Move Olakau'atu to Prop/Middle

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I believe it is time to get the most out of Haumole by moving him into prop or at least into the middle's. He could be as good if not better than Tino Fa'asuamaleaui or Fonua-Blake in that position. He has an exceptional motor, he is big, tall, super strong, has great defence and ball skills some halves would die for, but he does not see enough of the ball being camped on one side of the field waiting for that miracle pass but mostly getting ball in heavy traffic and it is wasting the talent of this bloke. Once Paseka goes off we lose all momentum and power in the middle. It has been said on here recently that Croker could possibly make a good lock forward in the ilk of Rueben Cotter who also started out as a hooker, Croker has proven he can tackle like a demon but also being an ex halfback has the vision to play ball or run, Gordon Chan would be more than capable of playing in the 9 jersey and would offer a significant upgrade in attack and bringing the forwards onto the ball. The game is changing and smart coaches like Todd Payton are re-arranging players positions to suit their needs, we need to start evolving or we are going to be in the same position next year. We have plenty of capable edge back rowers to backfill Haumole's absence. Ben Turbo, Matterson, Fainu, Lawton, Bullimore, Condon even Fulton with the possibility of Schuster moving back into the position he played so well in a couple of years ago. But convince me a middle pack of Olakau'atu, Paseka, Trbojevic, Lodge, Sipley and Croker wouldn't be a massive upgrade on what we have now in Paseka, Aloiai, Woods, Bullimore, Jurbo and Sipley.


First Grader
You don’t want him making a tonne of tackles or hitting it up into the teeth of the opposition.What he needs is to be outside Schuster,much like Koula


You don’t want him making a tonne of tackles or hitting it up into the teeth of the opposition.What he needs is to be outside Schuster,much like Koula
Why don’t you want him hitting it up into the teeth of the opposition?, it gets them going backwards we get momentum, thats what we lack, nobody on the edge will do any good with our powder puff middles like woods getting driven backwards.


First Grader
Premium Member
I like Olakau'atu on the edge but we need to utilise him better and part of that is him learning to run run lines and hit the ball at speed.

As for our middles, our biggest issue is ruck speed, we constantly lose the ruck so we are hitting it up into an advancing defensive line and defending against a team on the front foot.

Win the contact, find out front, put them on their back. Play the ball quickly

Its more momentum that we dont create moreso then being "soft" or "timid etc"

Dion Johnson

Premium Member
Tipping Member
Guaca’s game this season hasn’t really had the growth it looked liked last season, not having that game changing impact he can bring.

Maybe the middle will help, at least he can bend the line.


Sea Eagle forever
Tipping Member
Olakau'atu and Koula need to be on the left running off Schu. Outside of DCE they get little opportunity. DCE absolutely murdered a try scoring chance last night by his ball hogging when Koula and Saab were virtually unmarked. I just don't understand why you have 2 attacking plodders in Tuilagi and Parker outside your best playmaker.


Premium Member
Tipping Member
I agree its worth a try so does he start or come off the bench? I would think off the bench to begin, with maybe Lodge .I also think we should test Gordan at 14 ,because if he doesnt show any promise then we need to get some recruit an additional 9 (maybe Mamazoulous) as in the modern game you need that thrust off the 9 ,which despite all the good parts of his game, Croker just doesn't give us.

So a bench of Lodge, Oka, Bully/Aloi, with Fainu to take Oka's 2nd row spot ,and GT to 14
And while Im at it I think Koula to 1 (we looked more dangerous I thought last night when he was there) .Assuming Oka can play FR that's a pretty good bench with some speed and grunt .IF you have Gordan on at 14 ,with maybe Bully or Aloai with hopefully some ruck probing by Gordan and the odd judicious Lodge off load.

In addition I think Keppie should be considered for the starting FR instead of Sippers.
Bit of a word salad all of the above , but anyways just my thoughts

Will on the hill

Tipping Member
Doesn't have the motor to play big minutes in the middle. He has only just got to the point where he can manage 80 on the edge.

Only way a shift to the middle could be considered is if we signed 2 elite edge forwards that we can't actually afford.


Sea Eagle Lach
Premium Member
Tipping Member
He would go well but down side is he'd only be on field part of the game. Wider he can be a nightmare for oppo halves and is always a chance at catching a bomb and scoring.
Leave him where is for now.
He isn't a middle, his form has just not been at its best.

His best game was when Foran was standing in at half back last year and just feeding him good ball. He cannonballed into (and through) the line so often he was gassed.

DCE had his worst game of the season (Jake was pretty costly with the number of six agains he gave away too) which didn't help.


Let’s all have a chew!
More urgently we need the club doctor to give him a going over and see if he can find the switch that has him stuck in slow motion at the moment
He’s been low on form for two months. Hence why he missed origin with others like Young and Frizzell getting the nod.

Tragic Eagle

Premium Member
Tipping Member
Big O is not hitting the ball in full flight. He is often flat footed. He needs to be taught how to hit a gap stepping off his either foot into the gap just as the pass is thrown at full pace. At the moment is flat and trying to run over the top of guys and he is not passing the football. I'm a big fan but he is out of form.


There is no A.I. Just better computers
I would play him at 5/8.
He has good short kick. Runs hard. Good coordination
And is not our worst option

But 13 is where it's at.


Reserve Grader
Tipping Member
I agree with those saying he's not running hard enough where he is now, on the edge. Whether it's to do with not getting good service or not, I'm not sure - I AM sure that this would be part of the problem - but not all the problem. He needs to get deeper and run INTO holes - he needs to just watch Brinton Nikora and copy him. He'll get a good view next week. And the fact that he's not running hard enough would make me think he's not suitable for the middle. He'll just get swallowed up and slowed down even more than he is now. Middles need to be much quicker in their play-the-balls and just everything in general. When Paseka get's it right (which he is more and more) he's a easily our most damaging middle.

manly al

First Grader
Still the best edge forward on offer and need his presence on the field for as long as possible .' Defence still one of his strong points and fragile enough on the edges already , not going to help moving him to the middle
Certainly capable of playing in the middle but getting enough heavy treatment already with the stifling type of general Manly attack right now , Not to mention also and my i st thoughts , limited time on the field then .
Started of as a 13 in the juniors and did well but for the same reasons again based on the reality that he is our best edge player right now and most likely for some time , Just have to try to get better value again from him on an edge .
One thing for sure , he certainly puts in big time regardless of how a game is going .

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