Manly Sea Eagles legend Graham Eadie
Manly Sea Eagles legend Graham Eadie

Bronco's left-field defection

LIKE everyone else, I thought Karmichael Hunt would be heading to rugby union - the switch to Aussies Rules came totally from left field.

Hunt is one of very few league players who will be able to make the transition.

Aussie Rules is an extremely aerobic game, with players constantly running, unlike league which is a stop-start affair. The biggest challenge for him outside his fitness will be to develop his skills.

But you just have to look a little closer to home and follow the success of former Bilambil Jets junior Sam Gilbert who is now a key player in the St Kilda team.

• • • 

I THINK his move to AFL is a wake-up call for the NRL to smarten up their act.

Surely the executive of the code needs to look at the numbers of quality players looking to other avenues such as the Super League or rugby union both here and overseas and ask “why do they want to leave?”

I have heard many players are unhappy with the way the game is run and managed in this country, and with the administration and the refereeing.

If the players aren't happy, the game suffers and so do the fans.

• • • 

THE premiers are on the move and they have plenty of teams looking over their shoulders in the run to the play-offs.

While Manly are going along quite nicely, Sea Eagles fans shouldn't get ahead of themselves.

I spoke to Brett Stewart this week, who told me that he wouldn't be back until the semis.

He is recovering well from his injury, but his fitness is about a week behind, due to a bout of flu.

• • • 

THE most interesting thing about the competition is speculating as to who will make up the top eight.

I'll stick my neck out now and make some predictions:

The top four will consist of the Dragons, Bulldogs and Titans with either the Storm or Manly.

The remaining three teams will be Penrith, Knights and a battle between the Cowboys and Parramatta.

• • • 

THERE are some great local matches on both sides of the border this weekend.

On the Gold Coast, Bilambil could ill-afford to drop the game last week against Runaway Bay and now must regroup to take on the Southport Tigers at Owen Park.

South of the border, Cudgen and the Tweed Coast Raiders meet in what is shaping up to be a crucial game for both clubs.

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