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Ripped off

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Berkeley_Eagle, Feb 16, 2008.

  1. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Ripped off


    16 February 2008
    IN a stinging snub the Manly Sea Eagles have had just two players named in a list of Rugby League's 30 greatest players in the last 30 years.
    The list was revealed in Rugby League Week to commemorate the kick-off to the game's Centenary Year. Manly legends Graham Eadie at number 25 and Cliff Lyons at number 30 are the only two Sea Eagles from 1978 to 2008 to make the list. The shunning of Manly players is staggering  particularly the overlooking of the record-breaking champion backrower Steve Menzies.
    Menzies is the greatest try-scoring forward of all time, the second highest try-scorer of all time (167), fifth all-time for first grade appearances (323), a 16-year first-grade veteran, premiership winner with 20 matches for NSW and 15 Tests for Australia.
    His record is astonishing over a long period and his ability to play at the highest level as a back rower, centre or winger has made him a versatile asset to any team he has played in.
    There is always healthy debate whenever sporting teams are chosen from a particular era.
    The judges for the greatest team from the last 30 years were the editor of the publication, Martin Lenehan, Queensland journalist and ex-Broncos media manager Tony Durkin, former Penrith second-rower Mark Geyer, League Week journalist Tony Adams, historian David Middleton and veteran journalist Norman Tasker (who is writing Menzies' life story). Only Adams, at 22, and Tasker at 14 could find a spot in their respective 30s for the Beaver.
    The others left him out completely. Players who I believe to be of far less ability and performance were preferred. One in particular can be measured by current standards  Parramatta workhorse Nathan Hindmarsh. Hindmarsh is a toiler and a hard worker but sometimes one needs a court order to get the ball off him. There is nothing in a game except carting the ball into the defence that he can do better than Menzies ... and Menzies has been doing it for half the 30 years in question.
    Wayne "Junior" Pearce is another backrower chosen ahead of Menzies that I would seriously question. Junior is another workhorse but in sheer ability, skill and all-round game he doesn't hold a candle to Menzies, or for that matter Ben Kennedy  another glaring omission.
    Kennedy would run rings around about a third of the forwards chosen but he has never treated the media with much credence and is obviously now paying the price. Chosen in Manly's greatest-ever side and Newcastle's greatest and there's no place for him in the top 30. Be serious!
    Current players to get a spot in the top 30 are Johnathan Thurston (Cowboys), Cameron Smith (Melbourne), Danny Buderus (Newcastle) and Nathan Hindmarsh (Parramatta).
    I have problems with many of the listings. For a start I wouldn't put Andrew Johns ahead of Wally Lewis. Brett Kenny would be a lot higher than nine and it's laughable to have Peter Sterling ahead of him at no. 7 and ahead of Terry Lamb at 18 and Steve Mortimer at 26. Mortimer could do things Sterling could only dream of.
    Somewhere in the 30 I would have found a place for Menzies and Kennedy, Petero Civoniceva, Eric Grothe, Max Krilich, Craig Young, Gene Miles, Steve Renouf and Mark Graham.
    Rather than simply put my views across I sought the views of long-time Australian selector, one of the original Immortals of Rugby League Week and champion Manly player and coach Bob Fulton. He described the shunning of Menzies as not in keeping with his amazing record over half the selection period.
    "Menzies' record is unquestionable and stands up against anyone's," Fulton said. "He would be in my side for the last 30 years without doubt and he is a player who has adapted his game without problems to the various positions he has been called on to play.
    "Selections are a matter of opinion but I find it difficult to fathom how he could be left out of any side chosen over the last 30 years."
    Fulton also criticised the selection panel for overlooking of former Manly internationals and premiership captains Paul Vautin and Max Krilich.
    "Both had outstanding records for Manly, Australia, Queensland and NSW respectively and haven't got a look in. It's a Manly bash-up and doesn't do the publication any good," Fulton said.
    The 30 players named by RLW, in order of merit: Andrew Johns, Wally Lewis, Darren Lockyer, Allan Langer, Mal Meninga, Peter Sterling, Laurie Daley, Brett Kenny, Brad Clyde, Mick Cronin, Steve Walters, Glenn Lazarus, Steve Rogers, Gorden Tallis, Shane Webcke, Steve Roach, Terry Lamb, Ricky Stuart, Ray Price, Andrew Ettingshausen, Danny Buderus, Johnathan Thurston, Cameron Smith, Graham Eadie, Steve Mortimer, Ben Elias, Wayne Pearce, Nathan Hindmarsh, Cliffy Lyons.

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