Pick your team (end of season)

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Stewbojevic

Reserve Grader
With lots of exciting young players coming through, I’m interested to see what everyone predicts our best 17 will be by the end of the 2023 season. Plenty of hard decisions to make but this is what I came up with:

  1. Turbo
  2. Saab
  3. Koula
  4. Parker
  5. Garrick
  6. Schuster
  7. DCE
  8. Jurbo
  9. GCKT
  10. Paseka
  11. S. Fainu
  12. Mole
  13. Aloiai
  14. Lawton
  15. Keppie
  16. Bullemor
  17. Weekes
 

bob dylan

First Grader
Premium Member
Tipping Member
Biggest problem with that side, and dont get me wrong I like it, is who will do Froggys 50 tackles a match.

Also I personally think Saabs days at Manly are numbered. Tuipulotu has much more upside in both attack and defence. Both are too good not to be regular 1st graders.

We will lose Weekes if he is not in the starting side by seasons end, and i am not sure if thats possible without injury to Tom (god forbid), or Parker. He is as good a young player as I have seen for many years.

An interesting topic which highlights just how limited are playing strength is. 9 10 11 13 14 15 and 16 all in our best 17 might be an issue, although some have shown improvement in 2 games against ordinary opponents this year. Not that the opposition teams are much better.

I think its a weeker comp again this year. We (every team) needs an injury free season to finish as close to 4th as possible. From there our stars like Tom, DCE and Jake might be able to turn this into a memorable one.

Fingers crossed, we will know more in a month after we play Rabbits, Knights, Panthers and Storm.

A month ago I had us in the bottom 6, now I can see us in the 4th to 10th bracket.

Onwards and Upwards.
 

40 nil

It's only a game ...
I know the contentious selection will be Garrick instead of Parker in the centres. However, I think if Garrick gets an opportunity there, he can match Parker defensively and obviously, offers much more in attack. I am sure Weekes can adapt from fullback to the wing, plus he is the third fastest player in our squad (behind Saab & Koula). I prefer Lawton as a mobile lock & think Fainu can develop into a real impact player off the bench.
  1. Trbojevic T.
  2. Weekes
  3. Garrick
  4. Koula
  5. Saab
  6. Schuster
  7. Cherry-Evans
  8. Paseka
  9. Croker
  10. Trbojevic J.
  11. Olakau'atu
  12. Tuilagi
  13. Lawton
  14. Chan Kum Tong
  15. Fainu S.
  16. Keppie
  17. Aloiai
    ====
  18. Parker
  19. Fifita
  20. Bullemor
  21. Sipley
  22. Trbojevic B.
 

Stewbojevic

Reserve Grader
I know the contentious selection will be Garrick instead of Parker in the centres. However, I think if Garrick gets an opportunity there, he can match Parker defensively and obviously, offers much more in attack. I am sure Weekes can adapt from fullback to the wing, plus he is the third fastest player in our squad (behind Saab & Koula). I prefer Lawton as a mobile lock & think Fainu can develop into a real impact player off the bench.
  1. Trbojevic T.
  2. Weekes
  3. Garrick
  4. Koula
  5. Saab
  6. Schuster
  7. Cherry-Evans
  8. Paseka
  9. Croker
  10. Trbojevic J.
  11. Olakau'atu
  12. Tuilagi
  13. Lawton
  14. Chan Kum Tong
  15. Fainu S.
  16. Keppie
  17. Aloiai
    ====
  18. Parker
  19. Fifita
  20. Bullemor
  21. Sipley
  22. Trbojevic B.
Really like this side because it sneaks Weekes into the starting team!

Potentially swap Bullemor in for Keppie?
 

Go manly

Bencher
Premium Member
Tipping Member
Biggest problem with that side, and dont get me wrong I like it, is who will do Froggys 50 tackles a match.

Also I personally think Saabs days at Manly are numbered. Tuipulotu has much more upside in both attack and defence. Both are too good not to be regular 1st graders.

We will lose Weekes if he is not in the starting side by seasons end, and i am not sure if thats possible without injury to Tom (god forbid), or Parker. He is as good a young player as I have seen for many years.

An interesting topic which highlights just how limited are playing strength is. 9 10 11 13 14 15 and 16 all in our best 17 might be an issue, although some have shown improvement in 2 games against ordinary opponents this year. Not that the opposition teams are much better.

I think its a weeker comp again this year. We (every team) needs an injury free season to finish as close to 4th as possible. From there our stars like Tom, DCE and Jake might be able to turn this into a memorable one.

Fingers crossed, we will know more in a month after we play Rabbits, Knights, Panthers and Storm.

A month ago I had us in the bottom 6, now I can see us in the 4th to 10th bracket.

Onwards and Upwards.
Get back to me the month after bob when we are in the 1st to 4 bracket 😊
 

40 nil

It's only a game ...
Really like this side because it sneaks Weekes into the starting team!

Potentially swap Bullemor in for Keppie?
I am sure Bullemor can fit into our best 17, esp. if a big middle forward is selected at lock. He is a more dangerous ball runner than Keppie, but Keppie is a stronger defender. Front row is the one position where we have plenty of depth - ten in total - including Condon, Boyle & Tuitavake
 

Eagles4Life

Bencher
Premium Member
Tipping Member
Trbo
Saab
Koula
Garrick
Weekes
Schuster
Dce
Aloiai
Croker
Jrbo
Olakau’atu
Tuilagi
Keppie
Res: GKCT, Paseka, Fainu, Sipley
Good side, @madmax , but I would love to see Bullemore given a shot as our starting lock coming off after 20-25 minutes for Fainu to rip in. We would have Aloiai, Keppie and Paseka doing stints of 25 minutes each in the prop rotation with Jake and GCKT to cause havoc, replacing Croker at the same time Fainu comes in.

Trbo
Saab
Koula
Garrick
Weekes
Schuster
Dce
Aloiai
Croker
Jrbo
Olakau’atu
Tuilagi
Bullemore
Res: GKCT, Paseka, Fainu, Keppie
 

JBW

Reserve Grader
Turbo
Saab
Koula
Parker
Garrick
Schuster
DCE
Josh A
Croker
Jake
Ola
Tuilagi
Keppe

Weekes
Tent
Bully
Condon

Im a Croker fan. Take him out of the middle and holes will open everywhere. There's enough spark in attack elsewhere to weaken the defence. Tent was great on the weekend but his impact off the bench could be phenomenal when other teams tire. Im not on the Fainu bandwagon yet from what ive seen. In the trials and Blacktown games you can see the potential but i also see laziness. Doesn't get involved enough. Next year. I think Condon can be a workhorse aka Andrew Davy.

Unlucky one is Lawton. He was great last year til injured. Sipley is too slow laterally and opens up holes in the defence, and unfortunately Burbo isnt strong enough for modern day back row, isnt fast enough for centre.
 

JakeyB789

Reserve Grader
Also I personally think Saabs days at Manly are numbered. Tuipulotu has much more upside in both attack and defence. Both are too good not to be regular 1st graders.

The only thing Tuipulotu has over Saab is his hit ups from our own end but even then this is an area of Saab’s game which was improving before his injury last year. Given Tui is incapable of staying on his wing I don’t think you could say he has any sort of upside in defence and he also blew an easy try the other night by failing to put the ball down like most wingers would

Hard to tell exactly how Saab performs when he comes back but I genuinely think he was improving on some of his weaknesses prior to his injury, and looking at the size of him now you have to think this will increase his strength and help with his defence/tackling and hitups. We already know he has the pace and we’ve seen how important having that outside of Tommy was
 

Seagles68

Bencher
Premium Member
Tipping Member
Turbo
Saab
Koula
Parker
Garrick
Schuster
DCE
Josh A
Croker
Jake
Ola
Tuilagi
Keppe

Weekes
Paseka
Bully
Gordie/Lawton

If we're talking about if we made the Finals, who I think should be in the team, I think it's still a bit hard to tell until we see more of some of these blokes.

You have to weigh up Parker's defence and tough hit ups and line running with Weekes possible flair in attack (which could be a game breaker). However, I see Weekes better off the bench in his first full year in 1 st grade coz he can cover any position (in theory) in the backs. I think Paseka and Bully would be most effective off the bench when teams are a little spent. And then it's a wait and see for me with Gordie once he's brought into the team (assuming he is later in the year) It might be that should we make the Finals, more forward versatility might be more beneficial in a Finals situation. That grinding sort of battle. But if Gordie comes in turns the team into a much more dynamic team around the ruck, that could change everything.
 

Remy

shuu
I agree with most the teams posted here. But in my opinion, if we are talking full strength team, I don't think we can carry Weekes in the 17 long term. Before you all freak out, hear me out.

Let's look at it practically, the only possible available position he can maybe take in our strongest starting side is wing. But it doesn't work out, he hasn't trained on the wing, never played on the wing, will be risky to have him there defensively in big games. Add to the fact it means we have to push Garrick into the centres and Parker out the 17, I really doubt we will see this happen. Garrick is a world class winger now and should really not move from that position, and Parker is just one of those players you can't see being dropped now.

And then Kaeo's position in the 14 is clouded, because I believe if we want to become a premiership level team we need a high calibre 9, therefore Gordon Chan Kum Tong at MINIMUM has to be 14 by the end of year. He's our long term plan for 9, he's our missing piece to the premiership puzzle, we know he's ready, he has to be there. Therefore, we cannot carry both GCKT and Weekes on the bench, it's too light, and GCKT also probably won't be a full 80 minute hooker by then so can't move Croker out the team for Weekes.

It's a sticky situation, but if we are talking our strongest 17 by the end of the year, I really don't think it's practical for us long term that Weekes will be there.
 

Stewbojevic

Reserve Grader
I agree with most the teams posted here. But in my opinion, if we are talking full strength team, I don't think we can carry Weekes in the 17 long term. Before you all freak out, hear me out.

Let's look at it practically, the only possible available position he can maybe take in our strongest starting side is wing. But it doesn't work out, he hasn't trained on the wing, never played on the wing, will be risky to have him there defensively in big games. Add to the fact it means we have to push Garrick into the centres and Parker out the 17, I really doubt we will see this happen. Garrick is a world class winger now and should really not move from that position, and Parker is just one of those players you can't see being dropped now.

And then Kaeo's position in the 14 is clouded, because I believe if we want to become a premiership level team we need a high calibre 9, therefore Gordon Chan Kum Tong at MINIMUM has to be 14 by the end of year. He's our long term plan for 9, he's our missing piece to the premiership puzzle, we know he's ready, he has to be there. Therefore, we cannot carry both GCKT and Weekes on the bench, it's too light, and GCKT also probably won't be a full 80 minute hooker by then so can't move Croker out the team for Weekes.

It's a sticky situation, but if we are talking our strongest 17 by the end of the year, I really don't think it's practical for us long term that Weekes will be there.
Unfortunately I think you might be right. But I’d hate to lose Weekes to another club, he’s a genuine first grader at fullback or 5/8.
 

Eagles4Life

Bencher
Premium Member
Tipping Member
Unfortunately I think you might be right. But I’d hate to lose Weekes to another club, he’s a genuine first grader at fullback or 5/8.
The obvious answer is to move Schuster to the lock position, with Weekes shifting to five eight. However, there is ZERO chance of that happening. The less obvious answer is to play him in the same role that Walker played for us last season (arguably we are already doing this). Bring him on after twenty minutes, play him predominantly in the middle, and also provide him with a licence to roam. The problem with this approach is that we can't play GCKT (or Lawton) and Weekes off the bench at the same time, and Croker isn't suited to playing back row.

That leaves us with playing Weekes at centre or wing. Neither situation is ideal, however Weekes must be prioritised into the thirteen somehow, as soon as possible.
 

JakeyB789

Reserve Grader
The problem with this approach is that we can't play GCKT (or Lawton) and Weekes off the bench at the same time, and Croker isn't suited to playing back row.

I don't know why we can't do this when we have Burbo on the bench though. Other than his last name it seems he is only in the team as a late 2nd row replacement for Tuilagi which he is currently having no impact doing.

Lawton is the key here as unlike Croker he can also play in the backrow. Those suggesting Croker should play the opening 20-30 before GCKT comes on why can't Lawton do this? And then when Gordie comes on Lawton can shift into the forward rotation.

Paseka
Lawton
Jurbo
Olakau'atu
Tuilagi
Aloiai

Weekes
GCKT
Bullemor
Keppie

Bench looks light on paper but not much less than what we are already playing. Our middle rotation stays the same, Lawton gives us another option in the back row and we finally get a genuine hooker in the side. Weekes can keep his role on the bench and play a similar role to Walker and/or provide cover for the backs
 

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