Player Transfer Analysis – Corey Norman

The NRL, where the off-season is more dramatic than the actual games. This week alone we’ve seen Cronulla Sharks coach Shane Flanagan get deregistered, banned and the club fined $800,000; Wests Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe get the same and his club fined $750,000; and we’ve seen Corey Norman go to the Dragons, back to the Eels and then back to the Dragons once more.

It’s been an eventful time for rugby league, and since work is a lot less eventful at the moment, I decided to see what potential affects this latest player transfer might have.

After the false start, Norman was eventually released from his Eels contract and has joined St George on a three-year deal. The early mail is that Widdop will give up his halves spot to take up the fullback position, while Norman will slot in at five-eighth next to Ben Hunt, his ex-Broncos teammate from seasons 2010-2013. That familiarity will likely help Corey settle into his new surroundings quickly and give the merger-club every chance to hit the ground running in the new year.

Winners

Corey Norman

Obviously. Norman joins a premiership contender from the reigning wooden spoon holders (damn it feels great to write that and not mean Newcastle. Let me just bask in that for a moment…….. Nice).

As for his Supercoach prowess, Norman has never been a real stud of the game. He’s had patches of brilliance that have usually suckered thousands into a trade in, only to return to Norman programming and a few sub 40 scores. But this is just about the best scenario he’s been in in the NRL. In his Bronco’s stint, Norman averaged 38, 30, 47 and 46 to start his career. After the move south, he went on the average 37, 49, 55, 53 and 48 whilst with one of the worst teams in the competition. The Dragons talent far outweighs that of the Eels and should provide Norman with the grunt and firepower he needs to elevate his game. But is it enough to warrant selection?

Dylan Brown

Dylan Brown is my pick to be the new Eels halfback in 2019. This young kid is an Eels junior, played halfback for the Australian Schoolboys team and was offered a monster six-year, multimillion dollar contract by the Warriors to replace Shaun Johnson. The Eels responded with a very polite “Hell No”. They want him around.

Brown is yet to step onto an NRL field, but the teenager is a potential star-in-the-making. As with all young halves, it might take him some time to find his feet on the big stage, but if he’s gifted the #7 jersey in round 1, Supercoaches will have one less headache.

SuperCoaches

The Eels have now given up Corey Norman and there’s some murmurs about Mitchell Moses being on the trade table as well. Jarryd Hayne has…..well his latest dream has become a nightmare, so he’s all but gone too. And Nathan Brown hurt his knee at training and is out for the next six weeks at least. What that tells me is: Rebuild. And with a rebuild comes a clearing out of old heads and youngsters getting chances they probably wouldn’t have otherwise. It’s great news for us as we search for cheapies to fill out our benches. My pick (apart from Brown), is Greg Leleisiuao. He’s a previous 20s team of the year winger who was being touted for an NRL debut at this time last year. It didn’t happen but there’s probably a spot available for him this year should he take his shot.

Losers

Matt Dufty

Poor Matt Dufty. I don’t think you can say he did too much wrong in 2018, but just gets shoved to the side in order to fit in the more experienced heads. He came out strong, averaging 63 Supercoach points over the opening six weeks of the season, but was up and down over the entire 25 rounds. For instance, Dufty averaged 79 points between rounds 16 and 19, but from 20 through to 24 he averaged just 21.8, a total of 109 points. Still, he’s just 22 years old and showed enough in my opinion to prove he’ll be a solid fullback in the long-term. But now he’ll have to wait until Widdop heads back home in order to get that chance again.

Blake Ferguson

I’m a bit torn on this, but I think it negatively impacts the Eels main (and only?) big signing for the new season. Coming to the Eels from last year’s premiers, the Roosters, Fergo is going all the way from the penthouse to the sh…er…outhouse in the space of one off season. At the same time, he’s losing all the quality NRL players around him that made that club so strong and probably made his job far easier than he’s about to experience. And then, to turn up at the club, only for them to lose key members of the side that claimed a wooden spoon? They must have given him a big pay day.

The Unknown

Gareth Widdop

Conventional wisdom tells me that Widdop will be far more involved from fullback than he was in the halves. But truth is, I’d be guessing as to how he’ll go there. He started his career with stints at the back and played well, but those were in his days at the Melbourne Storm and everyone who plays fullback there goes pretty well. I’m not sure I’ve seen Gareth in the number 1 jersey while a Dragon, but I’m do know this: one of you will be able to tell me. Another issue is that Norman can kick goals and has before. I doubt Widdop relinquishes his role, but the fact is there. And finally, will he take time to gel with his new teammate and in his new position? Does that mean a slow start initially? I don’t have the answers unfortunately.

What are your thoughts?

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marmalade
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marmalade

Thanks for continuing with the pre-season content Semi. You have to think that Fergo is a regression candidate next year playing in an inferior team, his base stats won’t change much but scoring opportunities will. I think your spine assessment will be proven correct, makes more sense to shift Widdop to fullback so Dufty can move back there 2020 onwards. I think Norman will bring something from the team, it’s the suspected loss of JDB that haunts me as a Dragons fan. Junior Paulo is the only other reputable name Parra have gained this year which won’t offset the assumed… Read more »

grande212
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grande212

Eons away… but who would play 13? Tariq? Don’t know how else they could get away with such a whole in the line up

Unfortunately too much fodder at Parra to give the promising juniors a solid run. Lots of names ready Brown, Stone, Kaufusi, Utoikamanu, Afualo, Davey, Sivo…. but pups in the needed positions aren’t ready

CoG
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CoG

Doubt we know much until the Charity Shield and court appearances

grande212
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grande212

Yeah. Just spitballing

CoG
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CoG

so are the drags cool

CoG
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CoG

Love the Nice!, Just cant figure out what the Dragons are thinking except its the title window thing.Hope the Parra cheapies start but but but. With Fergo it may become a case of give it to “semi” but i’ll be waiting
Widdop -wouldnt surprise me if he is in England before they brexit. If Fb my concerns would be over fitness ,re shoulder. Thanks for your work and input to the off season.
Still a few more player deals in the wind so if they happen we will have more to think about.

rockafella
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rockafella

Dufty to the wing would be the go …
Speed finisher …

marmalade
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marmalade
Vicer - GTO Solver
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Vicer - GTO Solver

Interesting, Jack Bird to 13 he reckons..

TugSpeedman
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TugSpeedman

Peni Terepo could be a sneaky mid range POD to start the year with Brown out.
Only other forward added to the squad from memory was Shaun Lane. So either Terepo or Mau to play lock with the other on the edge.

To me, Fergo will have the Semi mentality from Parra, when nothing is happening and their attack is failing it will either be Gutho or Fergo that will be expected to do something.

An underpriced Gutho starting at 5/8 could definitely be the go to start the year though.

Flasher
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Flasher

Merry Christmas and a happy new year to everyone. Hope Santa was good to y’all.

OnTheBus
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Happy new year to all, 74 days until lockout is over lol , yep I have issues

Defib
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Defib

Lol you have issues?

Im at work and planning my team for this year. lol lol

OnTheBus
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Hahaha that’s taken a battering lol

BallsDeep
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BallsDeep

Anyone able to hook a brother up with an excel version of the 2019 player names, positions, team etc? I run a long standing DRAFT comp and i create a draft board via Google sheets each year for a LIVE draft – (as we have a couple of participants from interstate). i’m struggling to find a list that I can easily extract for the purpose..

muddy
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muddy

Widdop is a certified gun – I expect he will go well at fullback + goal kicking. I don’t think he will leave anything behind in his farewell season