Member
I watch the QCup so have seen a bit of him, really really good player.

Yes maybe in for Sirro , if so who replaces Schuster if you move him to 5/8???
I think Ben Turbo has outstanding potential and could more than adequately replace Sironen. Although he had few opportunities this season, what I did see of him was that he has plenty of size and tackles ala big brother Jake. Enough said then.
Also agree with Bearfax about the risks of losing our younger stars if they are not given adequate opportunities. Think Tolu Koula may also come into this category. Worry sometimes that Hasler can be eccentric with some of his selection decisions. Certainly do not accept that he is infallible in that regard.
 
Grizzly old fart
I think Ben Turbo has outstanding potential and could more than adequately replace Sironen. Although he had few opportunities this season, what I did see of him was that he has plenty of size and tackles ala big brother Jake. Enough said then.
Also agree with Bearfax about the risks of losing our younger stars if they are not given adequate opportunities. Think Tolu Koula may also come into this category. Worry sometimes that Hasler can be eccentric with some of his selection decisions. Certainly do not accept that he is infallible in that regard.


Ben Trbojevic is yet make his mark, but what we've seen is encouraging. I wonder if he is better at centre, a kind of John McDonald type (see late 60s international centre we had at Manly), who was lanky, solid, quite evasive and fast. I suspect the forward positions will be very competitive next year and maybe centre, which we need is a better option. Would love to see him again with that combination he had with Schuster, like a Lyons-Menzies understanding. Competition for a forward positions could become quite interesting next year. If only we could get Fainu back. And yes Manly needs to give young Koula a taste of first grade in 2022. Said to be the fastest player in the game.
 
Disagree on that one Mark. He's better than Gifty and has already proven he can make a star five eighth. Gifty didn't even get a permanent spot in the Manly side until he was 23 and rep games started at 24. My goodness Schuster has been a star performer throughout his junior years and is already a permanent fixture in the Manly side and now in a NZ rep squad. Gifty wasn't even recognised for his worth until he was 24. This kid is only 20. He already has skills I've only seen from the best five eighths I've seen in the game. In a few years if we can hold onto him and Des doesn't waste his talent having to do heavy defence work, he'll be a dominant factor in Manly's backline, or some other backline if we aren't careful. His value has already shot up being selected in the NZ squad and I understand Auckland are sending out feelers for him.
He has the "potential" to be better than Gifty but a long way to go yet.
 
Snake's Alive!
Disagree on that one Mark. He's better than Gifty and has already proven he can make a star five eighth. Gifty didn't even get a permanent spot in the Manly side until he was 23 and rep games started at 24. My goodness Schuster has been a star performer throughout his junior years and is already a permanent fixture in the Manly side and now in a NZ rep squad. Gifty wasn't even recognised for his worth until he was 24. This kid is only 20. He already has skills I've only seen from the best five eighths I've seen in the game. In a few years if we can hold onto him and Des doesn't waste his talent having to do heavy defence work, he'll be a dominant factor in Manly's backline, or some other backline if we aren't careful. His value has already shot up being selected in the NZ squad and I understand Auckland are sending out feelers for him.
Talent is only one aspect of what makes a great player. Glenn Stewart has the runs on the board; two premierships and Churchill Medal. He produced on the big stage. So far, Schu has done nothing close to helping Manly win a premiership. Sure, he has the flair and potential to be something special but comparisons to a premiership winning legend of the club are unfair to Gifty and do nothing other than build expectation and pressure on Schuster.
 
Reserve Grader
Who in their right mind could say that he is better than Gift after 1 season? He was consistently an important cog to our premiership dynasty. That 2011 season was incredible and to win the Clive Churchill after the 3 week suspension sums him up.

I think Schuster has great potential and is something special, but come on what is with people blowing up young players asses after a few good moments and saying they’re better than club legends. Disrespectful imo to those past players, same with Tom and people saying he is better than Snake. Sit down for a minute and stop comparing them all, Snake as it stands has a lot more runs on the board at club level for Manly. 4 grand finals, 2 premierships.
 
Armchair Expert
I hope he has a great pre-season and we can figure out positions later.

Unfortunately Josh was injured at key moments when we've needed a replacement for Foran at 5/8 in 2021, which probably didn't help his audition chances. He seemed to have issues with his form and weight as the season went on so not sure how viable the #6 role was anyway.

I'm tipping that he has a much better and more consistent season in 2022
 
The poster formerly known as Simmo66.
Premium Member
Tipping Comp 2021
Who in their right mind could say that he is better than Gift after 1 season? He was consistently an important cog to our premiership dynasty. That 2011 season was incredible and to win the Clive Churchill after the 3 week suspension sums him up.

I think Schuster has great potential and is something special, but come on what is with people blowing up young players asses after a few good moments and saying they’re better than club legends. Disrespectful imo to those past players, same with Tom and people saying he is better than Snake. Sit down for a minute and stop comparing them all, Snake as it stands has a lot more runs on the board at club level for Manly. 4 grand finals, 2 premierships.
Schuster does have incredible potential. He is a long way off achieving that potential. I have to say that with the way he finished this season, it will take him a few more seasons before he can be fairly compared to any of our Manly legends at five-eight or backrow. I also hope that he gets to achieve that potential with us, and doesn't choose to leave us prematurely.
 
Talent is only one aspect of what makes a great player. Glenn Stewart has the runs on the board; two premierships and Churchill Medal. He produced on the big stage. So far, Schu has done nothing close to helping Manly win a premiership. Sure, he has the flair and potential to be something special but comparisons to a premiership winning legend of the club are unfair to Gifty and do nothing other than build expectation and pressure on Schuster.

Gifty was one of my all time favs. We all talk about his incredible skill and football brain, but we often forget he was an incredibly tough footballer who played hurt. He was not overly big but he hit hard in defence. Let’s hope Josh can scale the same heights.
 
Grizzly old fart
I am in my right mind and my opinion is that in terms of sheer talent, Schuster is better than Gifty. As I pointed out Gifty didn't come to prominence until he as about 24. He was a fine player, no question, but I think many here are perhaps remembering only the best of that player, something that happens with retrospective perceptions. He was a very good player but not a great one. Played 5 tests in his mid to late 20s. He was a second rower with some ball playing skills, and has been seen as almost a second 5/8. Schuster is already being looked at for test duty at 20 for NZ and in a position that does not display the full range of his skills. I doubt Gifty would ever be considered as a permanent 5/8. Yet Hasler at present is using Schuster as one of his two 80 minute forwards handling almost 30 tackles a game and then standing outside Foran as a 5/8 centre link. His efforts this year are not fully appreciated because he did a lot of work close to the action requiring more energy than all but Jake, DCE and Croker. A look at his Fantasy points shows that he was in that regard one of Manly's highest point scoring players behind Turbo, DCE, Garrett and Jake.

One of the biggest issues with perception is that we are led to look at the flashier plays and say 'Ohhh and Ahhh' and determine this is what makes a top player on the field. No question in my mind that Turbo and DCE were streets ahead of the rest for impact on the game this year. But below them its not so obvious and Schuster was definitely up there. Otherwise why would NZ be selecting him
 
Reserve Grader
Ben Trbojevic is yet make his mark, but what we've seen is encouraging. I wonder if he is better at centre, a kind of John McDonald type (see late 60s international centre we had at Manly), who was lanky, solid, quite evasive and fast. I suspect the forward positions will be very competitive next year and maybe centre, which we need is a better option. Would love to see him again with that combination he had with Schuster, like a Lyons-Menzies understanding. Competition for a forward positions could become quite interesting next year. If only we could get Fainu back. And yes Manly needs to give young Koula a taste of first grade in 2022. Said to be the fastest player in the game.
From what I saw Ben is too big to play centre - seems to have bulked up considerably and appears to be too immobile now to even be a fill in. Could be wrong as it was a very small sample size of time on the field.

Re Koula - I sincerely hope everyone is right re his potential as a centre in FG. From what I know he played junior schoolboys rugby on the wing and played wing in the NSW cup. Not sure if he is the saviour. Centre (and fullback backup) still appear our biggest gaps in squad makeup.

Then you have Weekes. Where does he play? He played a lot of fullback and 5/8 and opportunities look limited here.
 
One of the biggest issues with perception is that we are led to look at the flashier plays and say 'Ohhh and Ahhh' and determine this is what makes a top player on the field.
Isn't this what you're doing with Schuster? I mean seriously he has shown glimpses of skill and talent but Gifty was tough, skilful, had the heart of a lion and was a leader of our pack. If Schuster can unearth these tough leadership qualities then no doubt he will have a huge career BUT his skill will only get him so far. Give me a guy like Gifty that plays tough and leads by example over a guy with superior skill that doesn't have a go.
Not saying Schuster won't get there but man he has a long way to go to get my vote as better than Gifty.
 
The Incomparable Immortal Bob Fulton
Premium Member
Tipping Comp 2021
Isn't this what you're doing with Schuster? I mean seriously he has shown glimpses of skill and talent but Gifty was tough, skilful, had the heart of a lion and was a leader of our pack. If Schuster can unearth these tough leadership qualities then no doubt he will have a huge career BUT his skill will only get him so far. Give me a guy like Gifty that plays tough and leads by example over a guy with superior skill that doesn't have a go.
Not saying Schuster won't get there but man he has a long way to go to get my vote as better than Gifty.
Perspective time...
Every player players better is a certain position
Gifty is a grittier forward
and Schuster is a Flashier 5/8
The aging Foz has lost his flash . I would have Schuster at 5/8 .
 
Bencher
gifty had presence, game sense and was a leader of men. not many players in any generation had what gifty had, his timing was was spot on and he knew when to speed a game up and when to slow it down. skills we just cant manufacture now

he was finucane with ball skills, and a grubber

he was the non captain , captain of our side and one of the best
 
Grizzly old fart
Isn't this what you're doing with Schuster? I mean seriously he has shown glimpses of skill and talent but Gifty was tough, skilful, had the heart of a lion and was a leader of our pack. If Schuster can unearth these tough leadership qualities then no doubt he will have a huge career BUT his skill will only get him so far. Give me a guy like Gifty that plays tough and leads by example over a guy with superior skill that doesn't have a go.
Not saying Schuster won't get there but man he has a long way to go to get my vote as better than Gifty.

Robbo, Schuster may fall flat, no question. There's always a chance he may not reach the heights I think he will. C'est la vie. But don't you think it remarkable that for a kid of 20 who played most of his football at 5/8 in his later junior years (and remember for 2 years in a row he was considered the best in the competitions as a whole he played in awards), to be now thrown into an 80 minute second row position as his first experience at first grade this year, with all the defensive grunt work he's had to deal with as well as take on an attacking responsibility that he's done remarkably well. Wouldn't you think it doesn't offer anywhere as much opportunity to shine if he had played 5/8.

Most new forwards don't even start to shine until they are about 23, including Glenn Stewart. I think those looking at this kid are placing unrealistic expectations on him. He's out of position and yet gets selected for a NZ squad. He does show toughness, far more than the average 5/8, is highly skilful and as I've noted he also displays a heart of a lion. He's not the leader of the pack, but what 20 year old ever is. Thing is you are recalling Gifty at his very best in his late 20s after years of first grade. Try comparing him with Schuster at 20 years old. Stewart couldn't even get a regular start in the Manly side until he was 23 after three years of around half a dozen games a season.

In my mind one has to get it into perspective. If you are going to compare, do it on an equal level. Even Cliffy didn't play first grade until he was 23 and didn't impress until he was about 24. At 20 he was unknown. In my mind for a debut season in a position Schuster's never had to play in the senior ranks and little in the junior ranks, he's done remarkably well and is obviously one of the first forwards Des selects. already.
 
Snake's Alive!
I am in my right mind and my opinion is that in terms of sheer talent, Schuster is better than Gifty. As I pointed out Gifty didn't come to prominence until he as about 24. He was a fine player, no question, but I think many here are perhaps remembering only the best of that player, something that happens with retrospective perceptions. He was a very good player but not a great one. Played 5 tests in his mid to late 20s. He was a second rower with some ball playing skills, and has been seen as almost a second 5/8. Schuster is already being looked at for test duty at 20 for NZ and in a position that does not display the full range of his skills. I doubt Gifty would ever be considered as a permanent 5/8. Yet Hasler at present is using Schuster as one of his two 80 minute forwards handling almost 30 tackles a game and then standing outside Foran as a 5/8 centre link. His efforts this year are not fully appreciated because he did a lot of work close to the action requiring more energy than all but Jake, DCE and Croker. A look at his Fantasy points shows that he was in that regard one of Manly's highest point scoring players behind Turbo, DCE, Garrett and Jake.

One of the biggest issues with perception is that we are led to look at the flashier plays and say 'Ohhh and Ahhh' and determine this is what makes a top player on the field. No question in my mind that Turbo and DCE were streets ahead of the rest for impact on the game this year. But below them its not so obvious and Schuster was definitely up there. Otherwise why would NZ be selecting him
Your obsession with Schuster is reaching new heights. Seriously. Glenn Stewart was a great player! Your other fav Cliff Lyons didn’t play a lot of SOO, ditto Terry Lamb but I think we can all agree they were great players...using caps in rep sides to judge the quality of a player is floored. Andrew Johns, the 8th immortal played more 9 than 7 in SOO. So much depends on who else is playing in the same position at the time and injuries etc. Snake never played a lot of Origin.

As for age, Codie Walker debut at 26 years of age. He has played SOO and scored a memorable try in a GF and broke records for try assists...it doesn’t matter that Glenn wasn’t pushing for rep honours at 20 years old. Also NZ is much easier to crack than NSW and Australia. Comparing apples and oranges.

But hey...they’ve all played more rep footy than Schuster as we speak...let’s hold our horses and make comparison in 10 years time!
 
Bencher
Premium Member
like to see Schuster improve a bit with front on defence , tends to follow an attacking player a bit and drop off the odd tackle a bit . Olakatu - atu and Jake of course are more direct hitters and again would prefer Josh adapt his style more to this technique . Certainly big and strong enough to take on opposing forwards more head on , attack can only improve and will always have those excellent skills .More then capable of being a good enough 6 in i st grade but again just think that the trend is not conductive to him being overly suited there and especially with his present playing size . Look at the top no 6 "s going around now , Cody Walker , Munster ,. Luai , Keary , Wighton , Dylan Walker , . Josh playing attributes and size on current indications again seems more suited to back row and edges . Way to early to be comparing Josh with the likes of Gifty , career is heading in the right direction and very hopefully can at least match Glen "s great contribution at Manly if not surpass it .
 

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