When Sam signed for Manly it was seen as a great coup for the club. It was the big news of a local junior who had wandered for a time to the Rugby pastures but was returning home as a prodigal son. Like many I had watched his Rugby form for Warringah and NSW. (as an occasional Waratah spectator -was even at the Super 12 Semi the night he played centre and was totally run over roughshod by Mortock, Larkham and co). The main solace for his code change was that he was returning to League as a 2nd Rower, so the problems he had occasionally experienced as a Rugby centre wouldn't be an issue. Sam settled steadily into Manly and league and played solidly, improving as he went. The Easter period of 2004 announced that Sam was back with dynamic attacking and defensive play. As the Sea Eagle standout player he attracted the attention of Rep selectors. He was picked for City and was notable in a struggling and inexperienced Sea Eagles side. Some considered him unlucky not to be picked in the Origin side. Stardom beckoned! After a contract upgrade prior to June 30 however, his form fell away, though there were leaked reports of a serious back injury that was impacting on his form. Despite this Sam finished 2004 in first grade, though as a shadow of what he had promised early in the season. Sadly Sam has never recaptured that early 2004 form and has been a regular bench player this year rather than a starting backrower. Of course the 'arrival' of Choc Watmough as a superstar, the rejuvenation of Stever Menzies and the signing of Ben Kennedy always meant that he would struggle to be in the top team. This writer thinks that at best, Sam could have been a dynamic part of the Manly revival. However his form has been spasmodic at best, he has struggled for consistency and apart from a few good moments here and there (think Penrith and Tigers) he has not lived up to expectations. Silly mistakes and needless penalties were indicative of a player who was trying too hard. The saddest indictment of Sam's impact this year is that I don't really know of too many fans that are actually upset that he is leaving for Tiger Land!! For some reason he has never really delivered at the level to which the club and fans hoped might be possible.