Help for Raiders Season Preview

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The Boss
Gerry De La Cruz
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Help for Raiders Season Preview

Post by The Boss » February 10, 2020, 10:59 am

I am a writer on The Roar and be doing a series in where I will be doing a season preview of each team, I thought no better way to get a preview then the die hard fans . I will ask some questions and be greatly appreciated if u guys can answer as many ask you like. 

1. What are the biggest changes that need to be made from last year, to go one better?
2. After having such a great year last year by making the Grand Final how do you avoid a having an off year like you did in 2017 after having a great 2016?
3. You have lost Leilpana (BJ Leiluia and Jordan Rapana), do you have depth to replace and possible replicate their production?
4. George Williams is another English player signed by the Raiders will he have a similar impact to other English players?
5. Not many players leave Melbourne as better players, what makes you think Curtis Scott be any different?
6. What’s your teams' biggest strength and the biggest weakness?
7. The player with the most pressure on them is?
8. What rookie or relatively unknown player to look out for ?
9. What will constitute a successful season? what will constitute a failure this year?
10. In your honest opinion where will they finish this year?

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Botman
Mal Meninga
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Re: Help for Raiders Season Preview

Post by Botman » February 10, 2020, 12:00 pm

1. What are the biggest changes that need to be made from last year, to go one better?
More creativity in attack, we had a ton of chances to punch in points against the Roosters and we just couldnt break through. We need to continue to focus on being a defensive minded football team but more creativity and better execution in the red zone is going to be what takes us above. We need to be able to reliably feel like we can punch it in at least 3 times against the best defensive teams in the comp.

2. After having such a great year last year by making the Grand Final how do you avoid a having an off year like you did in 2017 after having a great 2016?
Injuries could be a factor. If you get wrecked there is not much you can do to avoid the hangover. But outside of that, it's purely a mental thing, the team needs to understand nothing they did last year means anything now. It's a new season and they need to work hard to establish themselves again and work to finding out what sort of team they're going to be this year.

3. You have lost Leilpana (BJ Leiluia and Jordan Rapana), do you have depth to replace and possible replicate their production?
Hard to replicate and replace what that duo gave us, it's not likely we'll match that, and certainly not if Curtis Scott ends up with a lengthy suspension, which is likely. But you hope the new halfback provides the upgrade in creativity spoken about above, and that, along with CNK developing further as a ball player, the attack of the team might not be as freakish but perhaps it can be more reliable and that's a good offset. As for depth, i think Oldfield is as good a back up winger as you can have in this league so im comfortable there, and there is big wraps on Harley Smith-Shields who's a centre.

4. George Williams is another English player signed by the Raiders will he have a similar impact to other English players?
The history on english halves is not great, and it's easier to make an impact in the forwards the way Bateman and Whitehead and others have. Josh Hodgson is one of the best hookers in the league and if that's the level of impact we get, this team is ready to win the title. I dont think he'll have that level of impact but i do expect him to be a good upgrade for us.

5. Not many players leave Melbourne as better players, what makes you think Curtis Scott be any different?
Nothing. As it stands he may not last long at the club. If he can get his head right and stay out of trouble then i think he will be an impactful player. He's young, no where near his best and his talent is undeniable. He'll fit our defensive structure well and i think his attacking game is under-rated. But as of right now, its been a disastrous start.

6. What’s your teams' biggest strength and the biggest weakness?
Biggest strength is the forward pack. It's big enough, its very tough, it's very mobile and it has a very good balance of impact, motor, experience and youth. There is natural pairings and rotations in the middle third players, and versatility in the bench and back rower to ramp up minutes and cover for injuries.
Weakness at the moment you'd have to say it's centre and halfback... because the projected starters right now are two guys (Smith-Shields and George Williams) who have never played NRL footy and we don't know what they are yet. At full strength, the team does lack speed in the outside backs. Not really any noted fliers here that can finish off long breaks.

7. The player with the most pressure on them is?
George Williams - He's an international, coming into one of the most important positions on the field, replacing a guy who was solid without being spectacular and the expectations are he will be a major upgrade on that player and that upgrade can prove the difference between runners up and winners. Next would be Josh Hodgson. He needs to be in the Cam Smith (declining) and Cook conversation for Dally M Hooker of the Year. If he is consistently near his best, it'll go a long way to helping ease the pressure on Williams.

8. What rookie or relatively unknown player to look out for ?
I don't know much about him but the good judges here and around the club say Harley Smith-Shields. Think there is a very good chance he gets a shot in FG early given the Curtis Scott situation. Emre Guler is another, i thought last year would be his break out year, but he's a guy i expect big things of. By seasons end i think he'll be starting a long side Josh Papalii and being groomed as his successor as our middle forward pillar.

9. What will constitute a successful season? what will constitute a failure this year?
You don't play in a GF and then lower the expectations the following year. Baring an injury crisis that cripples the chance, the expectations for a successful season is to win the premiership. Less than that will be seen as a failure

10. In your honest opinion where will they finish this year?
I honestly think they SHOULD finish again in the top 4 and be battling it out for a premiership. 21st century history of this club says they cant string together back to back seasons of success. There is real unease amongst the fans about this. I think this team specifically is built to buck that trend, and i think this coach has learnt a lot over his many years of success and a lot of failure, i think he's found the balance between the players coach he was early in his coaching career and the angry miserable bastard he was before coming home to Canberra.
CREATE PROCEDURE BotMan_Post AS
SELECT * FROM Previous_Post
EXEC quote_post
WHERE UserName = 'Aknalkfgnaa' OR 'Yeah Raiders' OR 'Billy B'
EXEC RAND(good_grief; cheak_notes; uh82cit;)

GO;

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BadnMean
David Furner
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Re: Help for Raiders Season Preview

Post by BadnMean » February 10, 2020, 12:21 pm

1. What are the biggest changes that need to be made from last year, to go one better?
I guess seizing the vital moments and a more ruthless attitude. We were very, very close... a pass not thrown here... a contentious call there... an absurd bit of luck (trainer charge down)... a lazy piece of defence (Tapine turns his back while defending his line)...
Some of those we can't control, but the parts we can; Ricky culled one or two of those people from the squad and has given others one more chance. So this year the ruthlessness has come from the top down- it was lacking after 2016 and we slid backwards.

2. After having such a great year last year by making the Grand Final how do you avoid a having an off year like you did in 2017 after having a great 2016?
After those seasons, the club failed to refresh the squad, which led to a slight sense of entitlement/staleness to the squad. You could also argue their was some hubris, with Stuart altering his pre-season to have guys firing in September, not Round 1.
The club made an effort to bring in new faces this year, even after such a succesful year last year and at some pain to the club, losing favourites and stalwarts like Rapana and Joey in search of future success. We are hoping those are the hard decisions which we failed to take in 2016/17.

3. You have lost Leilpana (BJ Leiluia and Jordan Rapana), do you have depth to replace and possible replicate their production?
You never know who is going to have a breakout year or how a signing will go. With Scott we had some breathing space for young guys like Smith-Shields to develop. With Scott looking at missing a significant period, we are one injury away from a real depth crisis. Oldfield and HSS will need to be on deck and making the grade.

4. George Williams is another English player signed by the Raiders will he have a similar impact to other English players?
We have no idea really. Widdop came over and did ok as a playmaker, which gives me some optimism. But he's been hampered in pre-season by injury and the whole vibe around this off season has me more worried than I was a few months ago. It's almost impossible to hope he's as good as Hodgeson or Bateman. But if he's half as good as Whitehead and adapts at a similar speed (half a season to really find his feet, a breather around the Origin/bye periods and then good to go...) then we'll be ok.

5. Not many players leave Melbourne as better players, what makes you think Curtis Scott be any different?
GI and Cronk went ok. Sisa Waqa was good for us once upon a time too. It is a bit of an overblown myth. But at this stage it looks to me like Mr Scott is not behaving like someone who really has winning the GF as his #1 drive right now.

6. What’s your teams' biggest strength and the biggest weakness?
Biggest strength is our spine right now. Jack is reaching his peak, Hodgo is at his and CNK has been a revelation. If GWilly is solid, we have a spine capable of winning big games.

Biggest weakness is going to be depth. The surfeit of idiots in the squad means youngsters who should be learning the game and adding to the team depth are instead sitting out for long periods (Young and Scott). The fact we moved on some experienced players to make room for them leaves us now very light on quality depth.

7. The player with the most pressure on them is?
Scott and G Willy tied for first place.

8. What rookie or relatively unknown player to look out for ?
I'm not sure if Simonsen counts but he showed his best football in the big games vs the best teams last year. Hoping for him and Guler to establish themselves as FG regulars.

9. What will constitute a successful season? what will constitute a failure this year?
Win GF= success. Outside top 4= failure.

10. In your honest opinion where will they finish this year?
With this off season... I'm leaning toward a slightly disappointing 5th or 6th place finish but a strong finals campaign leading to a preliminary final appearance... from there it's anyones game.

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greeneyed
Don Furner
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Re: Help for Raiders Season Preview

Post by greeneyed » February 10, 2020, 3:04 pm

One tip: "Leilpana" is actually "Leipana"
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greeneyed
Don Furner
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Re: Help for Raiders Season Preview

Post by greeneyed » February 14, 2020, 10:21 am

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zim
Steve Walters
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Re: Help for Raiders Season Preview

Post by zim » February 14, 2020, 11:04 am

"Biggest strength is the forward pack"

"Biggest strength is our spine right now"

It's kind of like comparing which is the shinier gold bar at the moment. We've got quality right across the board.

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