1st Grade Fringe
Apr 26, 2012
At the dogs - yeah completely stacked side (I mean they had Asotasi, SBW and JT on the bench)... but the Cowboys 2005 side wasn't that stacked... A lot of experience and a few journeymen (decent props - but lacking a bit in other areas IMO).

I'd love to be wrong, and I hope I am, but right now I'd say we'll be lucky if Shaun Johnson deserves to win a Dally M (let alone actually manage to win one given the inherent bias towards Australian players in the judging)...

Johnson has it over Thurston in all aspects aspects of the game skill wise, he's just a freak of an athlete, but where Shaun Johnson is an athletic freak, Thurston is a competitive freak with a very good skill set to back it up...Thurstons absolute will to win is unparalleled in the game.
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Warriors 1st Grader
May 18, 2012
It was better than average - was it a superstar team? Tough one for me.

Looking at it through memories...

Bowen - x factor player - no doubt
Sing/Williams - both great finishers, and both did play rep footy, but neither rated as genuine superstars
Bowman/Hannay - really really really solid centres who did the basics well, really strong defensively - neither superstars
Smith at five eighth - journeyman - no real x-factor
Thurston - rookie half in his first year starting in first grade
Rauhihi/Tronc - solid, if not exceptional. Rauhihi was 32 at the time of the grand final, past his rampaging best.
Payne - agree. Very under-rated.
Southern, O'Donnell, Norton - couple of good journeymen, and O'Donnell at his best (approx).

That's why I was saying the side wasn't that stacked. Great blend of youth and experience, but reality was they had 2 superstars in Bowen and JT (and even then he was still in the making), a great hooker in Payne, and reliable players everywhere else... On paper it doesn't compare to that dogs side of 2004 :)

There definitely is a tried and proven recipe for success in the NRL/Winfield.
It seems management have been going through the old cook books and realising we have been using the incorrect ingredients that have produced the pooh like taste and smell everyone around here has been trying to get rid of.:D

Maturity has been an undervalued commodity and how that is applied through nurturing for the benefit of the young lads at the Club can never have been more evident than this year and 2012 in particular.

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