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Golden Boot

django

django

They were very defensive 2 years ago, but the rest of the competion weren't like that and now even Wigan aren't as defensive as they used to be. 
cpr_89

cpr_89

It's the Storm coaching influence there...since been taken to South Sydney. 
pods

pods

I don't think just because one player doesn't do well here and then "kills it" there is evidence to support that their league is less skillful than ours. The same thing can happen when one player goes from a team in the NRL to another NRL team.

For instance, there have been more than one player from the Storm that has gone elsewhere but not reached their heights again. Anyone remember Antonio Kafusi? Didn't he play for Australia? 
professional

professional

Kaufusi was a terrible selection for Australia. But even without that he never played well after he left Melbourne. He was very poor at North Queensland and Newcastle. 
Morkel

Morkel

True, but you can't use the Melbourne team as an example. I've said for a while that their players are selected to be sufficient in very limited areas. That's why they get nuffies and make them work in their squad. As long as they have good communication and work ethic in defence, and are able to follow simple orders in terms of where to run, that's all they need. Other teams don't have that luxury, so when the Strom players go elsewhere and have their job description expanded, they often don't do so well. 
pods

pods

So you exclude them because there a well run team? But thats my point.

Even if relatively speaking the team isn't as well run as others, it doesn't mean that the style of play of one team is going to be more benefitial for some types of players. There would be plenty of other examples. Maybe a good idea for a new thread - "Players who have turned a corner on exiting a club - for better/worse". 
professional

professional

Kaufusi is a bad example whichever way you put it. He filled a niche position within a team and goes well when he had the luxury of coming on after some heavy artillery. He played well for Melbourne because he could come on and provide some impact runs after Lima, Cross and White had done the hard yards. He never deserved to play for Australia. Played rubbish at North Queensland and played himself out of an NRL sport in Newcastle. It is no surprise that he went to London and played equally badly.

Some players struggle after moving teams but Kaufusi just struggled because he was never as good as people thought. 
django

django

How about Ben Cross as another example then?

A two-time Origin player but when he came to Leeds he was a hopeless liability. he lasted 10 matches before being off-loaded mid-season to Wigan and is now at Widnes. 
professional

professional

Ben Cross is one I've thought about a lot. The answer is fairly straightforward if you are willing to bear with me through a mini-review of Cross's life :P

Years back I used to rate him very highly. He arrived in Melbourne in 2006 and played very well for the next two seasons. He made really strong charges and was a really pugnacious player. His workrate in defence was good and the only real issue was that he was very undisciplined. He left for Newcastle in 2008 and played well there too.

His play for NSW in 2008 was average at best and despite showing some promise he looked a bit out of his depth. He really should not have been selected considering the other options available. Like so many other clubs (such as my own St Helens with Josh Perry :****:), Leeds bought an "Origin star" who wasn't really an Origin-quality player.

Anyway, 2008 marked the last time that Cross really played very well. He was 30 by this time and was already struggling badly with injuries. In his last 4 seasons in the NRL he missed 38 of his team's 100 games, almost entirely through injury.

In 2009 he only lasted 7 rounds before going down injured and missed the rest of the year. In 2010 he came back from injury and played the full season but he never looked the same player. He was still undisciplined and fiery but his ball running wasn't as powerful and his work rate in attack was much lower. Although I didn't see it at the time (partly because I didn't realise how old he was), Cross's signing with Leeds was basically a retirement contract for a player who knew he had very little gas left in the tank.

At the time I thought his below par play in 2010 was just a long recovery from injury. I actually remember saying on the Rhinos board that Cross was a good signing who should get better over time. So his failure at Leeds and Widnes was a mild surprise to me.

However, with the benefit of hindsight it is quite easy to see why Cross failed in the SL. He was 33 years old and coming off a litany of injuries. He was 3 years removed from his best form and his play in 2010 wasn't a sign of a slow recovery, it was an indication of a player on the downward slope towards retirement.

Cross's failure to play well in SL comes as a disappointment to me but an objective review makes it quite apparent why. He was old and past his best even before he arrived in Yorkshire. I can't criticise Leeds since I made the same mistake but they essentially just bought an over-the-hill ex-Origin player. 
TS_Quint

TS_Quint

I think that we can all just agree that the English Super League is shit and they should just stop trying. 
django

django

Fair enough! :) 

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