How many halfbacks in the NRL right now can take the game by the scruff of the neck and drag his team kicking and screaming to victory?
Chris Sandow has just signed a $550,000 a year deal to play for the Parramatta Eels, and good luck to the young bloke. Sandow is someone that plays the game with passion, you can see how much he enjoys the game every week. To think that this young bloke, doing something he loves, is now earning over half a million a year because of Rugby League….this was the dream of all those clubs and players that met when Rugby League was formed over a century ago.
Sandow has really developed as a player, and for a halfback, he is developing very fast. I’ve always felt he has something special as a player, even if at times he struggled to translate that to his play on the field.
This season that, its all come together. He’s got it, he’s worked it out, and his play has improved out of site, win, lose or draw.
He is the catalyst for South Sydney, he is their most important player. He is a leader on the field and knows his job well.
Watch him off the ball, watch him when the play gets jammed over to the sidelines and he is a good 30 meters from the play. He is working, sizing up the defense, telling team mates where he wants them, always organizing.
Its not just setting up plays either, its about having options in place. One of his strengths is he plays whats in front of him more and more rather than going through the play book. If he sets his backline for a play, but see’s something else open up in front of him, he wont hesitate to go himself.
For a young halfback, that is half of the battle.
His kicking game is becoming lethal. He is putting in the types of kicks right now that makes fullbacks go gray. His running game can break a game over, and he times it well too. He isn’t afraid to take on the line, in fact, he isn’t afraid full stop!
His defense can be hit and miss, but for a bloke his size, once again, he is fearless.
A 22 year old halfback with all these abilities, and who is improving, and who is clearly the most important player having a big influence in a poor South Sydney team.
He’s worth it.
Sandow is a better player right now than most other young halfbacks, including The Golden Boy, Mitchell Pearce. If he was a New South Welshman I’d pick him in my State Of Origin side without a problem.
What it all comes down to is, what is Chris Sandow worth to a teams performance in the field. Look through the current South Sydney lineup and tell me how many players in their lineup have the same influence on the field that Sandow has.
If he is not the most important player in their lineup, then Timana Tahu is not a headcase!
Parramatta obviously feel he is worth it, although I do believe they have more dollars than sense. They were desperate to get ANYONE to sign for them, even going as far as to look at over rated Rugby Union players!
Parramatta is completely directionless in the halves and that has been an issue for the last few years for them. With Sandow, they will at least have focus.
I dont think the Eels are the best team for Sandow to head too, but try turning down half a million per year yourself! he is already playing in a bludger of a side, now he can do it and drive a luxury car.
South Sydneys reaction has been petty.
I’ve got no problems with Rusty breaking the news on Twitter. He would have been close to the talks, he would have put his best offer forward, and when told of Sandows decision, he did what any of us would have done.
However, the statement realeased by South Sydney is pathetic, and shows that some of the people working at that club are letting their ego’s get in the way of the job at hand.
After wheeling out Craig Wing mid season a few years ago, trumpeting the signing of Sam Burgess, the saga that was the signing of Greg Inglis and the re-signing of a group of players just a few weeks ago that perplexed that Rugby League world, South Sydney CEO Shane Richardson was quoted in an official club press release as saying “Unfortunately Chris has met his Alan Bond,”.
Seems you’re a much loved son of the Rabbitohs, unless you decide to secure you’re financial future. Then you can get stuffed!
If Chris Sandow was that important to South Sydney, maybe Shane Richardson should have held back and not signed failures like John Sutton to long term deals and, ya know, pay Sandown what he was worth for the incredible performances he was putting in on the field!
Today is a fantastic day for Rugby League, for the salary cap and for Chris Sandow.
His signing will give tens of thousands of Parramatta fans hope for the future, as well as making Chris a very well off young man.
Good luck to him, he’s worth it.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
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