I always find it funny when Super League Imports talk up the quality of Super League and its players.
The vast majority of the time I think its just about knowing who butters your bread. Other times I think it just comes down to a player or a coach trying to convince themselves that they are no longer competition in a top quality competition.
The latest import to make ridiculous claims is Michael Monaghan of the Warrington Wolves.
Michael Monaghan played for the Canberra Raiders and later, the Manly Sea Eagles. When he left, the Sea Eagles won the Grand Final the following season. He was an OK player but never played any representative football.
He told the Sydney Morning Herald:
‘We’d be right up there at the top [of the NRL],” Monaghan said. ”You look at the quality of players we’ve got across our squad – two England centres, two international wingers, an international halfback and five-eighth, Adrian Morley in the front row. We’ve pretty well got internationals right across our team. I think us and Wigan would definitely compete up there.’
Lets look through these statements.
English centers are garbage. The last half decent one was Gary Connolly. The easiest way to explain this is….you know when Greg Inglis and Justin Hodges are scoring at will against England? That’s English centers for you. Bloody hopeless.
The claim Warrington has two international wingers is a bit rich. Former internationals, yes, but not current.
Matt King is the ultimate “I hate playing in this god awful place but the money is just too good to turn down” player of this generation. He was an OK player, it helped he was on the end of the worlds best back line in Melbourne, but ultimately he was forgettable. He left and the Storm didn’t miss him.
Then we have good old Joel Monaghan, who had to flee Australia after having his picture taken receiving fellatio from a dog. I’d never seen Joel Monaghan smile before, he seemed like an angry albino, but I tell you what, the utter joy on his face in that picture as that dog goes to town on his genitals….well, it says it all really.
Those two are handy players, not rep quality players in Australia, but lets face it, wingers don’t win premierships.
Now, Michael Monaghans claims that the Wolves have an international halves pairing is just funny.
One is Lee Briers, who is so bad that Great Britain went out of their way not to select him! Outside of kicking a bunch of field goal in games the Wolves have wrapped up against terrible teams, what else does Lee Brier actually do? He’s terrible!
As for Richie Myler, really? Your big selling point is Salford halfback? A player so good that last year he was left out of the Challenge Cup Final?
Apart from the fact these two would be targeted all day in defense, they are under skilled and no where near the ability of your average NSW or QLD Cup halfback, let alone NRL halves.
Claiming Adrian Morley as a big time front rower is a bit sad. There is talk he will not play again! He was good in 2002, his best year was 2003, he was back to good in 2004, and it kinda went south from there.
Todays version of old, fat Adrian Morley, look, he’s just cashing in on past glories and good luck to him. He wouldn’t even make the NRL these days.
The other “star” in the Wolves lineup is Brett Hodgson, who had a couple of good years in the last decade, but please, don’t embarrass him.
To suggest the Wolves have “internationals right across our team” is bullshit. You have a bunch of old players and a few English internationals, and English internationals are not like everyone elses internationals. they are fucking hopeless.
Monaghan then makes excuses for Matt Orfords disastrous return from Super League, blaming a disrupted 2010 season for form that has seen him completely destroy the Canberra Raiders soul. I’m sorry but, its July 2011….at some point you’re just hopeless and will forever be hopeless!
Michael Monaghan trots out the line “The pace of the game over here is probably as fast, if not faster than the NRL. There’s not so much wrestling and those kind of tactics.”.
Can we stop with that claim already? Super League, with its non existant defense, might look faster than the NRL, but the fact is its not. It never has been. Why is it that in a test match, English players who spend their careers in Super League are always struggling with the pace of the game while Australia doesn’t miss a beat?
Its like when the NRL had unlimited interchange, Great Britain went into test series claiming they were the fitter side because they used limited interchange in Super League. Yet, come game time, the British players were stuffed!
If you wanted to claim that Michael Monaghan, Adrian Morley and Richie Myler were the Wolves three best players, how would they stack up with the three best players from the NRL’s current top 8 teams? Not very well:
Melbourne: Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk, Billy Slater
Manly: Keiron Foran, Brett Stewart, Anthony Watmought
St George/Illawarra: Darius Boyd, Jamie Soward, Mark Gasnier
Brisbane: Darren Lockyer, Sam Thaiday, Josh Hoffman
North Queensland: Jonathan Thurston, Matthew Bowen, Willie Tonga
New Zealand: Simon Mannering, James Maloney, Manu Vatuvai
Wests: Benji Marshall, Robbie Farah, Gareth Ellis
Penrith: Petero Civoniceva, Luke Lewis, Michael Jennings
Looking at it from an NRL perspective, the Wolves have no halves. Their interchange bench is pathetic. They have a lineup full of defensive hole and no one in attack that is going to cause any issues. They are coached by an Australia who could never get a job over here, and will never get a job over here.
They are the second best team in a third rate competition who haven’t even proven they are able to compete at a high level on a regular basis in their own competition, let alone the NRL!
At least Bradford, Leeds, St Helens and Wigan have won Grand Finals in the last decade. Warrington’s big claim to fame is winning the Mickey Mouse competition that is the dying in its arse Challenge Cup, and then going on to win jack shit for the rest of that season!
So you keep dreaming about how great you are Warrington. Just keep raising the bar on your greatness while everyone in Wigan, St Helens and Leeds looks at you, laughing their arses off.
Now, you’ve even become a punch line over here in the big leagues, the NRL, where people ask “Who the fuck is Warrington” and are bemused by the fact you can’t win a shitty Super League comp, yet your old Aussie hooker thinks you could win ours.
You live in a little world you have created for yourselves where you are really special, really important, a big club.
The reality is very different though.
You’re not even one of the better known clubs from your dying, regionally confided competition. You’ve spent more money than anyone else to win a knockout comp that is completely irrelevant.
In the grand scheme of things, you’re not even able to claim a great history or talk about great memories. You’re just another little English team in a dying competition that talks big and delivers nothing.
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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