Discussion in 'St George Illawarra Dragons' started by itsme, Jun 11, 2018.
Spot on , and it will continue until they crumble .....
McGregor's continual ignoring of our ISP players ( it just happened to be Host this week but it's been Sele, Lawrie, Lomax in the past) has two negative effects. The first, and more serious, is that the player loses confidence and when they finally do get on the pitch (when there is an injury crisis) and they have to play extended minutes, they are tentative, lack combination with the NRL team and don't perform well. The second, and I fear this will happen with Sele in particular, is that they will start looking for a club that does encourage juniors.
Whatever you think of Flanagan as a coach at the Sharks, he has brought on ex NYC players Brailey, Ramien and others to being 1st team regulars. It didn't work out with Bird but we've seen how he's been a problem at the Broncos as well and that it probably wasn't Flanagan's fault. Sele could be the next one we lose to the Sharks who are desperate to replace an ageing list.
This is my biggest gripe with McGregor is how he uses the bench. I can't understand why and how he can't give Host/Lawrie/Sele etc a run in the first half. He won't put them on when the game is close and it just wastes a sub. Yesterday would've been an easy option to put Host on the 1st half. We were on top for the whole half, there was nothing to loose, especially seeing as though we had players backing up from Origin.
It's stifling the progression of our youngsters. People always talk about being ready for FG but if McGregor won't give them a chance, we will loose them to other clubs.
I know we are coming 1st but why waste a sub? may as well play a man short every week, which is what we do unless we are ahead by 20 points.
There is not to much to gain and a lot to lose and can't see him changing it for the next two matches until he's forced to change against MEL.
It's a risk to gamble that the players can get through and keep on winning as they will need a rest at some point. Hopefully, there will be room on the table in the latter rounds.
I am hoping this changes once Saints get to 30 pts and guarantee themselves in the finals. Somehow I feel that may be the plan.
We could almost write the Melbourne game off.. why not throw those boys out then with our origin players out. The best thing we can do before that is get 2 more wins.. which will come from the main men playing majority minutes.
Why in the hell couldn't he bring Host on early say the last 15 or 20 in the first half and thats it , even p,lay him as a front row interchange , at least it gives him some game time.
As said by so many - the team played well enough to come away the 2 points ( I won't mention the ref and that idiotic decision to penalise McInnes ! ! ) however one must wonder just how long the players can sustain the effort without using the bench to its maximum benefit .
I really don't understand Mary's reluctance throw fresh reserves onto the field but also using players out of position - such as he did yesterday with Nighty , a winger for pity sake taking the place of none other than James Graham ? Now that has me stumped , more so when considering that there's a chap by the name of Jacob Host whom is a tried and tested player in that position .
That is what worries me no end - will he do similar in the end of season matches and just how much match experience will the reserve players have ?
I posted something very similar to this on the Dragons Facebook page under the post featuring the press conference. I even used the inverted commas for journalists! I also asked if someone might organise for a roving mic so we had some hope of hearing the question (another pet peeve of mine). Surprisingly my post wasn't deleted. My brother thinks McGregor "kids himself that not using all the reserves makes him appear really strategic". I replied "I think it's cute you think he knows what strategic means"...
There has been a lack of trus
There's been a lack of faith when it comes to the young brigade.,only player to get a chance is Duffy and that was because Mcgregor was forced too.Sack McGregor if we are going to win a comp
Midway through this year & we’re questioning something that was a hot topic about the same time last year. As far as I’m concerned it’s very poor that a key reason for our 2017 fade (burnout/fatigue/players underdone)still hasn’t been addressed. It’s all well & good to say we are still winning but it’s hard not to be worried when last year is still very fresh.
I’ll give credit to Mary for our current position but, f*ck me, he’s doing it the hard way.
For the love of God, please, I actually beg you, please don't use 'Frank Facer' as your handle.
I'm not sure this is an issue. Reality is this year we have had no injuries and touch wood I can't even remember us having a player off for a HIA.
With the current interchange and HIA rules most clubs have a utility or spare on the bench for injury. This year we have been extremely fortunate, but this will not always be the case.
As for some of the arguments around giving youngsters a go, this is the NRL not park footy. Play your best and if you're not in the best work hard and force your way into the best. I'm sure we'll get injuries or have to use interchange players for HIA's at some stage, but for crying out loud be happy we've had no injuries. Most other clubs would love to be in 1st place with zero injuries.
Because McGregor is petrified of taking a risk especially as the team slides (performance wise)
Proving the knockers wrong is more important than using the bench properly and giving his star players a breather.
He is flogging the best players so he can prolong the table position (and the charade that the team is well coached) as long as possible.
I'm sorry, but the performance yesterday was tepid to say the leas. 3 tries all and totally outplayed in the 2nd half.
We were very lucky to get away with the 2 points.
Just imagine this kind of bench management in the semis?
Canterbury were always going to be gritty but geez we made hard work of it.
Better use of the bench may have given us just the boost we needed to win running away.
Instead we nearly lost.
But Dennis we could also have lost that game with Host on the field and then Mary gets the blame anyway. Like I have said previously, the blind hatred of Mary on this forum clouds all other sensible analysis of the game. It’s easy to throw out there that Mary is a halfwit because there is a player left on the bench. But unless you actually look at the numbers and have a closer look at the interchange process, accusations mean nothing. And besides, the reason it was so close was because of ill discipline and stupid errors – primarily from the outside backs. Not because there was a player left on the bench.
Here’s the interchange scenario for the Bulldogs game:
LAM and Lats replace Vaughn and Graham @ around 20 minutes.
Vaughn comes on for JDB @ 33 and then vice versa @ 49.
Graham replaces Lats @ 52.
Vaughn replaces Leeson @ 69
Nighty on for Graham @ 72
Graham for Vaughn @ 78.
So that’s all interchanges used. That equates to:
Graham – 42 minutes
LAM – 49 minutes
Lats – 32 minutes
Vaughn – 47 minutes
JDB – 64 minutes
Nighty – 8 minutes
Not excessive minutes for the positions by any stretch of the imagination. Nothing to indicate they should be fatigued – in fact Vaughn was still chasing down a winger at the end of the game and he was one of the forwards doing longer minutes. Also, most of the first half of our sets have the outside backs taking hit ups – in fact Nene takes more hitups than anyone else in the team – should we be calling for Nene to be rested during the game? In previous posts Damo has already shown through numbers that our forwards are not even close to topping game time compared to other teams. So for me, excess fatigue, is not an excuse for using players off the bench.
My guess regarding the strategy for the Bulldogs game was:
Host was put on the bench to cover injury/fatigue for Frizz (and to a lesser extent Sims and possibly other forwards). This would only have happened towards the end of the game based on how the game was panning out (or in the event Frizz got injured). As it turns out, the extra interchange was taken by Graham towards the end of the game – either through fatigue to Vaughn or (more likely in my opinion) to bring some leadership to the field in the last couple of minutes. Additionally the game was so close that, at least to me, it makes sense to have your best players on the field for as long as you can to help shut it out.
JDB is a great defender in the middle and, like it or loath it, a key to our attacking moves. So again, it makes sense to have him out on the field for as long as possible (depending on the game plan). Replacing him at key times of the game makes little sense. The interchange cycle above says to me that our main pushes in attack are in the first 20 and the last 20-30. Blow them off the park early and then clean them up at the end. The middle period is a “hold firm and defend” period with some solid go forward. Any points during this time are a bonus. Yesterday’s tries support this – all of Bulldogs tries were scored during the middle period of the game (when JDB was off the field). And if you remember teams like the Warriors and Penrith, their line speed increased during our attacking periods – effectively shutting down any space we had to attack. Penrith in particular had incredible line speed in the last 20 minutes of the game.
The utility is there, I believe, to cover injury to the outside backs. However Mary has been using them in the middle as of recently – and mostly towards the end of the game where they may be able to get around some tired forwards or at the very least get some penalties going our way to swing momentum. Understandable - but perhaps there are other options here. I think a utility is good, but could be used differently.
So based on this, the only alternative is to put another Prop on the bench. I don’t see players like Host or Luciano being able to secure a bench spot at all as they are really back row players – and we have those positions covered by 80 minute players. Sele, I believe, is a Lock or edge back rower however may be able to slot into a front row spot for short intervals. So he may be a candidate in some situations. Lawrie to me is really the only option we have for a long term bench spot – and I am just not sure he is ready for it full time. As many have said, it takes a few years for players to hit their peak in the front row position – mid to late 20s. Lawrie has a way to go.
Had we had a better lead, potentially Host would have got a run when Vaughn replaced Leeson @ the 69th minute. However the scores were so close I’m guessing Mary thought it was better to have a bigger body on the field to counter their forwards.
This is only my assessment of the game yesterday and granted doesn’t account for the 13 previous games played. Having said that, I am OK with the bench usage yesterday. Not ideal but to me it fits with how the game progressed and my guess at the what the game plan was.
In your opinion, based on the bench rotation yesterday and the timeline, what would have been a better alternative?
Sorry about the wall of text...
Well put TB,
Interesting read,although i still think his use of the bench could be better at times.
But I don’t think anyone’s problem is any particular game.
I’m sure Luciano’s performance in almost costing us the Souths game has made Mary a little gun shy with replacements.
The problem we all have is when the inevitable injury/fatigue factors do kick in at some stage this season, your going to have to throw young guys into the action completely unprepared.
They have had virtually no game time in first grade.
That’s going to be the problem.
The Bulldogs game? Why throw Graham back out there for the last two minutes?
Why replace Graham with Nightingale when you have a young fresh forward crying out for some first grade game time?
I have no doubt you are right. Like I said, it's only based on the one game so I can't say for every other game and I just don't have the time to analyse every one! I don't doubt I'd find some serious issues with some of them. And I'm only basing it on what I see. There will be aspects of games that I miss as well that impact why things are done (or not done in some cases).
I agree some of the decisions are pretty mystifying. Not using Host on Monday being a standout.
But I’m not sold on the theory that What’s happening now is bad practice. Gonna re post the below - for simplicity sake I just looked at second rowers, but a glance at locks and props shows a similar story.
Heres the last few Comp winners and how they used their second rowers over the regular season
Kaufusi played 24 at 77mins ave
Harris played 11 at 68 mins ( due to injuries, not resting, the two seasons prior he played 24 each at 78 mins ave)
Graham played 23 at 79 mins
Lewis played 23 at 66 mins (33 yr old with 15 seasons worth of wear)
Cooper played 23 games at 80 mins
Lowe played 24 games at 79 minutes.
From memory I think graham, cooper and maybe Lewis played some Origin too on those years. So this shows that where possible the winning teams did nearly zero rotation of their second rowers with the lower grades. I’d bet those that played 23 were either injured or had 1 game rested around or after Origin.
Separate names with a comma.