Shades of Hanley as countryman steps up

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Shades of Hanley as countryman steps up
June 5, 2010

WESTS TIGERS coach Tim Sheens didn't want to compare him with Balmain's most famous import, Ellery Hanley, but he was prepared to say that English forward Gareth Ellis was the best bargain buy the Tigers had made in his time as coach.

''In my time here, dollar-for-dollar, he's been the best buy this club has had,'' Sheens said.

In wet conditions that reminded him of his home in Yorkshire, Ellis was a key factor in the Tigers' grinding win over the Bulldogs last night in what was a man-of-the-match performance.

The 29-year-old worked hard all night and made some barnstorming runs.

Sheens said of Ellis: ''He leaves nothing in the tank. He's scary. He knocks you down and runs hard. I'd have to say in my time at the club he's been the best import the club has purchased. Not so much because of his flashy play - and he can do some very good things - it's just that week-in, week-out consistent performance that he's given us. He regularly plays 80 minutes and I think he's only missed one or two games for us in two years.''

Sheens said Ellis was ''value for money'' and if you asked the other Tigers who they loved playing with ''they'll tell you it's him''.

After some procrastination, the Tigers are letting Ellis fly out of Sydney today so he can go into camp on Monday with the England team for a game against France next Saturday at a new stadium in Leigh, in England's north.

Sheens predicted Ellis would ''murder'' his French opponents. ''He'll kill them. He's too strong for them. A couple of people said 'why are we letting him go just for that?', but it's a rep game and we let blokes go and play City v Country, we let blokes go and play for NSW. He wants to play a Test and I would never take that off him. It brings them back better players. For him and [the Rabbitohs' Sam Burgess] to play together in that [English] side, the French won't know what hit them.''

Ellis said he was looking forward to turning out for England for the first time since last year's Four Nations tournament and described France as a ''tough outfit''.

He said the last time he had played in wet conditions in Australia he was man-of-the-match ''which is about right for an English player playing over here. When I see it's raining it's not something I look forward to, but it must suit me. It was good to get on the front foot and run off Robbie Farah. He creates a bit of space and then it's up to you to do your best. I really enjoyed playing out there tonight.''

Hanley helped the Tigers to a grand final in 1988\. Ellis looks capable of doing the same in 2010.
 

tiger_tigers

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whilst the pearl was great in his time with balmain , he only played 8 games for the club , and was merely here for the money ….that dosent make him a tiger legend in my books ....ellis has given 500 percent more than hanley imo ..
 

Geo

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No but he played more games for Wests Magpies draging a team of battlers with him….The pearl qualifies on both counts.....

Ellis is by far the best Wests Import of all our great Poms IMO...
 

Chris

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I'd go as far as saying he's the best player in the club right now.
 

jirskyr

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@Geo. said:
No but he played more games for Wests Magpies draging a team of battlers with him….The pearl qualifies on both counts.....

Ellis is by far the best Wests Import of all our great Poms IMO...

And then played again for the Tigers '96 when we had nothing going for us.
 
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Andy Currier was great value for money, that bloke scored a heap of points for Balmain in 1989\. Back to Ellis though, I wouldn't swap him for any other backrower running around at the moment.
 

southerntiger

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@willow said:
Andy Currier was great value for money, that bloke scored a heap of points for Balmain in 1989\. Back to Ellis though, I wouldn't swap him for any other backrower running around at the moment.

I was a big Currier fan but a lot of the diehards on this forum have a different view of Andy's contribution to the 89 side - a lot seem to criticise his defense. I was only 9 at the time so perhaps I wasnt the best judge but I remember him being brilliant for us.
 

Peaches

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Ellis would have to be the best back-rower in the comp. He makes heaps of tackles, all of which hurt. This year his attack has come along and he has made great meters down the right channel. Wouldn't trade him for anyone else in his position.
 

Cultured_Bogan

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Ellis makes tackles, runs hard and can find gaps. He's the complete second rower. I've mentioned in an earlier post when Lui found him with a flat pass as he was breaking a gap against the Warriors I just about busted a nut watching it.
 
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