The Lessons of the Charity Shield and Video Refs

I had 4 triple macchiatos and a handful of Stilnox last night and went to bed at the same time. It’s reminiscent of the great Steve Wright, whose apartment was burgled and the thieves stole everything and replaced them with exact duplicates …

Right, let’s make this quick before the game tonight and my Chardonnay which waits for no-one.

Brad Walter wrote an article based on the 5 things we learned from last night’s Charity Shield Game. I like his writing and I’m not going to quibble.

I will, however, add the most important things I observed.

First, Souths still lack the killer punch to put sides away. Sure, it’s the start of the season (not even), but I don’t think I’m getting ahead of myself in this observation when I see the reference out there to Souths playing finals footy already. Leading 16-0 and then pretty much going toe-to-toe in the 2nd stanza against an average Dragons outfit doesn’t auger well. They’re fit, they’re strong, but so are other teams. There are clearly some other aspects of their game to work on, and they’re not trifling.

Before Souths fan bite my head off, I want to see them do well. They have the team to blow other sides away, including last year’s Grand Finalists, and I’d like to see their potential reached. I care, in other words.

However, notwithstanding the fact that every time I hear of teams playing final quality football way before time, all I can think about is ‘peaking too early’. Unless they develop the ability to focus for the entire game, their progress to a higher level than last year is in some doubt.

In short, they already have a ‘winning habit’, but they need to reach the next level and breed the positive habit of playing the full 80 minutes at pace, and with unrelenting determination. If they can’t do this, and do it before June, then they will not be able to draw upon this resolve automatically (because that’s what habits are) in the heat of battle in the finals. And that’s when it matters, and that’s what Grand Finalists do.

By the way, I’m not just dirty because I picked them by 30 J

What did we learn from the Dragons? They are going to struggle to score points in the quantity needed to win a positive share of games. At this point, they are workmanlike, but appear unable to score the types of ‘repeatable’ tries they could in 2010. It looks like a long year.

The video refs have been the bane of rugby league’s existence, and threatened making the sport a complete joke. Thank goodness for some common sense being applied by Daniel Anderson and his charges (obviously a reader of this blog!).

However, why are they still using stop-frame technology when

a)      It is counterproductive

b)      They have the super slo-mo, which is actually instructive?

I tire of asking such redundant questions, but at least the refs are moving in the right direction.


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