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Round 2- Dragons (H) v Broncos

professional

professional

Have always loved Cooper as a player but he is a waste of space now; I thought he would have one good year left but he has looked well over the hill in the two games so far. Combined with Stanley he makes arguably the worst centre pairing in the league (although Gold Coast and Penrith may dispute that). 
woodies

woodies

From memory, Dugan had a couple of games at 5/8 last year. One poor one and one okay.
The queston for Saints is what combination options do they have besides Fien and Soward which is 0 from 2. 
Morkel

Morkel

The good and bad news is that they now have nothing to lose. Throw the rookie halfback in there and say 'play your game kid'. 
woodies

woodies

I remember the concern that Souths expressed when they were faced with pinning all their hopes on Reynolds at the start of last year.

He had a great season then Souths were forced to pin all their hopes on him in the finals. Look how that worked out. You need back up options in the playmaker positions. 
DevoutSaint

DevoutSaint

That is what I was saying last year. 
stanleyg

stanleyg

trouble is no one pays much attention. You also keep saying Soward and C Young are the problems at the dragons 
stanleyg

stanleyg

after that effort we have officially reached rock bottom but its only two games into the competition.
Cut and paste the league ladder for a souveneir as its not often we are at the bottom.
We will languish there for a few more games but hopefully the final league table will look a lot better for us. 
saints

saints

Notwithstanding the trolls- why do they bother coming in here to make their inane comments - Dugan can play 5/8th and Sowie could move to half. A good fit IMO. I know the trolls only do it to get a reaction - but it just confirms the belief that they're dick-heads !

The question of players rushing up - I had my Ref's Ears on - and they never stopped telling players they were offside. On at least 6 occasions I heard them call a player out - eg Cory Cory - yet that player did the tackle and nothing happened. If they allow the players to go early, the half will always have a problem. Sam was told repeatedly to play the ball properly - but not one penalty. In the end they stopped giving any - even though the Broncs were infringing. I know both sides were doing it - but the Refs do have a role to play.

And, we won't start on the forward passes from the play the ball. There must be a dozen every game ! 
professional

professional

Its not trolling and they aren't inane comments. If you don't like the content you don't have to read them but the majority of the comments are (attempts) at an honest appraisal of the situation.

Dugan to five-eight would not work. At fullback he has limited vision and his ball-playing is very average. He still looks uncomfortable passing left-to-right and (while it is less common now) he still throws the occasional shocking pass. He still ignores overlaps and as he showed a couple times against Penrith, he doesn't have the quick hands to exploit overlaps or defenders who rush up.

Dugan has played five-eight on a few occasions and the results have been incredibly underwhelming. His first stint back in the semi-final in 2010 was an unmitigated disaster and two of his games this year (against the Tigers and I think the Cowboys) were very poor too. The only good game he has managed was against the hopeless Newcastle Knights in 2012, at that time he threw a couple nice passes and set up a try. Overall he never looked comfortable and he was never consistently dangerous at five-eight.

Not the mention the fact that moving him to five-eight completely negates his two greatest qualities - his bullocking kick returns and his superb defensive position at fullback. 
cpr_89

cpr_89

At the moment we have too many prospects (project players) and not enough established players and it seems as though their development isn't going to happen as quickly as we expect or need it to. Our season depends way too much on players like de Belin, Frizell, Stockwell, Beale, Rein, King, Vidot coming good quickly. We already lost KStanley (another one of those players) before the season started so now we will ask a lot of drinkwater. They would be great players to have in a stronger team but we don't have that any more and will therefore ask for more.

Those who are established...well let's just say we need more from them, to hold the fort while our other players develop. Much like with the prospect players, could be asking a little much as well, but that's where we are right now. To make matters worse, unless there's significant improvement as the year goes on, particularly from the fringe players, this could be close to the strongest team we can field. It might not be easy to drop players because we have no one to bring in. As I mentioned earlier, the only Cutters player who looked like pushing for a spot in first grade was Stockwell. Another will be de Belin when he returns.

Could be a very long season if things don't improve soon. 
knitey

knitey

Every club goes through rebuilding years, it's just the Dragons this year, they will come good given time and games, a normal part of the game is rebuilding. 
kit

kit

Well yeah, I guess we have a fairly solid base to build on player-wise with some very good front rowers and pretty solid wingers and centres but will Price and Doust have the guts to do what's necessary to get us headed in the right direction. 3 of our 4 biggest concerns at the moment just happen to be the 3 new players they went out and bought last year, Beale who looked like a schoolboy on Friday night and Frizell and Harrison who combined to turn our right side defence to Swiss cheese. It would be a huge loss of face for them to do something about it and put those boys back in the seconds where they belong. Simply put though, they won't do it even though both Stockwell and Matthews would do no worse and while I admit Quinlan might be a risk he might also be a star in the making ( or Cummins when he's fit ).
The other major concern is half back. Fein is trying and I appreciate it but he's hopeless at 7, he passes when he should run and runs when he should pass, he's an OK defender in the middle but lost out wide - ( with him, Frizel and Harrison defending on the right Nightie and Stanley are facing a long season, not to mention being made to look bad by the 3 stooges). He has no vision in attack and his kicking game is a hooker's not a half backs. On one occasion on Friday night he could have strolled over untouched under the posts if he'd looked and seen a gaping hole to his right but instead of stepping and scoring he passed left to where the defence was waiting. We need to find a real halfback and stop patching up with fullbacks and hookers and whoever else. Enter Drinkwater.

To those saying Coops and Hunt aren't much use, give yourselves and uppercut. Our left side defence is solid as a rock thanks to Coops - a fantastic effort considering Soward is next to him. His attack is more symptomatic of the team's problems overall than anything he can control. He stopped playing SOO at his own request so he could concentrate on the Dragons not because he was dropped. Hunt's defence in the middle of the park is top notch and his barnstorming runs one of the few inspiring things in our insipid bloody attack. 
professional

professional

How so? Dropping a crucial pass and being completely ineffective when running the ball are both completely within his control. They are individual skills and have very little to do with the team. The Dragons got plenty of field position and the left side attack got plenty of opporunities but it just looked impotent (with the exception of Morris). 
kit

kit

Very depressing thing to watch was that effort on Friday night. More than 60% possession in the first half and we go to the break 6 all. Some blokes are doing their jobs, others are pulling it apart.
The second half may have been a glimpse at the rest of our season.

1. Beale - played like a little boy - asked to catch, he drops it in front of our posts - asked to pass, he throws it like a bullet, impossible to catch and costs us another loss of possession - asked to defend our line first he impersonates an enthusiastic puppy getting under your feet then a rag doll, then later the invisible man.
2. Bmoz - best winger in the game, defence, attack, kick returns, helping out the forwards and trying to inspire his mates. Every week no matter what. SOO first choice.
3. Stanley - saved us further embarrassment with some good reads in defence and solid tackling. Got no help from those defending inside him as mentioned.
4. Coops - The man's a rock. I'd like to fix our problems just to make sure he has a good final year.
5. Nightie - tough night but we know he's better than that.
6. Sowie - Some good kicks and some good defence ( no that's not a typo ) but needs a partner out there.
7. Fein - Hooker No.3. 7 ? No, sorry.
8. Hunt - had a great game , put Hannant (and himself) on his bum and defended great in the middle.
9. Rein - Hooker No. 1, another whose defence is good in the middle. He lookes unsettled lately probably due to having King hanging around, he's certainly being put off his natural game.
15. Ah Mau - Not much opportunity tonight but still an awesome defender. Wouldn't mind him starting from the bench though.
11. Frizell - thoughts in last post. Missed too many tackles in defence and nothing in attack.
12. Creagh - One trick pony in attack but helping keep our left side a brick wall in defence.
14. Bronson Harrison - Work- rate slightly up on Frizells but error - rate the same. Got caught out of position a few times and he's incredibly slow, I hadn't realized untill Friday night, I can run faster than him.

10. Weyman - They must be working him back into it slowly, only 28 minutes on the park but still managed a try and 25 tackles (Frizell made 20 in 58 minutes and missed 3). Can't wait til he's fully fit and starting games.
13. Merrin - Man of the match by a country mile. Why is he on the bench ?
16. Matt Prior - Defended alright - we're so desperate I'd even consider having him defend on our right.
17. King - Hooker No.2 - played OK but when he ran the ball no-one backed him up. Basically though he's unnecessary at the moment and is taking up space on the bench that could be used for something sensible like a halfback (Drinkwater) or a strike weapon like Quinlan.

As well as points already mentioned, our speed off the line in defence was too slow. Our kick chase was well below our usual standard - two bombs weren't contested at all, we seemed to back off and just let them catch it - and we lack anyone with vision. 
cpr_89

cpr_89

Centres are a concern but look at the players on the inside are more so. 1,6,7,9 has had a poor start to the season. 
kit

kit

As I just mentioned that pass he dropped was fired out of a cannon by Beale - too hard. When we're on our game he's dangerous in attack but our attack overall has been weak without a proper half. The attacking opportunities you speak of resulted in the ball getting to Cooper once and it was the one mentioned.He was also up against Hodges and Gillett - your best defenders I'd say. He kept Hodges quiet as he does to any opposite in any game and that's what makes him worth his weight. Writing him off 2 (poor) games into the season is a bit silly though considering his history. He's never let us down and isn't going to this year either. 
kit

kit

What's wrong with our centres ? 
Marcus1979

Marcus1979

our attack has been predictable since midway last year I was hoping some work would of been done on it during offseason.

What did we do during the offseason as at this point I don't see any improvement on 2012. 
professional

professional

No he didn't. Hodges barely played more than 30 minutes at right centre and in that time the Dragons had the majority of the possession. In that times Hodges only received the ball three times and two of those were dummy-half runs. The only reason that Hodges was quiet was because the Broncos spent most of the time defending and barely got him any of the ball. It had almost nothing to do with Cooper and there is no way you can reasonably claim that Cooper kept Hodges quiet.

That isn't a mark against Cooper but you can't claim it as a victory. Steve Michaels would have been able to keep Hodges "quiet" if you put him in the same situation. 
Marcus1979

Marcus1979

Senor are you ok. Your defending Beale :lol: 
professional

professional

:lol: Beale was horrible, as I've been saying for a while. But it isn't fair to blame everything on him because of that. It was a decent pass from Beale and Cooper mishandled it.

There is plenty of stuff to criticise Beale for without trying to attribute Cooper's error to him too :P 
Marcus1979

Marcus1979

who were the worst on field in your opinion? I blame Fien and Beale :lol: 
stanleyg

stanleyg

Kit says cooper is a Rock and I agree with that assessment.
The only problem is he also out in the centers for his "non rock like" attacking skills and they just arent there at the moment and whether they will return is open to arguement.
He is a ball hog and any player outside of him will have more chance of seeing an extinct species than the ball. If he doesnt want to draw in the defence and pass maybe he should move to the wing until his football brain starts working again. 
cpr_89

cpr_89

Cooper is on his last legs and Stanley is already dealing with injuries. I just think they lack that little extra pace or power that might take attention away from their winger more. The other concern is that at this stage is that there doesn't appear to be anyone pushing hard for their spots and providing competition. I doubt we got Vidot here to be a fringe player, but he hasn't earned a FG here either. 
stanleyg

stanleyg

apart from Cooper getting on a bit they just arent getting much room to move in attack.
The forwards are not drawing in the defence and creating gaps by getting offloads ( except Merrin) to to give the backs a chance.
poor service from dummy half??
The fact the opposition defence are wise to the dragons attack and basically just run up and live in the dragons backline.
The only way they are going to improve in attack is take a leaf out of previous doggy and warrior sides by treatign the ball like a hot potato.
This might mean some players have to take some ballet lessons to learn how to piroette and pass perhaps 

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