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Coaching the coaches - Australian Rugby league News
globalrugbyleague - Fri, 06 Jun 2008 17:04:00 GMT
The GRL Phantom is overjoyed at the prospect of the Dragons getting square with the Broncos in their round 13 clash at WIN Stadium.

However, tactics are assessed like a doctor - with a clinical diagnosis.

The Dragons still owe the Broncos for the 1992-93 grand final defeats. There is an appropriate saying for this clash. You can forgive but never forget.

St George Illawarra Dragons v Brisbane Broncos
Friday 06 June 2008 7:45pm
WIN Stadium
Referee: Ben Cummins
Touch Judges: David Abood, Steve Lyons
Video Referee: Phil Cooley

The Dragons are unlike most teams in the NRL.They play a unique style of football, not a carbon copy and clone-like style which many teams adopt these days.

I have said before and I’ll repeat myself. If you swapped the jerseys of players on many NRL teams, you wouldn't know the difference.

Despite the Broncos being without many origin stars they still have a strong outfit. But the way Saints' plays worries the Broncos nowadays.

In fact, in the past five encounters the Dragons have defeated the Broncos.

The Dragons attack tonight will centre in two areas and this is where they will win the game.

The forwards will work over the ruck area and expose the Broncos poor lateral defence on the edge.

While the Broncos are a more athletic and skilled version in the forwards in 2008, they still lack mobility when consecutive plays are aimed at the first and second defenders either side of the play the ball.

Secondly, arrow-straight dummy-half running exploits their back-pedalling and sliding defence.

Dean Young at hooker is good at engaging the opposition markers and getting the two front rowers powering onto the ball in attack in Jason Ryles and Justin Poore.

The second phase play, generated by quick-play-the-balls allows halves Ben Hornby and Jamie Soward to then play at the line with their ball play and good footwork.

The Dragons work the blindside or shortsides better than any team in the competition and run decoy plays and sweeping, deep passes across the line well.

Ben Creagh has been in outstanding form and will play for Australia in this year's world cup. He's back to the form we saw when he debuted for Australia on the Tri-Nations stage a few years ago.


The 2006 premiers are highly disciplined, professional and always turn up with the right attitude.

No Darren Lockyer, Peter Wallace, Justin Hodges and Karmichael Hunt hurts them big time.

This trio are the hinge of their attack after their power game from the forwards.


The Saints will win by seven,

It will be tough but the combination I have mentioned will wear down the Broncos and big Wendell Sailor will pull an extra 5000 through the gates.

Manly Sea Eagles v roosters
Sunday 08 June 2008 3:00pm
Brookvale Oval
Referee: Shayne Hayne
Touch Judges: Steve Carrall, Paul Holland
Video Referee: Chris Ward

This could have been game of the season had all Origin players been on deck.

Manly has Brett Stewart missing while the Roosters have four out on duty in the form of Nate Myles, Craig Fitzgibbon, Willie Mason and Anthony Tupou.


They too have a unique style of play. In simple terms it's based on a relentless march forward by the forwards, slick passing from halfback Matt Orford and a strong kick-chase game.

Orford is in career best form, because he's playing like Matt Orford should and not worrying about what others think.

The defence of the Sea Eagles is outstanding, their speed off the line rushes opposition playmakers into rash decisions and then dropped balls while bad passes result.

Manly are also effective at pressuring the opposition kickers well with chasers from marker.

Twice this year with Manly down on troops they have produced their best performances against Parramatta and last week against Canberra with 12 men for 50 minutes.

Brent Kite, Anthony Watmough, Steve Menzies and Glenn Stewart are the heart and soul of the team.


They have surprised many by being at the top of the table.

Brad Fittler deserves to be coach of the year if the Roosters make the top four. He has developed a nice balance between attack and defence, has the team working in the one direction.

Their origin players are losses for this game, especially for the battle of Brookvale.

Roosters' halves Mitchell Pearce and Braith Anasta are the perfect fit who are tough, possess a good kicking and passing game and they are improving at running the ball at the line.

Mitchell Aubusson is playing lock this week and he is a fine player who is deceptively quick and good in defence.


Manly by seven in a bruising encounter. - Read More, Here