I think it doesn't really matter at the moment who lines up in the outside backs. Only Best is nailed on. The others all offer something and they won't win or cost us a game.
On the other hand, we need to figure out our halves problem. That's priority number 1. We then need to figure out the depth problem in the forwards. Starting pack looks fericous but then it drops right off.
If Mann really does leave, I guess Watson, Crossland and Hoy will share the 14. That's fine but the earlier we get Watson/Mann sorted the better also.
The sad part is that we haven't seen anywhere near the best of Best this season because 95% of the time he has been used as an extra forward battering ram...and not as a Centre.
That comes down to a few things that have compounded our problems this year:
- a game plan that didn't have any focus on attack 95 % of the time - 5 forward hit ups and a midfield end over end bomb
- no stable halves combinations/spine to develop any sort of back line cohesion or fluency in an ad lib style of attack
- when we did use the ball, a very flat attacking structure that saw way too many plays get pulled up for a forward pass to the wing/outside centre as the last pass
- Poor service by the halves when we looked to run a backs play - Mann in particular died with the ball way too often down short side plays by not being a confident passer or poor timing when he had the opportunity to put Best, Shiba, Tuala, Toa, Lee, into holes
- Running the 'other' one dimensional back line play that did work (because every defensive coach in the comp planned for) was ...wait for for Pearce to pass to Fitzgibbon running a predictable line and tackle him
From there our line speed and intensity dropped , we started giving away cheap 6 again sets and the cycle continued.
When you have weapons like Best, Ponga, etc. and you don't find ways to use them effectively then you are not going to be anywhere near a competitive NRL team