Murdoch-Masila signed from 2021
Richard Becht & Photosport.nz
Mon 9 Mar 2020, 07:59 AM
BMM1.JPG

The Vodafone Warriors have beaten rival clubs to snare powerhouse Tonga international Ben Murdoch-Masila on a three-year contract from the 2021 NRL season.

The 29-year-old Aucklander will return home from England where he is in the final season of his three-year Super League deal with the Warrington Wolves.

The destructive Murdoch-Masila was exceptional in Tonga’s historic 16-12 victory over the Kangaroos in last year’s Oceania Cup Test at Eden Park and, in the last two seasons, has made back-to-back appearances in the Challenge Cup final as well as playing in the 2018 Super League grand final.

“Ben is right up among the best forwards in the game right now and he had plenty of clubs trying to sign him,” said Vodafone Warriors recruitment manager Peter O’Sullivan.

“It’s a huge signing for us, one we couldn’t be happier with.

“Ben always had enormous potential and has now matured into a total professional. He’ll be a real asset to have back in the NRL.”

Murdoch-Masila is a product of the Wests Tigers club’s rugby league nursery Keebra Park State High School.

An Otahuhu junior, he made his NRL debut with the Tigers in 2010 and went on to play 52 NRL games for the club before moving to Penrith. A two-year stint there produced only six games before he left to join the Super League.

There he made an instant impact with the Salford Red Devils scoring 22 tries in 60 matches across the 2016 and 2017 seasons before joining Warrington in 2018. He scored a try in Warrington’s 2018 Challenge Cup final loss to Les Catalans and also scored in their win over St Helens last year.

Murdoch-Masila said returning to the NRL had always been a possibility.

"I've always left the door open for the opportunity of an NRL comeback," he said on Warrington's website.

"My daughter has spent her life here and all she knows is the Wire (Warrington Wolves). When this opportunity came around I couldn't say no to taking her home to meet mine and Roxy's families.

"I want to thank all at the club for what they have done for not only me but for my wife and daughter too. They've gone above and beyond for us and after a tough first two seasons for me, and a not so good start, I will do whatever it takes to help repay what the Wire has done for me and do my best for the remainder of the year. To be remembered as the Tongan beast."

Murdoch-Masila started the 2020 Super League season memorably when he ran over Wigan’s George Burgess to score a try.

After making his Test debut for Tonga in 2013, Murdoch-Masila was a standout as he helped the island nation to the 2017 Rugby League World Cup semi-finals, scoring a try in the shock win over the Kiwis in Hamilton in the pool stages.

BEN MURDOCH-MASILA
Date of Birth: February 7, 1991
Birthplace: Auckland, NZ
Junior Club: Otahuhu Leopards (Auckland)
Position: Second Row/Prop
Height: 186cm
Weight: 114kg
Previous Clubs: Wests Tigers (2010-2013), Penrith Panthers (2014-2015), Salford Red Devils (2016-2017), Warrington Wolves (2018-2020)
Rep Honours: 9 Tests for Tonga (2013-2019), Junior Kiwis (2011)
NRL Debut: Wests Tigers v Sydney Roosters, Sydney Football Stadium (finals), September 11, 2010
NRL Career: 58 appearances (2010-2015)
Wests Tigers: 52 appearances (2010-2013)
Penrith Panthers: 6 appearances (2014)

NRL Points: 28 (7 tries)

Super League Career: 120 (2016-2020)
Salford Red Devils: 60 appearances (2016-2017)
Warrington Wolves: 60 appearances (2018-2020)
Super League Points: 164 (41 tries)

 

AlexM

1st Grade Fringe
Feb 19, 2017
1,618
I think I’d use him:
- In yardage from a dead ball start, as hit up #2 or 3
- In yardage from a live ball start (ie kick return), as the hit up before the kick as you suggest
- In good ball, running an inside line off the halfback back to the middle of the ruck
Off the back of Ken or AFB
 
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Swanley

1st Grade Fringe
Apr 13, 2012
2,733
Tonbridge, Kent, UK
Good question. Ken and Fus will be 1&2. I think he would be a good option on play 5 to create momentum before the kick.
I'd be disappointed if in the oppo 20 the first two were Ken and fus, meaning 1 if not 2 wingers are out of position.

BMM needs to be 2 or 3.
Agreed. The question though was coming out of our 20m zone
Ahhh misread... True then, he needs to be 3 or 4, if he can get back that quickly!
 
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Sup42

Warriors 1st Grader
May 7, 2012
17,333
Let me ask this - if you were constructing a set coming out of your 20m zone, would you want BMM taking the ball up on tackle 1,2,3 or 4?
It is a great question with lots of variables.

In the video the vast majority, approaching ninety percent of the time where he is an effective runner, it is in the oppositions half.

That may be down to how he is being used, but I doubt that is the whole answer.

More likely they have worked out that his strength is in the late tackles or when he gets white line fever in the opponents half.

He is no Mr Effective, i.e. he is strong, but he is not bowling people left right and centre on tackle one.

He runs like a back, and we have backs that run like forwards.

I would suggest they stick to his strengths and use him late, with the proviso that he should take a dummy half run at any part of the field if the markers and A and B defenders aren't set.

So add that to his game rather than try to pre-set him into the kind of pattern that is more beneficial for forwards who run in a straight line.

I am more impressed by his tackling technique, the upper body throw to back slam runners.

That is a skill that is directly transferable between comps.

But yeah, on the running game, especially when Katoa is on the field, let this guy have free license, Katoa is a better structured hole runner....which should free this guy up to go bursting whenever sees the chance to wreak some havoc.

I partly base this off his running stats which I am too lazy to look up, but he is no solid grinder. Use what he has and let the rest build the platform.
 

Fonzie

1st Grade Fringe
Apr 22, 2018
588
It is a great question with lots of variables.

In the video the vast majority, approaching ninety percent of the time where he is an effective runner, it is in the oppositions half.

That may be down to how he is being used, but I doubt that is the whole answer.

More likely they have worked out that his strength is in the late tackles or when he gets white line fever in the opponents half.

He is no Mr Effective, i.e. he is strong, but he is not bowling people left right and centre on tackle one.

He runs like a back, and we have backs that run like forwards.

I would suggest they stick to his strengths and use him late, with the proviso that he should take a dummy half run at any part of the field if the markers and A and B defenders aren't set.

So add that to his game rather than try to pre-set him into the kind of pattern that is more beneficial for forwards who run in a straight line.

I am more impressed by his tackling technique, the upper body throw to back slam runners.

That is a skill that is directly transferable between comps.

But yeah, on the running game, especially when Katoa is on the field, let this guy have free license, Katoa is a better structured hole runner....which should free this guy up to go bursting whenever sees the chance to wreak some havoc.

I partly base this off his running stats which I am too lazy to look up, but he is no
It is a great question with lots of variables.

In the video the vast majority, approaching ninety percent of the time where he is an effective runner, it is in the oppositions half.

That may be down to how he is being used, but I doubt that is the whole answer.

More likely they have worked out that his strength is in the late tackles or when he gets white line fever in the opponents half.

He is no Mr Effective, i.e. he is strong, but he is not bowling people left right and centre on tackle one.

He runs like a back, and we have backs that run like forwards.

I would suggest they stick to his strengths and use him late, with the proviso that he should take a dummy half run at any part of the field if the markers and A and B defenders aren't set.

So add that to his game rather than try to pre-set him into the kind of pattern that is more beneficial for forwards who run in a straight line.

I am more impressed by his tackling technique, the upper body throw to back slam runners.

That is a skill that is directly transferable between comps.

But yeah, on the running game, especially when Katoa is on the field, let this guy have free license, Katoa is a better structured hole runner....which should free this guy up to go bursting whenever sees the chance to wreak some havoc.

I partly base this off his running stats which I am too lazy to look up, but he is no solid grinder. Use what he has and let the rest build the platform.
So would you play him at lock? If so, how would you rotate him with Jazz/Tohu?
 

Sammyw11

1st Grade Fringe
Mar 8, 2016
170
So he takes Murchie/Katoa spot? Or would you rotate him and Murchie?
playing 80m consecutively took its toll on katoa physically. i think using BMM anywhere other than on an edge is a total waste. doesnt have the ticker to play as a middle, negates his impact. have him running wide would be a nightmare. murchie is good but hes not a certain starter every week, tohu can always move to 13 and throw BMM on an edge.
 

TheCool

1st Grade Fringe
Jul 18, 2013
1,123
playing 80m consecutively took its toll on katoa physically. i think using BMM anywhere other than on an edge is a total waste. doesnt have the ticker to play as a middle, negates his impact. have him running wide would be a nightmare. murchie is good but hes not a certain starter every week, tohu can always move to 13 and throw BMM on an edge.
It’s still Murchie’s spot to lose in my opinion. BMM would have to outplay him and not the other way around. Good competition for places.

I think ideally we have Katoa and Muchie in the starting second row with Tohu at lock and BMM coming off the bench to sub at lock or second row depending on the match up.
 

Fonzie

1st Grade Fringe
Apr 22, 2018
588
It’s still Murchie’s spot to lose in my opinion. BMM would have to outplay him and not the other way around. Good competition for places.

I think ideally we have Katoa and Muchie in the starting second row with Tohu at lock and BMM coming off the bench to sub at lock or second row depending on the match up.
With Jazz left right out?
 
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TheCool

1st Grade Fringe
Jul 18, 2013
1,123
With Jazz left right out?
For me, it’s probably Evans that gets left out.

Bench of Lawton, BMM, JTB and Jazz.

JTB showed more than Evans this year. BMM and Tohu can share minutes as the fourth prop in the rotation.

Suits the style of play with the 6 again rules. Teams will start to carry less props on their bench.

AFB and LAM as starting props.
 

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Jun 21, 2012
22,485
Mt. Wellington, Auckland
It’s still Murchie’s spot to lose in my opinion. BMM would have to outplay him and not the other way around. Good competition for places.
No way Murchie is ahead of BMM. Wishful thinking. By the end of BMM contract maybe but right now they aren't even on the same level. Murchie and Katoa are developing. BMM has come here with a lot of fanfare because he's the real deal end product...
 

TheCool

1st Grade Fringe
Jul 18, 2013
1,123
No way Murchie is ahead of BMM. Wishful thinking. By the end of BMM contract maybe but right now they aren't even on the same level. Murchie and Katoa are developing. BMM has come here with a lot of fanfare because he's the real deal end product...
I mean I wouldn't call him the 'real deal' by NRL standards. He had a good game against Australia, which is where the majority of the hype on this forum has come from. Other than that, he's barely fired in the super league (a massively inferior competition). He hasn't made the super league team of the year since 2017. For someone that is the real deal, you would think he would be in the Man of Steel discussion, which I don't think he ever has.

Just my opinion, but chuck Murchie in the super league and he would produce better results than BMM, especially at the rate he is developing. BMM does have one hell of a highlights package though.
 

Sup42

Warriors 1st Grader
May 7, 2012
17,333
So would you play him at lock? If so, how would you rotate him with Jazz/Tohu?
Thanks for the question and this will be a reply that you dont read to often around here....

I have not followed the team closely enough this past season to give an informed opinion.

I liked Gizzyfans answer though, using him wide.
 
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AlexM

1st Grade Fringe
Feb 19, 2017
1,618
For me, it’s probably Evans that gets left out.

Bench of Lawton, BMM, JTB and Jazz.

JTB showed more than Evans this year. BMM and Tohu can share minutes as the fourth prop in the rotation.

Suits the style of play with the 6 again rules. Teams will start to carry less props on their bench.

AFB and LAM as starting props.
Not sure they will leave Evans out , as why sign him for depth?
It's Really Jazz or Lawton that misses out I think.
Im not sure you carry both on the bench.
They Both defend well in the middle both can cover 9 and 13.
Lawton adds a bit more in terms of injury cover whilst I think jazz is the better forward in terms of metres and stuff. But we have AFB and BMM and Evans to add that now.
Both are off contract end of this season so will be interesting to see how the club goes.
And I think LAM is better of the bench imo. Keeps the momentum going but isn't really aggressive enough to start and set the tone as it were.
Agree with the less props though , or faster more mobile props being a developing trend.
 
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TheCool

1st Grade Fringe
Jul 18, 2013
1,123
Not sure they will leave Evans out , as why sign him for depth?
It's Really Jazz or Lawton that misses out I think.
Im not sure you carry both on the bench.
They Both defend well in the middle both can cover 9 and 13.
Lawton adds a bit more in terms of injury cover whilst I think jazz is the better forward in terms of metres and stuff. But we have AFB and BMM and Evans to add that now.
Both are off contract end of this season so will be interesting to see how the club goes.
And I think LAM is better of the bench imo. Keeps the momentum going but isn't really aggressive enough to start and set the tone as it were.
Agree with the less props though , or faster more mobile props being a developing trend.
Jazz can’t cover 9. If you’re confident in Egan playing a full 80 then fair enough.

But I do think it will be Jazz vs Evans for the last bench spot. I think they will make a decision based on the match up. If they’re playing a bigger forward back they might go Evans or if it’s a faster track then they probably go with Jazz. But given the trend of faster games then I think Jazz in small minutes off the bench is the better option

Evans was only a two year signing, it’s probably more likely that he was signed for depth and to create competition for spots.

And agree with LAM but don’t think it will happen till later in the season. I think AFB and JTB will be starting together by season end.
 
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