Sam Harris - Unfulfilled Potential?

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Canteen Worker

First Grader
When Sam signed for Manly it was seen as a great coup for the club. It was the big news of a local junior who had wandered for a time to the Rugby pastures but was returning home as a prodigal son.

Like many I had watched his Rugby form for Warringah and NSW. (as an occasional Waratah spectator -was even at the Super 12 Semi the night he played centre and was totally run over roughshod by Mortock, Larkham and co). The main solace for his code change was that he was returning to League as a 2nd Rower, so the problems he had occasionally experienced as a Rugby centre wouldn't be an issue.

Sam settled steadily into Manly and league and played solidly, improving as he went. The Easter period of 2004 announced that Sam was back with dynamic attacking and defensive play. As the Sea Eagle standout player he attracted the attention of Rep selectors. He was picked for City and was notable in a struggling and inexperienced Sea Eagles side. Some considered him unlucky not to be picked in the Origin side. Stardom beckoned! After a contract upgrade prior to June 30 however, his form fell away, though there were leaked reports of a serious back injury that was impacting on his form. Despite this Sam finished 2004 in first grade, though as a shadow of what he had promised early in the season.

Sadly Sam has never recaptured that early 2004 form and has been a regular bench player this year rather than a starting backrower. Of course the 'arrival' of Choc Watmough as a superstar, the rejuvenation of Stever Menzies and the signing of Ben Kennedy always meant that he would struggle to be in the top team.

This writer thinks that at best, Sam could have been a dynamic part of the Manly revival. However his form has been spasmodic at best, he has struggled for consistency and apart from a few good moments here and there (think Penrith and Tigers) he has not lived up to expectations. Silly mistakes and needless penalties were indicative of a player who was trying too hard.

The saddest indictment of Sam's impact this year is that I don't really know of too many fans that are actually upset that he is leaving for Tiger Land!! For some reason he has never really delivered at the level to which the club and fans hoped might be possible.


Reserve Grader
The saddest part about Sam leaving is that he's a genuine X-Factor off the bench. He's pretty creative and probably the antithesis of Luke Williamson, the occasional error and missed tackle, cancelled out by a moment of sublime skill. We haven't really seen the second part of Harris' game often enough recently though but if you look back and see what he did to the Bulldogs in Round 5 of 04, you'll realise why I groan at the prospect of the Tigers' getting the best out of him. He may well win a comp there.


Dumb footballer is the easiest way to sum him up. A dropped ball or silly penalty at crucial times, pushing a pass when it's not needed.

Sonny Bill Williams is the type a player he could be, not as great but playing a similar role. He will fit in with the Tigers high risk game.


Winging it
I saw him play two great games last year. He had that ability to read the play around the fringes and take an angled run that split the opposition. Then that was it - forever. Absolutely nothing shown except maybe 5 mins in an 80 minute game. I don't know what happened but I won't miss him.

Staff online

Team P W L PD Pts
10 9 1 124 20
11 8 3 75 18
10 7 3 70 16
10 7 3 69 16
11 7 4 59 14
11 6 5 -9 14
10 6 4 -10 14
12 6 5 36 13
11 6 5 107 12
11 5 6 47 12
12 6 6 2 12
11 5 6 -88 12
11 4 6 -7 9
10 3 7 -103 8
10 2 8 -91 6
11 2 9 -95 6
10 1 9 -186 4
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