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EYE-BALL’s Snoop-Poop on – NRL’s Broncos – A Round 10 Progress Report …

May 12, 2012
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NRL’s Broncos – A Round 10 Progress Report …
Broncos LogoMy NRL team have their problems after their Round 10 crushing loss to Manly overnight.   Normally a team noted for its wingers i.e. Willie Carne, Wendel Sailor, Lote Tuquiri, Jarral Yow Yeh, Darius Boyd, Michael DeVere, Israle Folau, Michael Hancock – all past SOO players and wingers that gave the Broncos the edge over all other teams – the current Bronco’s Wingers are a contrast and present major weak links in this team.

Sadly – these two wingers, Beal and Copley are directly responsible for the teams three losses this season.  It was their mistakes at crucial times that led to these losses.

Let’s visit the 79th Min loss to the Cowboys in Round 1.   Cowboys put up a high ball to Beal’s wing on the fifth tackle.  Beal trys to be a hero and leaps and only manages to let the ball go straight through his hands – resultant Cowboy fed scrum with Thurston giving an inside ball to the “Zip-ZIp” man who strolls over untouched to seal victory for the Cowboys.

The second loss was against the Warriors in Round 9 in New Zealand.  Broncos led 10-6 with 15 min to go in the first half.  Warriors score three converted tries before half time to lead 24-10.  Two of those tries were high ball mistakes from Beal on his goal-line.  The third was a forward defensive lapse.  The Warriors won 30-20.

Their third loss came last night and it was the other winger in Copley who had a horror night.  Defensively he played out of position all night and let in three of the Manly tries – he froze when the defence ran at him.   It was just pathetic positional play – after the first time orders should have go out to tell him to get back in the line. Coach Griffin has to wear some or the responsibility.

From the opening try exposing Copley’s poor defence options – they kept going back there and Copley never had any idea that he was he weak link.   Manly score their 79th minute try again exposing Copley wicked defence to do so.

These two wingers bring nothing to the Broncos team and are a far cry from Wingers of past era’s.  The Copley defence has been weak all season and Griffin either has no other option, or he fails to see the defensive lapses.

Beal is off to St George next year – and good luck to them.  Under the high-ball he is yet to take a clean catch this season – it was the same last year  as well.  The try he scored last night off a kick was not a high ball but a flat kick – perhaps they don’t practice the high ball.

Coach Griffin must know this weakness, and any coach would have him catch a 100 every day to improve his confidence and technique.   This is schoolboy stuff and with the new rules about being tackled in the air – there is protection enough not to be intimidated.  He is not tall but leaps well – he just does not catch the ball.

Copley’s defense is just not up to this class of football – he also brings little to teh attack with him dropping to ball with the line open at least six times in the last two seasons.  He is just simply out of his depth.

The same with Michaels two seasons ago before they cut him and he wqent to teh Gold Coast – he is not there this season either.  Again make him tackle 100 forwards at traing without the protectors – run them at him to help with his positional play.  This is something the coach should have been working on a long time ago.

Last night’s loss has many negatives – Brown’s goal kicking for one – zero from 4 – and in the end was the difference on the scoreboard.  The game was still won and there for the taking at the 75th minute – and then the Broncos handed the ball over in a nothing 5th tackle kick from Norman in Manly’s 22 zone – from there Manly went 90 meters to score.  Gillet missed Matai for the fourth time in the set and this set up the field position for the try.

The positives were also there – the Broncos forwards more than matched the Manly pack – a far cry from the cowering effort they put up in the second half last season in this same game.  The absence of Wallace last night was costly, as was Hodges in both defence and attack.

Wallace was also missing from the Warriors clash from the 20 min mark when it all went south.  Wallace’s contribution to the Broncos this season made him an automatic SOO selection if Stuart knew anything about football.  He also knows the Bronco’s moves and in past years this would have been a big help.

In fact – I’d go so far as to say Wallace has been the MVP in every game this season – his contribution in defence and cleaning up the half breaks has given the Broncos a look of invincibility through the forwards all season.  Something that was missing last night.   Gillet at centre last night to replace Hodges was a Coach’s mistake.

Last night’s performance revealed some Coach weakness for the first time.  His response to Copley’s defensive error in the first try at the 7 minute mark, shows his read of the game was way off.  TV commentator Gus Gould spent 10 minutes telling viewers what he could see and why Manly were attacking that right side defence – all because Copley was standing well back from the line in the early tackle count and this left the defensive line short.  If Manly could see it on the field – Gould could see it from the broadcast box – where was Griffin looking.

Listen to ABC’s post match interview with Griffin here .

The Broncos are not Premiership contenders at the moment – and with the 2012 SOO series almost upon us – how they get through the series injury wise will allow further speculation about their chances. The two 79th minute loses may count at the end of teh season. But at the moment it suggests a weakness that the coach has not dealy with given its obvious consequences.


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