Rd 3 Big Match Ups -Sunday

23/03/2014

ABC © Savour the moment
ABC © Savour the moment

Round 3 The Big Match Ups – Sunday

Manly versus Parramatta

  • at Brookvale. I can’t remember last time Eels won away from home can you? Advantages Eagles.
  • Manly won at home last Friday week – big opportunity for recovery after torrid opening 2 rounds. Parra competed hard for 40 then outclassed for 40 (loss to Roosters away last Saturday)
  • Manly missing Taufua/Symonds/Brett Stewart;  Eels without Mossop/Loko/Lussick (suspended)
  • Glen Stewart selected but fitness test to decide if he plays. Peats returns from 1 match. ALMOST EVERY other Parra player fortunate to have opportunity in blue and gold jersey again after second half performance.
  • Hiku versus Hayne. The stand in Eagle #1 is way ahead of his illustrious opponent in terms of achievements within this season. I think it’s someone points out to JH that whilst quality footy comes easily to him there is a minimum level of quantity that every player must deliver to be worthy of first grade selection.  If you are at the game check out the work Hiku does off the ball especially in attack to assist his team mates. Compare!
  • Another tough comparison could be the opposing halves. The Manly pair will highlight that quality AND quantity is possible. They do it every week. This is the bench mark for young Parra pair to compete with.
  • #9’s who both work hard! Surely Peats absence last week was not that much of a loss.
  • The power running of little known Eagles front rowers Lawrence, Starling and Lui as well as veteran King will also be a marked contrast to Moimoi, Manna and Allgood.
  • The real power in Parra’s pack comes from youngsters Mau, Edwards, Tanginoa and Terepo.
  • The biggest difference in the teams is the defending on the extreme edges. Lyon and Williams are not the top in D but are like geniuses compared to Tonga and Radradra, who is a blindingly fast in attack but a real novice in D. I am even more worried about the other side where the Hopoate and Toutai combo looks like it needs serious attention. Toutai’s positional play is scary and his tackling is very questionable under pressure and fatigue.

Summary Manly look well set for an opportunity to turn the screw on Parra in front of that parochial peninsula crowd. It will be very interesting to see how the Eels have responded to the disappointment of the loss to Roosters. I liked the way they started that game with no sense of being intimidated. The intent of the team was shown by the “cute” kicks behind the Roosters wingers almost reaped rewards as a shock tactic. The Eels coach is trying to give them alternate ways to be successful rather than bash and barge their way.

Manly by some after a battle early.

 

Raiders versus Titans

  • at GIO  so would think this is some advantage to Raiders
  • Raiders won in Newcastle last Sunday arvo while Titans fell to pieces at home to Wests so both are 1 and 1.
  • Titans played in extreme heat so it will be interesting to see how they recovered. The heat in Canberra at 6.30 will be significant.
  • Canberra  missing Papalii/Learoyd-Lahrs/Fensom (suspended); Titans without Srama
  • Milford v Zillman at #1. Both extremely fast and exciting, these guys can change a match in a flash. Milford seems to find his way into better attacking opportunities more often than Zillman, although I think WZ has improved his footy in recent seasons. Both are scary in D. Neither seem to understand that just like attack there are optimal start positions to be in for all defensive situations too.
  • Love the likelihood of winger match-ups too! Gordon and Mead are electric ball carriers, not big but very good in not losing pace when change of direction is needed. Their direct opponents in Robinson and Lee are equally important in Raiders attack. Robinson is uncanny in support play and a classic finisher. Mead is in for a massive arvo taking on the MASSIVE Lee. High kicks by Campese for Lee will be tough for the much shorter Mead but equally difficult in reverse for Lee Titan’s grubbers down short sides or 2 out on shifts to make the big fella turn against whippet-like Mead is all a great contest in the making.
  • Wighton and Campese, who looks slow and awkward still so far this season versus Sezer and Kelly is also a good one.
  • Douglas/Myles/Harrison/Bailey/White all looks too much the same to me. Experience by the bucket load and loads of work rate but not much in power, collisions, intimidation or speed of movement or skills. Tilse/White/Shillington/Vaughan looks pretty much the same.
  • The biggest difference comes around Titans second rowers Bird and Taylor and centre returning to NRL for first time this season Takairangi all with power and skills with the footy and footwork

Summary: If Titans are recovered and ready to make amends for last week those power and skill players on their edges could be the difference.

With no great confidence -Titans