General Warriors Nrl Nines Team (pick Your)



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With the NRL Nines officially confirmed and our NRL season all but over, I am going to be ranting about this for the next few months. Yes, I realise it is far away but I don't care.
Auckland NRL Nines

*Confirmed today at press conferences at Eden Park in Auckland and in Sydney.
*First tournament February 15 & 16, 2014.

*All 16 NRL clubs will compete, and will include at least 12 of their top 25 players in their squad, and at least one marquee player.

*Games will be two nine-minute halves. Pools of four then knockout matches.

*Auckland Council to invest up to $12 million over the next five years.
*Event expected to generate $2.8 million in spending in Auckland and 32,800 visitor nights in its first year, rising to $6.8 million and 43,000 nights by year five.
* A$2.2 million prize money on offer, including A$500,000 for the winner.
*Ticket prices: gold adult $229, child $179. Silver adult $149, child $109. Bronze adult $99, child $79, green adult $69, child $49, family pass (for alcohol-free zone) $309.
*On sale, September 24.

Despite rumours that some NRL clubs weren't going to release their top stars to play, the likes of NRL stars Robbie Farah, Sam Thaiday, Willie Mason, Anthony Watmough, Greg Bird, Paul Gallen and Todd Carney are on record as eager to take part.

"I'm coming and us Tigers want to win it," said Farah, the Tigers captain.

"We are pleased to say that many clubs - including the likes of the Wests Tigers, Gold Coast Titans and the New Zealand Warriors - have indicated they will go further than that in an effort to try and win the tournament."

Who would be in your team?

Do we go balls-to-the-wall with stars in an attempt to win it, or go with as many fringers as possible to avoid costly injuries?

Who do you think could be the top NRL Nines players?

Are you going to dress up as Justin Bieber?
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Shaun Johnson and the Fish would be our top Nines players IMO, with big Manu, Laumape and Konrad as our forwards... Maybe Locke as well if he can get some of his blinding pace back resting up in the off season (that's an oxymoron I know)... and then mine the U20s for the young speedsters who love throwing the ball around....

I'd go all out for speed and wouldn't bother with anyone who can't out run Manu over 100mts... If that's possible from our three teams...

Try time anyone?

And no I will not be dressing up as Justin Bieber....
I reckon we go all out to win the innaugural one, and really show our comitment to the tournament.

Do we know anything about the rules? e.g how many subs/interchanges, are there scrums? if so how many in there?

what are the positions? will we have props, a hooker, a fullback? 2halves?

but who cares haha:

  1. Fish
  2. Manu
  3. Hurrell
  4. Laumape
  5. Shaun Johnson
  6. Mateo
  7. Locke
  8. Matagi
  9. Mannering

and a bench of everyone
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Can’t remember seeing a competitive game of 9s played, so not sure what strategy / mix of forwards and backs is generally used, but with less defenders, there’s less men in the tackle and the defensive line is spread thinner, so more offloads, more short passing and supporting the ball would be most important above anything else.
So NRL players who generally have good fitness and can follow the ball would be the go, hookers, fullbacks, someone like Isaac Luke would be a boss at this as he can make breaks, offload, and then get up in support again. Forwards who can’t ball play or play long minutes (endurance) won’t be of much use, unless they can really smack people in the tackle and prevent offloads. Also I don’t know if you play a designated dummy half or not, I’m assuming they will.

As for the warriors, without knowing how big the squad would be, will just go with the 12 “top” players:
  • Fullback: Sam Tomkins, if only for the marketing and hype, he will make other teams look stupid in this form of the game, people will freak out if this is his introduction to the NRL, probably create unsustainable expectations.
  • Wing: Glen Fish, pace, roving commission.
  • Centre: Ben Henry, these aren’t really true centres, sort of combo centre/backrowers, need players who can do a bit of everything in these positions, defend, get the ball to the outside, promote the ball in the tackle ball, support. Benry can do a bit of everything, might not be fast enough but they don’t have too many players meeting that job description.
  • Centre: Ngani Laumape, in the NRL he just tends to tuck the ball under his arm, would need to work on his offloads and distribution, choosing centres is hard, Peyroux and Jro are too slow, Nielsen dies with the ball too much. Maybe one of the backrower/centres from the 20’s instead.
  • Wing: Tuimoala Lolohea, he looks one of the fastest in the 20’s, he has some vision from playing in the halves, should enable him to roam around a bit, I’d use one of the young players on this wing as Manu is the only other option…
  • Half: Shaun Johnson, you know he would sulk if left out and this type of tournament might as well be made for him.
  • Forward: Feleti Mateo with Tomkins running off him... expect lots of strips/loose carriers (can’t always get what you want)
  • Hooker: Pita Godinet, friendy would be too slow, also can play the half role if Johnson is tackled with the ball.
  • Forward: Ben Matulino, Undecided about this one, Rapira is more agile, but they need some size, can offload as well as anyone when it suits him.
  • Bench Forward: Sam Lousi, the bigger Mateo
  • Bench Back: Kevin Locke, can’t really justify leaving him out, but his support play and pace seems way down from previous years, maybe it will come back in time for this tourney.
  • Bench Utility: Dominic Peyroux, can fill in as necessary.
Notable omissions:
Simon Mannering, he plays every minute of the season + world cup, they would struggle big time if he got injured
Konrad Hurrell, not known for his endurance, or his offseason conditioning, might struggle with the pace
Manu Vatuvei: If you think he gets caught out in defence in 13 a side….
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Nines is right up our Alley , It's a game that suits Warriors selections , it becomes a Question of who to leave out.

Too hard to pick an Absolute Squad but I'd Want three hard running forwards on at all times

So Forwards to do that job in order of rank

1. Vatuvei

2. Hurell

3. Matulino

The player I'd pick to run the ruck Pita Godinet hooker

The Halves pairing of Shaun Johnson and Sam Tomkins is too good a open field running opportunity to miss off some speedy trickery from Godinet.

The rest of the team ? well Locke and Fish would be backs for their tackling

Mateo would be in their as a ball playing forward. Give him a Captaincy and give the fullah something to inspire him.....the Warriors Secound ever Annual Trophy.

Mannering would be a certainty for cohesion / Defense goes without saying , and he his possibly our fastest true forward.

Rapira runs hard and covers a lot of ground on D but might not make the grade in favor of Matangi / I'd rather they both played they're secound row / Prop types.

Gub : Built like a secound Rower.

That's a dozen players........the rest meh pick some wild cards Like Agnatius Passi who runs and Passes and Kicks like a back but has the build of a Prop.
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Who knows about the rules, but here is a Wiki page with details on previous RL Nines formats:

Most of the tournaments I've read about seem to have 15 man competition squads with a 4 player bench and unlimited interchanges.

Two nine-minute halves and unlimited interchanges mean the NRL Big Dudes can still feature heavily... as long as they are mobile enough to defend a wider area.

I honestly believe a tournament like this is tailor-made for Shaun Johnson and I also believe he will quickly establish himself as the best player in the competition. Jarryd Hayne, Ben Barba, and any other extremely athletic players with wide skillsets and great footwork could be dominant.

Knowing Owen Glenn's rather public disdain for yawnion governing bodies in this country, we will be going all-in to try and win this tournament in epic fashion. So I expect a team packed full of stars plus a couple of guys being trialed.

1 Tomkins (FB) - welcome to the team
2 Locke (Finisher)
3 Johnson (Distributor)
4 Leuluai (Distributor)
5 Fisiiahi (Finisher)
6 Faitala-Mariner (Forward) - picked for experience and cudos
7 Bukuya (Forward) - welcome to the team
8 Hurrell (Forward)
9 Henry (Tacklebot) - Mannering rested after a long season and rep duties

10 Vatuvei (Forward)
11 Sam Lousi (Forward)
12 Taukeiaho (Power Back)
13 Laumape (Power Back)

I'd alternate Locke and Fish with the bench power backs to go for all-out physical dominance at times.
**I forgot to also post that I'd love to see one of the new young ESL forwards given a run... though it may be a dumb idea that could piss off their new NYC teammates.
**I forgot to also post that I'd love to see one of the new young ESL forwards given a run... though it may be a dumb idea that could piss off their new NYC teammates.
I thought that's the piss off some of these comfort zone School Bullies.

Get it up em fk em put the Poms straight in and Piss everyone off hahahaha
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I thought that's the piss off some of these comfort zone School Bullies.

Get it up em fk em put the Poms straight in and Piss everyone off hahahaha

Haha indeed! Have you seen clips of these two? They're pretty awesome looking players. Both mobile with good running and passing games. Would be a pretty badass trial by fire... show up in a new country and suddenly you are thrown in a reduced numbers Tourney with the likes of Willie Mason and Cam Smith aiming you up hahah!
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Now to omit from my squad,I'L BE BACK.
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Haha indeed! Have you seen clips of these two? They're pretty awesome looking players. Both mobile with good running and passing games. Would be a pretty badass trial by fire... show up in a new country and suddenly you are thrown in a reduced numbers Tourney with the likes of Willie Mason and Cam Smith aiming you up hahah!
Yeah they come with big raps.

They are bred for an offensively minded competition , the holes across the park won't confuse them into running around looking for people to run at lol

Throw em in , give those two a bench spot and lets have a good look at them. Great welcome to your new Career chances for those boys , it might even pay to give Townsend a little hope in the same regard , give him the early games and see what cooks.
Two guys that I think will/have to be in the squad

Tuimoala Lolohea is a must - he will push for NRL debut next year imo.
He has 7s expereince - I think he got MVP at schools 7 tournament.

Solomone Kata - is a gun. Hampered by some injury but will be in the 9s squad

Then from the NRL squad:
Johnson, Fish, Locke, Peyroux, Bukuya, Matagi, Hurrell, Henry, Sione Lousi, Tomkins (if he signs), Laumape
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This is the kind of tournament that Tomkins will absolutely destroy. For mine, he is the best elusive runner of the ball in world League. It'll be the perfect way to introduce to the NRL audience as our new superstar.

That being said I'd have a squad of:

Tomkins, Johnson, Locke, Mateo, Bukuya, Henry, Hurrell, Vatuvei, Lolohaea, Fusitua, Kata, Laumape, Godinet, Hukatai, Leuluai, and of course, Fisiiahi.
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(only one!)

and now to explain myself...

1. SAM TOMKINS - Fullback - this is the easiest selection to make and is first in the team. This game was made for Sam and I will go so far as to say he will win Player of the Tournament.
2. KEVIN LOCKE - fast and has experience on the wing. His FB background should bring some steel to our edge defence. Also can play a halves type role when needed and has excellent link play. Needs to lose a little weight to regain some speed.
3. BEN HENRY - Centre - has pace, good defender and a sound footy brain. His defence should help out wide. Also has a bit of size. Like his dual position ability as I feel the Centre/2nd Row positions will be one and the same in Nines.
4. GLEN FISIIAHI - Wing - same as Locke but with less of the halves role and more pace
5. SHAUN JOHNSON - Half - obvious inclusion. Chief playmaker.
6. SAM RAPIRA - Prop - do the basic hitting up that his role requires but with the added bonus of being quick for a prop and a great defender, especially from the ruck.
7. THOMAS LEULUAI - Hooker - good distributor of the ball and can be handy on defence. Able to step in and be our second chief playmaker.
8. FELETI MATEO - 2nd Row - have him playing in the first spell to mess up teams defences with his offloading. His game will depend largely on the outside backs running off his offloads. Get that right and the opposition will be tired and depressed from all the tackling before they even get into the game. Can get lazy on defence so still not sure about him.
9. SIMON MANNERING (C) - Lock - tacklebot but with some ball playing ability and has the stamina to play long minutes. I get that some are wanting to rest him but I dont see him wanting a bar of it. His work rate, work ethic and experience will be essential to the predominately youngish team.

impact off the bench. Would bring him on when both Benry and Mannering are on as I dont like their defence. Defence aside, either one of these guys will have opposition teams shitting themselves.
11. CHARLIE GUBB - Prop - in the mold of Rapira but more line hitting. Can run hard and tackle well but also has a great work rate. Something I believe will be very important in this tourney.
12. TANGI ROPATI - Utility -
mainly a sub for either Laumape or Mannering but has the ability to play anywhere on the backline and can tackle. Been a standout for me in the Vulcans. IMO he has the edge of the other youngsters in that he has a litlle big game experiance.
14. PITA GODINET - Utility - mainly to give TL a rest but can also slot in for Shaun Johnson and Id even throw him out on the wing. Has a different style to Shaun Johnson so will keep the other teams guessing and has a handy grubber kick. Think his defence has come along in leaps and bounds since 2011.

IMO the first criteria for selection will be DEFENCE. There are always going to be exceptions, especially in League and especially the Warriors, but Ive based my team mainly on defence, stamina and work rate. Always going to need ball playing, offloading and attack but thats all pointless if your running around tackling, or trying to, all game and having nothing in the tank for any offensive work.

Because of the criteria Ive set I just couldnt bring myself to add some of the bigger boys as I feel they will be overworked in this format and be left standing still by the faster backs. Ive gone for the more agile players in our pack so no Matulino, Lillyman, Lousi bro's, Matagi or Rusty. Tempted to have Ikahihifo in there but his defence when isolated is poor such as the time he played Centre in Round 1 against the Eels.

Also because of the defence aspect I couldnt play Friend. Far too many ineffective tackles for my liking. Thats also why I have no NYC newbies. They cant tackle! Have a sneaky suspicion that Lowrie will make the team. Think Dane will get a crack too because of his defence but he wont offer anything on attack. Pity Taylor is off to the Panthers. He would have been handy in this comp.

Can only name one of Hurrell or Manu but cant bring myself to to choose. Both offer the same destructiveness and frailties. Im leaning towards Manu because he is fitter but I think Hurrell would go nuts with so much space. Both have their pro's and con's.

I dont know, this is harder to choose then it sounds...
Yeah don't think you could just stack your team with fast backs, some yardage work and some tacklers will be required. Not even sure what split of big, fast, or small guys you'd go with.......all I know is Johnson would carve....Fish has to be there, and I'd bring up Lolohea and maybe Fusitua as well.
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1. Tomkins
2. Vatuvei
3. Laumape
4. Hurrell
5. Fish
6. Johnson
7. Townsend
8. Mannering
9. Friend

10. Locke
11. Lousi
12. Peyroux
13. Mateo

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So it seems everybody here is comfortable with us using as many stars as possible to get glory and the prize?
Presuming this tournament replaces a trial round, surely it can't be too much more risky than an NRL trial. Even if it is, I believe it's worthwhile... great exposure and a fat wad of cash. Also a chance to see players showcase their skills in a low stress situation.
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Is it still going to be a 10 metre rule? or will it be like the old 5 metre rule?

10 metres is a lot of space with 9 players.

Not sure about Hurrell for a full game but he'd be in my side. Manu will be a forward I reckon in 9s.

Friend, Mannering, Mateo, Matagi, Johnson, Tomkins/Leuluai, Ben Henry, Hurrell, Fish

Something like that would be my starting line up. Bench would be 3 forward and a hybrid forward/back like Peyroux or something of that nature.

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