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Premiership Window

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Turbo, Sep 1, 2016.

  1. Turbo

    Turbo Well-Known Member

    +1,565 /497
    KEEPING an NRL club’s premiership window open is like painting the Harbour Bridge.

    As soon as the job’s done, it starts all over again.

    This year’s rugby league fare has seen more upheaval among the game’s heavyweights than most.

    Case in point: were it not for Parramatta’s salary cap cheating, Manly, Souths and the Roosters would occupy three of the bottom four spots on the ladder.

    Every game of Round 26 PLUS every Finals game in September LIVE & ad-break free during play on FOX SPORTS. Get FOXTEL today with no lock-in contract & 1st month free! FIND OUT MORE!

    This time two years ago they were locked in a three-way tussle for the 2014 minor premiership on the eve of the finals.

    So is your club’s fabled shot at NRL glory wide open or slammed shut? Is the door still ajar, have they snuck a foot in there or is closing fast?

    We take a look at how your club’s title hopes over the next three years truly stack up.



    Panthers coach Anthony Griffin.Source: News Corp Australia
    Players over 30: Peter Wallace.

    Spine: Matt Moylan, Te Maire Martin, Nathan Cleary, Peter Wallace. Bryce Cartwright has played the house down after being pitched into the No.6 jumper, but Martin and Cleary is their long-term scrumbase combo. And a hell of a combo at that if they deliver on their potential. Moylan is all class and Wallace provides an experienced head — the only concern is how long he lasts.

    Salary cap situation: Sitting pretty. Most all of their key men are locked up beyond next season besides Moylan, who they will move heaven and earth to keep. Big name 2017 recruit James Tamou is the 114 kilo cherry on top of the most creative pack going.

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    What they’ve got: The best young talent in the game and a coach renowned for nurturing youngsters.

    What they need: To keep a lid on things and keep them on the park. Injuries have crippled too many campaigns at the foot of the mountains of late.


    Players over 30: Corey Parker (retiring), Sam Thaiday, Adam Blair.

    Spine: Darius Boyd, Anthony Milford, Ben Hunt, Andrew McCullough. On song this is the best spine in the comp, with Milford simply money in the bank as far as on and off-field potential goes. All four are off-contract in 2017 though.

    Manly coach Trent Barrett joins Nathan Ryan, Ben Glover and Matt Russell to discuss his rookie season as NRL coach, recruitment for 2017, the future of his veterans and the biggest challenges facing the club.

    Salary cap situation: Wayne Bennett is famed for getting his man for less. They’ll need every bit of that ability with up to a dozen of their best, as well as their brightest youngsters, hitting the market next year. This will take some juggling.

    What they’ve got: The Super Coach and a super roster for him to work with. This lot is capable of winning the comp right here, right now.

    What they need: Hanging onto them, and putting to bed the off-field issues that have crept in this season are Brisbane’s chief concerns.


    Why Raiders lost their way

    Players over 30: Jeff Lima, Sia Soliola.

    Spine: Jack Wighton, Blake Austin, Aidan Sezer, Josh Hodgson. It’s a cracking combination of pace, guile and ball playing ability that will only get better with more time together. Each of these men have their best footy ahead of them.

    Salary cap situation: The Green Machine is golden baby. When Kurt Baptiste re-signs as expected they’ll have their starting 17 under contract until at least the end of 2017, most of the key men well beyond.

    What they’ve got: The most entertaining brand of footy in the NRL.

    What they need: Totruly harness it with a winning mentality. That comes with experience, and is something Ricky Stuart has crafted before at the Roosters.



    Players over 30: Johnathan Thurston, Matt Scott, Ben Hannant, Gavin Cooper.

    Spine: Lachlan Coote, Michael Morgan, Johnathan Thurston, Jake Granville. Building nicely again, though all bar Thurston have had their lulls in 2016. JT is irreplaceable, but with at least another two years before he wraps up the other three have plenty of time to shoulder more of the load.

    Salary cap situation: They’ve done well retaining the key core of their premiership winning side and while the loss of Tamou stings, it gives them room to move when they eventually have to replace Thurston and Matt Scott. Jason Taumalolo (off-contract next season) is a priority.

    What they’ve got: The proven cattle to go all the way.

    What they need: The desire to do it again. Some luck with keeping Scott and Thurston injury free will go a long way too.


    Idris should go to Storm

    Players over 30: Cameron Smith, Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk, Matt White.

    Spine: Billy Slater, Unknown, Cooper Cronk, Cameron Smith. Two big question marks, and three ageing champions is the equation at Melbourne. Slater is determined to get onto the park again, but if he can’t Cam Munster is as handy a young replacement as they come.

    Smith and Cronk, you know what you’re getting from them, even if the miles are clocking up. Five-eighth Blake Green is expected to shift to Manly, and there’s no obvious replacement as yet.

    Salary cap situation: It’s tight, but Bellamy continues to build around his ageing champions with typical street smarts. Key forwards and playmakers are signed until 2018, Bellyache’s ability to get the best out of NRL journeymen and his up and comers will do the rest.

    What they’ve got: The best brains trust in the game, a proven winning formula and an emerging core leadership group to get the succession plans rolling.

    What they need: Cronk and Smith to remain as remarkably durable as ever to bring on the next generation. And another half, preferably one that will still be there in five years time.


    Players over 30: Paul Gallen, Luke Lewis, Michael Ennis, James Maloney, Chris Heighington.

    Spine: Ben Barba, James Maloney, Chad Townsend, Michael Ennis. Ennis’s retirement is a spanner in the works, his influence can’t be overstated.

    Snagging Robbie Farah looms as the obvious fix, otherwise bringing on a younger No.9 will take time.

    Townsend and Maloney are set, and Barba’s resurrection creates a handy headache around how to fit he, Bird and Holmes into the backline.

    Salary cap situation: Those three also pose the biggest salary cap query. They’re all off-contract next year and they all want to play fullback. Cronulla face some big calls in the next 18 months with plenty of their big names and biggest improvers hitting the market.

    What they’ve got: Know how, a ticking clock motivating their leaders and just about the best balance between attack and defence we can remember in their history.

    What they need: To get moving. It’s either this year or next because the departures of Ennis, Paul Gallen and Luke Lewis will take their toll.


    'A year we needed to have'

    Players over 30: Sam Moa.

    Spine: Latrell Mitchell, Luke Keary, Mitchell Pearce, Jake Friend. The Roosters are still mid-reboot so the jury’s still out. But the control and management of Pearce and Friend combined with the brilliance of gamebreakers Mitchell and Keary could well be magic. Lose Pearce though, as we saw this year, and it goes down the gurgler very quickly.

    Salary cap situation: They’ve come out the other side of having their title-winning side ripped apart with a roster that trumps plenty of their rivals. Have names like Ferguson, Pearce, Guerra and JWH coming off-contract next year, tough calls will be made if their veterans don’t fire.

    What they’ve got: Trent Robinson, one of the best in the business, a still star-studded roster and the frameworks of an NRL powerhouse still very much in place.

    What they need: A drama, injury free summer and an off-field recalibration. Steady success in recent years saw standards slip, 2016 could well prove the wake up, followed by the shake up they needed.



    Players over 30: Nathan Friend (retiring), David Shillington, Greg Bird, Zeb Taia, Luke Douglas, Will Zillman.

    Spine: Jarryd Hayne, Tyrone Roberts, Ash Taylor, Nathan Peats. The club’s never boasted this much firepower in such key positions, and they’ll only get more dangerous with time. What role Kane Elgey plays next year is one to watch.

    Salary cap situation: Hayne’s arrival has chewed up most of the free cap space they had. There will be more necessary upheaval in the next six months, but the Titans now switch from out and out recruitment to retention mode.

    What they’ve got: A core group playing above their weight for coach Neil Henry, with a rough and ready pack now complemented by genuine strike weapons.

    What they need: Time and patience. Time for their new additions to truly start cooking with gas, and patience to manage the expectation around when that happens. Especially with that Hayne character.


    Players over 30: Dene Halatau (retiring), Matt Ballin, Robbie Farah.

    Spine: James Tedesco, Mitchell Moses, Luke Brooks, Unknown. Those first three names could be anything. The club must do anything and everything to keep them. The last piece of the puzzle is hooker. Farah won’t be there, Halatau’s retiring, Ballin is no certainty to get back on the park and Jacob Liddle has played one NRL game.

    Salary cap situation: 2016’s late-season charge to the semis is a godsend. It makes retaining the likes of Tedesco, Moses, Brooks, Woods and Simona much more palatable. Finally getting their house in order.

    What they’ve got: Talent. So much it’s not funny. And a core group of juniors they should be able to keep if they can avoid any more turmoil.

    What they need: No more turmoil. Jason Taylor’s stuck to his guns and survived so far, he’s due to reap the rewards of that conviction. Next order of business is to get his side defending like they attack.


    Players over 30: Ryan Hoffman, Jacob Lillyman, Thomas Leilua (signed with St Helen’s), Manu Vatuvei, Simon Mannering.

    Spine: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Unknown, Shaun Johnson, Issac Luke. Three quarters of the New Zealand spine, with Kieran Foran also a possibility to join them. If he doesn’t, the No.6 jumper goes to either Tui Lolohea or the equally talented Ata Hingano. Honestly, what more do you need?

    Salary cap situation: They’ve got plenty off-contract next year, and unless there’s a stark improvement plenty will and should be moved on. There’s still a bit of coin in the kitty to take a run at Foran if he’s ready to play again.

    What they’ve got: So much potential. So many matchwinners. So many, as yet, unfulfilled expectations.

    What they need: The coach to get them there. The culture to get them there. The club is currently working out whether Andrew McFadden fits that bill.


    Taka's brilliant kick try

    Players over 30: Michael Gordon (signed with Roosters), Beau Scott, Isaac De Gois, David Gower, Jeff Robson, Danny Wicks.

    Spine: Bevan French, Clint Gutherson, Corey Norman, Isaac De Gois. We’ll take Brad Arthur at his word with the 2017 spine he laid out this week, but Parramatta are still eyeing another half to partner Norman. Still very much a work in progress.

    Salary cap situation: Dare we even ask? They reportedly have cash to spend next year and have been re-signing left and right of late. Had planned to build around Jarryd Hayne but are now realigning their approach with a tonne of playmaking talent hitting the market in November.

    What they’ve got: Brad Arthur, a gutsy forward pack and a massive point to prove in 2017.

    What they need: The front office to front up and run like an actual football club.



    Players over 30: Sam Perrett (retiring), James Graham, Brett Morris, Josh Morris.

    Spine: Will Hopoate, Josh Reynolds, Moses Mbye, Michael Lichaa. Plenty of ability in this lot, but responsibility for the Bulldogs attacking woes lie with them and the structures they play to. Waiting for them to click consistently has to turn to wondering if they can.

    Salary cap situation: Rest assured they’ll keep the men they want. Mbye, Klemmer and Jackson are all secured for the long haul. Most of their big names are signed until 2018, but there is room to move, especially if performances dictate.

    What they’ve got: Proven performers, a crack forward pack and Des Hasler, who has done the dance before and will back himself to get there again.

    What they need: Either complete faith in Hasler and what he’s doing, or a dramatic shift to spark the offensive structures that have had them thereabouts for some time, but never quite across the line.


    Players over 30: John Sutton, Dane Neilsen, Bryson Goodwin.

    Spine: Greg Inglis, Cody Walker, Adam Reynolds, Unknown. How long Greg Inglis lasts at the back and how fit he stays is the million dollar question. Robbie Farah looks to be a good fit as mentor to Damien Cook in the No.9 role if they can trump Cronulla for his services.

    Salary cap situation: There’s a bit of space there, but Reynolds, Inglis, Alex Johnston and John Sutton are all off-contract next year. The roster clean-out has already begun and may claim a few more yet.

    What they’ve got: Star power and genuine marquee players in Sam Burgess, Inglis and Reynolds. Also a new coaching staff to freshen things up under Michael Maguire — the Bunnies realise things have to change.

    What they need: Their players to buy in. Despite the constant denials, things obviously weren’t right at Redfern and the place has genuinely been shaken up. Time will tell if they’ve truly stopped the rot.


    Sea Eagles

    Players over 30: Jamie Lyon (retiring), Steve Matai, Brenton Lawrence, Brett Stewart, Nate Myles.

    Spine: Unknown. With Brett Stewart potentially retiring, Tom Trbojevic looks set to continue his journey in the No. 1 with Daly Cherry-Evans the only certainty at halfback. Blake Green is expected to join the club next year to partner DCE in the halves, while Api Koroisau and Matt Parcell will continue their battle for the hooking role. Providing Stewart doesn’t return the spine looks solid and much improved on 2016.

    Salary cap situation: The Sea Eagles still have cash to play with following the retirement of Jamie Lyon and could have more funds depending on the futures of Steve Matai and Stewart. The Trbojevic brothers come off-contract at the end of 2017, as does Jamie Buhrer.

    What they’ve got: One of the most exciting young fullbacks in the game and a halfback who is a proven match winner. Otherwise though it’s a rookie coach rebuilding a proud club. It will take time.

    What they need: To keep the spine together all season. This year was savaged by injury and a never ending carousel of combinations.


    Benji on Hutchison's game

    Players over 30: Ben Creagh (retiring), Benji Marshall.

    Spine: Unknown. They have a fullback whose strength is his running game but the Dragons want, and need, a ball playing custodian. Gareth Widdop is under contract until the end of 2017 but he doesn’t have a halves partner after Benji Marshall was told he wouldn’t be re-signed.

    They also need a hooker with Mitch Rein told to find a new home. South Sydney No.9 Cameron McInnes is in their sights but is not guaranteed a release, while they are no clearer on who will wear the No.7 jersey next season.

    Salary cap situation: They have cash to splash but nobody wants to take it. They’ve missed out on the likes of Jarryd Hayne, Lachlan Coote, Corey Norman and Luke Keary this year. Twelve of their regular 17 are off-contract in 2017 and another year of poor returns will see heads roll.

    What they’ve got: A good forward pack. They have some big bodies with the likes of Russell Packer and Tyson Frizell running around but they have no spine.

    What they need: Where do you start? They need a hooker and a halfback. A change in style might also be a good idea because what they’re doing just isn’t working.


    Players over 30: Jeremy Smith (retiring), Micky Paea.

    Spine: Unknown, Jarrod Mullen, Trent Hodkinson, Danny Levi. Jake Mamo is filling the fullback role but isn’t considered their long-term fix. Dane Gagai has spent time there but there’s no denying his best position is centre. Mullen and Hodkinson are the current halves pairing with youngsters Brock Lamb and Jack Cogger regarded as the long-term future of the club.

    Danny Levi is showing promise at hooker and with experienced Cowboy Rory Kostjasyn on the way the make-up of their side is very much up in the air.

    Salary cap situation: It’s getting better. While several well paid figures have been moved on, they still have a handful of overpaid players on their books. They have the bulk of their squad off-contract at the end of the year which means 2018 could be flush with fresh faces.

    What they’ve got: A coach who knows how to rebuild and help young talent. Nathan Brown did it in the Super League and was brought to Newcastle to replicate that success. The Knights have plenty of young stars, but like a fine wine, ageing is key.

    What they need: Time. A lot of time. They have a host of exciting youngsters coming through from the age of 15 up to 22. Next season will be another tough year but the future looks bright in 2018. Just think about the old analogy of the tortoise and the hare. Slow and steady wins the race.

    This writer is on Twitter: @dan_walsh64
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • Turbo

      Turbo Well-Known Member

      +1,565 /497
      I see us as a premiership threat as soon as we get a quality halves partner for DCE (in other words Green), A strike centre (Roberts or someone like him), Solid winger (someone who just does their job and can catch), A good rep forward preferably backrow. If we get these key elements to our side but them together with our quality young big forward pack (Parcell, Koroisau, J Turbo, Lussick, Buhrer, Taupau, Meehan, AFB, Hopoate, Knight, Lane) and our 2 superstars Tom and Cherry we will be a very good team.
      • Agree Agree x 4
      • Harry Smith

        Harry Smith I think I'm actually a bloody sea eagle

        +3,074 /188
        We will be unstoppable with a solid halves pairing and a quality winger... Not Uate though unless he returns to his old form, that is possible but we'll have to wait and see. Read that article today and it was terribly wrong we will be a threat as soon as next season and will progressively go up as the years go on. At the moment our forwards are looking to be the best in the comp with the inclusion of Meehan, Jamil Hopoate, Lane and Knight to an incredibly impressive set of forwards in Lussick, AFB, Marty Tapau, Jamie Buhrer (very skilful, plays with his heart for the club he's always gone for), Jake Trbojevic and more. Our backs seem terrible but once Matai is back (depending on whether he does indeed come back) the backs will look far more impressive, especially with Dylan walker who is one of the best strike players in the game playing at centre where he plays 2000% better than he does in the halves. Can't wait for the future... :)
        • Agree Agree x 2
        • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
        • HoldenV8

          HoldenV8 Well-Known Member

          +10,540 /173
          So long as injury or suspension doesn't see us relying on Wiliame, Brown, Wright etc for long periods next year we should be in the mix for a top 8 spot, theoretically.
          • Agree Agree x 2
          • Winner Winner x 1
          • bob dylan

            bob dylan Well-Known Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

            +6,440 /192
            We need a goal kicking-winger, an 80% bloke on a bad year.
            • Agree Agree x 4
            • HoldenV8

              HoldenV8 Well-Known Member

              +10,540 /173
              As it looks right now, next year our goal kicker is likely to be Dylan Walker with DCE the back up.....

              Anyone notice how the Chooks fared not having a recognised goal kicker this year after they let Maloney go to Cronulla (who lost nothing after Gordon left)? Sure they had a shocking year but I dare say they might not have finished 2nd last if they had a kicker.

              Who's bright idea was it to get rid of Gutho?
              • Agree Agree x 1
              • Winner Winner x 1
                Last edited: Sep 2, 2016
              • Turbo

                Turbo Well-Known Member

                +1,565 /497
                Gutho was an average goal kicker at best.
                • Disagree Disagree x 4
                • HoldenV8

                  HoldenV8 Well-Known Member

                  +10,540 /173
                  The only reason Gutho hasn't been doesn't-matta's kicker this year is because of Michael Gordon. He probably will be next year though with Gordon off to the Chooks.
                • Turbo

                  Turbo Well-Known Member

                  +1,565 /497
                  My apologies I've some how mistaken hiku for Gutherson. Hiku is the average kicker I was talking about.
                  • Like Like x 1
                  • sheridanstand78

                    sheridanstand78 Well-Known Member

                    +4,867 /73
                    It's all hypothetical. In season 2011 most pundits had us not making the 8 and we all know happened that year.

                    I would like to see Manly invest in youth with a few veterans to help in the short term. What Penrith are doing with this is likely to be successful. Our window is closed right now but that can change fast
                  • Fluffy

                    Fluffy Well-Known Member

                    +5,631 /205
                    all depends on injuries
                  • TagMonster

                    TagMonster Well-Known Member

                    +697 /50
                    I'd like to see our 2017 line up look something like the below. Yes, it will mean we won't be a true premiership contender next year but it will build for 2018:
                    Starting 17
                    1. T. Trobjevic
                    2. J. Taufua
                    3. B. Williame
                    4. D. Walker (GK)
                    5. B. Parker
                    6. A. Koroisau
                    7. D. Cherry-Evans (C)
                    8. D. Lussick
                    9. M. Parcell
                    10. A. Fonau-Blake
                    11. J. Buhrer
                    12. M. Tapau
                    13. J. Trobjevic (C)
                    14. W. Meehan
                    15. L. Knight
                    16. N. Myles
                    17. S. Lane

                    18. L. Brown
                    19. N. Green
                    20. J. Hopoate
                    21. F. Winterstein
                    22. B. Green
                    23. M. Wright
                    24. T. Wright
                    25. J. Walker

                    The biggest concern I have still is our depth at Prop. We are still a little light on. Our Second Row depth is solid with the addition on Lane.
                  • bringbackbeaver

                    bringbackbeaver Active Member

                    +496 /24
                    I think we are okay in the Prop department. Kapow, Lussick, AFB, Meehan, Myles and perhaps Knight.. Second rowers looking pretty good although the addition of a Gilette type player would be very very good.
                    For me, the one issue I have in your side is Williame. He simply cannot be in the centres IMO. I heard they were thinking about putting Jamil Hoppa into the centres this week if the NRL had approved him to play. Interesting... Could be like a Conrad Hurrel type player there?
                    So I would have Matai in for Willaime and I don't think Api would compliment DCE in the halves. Api is a spark we should be bringing on after 60 mins IMO. Loves a little dart from dummy half and can bring the game alive. Blake Green isn't fanatastic but I think he will be there in the halves alongside DCE. Just want someone who will pass the bloody ball to Turbo and Walker in a bit of space and let them do the rest!!!
                  • Terry Zarsoff

                    Terry Zarsoff Well-Known Member

                    +6,221 /100
                    Agree b-cubed. Api is like Shayne Dunley without the sprays (literally). Bring him on to reek havoc against a tiring defence.
                    • Clever Clever x 1
                    • pjayz

                      pjayz Well-Known Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

                      +4,275 /81
                      I can't see us buying Blake Green to play him in reggies whilst a utility plays 5/8. Also, out of the young guys coming through, I expect to see Jamil the first one to make it ahead of Meehan and Knight (although, I hope they all do).

                      Lane will need to play in reggies for a few months before being considered I suspect. I also think Matai will be in the 17 - it doesn't sound like he is retiring.

                      1. T. Trobjevic
                      2. J. Taufua
                      3. D. Walker (GK)
                      4. S. Matai (C)
                      5. B. Parker / Uate (if he does come)
                      6. B. Green
                      7. D. Cherry-Evans
                      8. D. Lussick
                      9. M. Parcell
                      10. A. Fonau-Blake
                      11. J. Buhrer
                      12. M. Tapau
                      13. J. Trobjevic (C)
                      14. A. Koroisau
                      15. L. Knight
                      16. N. Myles (would love to see Meehan or Lane improve to the point where they could take Nate's spot unless Nate can turn things around)
                      17. J. Hopoate
                      18. W. Meehan
                      19. L. Brown
                      20. F. Winterstein
                      21. S. Lane
                      22. B. Parker (if Uate is signed)
                      23. M. Wright
                      24. B. Williame
                      25. N. Green
                      26. C. Cullen (will put pressure on B. Green and very good depth signing)

                      This year we struggled for genuine depth in the forwards, halves and backline - we will be in a better position next year - yes Jamie will be gone, but Matai should be back and not sure about Snake (reason I left him out).

                      Our Forward pack is our strength and they are young and talented. Add to this two genuine halves - even though Green is just solid - he is better than Walker and Api in the 6, as is Cullen.

                      The negative side of me is concerned that Barrett will mess up the backs and hooker roles - lose games and fix it when it is too late. Whilst the positive side of me says that Barrett will have learned from his mistakes of this year and get the right mix early. I'm hoping he recognises that Wright and Williame are fine for back-ups (particularly Wright), but not starters. Api is a utility, not a starting hooker.
                    • The Who

                      The Who Well-Known Member Premium Member

                      +7,257 /173
                      Melbourne continues to prove that all this talk of a premiership "window' is inaccurate. You can be a top eight team year-in and year-out. We should be one of those clubs, but the off-field controversies has taken its toll.
                    • Ralphie

                      Ralphie Well-Known Member Premium Member

                      +2,953 /287
                      Only if you build a reputation by cheating. Then players will go for unders on the back of that reputation.

                      Remember that cheating pr1ck has only won 1 premiership, so hardly in the Bennett league of cheating.
                    • Ralphie

                      Ralphie Well-Known Member Premium Member

                      +2,953 /287
                      Fact smith was about to sign with Gold Coast, then Waldron steps in. How would Bellamy have fared without that scum in his teams.
                    • bones

                      bones Bones Knows

                      +9,037 /102
                      I read the title and thought this was going to be about the porthole in the captains quarters.

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