AS much as we pull strings in the coaches box, it’s the players’ motivation and effort that wins games.
So it will be up to them to turn around the 58-point loss we suffered to East Perth in Round 2 when we face them again on WA Day.
Given the West Coast Eagles play on Saturday and our match is at Joondalup Arena on Monday, I would expect the Eagles’ emergencies to be available to play for the Royals against us.
The Eagles and East Perth both have a bye the following weekend so it’s unlikely West Coast will be looking to hold any players over.
We’ve gone against having run-with players this season so we will continue with that approach.
Obviously East Perth has big ball winners in the middle, particularly Luke Partington.
So while we won’t have a specific match-up for him, we’ll gauge how the game is going and if he is having too much of an influence, then we may look to run a tag.
Sometimes there are 35-possession games that hurt you and 35-possession games that are manageable.
We’ve often been using players in small bursts to lock down on someone we think is getting off the chain.
The problem is that most sides have a lot of depth.
So if we lock down on Partington, then we could find that Sharrod Wellingham or Patrick McGinnity run free. The same goes for fast-running Eagles forward Jack Petruccelle, should he front up against us.
We don’t have a particular match-up for him either, nor do we have someone who could match him for speed. It will be about team defence with good positioning.
Just because you’re quick, it doesn’t mean you always get the opportunity to show it.