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Monaghan, best hooker in NRL

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Kiwi Eagle, Sep 2, 2007.

  1. Kiwi Eagle

    Kiwi Eagle Moderator Staff Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Adrian Proszenko | September 2, 2007

    The inaugural Sun-Herald team of the year. Adrian Proszenko has looked at the vital statistics for each position on the field, whether it be metres gained or try assists, and come up with our best of the best.

    Fullback: Matt Bowen Tries - 21 (1st); Tackle busts - 193 (1st); Tackle saves - 36 (1st)
    In a year of outstanding performers at fullback - including Wade McKinnon, Brett Stewart, Luke Patten and Karmichael Hunt - Bowen stands above the rest. Most of the attention has understandably been on his deeds with the ball in hand, but Bowen is also saving tries when he's not scoring them. Our back of the season and runner-up to Price.

    Winger: Israel Folau Tries - 20 (2nd); Line breaks - 14 (10th); Points - 82 (16th)
    The Sun-Herald's rookie of the year. Such is his talent that the man who discovered him, recruitment whiz Peter O'Sullivan, rates him a better prospect than fellow Storm finds Billy Slater, Greg Inglis and Cooper Cronk. The stats speak for themselves - 190centimetres, 97kilograms and only 18 years old. Scary.

    Winger: Chris Hicks Tackle busts - 100 (8th); Tries - 11 (13th); Line breaks - 13 (18th)
    A contentious selection but Hicks's stats were too good to ignore. The most underrated player in a star-studded Manly back line, Hicks pips Jarryd Hayne, Eric Grothe and Hazem El Masri through sheer consistency. The Warrington-bound back is one of the game's best athletes.

    Centre: Justin Hodges Tackle busts - 124 (4th); Ave metres per game - 165.8 (4th); Line breaks - 15 (7th)
    In the absence of the injured Mark Gasnier, Hodges has been the best centre in the game. Has reduced the ill-discipline which threatened to limit his potential and is now delivering every week. His four-try haul in a losing side against the Panthers in round three was one of the most extraordinary performances of 2007.

    Centre: Matt Cooper Line breaks - 18 (5th); Tackle busts - 80 (24th); Line break assists - 7 (25th - 2nd among centres)
    Cooper has been a rare constant in a roller-coaster year for the Dragons. Timana Tahu, Jamie Lyon, Brent Tate and Michael Jennings have had their moments but Cooper's consistency earns him the second centre spot.

    Five-eighth: Braith Anasta Kicks - 157 ( 13th); Line break assists - 11 (10th); Try assists - 12 (14th)
    It's been a lean year for pivots. Inglis and Lyon are yet to make their mark in the position, while Darren Lockyer and Gasnier have spent extended periods on the sideline. Greg Bird has been a revelation, but we couldn't go past Anasta after his strong finish to the season.

    Halfback: Johnathan Thurston Try assists - 27 (1st); Line-break assists - 28 (1st); Combined kick & run metres - 6820 metres (5th)
    Thurston became the best playmaker in the game after the retirement of Andrew Johns. Along with Bowen, Thurston is chiefly responsible for North Queensland's lofty position on the ladder. Leading the way for try assists and line-break assists, "JT" is a phenomenal talent at the peak of his powers.

    Lock: Paul Gallen Average metres - 152.9 (12th); Offloads - 53 (3rd); Tackle busts - 95 (15th)
    Despite stiff competition from Dallas Johnson, Reni Maitua, Alan Tongue and Ben Creagh, Gallen is the man to lock our scrum. His strong club form earned him a call-up to the Origin arena, where he held his own. Gallen and back-row partner Anthony Watmough would take on all comers in the aggression stakes.

    Second row: Sonny Bill Williams Offloads - 58 (equal 1st); Line-break assists - 12 (7th); Tries - 13 (8th - top forward)
    What a player. Starting to fulfil his potential after a cruel series of injuries cut short previous seasons. The joint top offloader in the competition, SBW almost always pops the pass on the few occasions he doesn't break the line. The X-factor in the finals series.

    Second row: Anthony Watmough Tries - 10 (16th); Tackle busts - 141 (3rd - top forward); Line breaks - 14 (10th - top forward); Total runs - 362 (5th)
    One of the main reasons for Manly's charge into the finals, Watmough is enjoying his best year in first grade. NSW has a plethora of in-form back-row options, but the Narrabeen junior can consider himself unlucky not to play Origin.

    Hooker: Michael Monaghan Line-break assists - 17(2nd); Try assists - 22 (3rd); Kick metres - 5262 (9th)
    This one was the toughest and most controversial selection. While Robbie Farah and Cameron Smith have been getting all the raps, Monaghan has been, statistically, the best No.9 this year. With little fuss or fanfare, Monaghan always delivers and his true worth to the team won't be felt until he leaves for English club Warrington next year.

    Prop: Steve Price Average metres per game - 201.6 (1st); Total metres - 4031 (1st); Average runs per game - 22.2 (1st)
    A deserving recipient of The Sun-Herald's inaugural player of the year award. Hookers and halves normally snare the gongs but we couldn't go past Price's Herculean efforts in 2007. He is the only forward in the game to have ever run for more than 4000m, but it's the quality of his effort which is as important as the quantity. The 33-year-old has made the strongest possible case for a recall to the Test team.

    Prop: Luke Bailey Total runs - 366 (4th); Average tackles - 34.0 (9th); Average metres - 158.6 (8th)
    Along with Titans co-captain Scott Prince, Bailey has been one of the signings of the year. Petero Civoniceva and Roy Asotasi can consider themselves unlucky to miss out, but "Bull" deserves selection after inspiring the new franchise from the front. Only three other players have carried the ball more often all season.

    PLAYER OF THE YEAR
    It has been a year of firsts for Steve Price. The Warriors captain has become the first forward in history to make more than 4000metres with the ball in a season. He is the first prop to exceed 300m in a single game and he is scheduled to be Australia's representative for the All Golds in their commemorative match against the Northern Union in England on October 21.

    Now he has topped off the best season of his 14-year career by receiving The Sun-Herald's inaugural player of the year award.

    While the stats made him a clear choice, former Bulldog Price credited his age (33) as the main reason for his brilliant form.

    "It's a huge honour, I feel very privileged," he said. "There's a few things I've done this year which I've never done before. I think the main reason for the way I'm going is because I'm 33 and there's not going to be too many more [seasons] in me.

    "Missing out on the Tri-Nations was very disappointing but, in a funny way, it was a blessing because I got in a full pre-season.

    "I had a couple of operations done on my shoulder, got those tidied up and enjoyed a pre-season with a very young Warriors squad.

    It gave me a huge boost in enthusiasm."

    Price, who is contracted for another season, hasn't ruled out playing on for another year - through to the age of 35 - if his form holds.

    "I'd never rule it out."

    BACK OF THE YEAR
    Matt Bowen is number one No1. On the back of a superlative season in which he smashed the record for most tackle breaks since the statistic was first recorded four years ago, Bowen edged out Brett Stewart and Wade
    McKinnon for the custodian role in The Sun-Herald's inaugural team of the year.

    Bowen and Warriors captain Steve Price our player of the year were the
    only players to top every major statistical category for their respective positions in the team, picked on performance statistics compiled by Sportsdata.

    While their selections won't raise any eyebrows, underrated Manly pair
    Michael Monaghan and Chris Hicks earned shock call-ups for the contentious hooker and wing spots. Monaghan beat Robbie Farah, Danny Buderus and Cameron Smith after making more line break assists and try assists than the superstar trio.

    Likewise, Sea Eagles three-quarter Hicks, who will join Monaghan at English club Warrington next season, pipped Parramatta's Jarryd Hayne and Eric Grothe for a wing spot.

    "To be honest, I probably wouldn't even rate it as my best season personally,'' Hicks said. "I'm more concerned with how the team
    is going, but it's nice to get a little bit of recognition.''

    There were a couple of other minor surprises. There was no room for South Sydney's Roy Asotasi or Brisbane's Petero Civoniceva in the starting 13, with Luke Bailey getting the other front-row spot.

    Braith Anasta's strong finish to the season earned him the pivot role.

    In a year in there was no standout five-eighth due to injuries to star players Mark Gasnier and Darren Lockyer. And Melbourne teenager
    Israel Folau took out rookie of the year honours.

    HOW THE TEAM WAS PICKED
    The Sun-Herald commissioned Sportsaata to compile the team of the year based on statistical data tailored for each position. For instance, key indicators for prop forwards were hit-ups, metres gained, average metres and tackles made. Halves were judged on measures including line-break assists, try assists and kick/run metres. The players selected were those who performed best across a number of measures for that position. The results are based on performances until the completion of round 24 of the competition this year.

    Source: The Sun-Herald
     
  2. DSM5

    DSM5 Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    No room for Cameron Smith? No credibility
     
  3. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

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    This one would have Mata spitting out his cornflakes as he attempts to enjoy a leisurely breakfast on Father's Day. :) :)

    Interesting that two players leaving the club are named Player of the Year in their positions.
     
  4. KaZa

    KaZa Well-Known Member

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    hahahahaha

    stats dont lie :p

    I dont agree with it.. but it just goes to prove that hes a quality player though and will be sorely missed at Manly.

    on ya Monas!
     
  5. Kiwi Eagle

    Kiwi Eagle Moderator Staff Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    An early preview of Mata's reply

     
  6. Guest

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    Might as well make Ballin an immortal now. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
     
  7. Canteen Worker

    Canteen Worker Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    I will go on record to say that I think Ballin is a better hooker!!
     
  8. willstyles

    willstyles Active Member

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    Statiscally Monaghan has had a better year than Farah/Smith/etc.

    He has played a fair bit of halfback where he scored a lot of try assists/line break assists, but so have Smith/Farah.

    His form has been down for the past month, but f*ck he carved up today.
     
  9. Fluffy

    Fluffy Well-Known Member

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    they have judged the hooker on halves stats.

    Guess its hard when its a stats team of the year not to.
     
  10. Canteen Worker

    Canteen Worker Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Monaghan was very good today.
     
  11. willstyles

    willstyles Active Member

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    The hooker these days is basically an extra half though. Not sure what other stats you'd choose on?
     
  12. Ryan

    Ryan Well-Known Member

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    Monaghan DID get a number of those stats playing 1/2 back. Therefore the system is flawed...BUT, he has become one of my favourite players...
     
  13. Duff

    Duff Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Farah has played a fair bit at half as well. I guess that's the way the game is.

    I might stick a few bucks on Warrington.
     
  14. byso

    byso Well-Known Member

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    Well done to Monas.

    Ryan I told you Monas is within the top 5 best Hookers in the NRL ;)
     

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