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Season Preview: Forwards

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Berkeley_Eagle, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Manly Season Preview: Forwards
    Warrick D. Nicolson
    7/02/2012 1:01:30 PM


    Season Preview - Forwards

    Manly’s successful run to the 2011 premiership was built on the back of a skilled and tireless forward pack. Shane Rodney is the only notable forward not returning and the Sea Eagles have a number of promising forwards eager for a chance in the top grade. Finding an opening is the hard part.

    How do Manly’s forwards stack up entering 2012?

    Brent Kite and Jason King give Manly one of the more settled front rows in the competition. The pair’s consistency is excellent and complemented by the impact value of George Rose, Joe Galuvao and Darcy Lussick. Vic Mauro, Tim Robinson, Junior Palau, James Cunningham and Toyota Cup graduate Magnus Stromquist can all contribute in a pinch if called upon. Nick Skinner was recruited from the Raiders and can play back or front row, as was the son of Steven Roach, Liam from the Sunshine Coast.
    Top Metre Eater: Jason King averaged 11.8 Runs and 93.9 Metres Gained in 2011 and 29.44 Dream Team Points Per Game.

    Matt Ballin is the starter and produces the goods week in week out. He averaged nearly 40 tackles per game last season and can play every minute. Should Coach Geoff Toovey wish to spell Ballin, Liam Foran and Liam Higgins will be plying their trade in NSW Cup.
    Tackling Machine: Matt Ballin averaged 40.3 Tackles in 2011 and 39.46 Dream Team Points Per Game.

    Manly boast an all international backrow with Tony Williams joining Glenn Stewart and Anthony Watmough as an Australian representative at the end of last season. Stewart has all the skills and a work-rate to match, while Watmough is a tackle busting edge runner. Now that Williams has started delivering on his potential, Manly’s backrow might be even better this season. Manly also get great value out of backups Joe Galuvao, Jamie Buhrer, Vic Mauro and Darcy Lussick, while Daniel Harrison, Tim Robinson, Nick Skinner and Mitch Jowett round out the depth chart.
    Workhorse: Anthony Watmough averaged 32 Tackles, 14.9 Runs and 120.7 Metres Gained in 2011 and 47.43 Dream Team Points Per Game.

    The Bottom Line:
    When you are reigning Premiers there isn’t often much that needs fixing in your team, and Manly’s forwards are no exception. All the key starters return and it looks like Manly’s depth up front is even better than in previous seasons. Watch out NRL.

    What do you think about Manly's forward pack this season? Leave your comments below.

    All other teams at this link



    The Bottom Line:
    Civoniceva is a huge addition to the team. With the Brisbane halves facing life without Darren Lockyer for the first time, it will be up to this experienced and talented forward pack to provide them with an excellent foundation up front.

    The Bottom Line:
    Graham will be a star in the NRL but Hasler’s preference for 80 minute backrowers may turn the battle for a spot in the starting pack up a few notches and that should push Canterbury’s plethora of forwards to be at their absolute best this season in order to get a run in first grade.


    The performance of the North Queensland forward pack was the driving force behind their return to Finals Football in 2011 and there is no reason to think it won’t be again.

    The Bottom Line:
    With a good mix of proven performers and youthful exuberance, the Eels forwards will simply be looking to get the job done so to give their exciting backs the room to weave their magic. In their second season under Stephen Kearney, they will have learned plenty from last year’s experience.

    Bottom Line for 2012:
    Competition will be fierce for regular spots in the Bennett’s Newcastle team and the forward pack is no exception. Bennett favoured big minute backrowers, alternating hookers and rotating front rowers at the Dragons, so don’t be surprised if he adopts a similar strategy with what he has at the Knights.

    The Bottom Line:
    The competitive fire still burns within the Dragons after a disappointing end to 2011, and their forward pack certainly has the ability and the experience to lift the team back to where they want to be.[hr]

    The Bottom Line:
    With some key departures there are a number of opportunities for a new generation of Penrith forwards to make their mark in the NRL. Luke Lewis is a brilliant footballer and as captain he will do everything he can to inspire his fellow forwards to perform in 2012.[hr]

    The Bottom Line:
    With plenty of returning stars, there are sure to be headaches surrounding the forwards at the selection table for the Rabbitohs. A lot will depend on the fitness of their players – they can’t afford another year of missing their main big men through injury.[hr]

    The Bottom Line:
    Canberra’s success could well rise or fall on the performance of their forward pack in 2012. With a host of international front rowers and a rising backrow, there remains a large question mark over who gets the hooking role.[hr]

    The Bottom Line:
    The Roosters are moving in a new direction this season and opportunities available in their forward pack is a reflection of this. It will be up to Coach Brian Smith to find the right combination from the plethora of options available to him entering round 1.[hr]

    The Bottom Line:
    There will be plenty of competition for starting spots in the Cronulla pack, which will bring out the best of the players as they strive to deliver success to the Shire.[hr]

    The Bottom Line:
    Melbourne Storm have a largely settled forward pack, with Hoffman likely to fit right back into the side. Jason Ryles should flourish in the Storm system, and depth in the forwards seems to have improved, hopefully easing the burden of the notoriously difficult representative period.[hr]

    The Bottom Line:
    Farah is the straw that stirs the drink at the Wests Tigers. With the addition of Blair, Farah is surrounded by an international quality forward pack which should give Kiwi Test five-eighth Benji Marshall plenty of room to weave his magic.[hr]

    The Bottom Line:
    The Titans are loaded up front entering this season. As a result the defensive deficiencies of last season should be addressed from Round 1 as this quality group looks to right the ship and get the Gold Coast back into contention for a playoff spot.[hr]

    The Bottom Line:
    Although Nathan Friend is the only addition to the forward pack in 2012, the Vodafone Warriors will be keen to build on the momentum they generated with the current group. This is a fine collection of toughness and talent, making the Vodafone Warriors a big threat once again this year.
  2. captainskin

    captainskin Active Member

    +80 /0
    With the way every side is written about I think they will ALL win the premiership this year. All good positive stuff, and in my bias I only believe the good stuff about the Sea Eagles, but you can't help but think the messages written are merely a good marketing ploy to advertise your excitement for your team - and get you to become a member and attend more games... at least, initially.
  3. Joey

    Joey Active Member

    +39 /0
    That's the norm when it comes to the start of any sporting code's season, everyone's full of optimism.

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