Tommy Talau

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castle eagle

Bencher
Tipping Member

Rocky

Bencher
RA were reportedly willing to pay the young gun $800,000 per year which has seen Manly this week offer Koula three-year extension until the end of 2027.


obviously, that doesn't mean that he extended with Manly for that amount - but you would think it would be in that ballpark.
 

LeonardCohen

Bencher
Tommy Talau is by far the most improved player this season.

From 1 try in 12 matches and struggling to make 1st grade in 2023 to 11 tries in 11 matches and top of try scorers list.

He has also gone from 88m to 142m per game since joining Manly.
I saw this online. Are you the Strictly Footy podcast creator?
 

Dion Johnson

Bencher
Premium Member
Tipping Member

Simply The Best: It’s taken a few years, but Talau is finally delivering on the hype​


Remember the NRL’s Simply The Best promo in 2020? The advert, which revamped Tina Turner’s iconic rugby league campaigns of the 1980s and 90s, ended up getting scrapped due to a backlash over images of Latrell Mitchell draped in the Indigenous flag.

Wests Tigers fans might recall seeing a baby-faced Tommy Talau sprinting across Leichhardt Oval, as club greats Pat Richards, John Skandalis and Brett Hodgson watched him from the Wayne Pearce Hill, as part of the promotion.

Talau was just 19 and had only played the one NRL game for the Tigers the previous season. The rookie’s presence in the campaign pointed to the level of excitement in the game around Talau at the time.

But seeing Talau in the same commercial as Jake and Tom Trbojevic, Mitchell, Tyson Frizell and Jarrod Croker, also pointed to the perhaps unrealistic expectations on his young shoulders at the time.

It is only now, four years on, and at a new club, Manly, that he is finally living up to the hype.

Talau scored four tries in the Sea Eagles’ 32-22 loss to Penrith last weekend. He has quickly nailed down the left wing spot and his match-up against St George Illawarra’s Zac Lomax will be a standout at a packed 4 Pines Park on Sunday afternoon.

Tommy Talau has settled into life at Manly.

Tommy Talau has settled into life at Manly

Since his move to the northern beaches, he’s avoided injury and is stringing games together. Off the field, he’s loving life and in a relationship with NRLW star Jess Sergis.

“Jess is just an awesome human being; my family are healthy, she’s healthy, so life is good,” Talau told this masthead. “When I first came into first grade, I lacked discipline and it all happened so quickly for me. Looking back, I probably took it for granted. Then I got injured.

I had a rough 2022. I did my right knee and didn’t play at all. I was out for almost 550 days. You’re away from the team, you’re away from the fans, and it’s tough. You never hear about the mental side of the game until you actually deal with it.

“I started to worry I might never reach my potential. You know you’re the only one who can dig yourself out of a hole. I got this tattoo, ‘Thug It Out’, above my knee. It was basically a whatever tattoo. That’s how I was feeling. But my younger self wouldn’t let me quit. I still had goals to achieve.”

Talau credited his dad, Willie - who played 101 games for the Bulldogs, then moved to the Super League where he became a fan favourite at St Helens - with giving him a strong work ethic.

“He was always big on discipline, and our punishment as kids was never chores, but fitness sessions and running at the local park,” Talau said. “Watching his tapes now, he was a fair player. If I grow up to be half the player he was, I’ll be all right.

I’ve told him a few times how much I would have loved to have gone up against him. He was a centre, too. But I’m pretty sure he would have folded me in half.”

Willie had two other sons come through the junior grades, but Tommy was the most passionate about football.

He’d sit and watch games with me when he was younger, but he also moved well, had good hand-eye co-ordination, and competed hard at everything,” Willie said. “If he was in a running race, he’d go in every one of them. He’d want to puke at the end of the 1500m, but he’d always be giving it a good crack.”

Willie chipped his son for walking one day in a junior game in England, only to play for St Helens later in the day, and then hear a high-pitched nine-year-old Tommy yell from the stands during a break in play, ‘Dad, stop walking’

“Dad gave me the ‘stink eye’; I **** myself,” Tommy recalled.
Willie added: “I turned around and the crowd burst into laughter. I guess it was funny. We still laugh about that now.”
Willie, 48, works in the pathways at St George Illawarra and will be at 4 Pines Park on Sunday. He coached the club’s SG Ball team to title success this year, their first in that age group since 1992.
When Willie presented Tommy his jersey before his first NRL game for Manly, he told him, “I wish you and your teammates all the best for the season, just not when you play the Dragons.”

“And nothing will change on Sunday,” Willie said this week.

One of the few regrets Tommy has was not reaching his full potential at the Tigers. Like another former Tiger, Luke Brooks, Talau has flourished at Manly surrounded by a group of strong senior players like Daly Cherry-Evans and the Trbojevic brothers.
Talau can still remember his NRL debut in 2019 at Brookvale when Tom Trbojevic “run amok and had five tackle breaks against me”.
“I wasn’t at my best at the Tigers, I’m not happy about that, but I’ll always be grateful they gave me my first opportunity to play first grade,” Talau said.

“The players around me at this club have been massive. I know I’m not a reserve grader. I know I’m not a fringe player. I want to be one of the best in the competition in the position I play. I’ve represented Samoa. I want to represent NSW. I just want to be consistent.”
Who knows, in another few years, Talau might feature in another NRL commercial.
 

Phobia

Reserve Grader
I have a feeling we'll be having to choose between him and Hopoate in the near future. If Turbo, Saab, Koula and Garrick are already locked in, then it's between those two. I would not want to be making that decision...

But given Turbo's injury track record I don't think it's an issue for now.
 

eaglebuzz

First Grader
I have a feeling we'll be having to choose between him and Hopoate in the near future. If Turbo, Saab, Koula and Garrick are already locked in, then it's between those two. I would not want to be making that decision...

But given Turbo's injury track record I don't think it's an issue for now.
It will all come down to cash. It would be nice to have 6 very good backs competing for 5 spots. Hopefully we get to keep them all for long enough to have some serious tilts at the premiership
 

Nordburg

First Grader
I noticed Talau basically "earnt" us two early penalties versus the Knights. Two strong ball carries off our line and attempting a quick play the ball, had the Knights pinged twice.

This probably got lost in the flogging but was crucial in giving Manly early momentum.

Well done Talau
He was great again yesterday,but I have noticed in the few games he’s played in the centres at Manly,that the winger outside him has been left standing out in the cold on a few occasions
 

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