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Finite
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Rugby League strategy only

Post by Finite » April 9, 2019, 6:29 pm

Apologies if there is already a thread for this. Feel free to merge or move if this is the wrong place.

As I'm sure a lot of fan are, I'm so uninterested in the NRL reality circus that is all over the game. I know it will never stop but I think there are a lot of fans crying out for just genuine Rugby League talk. I think if there were more resources like this more fans would develop a deeper love for the game. I thought we could have a thread to talk tactics and strategies without all the politics and hullabaloo.

I will start us off with this clip:

https://streamable.com/6kcsv

Playmaker Principles and Structures with Matty Johns

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Re: Rugby League strategy only

Post by gergreg » April 9, 2019, 7:03 pm

Interesting clip and for me just emphasises the importance of dominating the ruck. Melbourne are so successful because they are the best wrestlers in the comp which pretty much allows their defensive line to reset every tackle and there is never a weak spot in the line and not as much need to compress. Like the Bulldogs showed and us to a lesser extent you need second phase play to beat them. But where we failed in that second half was too much passing from one side to the other. Melbourne will just shuffle back and forth across the field because they don't have a player like Williams jumping out of the line creating the weak spot. We got the second phase play but then just shifted the ball to the other edge by which stage the defence had regrouped.

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Re: Rugby League strategy only

Post by RTW » April 10, 2019, 1:41 pm

For mine the clip from Johns clearly indicates why we have been able to score so many points with halves who have limited ability to ball play.

Our back 5 start our sets so well and bend the line/tackle break/poke their noses through ( how ever you want to put it) that we simply need to follow it up with another powerful run and quick play the ball before shifting to the edges and allowing natural talent to do the rest.


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Re: Rugby League strategy only

Post by Northern Raider » April 10, 2019, 3:24 pm

RTW wrote:
April 10, 2019, 1:41 pm
For mine the clip from Johns clearly indicates why we have been able to score so many points with halves who have limited ability to ball play.

Our back 5 start our sets so well and bend the line/tackle break/poke their noses through ( how ever you want to put it) that we simply need to follow it up with another powerful run and quick play the ball before shifting to the edges and allowing natural talent to do the rest.


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That was very much the case in 2016. We had 2 centres in BJ and Croker that caused serious problems for defenses when given early ball against a back peddling defense. We've since gone away from that philosphy a bit and were not as effective. Mainly because we didn't set the foundation up the middle (foot in the door) before heading that way.

What John's decribed in the early part of the video about principles vs structure demonstrated what sets the best playmakers apart from the rest. Know the goal but being able to adapt to what's occurring at the time is key. Players like Cronk, Thurston, Maloney, Smith are the best at this recently. Go back further and its Johns, Lockyer, Lewis, Sterling etc. They take a set of principles which are coached into the team and apply the appropriate one at the appropriate time. This is instead of sticking to a pre-determined structure for a full set.

Cronk in the 2018 GF was a great example. Could hardly catch or pass yet he still orchestrated the game from the field. A player like Sezer is very structured and follows the plan. He simply doesn't have the insticts of those top level playmakers to run the attack as it comes. You then have somebody in the mid level like Mitchell Pearce. He works exceptionally hard at palying whats in front of him. He's just not as good as it as the Cronk's, Thurstons.

While they can all play in that fashion its the best ones that make the right choices more often. Cronk will make the right call 7-8 times out of 10. Pearce is a 5-6 out of 10. Sezer more like 3-4 of 10. Its like tier 1, tier 2 and tier 3 halves. If its purely stuctured play then there is almost no difference between a tier 1 and a tier 3 The reality is that the tier 1 players are exceptionally rare while tier 3 are much more common.
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Re: Rugby League strategy only

Post by gergreg » April 10, 2019, 5:03 pm

And this is also what sets apart the top coaches. You rarely see (comparatively) Bellamy, Robinson and Bennett coached sides repeatedly making basic/poor decisions. It's clear that these guys run their video sessions better than the rest. Probably spend heaps of time picking out quite insignificant (to some) plays or moments and explaining different scenarios around that play to greatly improve their squads football intelligence.

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Re: Rugby League strategy only

Post by Northern Raider » April 10, 2019, 5:57 pm

Very true. Bennett been around along time but has shown to be very adaptable. Think of the Broncos style in their premiership wins.compared to the Dragons.

On the flip side I remember watching live the Broncos under Griffin.
Well structured and disciplined which made them a tough side to score against. However when they had the ball you could almost see what was coming one or two passes ahead. Now if a casual spectator in the stand can see it then you can be certain any half decent drilled NRL defense will see it too.
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Re: Rugby League strategy only

Post by Finite » April 10, 2019, 6:36 pm

Northern Raider wrote:
April 10, 2019, 3:24 pm
RTW wrote:
April 10, 2019, 1:41 pm
For mine the clip from Johns clearly indicates why we have been able to score so many points with halves who have limited ability to ball play.

Our back 5 start our sets so well and bend the line/tackle break/poke their noses through ( how ever you want to put it) that we simply need to follow it up with another powerful run and quick play the ball before shifting to the edges and allowing natural talent to do the rest.


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What John's decribed in the early part of the video about principles vs structure demonstrated what sets the best playmakers apart from the rest. Know the goal but being able to adapt to what's occurring at the time is key. Players like Cronk, Thurston, Maloney, Smith are the best at this recently. Go back further and its Johns, Lockyer, Lewis, Sterling etc. They take a set of principles which are coached into the team and apply the appropriate one at the appropriate time. This is instead of sticking to a pre-determined structure for a full set.
Agreed. Some people describe it as "good vision". Thurston was one of the best at this I think. He had a really good eye for spotting an out of balance defensive line. If you watch games with Thurston, and other great halves to be fair. They are always furiously scanning both sides of the defensive line looking for defects. Its not until the dummy half is handling the ball that they even settle to receive the pass.

Its easy to spot gaps when you are from the stands or on TV. Often with Raiders halves like we have had the past decade they don't spot these opportunities enough. We do create compressed defence as a result of a strong run from our backs or forwards who brake the line or have a good offload. Its the vision in the next phase where we let ourselves down a bit. At this point you would expect an attack on that hole or better yet, at that point a half would attack the inside defender of the largest hole, run it inside to draw even more defenders in and open the gap wider for an attack on the 3rd play. Often times this not only creates a larger hole in the defence but creates a large overlap because the defenders on the outside of that gap stay up assuming they are going to target the hole created in the initial play. You create huge overlaps or attacking opportunities in the case of an offload. At the very least a penalty opportunity where the runner gets a quick play the ball and the dummy runs forward at the 3rd man in.

The best defensive sides don't fall for this as much and have really flat defensive lines. This comes with being able to trust your inside defender as well which is where a player who is known to have poor defence can hurt a side a lot. More players slide to make the tackle or cover because their default reaction is the tackle is going to be missed.

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Re: Rugby League strategy only

Post by Finite » April 10, 2019, 7:00 pm



Cronk on Morgan

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Re: Rugby League strategy only

Post by edwahu » April 11, 2019, 9:22 am

I think there isn't much to discuss when it comes to attacking strategy these days, it's been a long time since innovation in that area won a comp. Since 2005 the less innovation the better.

The part I wish was discussed somewhere was defensive strategies and tactics around rule interpretations and managing a teams workload in game. That's where most of the work is getting done which differentiates the good and bad teams.

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Re: Rugby League strategy only

Post by Northern Raider » April 11, 2019, 2:18 pm

Hmmmm, discussion around rule interpretation and tactics to leverage off them should probably happen in the Melbourne Storm thread.
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Re: Rugby League strategy only

Post by edwahu » April 11, 2019, 3:57 pm

I think that's the problem, as soon as they are discussed they get conflated with cheating.

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Re: Rugby League strategy only

Post by Northern Raider » April 11, 2019, 6:17 pm

It's more testing the boundaries than it is cheating.

There is one rule I'm surprised isn't exploited more. Think it was last weekend Fergo was covering a kick for touch. Looked like it was going to stay in field and Fergo was at risk of being taken into touch if he died on it. Best case he would be pinned in their own corner on tackle 1. Heads up play from Fergo, he put his foot into touch and then played at the ball. Result was ball in touch from the kick, scrum to Eels 10m and 15m in.

Fergo showed excellent footy smarts to do that. We really should see players do it more often.
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Re: Rugby League strategy only

Post by reptar » April 12, 2019, 5:49 am

Northern Raider wrote:It's more testing the boundaries than it is cheating.

There is one rule I'm surprised isn't exploited more. Think it was last weekend Fergo was covering a kick for touch. Looked like it was going to stay in field and Fergo was at risk of being taken into touch if he died on it. Best case he would be pinned in their own corner on tackle 1. Heads up play from Fergo, he put his foot into touch and then played at the ball. Result was ball in touch from the kick, scrum to Eels 10m and 15m in.

Fergo showed excellent footy smarts to do that. We really should see players do it more often.
I really don't know why they don't do that more often.
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Re: Rugby League strategy only

Post by gangrenous » April 12, 2019, 8:20 am

I think it’s just knowing the rule. It’s been done so infrequently people forget it. I’d expect to see it a lot more with the coverage Fergo got.

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Re: Rugby League strategy only

Post by Northern Raider » April 12, 2019, 10:18 am

gangrenous wrote:
April 12, 2019, 8:20 am
I think it’s just knowing the rule. It’s been done so infrequently people forget it. I’d expect to see it a lot more with the coverage Fergo got.
There's actually a lot of inconsistency around the rules about ball going out of play. I recall a Broncos v Panthers game a few years ago. Grubber kick into the in goal bounced dead. Moylan caught the ball about 4m over the dead ball line and headed for the 20m to tap it. Ref said "no" and goal line drop out. Rule was because the ball hadn't actually hit the ground it was deemed that Moylan took it dead. Now that interpretation is totally opposite of what Fergo did. Different rules for different lines?? No wonder players aren't sure what to do.
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Re: Rugby League strategy only

Post by BJ » April 12, 2019, 10:20 am

Northern Raider wrote:
gangrenous wrote:
April 12, 2019, 8:20 am
I think it’s just knowing the rule. It’s been done so infrequently people forget it. I’d expect to see it a lot more with the coverage Fergo got.
There's actually a lot of inconsistency around the rules about ball going out of play. I recall a Broncos v Panthers game a few years ago. Grubber kick into the in goal bounced dead. Moylan caught the ball about 4m over the dead ball line and headed for the 20m to tap it. Ref said "no" and goal line drop out. Rule was because the ball hadn't actually hit the ground it was deemed that Moylan took it dead. Now that interpretation is totally opposite of what Fergo did. Different rules for different lines?? No wonder players aren't sure what to do.
Referees also haven’t applied that dead ball rule consistently.

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Re: Rugby League strategy only

Post by The Rickman » April 12, 2019, 10:20 am

Northern Raider wrote:
April 12, 2019, 10:18 am
gangrenous wrote:
April 12, 2019, 8:20 am
I think it’s just knowing the rule. It’s been done so infrequently people forget it. I’d expect to see it a lot more with the coverage Fergo got.
There's actually a lot of inconsistency around the rules about ball going out of play. I recall a Broncos v Panthers game a few years ago. Grubber kick into the in goal bounced dead. Moylan caught the ball about 4m over the dead ball line and headed for the 20m to tap it. Ref said "no" and goal line drop out. Rule was because the ball hadn't actually hit the ground it was deemed that Moylan took it dead. Now that interpretation is totally opposite of what Fergo did. Different rules for different lines?? No wonder players aren't sure what to do.
They changed that rule after everybody started doing that ridiculous thing where you straddle the deadball line and drag it dead.
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Re: Rugby League strategy only

Post by Sid » April 12, 2019, 10:40 am

The Rickman wrote:
April 12, 2019, 10:20 am
Northern Raider wrote:
April 12, 2019, 10:18 am
gangrenous wrote:
April 12, 2019, 8:20 am
I think it’s just knowing the rule. It’s been done so infrequently people forget it. I’d expect to see it a lot more with the coverage Fergo got.
There's actually a lot of inconsistency around the rules about ball going out of play. I recall a Broncos v Panthers game a few years ago. Grubber kick into the in goal bounced dead. Moylan caught the ball about 4m over the dead ball line and headed for the 20m to tap it. Ref said "no" and goal line drop out. Rule was because the ball hadn't actually hit the ground it was deemed that Moylan took it dead. Now that interpretation is totally opposite of what Fergo did. Different rules for different lines?? No wonder players aren't sure what to do.
They changed that rule after everybody started doing that ridiculous thing where you straddle the deadball line and drag it dead.
If a ball is caught on the full, either on a sideline or a dead ball line, and the player has one foot in play and the other foot out, to me it makes sense for it to be in the favour of the player catching the ball. Just seems silly when that same rule is applied for when a player does purposefully straddle a dead ball line or a sideline and drag a bouncing ball dead.
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Re: Rugby League strategy only

Post by The Rickman » April 12, 2019, 10:54 am

There's a bunch of silly rules the NRL brought in. Like the 7-tackle rule when the ball was being deliberately kicked dead. There was absolutely no reason to also apply that rule to a bomb that's caught on the full in the in-goal!
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Re: Rugby League strategy only

Post by Sid » April 12, 2019, 11:05 am

I guess they were trying to reduce the amount of times teams were putting the high ball up on the last in goal, because it also seems a bit silly last night when Robert Jennings and Jack Bird knock the ball on from a pass over the goal line and that's also a 7-tackle restart from the 20m line
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Re: Rugby League strategy only

Post by Northern Raider » April 12, 2019, 11:14 am

Sid wrote:
April 12, 2019, 10:40 am
The Rickman wrote:
April 12, 2019, 10:20 am
Northern Raider wrote:
April 12, 2019, 10:18 am
gangrenous wrote:
April 12, 2019, 8:20 am
I think it’s just knowing the rule. It’s been done so infrequently people forget it. I’d expect to see it a lot more with the coverage Fergo got.
There's actually a lot of inconsistency around the rules about ball going out of play. I recall a Broncos v Panthers game a few years ago. Grubber kick into the in goal bounced dead. Moylan caught the ball about 4m over the dead ball line and headed for the 20m to tap it. Ref said "no" and goal line drop out. Rule was because the ball hadn't actually hit the ground it was deemed that Moylan took it dead. Now that interpretation is totally opposite of what Fergo did. Different rules for different lines?? No wonder players aren't sure what to do.
They changed that rule after everybody started doing that ridiculous thing where you straddle the deadball line and drag it dead.
If a ball is caught on the full, either on a sideline or a dead ball line, and the player has one foot in play and the other foot out, to me it makes sense for it to be in the favour of the player catching the ball. Just seems silly when that same rule is applied for when a player does purposefully straddle a dead ball line or a sideline and drag a bouncing ball dead.
Thats the thing. Its different rules for different lines. Touchline you put your foot out and touch the ball (as per Fergo last week) its deemed out from the kick. With a kick in goal a player puts the foot out and touches the ball its deemed out by the player touching it.
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Re: Rugby League strategy only

Post by RTW » April 16, 2019, 3:24 pm

Interested to read peoples thoughts on how we played the Eels and if this would work against the Broncos/if not how would you alter the game plan?


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Re: Rugby League strategy only

Post by The Rickman » April 16, 2019, 3:27 pm

RTW wrote:
April 16, 2019, 3:24 pm
Interested to read peoples thoughts on how we played the Eels and if this would work against the Broncos/if not how would you alter the game plan?


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That gameplan would work well against almost any team in the comp. Just need to execute our attack in the 20 better against the better teams.
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Re: Rugby League strategy only

Post by gergreg » April 16, 2019, 3:44 pm

I don't know that it was completely down to the tactics we used - of getting in behind the ruck. It certainly did work but more crucially we completely starved them of possession and field position and wore them down.

I think a good way to go at the Broncos is again through the forwards but even so you have to target Milford in defence and also Bird. Isaako has made some errors lately and Oates has the turning circle of Sam Backo, so high balls to Isaako and grubbers in behind Oates. Like I commented in the gameday thread if we control the first 20 minutes the young Broncos pack will drop their heads.


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Re: Rugby League strategy only

Post by Northern Raider » April 16, 2019, 4:08 pm

Play those same tactics too often and opponents will just compress the defense. Get more numbers in the tackles which slows down the ruck and kills momentum. At some stage you need to shift the ball wide and test the edges.
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Re: Rugby League strategy only

Post by BJ » April 16, 2019, 5:13 pm

Northern Raider wrote:Play those same tactics too often and opponents will just compress the defense. Get more numbers in the tackles which slows down the ruck and kills momentum. At some stage you need to shift the ball wide and test the edges.
Yep good call. Teams with structured attack or superstars like Storm and Roosters can get away with it. I don’t think we are there yet.

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Re: Rugby League strategy only

Post by The Rickman » April 16, 2019, 5:17 pm

I feel like our attack can throw it wide to either side if they really need to go around. Rugby league is still won up the middle though, and won just like we played two days ago.
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Re: Rugby League strategy only

Post by gangrenous » April 16, 2019, 5:55 pm

But we did take a similar approach to the Storm game and got crushed. There needs to be awareness of when to go to plan B and spread it.

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Re: Rugby League strategy only

Post by gergreg » April 16, 2019, 6:03 pm

Storm and Roosters work with a compressed defensive line but are superb at sliding as a unit.

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Re: Rugby League strategy only

Post by The Rickman » April 17, 2019, 9:40 am

gangrenous wrote:
April 16, 2019, 5:55 pm
But we did take a similar approach to the Storm game and got crushed. There needs to be awareness of when to go to plan B and spread it.
Against the Storm we made a thousand mistakes early and they got out to a commanding lead! We then stuck to our gameplan in the second half and won that half, and were still in the game with ten to go.

It's chalk and cheese, there's absolutely no way we executed the same gameplan against the Storm.
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Re: Rugby League strategy only

Post by gangrenous » April 17, 2019, 5:54 pm

We may not have executed it as well, but it looked like the same plan to me. Way too much one out stuff in the middle.

I didn’t put too much stock in how close we got or winning the second half. Storm had settled into second gear and I never really felt like the Raiders really had a good chance to catch up. Similar to our game against the Cowboys. They pulled it back, but I felt pretty confident as Raiders really still controlled the game for the most part.

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Re: Rugby League strategy only

Post by The Rickman » April 18, 2019, 10:51 am

gangrenous wrote:
April 17, 2019, 5:54 pm
We may not have executed it as well, but it looked like the same plan to me. Way too much one out stuff in the middle.

I didn’t put too much stock in how close we got or winning the second half. Storm had settled into second gear and I never really felt like the Raiders really had a good chance to catch up. Similar to our game against the Cowboys. They pulled it back, but I felt pretty confident as Raiders really still controlled the game for the most part.
I disagree. I feel like we panicked in the first half and settled down in the second and stuck to our gameplan better.

Storm are just too good at leading once they're in front though, you just can't let them lead.
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