Playmaker’s insight: Rookie halves gifted chance

Raiders veteran Sam Williams identifies a huge opportunity for key SuperCoach rookies.

Playmaker's Insights

The game is back and so is team list Tuesday! Last week we went over some expected changes to Canberra’s line up since the competition’s delay.

This week we will cover off some more impending changes in key positions across the NRL, which will have implications for a number of promising halves at Penrith, Parramatta and the Cowboys.

One of the big stories in the off-season involved Nathan Cleary, which in turn has ended with a two game suspension for the Penrith playmaker. 

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Now the question turns to how this will impact Jarome Luai and the incoming Matt Burton.

Both players are young, ball running halves who possess a key ingredient in any rookie player and that is confidence.

It is a big opportunity for each player to play a more hands on approach without the chief playmaker.

I don’t see either of the two taking a traditional first receiver approach like Cleary can do.

I think they will play a more left and right side approach, who sees more of the football will depend on game plans and who they target in the opposition defence.

I think it will put more onus on hooker Api Koroisau to control the game, and with the new rules on ruck infringement I can see him having a very dominate roll over the next few weeks.

This will include in defence with teams trying to wear down the most experienced player in the Penrith spine.

Dylan Brown is another playmaker on the rise and is growing in confidence each game.

He has a good athletic build, so combine this with his natural football brains and working first hand with the eighth immortal Joey Johns, you can see why he has such a big future ahead.

Johns would no doubt be teaching the art of manipulating a defence for both him and Moses.

With this comes the ability to take an opportunity when it arises, so it won’t matter if it is on Moses’ edge or Brown’s, both will be looking for similar opportunities. I think this will open opportunities up for Brown, despite being the less experienced member of the halves.

Another factor is the new ruck rules which could potentially tighten the defensive line giving these edge players more room.

The Cowboys have lost their captain and shot caller in Michael Morgan, in comes Jake Clifford.

In this case I think Clifford will play a more traditional halves role.

He has shown in glimpses what he has to offer and that he can also control a game.

He is only 22-years-old and is a very solid build. It is important that both Scott Drinkwater and Valentine Holmes are given space.

The ability to tie up the middle and get the ball to the space is an asset Clifford possesses.

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With those men playing outside him, he won’t have to worry about the flair in his game and it may be just what he needs.

I think Holmes will try to inject himself more in Morgan’s absence and although I don’t know how his body has reacted to the time off, the extended break will likely benefit him following his period out of the game.

All the best on the weekend and let your teams be successful along with a Green Machine victory.

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