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Sea Eagles hooker in quandary

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Berkeley_Eagle, May 28, 2008.

  1. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Sea Eagles hooker in quandary

    Jason Avedissian

    28 May 2008
    http://manlydaily.com.au/article/2008/05/28/10321_sports.html

    OFF contract Manly hooker Matt Ballin has expressed interest in joining Brisbane next season, but would ideally prefer to stay at the Sea Eagles.

    The 24-year-old Broncos junior is yet to hold talks with Manly and has attracted interest from rival NRL clubs.

    The Queenslander said he would be prepared to move back home but is committed to the Sea Eagles this season, and possibly for the long haul.

    "It's always been a home for me up there (Brisbane), but at the moment I really want to stay at Manly," Ballin said following a training session at Narrabeen yesterday.

    "If things don't progress with them (Manly), it (Brisbane) would definitely be an option.

    "I guess opportunity is the main thing for my career. I want to be playing the best football I can, whether it be Manly or Brisbane, or another NRL club, but definitely at the moment Manly is my team and I'm happy here.''

    Ballin has been sharing the hooking duties in recent weeks with reserve Heath L'Estrange.

    The pair have proved the ideal combination, with the bigger Ballin handling the initial heavy hits before L'Estrange comes on to give the Sea Eagles a few more attacking options.

    But Ballin's caper is about playing 80 minutes, with his superior fitness levels among the best in the NRL.

    "The way the game goes at this stage it's hard to play one hooker the whole 80 minutes," Ballin said yesterday.

    "I'm an 80-minute player, that's my game, that's my strength and I want to be playing out there as much as I can.

    "I'd like more minutes, but that's the way it goes."

    Meanwhile, centre Steven Bell was not named in the Sea Eagles squad of 18 for their round 12 clash with Canberra on Friday night. The ex-Maroons back will have a fitness test tomorrow in a bid to prove his fitness.

    Coach Des Hasler named a five-man bench with Vic Mauro the likely man to drop off.
     
  2. eggson

    eggson Well-Known Member

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    Is he really happy?  He's definately not getting his 80mins of game time.  It depends on the coach really, some still play 80 min hookers and some have two.
     
  3. The Wheel

    The Wheel Well-Known Member

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    Reading the above articel I think you can bank on Bell being back for the game
     
  4. Jatz Crackers

    Jatz Crackers Moderator Staff Member

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    Surely this is purely negotiation tactics.
     
  5. Jatz Crackers

    Jatz Crackers Moderator Staff Member

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    Anyone know how is Ray Nasso going ?
     
  6. willstyles

    willstyles Active Member

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    To be perfectly honest, he's not playing like a bloke who is off-contract.

    That being said I'd prefer it if he stayed at Manly. We saw last year that he has great games inside him and his combo with L'Estrange is improving. He has the fitness and ability to rotate with the second row, which can be another option when Heath comes on.
     
  7. Jatz Crackers

    Jatz Crackers Moderator Staff Member

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    Prefer he stayed, as i cant see where we could source the  right combo with LeSnack from. Strange that he doesnt seem to be playing for the contract.
     
  8. Garts

    Garts Well-Known Member

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    He must have got complacent after reading all Mata's posts, he is busy waiting for the origin call up!!!!
     
  9. the_parts

    the_parts New Member

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    I really hope we keep Ballin, it would be a shame to lose him after developing him for several years.

    Although he hasn't turned out the superstar we all expected i'm sure given more time and experience he will become that superstar we all expect him to become.
     
  10. willstyles

    willstyles Active Member

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    Prefer he stayed, as i cant see where we could source the  right combo with LeSnack from. Strange that he doesnt seem to be playing for the contract.

    [/quote]

    Indeed. Most off-contract players play like their testicles are on the line every week, and really...that was how Ballin played last year. Lost the hunger in the off-season it seems.

    Broncos are a very real option. To my knowledge Ennis is no chance of staying in Brissie (or at least this was the word a month ago, things might have changed since they lost Hannant). They'll be looking for a reasonably priced replacement. Ballin is just that. Won't be big money, local junior, talented but unspectacular player. He'd be dynamite for the Broncos.
     
  11. Darren

    Darren Well-Known Member

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    gday jatz, I have watched ray nasso a couple of times, mostly off the bench, hard working hooker/forward but nothing that stands out, may need time in grade as he is young
     
  12. SilentBob

    SilentBob Well-Known Member

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    Hope he stays, wouldn't get in to a bidding war though, he had the spot to himself at the start of the year but couldn't keep it,  nobody to blame but himself.
     

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