"THE COW­BOY CAN DO THUS"

Jets men­tor tells us how

The Queensland Times - - FRONT PAGE - JOEL GOULD joel.gould@qt.com.au

IP­SWICH Jets co-coach Shane Walker has high­lighted how the Cow­boys can cre­ate chaos in the Mel­bourne de­fence in Sun­day’s NRL grand fi­nal by chang­ing the way they at­tack.

The Cow­boys have been rel­a­tively er­ror free and me­thod­i­cal in their ap­proach in the past three fi­nals wins, and then gone in for the kill ruth­lessly when their op­po­nents have made er­rors. But to break down the Storm they must play a more ex­pan­sive style of foot­ball Walker in­sists.

“The Cow­boys have to change a bit with the way they at­tack,” he said.

“Tra­di­tion­ally Paul Green’s teams aren’t big on off­loads but in or­der to cre­ate a bit of chaos in Mel­bourne’s defensive struc­ture they need to get a bit of sec­ond phase play go­ing. If a guy like Tau­malolo can do that he will get Jake Granville, Lach­lan Coote and Michael Mor­gan into play.

“The Cow­boys need to also at­tack Mel­bourne’s de­fence with some change of di­rec­tion run­ning in and around the ruck.

“The Storm have got big, lop­ing men like Nel­son Asofa-Solomona, Jesse Bromwich and Jor­dan McLean and they like to de­fend up and down, but if they can get some change of di­rec­tion go­ing it lim­its their abil­ity to get that wres­tle go­ing as well.”

The Storm haven’t been at their best in this fi­nal se­ries, a scary thought in it­self. Walker said he ex­pected Craig Bel­lamy’s men to tar­get their at­tack against a cou­ple of weak points in the Cow­boys’ de­fence.

“I think they can get a lot of joy with some wide shifts at­tack­ing (Cow­boys five-eighth) Te Maire Martin be­cause he is not a noted de­fender,” Walker said.

“Then that starts mak­ing Justin O’Neill in the cen­tres a bit ner­vous and as a re­sult he will be try­ing to pro­tect him a bit, which leaves the winger An­to­nio Win­ter­stein vul­ner­a­ble.

“I think Win­ter­stein is busted at the mo­ment with a bad ham­string and is not stretch­ing out like he should be, so I think some wide shifts by Mel­bourne could ex­pose the Cow­boys’ left-hand defensive edge.

“Win­ter­stein one-on-one with the big Fi­jian (Su­liasi Vu­ni­valu) could be cat­a­strophic, or even some deft kicks in be­hind Win­ter­stein to make him turn and chase be­cause he is re­ally hin­dered by that ham­string.”

If the Cow­boys win then Walker said Mor­gan and Tau­malolo will need to have blin­ders.

“The Cow­boys are un­der­pinned by a great work ethic, back-row­ers who start and end the game and a workaholic bench that is un­her­alded but which comes on and does a lot of clean­ing up.

“But Tau­malolo with his big charges and his foot­work is dev­as­tat­ing and Mor­gan has been the best player in the play-offs so far. If he can con­tinue his form they can cer­tainly win.”

Walker said that when Storm full­back Billy Slater had blin­ders the Storm gen­er­ally won.

“When he is at his best, Mel­bourne are at their best,” he said.

“If Cameron Smith has a big one then it is ‘good­night nurse’ and we have seen that Cameron Munster is a man for a big oc­ca­sion.”

In or­der to cre­ate chaos they need to get some sec­ond phase play go­ing

— Shane Walker

PHOTO: MICHAEL CHAM­BERS

WRECKER: Ja­son Tau­malolo can add some el­e­ments to his game to dis­rupt Mel­bourne in the grand fi­nal in­sists Shane Walker.

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