Player of Interest – Joseph Manu

Joseph Manu (CTW, $410.5k) is only 22 years old, but he now boasts as many premierships as kicks to the head from Cameron Munster. He is also one of the most exciting up-and-coming centres in the NRL. But does he merit a spot in your Round 1 side?

Recent Statistics

2018: Games played (23), average (44), minutes per game (78), PPM (0.56)

2017: Games played (16), average (41), minutes per game (80), PPM (0.51)

Check out our other pre-season content below:

2019 Players of Interest: Read all of these here

2019 SuperCoach Club Previews: Read all of these here

The New Zealand born Manu debuted for the Roosters in 2016, scoring 34 SuperCoach points on the wing against the Warriors in round 15. Manu would feature another two times for the Roosters that season for a solid but unspectacular average of 33PPG. He did, however, star in the Holden Cup final against the Panthers, scoring two tries in the comeback victory and was named on the wing in the 2016 NYC Team of the Year. Manu featured in top grade more frequently in 2017, playing 16 games split between centres and the wing while raising his average to 41PPG and scoring five tries along the way.

2018 saw Manu finally cement a full-time role in the premiership-winning Roosters outfit. He would finish with an average of 44PPG, which is only a marginal improvement on 2017 and on paper does not scream ‘buy me’. However, his SuperCoach scoring was a tale of two seasons. Manu switched between both centre spots and the wing in the opening 13 rounds, which saw him average an underwhelming 32PPG (including an injury-affected 16 in round 5) with but two tries to his name. From round 14, he became permanently entrenched in the #4 jersey inside Blake Ferguson, which saw him average 58.8PPG (and notch four tries) for the rest of the season with a remarkable 62PPG across the final two months.

2019 NRLSCTalk Mega Guide is now available for purchase. For just $12.99 you receive over 130 pages of detailed analysis on every club and player listed in the club. Click on the below image to buy your copy now. 

Below is what we wrote about Manu in this year’s Mega Guide to provide you with a flavour of the content included: 

Buy your copy here.

So, which Manu will we get this season? First starters, he should be in the #4 jersey from the outset which is a positive for his SuperCoach output. Blake Ferguson has signed with the Eels, however, Manu should now be playing inside noted finisher Brett Morris, who is more than capable of capitalising on any attacking opportunities that Manu creates with his elusiveness and ability to draw in opposition defenders. Additionally, unlike Ferguson who is a freak workhorse for a winger and would actively seek hit-ups, Morris will be more averse to shouldering big loads out of his own half. Given opposition tendencies to keep their kicks away from Tedesco, this could see Manu increase his hit-ups for a more stable base without having Ferguson to compete with. Everything about these scenarios points to Manu being able to raise his average into the 50s (or even higher depending on his natural progression as a young player), which will provide valuable points in the early rounds along with a decent price increase. Catfish has gone so far as to label him the Smokey of 2019 in his Fearless Predictions and even 2018 winner Guy Feeney has tagged him as one to watch.

The caveat would be that this selection is based purely off the potential of his fire finish to last season. With so many cheapies and CTW eligible edge backrowers, it might be prudent to keep Manu at the top of your watchlist and jump on before round 3 if he bursts out of the gates. However, if you want to take a punt on potential there are far worse options than Joseph Manu who offers 55PPG+ upside at a 44PPG price.

Will he come into your considerations?

Check out the rest of our Players of Interest articles below: 

Greg Inglis

Jahrome Hughes

Clint Gutherson

Brett Morris

Kurt Mann

Michael Morgan

Matt Moylan

Esan Marsters

Josh Mansour

Daniel Alvaro

Alex Twal

Tevita Pangai Junior

Kalyn Ponga 

Mitchell Moses

Please Login to comment
12 Comment threads
48 Thread replies
1 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
21 Comment authors
j.d.Hitro OkeseneHeugeniousAJWChuck Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
Notify of
Canary Yellow
Member
Gun
Canary Yellow

Started with him last year and he was struggling to get to 20 Points most weeks.

Obviously I sold him just before he started to hit form.

FBK
Member
Gun
FBK

Same haha

JJJonny
Member
Gun
JJJonny

He’s close to the first person I picked and hasn’t moved. Hopefully he stays really low ownership by season kick off

DCE2011
Member
Gun
DCE2011

Nice write-up, Stilesy. Will be watching the WCC with interest.

BT
Member
Gun
BT

Could be a great pick. I have no Roosters in my side at the moment, which scares me somewhat. May be be a good downgrade from Marsters if i need to free up cash.

CoG
Member
Gun
CoG

Nice pick up Stilesy – I have him in the Ramien Blake bracket. Unless thet are busting out i’ll wait for rnd13 or later.
Team newbies in Crichon inside and Morris outside so the thinking is that edge could be a bit hit and miss for the first few games.

A Flock Of Sea Eagles
Member
Gun
A Flock Of Sea Eagles

I don’t mind him as an option, but one thing that I haven’t seen brought up yet is the Roosters backs’ scores are considerably inflated due to that purple patch from R19-R26: Manu – 65-point average in seven games (other 16 games only a 34-point average) Fergo – 74-point average in seven games (other 17 games only a 60-point average) Tedesco – 96-point average in seven games (other 17 games only a 63-point average) Mitchell – 81-point average in seven games (other 15 games only a 55-point average) Tupou – 54-point average in seven games (other 7 games only a… Read more »

Living on the edge
Member
Gun
Living on the edge

This comment makes no sense. Of course they all hit a purple patch towards the end of the season because they started to click better then earlier because they had a few new combos. Another pre season should make those combinations even stronger.

A Flock Of Sea Eagles
Member
Gun
A Flock Of Sea Eagles

What about it doesn’t make sense to you, @45785? Just because they hit some good form at the end of the season doesn’t mean it’ll automatically translate to the next season. It doesn’t work like that. If that were the case, we might as well just fill our CTW with all of Tedesco, Manu, Tupou and Mitchell. How much of it was through their combinations, and how much of it was due to weakened opposition (they put up 56 points against Manly, 44 points against the Eels, and 36 points against the Dragons – all three of those teams were… Read more »

OnTheBus
Member
Gun

flock they play the eels and manly in the first 3 games , get on the roosters!! lol

A Flock Of Sea Eagles
Member
Gun
A Flock Of Sea Eagles

Again, you can’t go off what happened last season – both Parramatta and Manly should be improved this year, the Eels made some notable acquisitions and Gutho had a full, uninterrupted preseason, and Manly will naturally be better because they won’t be dealing with all those injuries, and in-house drama they had last season.

Catfish
Editor
Gun

Even if you ignore last season, one look at all the changes in both backlines and the various roster reshuffles for both teams – compared to the relatively unchanged (overall) Roosters squad – would suggest a rough time for both the Eels and the Sea Eagles

A Flock Of Sea Eagles
Member
Gun
A Flock Of Sea Eagles

The Eels’ and Sea Eagles’ spirits were pretty much dead in the water for most of last season, particularly in the last quarter of the year where it looked like they were just going through the motions, because they had nothing to fight for.

Even if the results don’t go their way, I do expect both teams to play with considerably more effort to start the season.

DCE2011
Member
Gun
DCE2011

Flock, you and I both know that a Des Hasler coached team will never run last. For the doubters, Manly has never won a wooden spoon (I’ll admit we went close last year). smile

Catfish
Editor
Gun

It’s not about effort or running last or not, it’s about the ability to stop points being scored. For the Sea Eagles you’re not only getting a new centre/wing pairing on both edges, you’re also getting a new 5/8 who is well known to be defensively suspect. The Sea Eagles may well win enough games to not be bottom 4, but they’ll do it by outscoring the other team most likely (rather than on the back of their defence) and that means I’m happy to have attacking players going against them early in the year. The Eels have a new… Read more »

A Flock Of Sea Eagles
Member
Gun
A Flock Of Sea Eagles

And how do you think teams stop points being scored — by giving effort. I don’t know how you came to the conclusion it’s not about effort. As I said, they were going through the motions last season with the whole Barrett drama, their season being over once they were no chance of making the 8, and countless injuries. Those factors won’t be in play when they play the Roosters in R2. One of their biggest weaknesses was fading in and out of games last season, that won’t be an issue under Des and Singe – they were regularly one… Read more »

Catfish
Editor
Gun

When I said “it’s not about effort” I meant that I wasn’t questioning any team’s effort at the start or end of the season. Of course I’m not comparing the late season games that you referred to. I’m just saying that effort or not, you can’t paper over the new defensive combinations straight away just with ‘effort’. The Sea Eagles have given up plenty of points since 2015 until now, so it’s not just about last year, and it’s nothing to do with Barrett or Toovey or anybody else. Des may well fix things but the last time he was… Read more »

A Flock Of Sea Eagles
Member
Gun
A Flock Of Sea Eagles

Effort to communicate, effort to stay mentally engaged – all the processes before the physical linings (defensive combinations, 1%s, ability) even come into play. This is what I’m talking about when I said their spirits were dead in the water at the back end of last season when they had nothing to fight for, drama off the field and injuries to deal with (whereas the Roosters were running on a high and peaking at the right time – they were at the other end of the spectrum). Manly could’ve had the most-able defenders, combinations and structure and yet it still… Read more »

DCE2011
Member
Gun
DCE2011

Yep. The band is back together: Des, Singe, Cleal and Ballin (helping Singe). Also, Brett Stewart on board as a specialist backs coach.

DCE2011
Member
Gun
DCE2011

I see where you’re coming from, CF, but Manly may actually go the other way (defend better and attack less). Des has always been big on defence (even his Bulldogs tenure proved that). I agree that certain players (Elgey, Suli, Garrick) will need to improve defensively to stay in 1st grade.

Catfish
Editor
Gun

And that’s what I actually think could happen, hence why I’m staying away from Turbo to start the year. I just have concerns about it all clicking straight away from Round 1-5, I think Des will need some time to get his team right and that may involve some losses to start the year. Of course it’s all speculation but that’s what I have in my mind when I look at that team list.

OnTheBus
Member
Gun

flock mate seriously , take out DCE and turbo twins and you guys are in big trouble lol as for the eels they will improve theres no choice when you finish last smile

TheLaneTrain
Member
Gun
TheLaneTrain

I don’t understand? Obviously if you take out a team’s three best players they will be significantly worse.

OnTheBus
Member
Gun

jackson Hastings Brian Kelly Shaun Lane Darcy Lussick Akuila Uate Jonathan Wright Tom Wright and possibly Dwalker

So yes take out those 3 and theres big trouble

The top tier teams have depth and quality across the paddock , if you dont understand then take off your sea eagles goggles .

Anyway this post is about Manu , i highlighted that manly and eels will be versing the roosters early lets hope they havnt given up after round 1

Chuck
Member
Chuck

Not sure why onthebus just wrote a list of players no longer at Manly, but they were all garbage so that basically improves them if anything.

Strong front row rotation, proven winner coach, top 5 half and hooker, and 2 of the best young talents in the NRL.

If turbo makes another giant leap and they stay relatively healthy they’ll push for 8th. Sleep on them at your own peril.

A Flock Of Sea Eagles
Member
Gun
A Flock Of Sea Eagles

I too am unsure of why @15296 listed names of players who’re no longer at Manly.

I gave up trying to make sense of his comments a while ago. lol

OnTheBus
Member
Gun

How many alias names have you got?
Sad when you aare behind a computer and cant reveal yourself , anyway i won’t be posting here anymore smile

A Flock Of Sea Eagles
Member
Gun
A Flock Of Sea Eagles

What is the entire point of saying take out Manly’s three best players and they’d be in “big trouble”? Take out the three best players from every team and they’d be in “big trouble”.

@15296, mate, seriously.

OnTheBus
Member
Gun

NSW Cup team thats the point FLop

Edit flock not flop smile

A Flock Of Sea Eagles
Member
Gun
A Flock Of Sea Eagles

Again, I must reiterate, I’m not telling people to avoid him (I personally think he’s a good POD option), I’m just outlining some things to consider.

Is he and the Roosters backs capable of carrying on that six-game purple patch at the back end of the season, will he resort back to his 34-point average across the other 16 games, or will he fall somewhere in between?

OnTheBus
Member
Gun

Souffs storm in the gf are a dud team razz
Roosters didnt all season , a year together and they can be anything.
Will be very hard to beat , any team with ted and mitchell i guess. tigers need a sombrero

Catfish
Editor
Gun

What’s worth looking at is his base stats from Round 14 onwards compared to earlier in the season. That to me negates any concerns over inflated attacking stats

OnTheBus
Member
Gun

As a previous owner he was very lazy but the back end of the season he got some confidence and showed his potential , The GF and test match should give him more confidence ahead of this season , having crighton inside him could well see him find more wholes in the oppostion D.
Watching the world challenge with interest

A Flock Of Sea Eagles
Member
Gun
A Flock Of Sea Eagles

First 16 games he had two tries, three LBs, three TS, one LBA
Last 7 games he had four tries, six LBs, two TS, five LBA

I don’t see how that could be negated by a measurement of base stats.

Bear
Member
Gun
Bear

Flock, you seem to be battling with yourself in some of your comments. Im by no means having a go at ya, you just need to look at both sides some times and not rely on these ‘outliers’ you keep on going on about. Roosters are an attacking team and finished last season on fire. If you can’t rely on what happened last year, what’s to say the Roosters actually have a strong start this yr? Good teams will score lots of tries, it’s not really an outlier when they do.

A Flock Of Sea Eagles
Member
Gun
A Flock Of Sea Eagles

I always look at both sides. Always. You don’t need to worry about that Look, I’m not saying that the Roosters will or won’t have a strong start to the year, I’m simply providing context to how the Roosters backs scored their points last season – it came in the last six rounds against teams whose seasons were theoretically over and had nothing to fight for (Eels and Sea Eagles), or in bad form (Dragons – they lost six out of their last eight games). Those were some of the factors that led to Mitchell, Tedesco, Tupou, Manu and Fergo… Read more »

Bear
Member
Gun
Bear

Fair enough, I can understand what your getting at but I think your reading to much into it. Look, the Roosters won’t blow teams off the park week to week (they didn’t last year either) but they are one of the better qualified teams to do it. Manu also in a set position so should grow off that. Fwiw, he’s not in my team atm, just cant find the funds but trying to fit him in somehow. Anyways I appreciate all the time you put into your posts, lots of people on here asking you for advice so it must… Read more »

Catfish
Editor
Gun

Because attacking stats come and go. His base was solid once he settled into right centre, and at his price and with his actual football ability, with the weapons around him, I’m confident he’s underpriced at happy to start him from Round 1. There’s plenty of reasons you can throw around – Cronk took half a season to gel, Teddy took time feeling comfortable playing both edges, etc. etc. but at the end of the day, it’s not that big of a deal. Sometimes you just gotta trust what your eyes see in conjunction with the stats, and Manu is… Read more »

A Flock Of Sea Eagles
Member
Gun
A Flock Of Sea Eagles

That still doesn’t explain how you think that “negates” his attacking stats. It’s no coincidence that their entire backline had significant point-rises over a seven-game stretch (because of attacking stats), not just one of them, not just two, not just three, but all of them, yet they weren’t nearly as prolific over the other 15-17 games. If Manu can only hit in the 60s over a brief period where his fellow backline members are averaging in the 80s and 90s, yet during a normalized period (16 games) only hit in the 30s, what does that say about his SC ability?… Read more »

Catfish
Editor
Gun

Because the only reason I’m interested in Manu has nothing to do with his attacking stats from last year, and all about his involvement and his base stats, and the potential for what he could do this year. That’s what I meant by it negating (the focus you’ve put on) the attacking stats.

j.d.
Member
Sleeper
j.d.

Not sure who I should listen to, the former champ or the guy that said Kikau would be a bust last year?

A Flock Of Sea Eagles
Member
Gun
A Flock Of Sea Eagles

You mean “the guy” who said Tapine was going to be a great buy last season, and he ended up averaging 72 points from R8 until the end of the year? You mean “the guy” who said not to trade in Widdop after his 173-point performance last season, and then he only averaged 50 points for the rest of the year? You mean “the guy” who said Cook would contend for the highest average at hooker before R1 and be the buy of the year? You mean “the guy” who said RFM would be one of the better buys of… Read more »

Catfish
Editor
Gun

Haha you’re so defensive mate, everyone would get along easier with you if you didn’t act like any one who has a differing opinion to yours is wrong. I certainly don’t consider my opinion any more important than anyone else’s opinion. I don’t think people put me or any other former winner on a pedestal. The reality is though, to win you need to get a lot of calls right in one year, so to an extent, you get some credit for it when you make calls in the future. I enjoy talking SC and will engage with SC chat,… Read more »

A Flock Of Sea Eagles
Member
Gun
A Flock Of Sea Eagles

It’s less about differing opinion, and more so to do with reasoning; if what you’re saying makes sense, and is following the laws in which you’re applying it to x-player (also, or in comparison for y-player), and is taking into account the appropriate context, I’m not going to act like they’re “wrong”. I could still disagree with them, but I’m most certainly not going to say they’re wrong. But you’re not doing that in here (or in the Lafai piece), your logic is all over the place and you’re making too many assumptions instead of looking at the bigger picture,… Read more »

Catfish
Editor
Gun

Applying the same comparison (or “laws” as you say) only makes sense if I’m comparing the two players in an absolutely identical way, and if the same information is available for both players. I’ll say this one last time – I haven’t at any point tried to compare Lafai and Manu – that’s not the way the ratings for the Mega Guide work. One B rated player isn’t going to match up the same to another B rated player, even if they are in the same position. One D rated player for a team isn’t going to be compared to… Read more »

A Flock Of Sea Eagles
Member
Gun
A Flock Of Sea Eagles

Lafai and Manu are basically identical in price, play the same position, and whether you want to admit it or not have similar team conditions – Dragons have one of the best spines and one of the best forward packs – I don’t how anyone could argue otherwise. I don’t see any sense in grading one a D, and the other a B. At the very least, there should only be one letter separating them, and I’m being generous there, they both should be rated the same since there’s no +/-. I gather Haas is an A because he’s priced… Read more »

Catfish
Editor
Gun

Hey, I got plenty of calls wrong last year too. I said Milford would hit a 70 PPG average. I also was big on Rapana going 70+ over the first 10 rounds due to the Raiders’ draw. Rated Latu a better Round 1 prospect than Arrow – a classic case of looking at the stats too much over the pure footballing ability and potential there!

I also said Turbo and Teddy would be the two highest averaging players – almost got it haha. I made some good calls too but you can’t get them all as Flock said

Themoose77
Member
Sleeper
Themoose77

Wacko reports BMoz trained at left centre yesterday. So what does this mean for the Roosters backline if this becomes permanent – Manu goes to the wing? Or Latrell to wing?

DCE2011
Member
Gun
DCE2011

Fill in for Latrell.

marmalade
Member
Keeper
marmalade

Nice work Stilesy, hoping this guy wouldn’t have a P.O.I article, nothing to see here wink

twittertweet
Member
Sleeper
twittertweet

Wait and see with a lot of the Roosters backs for me. It’s more of an attitude thing. They know they have the best team in the comp and they know that they will need to play well come September. I could be wrong but my gut feeling is they will coast through and just doing the bare minimum for the first half of the season similar to last year.

AJW
Member
Keeper
AJW

Hello there people – including CF and Flock. I hear what you’ve all been saying about the merits of various players, especially Joey Manu, and the probability of them performing in a such and such a manner in the opening rounds of this coming season. Isn’t it reasonable to say that as Easts (sorry, the Roosters!) hit their straps and started performing well at the end of last season, propelling them into a premiership win, that both collectively and individually, they could reasonably be motivated into starting off the new season with a bang? Couldn’t this energy, cohesion and will… Read more »

OnTheBus
Member
Gun

roosters have no talent , its manly you need to watch out for . They will play with energy this year

A Flock Of Sea Eagles
Member
Gun
A Flock Of Sea Eagles

“Anyway ill try not to get sucked in to the baiting and just post my thoughts on players” – the words of @15296 just yesterday.

Never mind him getting “sucked in to the baiting”, he’s the one doing it!

Heugenious
Member
Borderline keeper
Heugenious

Well this has been an instructive thread and I’ve enjoyed the banter and the argy bargy that has been creeping into SCTALK spilling over from last year. I very much enjoy all of your contributions regardless of the sniping. For me it comes down to how risk averse we are as coaches that creates a divide in opinion…and it is mainly that …opinion. So please keep the egos in check or we may see SCTalk turning into SCTalkMAFS ha ha. FWIW I’m with Twittertweet on this one, I agree that most games are won and lost between the ears, we… Read more »

AJW
Member
Keeper
AJW

No worries guys, I’m a Sea Eagles bloke from way back – until last week I had 5 of them in my team, which I’ve reduced to only 4! I can’t deny that I think they’ll start the year with a burst, but I also admire the way the chookies got it together last year & became just deadly! I love to watch a good game, even when Manly are not doing well (of course you always want your team to get through in the end, but it’s good to see a bit of quality action, isn’t it?). Anyway, I… Read more »