https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nrl-pr ... a5bb5431d3
Analysis: NRL clubs to mimic Melbourne Storm’s premiership winning style
ebruary 8, 2018 6:00am
Foxsports.com.au has received a tip-off that several NRL sides are overhauling their attack.
Why? You can thank Melbourne.
The Storm shifted more than any other team last season. So why mimic their style?
It’s a proven method. After all, they won the premiership.
The game continues to evolve and the Storm have been at the forefront of the evolution for many years.
It’s common for teams to copy the winning style year to year and with the 2018 season less than five weeks away, teams have been practising their shifts and encouraging their men to roam in their opposed sessions.
You’ll see it once the trials kick-off.
Already Cronulla and South Sydney are two of the teams working on heavy shifts in a bid to get their more creative players on the ball.
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Last month Shane Flanagan revealed he would give new five-eighth Matt Moylan and centre Josh Dugan a license to roam.
New Brisbane recruit Jack Bird is another player with the flexibility to switch sides despite playing right centre.
Last year the Storm would play to an edge before getting their heavy hitters involved on the other side of the field.
For example they work to the left side before shifting back to the right which would see the centre jump into dummy half.
Cameron Munster would give it to Cameron Smith, he’d pass to Cooper Cronk, who would send the ball over to the corner for Billy Slater to chime in and likely put Suliasi Vunivalu away.
This is a three-pass shift.
The idea is you work sideline to sideline and try to catch the defence out because they’ve worked up a channel.
These shifts are being rehearsed ad nauseam. It will be interesting to watch the trial games over the coming weeks to see how well they’re executed and whether the coaches persist with this style of play deep into the season.
It’s a style that limits the amount of time the ball is in a big man’s hands and could prove a catalyst to bringing the best out of the Burgess twins as it saves fatigue.
It’s no secret George and Tom can get reckless and try to push a pass but with a focus on shifting, the big men may only carry the ball once per set.
It’ll be interesting to see how many teams adopt this style throughout the trial period.