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The Dragons have now set their sights on securing Manly hooker Matt Ballin.

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by eagle_predator, Sep 16, 2008.

  1. eagle_predator

    eagle_predator Active Member

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    http://stgeorge.yourguide.com.au/news/local/sport/rugby-league/big-overhaul-for-dragons-in-2009/1273387.aspx

    Big overhaul for Dragons in 2009

    BY MICHAEL CARAYANNIS
    16/09/2008 9:29:00 AM
    ST GEORGE Illawarra will undergo a massive facelift in the off-season as they prepare for 2009.

    For the first time in the joint-ventures history, the Dragons have been active in recruiting multiple top-ended players.

    Under the watchful eye of incoming coach Wayne Bennett the Dragons have signed premiership-winning representative players Luke Priddis, Jeremy Smith and Darius Boyd.

    Smith along with Neville Costigan will set up a first-class back row rotation alongside new teammates Ben Creagh, Dean Young and Beau Scott.

    After an 18-month sojourn, Mat Head returns to add depth into the halves while former Canberra prop Michael Weyman will ease the burden up-front following the departure of Jason Ryles.

    St George Illawarra have beaten off an audacious bid from Canberra to sign Sydney Roosters prop Mickey Paea.

    Paea, 22, made his debut for the Roosters in 2005 and has signed a one-year deal.

    The Dragons have now set their sights on securing Manly hooker Matt Ballin.

    While reluctant to leave Manly, the salary cap may force Ballin to look at other options.

    Both the Dragons and Parramatta are keen on securing his services.

    Ballin's decision will impact on the future of Stuart Webb who is keen to stay at St George Illawarra.

    Negotiations are continuing with outside back Michael Lett while it is unlikely hooker Ben Ellis will be retained. Two to three spots remain on the Dragons roster.

    Re-signed: Jamie Soward (two years), Matt Cooper (three), Jarrod Saffy (two), Jason Nightingale (three), Daniel Fepuleai (two), Cameron King (three), Jamie Stanley (two), Matt Prior (one)

    Gains: Darius Boyd (Brisbane Broncos) three years, Neville Costigan (Canberra Raiders) two years, Mathew Head (Wests Tigers) one year, Luke Priddis (Penrith Panthers) two years, Jeremy Smith (Melbourne Storm) three years, Michael Weyman (Canberra Raiders) two years, Mickey Paea (Sydney Roosters) one year, Hayden Fepuleai (Hurstville United) three years.

    Losses: Josh Morris (Canterbury Bulldogs), Mark Gasnier (Stade Francais French rugby), Ben Rogers (Newcastle Knights), Jason Ryles (Catalans Dragons), Simon Woolford (retirement), Kirk Reynoldson (retirement), Lagi Setu (Brisbane Broncos).

    Not sure: Ben Ellis, Stuart Webb, Michael Lett.
     
  2. Canteen Worker

    Canteen Worker Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    I am hopeful that the news that Ballin wants to stay is on the money. He is an important cog in our machine!!!
     
  3. eagle_predator

    eagle_predator Active Member

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    I'm not sure what to read into this article. Last time I heard Ballin was wanting to stay with us and he was close to resigning with us. Gee I for one hope we don't lose him he's a great player who is coming along well and is a big part of our team.
     
  4. eagle_predator

    eagle_predator Active Member

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    I really hope so C W
     
  5. missing_something

    missing_something Active Member

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    He is important but at what cost???

    I still think we'd go fine with a solid no frills hooker that could tackle for the first 20, and then bring on la-snack, I don't think we see enough of la-snack at present.

    IMHO he should be getting @ least 40 min a game, gives the team much better direction and ball playing capabilities, his defense isn't as good though.

    He (ballin) may not fit in our budget, which would be sad but thats what the cap does.
     
  6. eagle_predator

    eagle_predator Active Member

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    Ballin would be a big loss to the club for mine.
     
  7. Fro

    Fro Well-Known Member

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    I dont think a "first class back row rotation" is anything to write home about.

    To me that just means they dont have enough depth in the front row to put enough of them on the bench
     
  8. DSM5

    DSM5 Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Lots of people thought Burns would be a big loss.  Ballin goes OK but I'd like to see LeStrange get more time. Ballin would be a loss but not huge.  He doesn't offer anything special other than his dummy half runs, and most hookers are expected to do that anyway, and if the cap is full, then he'll just have to move on.  I guess one has to rely on the coach and retention staff to make the right decision.  They appear to have done that in the past so if Matt has to go, he has to go. 
     
  9. DSM5

    DSM5 Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    And signing Luke Priddis, that's a joke.  He's one player who has stayed too long.  He gives away more penalties than Choc.
     
  10. CliffyIsGod

    CliffyIsGod Well-Known Member

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    Why would they want Priddis AND Ballin. They are quite similar players, and you wouldn't sign Ballin as a back-rower.

    I think he will stay, him and Stranger compliment the team.
     
  11. Guest

    Guest Guest

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    We should have had him signed up last year to a long term contract for less money than he now wants.  Very similar to the Cuthbo situation. 
     
  12. Chip and Chase

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

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    I agree with CIG, Ballin and Priddis are very similar players, and you would have to think Priddis would be first string. So why would Ballin go there if he isn't guaranteed a starting role. I was impressed with Ballin on Saturday night, one of his better games for a while, perhaps he was playing to impress his future employer.
     
  13. Jethro

    Jethro This space is for rent Staff Member Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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  14. Duff

    Duff Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    I think some of you guys are underestimating Ballins contribution to the team.
    Yes, lots of trys are scored when he goes off but did you notice how on Saturday he didn't go off & we still ran a few quick ones in before half time? That's just the way the game plan rolls.

    He'd be a big loss. I don't know how well Heath would go as lead hooker. He's an impact player.

    Ballins kicking game is massively underutilised & if he is to ever break into rep footy, he needs to have a bit more freedom than seems to offered to him by Des at the moment.
     
  15. Canteen Worker

    Canteen Worker Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    I reckon he is grossly under-rated and an important part of our success. He is one of the reasons we are a better team this year. (Michael who????)

    Look at the way he holds the ruck defence together? His ruck work is very crisp at dummy half. He is a good judge of what is needed for both unders and overs and the timing is usually good. We have little trouble getting off our own line.
     
  16. Jatz Crackers

    Jatz Crackers Moderator Staff Member

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    When Le Snack gets tired he does wayward loopy passes. Saw it first at the Roosters and ive seen it since with us. At this point i dont see him as an 80 min hooker.

    I dont agree Ballin is critical to the overall team balance but i do agree with others that his combination with Le Snak coming off the bench works very well.
     
  17. Ryan

    Ryan Well-Known Member

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    I'd love Ballin here long term, but Le'Strange being around definitely does make the potential loss of Ballin a little easier to stomach.

    With St George, are people forgetting Dean Young as well as Luke Priddis?

    Dean Young's best position is Hooker. Then Priddis would come on.

    Where does Ballin fit?
     
  18. The Wheel

    The Wheel Well-Known Member

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    Could just be paper talk by Ballin's manager to pressure Manly
     
  19. Ryan

    Ryan Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I agree Wheel. At the same time, would Crusher know The Dragqueens already have Young / Priddis? He's not stupid. He'd laugh the articles off the pages.

    The only thing I can think of is that Bennett wants Young to play in the back row. That said, they have Paea, J Smith, B Scott, B Creagh already, so don't know how many more they would need.

    Also, Choc was signed up ages before it was released when it happened. We find out either when it is leaked, or when it politically correct to release it for benefit of the club. Leaving it lingering also helps Manly, because clubs hang their hopes on certain players. i.e. Penrith missed out on a lot of other options because they thought they had a chance at getting Jamie Lyon (Brandy said so himself). Lyon was already well and truly signed by Manly - ad Penrith went through 07 with no real 5/8....and had to last minute buy that Joe Williams.
     
  20. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

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    Ballin has been hot and cold, but no doubting his fitness, the crispness of his dummy half passing and I would prefer for him to stay. The Le Snack combo works well. He stated he wanted to go back to Qld and that door looks to have closed so it looks like manager grand standing to me.
     

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