Imaginary Telecrap Tales

Toovey for NRL CEO
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Josh Reynolds catching up with old neighbour and teammate Michael Lichaa. Back in Australia after a stellar year in the English Super League, Reynolds caught up with his one-time partner in crime for a long overdue drink. We are happy to report Reynolds and Lichaa — who both endured tough breakups — are back on their feet and smiling.

Former teammates Josh Reynolds and Michael Lichaa. Picture: Instagram
“Former Bulldogs get their own spoon” would be a better headline
 
Bencher
Tipping Comp 2021
After reading the article below it looks like uncle nick will have another way to dodge the cap, employ the parents on some dodgy as [email protected]#k job. if this is allowed it won't be long before family of players can be employed as beer tasters(geez i hope my grandkids can play footie, i could do with a job like that!).

Knights employ Ponga senior. Nothing to see here...

NRL news: Knights make play for Kalyn Ponga’s father in bid to deny Dolphins​

In a move which may deny Wayne Bennett his marquee signing, a shrewd Newcastle is set to make a play for Kalyn Ponga’s father.

Dean Ritchie
Could this be the clincher for Kalyn?
In a move which may deny Wayne Bennett his marquee signing, a shrewd Newcastle is looking to employ Kalyn Ponga’s father to the Knights’ NRLW team staff.

Desperate to retain the brilliant Ponga in the face of a massive offer from Bennett’s Dolphins, the Knights will ask the NRL salary cap auditor whether the club can employ Andre Ponga in a paid mentoring role with the club’s women’s side, who will compete in the NRLW this year for the first time.

And in a bold statement, Knights CEO Phil Gardner said he would “sue the arse off” any critics who accuse the Knights of acting illegally or unethically regarding the club’s salary cap.
Andre has been working with female Newcastle players in a voluntary role but a future paid job has been discussed by both parties.

Employing Andre might be the wily move that leads to his son re-committing to Newcastle when his current deal expires after next season.

Bennett and the Dolphins have identified Ponga as their premier signing for 2023.

The Knights have imported a number of women from New Zealand and North Queensland for this coming season with Ponga senior having helped the relocated players in cultural coordination and mentoring.
 
Sea Eagle forever
Tipping Comp 2021
After reading the article below it looks like uncle nick will have another way to dodge the cap, employ the parents on some dodgy as [email protected]#k job. if this is allowed it won't be long before family of players can be employed as beer tasters(geez i hope my grandkids can play footie, i could do with a job like that!).
Haha he'll sue the ass off anyone who implys it's dodgy. We'll there's the guilt comment right there. So if Kayla signs with the dugongs I'm sure they'll keep Andre the giant on.
 
Bencher
Tipping Comp 2021
maybe uncle nick is all over this type of thing....
i hear that b.smith has a cat, maybe nick has a mouse problem and is paying the cat a dollar or two for his services?
 
First Grader
Haha he'll sue the ass off anyone who implys it's dodgy. We'll there's the guilt comment right there. So if Kayla signs with the dugongs I'm sure they'll keep Andre the giant on.
Att: Knights - I say it’s dodgy. Just like when parra employed John hopoate as a junior coach when they poached Will and Jamil.
 
Official NRL commentator of the UK Royal Family
Premium Member
Tipping Comp 2021
Apparently ' Sione Fainu won’t face court on an assault charge until the middle of the year, leaving Manly short should Croker go down injured' According to the excellent Adam Mobbs from the DT.

Jeez I know about Manase but Sione as well???? that's ****e.

NRL 2022: Manly Sea Eagles season preview, roster analysis, predicted finish, round 1 best 17​

With an imposing number of middle forward options and exciting backline talent to compliment Tom Trbojevic, Manly look primed for a huge 2022. But one position remains troublesome.

Adam Mobbs

6 min read
January 10, 2022 - 4:00PM
News Corp Australia Sports Newsroom

NRL: RLPA CEO Clint Newton reveals approach to new season amid fresh Covid concerns

NRL

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Manly have got much to live up to after last season after finishing just one game short of the grand final.
That they haven’t made back-to-back finals series since 2014 and need to prove they can challenge the competition heavyweights adds a couple of complexities to their 2022 campaign.
Dally M winner Tom Trbojevic consumes the majority of the headlines - and rightly so - but the class of Daly Cherry-Evans can never be underestimated while the emergence of Reuben Garrick and Josh Schuster bodes well and the development of forwards Taniela Paseka and Haumole Olakau’atu will be keenly watched.
Adam Mobbs breaks down the Sea Eagles’ issues heading into the 2022 NRL season.
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NRL 2021 SF Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles v Sydney Roosters - Tom Trbojevic Must Credit NRL Photos.

NRL 2021 SF Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles v Sydney Roosters - Tom Trbojevic Must Credit NRL Photos.
FINISHES IN PAST FIVE YEARS
2017: 6th
2018: 15th
2019: 6th
2020: 13th
2021: 4th (eliminated in preliminary final)
2022 ODDS
Premiership $8.50
Top four $1.75
Top 8 $1.16
Most losses $67
2022 SQUAD
Josh Aloiai, Morgan Boyle, Ethan Bullemor, Daly Cherry-Evans, Lachlan Croker, Andrew Davey, Sione Fainu, Kieran Foran, Reuben Garrick, Morgan Harper, Sean Keppie, Tolutau Koula, Karl Lawton, Haumole Olakau’atu, Brad Parker, Taniela Paseka, Jason Saab, Josh Schuster, Toafofoa Sipley, Jorge Taufua, Martin Taupau, Ben Trbojevic, Jake Trbojevic, Tom Trbojevic, Christian Tuipulotu, Alec Tu’itavake, Dylan Walker.
ROSTER IN
Ethan Bullemor (Broncos)
ROSTER OUT
Curtis Sironen (St Helens), Moses Suli (Dragons), Tevita Funa (released), Jack Gosiewski (Dragons), Zac Saddler (released), Cade Cust (Wigan)
SQUAD STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES
The obvious lack of depth is at hooker, with Lachlan Croker the only recognisable rake, having made the switch into the No.9 jersey full-time in 2021. Sione Fainu won’t face court on an assault charge until the middle of the year, leaving Manly short should Croker go down injured. The Sea Eagles have an imposing number of middle options, including the likes of Josh Aloiai, Taniela Paseka, Toa Sipley, Marty Taupau, Jake Trbojevic and former Brisbane prop Ethan Bullemor. They also have an exciting young crop of outside backs coming through their system, giving them further depth.
Plenty of responsibility is set to fall on Lachlan Croker.

Plenty of responsibility is set to fall on Lachlan Croker.

Where will Manly finish in 2022?​


1-4
67 %

5-8
25 %

9-12
5 %

13-16
3 %
197 votes


PLAYERS IN 2021 RICH 100
1 Daly Cherry-Evans $1.175 million
4 Tom Trbojevic $1.1 million
17 Jake Trbojevic $900,000
54 Martin Taupau $680,000
98 Dylan Walker $465,000
COACH STATUS AND SAFETY RATING
How quickly things change. Des Hasler started last season with a new deal that was signed after negotiations dragged out for eight months. A contract clause meant Hasler needed a finals appearance in his next two years to trigger an extension into 2023. When Manly equalled their worst start to a season, losing their opening four games at a combined score of 156-34, things looked bleak. But Hasler then led the Sea Eagles to 16 victories from their remaining 20 games to charge into the top four before a preliminary final loss to South Sydney. At least another two seasons at Manly will allow him to eclipse the late Bob Fulton’s record of 307 games as Sea Eagles coach. Under Hasler, Tom Trbojevic had a career year that culminated with him being named Dally M Medallist. But he also unlocked the potential of Reuben Garrick, who led the NRL in scoring, and was one of three Sea Eagles, along with Trbojevic and Jason Saab, to finish in the top five tryscorers. Expect more of the same in 2022, if he can manage Manly’s lack of hooker options.
Safety Rating: A
WHAT THEY NEED TO TWEAK
Their reliance on Tom Trbojevic and Daly Cherry-Evans has been an issue, but the emergence of Garrick and Josh Schuster as able replacements has been a revelation. Manly’s 32-18 Round 18 win over St George Illawarra last season came without their star pair. Instead, Garrick played in the No.1 jersey and Schuster put in a man-of-the-match performance at halfback. With Evans calling the shots, and attacking options like Trbojevic, Garrick, Saab and Schuster, the Sea Eagles have the artillery to blow opposition teams off the park. However, their record against the top teams isn’t flash, highlighting their need to shore-up their defence and put in 80-minute efforts against well-structured sides like Penrith, South Sydney and Melbourne. The continued improvement of forwards Taniela Paseka and Haumole Olakau’atu, and Andrew Davey’s return from injury, will add depth to the Sea Eagles’ edge.
Big things are expected of Josh Schuster in 2022.

Big things are expected of Josh Schuster in 2022.
FREE AGENCY WRAP
They added Brisbane’s Ethan Bullemor to add depth to their forward stocks, but have not addressed the glaring issue in their roster — hooker. Releasing Curtis Sironen and Moses Suli affects their depth.
Rating: D
WHICH PLAYER CAN THEY REINVENT?
Ethan Bullemor.
He has arrived from Brisbane to vie for a position in a pack stocked with middle forwards. At 190cm and 110kg, the 21-year-old could be deployed as an edge option for the Sea Eagles, with back-rowers at a premium in the NRL at the moment.
WILL DEVELOPMENT CONTRACT UPGRADED KIDS MAKE AN IMPACT?
Athletic winger Christian Tuipulotu with his three-year deal, and the youngest Trbojevic, back-rower Ben, will push the established stars in their respective positions. Tuipulotu can provide the Sea Eagles with some x-factor in an already impressive backline. The next crop of youngsters on development deals includes rising hooker Gordon Chan Kum Tong, half Jamie Humphreys (the son of club CEO Stephen Humphreys) and exciting fullback prospect Kaeo Weekes. The latter is a speed machine with plenty of raps on his talent.
WHO TAKES THE NEXT STEP? Josh Schuster
An NRL half-in-waiting, the 20-year-old bided his time largely in the Sea Eagles’ back row in 2021 and handled the workload. He’s another Manly matchwinner with smooth hands, a big body and calm demeanour. Although he will likely play on the edge again in 2022, he will be ready to fill in for Kieran Foran and Daly Cherry-Evans in the halves when called upon, particularly during Origin, unless NSW coach Brad Fittler drafts him into the Blues squad.
Dylan Walker could be in line for a big payday with another big season at Manly.

Dylan Walker could be in line for a big payday with another big season at Manly.
IT’S A BIG YEAR FORDylan Walker
He transformed himself into a dangerous attacking utility player in 2021, coming off the bench to terrorise tiring opposition defences. He has the ability to play fullback, centre, five-eighth and lock, as well as fill in at dummy half if the Sea Eagles are shorthanded. He signed a 12-month extension with the Sea Eagles in November after finally getting his Covid-19 vaccination. That means Walker, 27, will be off-contract when the Dolphins join the competition in 2023. An impressive season will only add to his bargaining power and potentially provide him the option of remaining at Manly as a specialist utility, or finding a permanent starting spot at another club.

Manly best 17 for 2022​

1 Tom Trbojevic
2 Jason Saab
3 Morgan Harper
4 Brad Parker
5 Reuben Garrick
6 Kieran Foran
7 Daly Cherry-Evans
8 Josh Aloiai
9 Lachlan Croker
10 Taniela Paseka
11 Haumole Olakau’atu
12 Josh Schuster
13 Jake Trbojevic
14 Dylan Walker
15 Toafofoa Sipley
16 Martin Taupau
17 Sean Keppie/Ethan Bullemor


WHERE THEY WILL FINISH IN 2022? 3rd
After charging from outside the top eight into fourth last season, Manly’s greatest challenge is consistency. The Sea Eagles haven’t made back-to-back finals series since 2014. While it’s hard to see them yo-yoing out of finals contention again this season, they need to prove they can challenge the competition heavyweights. Although they only play grand finalists Penrith and South Sydney once each during the regular season, they meet the Sydney Roosters, Melbourne and Parramatta twice, giving them the opportunity to stamp their authority. If Tom Trbojevic stays injury-free and the likes of Josh Schuster, Reuben Garrick and Haumole Olakau’atu continue their rapid rise, the Sea Eagles could finally break down the door of a first grand final appearance since 2013.
CAPTAINCY CONTENDERS
Daly Cherry-Evans is an established leader and an exceptionally durable player. He’s averaged 23 games a season in his 11 years in the top grade, providing Manly tremendous stability. In his absence, vice-captain Jake Trbojevic leads with his actions on the field and is largely an 80-minute player, while Kieran Foran is highly respected among the group. Josh Schuster should be left to develop his vast potential without the burden of a leadership role at this point in his career.
FOX SPORTS LAB’S AARON WALLACE SAYS …
A spectacular turnaround in form saw the Sea Eagles climb nine spots on the ladder on the back of an incredible season from Tom Trbojevic. Turbo became the first player on record to record 25-plus tries and try assists in a season, finishing the year with 28 and 31 respectively. Throw in a casual 32 linebreaks and 131 tackle busts in just 18 games, it’s little wonder he finished the season with the Dally M Medal! To go a step further, the Sea Eagles will need to match it with the best teams as well as demolishing the teams below them on the ladder. Manly lost all six games against Penrith, Souths and Storm in 2021, by an average margin of more than 20 points, including two 20-point losses in the finals.
 

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