Yeah possibly/probably… but I reckon 95% of the blokes on Blitz had a pretty good idea what we needed to do to beat Sydney… and yet we did none of it.
So if the players aren’t listening… then why not? Are they the wrong players? Is the message too complicated? Is the message not clear enough?
We play a zone up the ground and we have been carved up over and over all year… that is a COACHING issue… that is a clear direction that you are to ‘sag off’ and allow the easy lead up kick and mark. Presumably the idea is to slow the ball movement down to allow more time for our defensive zone to set up. Unfortunately it means, in reality, that most of our slow ■■■ mids are caught in no mans land against teams with quick, decisive ball movement.
In the backline we positioned Goddard as the ‘loose sweeper’ but he was starting at the D50… he should have been starting 15m in front of Franklin. Ambrose was left on an island and he got burnt in a 20 minute display of dominance. A change in positioning and match ups did come… but the damage was done. Our ability to respond to game day situations is sickeningly slow.
Our strength was on the outside and yet TBell consistently drops the ball ‘at the hip’ and played right into Sydneys hands. The ruck should have been instructed to clear it wide of the contest to allow guys like Parish, McGrath and zaharakis to find more space.
Sydney defenders sit ‘back should’ with one sweeper about 20m off the last ‘pair’ at centre ground, and the sweeper moves only about 5m off the centre corridor line as the ball travels down. The Sweeper only commits to one side once the ball passes the centre circle. This makes the switch across ground utterly useless and pointless against the swans. Everyone knows this and yet we tried to implement it time and time again.
Sydney force you to back yourself, pick a side and attack quickly… and try to beat their defenders 1-1… we played into their hands beautifully. When we did go quick… JD actually looked quite damaging.
So yeah… maybe the players weren’t mentally prepared… don’t know, I’m not in their head but I know for absolute certain that our game plan was not prepared to play and win against Sydney. At all.