Pick your team (end of season)

40 nil

It's only a game ...
I agree with most the teams posted here. But in my opinion, if we are talking full strength team, I don't think we can carry Weekes in the 17 long term. Before you all freak out, hear me out.

Let's look at it practically, the only possible available position he can maybe take in our strongest starting side is wing. But it doesn't work out, he hasn't trained on the wing, never played on the wing, will be risky to have him there defensively in big games. Add to the fact it means we have to push Garrick into the centres and Parker out the 17, I really doubt we will see this happen. Garrick is a world class winger now and should really not move from that position, and Parker is just one of those players you can't see being dropped now.

And then Kaeo's position in the 14 is clouded, because I believe if we want to become a premiership level team we need a high calibre 9, therefore Gordon Chan Kum Tong at MINIMUM has to be 14 by the end of year. He's our long term plan for 9, he's our missing piece to the premiership puzzle, we know he's ready, he has to be there. Therefore, we cannot carry both GCKT and Weekes on the bench, it's too light, and GCKT also probably won't be a full 80 minute hooker by then so can't move Croker out the team for Weekes.

It's a sticky situation, but if we are talking our strongest 17 by the end of the year, I really don't think it's practical for us long term that Weekes will be there.
In the past, naturally gifted footballers could easily play wing, even if it wasn't their preferred position. Garrick is a good example of this. He made a great transition from centre to wing when he came to Manly.

When reference to Weekes, a smaller framed fullback named Slater played in the centres in his early Storm games and played on the wing in his first three games for QLD. High balls & wing positional play will be no problem for Weekes - he is a very talented footballer. If he copes defensively, he will be a much more dangerous attacking proposition than Tuipulotu.

Until Garrick has the opportunity to play a couple of games at centre, we won't know his true defensive capabilities in that position. If his defensive work in the centres is solid, then his superior attack would make it a no brainer to select him ahead of Parker (providing there are good wingers on both sides of the field).

Of course, Chan Kum Tong is needed as an impact dummy half. There won't be a clash for this position if Weekes is in the thirteen. As I posted elsewhere, I think Weekes is one of the seven most talented backs in our squad, and on this basis should be in the starting side each week.

Last week we got a taste of Schuster's potential for attacking genius at five eighth. At this early stage of his career, I think it would be counterproductive to move him back to the forwards as this would increase his defensive workload & likely dull his attacking edge.

Edit: Koula & Weekes have played a lot of junior football together, so pairing them together on the same side of the field would hopefully result in good defensive & attacking combinations.
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There's a couple of sticking points and they are part of the good bloke club and honest toiler brigade though honest toiler still means they are incredible athletes in this day and age, and that's Parker and Croker.

Realistically to be the best that sentimentality has to give way this year and GKCT should phase in for Croker throughout the year and someone for Parker naturally with time and injury.

I don't mind Garrick at centre but I haven't seen proof he fits there yet and evidence of a better winger at the club isnt jumping out at us at the moment. Weekes offers halves and outside back cover, Shuster halves and back row which allows Condon Burbo Bullemore Sipley Aloia Keppie and Paseka Jurbo in the middles Tuilagi Lawton Burbo Olokauatu Condon on the edges, then there's the untested in first grade who might get a go in the forwards.

Team will sort itself out but I don't think it will look too much different to how it does now, I think Weekes will get sharper and if Croker and Parker could be pensioned off to England next year it would make everyone a bit more comfortable, they've given the club great service but their future is limited in first grade after this year at Manly with Myers and GOrdon coming through.


Grizzly old fart
Really like this side because it sneaks Weekes into the starting team!

Potentially swap Bullemor in for Keppie?

Good side but I'd have Weekes at centre, Garrick on the wing. I'd also be wary of leaving Burbo out of the side. He will improve this year, I can see it happening.


Unfortunately I think you might be right. But I’d hate to lose Weekes to another club, he’s a genuine first grader at fullback or 5/8.
I see him in a similar position to Jayden Campbell at the Titans.
Where do they play him?
Not really big/robust enough to be a first choice hooker back up.
Can't really command a starting centre or wing spot either.
They subbed Foz to get him on last week, can they afford to do that each week? I doubt it.

Siebs started with Johns when Schu was out in RD 1 so he currently sees Weekes as a utility over being a fill in 5/8.

manly al

First Grader
Would have to expect at some stage this season that a 9 combo of Croker and G K C T may be the best way to go but then the delicate matter of how to accommodate Weekes . Not only to utilize his talent of course but to give him the incentive to stay on longer term . Tailagi goes O K but consistently for a full 80 looks like still a bit of a challenge for him . Weekes and Burbo , both very deserving to be in a game day 17 . Saab to add that bit of an X factor if can hopefully resume his good improvement just prior to his unfortunate injury .

manly al

First Grader
Ben T will end up a front rower eventually he is big enough and he won't go anywhere else.
Can "t see him as a 13 though and still young in footy terms playing in the pack . Looks like edge or utility in the short term , Certainly a big enough body if a prop role ever came into consideration , would say it would be quite a way off yet if again it ever did become an option .


Grizzly old fart
Can "t see him as a 13 though and still young in footy terms playing in the pack . Looks like edge or utility in the short term , Certainly a big enough body if a prop role ever came into consideration , would say it would be quite a way off yet if again it ever did become an option .

I see him as a lock. Tall, lean, quite fast, good defender and would hang loose for a Schuster special. Mind you I also think Parker would make a top lock as well.

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