Know your strengths and play to it. Champion teams know their strength and they utilise it. That is the lesson we must take from our embarrassing loss to the Roosters.
I am not sure if I was more angry or disappointed watching the game last Thursday. My take from the game is that we were defeated before we went onto the field.
I am a supporter and nothing more. I do not pretend to understand the finer details in game plans but to me it looked like one of two things occurred in the lead up to that game because the way our team went about playing I did not recognise at all.
I very much know what we look like when we play well. Our squad has been put together to focus on forward dominance. It is our strength and when our forwards run together and get good offloads it brings Mahoney and Gutho into the game.
In a game in which we did not have our most important attacking spark in Moses, why on earth we decided to pass the ball around from side to side and thereby take our forwards and Mahoney out of the game is bewildering.
Of course I cannot say if it was the game plan or what the players decided to do on the field but I can’t help but think that those involved in putting together our game plan, both players and coaches, may have been influenced by outside noise.
I could be completely wrong but the only important thing to take out of this past game is to work out why we went away from our strength and tried to play a game style that does not sit well with our squad construction.
This week we face the Rabbitohs and it will be a moment of truth for our team. I am not even talking about the outcome of the game but more so it will tell me if our team has lost the belief in their game style. If that is the case the season may as well be over.
That is why I can not really say if the last game against the Roosters will end up being a blessing in disguise or the start of our demise for the year.
We know the Rabbitohs love to attack so we need to play with patience, kick long to the corners, chase well, make them work in the middle of the field in defence, especially Cook and Murray as I still think they are the most important players for them.
We also know that the Rabbitohs will try to play to their strength but will we give ourselves a chance to play to ours? I hope so!
This team has been built over years and earned my respect. Maybe that’s why I was so disappointed by the loss of faith in our game style and team strengths which seemed evident last Thursday night. The frustration displayed on the field by some of our leaders was echoed in my house.
I have not lost hope in this team. That said, it’s important that the team haven’t lost hope or faith either.
There’s no need for our players to prove anyone wrong. They simply need to go out and play as a team, play our style of footy, back it. and have fun. We may not have the attacking strength of the Rabbitohs but they don’t have our forward strength.
So it really is over to our entire team, coaches and players alike to decide their future and that means ignoring all the noise including what is said by critics, and even good-intentioned supporters like me.
It shouldn’t really matter what any of us say about the team.
If it does, that may well be the biggest problem of all.