Our best team?

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Reserve Grader
Come finals time, with all players being fit and ready to go (save for Rose) what team would you like to see? What do you reckon is our best 17, given that a lot of players are starting to hit their best form? I'd have to go with:

1. Brett Stewart
2. Chris Hicks
3. Steve Bell
4. Jamie Lyon
5. Michael Robertson
6. Steve Menzies
7. Matt Orford
8. Jason King
9. Michael Monaghan
10. Brent Kite
11. Anthony Watmough
12. Glenn Stewart
13. Luke Williamson

14. Matt Ballin
15. Glenn Hall
16. Mark Bryant
17. Adam Cuthbertson

Burns and Matai to miss out, in my opinion. Menzies played better at five-eighth in the last two games then Lyon or Burns all year, and Lyon is killing it at centre which would leave Matai fighting for a bench spot (and maybe getting it over Bryant). Burns shouldn't play again this year considering the amount of football he's missed lately, and he also restricts our attack a lot due to the fact he likes to run the ball a lot more than passing it.

I believe that team above could easily win the Premiership.


First Grader
Agreed Downie, can't quibble with this lot. Perhaps King on the bench as he's not played for some time and Jack A given a start ahead of Bryant..


Is everyone convinced we can win with Beaver at 5/8th?
He has had a few good games there, but i still remember when he was being used as a 5/8th in 2005 and was shunted for Sam Harris.


Reserve Grader
To be fair, we have a lot more creativity in the team now with Orford, Lyon and a much improved Stewart. He plays the role a lot better than Lyon did, and he can run, pass, kick- the lot. Even if he shares the role of second receiver with Stewart, it's probably better than having Lyon there, who's a lot more effective wider out.


First Grader
I am leaning towards Matai in the side as he makes alot of metres from dummy half and has good aggression. Lyon can have more of a roving role with Menzies slotting in at second receiver when needed.


Journey Man
01. Brett Stewart
02. Michael Robertson
03. Steve Matai
04. Steven Bell
05. Chris Hicks
06. Jamie Lyon
07. Matt Orford
08. Jason King
09. Michael Monaghan
10. Brent Kite
11. Anthony Watmough
12. Steve Menzies
13. Glenn Stewart

14. Matt Ballin
15. Adam Cuhbertson
16. Glenn Hall
17. Jack Afamasaga

Players to unfortunately miss out:-

Mark Bryant
Luke Williamson
Travis Burns
Jason Wells
George Rose (through injury)
Clint Halden

Kiwi Eagle

Staff member
I am probably leaning towards Garts and Ryan, although possibly would have Williamson on the bench over Ballin.

Won't be disappointed with Downies side either though.
Both have their Pro's and Con's.

Whoever gets the 6 won't be playing a traditional role anyway, more of a roving commission. We now have Lyon with confidence and form behind him who could fill that role nicely, and i still beleive him to be a more potent force on the right hand side of the park.

The main thing in the finals is having x-factor players, and we have them.
Stewart, lightning pace can make a try from nothing
Orford, if he is firing
Watmough, can break tackles at will
Lyon, has all the ability
Matai, big hit could change momentum, and has a nice offload
Menzies, can do it all

Chip and Chase

True Supporter
Staff member
Premium Member
Tipping Member
I think the only really contentious selection is Matai.

It doesn't really matter who gets picked at 6, if Menzies, Lyon, Orford and Stewart keep doing the ball work at Fridays standard, then a number on a back means nothing. I remember Menzies played a bit of 5/8 around the time we were experimenting with Harris, among others, with little success. So much so that there were plenty of calls for "never again". It's amazing what some good cattle running at holes and a dominating pack can do for your stock price.

Back to the point of the thread. If Matai comes in then either Willo or Ballin have to miss out. IMO both these players offer more than Matai does to the team dynamic, so for mine I'd leave Matai out and go with Fridays side with Monas in for Wells, and King in for Afa when fit.

The only thing that worries me a little is the time split between Monas and Ballin if they are both picked. How would people see that working out ?? They are both 70-80 minute players, so how do you reconcile having both of them in the side ?? Do they compliment each other or hinder each others contribution ??


Journey Man
Anyone know if Matai will be fit to play against "New Zealand B" this weekend?

It's a worry that Manly have re-signed him for 3 years given his injury track record.

I guess no-one can snub an International though.


First Grader
[quote author=Kiwi Eagle]
I am probably leaning towards Garts and Ryan, although possibly would have Williamson on the bench over Ballin.

I don't think either would make the team personally!!! :loll:


At least we were considered, you would be lucky to be considered for a bench spot with Beacon Hill reserves :D

Willow will be in our best 17, surely. Des likes his work ethic and he has been there all year, he wont be dropped when all players are back.

Canteen Worker

First Grader
When Matai is back Willo will stay in the squad and Ballin will drop to PL till next year!!! Bank on it.

True Garts - I would be lucky to make Beacon Hill Reserves!!! :lol:


First Grader
Willow will keep playing Lock, it's to late in the season to change that possition. Barring injury.


First Grader
Garts and Ryan; riddle me this comrades. What on earth does Matai add ? Maybe a 'big' hit occasionally, and takes the ball up, occasionally, and gets injured, often, and that's about all. His defensive weaknesses are known to all coaches and that makes him one big liability. Willo must be in the team for his 80 minute defensive efforts.

Kiwi Eagle

Staff member
Just to add to the debate did a bit of research on Lyon and Matai at Left Centre

Lyon, 10 games, 5 tries, 5 Line breaks, 3 Line Break Assists, 2 try assists,15 Offloads , 21 Tackle Breaks , 68mpg, 17 tackles pg, 1.1 miss pg, 11 errors, 3 penalites

Matai, 7 games, 1 try, 1 Line Break, 4 line break assists, 2 try assists, 11 offloads, 15 tackle Breaks, 100.7 mpg, 7 tackles pg, 2.4 miss pg, 10 errors, 4 penalties

So basically looking at those, if we want someone to help the forwards and do the dirty work, we take Matais metres, good averge considering he didnt finish 2 games, and if we want the more solid defender, we go Lyon. Both offer something different to the side, depends on what Des wants in the game plan i guess

Also looked into Matais record of games played over the 3 years with us

Played 11 in year 1, would pretty much be the max available
24/26 last year as well, so this year is the 1st one he has really had any concerns

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