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Coaching The Coaches - Australian Rugby league News
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globalrugbyleague - Fri, 02 May 2008 11:56:00 GMT
The GRL Phantom has picked out the two games that he believes will bring back the crowds and with it the long rest room queues this weekend.

panthers v eels
Saturday May 3rd, 7:30pm
CUA Stadium
Referee: Ben Cummins:
Head To Head: Played 76, Eels 48, Panthers 27, drawn 1

The Phantom believes the Eels and Panthers clash could very well be the game of the season in round 8 of the NRL.
Traditionally, they have tough, tight encounters and the local derbies are always hard fought.
This one shall be no different.
The Eels have been inconsistent and playing below par this season.
I think the Eels need Brett Finch, who is Country halfback on Friday, to be at his best this season for the Eels to be a genuine title chance.
I tipped the Eels to win this year's premiership based on their top four effort last year and assessing their team on paper they still have the talent to go places.
They are a well balanced side with genuine strike power and skill but laziness and players expecting things to happen rather than making them happen has been their problem.
Finch at first receiver is where the Eels will get the best from the durable number seven.
From first receiver he can dictate when to run, when to pass and where to kick and can marshall his troops.
Mateo is a genuine talent and modern day rarity - a player with a back rower's body who can ball play and also has the footwork and speed of a back.
This combination must be persevered with by coach Michael Hagan.
Jarryd Hayne has shown glimpses of talent but needs to get more involved and play more in centre field to be of best value for the Eels.
Playing at left centre Hayne has been caught in defensive traffic. When he roamed around against Manly the Eels were more threatening.
Fullback is his best spot and while Krisnan Inu recovers from injury he has to occupy left centre.
Don't be surprised to see Hayne and fullback Luke Burt interchange in attack in the game against Penrith to exploit their big men late in each half who get tired and don't move so well laterally.
Penrith coach Matt Elliott is slowly but surely getting his team to play how he wants.
The Panthers are now running more fluent criss-cross plays, angles and decoys better than last year.
Their strike power is outstanding and they are my dark horse tip in the competition to make the finals and be a bolter's chance at the title.
Michael Jennings and Brad Tighe in the centres are lightning quick while Jarrod Sammut is learning the role of halfback and is worth persevering with as first receiver.
I give full credit to Petero Civoniceva who left the Broncos and has played flat strap for his new club.
Verdict:
Penrith at home through their outside backs and the home crowd to get them home, but the Eels will show big improvement then be on track for the long year ahead.
rabbitohs v cowboys
Sunday May 4th, 3:00pm
ANZ Stadium
Referee: Shayne Hayne
Head To Head: Played 16, Cowboys 8, Rabbitohs 7, drawn 1

The other week in a coaching the coaches preview I mentioned that Souths were improving but also fall down in many other basic areas.
Coach Jason Taylor has to hold his nerve and stick with a few key players in positions.
The Rabbitoh's can't make the finals and are clearly the inferior team of the competition this year.
The reduction in the interchange rule has hurt this side the most as I mentioned recently on Global Rugby League.com
The Cowboys have played well this past month with three wins and a two-point loss to the Storm last weekend in Townsville.
Defensive awareness, attitude and the fact key players have had more footy time is the reason for the turnaround.
Jonathan Thurston and Matt Bowen are the game's two most lethal attacking duo. They play the game with a ''sixth sense.''
Thurston is unique as he is two players rolled into one - a half and five-eighth together.
This allows coach Graham Murray to continue to use Justin Smith as solid, steady five-eighth, as Thurston does the running and kicking for the team as well as Bowen.
Steve Southern and Ben Harris have added started working well in tandem in the back row and Aaron Payne is in career best form.
This boy is one of my favourite players - a natural footballer with all the skills and all the time in the world to do things.
Verdict:
Cowboys by plenty. They are too fast and skilful. Souths tried hard against the Broncos last week, but crucial errors at the wrong time cost them dearly.
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