21 man sqad this week.
Our U16s Matts team crashed out of the finals race on the weekend after suffering their 3rd loss in a row. Defence proved to be a big issue for this squad, as it let them down whaen they needed it most. It will need to be worked on over the off season.
Souths and Cronulla were playing on emotion after both were rejected by the NRL from the W-NRL competition. But it was Souths who powered over the top of Cronulla in another big win to lead the compeition. There was a strong emotional group hug by both teams at the end of the match. The NRL has really let down these girls.
5 years of systematic salary cap rorting, has resulted in Manly being fined $750. I commend the NRL in imposing a future salary cap reduction of $330k for 2 seasons. But the public is demanding why no loss of competition points ? The size of the breach should ahve resulted in around 10 to 20 point deducted. But it has only been a slap on the wrist by the NRL, because the cap went up by $2 mil in 2018 and Manly are under the cap in 2018 by $350k so will not really be penalised. It has set a bad precident for the future.
Round 5 - Stat Attack
Statistically it was above average performance, with a poor first half balanced by a good second half, but errors proved costly. Completion rates improved to 76% from 73% last week. Errors dropped to 11 from 14 last week. We gave away 9 penalties down from 10 penalities last week. Souths Effective 1st tackle improvd to a average level of 33.4m from 38.5m last week. Our missed tackles dropped but still a good level of 24 missed tackles from 23 last week. Opposition offloads dropped to 8 from 10 last week.
Looking at our left side defence - Jennings-Inglis-Walker-Sutton (1-2-2-0) was steady at 5 missed tackles again this week. On the right side Gagai-Hunt-Reynolds/Doueihi-Crichton (1-2-2-3) was dropped to 7 from 4 missed tackles last week. Ruck defence TBurgess/Nicholls-Cook-GBurgess/Tatola-Murray/Clark (2-1-4-4) improved to 11 from 12 missed tackles last week.
Our go forward this week impoved to 1555m from 1465m last week. Cook, George Burgess, Clark and Jennings made 10+m per run. Crichton, Tom Burgess, Cook, Gagai, Jennings and Johnston making 100+m in the match. Defensively Crichton was our best in the tackling raking up 39 tackles. Sutton, Nicholls, Tatola, Doueihi and Johnston not missing a tackle.
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