General InLuVaNdLuVinIt


Posted by: InLuVaNdLuVinIt from League Unlimited

Please add or correct anything please.

Gains : Wade McKinnon (Eels, 3 years??), Aiden Kirk (Roosters, 2 years??), Michael Witt (Manly, 1 year. 2nd year option?)

Losses : Awen Guttenbeil (Castleford Tigers), Brent Webb (Leeds), Clinton Toopi (Leeds), Misi Taulapapa (Released mid-season)

Re-Signed: Ruben Wiki (2008), Grant Rovelli (2010), Manu Vatuvei (2009), Sam Rapira (2009), Patrick Ah Van (2009), Epalahame Lauaki (2007, option 2008), Ervarn Tuimavavue (2009), Tony Martin (2007), Simon Mannering (2009)

Off-Contract : George Gatis, George Tuakura and Cooper Vuna

Rumoured Gains: Cooper Vuna and George Tuakura (re-signed), Michael Lett (Roosters)

Rumoured Losses : Cooper Vuna and George Tuakura (Released)


Toopi is no great loss, how many games has he played this season....furthermore, how many of them were good?

Webb is a loss in deed, but McKinnon has been bought as a replacement.

Guttenbeil imo is our big loss. Especially when you consider the 10- year discount we would have had.

Witt, hopefully isnt on too much, but i think could prove to be a handy pickup. Goalkicking ability and NATURAL 5/8th.

Kirk, while i havnt seen the lad play, im glad about his signing. Ives has been spot on picking players from the Roosters. Byrne was our bargain buy of 2005. Rovelli has been THE buy of 2006. Kirk i think will make an impact in 2007 i believe.

McKinnon had an awesome start to the season. Has been statistically one of the if not THE best fullback in the NRL, but we know stats dont tell the full story. Loved his try against the Dragons last season when PJ and Trent were fighting.

Will be Price's final season =(, but hopefully that will draw some inspiration.

Lauaki will hopefully make a succesful return from injury, if he does then he maybe a good 2nd row replacement for Guttenbeil.

Rovelli will continue to improve, with either Witt or an improving Ropo outside him, our halves may surprise some people.


1. Wade McKinnon
2. Patrick Ah Van
3. Jerome Ropati
4. Simon Mannering
5. Manu Vatuvei
6. Michael Witt(gk)
7. Grant Rovelli
8. Ruben Wiki (vc)
9. Nathan Fein
10. Steven Price (c)
11. Michael Luck
12. Wairangi Koopu
13. Sione Faumuina

14. Lance Hohaia
15. Louis Anderson
16. Ervarn Tuimavavue
17. Epalahame Lauaki


18. Tony Martin
19. Aiden Kirk
20. Todd Byrne
21. Sam Rapira
22. Sonny Fai

* Last 3 spots to be determind by Player Movements.

Players i think will make a big impact on our season :

Steven Price - Final season, can his legs last another full season? I expect him to retire from rep footy come season end.

Grant Rovelli - Rising halfback, will he get Tim Smith second year dissappearance?

Manu Vatuvei - will he be his dominant best or will he Toopi pt 2?

Wade McKinnon - Replacing one of our key players, i think our style will suit him...but only time will tell.

Michael Witt - Big call, but should he fit in as our 5/8 could make or break our season


Nathan Fien - If he continues this years form, then next season i think he may sneak into SOO.

Players i think will have a moderate impact :

Ruben Wiki - We've seen indifferent form from him this season. For the Warriors, it would be good if he hung up his black boots but i dont think he will next season. Does he really have 2 more seasons left him in?

Ervarn Tuimavavue - With Price and Wiki pushing along, and with it being Prices final season, i believe we will see Tuimavavue get more and more game time. Next season i think will decide whether he will be a starting prop in '08 or not. Expect a good impact from him.

Patrick Ah Van - One of our young up-comers. Good form may see him compete for a kiwi jersey, i think its too soon personally.

Lance Hohaia - I think we will see more from him next season. I think he will cement a spot in the 17, whether it be at 6 or off the bench.

Simon Mannering - Im expecting him to either keep his centre spot, or be shifted to lock. Shouldn't be dropped unless his form changes.

Sione Faumuina - On and Off player. Can be the one to give us that last play for the win, or make silly mistakes. Crucial to us, his form may play a bigger factor than expected.

Koopu/Luck/Anderson - Hard to split these three. One will come off the bench, other 2 will start. Possibly all three will start. Anderson especially needs to really stand up from now, without Guttenbeil.

Sam Rapira - We will only be seeing more and more of the big fella. Should we have an injury in our props, expect this guy to come off the bench. I actually think we will see quite a bit of him and im looking forward to the prospect.

Epalahame Lauaki - How good will his form be if he doesnt have an injury? Was going well this season before it.

Jerome Ropati - Will he be centre? Will he be 5/8th? Will he be dropped? How cleary will play him will affect us. If he can hold on to the ball, then im hoping he will be a centre.

Players who won't impact us too much....

Todd Byrne - Been injured this season. And now with Ah Van, Vatuvei, Mannering, Ropati and Martin all currently ahead of him, plus Kirk recruited....we may have seen the last of him. A return to 2005 form however, then he may be our surprise package.

Tony Martin - I may be completly wrong on this. It all depends on how Cleary decides to use Ropati, Byrne and Mannering. May play a role in all our 24 regular matches, or may not. I dont know.

Sonny Fai - Not because of the player, but because of the players ahead of him. Havnt seen too much of Fai so i cant really comment.

An the player i think will be our bargain buy....

Aiden Kirk. Havnt seen him play before, but as mentioned before, Cleary seems to be making the good picks from the Roosters PL team.


So, the futures of Gatis, Vuna and Tuakura....we havnt heard anything official so no comment.

Cleary has said that our top squad is just about decided with one or two more spots in the air. We have shown an interest in Lett (Roosters) but since then we have got Witt, so possibly will put Ropo back in the centres, with Byrne focusing on the wing if we cant afford Lett anymore? All 3 Walkers are off-contract, would be cheap but i would not be impressed if we get one, especially for big bucks.

Yeah happy with how things are shaping out, and we look to have quite a good quality side set up for next year!!!!!!!!!!!!

skinny you are right on the button, ivan will pick his team on form.
I thought Rovelli's contract was to 2009 with an option on 2010?
nothing contraversail at all, though I don't see Ropo going back into the centres
The person who wrote all that initially (and no it wasn't me who wrote it. It's by InLuVaNdLuVinIt, and I got permission to post it here) has made some very good points and it'll be interesting to see what the coaching staff come up with next year...and it makes it quite exciting to look forward to as well
I think the halves will suprise a lot of people, Fien is incredibly underestimated, Witt has a fantastic kicking game & Rovelli has started
his carreer slowly so i don't see 2nd year syndrome for him. Next year could be a BIG year for the NZ warriors, i've felt it for a while now.

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