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The Gronk

Manly throw chequebook at Mateo

Andrew Webster | May 24, 2007

Parramatta have thwarted a massive offer from Manly to retain back-rower Feleti Mateo.

The highly-rated 22-year-old has re-signed for three more seasons and was one of five key signings the Eels announced yesterday.

Halfback Tim Smith, prop Josh Cordoba and hooker Matt Keating were signed until the end of 2009, while former Queensland forward Daniel Wagon is likely to complete his NRL career with the club after extending his contract for a further season.

But it was the signature of Mateo that pleased Eels officials the most, with chief executive Denis Fitzgerald trumpeting in a press release: "I'm particularly pleased with the retention of Feleti as I am aware of how keenly sought after he was on the open market, especially with one particular club."

Three clubs are believed to have chased Mateo, with the Sea Eagles offering a deal worth about $240,000 a season.

Mateo - a junior who hails from Lalor Park and has represented Tonga - has impressed the Eels coaching staff in the past eight months and they consider him a star of the future.

He produced a barnstorming display in the Eels' 44-14 thumping of North Queensland at Parramatta Stadium on Saturday.

"Given how hard he has worked in the last six to eight months, it was imperative that we re-signed him," Parramatta coach Michael Hagan said last night. "We are delighted to have retained him because we understand there was a lot of interest in signing him.

"He has the potential to develop into a very damaging ball runner and is a player of the future for our club, along with the other players we have re-signed."

Meanwhile, the Storm have been dealt a serious blow with back-rower Michael Crocker expected to be sidelined for a further 12 weeks because of his injured right shoulder.

The Maroons enforcer will undergo surgery on Monday.

Storm physio Mary Toomey said Crocker had a labral tear that was hindering his rehabilitation from an overall shoulder problem.

Toomey said while Crocker should be back for the late NRL rounds and finals, the Queenslander could require more surgery after the season.

"As long as everything goes all right with his rehab there's no reason to think he won't be back in that time," Toomey said.

"It's actually, in the end, going to be very similar to the surgery that Andrew Symonds had and came back from.

"It is possible that they might need to do some more work on it at the end of the season but it will be a case of see how it goes."

Crocker could not be contacted last night but Storm chief executive Brian Waldron said the injury was a huge blow for the premiership favourites.

"He's only played four games this year and we've certainly been able to cover for him but it's a huge loss," Waldron said.

"But if he gets it right now and gets back for the finals that would be a great result for us.

"He's had a horrific run [with injuries] but that's how he plays the game and you're always going to be a victim to your own courage at some time when you play this game and that's what he's suffering from."

Waldron said the club was taking every precaution with the 26-year-old to preserve his future at the club.

"He should have another couple of years with us and it's important we take a long-term view for this," Waldron said.

The future of troubled Canberra half Todd Carney could be decided as early as today.

Carney, who has been charged with serious driving offences after a high-speed chase with police at the weekend, will meet with Raiders officials and coach Neil Henry. While his contract isn't expected to be terminated, he is likely to be suspended, possibly for the remainder of the season.

And Warriors winger Cooper Vuna has been given a release and will join Newcastle immediately.

The Wheel

Premium Member
Damn I would have loved to have seen him in Maroon & White after his last few games for the Eels


UFO Hunter
It shows the club isn't entirly happy with our bench.

I wonder where you go from here. Theres really no-one left on the market. We've certainly had some trouble getting forwards to come to the club in the last few months.


Journey Man
It shows the club isn't entirly happy with our bench.

I wonder where you go from here. Theres really no-one left on the market. We've certainly had some trouble getting forwards to come to the club in the last few months.

This is the summary as close to I can make it:-

1. Couldn't convince Ben Kenned to play one more year;
2. Missed out on Creagh;
3. Not interested in Sione Faumuina (says Mayer in Paper);
4. Missed out on Simpson;
5. Missed out on O'Donnell;
6. Missed out on Gallen;
7. Not interested in Neville Costigan (says Mayer in Paper);
8. Missed out on Mateo;

I don't know guys - but whomever is negotiating on these players may have to get some best practices from elsewhere in my opinion.

You take out Lyon who had an existing relationship with Crusher, and the fact that Lyon has said in his contract that if Crusher goes, HE can go as well...

Have we actually done that well?

Mind you - and we are getting a reputation for this - we are turning reserve graders into 1st graders:-

Mark Bryant
George Rose
Travis Burns
Glenn Stewart
Glenn Hall
Matt Ballin

to name a few.

For the record:- Greg Eatwood is still available. For some reason, he has seemed to have lost in punch and drive in Brisbane.

Canteen Worker

First Grader
Ryan - those sorts of posts are boring. Look at the pattern. Players with exisiting clubs are taking offers outside and then remaining where they are. They are happy but test the market.

If players were switching clubs and staying away from us, or leaving us in droves then you would have a worry.


UFO Hunter
Yeah, players are opting to stay with their junior clubs and rightly so.

Its just a shame for us because we don't have a second rower or lock that we can nurture by next season.

We need to buy one and its just not happening.

I think you'll find the reason for ryan's post is more that we NEED to buy someone. Surely it would mean a little bit of extra effort.

With those examples of the players Ryan gave appart from Faumuina and Costigan, you can see the point he's making is we should probably have got at least one of the them considering we have no other decent option than to pick someone from another club.

Mind you, Eastwood has been quite over the last few weeks but I would take him over Rose or Bryant any day.

The Wheel

Premium Member
I agree with ryan our recruitment team is crap, after all look at where they have taken us to.


UFO Hunter
Poor Ryan.

One of the few blokes who tries to add something every time he posts and he just cops it every time.


First Grader
Why cant we call just agree with each other. Just like Flip does with Mata :D

Wouldnt the forum be great then!!!!!


UFO Hunter
Why cant we call just agree with each other. Just like Flip does with Mata :D

Wouldnt the forum be great then!!!!!

Only when he makes a valid point Garts.

The rest of the time I'm just trying to point out that you blokes have jumped back on your bandwagons. ;)


UFO Hunter
Disgreeing with someone is not giving it to someone. Ryan is only copping the disagreement of things he has said.

- Ryan - those sorts of posts are boring.

- I agree with ryan our recruitment team is crap, after all look at where they have taken us to.

- Ryan and DSM5 should be our recruitment/back office team I reckon.

Sorry CW, that is more than just disagreeing with someone. And it happens whether he makes a good post or a bad one.
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13 10 3 80 22
13 9 4 110 20
12 7 5 64 18
12 7 5 -37 18
13 7 6 133 16
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13 7 6 47 16
13 7 6 -34 16
13 6 6 27 15
13 6 6 26 15
14 7 7 -26 14
13 6 7 -47 14
13 4 9 -111 10
12 3 9 -123 10
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