8 August 2005

The Raiders as Greek tragedy - Going down to the Tigers

| johnboy
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The SMH has coverage of a game I caught by accident, having wandered into All Bar Nun for lunch.

It was a study of human frailty to see the Raiders, having built a commanding position, collapse to their inner demons in the second half without Jason Smith around to perform the exorcisms.

So capable with their heads on straight, so frail in the face of uncertainty.

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Get rid of Elliot!!
The Raiders suck because they have no superstars. They have no superstars because nobody is allowed to shine under Elliott’s boring percentage style of coaching. There are many promising young Canberra players that have just moved on because they are stifled by the current regime. This game is not American Football, and coaches like Elliott should take note by watching what the tigers did this year.

From a marketing perspective and the impending search for a sponsor, the players credentials make them very pertinent.

I also think they, whilst they have the occasional flashes of brilliance, Carney and Campese are both very overrated. Withers is a far more solid and reliable option at 7.

Having said that there are so many problems in their recruiting/retention strategy that it frustrates the hell out of those that stick with them, to see a once glorious team stumble through games like amateurs

Jason Williams was a good buy for the Raiders. He makes an impact when he comes off the bench. The fact he was in jail for 4 months is irrelevant.

If the Raiders don’t give Todd Carney (and Terry Campese) enough opportunities they will walk. Getting a quality 7 and keeping Carney as a stand-in will only increase the chances of him leaving.

Luke Davico will be playing at the Knights next year. The Raiders weren’t interested in re-signing him.

The Raiders need to do a number of things to get anywhere beyond the embarassment of yesterday.

1. Stop thinking of themselves as anything but average. The majority of their side would be nothing more than slightly above average grade players in a local competition

2. Stop buying players that other clubs get rid of. I mean picking up a player that has just served a 4 month prison sentence for assaulting a team-mate?

3. Stop buying ‘stop gap’ players like Smith and Adamson. I agree, Smith has been a revelation but Adamson really doesnt do a great deal other than skirt with the judiciary with his English tackling style.

4. Pool the money for the ‘stop gap’ players and buy or develop a genuine playmaker ala Johns, Kimmorley or Orford. Granted they arent on the market every week but look to invest.

5. Cut the liability of Woolford. He is one evry time he runs onto the field. he only has himself to blame for his tackling style. Keep Withers at 9 and look for a genuine playmaker at 7 while developing Carney. He may have done some good things yesterday but he also did some exceedingly amateur things.

and finally, as well respected as he is at the club and in the NRL, it might be time for Matty Elliott to go. As sad as it the team has struggled to meet mediocrity with him at the helm.

A lot of the above is borne out of the frustration of watching a team that everyone expected to ‘belt’ them in Canberra (Matty Johns’ words) transform into some of the most insipid, stupid and inept performances of the NRL in the last 5 years or so.

Wholesale change and start again. Investing in the average and hoping they improve has gotten us nowhere. Or maybe get bacl some they have gotten rid of. I would imagine Lolesi, Payten, Jensen, Monaghan and Davico may have come in handy this year

Channel Nein decide what gets shown on Friday and Sunday. They usually only show Sydney teams that rate well.

I dunno JB; I’ve been heading out to the Raiders matches since the early days at Seiffert Oval and although attendance this year has improved over last, Bruce is still not near full…

That ties in with what Ralph has said. It’s all in the winning. Other than that it’s about creating an interest. I think the NRL should have an obligation to show more Raiders matches on Friday, Saturday and Sunday telecasts.

I was reading the other day [link] that Raiders crowds are as strong as they’ve ever been.

What do the Raiders have to do to start drawing the fans back?

Winning. Fickle Canberrans will all jump on the bandwagon when they start winning again. At least we can say we are true believers – there during the dark times – keeping the candle burning.

The Raiders have shown flashes of brilliance this year; and yesterday was no exception. A couple of terrific line breaks, some strong play by Carney, Schifcofske and Withers had them looking pretty good.

As mentioned unforced errors were their downfall. I think they contained the Tigers playmakers reasonably well, but it just wasn’t enough.

Made it out to Bruce for the game yesterday and was dissapointed to see far more orange and black in the crowd than green. What do the Raiders have to do to start drawing the fans back?

In any case, back to the drawing board for the Green Machine. Their chances of a Finals spot are all but dried up. Looking forward to bigger and better things next year.

The Raiders threw it away in the second half. No Jason Smith or Matt Adamson and it all goes pear shaped.

Silly errors (I think it was Troy Thompson who spilled the ball twice) and lack of set completions cost them the game.

Todd Carney keeps getting better. With Smith and Adamson likely to be out they should be getting Terry Campese back up for first grade.

Time to start planning for next year.

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