Player Bunty Afoa

jonesy101

1st Grade Fringe
Aug 28, 2016
1,107
Don't mind Afoa committing to seeing out his contract. Has only just turned 24 so still young and probably still to reach his ceiling in first grade. Not sure what the reason was for his being relegated to reserve grade last year as he was going ok I thought. Will be keen to see how he goes under a new coach and have absolutely no problems with him wanting to earn his spot back. Could be the making of him.
 

Sup42

Warriors 1st Grader
May 7, 2012
22,761
Buntys an excellent player. Might not have bells and whistles, but he runs harder in every game that anyone else we have had for a while.

Hard to know what is going on though, we only ever see half of the picture, none of us know what happens during the other six days of the week.

In a way it is a healthy sign if you can afford to let good players go. The Forwards are going well.

Could it be we are going to spend large elsewhere?
 

snake77

Warriors 1st Grader
Jul 12, 2013
9,941
Auckland
I don't have a problem with him staying to see out his contract. At least we know he will be motivated.

If he trains the house down, performs in the trials or if he performs if given an opportunity hopefully the club rewards him. Coaching staff need to keep an open mind especially if he is out perfoming their more favoured guys.
 

6Again

1st Grade Fringe
Jul 1, 2020
1,014
If you tell a player he’s not in your plans for the future it indicates A: you have a plan, B: There’s a player you have your eye on to fill his spot on the roster.

I don’t mind Bunty either, love his intent with ball in hand. Just hope it’s not at the expense of what recruitment are trying to achieve, for which they deserve a pass mark in recent times.
 

Stone

1st Grade Fringe
May 19, 2012
1,267
Auckland
I've always loved the way Bunty carries the ball.

I'm old skool so here's what I want from at least one of my front rowers, I want him to look the opposing D line dead in the eye, secure the pill under an arm, (holding the ball out in front with two hands is surplus to requirement for this) run as hard & straight as he possibly can & say to that opposing D line in no uncertain terms ... I'm coming at you's like this all day ... stop me if you can ... because if not ... I'm going straight through all you mofos.

That attitude & style of play has multiple benefits, it keeps the opposition D line honest, it forces them to fully commit multiple defenders to one attacker, which obviously automatically creates space for others, it can also cause a wee bit of doubt & or anxiety in the opposition ... eg: fark me ... not this guy again ... he just keeps coming & coming ... i better bar up here up or he's gonna roll me.

The Beast had that exact same quality too, many players over the years have labeled Manu as the player they'd least want to tackle one on one. And for very good reason.

But more importantly, one balls to the wall take no prisoners hit up can lift the entire team, just like a good hit on D, if not better.

I can remember multiple times when Bunty did one of his trade mark rip it straight up the guts specials, next thing you know everyone is taking the ball up at a 100 miles an hour, even Adam Blair lol.

As for his defense, ball skills, footwork etc etc, Afoa's only 24yo ffs, in front rower terms he's barely hit puberty, and all those skills are easily (if you have good coaches) taught & learnt over time.

But here's what can't be taught, having the legit adamantium cajones to take on the teeth of an NRL 1st grade defensive line in that balls to the wall fashion over & over & over again, especially being that Afoa is legitimately undersized for a prop.

Bunty definitely isn't a giant NAS or a Haas freak type athlete. And he never will be.

But to me, Bunty encompasses that old but still very pertinent adage ... it ain't about the size of the dog in the fight ... it's about the size of fight in the dog ... Jazz has this quality as well, he just uses it in a different but still very effective way.

And anyone who has actually played and or coached the game to a relatively high level will tell you, almost to a man, that those kind of punch above their weight totally committed type players are worth their weight in gold to any footy team.

From my perspective Bunty Afoa was & still is a genuine shining light for our junior development program, so in that sense I really can't see the logic in this stance the Warriors are taking with him ATM.

There may be other factors involved which we are not privy to, but from a purely on field impact perspective, Bunty's a legit keeper & one who will only get better in my book.

I also have to applaud the mature & professional way he is handling this situation, many other much more experienced NRL players would have well & truly spat the dummy if they were in a similar situation, but thus far Bunty has shown IMO that he has a professional attitude, a level head & a good dose of maturity & class about him.

I hope he proves the clubs lack of faith in him to be misguided & earns not only a new contract but also an upgrade in the not too distant future, because IMO he was the most effective & intimidating go forward prop we had in 2018.

And I struggle to see how his game has gone so far backwards, in such a relatively short space of time, that he couldn't achieve that kind of consistent impact & form again, if not even more so.
 
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Swanley

Warriors 1st Grader
Apr 13, 2012
3,055
Tonbridge, Kent, UK
I feel like people have forgotten how good Bunty was in 2018 before he ran afoul of super coach and dropped off the face of the planet. He's a handy player that I feel will give us good value if he's able to crack the bench.
Hard to forget someone who runs hard and straight EVERY TIME.....he's the perfect bench player, comes after 30 minutes and the oppo will be saying oh no, here comes Bunty...

Unless he's a dick off the field, it's hard to fathom he's not wanted...
 
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Fearmuss

1st Grade Fringe
Mar 4, 2016
1,916
Lol why would a player recovering from injury look somewhere else?

Nice try by the club I guess...
 

Defence

Warriors 1st Grader
May 9, 2012
6,247
I’d like to see him play more minutes with lodge and/ or Addin Fonua-Blake because they both have a wee tip on in their game.
U get one of them going to the line with bunty on their shoulder and that would have the defense in two minds- could be hard to stop.
Plus that negates the hole we fall into when both Addin Fonua-Blake and lodge are pulled from the field at the same time- that wasn’t working.
 

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