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Titans playmaker Ashley Taylor has been compared to a modern day Ricky Stuart

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by wombatgc, Jun 18, 2016.

  1. wombatgc

    wombatgc Well-Known Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +4,511 /73
    PETER BADEL, The Sunday Mail (Qld)

    THE talent-spotter who trumped Manly in the battle for Ashley Taylor has labelled the Titans playmaker the modern version of Test halfback Ricky Stuart.

    Former Gold Coast recruitment chief Jamie Mathiou says he never doubted Taylor could fire as their Plan B purchase after Daly Cherry-Evans reneged on his $4 million Titans deal.

    Taylor has an intriguing narrative with the Manly club he faces on Monday night at Cbus Super Stadium.

    When Cherry-Evans opted to stay at Manly, the Sea Eagles tried to lure Taylor to Brookvale as his scrum base partner after Kieran Foran left for Parramatta.

    At one stage, Manly believed they had their man, but Mathiou won the fight for Taylor, delivering him to the Titans with a two-year package worth $430,000.

    To some, it was an exorbitant offer for a kid from Toowoomba who had played one NRL game at the Broncos.

    Having tracked Taylor since his teens, Mathiou saw unlimited potential in a halfback he believed had similar skills to Stuart, the Canberra, NSW and Australian halfback.

    “Ash reminds me a lot of Ricky Stuart,’’ Mathiou said. “He has a long way to go to match Ricky’s record, but Stuart had an outstanding passing and kicking game and Ashley has the same qualities.

    “If anything, he has a bit more zip than Ricky when he runs the ball.’’

    Taylor has been a bargain, posting four tries and eight try assists in 13 games. Now he is a bona fide match-winner, thumping an extra-time field goal to sink Souths 29-28 a fortnight ago.

    “When we lost Daly Cherry-Evans, we had a bit of money to play with and I decided we had to get the best young halfback going around. That was Ashley,” Mathiou said.

    “He was the Junior Kangaroos halfback so he had the pedigree and we felt it was time to invest in young kids who we could build the club around.

    “I had watched Ashley since he was a 15-year-old so it wasn’t the risky buy others thought it may have been.

    “The Broncos deserve a lot of credit for letting Ashley go. Anthony Milford and Ben Hunt are going to be there for another 10 years so if Ash went back and played Queensland Cup for two or three years, that wouldn’t have helped his development.’’
    Taylor is a football tragic who studies the nuances of the NRL’s best playmakers.

    “I watch every NRL game, it’s in my blood,” he said. “Every chance I get I’m watching other halves. Luke Brooks is good young half and he’s just one example.’’
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