Saturday 10 September 2011

NRL Finals 2011 - Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles v North Queensland Cowboys 3rd Qualifying Final Preview - What's The Game Plan?

8:30pm (Local) Saturday 10 September @ Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney.
NOT The Footy Show Episode 83
- Qualifying Finals Review Released September 12, 2011 -

Right Click Save Target As This Link if you don't have iTunes.
NRL Finals Week 1 Review.
The Semi Finals are under-way, so join Matthew Duncan and Warrick Nicolson as they dissect the wins by the Storm, Sea Eagles, Broncos and Tigers in the Qualifying Finals. The Cowboys and Knights are finished for 2011, but the Warriors and Dragons get a second chance - do they deserve one? 
There are audio highlights of all the games plus the best quotes from the press conferences.
Our Elimination Semi Finals Preview Podcast will be out Thursday as we look to NRL Finals Week 2.
What is the Game Plan for Saturday Night Football?
Game Plan Points (outside of the obvious - make minimal mistakes, complete sets etc)
  • Slow the play the ball down. Has been the strength of the team all year but minus two of the best exponents in Jason King and Glenn Stewart - we need to find time for our defensive line and keep the game at our pace.
  • Spot Johnathan Thurston in defence. Obvious one but he's not a great defender at the best of times and this has to be exploited.
  • Focus on Brent Tate and Willie Tonga. When they get the ball Tonga and Tate rarely pass - so hit them hard and hit them early. Make North Queensland beat us with the cut out pass to the wingers.
  • Make Matthew Scott defend a lot in the opening 25 minutes. He's their forward leader - but rarely has a high tackle count. Make him work.
  • North Queensland's left edge defence is susceptible so give our right edge lots of early ball. At the same time Kieran Foran needs to play both sides of the field to cover for the loss of Glenn Stewart's playmaking on the right.
  • Rotate Brett Stewart, Michael Robertson and Will Hopoate at fullback to manage Brett Stewart's knee. Especially in defence.
  • Play our brand of footy - be expansive and stick to what has worked all year - pure footy. Don't clam up. 
Game Plan Points (outside of the obvious - make minimal mistakes, complete sets etc)
  • Roll up the middle behind Matthew Scott. With no Jason King or Glenn Stewart - our forward pack must take the fight to Manly up the middle and win the ruck.
  • Choose the right choice of runner on the edges. Sometimes this year the Cowboys have had almost too many options on the edges for their playmakers to choose to give the ball too. Making the right decision will be crucial to test Manly's defence.
  • Speed up the play the ball. Manly like to slow it down so wriggle like a worm in the play the ball and get some early penalties to make them change their style.
  • Make Kieran Foran pay for taking the ball to the line. He can still hurt us that way but the more he gets hit - the better.
  • Pressure Daly Cherry-Evans' kicking game. The rookie has been sensational this year but he has yet to play a game under this kind of pressure. Add to that by making every kick he makes be done so under pressure. But watch his show and go.
  • Jamie Lyon is Manly's best option on the right but if you don't pinch in defence he resorts to a kick along the ground far too often. Make him beat you, don't open anything up for him and he'll kick.
  • Use the cut-out pass to the wingers. Willie Tonga and Brent Tate hog the ball a little too much so make them into decoys.
  • Get the ball into Johnathan Thurston and Matthew Bowen's hands as much as possible. Ray Thompson and Aaron Payne need to be complimentary in the Finals - rather than playmakers.
  • Leave nothing in the tank. Finished 7th so this is do or die.
Coming In... 
2nd SEA EAGLES TEAM RECORD 18-6 for 40 Points, +208.
7th COWBOYS TEAM RECORD 14-10 for 32 Points, +52.
Head to Head Last 10...
SEA EAGLES 5 COWBOYS 5 - Manly won 24-4 at Brookvale in Round 14, but the Cowboys won 22-20 in Round 8 in Townsville. The teams have split the last 4 games.
Last Finals Match: Manly moved into the 2007 Grand Final after defeating the Cowboys 28-6 at the SFS in the Preliminary Final.
Tuesday Team News...
MAN: B Stewart, Robertson, Lyon (c), Matai, Hopoate, Foran, Cherry-Evans, Galuvao, Ballin, Kite, Watmough, Mauro, Rodney. Bench: Robinson, Buhrer, Rose, T Williams, Seuseu.
[Team Changes - Manly still don't have Glenn Stewart or Darcy Lussick due to suspension but they get Brett Stewart and Kieran Foran back from suspension for this one. Brett Stewart has a knee injury but is expected to play. Will Hopoate is named on the wing after being a late withdrawal last weekend and Michael Oldfield is on standby for him here. Vic Mauro is listed to start in the second row with Shane Rodney at lock forward. Terence SeuSeu and Tim Robinson are the extra men on the bench. ]
NQL: Bowen, Graham, Tate, Tonga, Fai-Fai Loa, Thompson, Thurston (c), Scott (c), Payne, Tamou, Cooper, Hall, Johnson. Bench: Segeyaro, Bolton, Taumalolo, A Sims, C Paterson.
[Team Changes - The Cowboys have named Dallas Johnson to return from concussion symptoms in a significant change to their squad that lost to the Warriors on Saturday. Leeson Ah Mau makes way, while Cory Paterson joins the bench. Matt Scott's back is a concern but he will play. ]
Wednesday Game Preview...
To find out the Panel's tips and why they are tipping them - listen to the Podcast or watch the Tipping Video. Out Thursday.
Tipping + Fantasy Late Mail... 
SMH and Other Late Mail 08/09 - There remains some doubt over Will Hopoate (Knee) and Brett Stewart (Knee) but they will be given until Saturday to be right.
The NRL Tweet's Tip... 
COWBOYS To Win By 4 Points.
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Toyota Cup:
Starts at 6:00pm.
 #3 v #6 

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07/09 Odds are courtesy of Sportingbet Australia - Line Varies.
21 - 127:45pm Fri @ ANZ | LINE: WTG +2.0 GAME STATS
Tigers will have a home semi in Week 2 against the Warriors, Dragons avoided elimination when the Warriors were beaten and will play the Broncos in Week 2.
40 - 106:30pm Sat @ Suncorp | LINE: WAR +2.5 GAME STATS
Broncos will have a home semi in Week 2 against the Dragons, The Warriors will play the Tigers after avoiding elimination.
42 - 088:30pm Sat @ SFS  | LINE: NQL +7.5 GAME STATS
Manly will 'host' a Preliminary Final at the SFS or ANZ in Week 3. Cowboys are eliminated as one of the two lowest seeded losers in Week 1.
18 - 084:00pm Sun @ AAMI | LINE: NEW +10.5 GAME STATS
Melbourne advance to Week 3 with a home preliminary final, the Knights are eliminated.

The best NRL Preview on the net kicks into gear for the Finals with all the info you need to make an 'informed tipping decision' or feel better about your team's chances in September.
Make sure you bookmark and compare your picks to the Podcast Panel's Tips all month long and make sure you grab the Podcast every Thursday. Check back on Friday for the Latest Mail as it breaks.
Be sure to enter NOT The Footy Show's Finals Phase for Fantasy League
Pick your team from the positional tables and watch them score Tries for you throughout the Finals Series. There are triple points on offer for Grand Final Points and the winner walks away with a specially created NOT The Footy Show 'Old School Team Logo' T-Shirt.
Cut-off is 7:30pm before the 1st Qualifying Final on September 9.
NOT The Footy Show Episode 82

Qualifying Finals Podcast Preview
Released September 8, 2011. 
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NOT The Footy Show 2011
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