Emasculated Manu

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loretta
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Emasculated Manu

Post by loretta » Sat Sep 03, 2016 11:36 am

I've been having a bit of a think about Manu lately, and casting my mind back to his early year or 2 playing for Tigers. My recollection is of tooth-rattling, whiplash inducing, tackles against the Boks at WR, and just about anybody else frankly, and a general joi-de-vivre about his play. He really got into players faces, scored tries, and at least once a game would leave someone counting their ribs and gasping for air. Yes, he would frequently leave doglegs but there were plenty of opposition players who got very twitchy, trying to see through the back of their heads to see if he was coming, and making mistakes through fear of the big hit.

Now, my impression is that he has been heavily coached to play more like a "normal" player, albeit not entirely successfully. But, have we thrown out the baby with the bath-water? Granted, his recent injuries may well have resulted in him reigning it in a bit, but in attack or defence he just doesn't have that destructive edge at the moment. Genge seemed just as good at breaking tackles yesterday, and there was only 1 attempt at aggressive defence which 36 managed to deal with with ease. I'm sure that there are many who would consider his natural style a liability, but when on song it is quite devastating setting up turnovers and tries.

Frankly, I'm concerned that we've seen the best of him. I'd love to see him back to his best, but I'm beginning to think that we won't until he's given the freedom to play as only he can, warts and all.
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Bowden Tiger
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Re: Emasculated Manu

Post by Bowden Tiger » Sat Sep 03, 2016 12:13 pm

Loretta, I follow your train of thought, but I felt last night that his confidence was returning. It is early days I know, but he did nearly break through a few times, and each time it took three to stop him. The injury has obviously taken time to heal, but his power is still there, but not yet his speed.

I am sure that as the season progresses, he will, barring injury, he will be as dangerous as ever.
Last edited by Bowden Tiger on Sun Sep 04, 2016 7:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

sam16111986
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Re: Emasculated Manu

Post by sam16111986 » Sat Sep 03, 2016 12:32 pm

Not sure what game you watched. Manu looked to come out of the line on several occasions looking for the big hit. The problems he has are firstly that he isn't match sharp (probably only at about 50%) and secondly the opposition now know Manu and know what's coming.

You see it when he attacks as well, there's two or three players rushing towards him looking to swamp him in contact to stop the break or offload. He still went though the first tackler and as he gets match sharp he'll look more dangerous. Having barely played for a couple of years he won't just come back and set the world alight we're going to have to be patient.

Having seen Smith off the bench I think he may have a different centre partner next week which might help.

MrPartridge
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Re: Emasculated Manu

Post by MrPartridge » Sat Sep 03, 2016 12:48 pm

I watched him closely in the 2nd half last night and he was blowing after 50mins! I felt his defence was very average but he showed a few promising signs in attack and scored a try.

Stating the obvious: he needs game time and no injuries. Might be an idea to bring him in for the last 30 for a few games. I'll judge him in 2 months from now.

Agree with the OP mind that he may have been over coached a bit.

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Re: Emasculated Manu

Post by RagingBull » Sat Sep 03, 2016 1:47 pm

Last season he showed enough when fit to show Manu is still fine and that the Betham Manu combo has potential.

Last night he clearly wasn't ready and Glous had the backs in the likes of Scott and Sharples to really exposed him, he looked unsure in defence rushing and then instead of just commiting himself stuttering and being wrong footed alot.

Personally he should be on the bench next weekend with Smith to play a barritt role V wasps (The narrower pitch @ tigers will help him more), bring him on in the last 20.

I felt he looked a bit nervous in defence (Which TBF is understandably IMO) and a lot of doubt came into his mind.

Lets not right of someone who is coming back from a long term injury on the basis of 50 mins.

DickyP
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Re: Emasculated Manu

Post by DickyP » Sat Sep 03, 2016 2:27 pm

I'm more concerned that since Ant Allen stopped playing there's no one seeming to control him on defence.
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johnthegriff
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Re: Emasculated Manu

Post by johnthegriff » Sat Sep 03, 2016 2:49 pm

Manu is not a 12 that is why we have signed Matt Tomua. Manu needs game time to get back to full match fitness but I feel it is better for him and Tigers if he is in his true position of outside centre.

Old Hob
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Re: Emasculated Manu

Post by Old Hob » Sat Sep 03, 2016 8:41 pm

In time perhaps the starting line-up is Toomua and Betham. Manu has missed so much rugby annd the world has moved on. There were plenty of big hitting centres although the trend seems to be back towards the more agile. I'd like some Veianu clones making 60 metre breaks.
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ellis9
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Re: Emasculated Manu

Post by ellis9 » Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:06 pm

He's never scored 1 try a match. He scored last night didn't he?

Manu will be back to his best during the season

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Re: Emasculated Manu

Post by Bowden Tiger » Sun Sep 04, 2016 7:43 am

ellis9 wrote:He's never scored 1 try a match. He scored last night didn't he?

Manu will be back to his best during the season
I agree, as I said earlier. Yes he shot out of the line, but that could have been a coaching move to try to disrupt 36's game. 36 was their game manager, even before Billy Burns was clattered.
As regards his blowing after 50 minutes, he wasn't the only one!

ellis9
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Re: Emasculated Manu

Post by ellis9 » Sun Sep 04, 2016 8:38 am

I think people have been a bit harsh on Manu breaking from the line. If he had hit Twelvetrees there then he would have won a penalty as 36 would have probably held on to the ball or he would have knocked on and we would have had a scrum. Everyone would have been saying what a hit that was from Manu and congratulated him on turning the ball over and another Manu big hit would have been doing the rounds on social media.

Where was the defence out wide where the try was scored? To be honest it was just a well worked try from Gloucester.

mol2
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Re: Emasculated Manu

Post by mol2 » Sun Sep 04, 2016 9:36 am

It's easier to work a try when someone has rushed out of the defensive line and completely missed the tackle leaving a nice gap up the middle to expose.

There's difference line between a well timed rush and an obvious charge that the ball carrier can easily sidestep.
On Friday Manu was at the extreme end of the spectrum and that is made more obvious at inside centre.

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Re: Emasculated Manu

Post by strawclearer » Sun Sep 04, 2016 3:54 pm

mol2 wrote:It's easier to work a try when someone has rushed out of the defensive line and completely missed the tackle leaving a nice gap up the middle to expose.

There's difference line between a well timed rush and an obvious charge that the ball carrier can easily sidestep.
On Friday Manu was at the extreme end of the spectrum and that is made more obvious at inside centre.
From another thread:
strawclearer wrote:
WhitecapTiger wrote: Yes, it was helter skelter in the first half, trying to force things, Manu popping out of the line (which when he gets it right - and he will again - is great to watch) causing other defenders to have to cover him and gaps being created as a result.
I think this is a valid point which is too often overlooked. In itself, Manu charging unsuccessfully out of the line isn't the problem - the dog-leg that ensues is. Surely it's not beyond the wit of Hansen / the back row to ensure the cover is in place to deal with it?
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amazing tiger
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Re: Emasculated Manu

Post by amazing tiger » Sun Sep 04, 2016 4:57 pm

we are only one game in and i would be suprised if he plys like he did against gloucester every week. when he is in form he is one of the best players in the world. however i do think he might have been overcoached a little however injuries wouldnt have helped him.

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Re: Emasculated Manu

Post by Soggypitch » Sun Sep 04, 2016 7:43 pm

Manu's a great player who has hardly played for two years.

He just need a run of games, injury free, and he will soon be back to his best.
Soggypitch

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