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ForTheLoveOfGod

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Leicester Faaainganuku was signed by the Parramatta Eels but pulled out similarly to Etene Nanai. 18 year olds are highly unpredictable at 18 Tui Lolohea was way superior to David Fusitua in yet David Fusitua is the better player now. Just look out at Nic Cotric 16 tries while Kalyn Ponga couldn't establish himself at the Cows
I think as pissed off warrior fans think Fusitua is the better player but this in reality is not true. I would have Lolohea and Fusitua about even in their development. The only difference is that Lolohea is more scrutinized by playing in the halves and Fusitua has superior physical traits. Lolohea is more likely to win you a game and Fusitua more likely to keep you in a game.

Jeepers the Eels would feel sick about missing out on Leicester Faaainganuku, that is far worse than the warriors losing Etene Nani
 
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theleagueguy

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I think Parramatta have also signed a rugby player from Taranaki that looks pretty good. Attacking the provinces.
 
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TheCool

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Both great players , but look up ngane punivai and Leicester faainganuku. Wow these 2 are going to be something special. Punivai already played for Canterbury as a 18yr old. Can’t remember the last kid to do that. So much talent around. Wouldn’t surprise me if both are in the crusaders for the Brisbane 10s
Leicester Faainganuku will be an All Black, unreal talent. Ngane is great but I think the younger brother Isaiah Punivai will be better, played for NZSS this year and was close to man of the match and he still has another year of school this year.

Yeah certainly some over zealous hype about Abraham Papaili being the best junior in NZ Rugby. HE was solid but to be honest his level of talent is nowhere near the elite of NZ junior rugby with the likes of Danny Toala, Caleb Clarke, Kini Naholo, Leicester Faainganuku, Taufa Funaki just in a complete different class for best current junior talent in NZ.

Etene Nani is a talent though and an absolute loss for the warriors. I see him translating into a very good fullback at the chiefs/nz rugby and could potentially develop into the Tim Nani-Williams / Charlie Piatua type player that is highly valued in NZ Rugby.

Warriors missed the boat on Marino Mikaele Tu'u who was grabbed by the Highlanders from Hawkes Bay, another junior who was out of high school the year previous but would of made a fantastic prop in the NRL. Disappointing they sign the likes of Vete, Papaili etc when guys who are out of high school and floating at the edge of super rugby and are just much more gifted players do not even seem to be in the conversation. Id drop a guy like Vete in a heart beat for a player such as Marino Mikaele Tu'u who straight out of high school was putting senior Super rugby players in the itm cup on their asses while hauling metres and trys.

Kini Naholo is another guy the Warriors should of been all over. He was scintillating this season scoring over 41 trys for the season! Brother of Waisake Naholo so good stock and just has a log jam of talent in New Zealand in front of him with the likes of Rieko Ioane, Caleb Clarke and the incredible Leicester Faaainganuku who truly could be the next real big thing. Jeepers what ever production line that NZ rugby has that produces the likes of a Leicester Faaiganuku you just have to applaud. He is the exact player you want signed as a junior. Already an immediate destructive force - a great great All Blacks career ahead.

Most underated player in junior rugby is Danny Toala who could also become a very good All Black, id rate his skill set as in line with Anton Lienart Brown and in some ways he does a few things better. The Warriors should be throwing the bank at this type of kid because he has the work ethic to go all the way and he will most certainly go a very long way.
Warriors would never have been able to sign Marino Mikaele Tu'u, he played 2 years of NZ U20 straight out of high school. Whenever that happens you know they are being earmarked as potential All Blacks. Impressive player and hopefully we'll see that he's more than just a player that only relies on his size and athleticism like Akira Ioane unfortunately does.

Kini Naholo could have been a achievable signing. Benefitted hugely being on the end of that stacked Hastings backline, he scored 6 tries in a single game this season. Guys like McClutchie and Toala served it to him on a platter. I always am skeptical about the learning curve of someone that can hardly speak English playing a new code.

Faainganuku could be a better prospect than Nanai, but fullbacks are more valuable than wingers so its hard to judge. Etene is a better prospect than Kini Naholo and Tuafa Funaki - although Funaki is a year younger than Etene and could be the next big thing at halfback. Etene started over Danny Toala in NZSS and the year before that our recent signing Hayze Perham started over Toala for the Barbarians. I still rate Toala, very good player that will almost defiantly reach super rugby level, but there was probably no room if we were going to sign Perham as Nanai's replacement.
 
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Chchfanatic

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Leicester Faainganuku will be an All Black, unreal talent. Ngane is great but I think the younger brother Isaiah Punivai will be better, played for NZSS this year and was close to man of the match and he still has another year of school this year.


Warriors would never have been able to sign Marino Mikaele Tu'u, he played 2 years of NZ U20 straight out of high school. Whenever that happens you know they are being earmarked as potential All Blacks. Impressive player and hopefully we'll see that he's more than just a player that only relies on his size and athleticism like Akira Ioane unfortunately does.

Kini Naholo could have been a achievable signing. Benefitted hugely being on the end of that stacked Hastings backline, he scored 6 tries in a single game this season. Guys like McClutchie and Toala served it to him on a platter. I always am skeptical about the learning curve of someone that can hardly speak English playing a new code.

Faainganuku could be a better prospect than Nanai, but fullbacks are more valuable than wingers so its hard to judge. Etene is a better prospect than Kini Naholo and Tuafa Funaki - although Funaki is a year younger than Etene and could be the next big thing at halfback. Etene started over Danny Toala in NZSS and the year before that our recent signing Hayze Perham started over Toala for the Barbarians. I still rate Toala, very good player that will almost defiantly reach super rugby level, but there was probably no room if we were going to sign Perham as Nanai's replacement.
100% agree on isiah punivai. Heard a wee rumour he’s left Christ’s college and is going to st Kent’s.
 
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Defence

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Good to see him pick up junior player of the year at the nzrl awards.
I like what he brings- could see him nailing down a first grade spot by the end of the year.
 
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Gizzyfan

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Good to see him pick up junior player of the year at the nzrl awards.
I like what he brings- could see him nailing down a first grade spot by the end of the year.
I think he is going to close to Round 1.
 
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mt.wellington

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Good to see him pick up junior player of the year at the nzrl awards.
I like what he brings- could see him nailing down a first grade spot by the end of the year.
Unsure of what this season will hold for him but he's being groomed as Simon Mannerings successor you expect big things from this kid in the future...
 
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Gizzyfan

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I thought he did well for a really young guy last year. To me he is one of those players who look to have that good attitude. I don't want to jinx him but he reminds me a bit of Ben Henry, a person of good character.
 
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WarriorBall

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Can’t imagine Isaiah being anything other than successful when you combine his talent and willingness to learn with the terrific support he obviously gets from his family and the example they set for him.
 
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fizurg

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There’s something about this guy. He seems to have that Ben Henry just can’t help but like the guy thing going.
 
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Does anyone know if the club has commented on where it sees Papalii short to mid term? Is he going to stay on an edge and compete with Pulu for time? Or does he move into the middle?

With Vuna going does that force their hand into retaining Love-Henry?
 
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Stalefish540

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Does anyone know if the club has commented on where it sees Papalii short to mid term? Is he going to stay on an edge and compete with Pulu for time? Or does he move into the middle?

With Vuna going does that force their hand into retaining Love-Henry?
They havn't mentioned anything about Papali'i, but surely what they learnt from Bunty on the edge in 2017 they learnt from Papa this year. Although Papali'i did a better job of it, hes just not really dynamic enough in attack to be an edge backrower. One would hope they don't try turn him into something hes not on the edge, when Pulu showed hes clearly more suited before getting injured.
 
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fizurg

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How do people feel about this guy after his first proper season.
He seems to have plenty of things going for him and seems pretty well developed for such a young player.
He has a massive motor.
From all accounts a great attitude and work ethic.
Smart footy brains. Seems to know when to pass and when to run.
He’s very powerful for his size.
Defensively he’s very solid, his tackles seem to stick and doesn’t get caught out of position often.
He does seem to lack that explosiveness that most second rowers have though. Is that likely to come with age? Not many players get faster as they get older.
Personally I’m not convinced the second row is the right position for him. But if it isn’t then what is?
 
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razzrillinger

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Really happy with how he went this year. No doubt played a lot more than the club expected due to injuries to Mannering/Pulu/Harris and didn't look out of place at all.

In the future I see him as a Lock/Middle player who can play the full 80 mins if need be.

Would love it if he developed into a similar player to a Josh McGuire / Jake Trbojevic / Jack de Belin
 
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Fazz

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I think he's a lock. Doesn't quite have enough attacking flair for the edges, but makes some weapons-grade tackles. He's also not a total tacklebot, so our attack doesn't die with him at lock.

Overall, I'd rate his season a solid B. Started off real hot, but between general fatigue (understandable for a rookie) and his injury, he slowed towards the end of the year. I expect him to have a big season this upcoming year.

With that said, I expect Kearney to go with Blair at lock, then Jazz filling whatever hybrid role he usually does.

8 Paasi
9 Luke
10 Ah Mau
11 Harris
12 Papa
13 Blair

14 Roache
15 Bunty
16 Pulu
17 Jazz
 
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Fonzie

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How do people feel about this guy after his first proper season.
He seems to have plenty of things going for him and seems pretty well developed for such a young player.
He has a massive motor.
From all accounts a great attitude and work ethic.
Smart footy brains. Seems to know when to pass and when to run.
He’s very powerful for his size.
Defensively he’s very solid, his tackles seem to stick and doesn’t get caught out of position often.
He does seem to lack that explosiveness that most second rowers have though. Is that likely to come with age? Not many players get faster as they get older.
Personally I’m not convinced the second row is the right position for him. But if it isn’t then what is?
I've been thinking the same. This year he seemed a bit slow for the edge and didn't know how to run attacking lines. Good offload on him but didnt see much of a passing game outside of that. So I assume he's a middle. But he seems a bit small and not explosive enough for prop, and not mobile enough for a traditional lock. So from what I saw this year I see him as a middle long term, probably wearing 13, playing a defensive role, doing plenty of work and tossing up the odd quality offload . But then Afoa showed us what a difference an off-season can make, so looking forward to see which way SK goes.
 
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Gizzyfan

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Papalii may not be able to drastically improve his top end speed but really acceleration is key. That can be worked on.

I would like to see a sprint Coach inthere. Also two types of passing Coach. One for open field and one. Any old school Union Halfback to Coach DH passing off the ground without a wind up. Short kicking is another. All that needs teaching is the basics then individual practice.
 
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mt.wellington

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League: Isaiah Papali'i set for Kiwis debut in third test against England
10 Nov, 2018 3:16pm
By: Michael Burgess
KKKZX62R7FFR3G6VTH45B2B6FM.jpg
Isaiah Papali'i captained the Junior Kiwis just last month. Photo / Photosport

Isaiah Papali'i's stunning rise this year has continued, with confirmation he will make his Kiwis debut in the third test against England on Monday morning.

Papali'i has always been seen as a special talent, ever since he made his NRL debut when barely out of school, and his ascension was only a matter of time.

But the manner of his elevation will raise some eyebrows, as experienced interchange forward Marty Taupau has been axed at his expense.

Taupau has been a regular since his test debut in May 2014, accumulating 24 tests, and is usually one of the first picked.

In other changes for the test, which gets underway at 4:15am (NZ time), Joseph Tapine returns to the bench after making a brief cameo in Hull, while Jamayne Isaako replaces Canberra winger Jordan Rapana. Rapana has returned to Australia after being ruled out of the tour with a shoulder injury.

Isaako, who was named the Dally M NRL Rookie of the Year, will make his second test appearance after his debut against England in Denver.

Isaako missed the first test in England for the birth of his first child. He rejoined the Kiwis at the end of last week and will add much needed pace to their back line.

The selection for the third test was unusual.

Initially, the NZRL confirmed a 20-man extended squad— without nominating any positions — but a few hours later Maguire had settled on his 17, with Gerard Beale, Fisher-Harris and Jahrome Hughes missing out, while Taupau was omitted all together.

But Papali'i is the story. The 20-year-old, who captained the Junior Kiwis last month, continues his upward trajectory.

"The future of where you are going is strong when you have young players like that coming in," said Maguire.

"Young Isaiah, he's been perfect on tour. He's done all the training, he's a very diligent young man. So I am looking forward to seeing him have one of many games moving forward but obviously he understands it's a big day and he is after a big performance."

Papali'i was a shock selection for Stephen Kearney's first Warriors game in 2017. After that match against Newcastle, he wasn't sighted again until the end of last season, where he made a further four performances.

But after a strong pre-season under new trainer Alex Corvo, he didn't look back.

He was ever-present from the end of April onwards, and his form was so strong he forced Simon Mannering into a bench role. His defensive workload was outstanding, while his attacking prowess, and ability to find space and offloads where none seemed possible was particularly impressive.

While he had a league background, Papali'i made his name in 1st XV rugby, and was named the best school boy player in the country in 2016 after leading Mount Albert Grammar School to the national title. But he was always going to focus on league after school, and thankfully for the Kiwis he has.

Although he has yet to play a test, already there are comparisons with Mannering and Stephen Kearney, in terms of his precociousness, capacity for training and attitude towards preparation.

He's certainly mature beyond his years, and will need to be against a confident England team, looking to put the seal on a perfect series in front of an expected 35,000 crowd in Leeds.

"[We have] a stronger understanding of what we need to do on the field," said Maguire.

"We are well aware of what England are throwing at us now and it's about doing that on every single play. The concentration around that has been a big part of this training week and the boys are focused on a strong performance."

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/league/news/article.cfm?c_id=79&objectid=12157992
 
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