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Manly discard happy at Sharks

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by mozgrame, Dec 5, 2015.

  1. mozgrame

    mozgrame Well-Known Member

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    Unwanted Manly forward Jesse Sene-Lefao called his old club to ask if he could return to training just two weeks out from pre-season when he couldn't find any club to take him on, before being thrown an 11th-hour lifeline by Cronulla.

    The Samoan international felt he was on the outer when a list of 14 players was leaked during a huge club reshuffle last year.

    Most of those players were off contract while others earned new deals elsewhere though a few – like Feleti Mateo – have stayed to fight for a spot under incoming coach Trent Barrett.

    That is what Sene-Lefao thought he'd be doing when he called the club shortly before the start of pre-season to ask to be allowed to return to training to try and fight for a spot in first grade after he and his manager were unable to find another club to take him on.

    Two weeks later he was calling the club back to ask for a release from the final year of his playing contract when talks progressed rapidly with Cronulla.

    It was a huge sigh of relief for the 25-year-old, who had just welcomed his third child – a daughter named Ariella – with his partner. He is now looking at moving his family from Penrith out to the Shire.

    "To be quite honest I was part of the 14 that got named – but I wasn't actually named – so we were obviously looking around but we couldn't find anything," Sene-Lefao told NRL.com of his struggles to find a new club.

    "There was no interest at first when my manager asked so I rang Manly and said 'sorry I can't find anything, I'm going to come in, I'm going to do my best to make first grade.' Then literally two weeks later, I'm ringing back to ask for a release and ask if they can give me the opportunity to come to Cronulla."

    The whole negotiation with the Sharks – specifically head coach Shane Flanagan and head of football operations Darren Mooney – was done and dusted in about four days.

    Sene-Lefao also revealed the move was partly prompted by a conversation with one of his best mates – recently departed Sharks prop Tinirau Arona.

    Arona left the Sharks for a deal with Wakefield in the UK Super League shortly before Sene-Lefao arrived at the club, but as the godfather of Sene-Lefao's new baby daughter was also a trusted confidante. "He was here last year and he gave me good raps about the club and he said 'you'd love it'," Sene-Lefao said.

    The Panthers junior is now two weeks into pre-season training at his new club and while everyone has been welcoming, the huge number of familiar faces from his time in Penrith's junior system made the transition even easier.

    "It's been awesome. I was a bit worried leaving Manly, I'd been there for so long, it was actually where I debuted. To move I thought it was going to be really hard but coming to the club it's been really welcoming, really family orientated," he said.

    "There's like seven of us from out west. 'Lewy' [Luke Lewis] is one of the local heroes who played in the [2003] grand final. Wade Graham. The Fifita brothers [Andrew and David], I played with them all in the local league so it's good to get back together."

    While Sene-Lefao's immediate focus is trying to prove to Flanagan he's worthy of a spot in Cronulla's best 17 come Round 1 next year, he'd also love to add to his one Test start for Samoa as well.

    "Playing for your country is a dream come true but I need to work towards making first grade first, getting a spot in this competitive side and see what happens from there," he said.

    That Samoan connection has also provided an immediate bond with several of his new clubmates.

    "Sam Tagataese, Nu Brown, Ricky Leutele, all them boys, we met in the [Samoa] tour camp and still stayed in touch."

    The Sharks have built a formidable pack with internationals Paul Gallen and Luke Lewis, the Fifita twins, future club captain Wade Graham, underrated prop Sam Tagataese and Chris Heighington now joined by Sene-Lefao and former Eel Joe Paulo.

    Most are hugely experienced, and all bar Graham are older than the 25-year-old Sene-Lefao. While there are some promising up and comers, Sene-Lefao said there was an opportunity for him to shore up that gap between the old heads and new crop of youngsters.

    "I'm almost the only 25-year-old in the group that's played over 20 games so it's not like a leadership role but in that middle area of the club they didn't really have as much experience. Obviously they've got the big dogs and then in the middle, that's probably where I come in," Sene-Lefao said.

    "I feel like I need to fill that gap and I feel like I can give that to the Sharks. That's where I'll probably fit into the team and I'm going to work for my spot."

    His mission will be helped by a full pre-season that he's going into both fit and happy.

    "I'm all good, touch wood. The body's going all right and my mental state is really happy – I'm really happy, my family's happy. It's a good time on the roller coaster," he said.

    http://www.nrl.com/manly-discard-happy-at-sharks/tabid/10874/newsid/91085/default.aspx
     
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  2. Damien2812

    Damien2812 Member

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    Good on him for being happy at the sharks but I cant see him making the 17 unless injuries happen. I do see him playing this year because Gallen wont last back to back games! Lol
     
  3. KOMORI

    KOMORI Born and bred an Eagle

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    I hope he does well. Always tried his heart out for us, and can only wish him well :D
     
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  4. Lyonstomenzies

    Lyonstomenzies Well-Known Member

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    Good luck to him. Always had a dig when he was fit.
     
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  5. robbiea

    robbiea Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Good on him .I hope he can take it up to the next level.
     
  6. HappilyManly

    HappilyManly MWTS Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Sad to hear how these contracted Players are treated by Manly. :(

    Jesse will continue to give his best, along with that ever ready smile.Hope he gets his Samoan spot back :inlove:
     
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  7. double hoops

    double hoops Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    When he had his Argo on. I absolutely enjoyed watching JSL play. He is all arms and legs but he dosent take a backward step. A couple of games where I wished our other forwards had his mo jo.
     
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  8. SeaEagleRock8

    SeaEagleRock8 Sea Eagle Lach Staff Member Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    He never lacked enthusiasm or heart but probably does lack skill. A Travis Burns of the forwards, if you like. He never let Manly down.
     
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  9. mozgrame

    mozgrame Well-Known Member

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    Always valued his agro.. I think he will go really well at the sharks. Will miss his haircuts.
     
  10. Eagleheart

    Eagleheart Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Love Jesse's passion and smile. He's a good guy and I wish him all the best with his NRL career.
     
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  11. Killer03

    Killer03 Well-Known Member

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    Another player I'll be cheering on. Loved your time with us Jesse. Good luck.
     
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  12. BOZO

    BOZO Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    We lose Sene-Lefao and have gained Kapow and you are still sad ?
    Snap out of it feathered friend :)
     
  13. robbiea

    robbiea Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Show some compassion for once you corporate whore !
     
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  14. Ryan

    Ryan Well-Known Member

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    I just loved JSL's attitude both on and off the park. Like Dunamis Lui, I think he was under rated tbh. Watching him play makes a person just smile, and enjoy the game. Same as when Wholfy first broke into grade with us.

    Just looked so thankful and happy to be there.

    He'll be sorely missed. Then again, I'm going to miss 99% of the players that have gone !!
     
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  15. lsz

    lsz Well-Known Member Staff Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    I am a lot like you Ryan - apart from the odd player here or there (like foz or choc...) there are few players that move on that I do not miss - especially the fringe first graders
     
  16. BOZO

    BOZO Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    I only have compassion for our club's chances in 2016 and beyond with gaining Superior players like Kapow so we can be the Superior Sea eagles once again . Why don't you follow your compassionate heart and support Sene Lefao and the NSW cup Sharks side .
    0.jpg
     
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    Last edited: Dec 6, 2015
  17. Chip and Chase

    Chip and Chase True Supporter Staff Member Administrator Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    I'm with you Bozo, Taupau is an astute signing. I hear that next year the NRL are doing away with golden point and drawn games will be decided by the team who can lift the heaviest big heavy thing.
     
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  18. BOZO

    BOZO Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Very clever and funny I will pay that one :)
    Sene Lefao is a great guy but Kapow is a great player
    If Kapow can lift our beloved Sea eagles higher than last seasons 9th spot I will be happy with that . I am glad our coaching staff are ruthless enough to make the right decisions .
    Sentiment should never stand in the way of success,
     
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  19. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

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    Maybe there is room both for wanting the best possible team and for compassion towards players - and fans - affected by decisions made. They aren't polar opposites.
     
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  20. BOZO

    BOZO Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    I don't agree. No compromise for success . At the end of the day a club only wins fans when they win games . Foran had no compassion for us and he looked after himself and clubs do the same . The game has changed and we all have to accept this and move on .
     
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