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Coaching the Coaches - Australian Rugby league News
globalrugbyleague - Fri, 16 May 2008 10:30:00 GMT
The GRL Phantom has been released from self-imposed exile inside a padded cell for Dragons supporters to write this week’s edition of coaching the coaches.
eels v roosters
Parramatta Stadium, 7:45pm
Referee: Shayne Hayne
Friday footy comes to Parramatta Stadium when the Eels look to pluck the Roosters on their way to a rare third straight win.
The visitors are strong, tough, are very much a forward-oriented side backed up by two good halves in Mitchell Pearce and Braith Anasta.
The Roosters have Willie Mason, Anthony Tupuo, and Craig Fitzgibbon on State of Origin duty for NSW and Nate Myles for the Queenslanders.
Their performance against a woeful Canberra outfit last week was first class. It demonstrated the power of the team and the slick work of the halves while the Roosters' defence when on song is one of the best in the NRL.
When the Dragons toppled the Roosters on Anzac Day their ''line slide'' defence was poor with more holes than swiss cheese.
Roosters coach Brad Fittler worked hard with the bye at his disposal to get the Roosters to stand more ``shoulder to shoulder'' in defence and eliminate the inside ball option which saved his big forwards moving side to side (or laterally) too much in the game so as to conserve energy.
The Roosters play a simple game plan involving their halves in Pearce and Anasta and outside backs like Amos Roberts and Sam Perrett.
This year the Roosters have scored 15 tries from kicks. Their aerial bombardment of teams and grubber kicks have been lethal.
In all matches the Roosters and Eels have clashed 117 times with the ledger standing 54 to Parramatta and 54 to the Roosters.
At Parramatta Stadium the Eels hold a 9-8 lead.
The Eels have Brett Finch and Feleti Mateo, slowly but surely finding their form both as a combination and individually.
They scraped home by a point over the Dragons but having said that Jarryd Hayne who is out as he's in the NSW team, saved a certain try with a rib-jarring tackle in the corner while Joel Reddy saved two with his last ditch tackles denying the Dragons victory.
I like the Eels at home and expect a big game from Wigan-bound Mark Riddell.
Riddell will play like a man possessed for the final season in the NRL before heading to England as this is his final chance to win a grand final in Australia.
Eels by seven, but this will be a cracker.
Canberra Raiders v rabbitohs
Canberra Stadium, 7:00 PM
Referee: Gavin Badger
Monday night footy features the Raiders and the rejuvenated Rabbitoh's.
A strong win over North Queensland and a bye will have Souths well placed for another victory.
Canberra away from home are a different team. They did beat the Panthers at Penrith this season but last week against the Roosters they were inept.
Strangely enough, the Raiders have a team blessed with natural footballers, with good speed, skill and play to their patterns but with players like Todd Carney (who should be on the NSW interchange bench), also play off the top of their heads.
A few weeks ago I bagged Souths and they deserved it.
One thing they did well against the Cowboys was move the ball and get runners steaming to space not crashing into defenders.
Issac Luke and John Sutton are their two best footballers.
John Sutton will play for NSW next year at lock. He's all class and don't be surprised if gets into the Australian squad for the World Cup this yea. He can play and can can pass the ball, make a break, actually turn his body and head in the same direction at the same time and deliver a ball to a support player to run into a gap.
Ball-playing back rowers are as rare as hen’s teeth these days.
I am selecting the Rabbitoh's.
Not by much, but Jason Taylor also learned a vital lesson against the Cowboys.
He didn't weigh down his players with more instructions than what a NASA space astronaut gets from Mission Control.
One of the biggest problems for Souths was the fact they were so intent on playing to the game plan and overrunning from dummy-half, their skill players like Sutton and Dean Widders forgot to play some ''add-lib'' footy.
Souths by 4 in a high scoring encounter. - Read More, Here