It's been a while:- Sorry lads, been underwater @ work and home. I'm on holidays, so have finally found some time to post. How awesome was it that Manly made it all the way through to the Grand Final ! Coming from my background, it's an experience I have never felt before !! :lol: There were some pretty cool highs throughout the season as well. For me the standouts were Manly versus The Roosters @ Brooky (Chris Anderson's face was priceless), and the belting we gave The Knights when they were supposed to be desperate that week on The Central Coast. I also enjoyed how everyone amongst the league community thought Johnathan Thurston's inclusion in his injury depleted Cowgirls unit would automatically mean they would beat us ! We absolutely destroyed them that night, and Orford made Thurston look like a school girl IMO. :lol: I originally thought our 2008 roster wasn't going to be any BETTER than THIS year. Very much like Byso, I rated Michael Monaghan both on and off the park very highly, and I thought he improved exponentially. I also think Chris Hicks is a wonderful, experienced winger (remember he made City/Country for quite a few years.) To that end, I still honestly am quite dissapointed in Burns leaving. Groom / Burns OR Lyon / Burns IMO could have been a very, very long term 1/2's pairing for us when Orford retires. But hey, at least now I can look forward to Cuthbo steam rolling Burns up Nth now !! But in hindsight, Michael Bani looks very good. We all know Matt Ballin is fantastic. I actually think Perry under Singe/Hasler will be the surprise packet of 2008. All in all, I think we look pretty healthy. Everyone is suggesting Afamasaga didn't have an off season this year, and to expect much bigger and better things from him in 2008. Jason King has improved sensationally (I'll just forget his Grand Final experience :~? ), and our forward depth is amazing. I am really looking forward to George Rose coming back, and fighting it out for a bench spot midway through the season. I'm also looking forward to the Hargreaves bloke, and seeing what his transition is like. The only thing I think we may be missing in the formula to help us make that next step (and a lot of you have already discussed this) is an enforcer. I was gutted at how throughout the season our players would not stick up for each other when something was done to them (B Stewart in the Grand Final for example). Paul Bowman in the major semi actually elbowed (obviously) Glenn Stewart for example. We don't want to be the good guy team, because it will get us nowhere. To that end, I would NOT buy Willie Mason. We have stability and structure as a them throughout the club right now IMO, and that's more important than having a trouble maker running around. We all saw the pictures overseas of him out with The Roosters players blind drunk the night before a test match. They are his mates, and that is why he'll play for The Roosters. I'm actually hoping this Hargreaves guy might be the player. An enforcer needs to be very mobile, very aggressive (within the law), but very ascertive. I know Kite is a christian, but that doesn't mean he can't be an enforcer. I hope Des and co. may coach this attitude into a few of his forwards. The ONLY forward that will stick up for our players when in trouble is Bryant IMO, and I give him massive credit for that ! . Right now the only players that play with any intimidation factor, is Matai, and he is rarely on the park. BUT, all in all - a wonderful 2007 (if anyone needs some games, I have them all on DVD), and here's hoping for an even better 2008 !