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UTK

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  1. I think it's moreso a necessity, no doubt Mal is sweating their fitness but at the same time if Mal turned around and told Latrell/Addo-Carr that they weren't allowed to play I'd imagine his relationship with Indigenous players in the squad would suffer quite considerably.
  2. The Koori KO is a fairly significant event here and it returns after a 3 year hiatus due to Covid so I don't think anyone would be able to convince the Indigenous players to not play in it. Josh Addo-Carr is playing as well, it's a pretty interesting competition because you've got 2nd grade local pub league players lining up against current Kangaroos and plenty of NRL players, highly entertaining stuff.
  3. Interesting lineup, Miloudi at fullback, PJ Lima obviously has replaced Vincent Albert in the squad.
  4. Every prodigy junior outside back that comes through the grades plays fullback in juniors - at least in Australia, I can't speak for elsewhere. They get forced into fullback because that is the most involved position from 1-5 and at a junior level you want your best players as involved as they can be. A short list of some current first-graders who played fullback in the junior ranks: Bradman Best, Zac Lomax, Nick Cotric, Stephen Crichton, David Nofoaluma, Alex Johnston. A junior career at fullback means nothing for a players actual position, especially a player as dominant as Sua'ali'i is at such a young age.
  5. Sua'ali'i doesn't have any of the skills to play fullback currently, he was only a fullback through juniors because he was too good to leave in the outside backs. Not even a hint of ballplaying outside of an offload once tackled - that worked in juniors because he was 6'5 and the other kids weren't 6' yet but this got exposed pretty badly during that finals game. It's okay for him to play fullback but Samoa just need to realise he's a superstar outside back playing fullback, effectively an extra roaming centre and adjust the gameplan accordingly. If they attempt to play him like a traditional fullback that's where things will come unstuck, play will breakdown once the ball gets to him and it'll cut off access to the rest of their superstar outside backs.
  6. Italy have followed suit with other countries in carrying a selection of domestic players into the RLWC: Daniel Atkinson (Sunshine Coast Falcons), Nathan Brown (Parramatta Eels), Joseph Tramontana (Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles), Cooper Johns (Melbourne Storm), Ryan King (Whitehaven), Jake Maizen (Sunshine Coast Falcons), Luca Moretti (Parramatta Eels), Luke Polselli (Sunshine Coast Falcons), Jack Campagnolo (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Alec Susino (Penrith Panthers), Luke Hodge (Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles), Kyle Pickering (Cronulla Sharks), Jack Colovatti (Parramatta Eels), Ethan Natoli (Newtown Jets), Rinaldo Palumbo (London Broncos), Nicholas Tilburg (Wentworthville), Giole Celerino (Racing St Gaudens), Simone Boscolo (RC Salon XIII), Giordano Arena (Catania Bulls), Ippolito Occhialini (Lignano Sharks), Alex Rojatto (Lignano Sharks), Dean Parata (London Broncos), Brendan Santi (Keighley Cougars), Anton Iaria (Barrow Raiders), Richard Lepori (Swinton Lions)
  7. Johnston isn't even eligible for Australia at the WC but it does not surprise me that Buzz isn't aware of that.
  8. Kikau's stats to compare with those above: 9 Tries 10 Try Assists 15 Line Break Assists 8 Line Breaks 44 Offloads IPap is a quality workhorse whereas Kikau is more pick your moments and deliver game changing plays player, hence why IPaps run metres/tackles etc leave Kikau for dead while Kikau's try involvements/LBAs/offloads leaves IPap for dead. Different types of players and IMO the best 2 edges in the world but someone had to make way for Nanai's season-long imitation of a winger playing second row. Wouldn't even consider is a robbery let alone the biggest one in RL history, unfortunate for him that the other two have had phenomenal seasons in their own right and contribute more to plays that win you Dally M points.
  9. Wouldn't be surprised if he lines up in Green and Gold.
  10. He played in the Group 6 competition with Thirlmere Roosters for a while before heading to Leigh.
  11. Tevita Pangai Junior is supposedly the latest player to pull out of the WC with Tonga, an immense shame because he was a big part of the side that beat Australia but they have more than enough depth in his positions.
  12. It wasn't intended to take away from that result, GB never looked like the best team in any of the games on that tour and PNG was the ultimate culmination of that. But the 2022 edition of England isn't going to be comparable to that at all, Lomax is the only possible remainder from that backline. Also have to have a laugh at Hughes, Austin and Connor at centre being "among the best players in SL", Bennett lost the plot entirely - hopefully Wane doesn't do the same. On the initial point re the forward pack, I don't understand calls to pick Hill now that Walmsley is out. He's rarely offered anything at International level and despite a resurgence in club form I can't see him translating that to Internationals at 34.
  13. As a slight correction it was Philbin and Williams on the bench instead of Jones and Clark. What I feel is often lost behind the infamous Austin on the wing saga was the rest of that backline: Jonny Lomax Jermaine McGillvary Jack Hughes Jake Connor Blake Austin Gareth Widdop Jackson Hastings That is absolutely dire and Jerry was the only one worth anything on the tour (as was often the case but nonetheless), if anyone suggest Jackson Hastings for the England squad simply link them the full replay of this game that is available on NRL.com.
  14. I'm fairly confident Nofoaluma must've ruled himself out, there's no chance Matt Feagai gets picked over him if they're both fit. Afoa is a bit of a shame because he has been a rather consistent figure for them but I can't say he's a better player than any that have been selected. Lino I think is a selection mistake from them but he's only played 3 games for Samoa before, May (1), CHT (2) and Milf (8) are all basically as much a fixture of the Samoan setup as Lino.
  15. They've picked plenty of halves/utilities as is but it looks like they've chosen CHT over Lino. Nofo must have ruled himself out too.
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