$1M for Manu is head case money. Would have to play him at fullback to get value. Then what do you do with Walsh?
The Raiders weren’t at full strength. I think the fans and media have realistic expectations. We don’t make ourselves seem worse than we in order to justify the worse than expected results we are producing. When you say things like the Dragons and Titans are “just below us for quality” I really have to wonder what scale you’re using. I think the reason why our fans are more critical compared to the Roosters and Raiders is that they have at least had some degree of success in recent times. They’re both recent grand finalist teams. We haven’t even come close. How do you expect a club with as many fans as Parramatta to be content with the fact that we have 1 finals victory in 6 seasons (not counting 2016 due to the salary cap penalty). What other organisation would stand for such a mediocre record?That says more about punters than it says about us. I made money backing both of them at $4. Ridiculous odds. A major part of the problem is your expectations. I blame the media.
The Raiders at full strength are on par with us, and even with some merkins out should be capable of upsetting us. The Dragons and Titans are both just below us for quality, and again, should both be capable of an upset against a team like ours. Penrith, Souths and Melbourne all have better teams but we should be capable of upsetting them, and we did against Melbourne, and came close against Penrith. Few games are foregone conclusions. Nobody tipped us to belt Canberra or Easts earlier in the year but suddenly we should be expected to beat them again just because it happened last time?
In game 1 they both had four players. Did the Storm become a stronger team after origin 1? Regardless of the fact you stated that the Titans are below us in terms of quality yet they have more origin players. The point still stands. It’s oversimplistic to say team A is better than team B by just counting the number of origin players. Feldt was an origin player this season and I would say he’s been a liability in a lot of games for the Cowboys whereas Isaiah Papali’i can’t play origin yet he’s been one of the best forwards in the game this season.The Storm had six Origin players to the Titans' four.
Depending on who comes in for the missing players this should only affect the team's attack, not their defence. The Raiders barely troubled us in attack. Our problem in that game is that Canberra were playing their grand final and their defensive intensity rattled us. It was a learning experience for our players, unfortunately they learned the wrong lesson and overcompensated against the Chooks. Hopefully they learn from that too. We have some big games coming up.The Raiders weren’t at full strength
Yes they did, because their squad picked up an extra four games worth of Origin experience.Did the Storm become a stronger team after origin 1?
That’s all arbitrary. The Dragons aren’t going to be a better team because Andrew McCullough was picked and dropped for one origin game.Yes they did, because their squad picked up an extra four games worth of Origin experience.
Remember we are looking at two things here: Origin representation as a measure of a squad's quality (obviously players miss out that could've played, but you can say that about players at any club, including the Storm), and Origin appearances as an experience that improves the big match readiness of players.