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My thought's on the individual players this year:-

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Ryan, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. Ryan

    Ryan Well-Known Member

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    Brett Stewart:- Really bad luck with his injury. Despite that last effort against The Storm, we are a much better team with him in it. That being said, if what I have heard is true, Brett's biggest concern at the moment is his knees.  If his knee goes again it might very well be the end of his career because he will be down to bone on bone after the graft.
    Also he is now having trouble with his other knee as well.  There is some sort of congenital problem with his knees. I hope a rest, and incident free season may refresh him.

    Michael Robertson:- I feel for the guy. He tried his guts out at fullback, but this season has shown that he really isn't one of those. That being said, he is a fantastic winger with X factor, and I hope people remember that. Look at his try production on the wing compared to fullback for confirmation of this. What I can say about Robertson, is he wonderfully durable, reliable and consistent.

    Steve Matai:- All in all, I think this was a small step back for Steve Matai this year. His defensive deficiencies re-surfaced, and his damaging runs out wide, and from dummy 1/2 didn't have the sting of the previous two years. I personally believe a reason for this, is his want to always put on the big hit, or to lift the forwards when they were flat (which was quite often). Also of note were his injuries attained in EVERY game played. If this is really that much of a concern, take a year off. Steve doesn't want to become less and less relevant. He has been dropped from the International side already.

    Jamie Lyon:- Was the cornerstone of turning our season around early on. He is all class. I would have liked him to play in one spot, and stay there. That spot was 5/8. Why Des changed a building, performing 1/2's pairing from the previous year that had chemistry, is beyond me. And for Chris Bailey no less - (please see below). The more Jamie has the ball in his hands, the less pressure on Ox. Lyon's kicking game improved exponentially at 5/8. BUT, Lyon excelled at centre (when fit). His injuries are of a concern.

    David Williams:- He has certainly lost his spark this year. He doesn't look like he is enjoying himself anymore. I blame the 2008 Origin Period for that. He is consistently being caught out defensively, his ability to get across the line has gone backward, and his line breaking ability this year has been non-existent - then his injuries are starting to re-surface again. I would like the Wolfman to pull his head in a bit, and focus. He needs not to get ahead of himself (already has a bit), and just play footy again - and enjoy it for Pete's sake.

    Chris Bailey:- Wow. To me, this bloke has been very much a disappointing buy. No X factor. Plays the ball slow. Gives away penalties. He RARELY produced some spark, but not nearly as much as I'm sure management hoped he would. This would be the reason Des moved him from this position. Unfortunately, Chris brought that early 2008 Newcastle Knights form with him, and unfortunately, some of it rubbed off on the other players. There was always an issue about him being able to make the Knights first 17. I can now see why.

    Matt Orford:- Lots of people take shots at Matt Orford. This year, he has played next to Chris Bailey, Keiran Foran & Jamie Lyon at 5/8. How could ANYONE build chemistry and consistency in this environment? And all that with an under-performing forward pack. All that aside, Ox has been substantially down in form from previous years. I realise there are excuses (playing injured all year), but we have alternatives, and to me, that just relates to him being selfish, and thinking of himself before the team. What I do know, is that the end of this season will not be pleasant for him when he enters into negotiations for any up-coming contract. His kicking game left a LOT to be desired, he argued with his players on the field - basically - he didn't lead by example - and that is the most disappointing thing for me. With Cherry-Evans, Hodgkinson and Foran all able top play at a similar level, maybe it's time for Ox to explore his options in the U.K?

    Jason King:- Wow, what a season ! The best I have experienced at any rate. If there IS a player that lead by example this year, it is Jason King. Powerful runs. Smashing in tackles. In my boat, the best prop of ours this year (closely followed by Gorgeous George). It was SUCH a shame when he injured his ribs, but I'm betting, looking at his character, he'll want to be back next year, bigger and badder than ever.

    Matt Ballin:- Like Robertson, Matty is just a plain consistent player. He puts in, every game he plays. Much like Williams this year though, Ballin seems to have lost his spark. 2008 saw Matty do things that made him stand out as a player. This year, his play became somewhat predictable, and a little slow in its execution. He is not getting the penalties he used to for us. I'm hoping this is somewhat of a second year syndrome for the guy, because our reliance on his ability next year is going to be so much more without Heath Le'Strange around. He has also lost that little bit of aggression he had in 2008, so I'm hoping his passion returns in 2010.

    Josh Perry:- Charles Dickens suggested it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Josh Perry emulated that. In and out of rep sides. The weight came back on, but disappeared again. He'd have a great game. He'd have a very good game. He'd get injured. He'd get over that injury. Without trying to repeat myself, I think the Grand Final, and World Club Challenge victories nulled his (and a lot of other team-mates) attitude towards the hard work that has to go into trying to win a premiership.

    Anthony Watmough:- Bottle what this guy has, throw out the calves blood, and inject that into our players. What I loved about Choc, is that he wasn't satisfied with a Grand Final win, A World Club Challenge win - he wanted to go to the next level. His issues around giving away penalties, and dropping the ball have gone out of his game (somewhat at any rate). He won the best backrower of the year, and rightly so. I hope he can maintain that momentum, going into next year - and I hope he rubs off on a lot of the guys who were not as good as they CAN be. Choc has also seemed to have mature as a player, and a person. He should, and could be a real leader in this club. He, himself suggested he wanted to be the next Steve The Beaver Menzies - and why not? He's getting there.

    Shane Rodney:- When the man is fit and firing - what a great player. He is a great in tight defender, and can break a defensive line in attack. He is big and mobile. The problem for this bloke - is that he is made of glass. Injured every other game if you know what I mean. If he played injury free for a full season, I would expect him to play representative football again one day. But for Pete's sake - go out, buy 10 litres of milk, and drink the stuff. Get some calcium in them bones of yours.

    Glenn Stewart:- With a lot of "off field" drama I'm sure surrounding itself with Glenn (not self inflicted) , I'm sure a lot of people would have had excuses not to play well. But no, Glenn was great again this year. Like others, not up to 2008 form by any measure, but still great. I personally believe we had too many cooks in the kitchen with the Bailey, Foran, Lyon, Orford types, so expectation (probably from Des) was that Glenn's ball playing dropped off a little. Much like his brother, I'm hoping with a fresh new season ahead, no drama's surrounding him, he may be able to focus on the prize ahead.

    Heath Le'Strange:- Disappointing. Not his form or ability. That he has signed elsewhere. He adds spark and diversity off the bench when Ballin can't produce it. Our teams game speed picks up. For some reason, he appeared to get much less game time this year, probably as a result of signing elsewhere. Unlike a lot of others, I personally think Heath maintained his form from 2008. He throws a great dummy, doesn't back off in defense - he seemed to show passion and pride for wearing our jersey. What I will say, is that his ability will be sorely missed next year. 

    Brent Kite:- Poor old Brent. He seems to have caught the Mark O'Meley syndrome. He turns his back on the defensive line so he doesn't have to take the impact. He fumbles the ball. He plays the ball slow. Like Brett, I know Brent has excuses (and rightly so). I personally believe there is much more in him, and he has a lot more to offer our team - but some serious changes in his attitude needs to be addressed here. You can't go from being the Clive Churchill medal winner one year, to barely making the bench for Manly the next. Brent has the ability, not the spark at the moment. A huge improvement required. He's gone from our blue chip prop, to probably the least important of all 4.

    George Rose:- WELL, we showed loyalty to him, he is repaying that loyalty to us. What a prop. Surely rep footy isn't out of the question in 2010? Winning the props pentathlon. George hits the line, and hits it hard. What I have noticed, is he has lost that Jason Ryles type of play of having to offload every time a defender touches him. He hits in defense really well. His mobility isn't THAT bad for a bloke his size. What I did notice, was that a few errors crept into his game at seasons end, but I personally think that was because he was trying too hard, so I'm totally ok with that.

    Glenn Hall:- Well, like Heath Le'Strange, Hally will be missed in our team. He is a mobile, damaging forward, that always busted - well - his balls to win games for us. Much like Choc, Hally's effort and heart needs to be injected into some of our players in the backline. You always know what you got with Glenn, and that was always quality.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    OTHER PLAYERS OF INTEREST

    Keiran Foran:- Three words Desmond - "sign him up". I don't care if it is in place of Matt Orford, with Lyon at 5/8, or at 5/8, with Ox at 1/2 back. The kid has it all. Great ball playing ability. Great try scoring ability. Great defense (he sure as heck wouldn't be a spot defender). I personally think Keiran is a player you could build a re-building type team around. He was one shining light on a terrible season (for whatever reason I considered it horrible). He dominated in the NYC, and I have games recorded where the commentators suggested that he was too good to play in that grade. We have lost one great player in Hargraves - DON'T be too idol in signing this kid. I know Scott Penn and co. were having a feed etc @ Brookie with Keiran's father against The Titans - keep that going guys - PLEASE.

    Ben Farrar:- Why is it every time I think of Ben, I laugh. I laugh because of what we had to give away for him. What a steal ! So much so, that I would almost say resting Matai for 12 months may be a good thing. That if Wolfman signed elsewhere, it would be TOO much of a loss. The man personally won us 2 games at the end there (Melbourne, and Souths). His hole running is fantastic, his expectation on himself is huge. His diversity id great. With Brett Stewart potentially breaking down, Ben Farrar's stock in our team goes up considerably. GREAT RECRUITMENT GUYS !

    2010 Gains vs. Losses:- From the outside looking in, it looks terrible. Matt Cross (with broken leg), Joe Gulovou, turning 34 or something and a forward, who is coming here kicking and screaming. We lose Jared Weara-Hargraves, Heath Le'Strange, Glenn Hall & Adam Cuthbertson. I have a lot of hope from our junior sides (Keiran Foran as an example). I hope Des gives some of the kids a go. I still think Tony Williams will have a lot to offer. I really hope all the team come out with a different attitude. I hope they are focused and incident free. I hope our ridiculous board room dramas are quaffed, and I hope we don't feed the Telegraph with headlines again.

    Our roster has certainly gone backwards. That being said, it is still one of the best around. If shedding Ox means we get to retain Lyon, Foran, and Choc - then so be it...Foran wouldn't let us down (and I know that sounds harsh).

    With an attitude adjustment, a little accountability in place, and the right players given a go, we will be back in the top 4 in 2010. I'd LOVE to see a minor premiership come our way - something we haven't had in a long time.

    Cheers Guys. 
     
  2. Chip and Chase

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

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    Looking at last year vs this year and individual contributions, I've given a score between -3 (disappointing season, well down on last years form) and + 3 (big improver, played out of their skins). A score of zero means they basically held their own. For new players their score has been benchmarked against what my expectations of them were.

    B Stewart : -1

    Season from hell, 2009 will go down as his annus horribilus. No fault of his own though. Sorely missed.

    Robbo : 0

    Tried hard in an unfamiliar position. Safe as usual but was never going to be a Brett Stewart. Stayed injury free for another season and will be looking forward to getting back on the wing

    Wolfman : -1

    Too many errors and too many defensive lapses. Spent more time worrying about his media profile than his on field performances. The guy has the goods, just needs to put in the hard work and grow as a footballer. Borderline -2.

    Iro Williams : -3

    There was a lot of hype surrounding this guy, but he was the big disappointment of the year for mine. You're big and fast, just run the friggin ball with a bit of vigour man, FFS. Slow in defence and a liability against a smart kicking game. Don't really know what the future holds for him. Needs firing up big time

    Farrar : +1

    Didn't know too much about him before he turned up mid season, but I'd say we got the better end of the deal with the Bani swap. Hope he can push for a regular spot next year, and it's good to have some depth in the outside backs.

    Matai : 0

    Always tries 100% and gave his all again this year. Is obviously severely hampered by his neck/shoulder injury and really needs to get it sorted in the off season. Would love to see him fully fit and firing in 2010. At his best when he runs straight and hard, and as always makes ground out of dummy half deep in our territory.

    Lyon : -1

    Not as much impact this year, was hoping that the goods he produced at the end of last year would see us through this year, but perhaps the chopping and changing of positions hasn't helped. Disruptions with all the Origin hoo haa about his desire to play or not, probably didn't help either. Inconsistent season.

    Foran : +2.5

    Didn't really know what to expect from this kid as it is always dangerous to believe the hype surrounding upcoming halves (Groome, Dorn etc). But he impressed and needs to be signed up for another 2 or 3 years so we can see if he'll develop further. Can tackle which is a big plus, and has a very level head on his shoulders. Likes to take on the line and has a good pass. I think he could be the answer to our halfback problem. One of the few highlights of this year.

    Bailey : 0

    Didn't know much about him but I wasn't disappointed with his contribution. Probably not the sort of 5/8 we need and is better suited to the back row, or utility on the bench. Has got some skills if utilised properly. A reasonable buy.

    Orford : -1

    Plenty already written about the No. 7 and doesn't need to be rehashed here. Didn't rate him that highly last year and he definitely didn't improve this year. Too inconsistent and doesn't have the ability to stamp his authority on a game. Kicking game is schizophrenic. Not the long term solution to our halfback position IMO.

    G Stewart : 0

    Always one of our better performers and tried his hardest again this year. Held his own. Needs better help inside him to make the most of his attacking skills.

    Choc : +2

    Stupid start to the season looked like it was going to set the tone for the implosion of A Watmough. But he seemed to grow as a person and a footballer, and the Origin stint gave him some much needed confidence. One of the few forwards to improve this year. Still has a few stupid errors in his game which would be good to be rid of, but in general his hands seemed to improve and also gave away less stupid penalties. If he can keep his head right he will be one of the premier forwards in the NRL, let's hope we can build on his impact ability.

    Hall : 0

    Journeyman type who always tries hard. Never going to be a world beater, but loves the contest and always puts in. Didn't deserve the finish to his Manly career that he got. Every club needs a honest, sleeves rolled up, no nonsense forward like him.

    Rodney : 0

    I think this guy is a bloody good footballer and would have given him a +1 but for his achilles heel....injuries. Reminds me of BK in that he always pokes his head through the ad line and never stops the leg drive. Love to see him fit for a whole season as I think he has a bit more to offer.

    Perry : -1

    Looked mean and hungry last year and was a key contributor. Seemed to go missing in a lot of games this year and lost some of his impact. Thought the Origin call up might spark him in the back half of the year but was still inconsistent. Needed to stand up and lead the pack in the absence of Kite but instead just went through the motions.

    Kite : -2

    Big dissapointment this year. From Aussie prop to bench for your club side. Didn't seem interested at all and only had a handful of games that you would say were up to his normal standard. Given the death of his dad we can only assume his head wasn't right this year, which is understandable. We need him back to his best next season.

    King : +1

    I thought Kingy actually had a pretty good year, but like everyone else was a little inconsistent. Showed what he is capable of, but needs to start producing that form every week. Not our worst.

    Rose : + 2

    Awesome effort for Big George this year and well done to him to come back from that horrific injury. Ran hard and had an impact in most games. Our best prop this year and looking forward to him stepping it up next season.

    Ballin: -1

    A little disappointed in Ballins contribution this year. Hasn't really developed other aspects of his game, like a kicking and running game. The number 9 is a crucial position these days and you can't get by with a tackling machine who can pass from dummy half, you need to offer a little X factor in that spot. Needs to take some responsibility for getting the forwards rolling on. Needs to improve.

    Le Snak : -1

    Thought he was down on impact off the bench this year. Obviously needs a dominant forward pack to give him the space to showcase his skills, but still didn't impress often enough. Will be replaceable.

    Des: -1

    Doesn't like to take risks and doesn't seem prepared to try new things when the old, safe things aren't reaping rewards. Our attack doesn't ever seem to have that edge to it. Next year will be a big test for him.

    Overall:

    Not hard to see why we had the season we did, not many players showed improvement on last year. When you go from being the hunter to the hunted, you need to stay one step ahead of the opposition and grow as a side. We didn't, and inconsistency across the park cruelled our title defence. Forwards couldn't consistently dominate the game which put too much pressure on the playmakers. Overall we were -1.5 from last year. Disappointing.
     
  3. NYEagle

    NYEagle Well-Known Member

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    Stewart
    He did enough when on the field to suggest he will be back as good as ever next year. Needs to pull his ego in and concentrate on football next year. This year was humbling for him I'm sure.
    Verdict: buy

    Robbo
    He is not a fullback but performed admirably under difficult circumstances. He is such a lightweight though, that he must be on the wing where he can run in open spaces with overlaps and use his speed. He cannot break the line.
    Verdict: Hold

    Matai
    Looked unfit all year and sore. But his defense for mine was fine and he stepped it up in the Melbourne loss. He still has class but injures weigh.
    Verdict: hold

    Lyon
    Class all over the prk. Is an essential element of Manly next year.
    Verdict: buy

    Williams
    Really upset me with his form this year. On many occasions stopped running straight like 08, and his defense was pathetic. His miss against melbourne Friday unforgivable. This guy is always looking for the glory play. Enough! – make your tackles and hold your line. Watch the Parra game yesterday every day for the entire off season. I’ll hold him one more year but jury is out.
    Verdict: hold

    Bailey
    Awful. Sell him tomorrow. Can’t break the line to save his life.
    Verdict: sell

    Orford
    As hard as he tries, as committed as he is, this guy is just mediocre. Cost us against the Tigers with a stupid play when they were shot, and went horribly missing against Melbourne. There is no way you can accidentally not receive the ball and run over 80 minutes unless its planned. Unforgivable. His kicking is patchy, and I just don’t get why he doesn’t keep the ball DOWN and grubber it into in goals to get repeat sets. How many times can he kick it dead and not get a clue?.
    Verdict: sell

    Kingy
    A model of commitment and passion. Brings toughness and rage into a football game. Buy buy buy. Would be an even bigger hero than he already is if he didn’t have horrible luck with injuries.
    Verdict: buy

    Matt Ballin
    Did his job this year without being flashy. Developed into a better 80 minute player.
    Verdict: buy

    Josh Perry
    In an out of form all year, but always at least solid and usually unspectacular. Keep him.
    Verdict: buy

    Watmough
    I am Watmoughs biggest fan. From the neck down the most gifted forward in the game. Love to watch him play when he is on song. But events from last Thursday and Friday left a very bad taste in my mouth. His article about his plans to be the best forward in the game, and that he may have to leave Manly to get the most for his family. Follow that up with a misplayed play the ball just 21 seconds into the finals series that put Manly into catch up for the rest of the game. I’m sorry, but the misplay was unforgivable and disgustingly sloppy. Not a hand was on him. He didn’t have his head and its not good enough. He also did not step up against Melbourne at all, I was more impressed with JWH. This guy Watmough was a buy all year, but heck he’s a hold now. Pull your head in or don’t play.
    Verdict: hold

    Rodney
    I liked this guy. Can bust the line and does little wrong that I notice. A good player to have off the bench at least.
    Verdict: buy

    Stewart
    Top class A++. This guy is essential to our future for reasons obvious to all Manly fans.
    Verdict: buy

    Brent Kite
    He was unspectacular but overall ok this year. I think he will re-emerge better next year.
    Verdict: buy

    George Rose
    A champion. Tough, nasty, committed. SUPERB
    Verdict: buy

    Foran
    The future prince of Manly. This guy can play top grade now, he’s a star for years to come.
    Verdict: buy

    Farrar
    Did enough this year and he is a great finisher and thinker out there. The future.
    Verdict: buy
    Best wishes to Hall, LeSnak, and JWH for the future – all did well. To the first two, cherish your ring.
    Manly for 2010!!!!!!!
     
  4. Volley

    Volley Well-Known Member

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    No fault of his own? Yeah right.
     
  5. Crusher_Cleal

    Crusher_Cleal Well-Known Member

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    Was about to say the same thing Volley. Was it a co-incidence that Stewart got his first major injury so soon after a 1 mth layoff? I'm not sure.
     
  6. Chip and Chase

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

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    Geez you guys are tough. Fair enough he put himself in a stupid, vulnerable position post season launch, but is it really his fault that Gallop decides to step in and mandate an unprecedented 4 week suspension for "breaching the code of conduct". Did he apply that hardline stance to any of the other numerous miscreants this season ?

    I don't understand what you are inferring regarding his injury, are you suggesting he wasn't injured at all ? That's laughable.
     

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