Sea Eagle Lach
Staff member
Premium Member
The saddest part of the whole sorry saga is he was shaping up to be second only to Turbo as our biggest weapon. He was on his way to becoming the best 9 in the game. What a waste of talent. Even if he gets back on the field, he will always have missed 3-4 years of footy at his peak.
He wouldn't be the first player to have shoulder problems that can't be fixed, they couldn't get Michael Morgan right after a few tries.
Hopefully it's 'just one of those things' and has nothing to do with the doctor/trainers dispute we had.
 
Reserve Grader
Josh Aloiai is suspended for the first 3 rounds so that opens up a spot probably for either Bullemore or Toff assuming that Marty, Paseka and Sean K are fit as the other props.
Ah yep. That’s exciting. I actually think having surplus props that are first grade standard is handy. Means you can rotate guys so they’re fresh coming into important games.
 
2022 Tipster
Bullemore will be our super sub to start the year and will probably push himself into a starting position by mid year.
I bet T Sips will only enters team on either suspensions or injuries
I think one of our #14 utilities ( Lawton /Walker)will lose a spot and may rotate in and out depending on game quality.
Good position to be in .
Bring on 22 !
 
Bencher
Josh Aloiai is suspended for the first 3 rounds so that opens up a spot probably for either Bullemore or Toff assuming that Marty, Paseka and Sean K are fit as the other props.
True..I forgot about Aloiai's suspension, who knows, team selections have a way of working themselves out. I can recall on only two or three games where we were at full strength.
 
If Lawton's out, we have no one on bench that can play hooker.
Des loves a bench player that can fill into hooker.
Cust & Lawton last season.
Not since Ballin did we have a full 80 minute player (aside from Api for a few games)
We always had the likes of Parcell, Hodges, Elgey, Godinet, Cullen and Fainu - not that Des was coach during these times, but I think the game's changing where you're less & less seeing 80 minute hookers.
With Lawton out, there'd be no specialised hooker on the bench - and I don't think Des would tinker with the squad in switching Foran to hooker when Croker needs a break, and Schuster to 5/8 etc.
Croker played 74 - 80 minutes 13 times this year. I think the back up hooker on the bench is overstated in our team last year.
Jake (if needed) can cover hooker as well as Lawton can and Walker is already coming on to play lock anyway.
I do agree having a genuine gun #9 on the bench would be a huge bonus but I don't think Lawton really is that #9. IF Fainu was free, you would definitely carry him but having a guy on the bench just because he "can" cover hooker isn't a great idea in my opinion.
 
Reserve Grader
Croker played 74 - 80 minutes 13 times this year. I think the back up hooker on the bench is overstated in our team last year.
Jake (if needed) can cover hooker as well as Lawton can and Walker is already coming on to play lock anyway.
I do agree having a genuine gun #9 on the bench would be a huge bonus but I don't think Lawton really is that #9. IF Fainu was free, you would definitely carry him but having a guy on the bench just because he "can" cover hooker isn't a great idea in my opinion.
I don’t mind the idea of having Lawton as our #14 utility and Koula and Walker in the centres… even as an experiment for a few games.

I know people will say it’s too much attack and not enough defence. But it has so much potential to be awesome.

Or even Schuster at 6, Lawton on an edge, and 4 forwards on the bench. As much as I love Foran and it pains me to say it, this would be epic!
 
Last edited:
Member
Croker played 74 - 80 minutes 13 times this year. I think the back up hooker on the bench is overstated in our team last year.
Jake (if needed) can cover hooker as well as Lawton can and Walker is already coming on to play lock anyway.
I do agree having a genuine gun #9 on the bench would be a huge bonus but I don't think Lawton really is that #9. IF Fainu was free, you would definitely carry him but having a guy on the bench just because he "can" cover hooker isn't a great idea in my opinion.

Well sighted - didn’t realise he played as many high minute games as he did.
Jake could cover hooker, I would argue not as great as Lawton - but still a valid point.
I honestly think if we had Fainu fit, you would start him - and as unfair as it would be to Croker, I would find it hard to fit him on the bench.
Whilst Lawton isn’t a gun 9, he offers great versatility - which in the modern game is valuable. Plays second row well, and hooker well - and will come in as a second row until Croker comes off (most of the time).
NRL Physio put up stats throughout the year on Facebook to show that the new rule set / pace of the game is coinciding with a higher injury count - can’t hurt to have those contingency plans in place in terms of good bench coverage.
Just on that too, if given the ultimatum of; Bullermor lock / 2nd row, and Jake hooker
Or
Jake lock, and Lawton hooker
All whilst Croker is off (if needs to) I find it hard to go past the latter - and that’s no diss to Bullermor - it’s that I have more trust in Lawtons ability to play second row than Jakes ability to play hooker.

The teams in a good place if we’re having a discussion of which of our talented depth players with get the last bench spot - you could argue there’s 4 of them eyeing it off in Davey / Bullemor / Lawton and Sipley
 
Bencher
Premium Member
The team we had last year (Walker and Lawton on the bench) covered an injury to any position but left one of our bench players playing token minutes if there wasn't an injury.

If Walker can cover hooker we can select a better balanced bench by replacing Lawton with Bully/Davey. Covering Hooker is one of the key attributes of any good utility.
 
The team we had last year (Walker and Lawton on the bench) covered an injury to any position but left one of our bench players playing token minutes if there wasn't an injury.

If Walker can cover hooker we can select a better balanced bench by replacing Lawton with Bully/Davey. Covering Hooker is one of the key attributes of any good utility.
I would be training Walker therebfor that very reason. I'm sure he can do it well, he could even be dynamic out of hooker. Make him a genuine utility, much like Peachey was at Titans. We dont have a genuine gun hooker to put on our bench so I don't see the sense in having both Walker and Lawton on our bench
 
Bencher
Premium Member
I would be training Walker therebfor that very reason. I'm sure he can do it well, he could even be dynamic out of hooker. Make him a genuine utility, much like Peachey was at Titans. We dont have a genuine gun hooker to put on our bench so I don't see the sense in having both Walker and Lawton on our bench
Only concern would be his "me first"/ball hogging tendencies. Josh Hodgson is a good individual player but ends up acting as a handbrake because he looks for his own options before giving good service to players in a better position.

Definitely something that can be overcome, especially in a contract year.
 
Last edited:
Bencher
I would be training Walker therebfor that very reason. I'm sure he can do it well, he could even be dynamic out of hooker. Make him a genuine utility, much like Peachey was at Titans. We dont have a genuine gun hooker to put on our bench so I don't see the sense in having both Walker and Lawton on our bench
Lawton is a better defender, and has that white line fever mentality that I like. But on the other hand Walker has that X factor that every coach craves for. Nice problems for Des to sort out.
 
Bencher
Premium Member
I would be training Walker therebfor that very reason. I'm sure he can do it well, he could even be dynamic out of hooker. Make him a genuine utility, much like Peachey was at Titans. We dont have a genuine gun hooker to put on our bench so I don't see the sense in having both Walker and Lawton on our bench
Neither do I. Bullemore and Davey should be competing for one bench spot, and Walker and Lawton for the other bench utility spot. I have Taupau and Aloiai plus Sipley competing for the other two spots, but would play Bullemore in front of Sipley when Aloiai is suspended.
 
Bencher
Premium Member
Crocker needs to run the ball more this season so hopefully this has been fixed in this off season. 👍
Im confident he will continue to develop in this area. He has good footy instincts and is showing signs of becoming more comfortable in the role.
Most exciting part of him playing hooker has been his solid basics and continual improvement in a brand new position.
 
Official NRL commentator of the UK Royal Family
Premium Member
I wouldn't mind it, just doubtful that he pushes out one of;

Keppie, Aoliai/Paseka, Lawton, Walker

If he made the team though, I wouldn't bat an eyelid, I think he would do an awesome job.
Des is never quick to act on young players
any chance Dwalks finds his way back to centre to include a Bullyboy in the side?
 

Latest posts

Team P W L PD Pts
10 9 1 174 18
10 8 2 199 16
10 7 3 126 14
11 7 4 52 14
10 6 4 53 12
10 6 4 51 12
10 6 4 46 12
10 5 5 21 10
10 5 5 -38 10
10 4 6 -53 8
10 4 6 -83 8
10 4 6 -89 8
10 3 7 -80 6
11 3 8 -148 6
10 2 8 -106 4
10 2 8 -125 4
Top Bottom