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Starting #9 next year

Who do you want to be #9 to start next year?

  • Danny Levi

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Lachlan Croker

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Zac Docker-Clay

    Votes: 3 3.8%
  • Cade Cust

    Votes: 10 12.7%
  • Harry Grant

    Votes: 14 17.7%
  • Brandon Smith

    Votes: 24 30.4%
  • Sam Verrills

    Votes: 10 12.7%
  • Freddy Lussick

    Votes: 4 5.1%
  • Matt Parcell

    Votes: 8 10.1%
  • Other (specify in comments)

    Votes: 6 7.6%

  • Total voters
    79
  • Poll closed .

Simonmyers11

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2012
Messages
5,474
We won't win many games with Cust or Crocker at 9. Sure Levi was average, but still way better than Crocker. If Crocker is the starting hooker next, we are in a lot of trouble. We have looked like a rabble whenever he has been on the field. Hopefully he gets the tap soon as well
 

AlxFromNthNarra

Active Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
44
Why all this talk of Cust at no.9?

No disrespect - I like him as a half, great attitude. And even though it doesn't always pay off, he has a crack and tries stuff - but the modern-day hooker is often a fit-as-fk tackling machine. Matty Ballin set the standard on that front imo. Cust is an able dummy-half, and gets involved in attack plenty.

That isn't his issue, and if we have Schuster & DCE along with Walker in centres and Jrbo/Trbo's playmaking all happening, Cust's main strength is diluted in a wealth of playmaking options.

Defence team-wide was a problem this year - can't deny it.

And Cust is/was targeted as a defensive liability by opposing packs. It just doesn't make sense. If the hooker is not making those tackles, the forwards are - that means they plod back on kick-returns, and poor guys like Garrick are trying to take those early-set hit-ups, and we are 3-4 tackles into a set on our 30 when we finally get a run that has post-contact metres and any offload chance that isn't a wild speculator (going to miss our offloads with AFB gone, will be left to Marty, who everyone knows has an offload or 6 in him).

As a 14 coming on with lethargic forwards, I guess it might work, but the opponent bench rotation would just run fresh boppers at him til he tires - I know I would.

Cust is young, maybe he will fill out and fit that role in time. I just wouldn't want to set him up to fail in that capacity so young.
 

Ranga

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2016
Messages
1,218
I’m wondering whether the Raiders hooker - Havili - could be a target. Next year he will be behind Hodgson and Starling. He isn’t flash, but he’s a pretty solid player that gets through his work.
 

Mataiforerver

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2015
Messages
842
JAZZ TAVAGA.

We have signed Fainu long term. He is our long term hooker, so therefore what do we need? - A quality hooker for 6 months, who can then play another role in the team when Fainu returns.

Brandon Smith commands the 9 for the rest of his career.

Cade Cust is the perfect no 14 next year, with Schuster taking the 6 (please don't sign Foz).

Tavaga is at the Warriors, who are desperate to sign him, and could be involved in a swap. They have JTB, BMM, AFB next year, Tavaga is too good to be a #14 especially at the Warriors.

When Fainu comes back, Tavaga could go to 13 and Jake to 8. The perfect solution, two birds one stone.
 

wombatgc

Sausage roll eating keyboard warrior.
Premium Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2010
Messages
7,818
We won't win many games with Cust or Crocker at 9. Sure Levi was average, but still way better than Crocker. If Crocker is the starting hooker next, we are in a lot of trouble. We have looked like a rabble whenever he has been on the field. Hopefully he gets the tap soon as well
I’m surprised/worried that he wasn’t the first one to get the tap. They say he’s great at training and one of the fittest in the squad, but that means jack-shiit if he can’t bring it to the big game.
 

Brooke

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2010
Messages
1,018
Why all this talk of Cust at no.9?

No disrespect - I like him as a half, great attitude. And even though it doesn't always pay off, he has a crack and tries stuff - but the modern-day hooker is often a fit-as-fk tackling machine. Matty Ballin set the standard on that front imo. Cust is an able dummy-half, and gets involved in attack plenty.

That isn't his issue, and if we have Schuster & DCE along with Walker in centres and Jrbo/Trbo's playmaking all happening, Cust's main strength is diluted in a wealth of playmaking options.

Defence team-wide was a problem this year - can't deny it.

And Cust is/was targeted as a defensive liability by opposing packs. It just doesn't make sense. If the hooker is not making those tackles, the forwards are - that means they plod back on kick-returns, and poor guys like Garrick are trying to take those early-set hit-ups, and we are 3-4 tackles into a set on our 30 when we finally get a run that has post-contact metres and any offload chance that isn't a wild speculator (going to miss our offloads with AFB gone, will be left to Marty, who everyone knows has an offload or 6 in him).

As a 14 coming on with lethargic forwards, I guess it might work, but the opponent bench rotation would just run fresh boppers at him til he tires - I know I would.

Cust is young, maybe he will fill out and fit that role in time. I just wouldn't want to set him up to fail in that capacity so young.
Paseka has been doing great with his offloads.
 

Briza

Maroon and White - Born and Bred
Joined
Jun 22, 2010
Messages
1,480
Nasie will likely miss the for 2/3rds of the competition, if we don't have an established Hooker we will struggle to stay in the top 8.
 

HoldenV8

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2013
Messages
15,913
As long as levi never pulls on the manly jersey again (no offence intended to him personally of course)
Danny Levi has had his moments in 2020. He has shown glimpses of being a good dummy half, but they have been inconsistent and very much few and far between.

For someone who has reached the highest level of the sport having played 4 tests for New Zealand (all in 2017) and one for Samoa in 2019 ... Levi should be a fair bit better and more consistent than he is. The sad thing is that Lachlan Croker, a converted 5/8, has actually proved to be a smarter dummy half with a lot more awareness about things and where the ball needs to go, but he's also countered that because his execution has been very poor, especially at crucial times.

Levi and Croker have tried hard, not doubting that one bit. Its just been a bit of a disaster in its execution because neither are very good at it.

So as for 2021 with (I think) neither Levi or Croker remaining at Manly, and with Walks apparently staying and the emergence of Schuster, Cade Cust might well be our best bet as a #9 until Fainu is back on the park. Remember that he was a hooker in the juniors and only got moved to the halves when in the U/20s in 2017.
 

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2020 Ladder

Team P W D L PD Pts
1 Panthers 20 18 1 1 299 37
2 Storm 20 16 0 4 258 32
3 Eels 20 15 0 5 104 30
4 Roosters 20 14 0 6 230 28
5 Raiders 20 14 0 6 128 28
6 Rabbitohs 20 12 0 8 169 24
7 Knights 20 11 1 8 47 23
8 Sharks 20 10 0 10 0 20
9 Titans 20 9 0 11 -117 18
10 Warriors 20 8 0 12 -115 16
11 Tigers 20 7 0 13 -65 14
12 Dragons 20 7 0 13 -74 14
13 Sea Eagles 20 7 0 13 -134 14
14 Cowboys 20 5 0 15 -152 10
15 Bulldogs 20 3 0 17 -222 6
16 Broncos 20 3 0 17 -356 6
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