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Ripley

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Everybody wants a running darting #9 like Damien Cook or a game managing #9 like Cam Smith. Problem is, there’s only one of each in the game and a handful of others that do some of one or both without never really getting close.

Thing is though, that’s not the most important thing you need out of your #9 to win comps, and I’ll provide proof of such.

What you need out of your #9 is the things they’re gonna spend 90% of the game doing above all else. Passing off the ground and hitting a moving target one and two wide, preferable three, and defending in the middle all day every day. I’d also throw in a kick from DH but even that’s not as important as the previous two. Everything else, the darting, the game management, is a bonus that you want, but don’t necessarily need dependant on the rest of your spine.

And that proof I was talking about - Easts won two comps in a row and three in a decade with a #9 who’s main and maybe only strengths were hitting moving targets one and two wide, with the odd kick, and tackling all day in the middle and not much else. When he did run 9/10 he’d get bowled over within half a dozen steps. Sure he got some metres sometimes, but only sometimes. That wasn’t what he was selected every week for.

Cronulla also won a comp with a #9 who did more of the fancy things with us under Des Hasler than he ever did at Cronulla. His main task at Cronulla was to hit the forwards and feed the backs and give everyone the shits.

So......

I guess I haven’t given up on JMK in a team with the rest of the spine shining. He can defend in the middle all day, he can kick from DH when he’s shown it, wether he can hit a moving target one, two, three wide passing from the ground I’m undecided about. And if he can run a few times a game, there’s that, maybe.

I just don’t think the bar is as high as everyone who wants Cook/Smith clones would have it.

Just do what has to be done 90% of the game competently, and review at the end of ‘21.

But give him that chance.
 
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Mr. Ditkovich

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I wouldn’t use last night’s game as an indicator of how JMK will play in the team.

In saying that, a hooker needs to be smart. Damien Cook picks out when to run, and Smith knows who to pass to.

I don’t think JMK has the game smarts to be an NRL level #9. His runs aren’t calculated, but just running for the sake of it, and he takes the wrong passing option 70% of the time.
 

Bazildog

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I still think Wakeham is being groomed as an option. If he can handle it defensively he should be able to handle the role. He has some kicking game, a bit of pace and a reasonable pass. Plus I don't think he has a future with us in the halves other than a fill in due to injury.
 

wendog33

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Everybody wants a running darting #9 like Damien Cook or a game managing #9 like Cam Smith. Problem is, there’s only one of each in the game and a handful of others that do some of one or both without never really getting close.

Thing is though, that’s not the most important thing you need out of your #9 to win comps, and I’ll provide proof of such.

What you need out of your #9 is the things they’re gonna spend 90% of the game doing above all else. Passing off the ground and hitting a moving target one and two wide, preferable three, and defending in the middle all day every day. I’d also throw in a kick from DH but even that’s not as important as the previous two. Everything else, the darting, the game management, is a bonus that you want, but don’t necessarily need dependant on the rest of your spine.

And that proof I was talking about - Easts won two comps in a row and three in a decade with a #9 who’s main and maybe only strengths were hitting moving targets one and two wide, with the odd kick, and tackling all day in the middle and not much else. When he did run 9/10 he’d get bowled over within half a dozen steps. Sure he got some metres sometimes, but only sometimes. That wasn’t what he was selected every week for.

Cronulla also won a comp with a #9 who did more of the fancy things with us under Des Hasler than he ever did at Cronulla. His main task at Cronulla was to hit the forwards and feed the backs and give everyone the shits.

So......

I guess I haven’t given up on JMK in a team with the rest of the spine shining. He can defend in the middle all day, he can kick from DH when he’s shown it, wether he can hit a moving target one, two, three wide passing from the ground I’m undecided about. And if he can run a few times a game, there’s that, maybe.

I just don’t think the bar is as high as everyone who wants Cook/Smith clones would have it.

Just do what has to be done 90% of the game competently, and review at the end of ‘21.

But give him that chance.
Understand the point you are making and when it's all said and done, JMK is what we have so there's that.

But Friend had Pearce and Cronk, SOO halfbacks and a SOO spine for the most part.

He is very underrated. His ability to read the play, draw and pass the markers and his ball work off the ground is flawless, or was. Not sure how he will go this year but Friend has contributed, albeit less flamboyantly, towards the Roosters success, as much as anyone.

But yes if Baz can teach him the basics, he might take some of the pressure off the halves...this is the real worry for me.

Lets not forget Flanno is inexperienced himself and needs all the help he can get.
 

c-b-b

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No matter which way you look at it I just done see JMK as the answer.

I don’t hate him, I wish he was the answer as he’s not taking massive cap space but I just can’t see it happening.

I don’t think Katoa is the answer either, I’d be prepared to see what Wakeham can do at this stage.
 

wendog33

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No matter which way you look at it I just done see JMK as the answer.

I don’t hate him, I wish he was the answer as he’s not taking massive cap space but I just can’t see it happening.

I don’t think Katoa is the answer either, I’d be prepared to see what Wakeham can do at this stage.
I'd like to give Katoa a fair go under Baz. Probably not even a big improvement but hey if he played fit without the shackles maybe we'd see something.

No doubt the 3 of them will get a go ...replacing each other in and out of the team :grinning:
 

Ripley

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Understand the point you are making and when it's all said and done, JMK is what we have so there's that.

But Friend had Pearce and Cronk, SOO halfbacks and a SOO spine for the most part.

He is very underrated. His ability to read the play, draw and pass the markers and his ball work off the ground is flawless, or was. Not sure how he will go this year but Friend has contributed, albeit less flamboyantly, towards the Roosters success, as much as anyone.

But yes if Baz can teach him the basics, he might take some of the pressure off the halves...this is the real worry for me.

Lets not forget Flanno is inexperienced himself and needs all the help he can get.
You’re actually making the point I was making. Friend contributed, greatly, to Easts success by doing the boring 90% of the game expertly. Passing off the ground to moving targets and defending in the middle. Apart from that he didn’t do much else did he, sure there were games he’d breakout from DH here and there but very much the exception not the rule.

And yet, he won comps. A crucial cog in winning them. By doing doing the boring stuff better than most.
 

wendog33

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You’re actually making the point I was making. Friend contributed, greatly, to Easts success by doing the boring 90% of the game expertly. Passing off the ground to moving targets and defending in the middle. Apart from that he didn’t do much else did he, sure there were games he’d breakout from DH here and there but very much the e-caption not the rule.

And yet, he won comps. A crucial cog in winning them. By doing doing the boring stuff better than most.
I think he probably did more than you give him credit for towards their success and had more skill than JMK.

I also think Ennis did a lot more as well. We saw his effective kicking game return at Cronulla whereas with us everything turned to crapola.

I guess a well oiled team creates confidence and brings out the best of players abilities.

Maybe that will be the case with JMK and our team.
 

Ripley

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I think, if Jake Friend played for any other team except Easts, everyone here, would call him a plodder.

I’ve never seen a post in all the #9 discussions on here, or indeed any Bulldog forum, call for going after Jake Friend.

That’s because everyone wants the superstar #9. Even though the plodder’s won 3 comps.
 

Radio Raheem

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You’re actually making the point I was making. Friend contributed, greatly, to Easts success by doing the boring 90% of the game expertly. Passing off the ground to moving targets and defending in the middle. Apart from that he didn’t do much else did he, sure there were games he’d breakout from DH here and there but very much the exception not the rule.

And yet, he won comps. A crucial cog in winning them. By doing doing the boring stuff better than most.
You're right with the point that you make in that you don't need a superstar dummy half to be successful. And no one is expecting or demanding one.

The problem is, JMK can't pass off the ground. He picks it up and then passes it which slows down the attack. The problem is, JMK doesn't provide good service. He often throws behind players and rarely out in front which makes players stop on their runs and means the defense is up in their face. JMK has had two full seasons as a hooker and failed to do the simple things like this well. So it's not like we're writing him off based on one trial. He's been given ample opportunity. Probably way more than he would at another club if they had better alternatives at hooker than we've had.

So I agree with your premise about all we need from a hooker right now, but unfortunately JMK hasn't shown that he can do those basics well.
 

Ripley

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You're right with the point that you make in that you don't need a superstar dummy half to be successful. And no one is expecting or demanding one.

The problem is, JMK can't pass off the ground. He picks it up and then passes it. The problem is, JMK doesn't provide good service. He often throws behind players and rarely out in front. JMK has had two full seasons as a hooker and failed to do the simple things like this well. So it's not like we're writing him off based on one trial. He's been given ample opportunity. Probably way more than he would at another club if they had better alternatives at hooker than we've had.

So I agree with your premise about all we need from a hooker right now, but unfortunately JMK hasn't shown that he can do those basics well.
Maybe, as I said I’m undecided about that. But I do think he does it better than the other bloke. At least the other bloke at his worst. One game last year Kotoa couldn’t have hit a bus.
 

ATT

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Everybody wants a running darting #9 like Damien Cook or a game managing #9 like Cam Smith. Problem is, there’s only one of each in the game and a handful of others that do some of one or both without never really getting close.

Thing is though, that’s not the most important thing you need out of your #9 to win comps, and I’ll provide proof of such.
All fair points. Working of the basis of you point as game changers and game changing. Here is a thought with increased speed. Have two hookers either side the field to reduce fatigue. With a half and five eight still. With ball would change momentum with defence would close the line down as traditional hookers make large tackle counts. That’s my thought only

What you need out of your #9 is the things they’re gonna spend 90% of the game doing above all else. Passing off the ground and hitting a moving target one and two wide, preferable three, and defending in the middle all day every day. I’d also throw in a kick from DH but even that’s not as important as the previous two. Everything else, the darting, the game management, is a bonus that you want, but don’t necessarily need dependant on the rest of your spine.

And that proof I was talking about - Easts won two comps in a row and three in a decade with a #9 who’s main and maybe only strengths were hitting moving targets one and two wide, with the odd kick, and tackling all day in the middle and not much else. When he did run 9/10 he’d get bowled over within half a dozen steps. Sure he got some metres sometimes, but only sometimes. That wasn’t what he was selected every week for.

Cronulla also won a comp with a #9 who did more of the fancy things with us under Des Hasler than he ever did at Cronulla. His main task at Cronulla was to hit the forwards and feed the backs and give everyone the shits.

So......

I guess I haven’t given up on JMK in a team with the rest of the spine shining. He can defend in the middle all day, he can kick from DH when he’s shown it, wether he can hit a moving target one, two, three wide passing from the ground I’m undecided about. And if he can run a few times a game, there’s that, maybe.

I just don’t think the bar is as high as everyone who wants Cook/Smith clones would have it.

Just do what has to be done 90% of the game competently, and review at the end of ‘21.

But give him that chance.
 

ATT

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Why don’t we play two hookers either side posts the whole game? Breaks down fatigue with the quicker game. Increase tackle efficiency as traditional hookers are most effective tacklers and are creative. With 7 again rule increase the pace again
 

wendog33

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I think, if Jake Friend played for any other team except Easts, everyone here, would call him a plodder.

I’ve never seen a post in all the #9 discussions on here, or indeed any Bulldog forum, call for going after Jake Friend.

That’s because everyone wants the superstar #9. Even though the plodder’s won 3 comps.
Well that gets back to having the best spine.

We don't.

It highlights JMK's deficiencies and how we need more bc we dont have SOO halves and wont for at least 3 years at best.

Anyway the thing to take out of it is that we all hope he can do the job.
 

Radio Raheem

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Maybe, as I said I’m undecided about that. But I do think he does it better than the other bloke. At least the other bloke at his worst. One game last year Kotoa couldn’t have hit a bus.
Haha. Katoa doesn't provide the best service either. I'd probably prefer him over JMK to start and then JMK comes off the bench when players are tired. Either way, neither are great options.

I agree with you that short term a hooker with limited attacking ability but with smarts and good service like Friend or McCullough would make a huge difference. We won comps with Hetherington, Perry/Hughes and almost won one with Ennis. So it proves your point that you don't need to have running dummy halves to be successful.

Hopefully JMK and Katoa can be serviceable to start the season. If it's still a glaring issue, Baz might be forced to look at short term options until a long term solution is found.
 

Ripley

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I hope Baz’s instructions to JMK, and what I hope JMK concentrates on are simple - Hit your passes, make your tackles, and if you get a quick ptb with scattered markers run. And the odd kick on 5th if you got more room than the halves.

And that’s it.

And I guess that’s what every coach in the comp, and indeed Rugby League worldwide from juniors to the top tell their #9’s every week. So anyway...... it’s all I got too.

And all they need.
 

Tassie Devil

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I still think Wakeham is being groomed as an option. If he can handle it defensively he should be able to handle the role. He has some kicking game, a bit of pace and a reasonable pass. Plus I don't think he has a future with us in the halves other than a fill in due to injury.
Has there been any indication of this tho?
 

Paulie Gualtieri

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Kick from dummy half, get the fuck outta here. JMK is a blow fish. Will be gone at the end of the year. I would give up on him entirely my friend. I wish nothing but the best for JMK at another club far far away from Belmore
 

Mozzie

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I agree with many others that JMK is not the right person for Dummy half he is more of a utility player for the bench. As much as I am have great concerns I think Wakeham might be worth a try. My biggest issue with him is his defence and I feel that will bring him down in the end. So that leaves Katoa who I also have doubts over but maybe Baz can change that????? We can always have the prince save us. Long live the prince of Belmore
 

BlackDawg

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Katao, JMK are the 2 known 9's in our top 30 for 2021. Wakeham will lose us games at 9 because he isnt up to middle tackling. Katoa goes missing in attack and defence and can throw some terrible passes. I swear he simply isnt fit enough for NRL. that leaves us with JMK. Whether you like him or hate him he will play a lot of minutes at 9 in 2021.
 
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