Hooker

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1978

Reserve Grader
Hooker is the glaring weakness in our squad composition.

After Croker, we have a rookie (GCKT) and a converted halfback (Humphries) who hadn't played much reserve grade.

Heaven help us if Croker is injured.

I was surprised we let Lawton go ... he gave us good cover in hooker/ second row/ bench utility.

Maybe Jake Arthur could fill in at hooker if needed. Or Fulton (similar build to The Cheese), or Rugless from Blacktown Workers?
 

SeaEagleRock8

Sea Eagle Lach
Premium Member
Tipping Member
Yep if he's injured we'd be in strife.
Exactly the same as any other club if they were to lose a spine player who is also their 2022 player of the year.
Lachie is Mr Unfashionable with some here who just can't bear to admit he is one of our key men! Having said all that, the players you mention could hold the fort, if he wasn't gone too long.
 

Will on the hill

Bencher
Tipping Member
Hooker is the glaring weakness in our squad composition.

After Croker, we have a rookie (GCKT) and a converted halfback (Humphries) who hadn't played much reserve grade.

Heaven help us if Croker is injured.

I was surprised we let Lawton go ... he gave us good cover in hooker/ second row/ bench utility.

Maybe Jake Arthur could fill in at hooker if needed. Or Fulton (similar build to The Cheese), or Rugless from Blacktown Workers?
GCKT is now the deputy. If Froggy goes down for an extended period Gordy gets the start and plays 80 if he has to. He will need assistance in defence but is capable of 80 in attack.
 
Hooker is the glaring weakness in our squad composition.

After Croker, we have a rookie (GCKT) and a converted halfback (Humphries) who hadn't played much reserve grade.

Heaven help us if Croker is injured.

I was surprised we let Lawton go ... he gave us good cover in hooker/ second row/ bench utility.

Maybe Jake Arthur could fill in at hooker if needed. Or Fulton (similar build to The Cheese), or Rugless from Blacktown Workers?
Yep ! You can blame it all on Manase!
 

eaglebuzz

Bencher
Yep if he's injured we'd be in strife.
Exactly the same as any other club if they were to lose a spine player who is also their 2022 player of the year.
Lachie is Mr Unfashionable with some here who just can't bear to admit he is one of our key men! Having said all that, the players you mention could hold the fort, if he wasn't gone too long.
I can admit it, but it doesn't change the fact that his ball playing skills aren't at NRL hooker standard, and that we will only have success with him at 9 if he is replaced by a more dynamic 14 for 20-30 minutes per game.
 

double hoops

First Grader
Lawton made our squad better in numerous positions. I reckon hooker was his weakest position he could cover. But yet his loss still leaves an experience gap at dummy half.
A speedy and tough little back rowers. I had him starting in the halves at Blacktown to start 24. Just a quality Mr fixit. He would make a fine lock.

You might say he's the master of none. But gee he was great in the backrow.

But we dead set we need quality and probably more than one bloke to fill his shoes.

Only he and the club know if his body was struggling at NRL level given the injuries he's had.

Going to be greatly missed.
 

Will on the hill

Bencher
Tipping Member
I can admit it, but it doesn't change the fact that his ball playing skills aren't at NRL hooker standard, and that we will only have success with him at 9 if he is replaced by a more dynamic 14 for 20-30 minutes per game.
I agree that we need an option to give Croker a breather when required but there are 17 starting Hookers in the NRL. Can you name 6 that you'd happily take over Froggy?

The "dynamic" rhetoric is painful. Cam Smith was far from dynamic, he wasn't a "natural hooker" yet is widely regarded as one of the best ever.

Froggy is still new to the permanent hooker role and he is constantly improving. He will have a breakout year soon and become one of the best hookers in the comp.
 

Highflier

Bencher
Premium Member
Tipping Member
Hooker is the glaring weakness in our squad composition.

After Croker, we have a rookie (GCKT) and a converted halfback (Humphries) who hadn't played much reserve grade.

Heaven help us if Croker is injured.

I was surprised we let Lawton go ... he gave us good cover in hooker/ second row/ bench utility.

Maybe Jake Arthur could fill in at hooker if needed. Or Fulton (similar build to The Cheese), or Rugless from Blacktown Workers?
I think BA could do a job, I liked Lawton TBH, I remember Fulton played 9 once for BWSE and it wasn't a game to remember and he was roundly labelled as never to play 9 again by the STs elite!!!
I would like to see Humphries in a trial just to see how he's developing
 
Hooker is the glaring weakness in our squad composition.

After Croker, we have a rookie (GCKT) and a converted halfback (Humphries) who hadn't played much reserve grade.

Heaven help us if Croker is injured.

I was surprised we let Lawton go ... he gave us good cover in hooker/ second row/ bench utility.

Maybe Jake Arthur could fill in at hooker if needed. Or Fulton (similar build to The Cheese), or Rugless from Blacktown Workers?
The times I saw Fulton at hooker, he didnt have the passing game or the vision. His passing was pretty ordinary. I'd prefer if we looked at that backup hooker for Souths. He's zippy.
 
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eaglebuzz

Bencher
I agree that we need an option to give Croker a breather when required but there are 17 starting Hookers in the NRL. Can you name 6 that you'd happily take over Froggy?

The "dynamic" rhetoric is painful. Cam Smith was far from dynamic, he wasn't a "natural hooker" yet is widely regarded as one of the best ever.

Froggy is still new to the permanent hooker role and he is constantly improving. He will have a breakout year soon and become one of the best hookers in the comp.
Only 6? Yes easily...
Harry Grant
Reece Robson
Damien Cook
Reed Mahoney
Api Koroisau
Jeremy Marshall-King
Wade Egan

I guess that's seven. I'd possibly even add Sam Verrills to that and Brendan Hands and Soni Luke could find themselves on that list. Then there's all the players I can't even remember.

Cam smith was extremely dynamic, his footwork and pass selection was second to none for most of his career. He could make something happen out of absolutely nothing and he did it often.

Croker is already one of the best defensive hookers in the comp, but in terms of being the complete package he's second tier at best. I hope he does continue to improve, though. Because we are stuffed if he doesn't. Two good matches a year does not a premiership make.
 

Will on the hill

Bencher
Tipping Member
Only 6? Yes easily...
Harry Grant
Reece Robson
Damien Cook
Reed Mahoney
Api Koroisau
Jeremy Marshall-King
Wade Egan

I guess that's seven. I'd possibly even add Sam Verrills to that and Brendan Hands and Soni Luke could find themselves on that list. Then there's all the players I can't even remember.

Cam smith was extremely dynamic, his footwork and pass selection was second to none for most of his career. He could make something happen out of absolutely nothing and he did it often.

Croker is already one of the best defensive hookers in the comp, but in terms of being the complete package he's second tier at best. I hope he does continue to improve, though. Because we are stuffed if he doesn't. Two good matches a year does not a premiership make.
That's a great 6, I'd pass on Mahoney. Verrils Hands Luke is a stretch IMO.
 

Eagles4Life

Bencher
Premium Member
Tipping Member
GCKT is now the deputy. If Froggy goes down for an extended period Gordy gets the start and plays 80 if he has to. He will need assistance in defence but is capable of 80 in attack.
Jake Arthur would be my go-to as hooker if either Croker or GCKT get injured. I would have JA as fourteen for the beginning of the season and then slowly bring GCKT into the seventeen. (Mid-season mark)
 
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LeonardCohen

Bencher
I really like Croker and think he is doing enough for the club to consider the position filled. I tend to think we’d have a different perspective about him, if it wasn’t for the Fainu situation.

The disappointment of losing what was shaping up to be one of the game’s best 9s, means we pine for something of the same ilk. Add to that, the fact Croker was seen as a stop gap during that period of uncertainty, means he will forever be seen as the makeshift half, plugging a hole for the time being.

The reality is that Croker can do the job and do it well. He’s definitely not a top 9 and I’d have him behind plenty, but those same clubs with better 9s, often performed worse than Manly last year anyway. It’s about the squad, not the individual. Those clubs with better 9s, might have an inferior 7 or 1, so it balances out.

After seeing Penrith lift the trophy with the no frills Mitch Kenny, and Brisbane make the big dance with Billy Walters, gives me hope that we can challenge with our own no frills 9, if the rest of the package comes together.
 

Stewbojevic

Reserve Grader
I really like Croker and think he is doing enough for the club to consider the position filled. I tend to think we’d have a different perspective about him, if it wasn’t for the Fainu situation.

The disappointment of losing what was shaping up to be one of the game’s best 9s, means we pine for something of the same ilk. Add to that, the fact Croker was seen as a stop gap during that period of uncertainty, means he will forever be seen as the makeshift half, plugging a hole for the time being.

The reality is that Croker can do the job and do it well. He’s definitely not a top 9 and I’d have him behind plenty, but those same clubs with better 9s, often performed worse than Manly last year anyway. It’s about the squad, not the individual. Those clubs with better 9s, might have an inferior 7 or 1, so it balances out.

After seeing Penrith lift the trophy with the no frills Mitch Kenny, and Brisbane make the big dance with Billy Walters, gives me hope that we can challenge with our own no frills 9, if the rest of the package comes together.
Well said
 

Rocky

Bencher
Mahoney is one of the best players in a crap side. He would be very good for us, in my opinion.
I'll take Croker on 400k over Mahoney on 750k any day of the week. Those numbers are off the top of my head but I think are fairly accurate.

In a vacuum, I would have Mahoney marginally better than the frog...but the salary cap does matter, and Croker is on one of the best deals in the NRL.

We don't have a Croker problem. We have a Schuster, Turbo, and Aloiai problem. 3 guys that made around 20% of the salary cap and did nothing last year.
 

Tragic Eagle

Tragic
Premium Member
Tipping Member
Croker is a very good player but his extremely high work load in defence results in fatigue that results in no running game and slow service. Croker needs to start and be given a breather when we inject GCKT. I don't believe GCKT is no where near his ceiling and his defence is fine..
 
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13 7 6 81 18
13 7 6 -55 18
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14 7 7 37 16
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