Simona's 50th....

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Geo.
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Simona's 50th....

Unread post by Geo. » Fri 26 Jun, 2015 4:36 pm

Simona feeling like a "real" NRL player

Dan Talintyre (Twitter: @dantalintyre)

Fri 26th June, 03:19PM
A A
“You’ll never be a real first grade player until you’ve played 50 games.”

Those were the words spoken to the then 20-year-old Tim Simona after he made his first-grade debut for Wests Tigers against Newcastle back in in Round 13, 2011.

49 NRL games later, the Auckland-born centre remembers the conversation vividly.

“There’s probably two conversations that I guess stick out to me the most,” he reflected.

“I remember before my debut back when I was in the ranks at the under-20’s, Sheensy [Tim Sheens] got like 40 of the young players into a meeting and told us that out of everyone in the room, there was only going to be one or two of us that would play grade.

“And I can just remember sitting there thinking I wanted to be that one.

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“So when I did make my debut, the coaching staff told me that until I played 50 games, I couldn’t consider myself to have made it as a first-grade player.

“Looking back, I think that was really good to make me realise that just because I’d played a game of NRL or whatever, I hadn’t made it. And I guess now, playing my 50th game this weekend, I’m just hoping that there’s many more games to come.”

Finishing as the Club’s top try-scorer in his first proper season of first-grade in 2013 — scoring 12 tries in 17 matches — Simona has quickly established himself as one of the most potent centres in the game, with a myriad of spectacular tries on the left edge.

After making his international Test debut for Samoa at the end of 2014, the 23-year-old carried that strong form into the current season, with six try-assists, three tries and a lethal combination with veteran winger Pat Richards already this year.

And yet, despite all of that and being on the verge of his 50th first-grade match against the Penrith Panthers on Sunday, Simona knows he’s far from “made it” in the NRL.

“I definitely know that I’m there yet,” he enthused. “You’ve never really there.

“I mean, I guess I’ve made my little achievements in those 50 games — making the Samoa team and things like that — but there’s a lot more to come.

“My main goal is to reach 200 first-grade games.

“The average of what a player actually gets to when he plays first-grade isn’t all that high, so the focus is to play first-grade for a good 10 years of my life.

“Definitely playing for New Zealand as well is a big goal of mine.

“It’s always been my dream since I was a kid to represent the black and white, so hopefully that isn’t too far away for me if I keep playing well.”


While there’s certainly plenty of obvious physical changes Simona has experienced since starting in the NRL four years ago — adding close to 10kg and moving from the wing to the centres for starters — the Balmain junior says the biggest change he’s seen in himself is the understanding of what’s expected from him as a player and a leader.

“Watching back at when I first came into the NRL, I think I looked really young.

“I acted pretty young then too, so I guess I’ve become more mature in the past few years.

“There’s a lot of young guys coming up in the ranks here with some serious talent, and I feel that I can nurture them and kind of show a little bit of what I’ve learned and how I’ve changed both myself and my game in the 50 games so far of my career.”

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Unread post by VanillaThunder » Fri 26 Jun, 2015 4:41 pm

Good read, especially about his leadership aspirations. He's come a long way already and is showing himself to be a smart, classy centre. I'd be ecstatic if we can hold on to him, Seve and Heleta.

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Unread post by Tigersman » Fri 26 Jun, 2015 4:42 pm

May there be many more games to come! And hopefully no more bloody injuries for the poor guy.
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Unread post by willow » Fri 26 Jun, 2015 4:47 pm

Hope he has a blinder on Sunday.

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Unread post by Tigerdon » Fri 26 Jun, 2015 7:13 pm

I rate Simona as a solid first grader and currently our best centre .with a lot more good 1st grade games in front of him. All the best for Sunday Tim.
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Unread post by Russell » Fri 26 Jun, 2015 7:50 pm

Well done Tim - love your work.

Look forward to the next 50 (if I am allowed to say that).

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Unread post by Tiger Watto » Fri 26 Jun, 2015 8:04 pm

A great milestone... Well Done!

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Unread post by marzie » Fri 26 Jun, 2015 8:37 pm

Well done Tim, good luck on Sunday

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Unread post by stevetiger » Fri 26 Jun, 2015 9:25 pm

Maybe my favourite player. Definitely our best outside back.

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Unread post by 851 » Sun 28 Jun, 2015 7:57 pm

I mean I love the bloke, but geez when was the last time he didn't go down injured in a game, I honestly can't remember.
And what is his record for consecutive games, everytime he gets tackled now I cringe, the guy is made of glass, we should have let cronulla take him and signed a genuine strike centre.
Go hard or go home

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Unread post by Newtown » Sun 28 Jun, 2015 8:01 pm

851 wrote:I mean I love the bloke, but geez when was the last time he didn't go down injured in a game, I honestly can't remember.
And what is his record for consecutive games, everytime he gets tackled now I cringe, the guy is made of glass, we should have let cronulla take him and signed a genuine strike centre.
How many signing and sacking mistakes starting with the new coach has Wests Tigers made in the past 18 months?

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Unread post by 851 » Sun 28 Jun, 2015 8:12 pm

Newtown wrote:
851 wrote:I mean I love the bloke, but geez when was the last time he didn't go down injured in a game, I honestly can't remember.
And what is his record for consecutive games, everytime he gets tackled now I cringe, the guy is made of glass, we should have let cronulla take him and signed a genuine strike centre.
How many signing and sacking mistakes starting with the new coach has Wests Tigers made in the past 18 months?
Yeh you are right, apart from Tapau not many, I don't rate Kev as a genuine NRL player, probably why Newy and Penrith let him go.
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Unread post by everett » Sun 28 Jun, 2015 8:16 pm

Simona is turning out to be a player with talent but a career curtailed by injury.

What could have been instead of what should have been.

We need high class centres but who is available and wants to join a sinking ship with no skipper
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Unread post by stevetiger » Sun 28 Jun, 2015 8:17 pm

I think he just isn't being allowed time to heal. He is so critical for us and they probably push him to play.

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Unread post by Snake » Sun 28 Jun, 2015 9:27 pm

The Myth are we seeing it yet !

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Unread post by littletiger » Tue 30 Jun, 2015 11:09 am

It was PARISH that got Simona injured in the first place playing him at 7 for Samoa.

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Unread post by underdog » Tue 30 Jun, 2015 11:19 am

littletiger wrote:It was PARISH that got Simona injured in the first place playing him at 7 for Samoa.
Yes, however you don't get injured JUST playing a position.

It's becoming a niggle that wont go away - much like a Justin Hodges Hamstring.
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Unread post by littletiger » Tue 30 Jun, 2015 11:33 am

Yeh he just needs to sit it out unfortunately. Tough on the club tho that have no centres. I wonder how Chance Peni would of went if he didn't get injured.

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