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Coaching The Coaches - Australian Rugby league News
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globalrugbyleague - Sat, 24 Mar 2007 10:13:00 GMT
WIthout Darren Lockyer to call the shots for the Broncos this Sunday against New Zealand Warriors in New Zealand, Wayne Bennett's men will probably adopt the ``safety first approach.''

Brisbane minus Lockyer is akin to a ship without a rudder but that doesn't mean they can't win.

Lockyer proved his near league immortality last season leading Brisbane to a premiership, Queensland to State of origin glory and Australia to a Tri-Nations triumph.

He is clearly one of the finest players of all time.

Wayne Bennett has named Shane Perry in Lockyer's number six jersey while Karmichael Hunt will wear seven.

I expect this pair to share the first receiver duties a lot this Sunday.

Strengths.

Brisbane

Brisbane: They are a big time team under pressure and can handle all conditions and dramas that a match can throw up to them.

No matter the opponent or circumstances, their highly professional approach off the field in preparing for games stands them in good stead each week on the footy field.

Justin Hodges will be a key leader this week at fullback and expect to adopt a similar ``roving role'' he did last year when moved to fullback.

He played like a fullback in defence yet roved down centre field like his now more familiar role as a right hand side centre in attack.

Hodges did play fullback early in his career and likes the room to come into the line on ``width'' side of the field or down short sides.

Warriors

The Warriors' strength last year, despite missing the finals (only just as they started the year without four points because of salary cap fines) was discipline.

Coach Ivan Cleary instilled this.

The Warriors other new found strength is being patient and knowing when and where on the field to unleash their short and longer passing game and introduce their decoy plays.

Grant Rovelli and Lance Hohaia are very good at changing the point of the attack.


Weaknesses

Brisbane

Brisbane's biggest weakness in my book is lack of variety from the forwards.

Very few of their forwards off-load the ball, which makes their runners in attack target for gang tackling.

Sheer size of their pack also makes them vulnerable to dummyhalf runners from the opposition later in in the first and second halves.

The Cowboys beat the Broncos around the play-the-ball last week with clever dummy-half runs and changes of direction and switch plays in attack.

Warriors:

The Warriors major concern is ``lack of concentration'' at times.

When they make a lot of yards througb forward plays, sometimes their players adopt ``this is easy'' approach to the game and try and overplay their hand, forcing the pass.

Defensively, some of their bigger forwards become exploited around the marker area and don't ``get off the floor'' quickly, which leaves holes around the play the ball.

Tactically.

Brisbane will use three ``golden rules'' take the ball forward, especially from their own half for five rucks and get a long kick downfield.

Then they’ll try and ``box'' the Warriors in their 20m area with gang tackles to slow the momentum of the physical style of attack.

Expect loads of dummy-half running and a lot of blindside play, not allowing the Warriors' big men such as Ruben Wiki and Steve Price to get ``big hits'' on the first and second tackle in each set of six.

Finally, Karmichael Hunt will look for a roving Justin Hodges and Shane Perry will aim grubber kicks for his outside men to chase inside the Warriors quarter.

Ivan Cleary will use decoy players around the play the ball and dummy-half runners to tire the Brisbane forwards.

Tonie Carroll, is often slow getting up from marker after he makes a tackle.

Look for Tony Martin and Grant Rovelli to run at the retreating marker to ``milk'' penalties.

My Tip: I think the Warriors will overpower Brisbane and employ, a short passing game on the edges of the field and loads of switches in attack and dummy-half running. Warriors by eight. - Read More, Here