NRL 2 years ago

School's Out; What Did We Learn? - Rd 22

  • School's Out; What Did We Learn? - Rd 22

1: Will Smith is just not up to it. He's looked completely out of his depth for the past few rounds but his obliviousness to Reece Robinson's dart from dummy-half until it was too late was the icing on a terrible cake for Smith. He was a machine in NSW Cup, perhaps that is where he should remain.

Keiran Moss has long been heralded a future star but he's slight frame means he'd probably be of little use at the back just yet - should he be given a chance before Moylan returns?


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2: Brown and Yeo in the centres is cruelling any chance for wingers. Both solid players in their own right, they just aren't centres and despite the shortage of outside backs there has to be a better option! Even Blake in the centres is more effective than these two. They're second rowers who're just going to run the ball 9 times out of 10. I firmly believe this is part of why Waqa Blake has struggled so much. Put him outside someone like Dean Whare and he'll come along in leaps in bounds! 

Imagine, for a moment, Jamal Idris and Waqa Blake on the same fringe. Ahh, the offloads, the tackle breaks. That would be a sight to behold ..until they had to make a tackle.

3: We may finally be able to settle on a starting front row pair. McKendry and Campbell-Gillard were gallant in defeat. While the general consensus is that Penrith phoned it in after the first 20mins these two certainly didn't. They were the two biggest metre-eaters for the Panthers on Saturday night and they never took a backwards step.

Sam McKendry is back! He's making fast play-the-balls his trademark and that was a huge part of the Panthers territorial dominance in the opening quarter.


4: Matt Moylan is not going to instantly fix things. Sure, he's a great player and he'll make a difference when he returns - despite it now being too late to salvage anything for the season - but Penrith's issues are deeper than just one position. For two years now there's been an inherent struggle to capitalise on huge advantages in possession and territory and that needs to be addressed at a coaching level rather than a playing level.

We don't want to become a one-man team like other clubs have been labelled in recent y ears (see: Warriors) and constant talk of Moylan is only supporting that argument among rival supporters.


5: Too many cooks spoil the broth. Peachey, John, Soward, Smith, Cartwright, Segeyaro. They all want to be creating a magical play every time they touch the ball and it's never going to happen if they're not focusing on the fundamentals. Cartwright was less of a liability this week but part of the reason we're conceding so many errors is that players feel they constantly need to push the pass and win the match with every play.

Tuck the ball under your arm and take the hard run, sometimes that what is needed. Peachey and Cartwright need to run forwards sometimes instead of sideways. Their lateral tendencies essentially mean we play with two less forward while they're both on the field.

Have your say: What is the one lesson you think the players, and the fans, should take from the demoralising loss to the Eels at TIO Stadium?

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