Top four

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Top four

Post by Canberra Milk » September 1, 2019, 9:35 pm

No thread for this yet, did I miss something?? Well done team!!

Not only does top 4 get you a second bite of the cherry, but finishing top 4 is itself a great achievement. The comp is very hard and close every year. There is always talk all through the year about who and who isn't a "top 4 team", and this season we are one.

Completely stoked. What a season and turnaround from last year. Credit where is due to Sticky, whatever he did.

Whatever happens this year it's been a massive success, but I think we are in with a better shot at a GF than 2016. We were very attack-based then, an off the cuff attack based on individual brilliance, largely Leipana, Hodgson and Austin. This year we are winning on defence and grit which is more sustainable.

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Re: Top 4

Post by PigRickman » September 1, 2019, 9:39 pm

Home final game too, which is huge for the club and it's fan base.
Lets hope it's a week 3 home semi
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Re: Top 4

Post by afgtnk » September 1, 2019, 9:47 pm

Huge credit must go to Stick, and by extension Mulholland. The team has been hardened with astute and somewhat unfashionable buys, having taken a gamble in playing a much lighter pack. McFadden looks to have added a lot as well. Sticky's head was probably on the chopping block this season and if he did not deliver then surely he would've been gone.

Without trying to put a downer on what has been a very good season so far, I see us being a tad short of the 2016 team. That teams' attack was lethal and it's defence, while well down throughout the season on what it has been this year, was right up there when we needed it most. It is of course all relative to other teams though and how they're travelling. The extra experience we have now should definitely help too.
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Re: Top 4

Post by BJ » September 1, 2019, 9:52 pm

Yep great effort. I think it’s been across the board improvements and each player and the coaching staff have looked to improve in at least one area.

Now let’s make it count. I’ll be disappointed if we don’t make the grand final.

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Re: Top 4

Post by Northern Raider » September 1, 2019, 9:54 pm

afgtnk wrote:
September 1, 2019, 9:47 pm
Huge credit must go to Stick, and by extension Mulholland. The team has been hardened with astute and somewhat unfashionable buys, having taken a gamble in playing a much lighter pack. McFadden looks to have added a lot as well. If Sticky's head was probably on the chopping block and if he did not deliver this season, surely he would've been gone.

Without trying to put a downer on what has been a very good season so far, I see us being a tad short of the 2016 team. That teams' attack was lethal and it's defence, while well down throughout the season on what it has been this year, was right up there when we needed it most. It is of course all relative to other teams though and how they're travelling. The extra experience we have now should definitely help too.
That's fair. Big difference I see between now and 2016 is we've got more mongrel and able to tough it out when needed. We have a number of wins (today included) where we jumped right into the trenches to graft out a win. In 2016 we were playing some brilliant footy but it felt like we were great running down hill. Not so much when faced with a bit of adversity.
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Re: Top 4

Post by Azza » September 1, 2019, 9:57 pm

Yep this 2019 side is definitely mentally tougher, if not as flashy as the 2016 side.

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Re: Top 4

Post by Canberra Milk » September 1, 2019, 10:04 pm

Can't argue with that, less brilliant/flashy but tougher, have a steely will to win. I think the defence is a fair bit better this year too and the stats show that, 350 (and counting) vs 450ish in 2016. It must be the most composed Raiders defence I can remember

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Re: Top 4

Post by Northern Raider » September 1, 2019, 10:05 pm

Azza wrote:
September 1, 2019, 9:57 pm
Yep this 2019 side is definitely mentally tougher, if not as flashy as the 2016 side.
Should be noted that in 2016 the non-flashy but tough team won the GF.
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Re: Top 4

Post by raiderskater » September 1, 2019, 10:18 pm

I think being non-flashy but grittier is more likely to win us a premiership than the flashiness of 2016.

I am so proud of them. Not only do we finish top 4:

We didn't fall out of the top 4 all season.

That, to me, is absolutely huge.
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Re: Top 4

Post by Canberra Milk » September 1, 2019, 10:21 pm

raiderskater wrote:
September 1, 2019, 10:18 pm
I think being non-flashy but grittier is more likely to win us a premiership than the flashiness of 2016.

I am so proud of them. Not only do we finish top 4:

We didn't fall out of the top 4 all season.

That, to me, is absolutely huge.
Wow!

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Re: Top 4

Post by Azza » September 1, 2019, 10:26 pm

Yeah and you know what, I look back and there aren't really many performances all season where I feel we strung it together for 80 minutes against a really high quality side. In 2016 we did that against the Sharks and Storm pre-finals, but then just dropped off a tiny bit come finals. Whereas on this occasion I really believe our best is ahead of us.

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Re: Top 4

Post by Northern Raider » September 1, 2019, 10:41 pm

Canberra Milk wrote:
September 1, 2019, 10:21 pm
raiderskater wrote:
September 1, 2019, 10:18 pm
I think being non-flashy but grittier is more likely to win us a premiership than the flashiness of 2016.

I am so proud of them. Not only do we finish top 4:

We didn't fall out of the top 4 all season.

That, to me, is absolutely huge.
Wow!
We did after round 11. Lost 3 straight to Rorters, Bunnies and Cowboys and dropped to 5th. Team that replaced us in the top 4 was the Knights. Very different trajectory for both teams from that point.
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Re: Top 4

Post by edwahu » September 1, 2019, 10:44 pm

raiderskater wrote:
September 1, 2019, 10:18 pm
I think being non-flashy but grittier is more likely to win us a premiership than the flashiness of 2016.

I am so proud of them. Not only do we finish top 4:

We didn't fall out of the top 4 all season.

That, to me, is absolutely huge.
I'm pretty sure we were 5th for a couple of weeks after the cowboys loss.

Still, this is easily the most consistent side we have ever had in the NRL era. I believe we have only lost one game by more than 6 points.

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Re: Top 4

Post by Bay53 » September 1, 2019, 10:48 pm

Northern Raider wrote:
September 1, 2019, 10:41 pm
Canberra Milk wrote:
September 1, 2019, 10:21 pm
raiderskater wrote:
September 1, 2019, 10:18 pm
I think being non-flashy but grittier is more likely to win us a premiership than the flashiness of 2016.

I am so proud of them. Not only do we finish top 4:

We didn't fall out of the top 4 all season.

That, to me, is absolutely huge.
Wow!
We did after round 11. Lost 3 straight to Rorters, Bunnies and Cowboys and dropped to 5th. Team that replaced us in the top 4 was the Knights. Very different trajectory for both teams from that point.
That Cowboys game will be the only one we lost to a team outside the top 6.

Not sure if we were still top 4 when we were 1 and 1 after two weeks.

But I still maintain it was the second half at home against the Storm where I thought we might be ok.

I admit I didn’t have a lot of expectations going in.

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Re: Top 4

Post by greeneyed » September 1, 2019, 10:52 pm

raiderskater wrote:
September 1, 2019, 10:18 pm
I think being non-flashy but grittier is more likely to win us a premiership than the flashiness of 2016.

I am so proud of them. Not only do we finish top 4:

We didn't fall out of the top 4 all season.

That, to me, is absolutely huge.
Actually, we were not in the top four in three of the rounds, but were never lower than fifth. (Rounds 2-3 and 11 in fifth).
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Re: Top four

Post by Seiffert82 » September 2, 2019, 4:13 am

What excites and annoys me at the same time is the fact that this team hasn't played its best football for an entire 80 minutes all season. Not even close.

We can still be niggled off our game at times, but at least we can bounce back after falling behind.

I'd just like us to play the full 80 when it counts. Hopefully that's the first weekend of October.

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Re: Top four

Post by dubby » September 2, 2019, 7:13 am

I enjoy our new found resilience and improved defense.

The players have really put in this year, and it's very pleasing.

Full credit to the coaching + rehabilitation staff, and of course the players.

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Re: Top four

Post by The Rickman » September 2, 2019, 7:37 am

What a great season, full credit to Stick and all the boys how they turned around two absolutely disastrous seasons.

When you look at the table, look at Points For and Against, we’re clearly the third best team in the comp behind the Storm and then the Roosters. Clearly better than Souths and Manly.

We can win this whole thing, baby.
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Re: Top 4

Post by Roger Kenworthy » September 2, 2019, 7:37 am

Azza wrote:
September 1, 2019, 9:57 pm
Yep this 2019 side is definitely mentally tougher, if not as flashy as the 2016 side.
Don't agree. Just because the 2016 team were a more attacking squad it doesn't mean they lacked composure or mental toughness. That team won 13 of their final 14 matches, blew away the Sharks (away) and the Storm as part of that run. In their two finals losses they put in until the final minute.

TBH I don't see this squad being particularly close to 2016 in performance at this stage. 2016 beat all the top teams and had an amazing run to finish the season. If you look at this wikipedia site (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Canb ... ers_season) the season break down shows you how good we actually were.

This year we're more than likely making up the numbers as the Roosters look a level above the rest. Of course we're only an injury to Cronk away from being right back in it.

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Re: Top 4

Post by Azza » September 2, 2019, 8:37 am

Roger Kenworthy wrote:
September 2, 2019, 7:37 am
Azza wrote:
September 1, 2019, 9:57 pm
Yep this 2019 side is definitely mentally tougher, if not as flashy as the 2016 side.
Don't agree. Just because the 2016 team were a more attacking squad it doesn't mean they lacked composure or mental toughness. That team won 13 of their final 14 matches, blew away the Sharks (away) and the Storm as part of that run. In their two finals losses they put in until the final minute.

TBH I don't see this squad being particularly close to 2016 in performance at this stage. 2016 beat all the top teams and had an amazing run to finish the season. If you look at this wikipedia site (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Canb ... ers_season) the season break down shows you how good we actually were.

This year we're more than likely making up the numbers as the Roosters look a level above the rest. Of course we're only an injury to Cronk away from being right back in it.
Meh, you've always been quite negative this year though - that's your prerogative. I think I'm absolutely correct about that. Also note that I never said the 2016 side lacked mental toughness, I just said this side is tougher.

I will also add we need to step up in the next few weeks against the big teams - the 2016 side had the same question mark over it until late in the season.

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Re: Top 4

Post by Roger Kenworthy » September 2, 2019, 8:57 am

Azza wrote:
September 2, 2019, 8:37 am
Roger Kenworthy wrote:
September 2, 2019, 7:37 am
Azza wrote:
September 1, 2019, 9:57 pm
Yep this 2019 side is definitely mentally tougher, if not as flashy as the 2016 side.
Don't agree. Just because the 2016 team were a more attacking squad it doesn't mean they lacked composure or mental toughness. That team won 13 of their final 14 matches, blew away the Sharks (away) and the Storm as part of that run. In their two finals losses they put in until the final minute.

TBH I don't see this squad being particularly close to 2016 in performance at this stage. 2016 beat all the top teams and had an amazing run to finish the season. If you look at this wikipedia site (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Canb ... ers_season) the season break down shows you how good we actually were.

This year we're more than likely making up the numbers as the Roosters look a level above the rest. Of course we're only an injury to Cronk away from being right back in it.
Meh, you've always been quite negative this year though - that's your prerogative. I think I'm absolutely correct about that. Also note that I never said the 2016 side lacked mental toughness, I just said this side is tougher.

I will also add we need to step up in the next few weeks against the big teams - the 2016 side had the same question mark over it until late in the season.
Yup - I'd say this year I'm having a great time watching us but not feeling the Premiership vibe. Similar to 2000 and 2003 in that way for me. 2016 I was totally on board :lol:

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Re: Top four

Post by Azza » September 2, 2019, 9:14 am

I'm happy to be surprised this year. I do agree the Storm and Roosters are the clear favourites, but I do think we are in with a shot if we can step up a gear. We're going to need to be smarter against the Roosters (assuming that's who we play) in the first week of the finals than we have been in our previous games against them.

Keep in mind also we've had some pretty bad injuries this year too - to still stay in the top 4 for all but a short period given that is a pretty amazing effort.

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Re: Top four

Post by PigRickman » September 2, 2019, 9:18 am

We've beaten the storm once on their own home soil, playing with 12 men for 20 minutes
And we're inches away TWICE from snatching the roosters game a few weeks ago

Both of them played us off the park early in the season, but we've come along way since then. We play those teams and they'll rightly be favourites to win, but we can beat them
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Re: Top four

Post by The Rickman » September 2, 2019, 9:36 am

For some reason I'm feeling it a LOT more this year than 2016, can't really put my finger on why.
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Re: Top four

Post by Northern Raider » September 2, 2019, 9:48 am

Said before. My biggest concern about winning the premiership is trying to beat the Roosters if they're at their peak. With that squad I don't see any team challenging them if they hit form, even Melbourne.

That's the key in sporting competitions. How good you are is only half the battle. Quality of opposition is the other part, which is something you have far less control over.
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Re: Top four

Post by edwahu » September 2, 2019, 9:57 am

2016 gets a bit underrated already on here. They had a better record and I don't think many realise they were the best regular season attacking side of the wrestle era and arguably entire NRL era. Certainly our best since 1995 as well.

They barely lost two semis to the eventual grand finalists and I get the argument defense wins comps but that was a freak team.

This side is our best defensive side since the 90s but they still have something to prove to catch 2016 imo.

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Re: Top four

Post by dubby » September 2, 2019, 10:17 am

Both sides have different strengths. This one is way better defensively, although 2016 was way better in attack.

We were one dropped ball from a gf in 2016. That can't be forgotten.

This side hasn't achieved what 2016 did either (not yet).

2016 finished 2nd, won a ridiculous amount of games straight and were a darn good thing to rack up points.

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Re: Top four

Post by Northern Raider » September 2, 2019, 10:26 am

edwahu wrote:
September 2, 2019, 9:57 am
2016 gets a bit underrated already on here. They had a better record and I don't think many realise they were the best regular season attacking side of the wrestle era and arguably entire NRL era. Certainly our best since 1995 as well.

They barely lost two semis to the eventual grand finalists and I get the argument defense wins comps but that was a freak team.

This side is our best defensive side since the 90s but they still have something to prove to catch 2016 imo.
Injuries at critical times killed us in 2016. Hodgo vs Sharks then BJ and Croker against Melbourne. Those 3 guys were some of the biggest contributors to our form back then.
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Re: Top four

Post by Seiffert82 » September 2, 2019, 6:23 pm

My gut feeling is a bit double sided...on one hand we haven't been able to put together a quality 80 minutes against decent opposition all season. We either start well and drop off, or give them a lead and come back to make it competitive. That worries me.

On the other hand... if we do manage to put together the 80 minutes of football that I know we are capable of...anything is possible.

At least we are resilient. The only game we've been entirely out of the contest is in Rd 2 vs the Storm, and that ended up only being a 10 point loss.

Stupid unfulfilled potential!!

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Re: Top four

Post by Azza » September 2, 2019, 6:29 pm

Yeah we have struggled to string together 80 minutes. We looked set for our best performance of the year vs the Eels in Darwin - we looked slick, clinical and ruthless, but then it all fell apart.

I have to say though, the way we've performed given injuries to key players (Hodgson out for a few weeks) compared to previous years has been pretty endearing.

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Re: Top four

Post by Seiffert82 » September 2, 2019, 6:36 pm

Yep, the three shutouts and our ability to stay in the contest have been streets ahead of where we have been for a decade. It's really just our attack that can be all over the shop.

To a large degree this comes down to Hodgson's mood. If he just focusses on getting good, clean ball to his halves then everything flows from there. When he overplays his hand we look crap. Like next level crap. Passes going to ground, stupid inside balls on the last, rushed kicks from our halves - just no composure.

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Re: Top four

Post by Azza » September 2, 2019, 6:50 pm

There's no doubt Hodgson has been off the last few weeks. Just that he still comes up with match winning plays.

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Re: Top four

Post by PigRickman » September 2, 2019, 7:18 pm

Azza wrote:
September 2, 2019, 6:50 pm
There's no doubt Hodgson has been off the last few weeks. Just that he still comes up with match winning plays.
absolutely
He's not been at his best but yesterday when wer started to find our way, it was because Hodgson was scheming out of hooker, engaging the line and getting his forward going forward
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Re: Top four

Post by -PJ- » September 2, 2019, 7:31 pm

I'm very proud of the boys and super excited for the club.

This is what this club does now, we play finals.

The squad is locked in for a few years and we have found a new standard.

I expect the club to thrive..
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Re: Top four

Post by Hazza » September 2, 2019, 9:31 pm

Yeah fascinating comparison the '16 team to this 1. That '16 team really was unique. We scored 688 points and you could count on 1 hand the try assists the halves got between them. Leipana were running rampant and a lot of our attack was off the back of them, Leilua was ridiculous, had 12 blinders in a row, he isn't coming close to that again.

No question we were a far more potent attacking team in '16 but as has been pointed out the big difference this year is our defence. Most we've let in this year is 30 to the best attacking team in the comp with our best player out. In '16 we won games 44-30, 30-22, 29-25, 32-24. Also copped a couple of hammerings at the start of the year. This year our biggest loss is 12 points (22-10 to Melbourne). I'd also argue we've had a far tougher draw this year compared to '16. Played Storm, Roosters and Manly twice. Only played Titans and Dragons who are both gimmies who we could've run up cricket scores against once.

I think over the course of '16 we were probably the best team and should've won the comp. Perhaps a lack of finals experience cost us. I also think the current Roosters and Storm are far superior to that '16 Sharks side. We were winning so easy at the back end of the regular season that when the tough 1 came in the semi it caught us on the hop a bit. That hasn't been the case this year. Last month or so has been semi final intensity, we'll be ready

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