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It depends on your definition of failure. He's clearly a very good player - SL GF and Challenge Cup wins and a Man of Steel more than prove that. But is he an NRL stud? Not quite. And there are a lot of NRL studs, who people like me consider to be the best players in the modern game. The recent lopsided WCC debacle can surely only enhance the already strong notion that being amongst the best players in SL isn't enough to class yourself as truly amongst the world elite in 2015.
Others will argue differently and good luck to them.
All of your posts could essentially be replaced with "I really like the NRL".
I wouldn't challenge anything said in that write up about my Kiwis other than to reinforce what the above post says about Luke ( well spotted Geordie Saint) running the Kiwi forward machine.
I would add to that....Jason Taumalolo will play ahead of Eastwood and or Proctor.
Taumalolo and Tohu Harris will be key mobile running forwards off Luke for the Kiwis.
They will pick a mobile power running pack to play England and Australia...with the exception of Mannering who is our O'loughlin.
Essentially the Kiwis ( and England too I suspect ) will take this opportunity against the green horn Kangaroo forwards.....to play a Rabbitohs like Run over the top of the opposition forward pattern.
George Burgess is England best forward no question.
I rate every other forward available to them highly.....however big George is a one man wrecking ball un rivaled in that capacity by any of the other teams ( Mose Masoe is capable but can he make three test personal in the fashion that George will ? ).
You have the beautiful balance with Chris Hill and if Tom Burgi plays very simple keep possession footy he is one Bugi monster too many.
Having said all of that.....don't underrate NZ's Bromwich, many rate him as the best Prop forward in the NRL in 2014....I'll tell you what.....it is either him or Big George.....so the numbers two and three rated teams in the tournament have the best props no argument.
I like George Burgess a lot, but James Graham was pretty much universally acclaimed as the best prop in the NRL this season. If we had Sammy B as well I think we'd steamroller both you and the Aussies in the forwards.
The NRL has a tv deal almost three times the value of ours, plus sponsorship deals massively dwarfing ours.
Of course they can afford our players.
They will get to the point where we did a few years back and clamour for an overseas ban if they are not careful.
In the meantime, we have more English lads playing top flight RL.
There are pros and cons for the English game. The biggest pro is the potential boost these moves will give to our national team, which may give us a realistic chance of beating the Aussies over a series at some point in the not too distant future. A successful England team, not to mention a more competitive international game, is likely to increase the exposure our game gets and hopefully have a knock-on affect on its popularity.
Cudjoe hasn't been as consistent this season but he's a world class centre (last player to score against Aus too iirc) - as a giants fan I'm glad he's got a rest instead but last years world cup pairing was the best we've seen in an England set up in decades and matched the Aussies every step
Crabtree is immense in the forwards, if he played for another club he'd have won as many caps as Peacock, look at his stats this season and tell me who is genuinely better
But hey, I keep forgetting they are Huddersfield players so they must be ######
Crabtree definitely isn't better than Graham, George Burgess or Chris Hill. I'd say him and Tom Burgess are relatively close at the moment, but given that Tom is 10 years Eorl's junior you take the younger man for development purposes.
I personally don't think we have an hope in hell of winning the tournament without a recognised half back. I just can't believe we haven't got a world class half back to pick for the squad. We have a good set of players no doubt about it but Sam burgess will be a massive loss and playing Tomkins in the halves says it all for me. Hope I'm made to eat my words but I think the kiwis and Aussies will give us a lesson this time and I don't think the games between us and them 2 will even be close.
Tomkins won't play in the halves. Widdop is one of the best halves in the NRL and Smith is a good SL half - so I think we're doing better in that area than we have in recent times.
I think the only area where there's any doubt as to who will start is the second row (and maybe who starts out of Hill and George Burgess at prop). Other than that, Tomkins starts at full back, Hall and Charnley are the wings, Watkins and Shenton the centres, Smith and Widdop in the halves, Graham +1 at prop and Lockers at 13.
Joel Tomkins was pretty good at league, but not amazing or anything. I hope Salford don't spunk a load of cash on him, because he's not the kind of player who's going to make sufficient impact to justify the money. Salford need to be looking at the best young English players currently playing for the smaller clubs.