Through green eyes 2020

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LastRaider
Brett Mullins
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Through green eyes 2020

Post by LastRaider »

So I’m a big fan of Havilli however he is to one dimensional in attack at 9 and is the one of the main reasons I believe why are starts have been so poor. (The defence isn’t wondering where the ball is going when Havilii is there nor are they concerned he will scoot) And I’m not sure if you noticed but when Starling came of for the last 10 minutes our attack went back to being like the first 15 minutes of the game.

In short we need to change how we use Havilii and Starling. Starling needs to start and Havilii needs to play hooker perhaps between the 40min to 60min mark then bring Starling on to finish or something like that
RedRaider
Steve Walters
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Re: Through green eyes 2020

Post by RedRaider »

GE, I know he only had limited minutes on the park but I thought Hudson Young has a good game. When he came on he added some starch to the first contact which was missing earlier in the match. His straight running was rewarded with a try and he had a few other tough runs. As you know, I have been critical of him for his on field indiscretions but Ricky stuck with him as a mobile middle and as long as his discipline holds, he is a fine contributor to the side.
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BadnMean
David Furner
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Re: Through green eyes 2020

Post by BadnMean »

LastRaider wrote: August 23, 2020, 2:57 pm So I’m a big fan of Havilli however he is to one dimensional in attack at 9 and is the one of the main reasons I believe why are starts have been so poor. (The defence isn’t wondering where the ball is going when Havilii is there nor are they concerned he will scoot) And I’m not sure if you noticed but when Starling came of for the last 10 minutes our attack went back to being like the first 15 minutes of the game.

In short we need to change how we use Havilii and Starling. Starling needs to start and Havilii needs to play hooker perhaps between the 40min to 60min mark then bring Starling on to finish or something like that
It's a change plenty of us have noticed and at least want to see tried, as a way to improve our starts. Havilii can return to impact middle off the bench + backup hooker minutes. Starlings form almost demands it and we need to see if he can improve the performance in that way- it is a vital period.
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greeneyed
Don Furner
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Re: Through green eyes 2020

Post by greeneyed »

Through green eyes: Three quarter time

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There is now just a quarter of this interrupted NRL season left. Normally, we'd be getting ready for the finals at this time of year. But this year, we still have five games to go in the regular season. Despite a horror run of injuries, the Raiders are right in the running for a vital top four finish. They're on the same competition points as the fourth placed Roosters, but in fifth on points differential.

So how have the Raiders gone, as they head into the final quarter?

Attack: The Raiders' attacking record in 2020 has been poor, but it is improving - having scored 36 points and six tries against both the Broncos and Titans in the past two weeks. They currently rank ninth for tries scored.

The Raiders adopted a more conservative style last year, aiming to reduce errors, lift completions, and take pressure off their defence. That worked, in 2019. In 2020, the Raiders rank second last for general play passes, third for one pass hit ups and third for dummy half runs. They rank eighth for running metres gained, eighth for tackle breaks, 11th for line breaks and 13th for offloads. However, they rank sixth in the NRL for errors, and their completion rate is middle of the pack. The 2019 Raiders had more "x-factor" in their attack. They made more tackle breaks and line breaks and offered more threat in the outside backs.

Ricky Stuart has openly admitted the 2020 Green Machine isn't scoring enough points - and they have opened up in recent weeks. They threw 18 offloads against the Titans. But they were too expansive early in their sets, not winning the territory in the middle. There were also signs of better red zone options - but they're still working on the execution. Glass half full... the Green Machine is developing their attack and there is still time to tune up before the finals.

Defence: The Raiders rank fifth in the NRL for the fewest points conceded and equal fifth, with the Knights, for tries conceded (38 in total). Canberra's defensive record is still good, but the club has slowly drifted down the rankings over the year. In four of the opening five rounds, the Raiders conceded just one try. They've now averaged 2.5 tries and 15 points conceded per game. That's still in the bounds of the magic 16 points benchmark - with most premiership teams conceding 16 points or less.

The Raiders rank seventh for fewest line breaks conceded and eighth for fewest running metres conceded. They conceded eight line breaks to the Titans just last week. Canberra ranks 10th for fewest missed tackles. However they rank fourth for fewest ineffective tackles conceded this year, so their tackle efficiency rate is in the top six teams in the league. And the scramble is pretty good. But the Raiders' openly stated aim is to be the best defensive outfit in the competition. They're not quite where they want to be.

Forwards: The Raiders' forward pack has been decimated by injury, with Emre Guler, Corey Horsburgh and Sia Soliola still stuck on the sidelines. But the experienced players like Josh Papalii, Elliott Whitehead and Dunamis Lui have really stood up - and the younger forwards have filled in admirably. The return of John Bateman has been a major plus - and he has helped to add a bit of "x-factor". The arrival of Corey Harawira-Naera has also added energy in attack. Josh Papalii has been amazing. The prop's character and determination was summed up by his chase and ankle tap on runaway half, Jamal Fogarty, in the clash with the Titans, saving an almost certain try. The pack as a whole has performed so well, the injured players won't find it easy to get a place in the top 17 when they return, hopefully, in time for the finals.

Best performer: Josh Papalii

Backs: The backs have struggled a bit. The right edge, in particular, has been left searching for combinations, particularly in defence. However, the outside backs are now looking more settled. Curtis Scott is playing more confidently alongside Nick Cotric, while Jordan Rapana is building a combination on the left with Jarrod Croker. Bailey Simonsson (shoulder) will be the main back missing for the finals. Nick Cotric's form has been a little bit up and down in 2020 - but he's still been the best of the backs. He's scored a double in each of the past two matches and is now the club's top try scorer (10). He's averaged 115 running metres and ranks fourth in the NRL for tackle breaks. The Raiders will miss him when he heads to the Bulldogs in 2021. But debuts this year for Semi Valemei and Harley Smith-Shields - and the upcoming debut of Matt Timoko - are positive signs for the future. They'll keep the senior players on their toes.

Best performer: Nick Cotric

Spine: The loss of Josh Hodgson for the season - after he suffered an ACL injury in the Round 9 loss to the Storm - was a huge blow. However, it has created an opportunity for the hooking duo of Siliva Havili and Tom Starling. They've been performing strongly. Starling is a small player but he's done particularly well. He's nippy in attack and holds his own in defence. He has a 97 per cent tackle efficiency rate, with just three missed tackles this year.

George Williams and Jack Wighton are taking on more responsibility, and are probably still coming to terms with that. But they've both produced some very good games in recent weeks. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad suffered a compound dislocation of his finger in the Round 11 match against the Rabbitohs, but only missed one week. He has looked a little shaky under the high ball in some games, but he's now back in full stride. For mine, Williams (four tries and 10 try assists) and Wighton (six tries and six try assists) have been the best of the spine. I have them level pegging in my player ratings. This is a spine that can keep building and do some damage in the finals.

Best performers: George Williams and Jack Wighton

THREE QUARTER TIME REPORT CARD

Attack: C
Defence: B
Forwards: A
Backs: C
Spine: B
Overall: B

****

The Raiders have a favourable draw for the run to the finals, but as we know, there are no easy games in the NRL. Mathematically, the Raiders could still miss the finals, but a top eight finish is pretty much assured.

Raiders' run home

Rd 16: Bulldogs (currently in 16th place) (H)
Rd 17: Roosters (fourth) (H)
Rd 18: Dragons (10th) (A)
Rd 19: Warriors (12th) (H)
Rd 20: Sharks (8th) (A)

It is possible that the Round 17 clash between the Raiders and Roosters - a second Grand Final re-match - will decide which of the teams secure a vital top four place. The Roosters have a more difficult draw (Broncos, Raiders, Knights, Sharks and Rabbitohs), facing four teams currently in the bottom half of the top eight. The Roosters have also experienced a bad run with injuries - but they do have the advantage of bringing Sonny Bill Williams into their squad for their clash with Canberra.

The Grand Final re-match is the most difficult assignment for the Green Machine - but playing the Sharks at Cronulla will be no walk in the park either. It required three Aidan Sezer field goals and golden point to defeat them at Shark Park last year. And who knows, they could be in a position where they need to win to protect their place in the eight.

There have been a lot of pundits in Sydney prepared to write off the Raiders' chances of a premiership - particularly with the loss of Josh Hodgson for the season. But in my view, if the Raiders can get a top four spot, they're certainly going to be contenders.

The Panthers and Eels have been riding the crest of a wave - but haven't faced much adversity in 2020. They've had the luxury of playing just about every week in western Sydney. The Panthers have left the greater Sydney region just once, the Eels three times. In contrast, the Raiders have played just five games at home. The Panthers and Eels have more defensive resolve this year and the attack of both teams has been terrific. But I wonder how those two teams will respond to the intensity of the finals.

The Storm have shown they can certainly handle finals football. But the Raiders have also demonstrated in the past two years that they know how to beat Melbourne. Of course, I'm not writing off the Roosters, even if they finish outside the top four. After all, they are the defending premiers, they are going for a three-peat. Both those teams have coaches and key players who know how to handle the big games.

But, in my view, the Raiders are right in the mix. It is in their hands.

****

The Raiders are deserved, warm favourites for their clash with the last placed Bulldogs on Sunday night at Canberra Stadium. But, as I've said the past two weeks, when teams are expected to win, and win well, it is always a danger game. The Raiders can't forget that the Bulldogs have pushed some good teams in recent weeks. The Green Machine lost its way a little against the Titans, despite winning big on the scoreboard. There were some individual mistakes in defence - and coach Stuart has said that will be the team's focus this week. I've no doubt the Raiders will be switched on. I'm tipping the Green Machine by 13+.

****

Unfortunately, Round 5 of the CRRL Cup was declared a washout, but Round 6 will hopefully proceed this weekend. The Canberra Raiders Under 20s meet the Gungahlin Bulls on Saturday at Raiders Belconnen, while the Woden Valley Rams host the Queanbeyan Blues on Sunday at Phillip. Both matches kick off at 3:00pm. Get out to a game if you can!

****

Every week I rate the Raiders players on a scale of 0-10... and here are the total points and average points per match after the Round 15 clash with the Titans. Tell us what you think of the ratings.

Total points

Josh Papalii 110
George Williams 106
Jack Wighton 106
Elliott Whitehead 101
Joe Tapine 97
Nick Cotric 96
Jarrod Croker 93
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 91
Siliva Havili 83
Dunamis Lui 73
Jordan Rapana 73
Ryan Sutton 70
Curtis Scott 67
Hudson Young 63
Josh Hodgson 56
Emre Guler 49
Sia Soliola 45
Tom Starling 41
Corey Horsburgh 40
Bailey Simonsson 34
John Bateman 29
Corey Harrawira-Naera 23
Michael Oldfield 20
Kai O'Donnell 15
Semi Valemei 14
Harley Smith-Shields 5

Average points per match

Josh Papalii 7.3
John Bateman 7.3
George Williams 7.1
Jack Wighton 7.1
Joe Tapine 6.9
Tom Starling 6.8
Elliott Whitehead 6.7
Corey Horsburgh 6.7
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 6.5
Nick Cotric 6.4
Ryan Sutton 6.4
Hudson Young 6.3
Josh Hodgson 6.2
Jarrod Croker 6.2
Emre Guler 6.1
Dunamis Lui 6.1
Jordan Rapana 6.1
Corey Harrawira-Naera 5.8
Sia Soliola 5.6
Curtis Scott 5.6
Siliva Havili 5.5
Harley Smith-Shields 5.0
Kai O'Donnell 5.0
Bailey Simonsson 4.9
Semi Valemei 4.7
Michael Oldfield 3.3

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LastRaider
Brett Mullins
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Re: Through green eyes 2020

Post by LastRaider »

GE, if you wrote this report 2 weeks ago, before the Titans and Bronco’s would have the attack rating been a ‘D’?
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greeneyed
Don Furner
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Re: Through green eyes 2020

Post by greeneyed »

LastRaider wrote: August 27, 2020, 6:47 pm GE, if you wrote this report 2 weeks ago, before the Titans and Bronco’s would have the attack rating been a ‘D’?
No, because the Raiders have never been in the bottom four in attack this year.
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greeneyed
Don Furner
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Re: Through green eyes 2020

Post by greeneyed »

Through green eyes: As I saw it

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"I thought our defence was OK in the first half. It was a good pass by Lewis over the top of us, so if they've got to score like that every time, I'm not that fazed about it. It got away on us with two kicks, they got the bounce of the ball. So did we on one of those tries in the first half. Three tries off high balls. It's the nature of the game. They rallied together very well and Jack Wighton got the game by the throat and took it on himself to get us on the front foot. Don't discredit how the Dogs played. They were committed and they played well.

I understand the question, 'Are you complacent?'. If I had a player in that team that was complacent, I wouldn't play him tonight. And I'd smell that. I'd see it through the week. We haven't even spoken about next week's game. Next week's game is another game of football that we have to turn up and try and win. But we haven't focussed on that. I get embarrassed by getting asked that question, not just from journalists, but mates and blokes in the street... 'You should win this week, I hope you aren't complacent'. I promise you, if I had a guy or a group of guys complacent in a game of football. I wouldn't play them. Because it's a disease, it just spreads. There was no complacency tonight.

They played good football in the first half. They scored 10 or 12 points off two kicks. I was really impressed with my boys at half time in regards to the composure they had. When everyone tells you that you should be winning this game and you walk in and you're down by eight... there was a lot of composure in the body language and in the eyes of the boys. That really impresses me because its a sign of maturity. My senior players are doing their job. They've got to be the leaders for our young blokes. There was a real composure and we just had to make sure that we went back out and got back into our game of football. If they weren't composed at half time, if they were frustrated... and started to blame one another and started thinking 'I have to try to go out and win this on my own'... we would get beaten tonight."

Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart


2020 Round 16. Canberra Raiders 34 - Canterbury Bulldogs 20. It was a slow start for the Canberra Raiders in the clash with the last placed Bulldogs. They might not have been complacent, but they did look like they were. Like their minds were somewhere else. The Raiders were flat for a good part of the first half and they were out-enthused by Canterbury. The Bulldogs built momentum and controlled the territory. They deservedly led at half time - though the margin was assisted by some freakish bounces that only come with an oval ball. The try scored by Canterbury centre Kerrod Holland after the half time siren involved some incredible rebounds and touches that are almost impossible to defend. But they certainly deserved their lead.



The officiating didn't hurt the Bulldogs' chances either, often giving them momentum. The restarts ended up at 7-2 in favour of the Dogs - and the inconsistency and apparent randomness of officiating in this area is a blight on the game. The Raiders did not disproportionately infringe in the ruck, certainly not to that degree. Ironically, it was three restarts, a penalty and a sin bin for Tom Starling early in the second half, which seemed to stir the Raiders into action. The crowd got angry and the Raiders seemed to get angry. As Bruce Banner would say... "Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry". Jack Wighton did a fair "Hulk" impression, scoring a double with Starling in the bin - giving the Raiders the lead. The wind was taken out of the Bulldogs' sails. A try to Hudson Young fully restored order, and a second try for Tom Starling capped it off.

The Raiders conceded four tries in the first half and that's too many for 80 minutes of football, let alone 40. Tries might have come from some freakish kicks, but the slow starts are a bit of a concern. Poor play and errors gave the Bulldogs opportunity. Canberra certainly won't be able to afford to give up four tries in next week's Grand Final re-match with the Roosters. You can't concede 20 points to the Roosters in the first half of football and expect to go on and win. Of course, there is also reason not to be overly concerned. The Raiders have deliberately taken the chance to lighten the load for the likes of Josh Papalii in games against the lower placed teams. But they will want to be switched on from the start against the Roosters. Canberra's top four hopes hinge upon that.

We also should remember that one of the Bulldogs' tries resulted from the bunker missing an obvious obstruction on Curtis Scott. They ruled it was his defensive decision, it seems, but in my view, it was an incorrect call from the officials.

Stats that mattered?

The Bulldogs had just under 55 per cent possession and just over 60 per cent of the territory in the first half. That switched dramatically in the second half, with the Raiders getting more than an even share of the ball and claiming 67 per cent of the territory. The Raiders ended with a 52 per cent share of possession, but they made more errors (12-9), the bulk of them in the first half. The Bulldogs conceded more penalties (6-4), but as mentioned, they were awarded almost every re-start (7-2).

The Raiders made fewer runs (170-181), but made more run metres (1776-1538), post contact metres (538-447), kick return metres (248-163), metres per set (43-39), tackle breaks (38-11), offloads (11-6) and line breaks (6-3). The Raiders had to make more tackles (342-327) but posted the better effective tackle rate (93 per cent, Bulldogs 86 per cent). The ineffective tackles were close to even (Bulldogs 15, Raiders 14), but the Bulldogs missed way more tackles (38-11).

The Raiders made 576 kicking metres from 22 kicks, while the Bulldogs produced 534 metres from 21 kicks. The Raiders forced more line drop outs too (3-1). The number of bombs and grubbers were fairly even, while the kick defusal rates were low for both teams (50 per cent). The Bulldogs successfully targeted Jarrod Croker a couple of times with the high ball - and got two tries from kicks. Meanwhile, John Bateman might want to put the kick ahead on an early tackle back in the bag of tricks.

Memorable moments?

The most spectacular try of the game was doubtless that of Kerrod Holland, while most of the Raiders' tries were the result of determined running from close range. I loved seeing Tom Starling get a double and he made a good job of starting the game. The first came in the 23rd minute, when Bulldogs fullback Will Hopoate spilled a Wighton bomb - with George Williams re-gathering and passing to the nippy Starling for a try under the posts. The second came with 10 minutes remaining... a great scoot from dummy half, 10 metres out. They were "simple" tries, but I love how he plays above his weight. Wighton's double turned the game - and that effort has to be the No. 1 highlight. They were individual, determined runs. But he just grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and asserted his dominance.

Best performers?

Jack Wighton. Two tries, eight runs for 86 running metres, two line breaks, seven tackle breaks, 18 tackles, 78 per cent tackle efficiency, eight kicks for 234 kicking metres, two forced line drop outs. The only blots were two ruck infringements, three missed tackles and two ineffective tackles.

Josh Papalii. 19 runs for 222 running metres, 69 post contact metres, one try assist, one line break assist, two tackle breaks, one offload, 29 tackles, 97 per cent tackle efficiency.

Joe Tapine. One try, 16 runs for 164 metres, 54 post contact metres, one line break, four tackle breaks, three offloads, 31 tackles, 97 per cent tackle efficiency.

Tom Starling. Two tries, five runs for 68 metres, three dummy half runs for 25 metres, one line break, 48 tackles, 92 per cent tackle efficiency.

Unusually, I am sharing my points between four players, as I couldn't leave out Starling, despite his sin binning... which was an incorrect one, in my view. One final mention for Matt Timoko, who came on to replace an injured Curtis Scott. He was solid and certainly did not look out of place in first grade. Good effort in his first NRL game.

Top tacklers: Tom Starling 48, John Bateman 32, Joe Tapine 31
Most metres gained: Josh Papalii 222, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 186, Joe Tapine 164

My player ratings:

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 6
Jordan Rapana 6
Jarrod Croker 5
Curtis Scott 4
Nick Cotric 7
Jack Wighton 8
George Williams 7
Dunamis Lui 6
Tom Starling 7
Ryan Sutton 7
John Bateman 7
Elliott Whitehead 6
Joe Tapine 7

Josh Papalii 8
Siliva Havili 6
Hudson Young 7
Matt Timoko 5

Do you agree with the ratings? Let us know what you think!

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Finchy
Chris O'Sullivan
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Re: Through green eyes 2020

Post by Finchy »

greeneyed wrote: August 27, 2020, 7:20 pm
LastRaider wrote: August 27, 2020, 6:47 pm GE, if you wrote this report 2 weeks ago, before the Titans and Bronco’s would have the attack rating been a ‘D’?
No, because the Raiders have never been in the bottom four in attack this year.
Interestingly in the space of 3 weeks the Raiders have gone from 11th or 12th in attack to 6th overall.
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greeneyed
Don Furner
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Re: Through green eyes 2020

Post by greeneyed »

Finchy wrote:
greeneyed wrote: August 27, 2020, 7:20 pm
LastRaider wrote: August 27, 2020, 6:47 pm GE, if you wrote this report 2 weeks ago, before the Titans and Bronco’s would have the attack rating been a ‘D’?
No, because the Raiders have never been in the bottom four in attack this year.
Interestingly in the space of 3 weeks the Raiders have gone from 11th or 12th in attack to 6th overall.
The attack rating is based on tries scored. They’re presently equal seventh with the Knights. I don’t recall them being in the bottom four for tries at any stage, but I could be wrong. But the key for the rating was the ranking after Round 15. If I were doing it today, it’d push up to a B.


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gangrenous
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Re: Through green eyes 2020

Post by gangrenous »

greeneyed wrote: The Raiders conceded four tries in the first half and that's too many for 40 minutes of football, let alone 80.
Too many for 80 minutes, let alone 40.

Personal bugbear...
RedRaider
Steve Walters
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Re: Through green eyes 2020

Post by RedRaider »

Except for Young I agree with your ratings this week GE. It was all my fault for praising him last week and then to see him give away that dumb penalty by attacking the kicker. A better side than the Dogs will take full advantage of such opportunities and I have to say it was no surprise to see Sticky bring out the hook and get him off the park. Glad to see you mention young Timoko. I'm not sure what some people are expecting from a young player in his first match in FG but I thought he handled the step up in class with so little match preparation very well. I hope he is picked again against the Chooks although I know room will have to be found for CHN.
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greeneyed
Don Furner
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Re: Through green eyes 2020

Post by greeneyed »

gangrenous wrote: August 31, 2020, 7:02 pm
greeneyed wrote: The Raiders conceded four tries in the first half and that's too many for 40 minutes of football, let alone 80.
Too many for 80 minutes, let alone 40.

Personal bugbear...
Fixed just for you gangrenous!
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gangrenous
Laurie Daley
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Re: Through green eyes 2020

Post by gangrenous »

Thank you
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greeneyed
Don Furner
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Re: Through green eyes 2020

Post by greeneyed »

Through green eyes: Sonny Bill Williams free zone

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I promise you. This column will be a Sonny Bill Williams free zone. Well, apart from the title... and this first paragraph. Sadly, the Grand Final re-match between the Canberra Raiders and Sydney Roosters has become a bit of an SBW circus. But there are more important reasons to be excited about Saturday night's game than a certain 35 year old benchie.

For a start, a top four place is on the line. The two teams are level on competition points, with 11 wins and five losses on the board. The manner of the Roosters' wins have probably been more impressive. They are the best attacking team in the competition, and have the best points differential in the competition. The Roosters, too, have a pretty good defensive record. Top four, one rank above the Raiders. But those numbers aren't as important as the number "two". The two competition points for the winner in this game gives one, or the other, a huge advantage in their quest to make another Grand Final.

Second, these two teams do not like each other. When the teams were presented to the fans in Martin Place in Grand Final week last year, they studiously avoided eye contact with one another. Raiders coach Ricky Stuart refused to shake the hand of his counterpart, Trent Robinson, after Robinson had suggested the Raiders were predictable.

"They've been playing some good footy but we sort of know what they do – they're quite conservative. We know how we want to defend that and how we want to go after them there," Robinson said before the two teams met in August last year.

Stuart reportedly took umbrage - though there probably was a grain of truth in there. And the Roosters did win all three contests in 2019. Nothing hurt the Raiders more than the last of those defeats.

The Grand Final loss, and the manner of the loss, still burns the Raiders. It was a game spoiled by the officiating - and it quite possibly turned the result. The hurt is still burning in John Bateman.

"I haven't had the chance to play against the Roosters since the Grand Final, on that day they were better than us," Bateman told The Daily Telegraph this week.

"I just remember sitting there watching them lift the trophy. I've made sure I do that whenever I have lost a Grand Final... to use that feeling as motivation to get back to the same spot, but obviously go one better and win the trophy."

That's the stuff of deep seated rivalry and that's what we'll see on the field on Saturday.

Third, there are some great match-ups all over the field. From Tedesco v Nicoll-Klokstad at the back, to Papalii v Taukieaho up front, it's tantalising contest. The Roosters' backline is a real advantage for the Sydney outfit, but I think the Raiders duo of Williams and Wighton can match Flanagan and Keary in the halves. Meanwhile, the Raiders' mix of experience and youth in the forwards can more than match their counterparts. It won't be easy, because the Roosters have some tough nuts in their pack. The likes of Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Boyd Cordner. But Papalii and Tapine are almost in career best form, and they're being backed up by players who have really stepped up.

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Fourth, both teams have been through a spate of injuries, but are starting to come through it. The Raiders have John Bateman back, but on Saturday they will still be missing five players from their 2019 Grand Final team - Josh Hodgson, Sia Soliola, Emre Guler, Corey Horsburgh and Bailey Simonsson. The Roosters will possibly be missing four. Sam Verrills, Victor Radley are out for the season, but Angus Crichton and Mitch Aubusson are on the extended bench and a chance of returning. The Roosters are probably now in a better position with injuries than the Raiders. But don't forget, the Raiders were just as injury affected when these two teams met in Round 10 this year. Back then, the Raiders were missing six of their Grand Final team and were down to a squad of 18 players with any NRL experience. They still won. It's a credit to the Raiders' depth that this shapes as such a great contest.

Finally, this is going to be a match of semi final intensity. I shouldn't use the cliche... but it'll be finals come early. I'm expecting a close, tough match. Since 2015, the biggest margin between these two teams was eight points. In those matches, the Raiders have scored 133 points, the Roosters 134. The Raiders have four wins, the Roosters three. The last five matches have been decided by a margin of six points or less.

The Roosters are hot favourites on Saturday, but I believe the Raiders have the capabilities needed to win. I'm tipping the Raiders by six. It should be a great game.

****

The obstruction rule needs an overhaul. On the weekend, we saw the Bulldogs second rower Raymond Faitala-Mariner awarded a try - after what I thought was a fairly obvious obstruction in the lead up. Marcelo Montoya ran as a decoy into Curtis Scott, connecting with the outside shoulder, and preventing him from defending the try. He was even pushed into George Williams, obstructing him as well. The bunker can only have ruled that Scott made the defensive error, taking the decoy player deliberately. But it is an incomprehensible call for mine.

A few weeks ago, when the Raiders played the Broncos, a Jack Wighton try was disallowed because Siliva Havili passed the ball and stopped in the line - "obstructing" the Broncos defenders. Phil Gould said on 100% Footy this week, that he had only just learned that a ball carrier could be the cause of an obstruction. That's the definition of an obscure rule. There is some technicality there in the rule book. I don't even think Havili transgressed it. Ricky Stuart and Andrew McFadden were left baffled by it.

In any case, it's pretty clear that the obstruction rule is now so complex, even coaches can't work it out. Add that to the list of post season reviews for new CEO Andrew Abdo to get on with.

****

The Canberra Raiders Under 20's suffered their first defeat of the CRRL Cup last weekend, going down to the Gungahlin Bulls, 34-18. There were too many errors, while some ill discipline proved costly. Raiders centre Jeremiah Simbiken was sent off after a tackle on his brother Jed - and that effectively ruled out any comeback from the team in green.

There are three matches remaining before the premiership decider and the top of the table Raiders are four competition points clear of the other three teams. They're close to securing a Grand Final berth, but the other place in the decider is wide open for the other clubs.

This Saturday the young Raiders head back to Phillip for a clash with the Woden Valley Rams, while the Queanbeyan Blues meet the Bulls at Seiffert. Both games kick off at 3:00pm, leaving you plenty of time to get to Canberra Stadium for the Grand Final re-match.

****

Every week I rate the Raiders players on a scale of 0-10... and here are the total points and average points per match after the Round 16 clash with the Bulldogs. Tell us what you think of the ratings.

Total points

Josh Papalii 118
Jack Wighton 114
George Williams 113
Elliott Whitehead 107
Joe Tapine 104
Nick Cotric 103
Jarrod Croker 98
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 97
Siliva Havili 89
Dunamis Lui 79
Jordan Rapana 79
Ryan Sutton 77
Curtis Scott 71
Hudson Young 70
Josh Hodgson 56
Emre Guler 49
Tom Starling 48
Sia Soliola 45
Corey Horsburgh 40
John Bateman 36
Bailey Simonsson 34
Corey Harrawira-Naera 23
Michael Oldfield 20
Kai O'Donnell 15
Semi Valemei 14
Harley Smith-Shields 5
Matthew Timoko 5

Average points per match

Josh Papalii 7.4
John Bateman 7.2
Jack Wighton 7.1
George Williams 7.1
Joe Tapine 6.9
Tom Starling 6.9
Elliott Whitehead 6.7
Corey Horsburgh 6.7
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 6.5
Nick Cotric 6.4
Ryan Sutton 6.4
Hudson Young 6.4
Josh Hodgson 6.2
Emre Guler 6.1
Jarrod Croker 6.1
Dunamis Lui 6.1
Jordan Rapana 6.1
Corey Harrawira-Naera 5.8
Sia Soliola 5.6
Siliva Havili 5.6
Curtis Scott 5.5
Harley Smith-Shields 5.0
Kai O'Donnell 5.0
Matthew Timoko 5.0
Bailey Simonsson 4.9
Semi Valemei 4.7
Michael Oldfield 3.3

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T_R
Don Furner
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Re: Through green eyes 2020

Post by T_R »

I think it every week, and I don't say it enough.....gee, this is top quality sports journalism

Sent from my SM-G975F using Tapatalk

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Son, we live in a world that has forums, and those forums have to be guarded by Mods. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Nickman? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Lucy, and you curse GE. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know -- that GE’s moderation, while tragic, probably saved lives; and my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, keeps threads on track and under the appropriately sized, highlighted green headings.
You want moderation because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that forum -- you need me on that forum. We use words like "stay on topic," "use the appropriate forum," "please delete." We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very moderation that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather that you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you get a green handle and edit a post. Either way, I don't give a DAMN what you think about moderation.
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greeneyed
Don Furner
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Re: Through green eyes 2020

Post by greeneyed »

Thanks TR!
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greeneyed
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Re: Through green eyes 2020

Post by greeneyed »

Through green eyes: As I saw it

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"I was really disappointed with our second half. We were two different teams. It disappoints me because it was a real high quality game of football in the first half and then we just lost our way. Too many errors. I've got to give my blokes credit for how they hung in there because with the fundamental errors they made - turn over - it's a wonder they didn't score another three tries. We just scrambled away, knocking tries off following the opportunities we were giving them. We'll look at it and move on.

I credit the players, the way they just keep turning up each week and filling the jersey. I was really disappointed with how we played in that second half, the way we started the second half we were really loose. It wasn't us. But, as I say, we'll move on quickly from it and get back to where we were because they're a good football team and they're a lot better than what they showed in the second half. It was two different teams.

I didn't hinge just tonight on the top four, there is still some football to be played. But it was an important two points. But more so for me the way we played in the second half was more disappointing than losing the two points.

For Josh [Papalii] not to come back on, he's obviously feeling it. Joe Tapine is playing the best form of his career too. If Josh is out we'll find someone to fill the jumper. I said it here seven or eight weeks ago when everyone wrote us off, that you don't understand what's inside. No one gave us the ability to show you what's within the playing group, what their mentality is. Since the Josh Hodgson injury, Corey Horsburgh, Emre and the boys who are out in the middle, I think they've shown you how much spirit is in the joint."

Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart


2020 Round 17. Sydney Roosters 18 - Canberra Raiders 6. The Raiders started the match in ice cold fashion, conceding a try to James Tedesco inside the first five minutes. It was the result of the Raiders losing the kicking battle, the battle for territory and their own error. But they grafted their way back into the game, and probably finished the first half as the better team - despite trailing by four points. It was a credit to the Roosters' defence that they led 10-6. And in the second half, the Roosters simply suffocated the Raiders. The Raiders were their own worst enemy, making crucial errors when their limited opportunities arose.



It was a deflating match for the Raiders and their fans. Canberra has had a horror run with injury and it continued last night. Josh Papalii suffered a shoulder injury, and was unable to return in the second half. They sorely missed his punch - and they may be missing that in the games ahead. Canberra has performed remarkably well this year, given the injury toll. But if Papalii is out for any length of time, it's going to be a very tough road ahead. It might be one bridge too far. Canberra missed their chance last night to jump the Roosters into the top four - and they won't get there without other teams dropping games.

The other concerning thing is that last night, the Raiders again did not put in an 80 minute performance. They have been winning games against the lower ranked teams while doing that. But they can't do that against genuine contenders. And so it proved last night. The Raiders are not playing like a top four team at the moment - and that's understandable given the talent on the sidelines. As Ricky Stuart said after the game, there is still some football to be played. But there's not a lot of football left. It's a bleak morning.

Stats that mattered?

The Raiders had almost 60 per cent of the ball and 70 per cent of the territory in the first half. They had 25 tackles in the Roosters' red zone, and the Roosters had just nine tackles in the Raiders' 20 metres. Yet the Roosters' scored two tries to one in the first 40. One of the Roosters' tries was scored on the back of an error, one was from a kick. But they made the most of their chances and the Raiders did not, or could not. Possession and territory swung firmly in favour of the Roosters in the second half. The visitors finished with a 51 per cent possession share, and 49 per cent of the territory.

The Roosters conceded more penalties (6-3) and one more set restart (5-4) than the Raiders. But Canberra made almost twice the errors of the Roosters (15-8). The Roosters posted an 86 per cent completion rate, the Raiders just 74 per cent. All the attacking statistics finished in the Roosters' favour. They made more runs (200-179), running metres (1749-1520), kick return metres (189-173), post contact metres (564-509), offloads (9-6), line breaks (2-1), tackle breaks (33-28) and metres per set (42=33).

The Roosters also kicked more (28-23) and made more kicking metres (636-554). Far too often, the Raiders started their sets on their own goal line, the Roosters on their 20 metre line, or better. The Roosters' kicking game was just about perfect. They put up 12 bombs (Raiders two) and successfully pressure the Raiders with them. Canberra's short kicking game was good, with George Williams producing four line drop outs (the Roosters two). But the long kicking game needs work. Jack Wighton failed to find touch from one penalty, while the Roosters got a touch on another.

The Raiders' defence was pretty good, with two of the Roosters' three tries scored from kicks. But the Roosters' defence was better. They produced a 91 per cent effective tackle rate (Raiders 89 per cent). The Roosters had to make more tackles (422-390), yet missed fewer tackles (28-33) and made fewer ineffective tackles (12-16).

All up, the Roosters deserved their win.

Memorable moments?

Last week I said that John Bateman might want to put the grubber kick to the in goal on an early tackle, back into the bag of tricks. Just as well he didn't put it away entirely, kicking ahead for himself on the last tackle in the 10th minute. It was a good try, and the only way through the Roosters' defensive line. Sadly, it was the only try of the game for the men in green. There wasn't a whole lot more to be cheerful about.

Best performers?

Ryan Sutton. 20 runs for 168 metres, 65 post contact metres, 39 tackles, 95 per cent tackle efficiency

Joe Tapine. 18 runs for 149 metres, 61 post contact metres, two tackle breaks, one offload, 23 tackles, 89 per cent tackle efficiency.

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad. 21 runs for 163 metres, 37 post contact metres, eight tackle breaks, 14 tackles, 100 per cent tackle efficiency, eight kicks defused.

George Williams. Nine runs for 74 metres, two tackle breaks, 24 tackles, 83 per cent tackle efficiency, 12 kicks for 272 kicking metres, four forced line drop outs.

Tom Starling. Two runs for 19 metres, 50 tackles, 93 per cent tackle efficiency.

That's an unprecedented five way split for my 3-2-1 points.

Top tacklers: Tom Starling 50, John Bateman 44, Elliott Whitehead 34
Most metres gained: Ryan Sutton 168, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 163, Joe Tapine 149

My player ratings:

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 7
Jordan Rapana 6
Jarrod Croker 6
Nick Cotric 5
Semi Valemei 5
Jack Wighton 6
George Williams 7
Josh Papalii 6
Tom Starling 7
Ryan Sutton 8
John Bateman 7
Elliott Whitehead 6
Joe Tapine 7

Siliva Havili 5
Dunamis Lui 6
Hudson Young 6
Corey Harawira-Naera 5

Do you agree with the ratings? Let us know what you think!

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LastRaider
Brett Mullins
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Re: Through green eyes 2020

Post by LastRaider »

If Nic Cotric is a 5, then Croker is too. There performances where the same
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BadnMean
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Re: Through green eyes 2020

Post by BadnMean »

LastRaider wrote: September 6, 2020, 12:45 pm If Nic Cotric is a 5, then Croker is too. There performances where the same
Except Cotric actually made some big yards runs when we needed them in the 2nd half. Toots got mugged all night.
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greeneyed
Don Furner
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Through green eyes 2020

Post by greeneyed »

Through green eyes: How to make the caps fit?

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The news broke overnight that the NRL is looking to reduce the salary cap in 2021, while maintaining 30 player top squads. It had been expected that squad sizes would be reduced, by up to five players. But instead the players are going to be asked to share in a 10 per cent cut in salaries, so as to avoid the loss of positions for fringe players. It does look like the number of "development" players will be cut from six, to between two and four.

The Rugby League Players Association is yet to agree to the proposal, but the NRL is expecting that cuts to salaries will be preferred to cuts to playing squads. Time will tell on that.

The Raiders have reportedly been expecting there would be 28 man squads next year. They have offered Tom Starling a two year deal, while holding two spots open for Sia Soliola and Jordan Rapana.

At present, 24 players are locked in for 2021. The Raiders released Jack Murchie, Luke Bateman and JJ Collins during the course of 2020, while John Bateman and Nick Cotric have chosen to depart at the end of this year. Starling, Soliola and Rapana, along with Michael Oldfield and Sebastian Kris, are off contract.

The Raiders have six development players at present. Ata Mariota and Darby Medlyn are both signed for 2021, while Kai O'Donnell, Matt Timoko, Andre Niko and Jarrett Subloo are signed to the end of this year.

Raiders contracted for 2021 and beyond

Jarrod Croker - end 2023, option in player's favour 2024
Matt Frawley - end 2021
Emre Guler - end 2021
Corey Harawira-Naera - end 2022
Siliva Havili - end 2020, option in player's favour 2021
Josh Hodgson - end 2022
Corey Horsburgh - end 2022
Ryan James - end 2022
Dunamis Lui - end 2021
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad - end 2023
Josh Papalii - end 2022
Jordan Rapana - end 2020
Harry Rushton - end 2023
Curtis Scott - end 2023
Bailey Simonsson - end 2023
Harley Smith Shields - 2021
Ryan Sutton - end 2022
Joseph Tapine - end 2023
Semi Valemei - end 2021
Jack Wighton – end 2024
George Williams - end 2022
Sam Williams - end 2021
Elliott Whitehead - end 2022
Hudson Young - end 2021

Development players
Ata Mariota - end 2021, player option for 2022
Darby Medlyn - end 2021

If the Raiders lock in Starling, Soliola and Rapana for next year, that would leave three top 30 spots open for next season. Given coach Ricky Stuart has given Kai O'Donnell and Matt Timoko their NRL debuts in 2021, it would be surprising if the Raiders did not re-sign them one way or other. That doesn't leave much room to manoeuvre in terms of numbers - and probably the salary cap. Maybe just one extra player can be signed.

Many fans seem keen on the Raiders looking outside to bolster the outside backs, given the loss of Nick Cotric. But I don't think there are a lot of enticing options among the off contract players in Australia. One option I like the idea of is Wigan centre Oliver Gildart, but he's under contract to end 2021 - not that contracts mean a lot these days. But the club is faced with the choice of bringing in a Gildart - or keeping their young backline talent. In my view, the latter is probably not the only the most realistic option, given the salary cap constraints, but is probably the better option.

Raiders recruitment guru, Peter Mulholland recently said that he's pretty much finished in managing the cap for 2021. He's looking two or three years down the track. A difficult business. But if you were Peter, what would you now do, to complete the squad for 2021?

****

Canberra heads to Wollongong on Saturday for a match-up with the 11th placed Dragons. The Raiders are expected to win this game, and are deserved favourites. But the Dragons have shown that they can unsettle Canberra when they open up in attack. They have some talented players in their squad - the likes of McInnes, Hunt, Frizell, Vaughan and Norman. They have recently pushed a number of teams in the top eight - and defeated the Eels. So the Raiders will need to be on guard. If they don't win, they're realistically out of the running for a top four spot. They can't afford any slip ups in the final three games of the regular season. But I think Canberra can win, and I'm tipping they'll win well.

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****

With three rounds of the regular season remaining, just six players can now take out the 2020 Canberra Raiders Fans' Choice Player of the Year award. Three backs, three forwards and the fans have got it pretty much right, yet again. Josh Papalii is on track to win an amazing fourth Fans' Choice award. He's been immense. His shoulder injury could yet intervene, however, leaving the way open for the likes of English recruit George Williams, or Churchill Medalist Jack Wighton. Joe Tapine just made the list with a man of the match performance for the Raiders in the loss to the Roosters last week. But just to share in a win, he'd have to be the man of the match for a whole month in a row... with others above him not picking up points. That'd be a remarkable finish!

15 - Josh Papalii
14 - George Williams
13 - Jack Wighton
12 - Elliott Whitehead
9 - Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
6 - Joe Tapine

****

The Canberra Raiders Under 20's got back on the winners' list last weekend in the CRRL Cup, when they defeated a fast finishing Woden Valley Rams, 28-22. The Green Machine led 28-10 at the 60 minute break, but conceded three tries in the final 10 minutes. They were reeling in the final stages in defence - despite playing a 12 man Rams team, after lock Steven Ferry was sent off in the 60th minute. The Raiders have usually been the fitter and stronger at the back end of games this year, but that wasn't the case last Saturday.

The junior Raiders suffered some unfortunate injuries in the match. Second rower Lachlan Lewis left the field after just 16 minutes, with a serious knee injury. In the final couple of minutes, fullback Manase Kaho copped a serious head knock - and I expect he'll need a break after the concussion.

Mitch Souter was judged man of the match, and the Raiders hooker-half is now running second on the leaderboard for the Best and Fairest player of 2020. He's just a point behind Gungahlin Bulls half, and former Raiders junior, Tre Holten-Williams. Raiders prop Silafono Titiuti is currently running third in that race. I've written a lot about the likes of Esera, Clarkson and Mooney - but Souter and Titiuti are both promising players.



With two rounds remaining, the Raiders have guaranteed themselves a place in the Grand Final. Any of the other teams can still qualify, but the second placed Bulls are in the box seat. This weekend, the Raiders play the Queanbeyan Blues at Seiffert, while the Bulls host the Rams at Gunghalin. Both games kick off at 3:00pm on Saturday - sadly, at the same time that the Raiders face the Dragons.

****

Every week I rate the Raiders players on a scale of 0-10... and here are the total points and average points per match after the Round 17 clash with the Roosters. Tell us what you think of the ratings.

Total points

Josh Papalii 124
George Williams 120
Jack Wighton 120
Elliott Whitehead 113
Joe Tapine 111
Nick Cotric 108
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 104
Jarrod Croker 104
Siliva Havili 89
Dunamis Lui 85
Jordan Rapana 85
Ryan Sutton 85
Hudson Young 76
Curtis Scott 71
Josh Hodgson 56
Tom Starling 55
Sia Soliola 50
Emre Guler 49
John Bateman 43
Corey Horsburgh 40
Bailey Simonsson 34
Corey Harrawira-Naera 28
Michael Oldfield 20
Semi Valemei 19
Kai O'Donnell 15
Harley Smith-Shields 5
Matthew Timoko 5

Average points per match

Josh Papalii 7.3
John Bateman 7.2
George Williams 7.1
Jack Wighton 7.1
Joe Tapine 6.9
Tom Starling 6.9
Corey Horsburgh 6.7
Elliott Whitehead 6.6
Ryan Sutton 6.5
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 6.5
Nick Cotric 6.4
Hudson Young 6.3
Josh Hodgson 6.2
Emre Guler 6.1
Jarrod Croker 6.1
Dunamis Lui 6.1
Jordan Rapana 6.1
Corey Harrawira-Naera 5.6
Siliva Havili 5.6
Sia Soliola 5.6
Curtis Scott 5.5
Harley Smith-Shields 5.0
Kai O'Donnell 5.0
Matthew Timoko 5.0
Bailey Simonsson 4.9
Semi Valemei 4.8
Michael Oldfield 3.3

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zim
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Re: Through green eyes 2020

Post by zim »

I don't think O'Donnell is a certainty to be re-signed. We are so stacked in the middle for next year. First grade level players, hell even guys that can start in first grade, are going to be playing reserve grade.

8. Josh Papalii
9. Josh Hodgson
10. Ryan James
11. Corey Harawira-Naera
12. Elliot Whitehead
13. Joseph Tapine

14. Tom Starling
15. Sia Soliola
16. Corey Horsburgh
17. Emre Guler

8. Dunamis Lui
9. Siliva Havili
10. Ryan Sutton
12. Hudson Young
13. Harry Rushton

Doesn't even matter how you mix those names up a lot of them could be starting for other clubs.
Timoko should be getting another contract. We left a spot open to get someone like CHN this year. Maybe next year a spot is open for a back.
LastRaider
Brett Mullins
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Re: Through green eyes 2020

Post by LastRaider »

Not the best reading for next year. Our premiership window is probably closing faster now than we would have liked.
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greeneyed
Don Furner
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Re: Through green eyes 2020

Post by greeneyed »

Through green eyes: As I saw it

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"We backed up our first half this week and went on and played 80. That was the disappointing part last week, in this preparation, just knowing the fact that that happened and we had to work on it. At this stage of the season you don't want to be working on only playing the 40. Don't take anything away from the opposition that we had either. They played us into that too, last week. This week, we kept our foot on their throat. It's very easy for a coach to say you've got to be ruthless and play 80 minutes but to execute it was a lot more difficult, but they did.

It was uncommon last week. We turned the ball over 11 times last week, five times in the second half the attacking zone. It's all coach speak, but you don't build pressure, and you take pressure off the opposition, and they don't tackle you in the more dangerous part of the field. Releasing pressure is what you want when you're defending your goal line.

Our middles have been our backbone all year. There are so many of those guys there, that have taken extra workload on because of the players that we've got sitting on the sideline. We've got a number of great players who can make the first 13, the 17, all sitting in the rehab group. Those guys in the middle have all had to take extra responsibility and workload, and I'm proud how they've actually done that without looking sideways. They've taken the bit and they're really the backbone of the team at the moment.

I wouldn't have played Josh Papalii today if he wasn't right to play, but he was fit and he wanted to play. He was really eager to play. That's Papa, he's just signed a new contract, he's really excited. He deserved that time off today. He's always got a turning point, a moment in him. All the good players do. At the moment we've got a few middles there that are basically saying to the team, 'jump on my back and we'll take you forward'. That probably puts pressure on them going into the back end of the season, but pressure is something that they relish. I still feel as though there are areas in our attack that we still have huge improvement on. Whether we get there or not, that's up to the players."

Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart


2020 Round 18. Canberra Raiders 37 - St George Illawarra Dragons 8. It was a comprehensive victory for the Raiders at Wollongong, their biggest ever margin against St George Illawarra. The Dragons were held scoreless in the second half, while the Raiders crossed four times.



The Dragons were right in the match until half time. The Canberra Raiders again started a little slowly, conceding the first try of the match to debutant Cody Ramsey after 15 minutes. The Dragons winger scored a double in the first half. He was streaking away for a third just before the break, after Jarrod Croker delivered him a short ball - but the whistle blew, with Dragons centre Zac Lomax ruled offside on the play. They could have leveled, but instead, Jarrod Croker slotted a penalty goal from the sideline, giving Canberra a 14-8 lead.

The Raiders probably should have led by more at half time. They had a more than even share of possession and 56 per cent of the territory. They had 20 tackles in the Dragon's red zone (the Dragons 14 in the Raiders' 20 metre zone) - but the main attacking ploy was the old crash ball. Hudson Young scored up the middle after 20 minutes, but there were opportunities that were squandered. The Raiders didn't ask enough questions of the Dragons' defence, they seemed to lack attacking threat. There were also some chinks in the Raiders' defence, conceding three line breaks in the first 40. However, that mostly wasn't the case in the second half. The attack clicked, and the defence could not be broken.

Ricky Stuart spoke before the game about how he wanted the Raiders to play "finals football" in this game. He expected that the Dragons - a team that had nothing to lose - would throw the ball around. But he did not want the Raiders to fall into the trap of playing the same style. So what we saw in the first half was likely a part of the game plan. And the plan paid off. But the Raiders need to develop more attacking threat if they're to have an impact against top four defences.

The victory has kept the Raiders in the running for a top four spot. They're two competition points adrift of the Roosters and Eels, with the Eels the most vulnerable. Parramatta's 20-2 loss to the Panthers saw them fall to fourth place. They should beat the Broncos and the Tigers in their final two matches. But if they drop one of those games, the Raiders can pounce. Canberra has a better points differential than the Eels at this stage, although there is not much in it. The Roosters face the Sharks and Rabbitohs in their remaining games, but the way they're playing, it is difficult to see them losing either of those matches. All Canberra can do is to keep on winning, and get the competition points against the Warriors and the Sharks.

Stats that mattered?

The Raiders finished with a 56 per cent share of possession and almost 55 per cent of the territory. The Raiders had the better completion rate (81 per cent, 74 per cent for the Dragons) and made fewer errors (10, 13 for the Dragons). But the Raiders conceded one more penalty (5-4) and conceded more ruck infringements (5-3).

All the attacking statistics finished in the Raiders' favour. They made more runs (192-176), running metres (1712-1518), kick return metres (199-188), post contact metres (510-408), offloads (6-5), line breaks (7-3), tackle breaks (31-18) and metres per set (41-40). The Raiders kicked more (21-15) and made more kicking metres (581-385). Canberra's short kicking game was again good, producing four line drop outs (the Dragons two). The Dragons tested the Raiders with some high bombs, and they got some joy out of that. But the Raiders ended with the better kick defusal rate (75 per cent, Dragons 50 per cent)

The Raiders' defence was good - and obviously, better in the second half than the first. The Raiders posted a 93 per cent effective tackle rate (Dragons 91 per cent). The Dragons had to make more tackles (404-335), while also missing more (31-18) and making more ineffective tackles (9-6).

Ultimately, the stat that mattered most was six tries to two.

Memorable moments?

There were some great Raiders tries. In the second half, Elliott Whitehead put in a brilliant grubber from 20 metres out, with Jarrod Croker taking full advantage. Then Hudson Young made a great break up the middle of the field, drawing the defence, before offloading to John Bateman for the try. George Williams threw a superb pass to put Jack Wighton over. The final try of the match was the result of beautiful slick passing on the left edge, with Semi Valemei scoring in the corner. However, the best try came in the 25th minute. George Williams kicked downfield, and the ball bounced horribly for the Dragons. Jordan Rapana recovered, with great offloads ensuing from Starling and Tapine to put Jack Wighton over the white stripe. Sensational four pointer.

In defence, how about the bone rattler from Josh Papalii on Cameron McInnes in the first half? That's what Ricky Stuart meant when he said Papalii has "a turning point, a moment in him". Early in the second half, John Bateman and Dunamis Lui produced a brilliant try saver. Josh Kerr was first denied by Bateman, but then Lui came over the top and prevented Kerr from grounding the ball. A special effort.

Finally, it was 10/10 acrobatics from Nick Cotric in taking "that" intercept. Tipped it forward and somehow managed to gather and control it.

Best performers?

Hudson Young. One try, 22 runs for 198 metres, 49 post contact metres, two line breaks, one try assist, five tackle breaks, 37 tackles, 97 per cent tackle efficiency

Jack Wighton. Two tries, 12 runs for 122 metres, 26 post contact metres, one line break, five tackle breaks, 19 tackles, 91 per cent tackle efficiency, nine kicks for 330 kicking metres, one forced line drop out.

John Bateman. One try, 14 runs for 105 metres, 26 post contact metres, four tackle breaks, one offload, 39 tackles, 93 per cent tackle efficiency, one forced line drop out.

Top tacklers: John Bateman 39, Tom Starling 38, Hudson Young 37
Most metres gained: Hudson Young 198, Joe Tapine 161, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 131

My player ratings:

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 6
Semi Valemei 6
Jarrod Croker 7
Jordan Rapana 6
Nick Cotric 6
Jack Wighton 8
George Williams 7
Josh Papalii 6
Tom Starling 7
Ryan Sutton 7
John Bateman 7
Elliott Whitehead 6
Joe Tapine 7

Siliva Havili 5
Dunamis Lui 6
Hudson Young 8
Corey Harawira-Naera 6

Do you agree with the ratings? Let us know what you think!

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gergreg
Bradley Clyde
Posts: 8564
Joined: June 24, 2008, 4:22 pm

Re: Through green eyes 2020

Post by gergreg »

As always a great write up. I really liked how Wighton completely shut down Frizzell. He did much the same earlier this year. Some great defence, often in one on one situations.

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LastRaider
Brett Mullins
Posts: 1947
Joined: March 31, 2018, 9:30 pm

Re: Through green eyes 2020

Post by LastRaider »

A bit harsh on Whitehead. His decoy and lines he ran on the backline spreads had the defence in no mans land. He does a lot of 1% that go unnoticed.
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greeneyed
Don Furner
Posts: 132542
Joined: January 7, 2005, 4:21 pm

Through green eyes 2020

Post by greeneyed »

Through green eyes: Whatever you do... don't build it at Mitchell

Image

At the start of this year, the ACT Government commissioned a feasibility study to examine the options for the site of a new Canberra Stadium.

The Raiders are playing in a stadium that is well out of date, with poorer facilities for spectators than available for most other NRL clubs. Canberra Stadium was originally built in 1977 and refurbished for the 2000 Olympics. Fundamentally, it is a much older stadium than the ones recently demolished in Sydney - and which have been rebuilt or are being rebuilt.

The Broncos, Titans, Storm, Eels and Cowboys all play out of modern stadiums, purpose built for rugby league. The Roosters will soon have a state of the art stadium at Moore Park. The refurbishment of Stadium Australia has unfortunately been taken off the table by the NSW Government. It doesn't have the best configuration for rugby league, but it's still a high quality venue.

There are worse NRL grounds than Canberra Stadium, particularly in Sydney. But with the refurbishment of Stadium Australia pushed aside, the NRL is pressing the NSW Government for funding to redevelop a number of the worst suburban grounds in Sydney. The strategy could see boutique stadiums of 20,000 built at a cost of $200 million at locations like Brookvale, Penrith, Kogarah and Liverpool. It would give virtually every Sydney club the option of playing in a modern venue - some more than one.

The idea of building a new Canberra Stadium has been around for a decade. The "City to the Lake" plan released in 2015 identified the site of the Olympic Pool in Civic as the site for the new Stadium. And ever since then, the ACT Government has been pushing it onto the back burner. There have been reasons, some better than others, starting with Mr Fluffy. But it can't be put on the back burner forever. We are in the days of COVID and restricted crowds, but that won't last forever. With infrastructure, you need to plan for the long term.

Image

There are three options for a new stadium site: the Olympic Pool site at Civic; the AIS precinct at Bruce, near the current stadium; and EPIC at Mitchell.

The ACT Chief Minister, Andrew Barr revealed last week that the feasibility study has shown that the site in Civic is basically too small. It is constrained by Constitution Avenue and Parkes Way. And even if Parkes Way were moved, the Chief Minister suggests a stadium might only hold 20,000 people or less. That's assuming that the steep seating elevation of the new Western Sydney Stadium was replicated. The even steeper elevations that are used in baseball stadiums in the USA could see capacity increased - but presumably, not by much.

The original idea of an indoor stadium seems to have been completely put to one side - because growing grass would be a problem, and artificial surfaces aren't acceptable to any of the codes that might use the ground. That's not such a problem, but the idea of building a stadium with a smaller capacity than the current stadium is a real problem.

What's the point of building a smaller stadium than the current one? A "boutique" sized stadium isn't suitable for a city with just one venue. A capacity of 20,000 would likely rule Canberra out as a host of the NRL Finals and most other major events. Ideally, a new stadium would hold up to 30,000 - like Melbourne Rectangular and Western Sydney Stadium. It should at least hold 25,000, the capacity of the existing stadium.

The sites at Bruce or Mitchell could accommodate a 25,000-30,000 seat stadium. Mitchell is the worst option, by a big margin. It is a long way from the geographic centre of Canberra. The geographic centre is near Civic, on the northern shores of Lake Burley Griffin. EPIC is on the tram route, but it'll always be on the northern end of that network - and it won't serve the majority of Canberrans. The Majura Parkway would help those in the south get there, but it's a long way from being a central location. And it is even more in the middle of nowhere than Bruce. A whole new precinct would need to be built around it, which includes hotels, cafes and bars. Bruce is a much more sensible location, but it too suffers from the lack of a lively local precinct.

That's why the new stadium should be in Civic. Ideally, a proper land corridor would be created between the city and the lake, with Parkes Way running underneath a new 30,000 seat stadium. I'm not an engineer, but I'm sure it would be feasible. Sure, it'd be costly, but it is not worth building a compromised stadium. And it would help achieve the vision of "City to the Lake". But if it is too costly, here's an option... Commonwealth Park. The stadium would surely fit on the site where Floriade is now mainly staged. The facilities now there could easily be moved further along the lakeside. Think the MCG, a short walk from the city, surrounded by parkland. But whatever you do, Mr Barr, please don't build it at Mitchell!

****

The Warriors' interim coach Todd Payten has done a remarkable job this year with a squad that has been cobbled together. They have had to set up camp on the Central Coast since the resumption of the season because of COVID travel restrictions. They have had to get by without star players like David Fusitu'a and Ken Maumalo, who've been given compassionate leave so they could return home. They have been significantly affected by injury, and have depended on player loans from other clubs. Coach Stephen Kearney was sacked in June. Payten then somehow built a competitive outfit.

The Warriors now cannot make the finals, after their loss last Sunday to the Sharks. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck's wife was reportedly happy after the loss, because it means that her family's five month separation from her husband would be coming to an end. It underlines how difficult the year has been for the New Zealand outfit.

They will be the underdogs when they face the Raiders this Sunday at Canberra, there is no doubt that the Warriors will still be wanting to finish the season on a strong note. What better way than to beat one of the contenders? So for Canberra, it is another danger game. However, if the the Raiders play to their potential, they should be too strong. I'm tipping the Raiders by 12.

****

The Canberra Raiders Under 20's will face the Gungahlin Bulls in the Grand Final of the CRRL Cup. The Raiders produced a big, 50-6, win over the Queanbeyan Blues at Seiffert Oval last Saturday, with Caleb Esera getting a hat trick. The Raiders had already qualified for the Grand Final, but the Bulls grabbed a place in the premiership decider with their 34-20 win over the Woden Valley Rams.

The Raiders and Bulls will now face each other in their final two games of the season. The Bulls will host the Raiders in the final round of the regular season at Gungahlin Enclosed this Saturday, in a dress rehearsal for the Grand Final. Meanwhile, the Blues will face the Rams at Seiffert. Both games kick off at 3pm. With the Raiders playing in the NRL on Sunday afternoon, make sure you get out to a game!

****

Every week I rate the Raiders players on a scale of 0-10... and here are the total points and average points per match after the Round 18 clash with the Dragons. Tell us what you think of the ratings.

Total points

Josh Papalii 130
Jack Wighton 128
George Williams 127
Elliott Whitehead 119
Joe Tapine 118
Nick Cotric 114
Jarrod Croker 111
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 110
Siliva Havili 94
Ryan Sutton 92
Dunamis Lui 91
Jordan Rapana 91
Hudson Young 84
Curtis Scott 71
Tom Starling 62
Josh Hodgson 56
John Bateman 50
Sia Soliola 50
Emre Guler 49
Corey Horsburgh 40
Bailey Simonsson 34
Corey Harrawira-Naera 34
Semi Valemei 25
Michael Oldfield 20
Kai O'Donnell 15
Harley Smith-Shields 5
Matthew Timoko 5

Average points per match

Josh Papalii 7.2
John Bateman 7.1
Jack Wighton 7.1
George Williams 7.1
Joe Tapine 6.9
Tom Starling 6.9
Corey Horsburgh 6.7
Elliott Whitehead 6.6
Ryan Sutton 6.6
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 6.5
Hudson Young 6.5
Nick Cotric 6.3
Josh Hodgson 6.2
Jarrod Croker 6.2
Emre Guler 6.1
Dunamis Lui 6.1
Jordan Rapana 6.1
Corey Harrawira-Naera 5.7
Sia Soliola 5.6
Siliva Havili 5.5
Curtis Scott 5.5
Harley Smith-Shields 5.0
Kai O'Donnell 5.0
Matthew Timoko 5.0
Semi Valemei 5.0
Bailey Simonsson 4.9
Michael Oldfield 3.3

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greeneyed
Don Furner
Posts: 132542
Joined: January 7, 2005, 4:21 pm

Through green eyes 2020

Post by greeneyed »

Through green eyes: Whatever you do... don't build it at Mitchell

Image

At the start of this year, the ACT Government commissioned a feasibility study to examine the options for the site of a new Canberra Stadium.

The Raiders are playing in a stadium that is well out of date, with poorer facilities for spectators than available for most other NRL clubs. Canberra Stadium was originally built in 1977 and refurbished for the 2000 Olympics. Fundamentally, it is a much older stadium than the ones recently demolished in Sydney - and which have been rebuilt or are being rebuilt.

The Broncos, Titans, Storm, Eels and Cowboys all play out of modern stadiums, purpose built for rugby league. The Roosters will soon have a state of the art stadium at Moore Park. The refurbishment of Stadium Australia has unfortunately been taken off the table by the NSW Government. It doesn't have the best configuration for rugby league, but it's still a high quality venue.

There are worse NRL grounds than Canberra Stadium, particularly in Sydney. But with the refurbishment of Stadium Australia pushed aside, the NRL is pressing the NSW Government for funding to redevelop a number of the worst suburban grounds in Sydney. The strategy could see boutique stadiums of 20,000 built at a cost of $200 million at locations like Brookvale, Penrith, Kogarah and Liverpool. It would give virtually every Sydney club the option of playing in a modern venue - some more than one.

The idea of building a new Canberra Stadium has been around for a decade. The "City to the Lake" plan released in 2015 identified the site of the Olympic Pool in Civic as the site for the new Stadium. And ever since then, the ACT Government has been pushing it onto the back burner. There have been reasons, some better than others, starting with Mr Fluffy. But it can't be put on the back burner forever. We are in the days of COVID and restricted crowds, but that won't last forever. With infrastructure, you need to plan for the long term.



There are three options for a new stadium site: the Olympic Pool site at Civic; the AIS precinct at Bruce, near the current stadium; and EPIC at Mitchell.

The ACT Chief Minister, Andrew Barr revealed last week that the feasibility study has shown that the site in Civic is basically too small. It is constrained by Constitution Avenue and Parkes Way. And even if Parkes Way were moved slightly, the Chief Minister suggests a Civic stadium might only hold 20,000 people or less. That's assuming that the steep seating elevation of the new Western Sydney Stadium was replicated. The even steeper elevations that are used in baseball stadiums in the USA could see capacity increased - but presumably, not by much.

Image
Image

The original idea of an indoor stadium seems to have been completely put to one side - because growing grass would be a problem, and artificial surfaces aren't acceptable to any of the codes that might use the ground. That's not such a problem, but the idea of building a stadium with a smaller capacity than the current stadium is a real problem.

What's the point of building a smaller stadium than the current one? A "boutique" sized stadium isn't suitable for a city with just one venue. A capacity of 20,000 would likely rule Canberra out as a host of the NRL finals and most other major events. Ideally, a new stadium would hold up to 30,000 - like Melbourne Rectangular and Western Sydney Stadium. It should at least hold 25,000, the capacity of the existing stadium.

The sites at Bruce or Mitchell could accommodate a 25,000-30,000 seat stadium. Mitchell is the worst option, by a big margin. It is a long way from the geographic centre of Canberra. The geographic centre is near Civic, on the northern shores of Lake Burley Griffin. EPIC is on the tram route, but it'll always be on the northern end of that network - and it won't serve the majority of Canberrans. The Majura Parkway would help those in the south get there, but it's a long way from being a central location. And it is even more in the middle of nowhere than Bruce. A whole new precinct would need to be built around it, which includes hotels, cafes and bars. Bruce is a much more sensible location, but it too suffers from the lack of a lively local precinct.

That's why the new stadium should be in Civic. Ideally, a proper land corridor would be created between the city and the lake, with Parkes Way running underneath a new 30,000 seat stadium. I'm not an engineer, but I'm sure it would be feasible. Sure, it'd be costly, but it is not worth building a compromised stadium. And it would help achieve the vision of "City to the Lake". If it is too costly, here's an option... Commonwealth Park. The stadium would surely fit on the site where Floriade is now mainly staged. The facilities now there could easily be moved further along the lakeside. Think the MCG, a short walk from the city, surrounded by parkland. But whatever you do, Mr Barr, please don't build it at Mitchell!

****

I wrote a little while ago about the obstruction rule. This week, the NRL decided to cut the number of bunker officials from two to one, after yet another controversial obstruction call. In the Roosters' clash with the Knights last weekend, Roosters forward Lindsay Collins was denied a try, after team mate Nat Butcher was deemed to obstruct the Knights' defence - even though he was the player who played the ball. He just stood there. What else could he do? It was clearly the wrong call. I don't mind one way or the other about the number of bunker officials. Referees' boss Graham Annesley blamed the error on the the bunker's procedures. If that decision improves things, fine. But the fundamental problem is with the obstruction rule itself. It needs reviewing.

****

The Warriors' interim coach Todd Payten has done a remarkable job this year with a squad that has been cobbled together. They have had to set up camp on the Central Coast since the resumption of the season because of COVID travel restrictions. They have had to get by without star players like David Fusitu'a and Ken Maumalo, who've been given compassionate leave so they could return home. They have been significantly affected by injury, and have depended on player loans from other clubs. Coach Stephen Kearney was sacked in June. Payten then somehow built a competitive outfit.

The Warriors now cannot make the finals, after their loss last Sunday to the Sharks. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck's wife was reportedly happy after the loss, because it means that her family's five month separation from her husband would be coming to an end. It underlines how difficult the year has been for the New Zealand outfit.

They will be the underdogs when they face the Raiders this Sunday at Canberra, but there is no doubt that the Warriors will still be wanting to finish the season on a strong note. What better way than to beat one of the contenders? So for Canberra, it is another danger game. However, if the the Raiders play to their potential, they should be too strong. I'm tipping the Raiders by 12.

****

The Canberra Raiders Under 20's will face the Gungahlin Bulls in the Grand Final of the CRRL Cup. The Raiders produced a big, 50-6, win over the Queanbeyan Blues at Seiffert Oval last Saturday, with Caleb Esera getting a hat trick. The Raiders had already qualified for the Grand Final, but the Bulls grabbed a place in the premiership decider with their 34-20 win over the Woden Valley Rams.

The Raiders and Bulls will now face each other in their final two games of the season. The Bulls will host the Raiders in the final round of the regular season at Gungahlin Enclosed this Saturday. It's a dress rehearsal for the Grand Final on the following weekend. Meanwhile, the Blues will face the Rams at Seiffert. Both games kick off at 3pm. With the Raiders playing in the NRL on Sunday afternoon, make sure you get out to a game!

****

Every week I rate the Raiders players on a scale of 0-10... and here are the total points and average points per match after the Round 18 clash with the Dragons. Tell us what you think of the ratings.

Total points

Josh Papalii 130
Jack Wighton 128
George Williams 127
Elliott Whitehead 119
Joe Tapine 118
Nick Cotric 114
Jarrod Croker 111
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 110
Siliva Havili 94
Ryan Sutton 92
Dunamis Lui 91
Jordan Rapana 91
Hudson Young 84
Curtis Scott 71
Tom Starling 62
Josh Hodgson 56
John Bateman 50
Sia Soliola 50
Emre Guler 49
Corey Horsburgh 40
Bailey Simonsson 34
Corey Harrawira-Naera 34
Semi Valemei 25
Michael Oldfield 20
Kai O'Donnell 15
Harley Smith-Shields 5
Matthew Timoko 5

Average points per match

Josh Papalii 7.2
John Bateman 7.1
Jack Wighton 7.1
George Williams 7.1
Joe Tapine 6.9
Tom Starling 6.9
Corey Horsburgh 6.7
Elliott Whitehead 6.6
Ryan Sutton 6.6
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 6.5
Hudson Young 6.5
Nick Cotric 6.3
Josh Hodgson 6.2
Jarrod Croker 6.2
Emre Guler 6.1
Dunamis Lui 6.1
Jordan Rapana 6.1
Corey Harrawira-Naera 5.7
Sia Soliola 5.6
Siliva Havili 5.5
Curtis Scott 5.5
Harley Smith-Shields 5.0
Kai O'Donnell 5.0
Matthew Timoko 5.0
Semi Valemei 5.0
Bailey Simonsson 4.9
Michael Oldfield 3.3

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greeneyed
Don Furner
Posts: 132542
Joined: January 7, 2005, 4:21 pm

Re: Through green eyes 2020

Post by greeneyed »

Through green eyes: As I saw it

Image

"I wasn't happy with too much. It was a shocking game of football. If we had have put some line outs in when the ball went out, it would've been two rugby union games in here in two days. Disgraceful. If my team was giving those penalties away, that's well and good, we get penalised for it. But they were doing the same types of things and not getting penalised for it and this is not the first time. It really frustrates me and if I say anything you just get pay back so I don't need to say anything more about it. I don't think it went both ways in regards to what we were getting penalised for.

Jack Wighton's sin bin, would've that been the same decision if it was a semi-final? I hope not because he wasn't offside. You can't make that error. I just spoke to the kid down there and he said 'I do that every week, I know the timing and the judgement, that's my job'.

Graham Annesley is a really nice man, he's been in the game for a long time, but in regards to rugby league, Graham Annesley and myself, we are planets apart. Planets. Thank God COVID's in, I tell you, because we won't get any more than 6000 to these games.

I won't be raising any points, I'll be doing my review, and they'll do their review, go into hiding with their results and it'll be just game on again next week. I've been around the game for long enough to know and see where we create a foul, we create an incident where we get penalised, I understand that, I get that. But then when you see the opposition doing exactly the same thing I expect the penalty to be there, too.

Elliott Whitehead, he's got great utility value, he's very skillful. He's the most underestimated player in the competition. For Jack Wighton to have to fill in and play a completely different role today at No. 7... eight minutes into the game we lost our halfback... Elliott to go to No. 6... it was a wonderful way we found a way to win, scraping home like that. We didn't play well, but with disruptions with regards to three head bins, a sin binning that was not a sin bin, I thought we did an amazing job through their effort in winning that game. We were playing against a footy team that had nothing to lose, throwing the ball out the back and looking for second phase play, it was hard to defend, but they did a good job. But it's a frustrating day."

Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart


2020 Round 19. Canberra Raiders 26 - New Zealand Warriors 14. It was a strange old game, filled with controversy. The Raiders faced considerable adversity, due to injury and the officiating. They did not play well, but they did enough to win by a good margin, in a gutsy effort.



The Raiders again started slowly, conceding the first try to the opposition for an eighth straight match. The Warriors' defence was good, conceding relatively few metres, while the Raiders' kicking game did not compensate. Canberra's long kicking game is not consistent enough, and again yesterday, Canberra lost the early battle for territory. George Williams left the field after eight minutes for an HIA, after his head was slammed to the ground in a tackle. He did not return. Jarrod Croker scored the first try for the Raiders in the 15th minute, the result of a sweet pass from Jack Wighton. But Croker too, had to leave the field for an HIA, after to a head clash with Roger Tuivasa-Sheck in the process of scoring the try.

In the 29th minute, Jack Wighton was sin binned, allegedly offside when helping to defend the Raiders' goal line. He sprinted off the line, but he was certainly not offside. The Warriors scored almost immediately after the incorrect sin bin, with Peta Hiku running at the spaces where Wighton and Croker would have been. But the Raiders scored twice while Wighton was in the bin, leaving the field at half time with an unlikely two point lead. And in the second half, the Raiders refused to let the Warriors score, while putting on two tries themselves. They had more opportunity to score in the second 40, but a bit of impatience saw them missed. But the two tries were enough.

Ricky Stuart was understandably upset and frustrated with the officiating. The Warriors received seven penalties, the Raiders one, in the first half. Add in the set restarts, and the "penalties" were 9-2. That "evened up" in the second half. I guess we will see today whether the NRL believes Stuart crossed the line in his criticism of the refereeing. But, for mine, Stuart was spot on.

The victory keeps the Raiders in the hunt for a top four spot. The Raiders are two competition points adrift of the Roosters and Eels. Third position is secure for the Roosters, even if they were to lose next week to the Rabbitohs. The Roosters have a much better points differential than the Eels or Raiders. But the Raiders have a better points differential than the Eels. If the Raiders can beat the Sharks in their final game of the regular season, and the Eels lose to the Tigers, then Canberra would jump into fourth. Here's hoping.

Stats that mattered?

The Raiders finished with only a 45 per cent share of possession and about 45 per cent of the territory. That picture was even worse in the first half. Overall, the Warriors had the ball in hand for a full five minutes more than the Raiders. Canberra completed at just 68 per cent (Warriors 79 per cent), producing 12 errors (Warriors eight). So some of their problems were certainly self inflicted. Remarkably, the penalties ended up level (8-8), while the Warriors were awarded one more set restart (3-2).

The Warriors made more runs (176-167) and produced more post contact metres (690-619) and kick return metres (164-135). However, the Raiders produced more running metres (1695-1677), line breaks (4-3), tackle breaks (29-18) and metres per set (46-44). It surprised me to see the Raiders made more offloads (18-9), as it seemed like the Warriors were producing them at will at times. The Warriors kicked more (18-14) and made more kicking metres (403-353) - and the absence of George Williams, the Raiders failed to produce a forced line drop out (Warriors two).

The Raiders' defence was mostly good - and better in the second half than the first. The Raiders posted a 91 per cent effective tackle rate (Warriors 84 per cent). The Raiders made more tackles (348-305), but the Warriors missed more (29-18) and produced more ineffective tackles (29-18).

Somehow, from all that, the Raiders crafted a five tries to two victory.

Memorable moments?

Semi Valemei scored a double, the first a spectacular 90 metre intercept. For those who have been wondering about his speed, it was there for all to see. That was pure excitement. The six game rookie has had the odd handling and defensive error in his game, but his Round 19 display should show some of the critics how much potential he has. But the best try came just before half time. It was almost a case of "kick ahead by Whitehead, kick ahead again by Whitehead... this will be a miracle!". Whitehead didn't score himself, but Hudson Young did. And it was a stunner.

Best performers?

Elliott Whitehead. Eight runs for 103 metres, one try assist, one tackle break, one offload, 17 tackles, 85 per cent tackle efficiency, three kicks for 48 metres. Whitehead was terrific filling in in the halves. He was slammed into the ground in one tackle in the second half, and it shook him. He ended up throwing up on field, but he got to his feet and continued on.

Hudson Young. One try, nine runs for 99 metres, 34 post contact metres, two tackle breaks, three offloads, 38 tackles, 91 per cent tackle efficiency. He was man of the match last week in Fans' Choice voting, and he was close this week too.

Joe Tapine. 18 runs for 156 metres, 78 post contact metres, two tackle breaks, two offloads, 39 tackles, 95 per cent tackle efficiency.

Top tacklers: Ryan Sutton 41, Joe Tapine 39, Hudson Young 38
Most metres gained: Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 221, Semi Valemei 177, Joe Tapine 156

My player ratings:

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 7
Semi Valemei 7
Jarrod Croker 7
Jordan Rapana 7
Nick Cotric 6
Jack Wighton 7
George Williams 2
Josh Papalii 7
Siliva Havili 6
Dunamis Lui 7
John Bateman 7
Elliott Whitehead 8
Joe Tapine 8

Tom Starling 6
Ryan Sutton 7
Hudson Young 8
Corey Harawira-Naera 5

Do you agree with the ratings? Let us know what you think!

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greeneyed
Don Furner
Posts: 132542
Joined: January 7, 2005, 4:21 pm

Re: Through green eyes 2020

Post by greeneyed »

Through green eyes: As I saw it

Image

"I wasn't happy with too much. It was a shocking game of football. If we had have put some line outs in when the ball went out, it would've been two rugby union games in here in two days. Disgraceful. If my team was giving those penalties away, that's well and good, we get penalised for it. But they were doing the same types of things and not getting penalised for it and this is not the first time. It really frustrates me and if I say anything you just get pay back so I don't need to say anything more about it. I don't think it went both ways in regards to what we were getting penalised for.

Jack Wighton's sin bin, would've that been the same decision if it was a semi-final? I hope not because he wasn't offside. You can't make that error. I just spoke to the kid down there and he said 'I do that every week, I know the timing and the judgement, that's my job'.

Graham Annesley is a really nice man, he's been in the game for a long time, but in regards to rugby league, Graham Annesley and myself, we are planets apart. Planets. Thank God COVID's in, I tell you, because we won't get any more than 6000 to these games.

I won't be raising any points, I'll be doing my review, and they'll do their review, go into hiding with their results and it'll be just game on again next week. I've been around the game for long enough to know and see where we create a foul, we create an incident where we get penalised, I understand that, I get that. But then when you see the opposition doing exactly the same thing I expect the penalty to be there, too.

Elliott Whitehead, he's got great utility value, he's very skillful. He's the most underestimated player in the competition. For Jack Wighton to have to fill in and play a completely different role today at No. 7... eight minutes into the game we lost our halfback... Elliott to go to No. 6... it was a wonderful way we found a way to win, scraping home like that. We didn't play well, but with disruptions with regards to three head bins, a sin binning that was not a sin bin, I thought we did an amazing job through their effort in winning that game. We were playing against a footy team that had nothing to lose, throwing the ball out the back and looking for second phase play, it was hard to defend, but they did a good job. But it's a frustrating day."

Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart


2020 Round 19. Canberra Raiders 26 - New Zealand Warriors 14. It was a strange old game, filled with controversy. The Raiders faced considerable adversity, due to injury and the officiating. They did not play well, but they did enough to win by a good margin, in a gutsy effort.



The Raiders again started slowly, conceding the first try to the opposition for an eighth straight match. The Warriors' defence was good, conceding relatively few metres, while the Raiders' kicking game did not compensate. Canberra's long kicking game is not consistent enough, and again yesterday, Canberra lost the early battle for territory. George Williams left the field after eight minutes for an HIA, after his head was slammed to the ground in a tackle. He did not return. Jarrod Croker scored the first try for the Raiders in the 15th minute, the result of a sweet pass from Jack Wighton. But Croker too, had to leave the field for an HIA, after a head clash with Roger Tuivasa-Sheck in the process of scoring the try.

In the 29th minute, Jack Wighton was sin binned, allegedly offside when helping to defend the Raiders' goal line. He sprinted off the line, but he was certainly not offside. The Warriors scored almost immediately after the incorrect sin bin, with Peta Hiku running at the spaces where Wighton and Croker would have been. But the Raiders scored twice while Wighton was in the bin, leaving the field at half time with an unlikely two point lead. And in the second half, the Raiders refused to let the Warriors score, while putting on two tries themselves. They had more opportunity to score in the second 40, but a bit of impatience saw them missed. But the two tries were enough.

Ricky Stuart was understandably upset and frustrated with the officiating. The Warriors received seven penalties, the Raiders one, in the first half. Add in the set restarts, and the "penalties" were 9-2. That "evened up" in the second half. I guess we will see today whether the NRL believes Stuart crossed the line in his criticism of the refereeing. But, for mine, Stuart was spot on.

The victory keeps the Raiders in the hunt for a top four spot. The Raiders are two competition points adrift of the Roosters and Eels. Third position is secure for the Roosters, even if they were to lose next week to the Rabbitohs. The Roosters have a much better points differential than the Eels or Raiders. But the Raiders have a better points differential than the Eels. If the Raiders can beat the Sharks in their final game of the regular season, and the Eels lose to the Tigers, then Canberra would jump into fourth. Here's hoping.

Stats that mattered?

The Raiders finished with only a 45 per cent share of possession and about 45 per cent of the territory. That picture was even worse in the first half. Overall, the Warriors had the ball in hand for a full five minutes more than the Raiders. Canberra completed at just 68 per cent (Warriors 79 per cent), producing 12 errors (Warriors eight). So some of their problems were certainly self inflicted. Remarkably, the penalties ended up level (8-8), while the Warriors were awarded one more set restart (3-2).

The Warriors made more runs (176-167) and produced more post contact metres (690-619) and kick return metres (164-135). However, the Raiders produced more running metres (1695-1677), line breaks (4-3), tackle breaks (29-18) and metres per set (46-44). It surprised me to see the Raiders made more offloads (18-9), as it seemed like the Warriors were producing them at will at times. The Warriors kicked more (18-14) and made more kicking metres (403-353) - and in the absence of George Williams, the Raiders failed to produce a forced line drop out (Warriors two).

The Raiders' defence was mostly good - and better in the second half than the first. The Raiders posted a 91 per cent effective tackle rate (Warriors 84 per cent). The Raiders made more tackles (348-305), but the Warriors missed more (29-18) and produced more ineffective tackles (29-18).

Somehow, from all that, the Raiders crafted a five tries to two victory.

Memorable moments?

Semi Valemei scored a double, the first a spectacular 90 metre intercept. For those who have been wondering about his speed, it was there for all to see. That was pure excitement. The six game rookie has had the odd handling and defensive error in his game, but his Round 19 display should show some of the critics how much potential he has. The best try came just before half time. It was almost a case of "kick ahead by Whitehead, kick ahead again by Whitehead... this will be a miracle!". Whitehead didn't score himself, but Hudson Young did. And it was a stunner.

Best performers?

Elliott Whitehead. Eight runs for 103 metres, one try assist, one tackle break, one offload, 17 tackles, 85 per cent tackle efficiency, three kicks for 48 metres. Whitehead was terrific filling in in the halves. He was slammed into the ground in one tackle in the second half, and it shook him. He ended up throwing up on field, but he got to his feet and continued on.

Hudson Young. One try, nine runs for 99 metres, 34 post contact metres, two tackle breaks, three offloads, 38 tackles, 91 per cent tackle efficiency. He was man of the match last week in Fans' Choice voting, and he was close this week too.

Joe Tapine. 18 runs for 156 metres, 78 post contact metres, two tackle breaks, two offloads, 39 tackles, 95 per cent tackle efficiency.

Top tacklers: Ryan Sutton 41, Joe Tapine 39, Hudson Young 38
Most metres gained: Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 221, Semi Valemei 177, Joe Tapine 156

My player ratings:

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 7
Semi Valemei 7
Jarrod Croker 7
Jordan Rapana 7
Nick Cotric 6
Jack Wighton 7
George Williams 2*
Josh Papalii 7
Siliva Havili 6
Dunamis Lui 7
John Bateman 7
Elliott Whitehead 8
Joe Tapine 8

Tom Starling 6
Ryan Sutton 7
Hudson Young 8
Corey Harawira-Naera 5

* Limited minutes

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