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No one is irreplaceable

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Canteen Worker, Aug 2, 2008.

  1. Canteen Worker

    Canteen Worker Well-Known Member

    +215 /5
    Zorba in the Manly Daily - www.manlydaily.com.au

    2 August 2008

    WHEN Manly's greatest player Bob Fulton left the Sea Eagles for the Roosters and Bondi Junction at the end of the 1976 season the peninsula went into mourning how could the club survive without the star of the club's then only three premiership titles?

    Two years later Manly won its most courageous title ever to prove once more that no one player is greater than a club or the game.

    Rugby league will survive nicely without Sonny Bill Williams and Mark Gasnier, just as Penrith have done without their defector to French rugby, Craig Gower.

    Has Gower been missed at the foot of the mountains this season? I'd say not at all.

    For a young man, Sonny Bill Williams is an amazing talent on the football field but a nightmare off it.

    He is disqualified from driving because of several drink-driving charges and is hardly the Adonis his physique suggests he could be.

    Williams debuted in the NRL in 2004 and at the time of his runner had averaged just 14 games a season, only 73 in total for the Bulldogs.

    Compare that to Manly's whiz fullback Brett Stewart who passed the 100 games mark recently and had just one game to his name when Sonny Bill kicked off his first grade career.

    In short, Sonny Bill is a plasticine man who finds it hard to compete in the daily grind of the NRL. And he has been disloyal to his club and his teammates.

    He took the easy way out last Saturday, and left other people behind to not only take the flak but to explain his decision.

    His girlfriend, who has been taking French lessons for the past six months, will join him in France as soon as she gets her visa.

    She has shown much more loyalty than her boyfriend after remaining with him after his well publicised sex with another woman in the toilet of an eastern suburbs hotel.

    And now to the often-seen-on-the-peninsula Mark Gasnier from the St George-Illawarra Dragons. Gasnier is from a famous rugby league family and is a NSW and Australian Test representative.

    On his day he is a marvellous player. But like Sonny Bill, he hardly plays in club football he is out of today's local derby against the Sharks and has had a virtually permanent spot in the Dragons' rehabilitation ward for the last few seasons. He is a player who should never fail to meet his private medical cover.

    Once again Gasnier has an off-field record that is far from good although to be fair he has seemingly tried to clean up his image.

    But he is captain of the mighty Dragons and the highest paid player in the great red and whites. Players in recent years took pay cuts to keep him at the club.

    It is a tough time for rugby league but the harsh reality is that in 12 months' time no one will care. Players move on and new ones come along.

    Manly fans know that better than most.

    They were devastated when Ben Kennedy hung up his boots in 2006. Glenn Stewart after four years of learning his trade stepped into the role and while he is no BK yet, he will do us just fine.

    And many tipped Manly to tumble down the premiership table when Michael Monaghan left for the English Super League at the end of last season.

    Once more a fine player in Matt Ballin stepped into the number nine jersey and hasn't looked back. Just the same as in 1977 when Ian Martin and Alan Thompson stepped into Bozo's big boots at Manly tough local kids who were up to the task.

    Rugby league has survived since 1908 and it will continue to do so.
  2. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

    +516 /14
    I have been a critic of Zorba's in the past - but I have to applaud him for having the balls to take the gloves off on SBW. 
  3. Dan

    Dan Kim Jong Dan Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +7,735 /120
    agreed that was actually a good article and read
  4. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

    +972 /7
    I agree with a lot of what he says but the writing was on the wall when Matt King went to England. He was one of the young ones to head off for the dollars and not just an old player at the end of his NRL career. Will we all be saying the same thing when 25 of our top stars have pissed off? I doubt it.
  5. Garts

    Garts Well-Known Member

    +844 /25
    More will come through to replace them.  When we are losing quite a few season I will be more concerned.
  6. Jethro

    Jethro This space is for rent Staff Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +2,307 /13
    Well, he could have mentioned both Matt Ballin & Heath LeStrange for filling the hooking role in my opinion instead of just the number 9 jumper. Other than that, it was a good read.
  7. willstyles

    willstyles Active Member

    +4 /0
    I'm not so sure that is the right attitude.

    We've already lost a tonne to the ESL, all guys who were first graders if not superstars, and I believe the standard of competition is lower because of it.

    Sure we still have the likes of Inglis, Folau, Stewart etc who can provide brilliant moments...but for the most part our current game is overrun with guys like Brenden Worth and Taulima Tautai. Guys who shouldn't be in first grade, but they are because the better players are in England.

    The fact that we are now losing the top shelf players as well, means that we really need to do something. We've already lost the depth players that make the standard of competition so high, we cannot afford to start losing the best players as well. Even if it is only 4 blokes a year who go to Union (as have gone this year), that's far, far too many.
  8. Garts

    Garts Well-Known Member

    +844 /25
    The comp may be of a slightly lower standard but I do not think it is really too noticeable.  Besides I think the number who do leave each year are replaced by new young stars, this year is an exception with SBW and Gaz going, but they have always been just interested in chasing $, which I do not begrudge them for.

    I am also hardly going to sit here worrying about something I can not control either.  If people want to go for money there is no quick fix either, glad I am not having to deal with trying to solve the issue.
  9. Zep

    Zep Active Member

    +8 /0
    i reckon it would be a great idea to have a ESL v NRL game... that would be bloody brilliant...
  10. Canteen Worker

    Canteen Worker Well-Known Member

    +215 /5
    I go to watch my team rather than brilliant players of other teams. I am not a lover of the game in general but more a Manly fan. Selfish maybe, but a reality.

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