Woods nominates Tigers' next Taupau...

Woods nominates Tigers’ next Taupau
Matt Encarnacion
13:03 AEST Thu Nov 19 2015

They’ve lost one of the game’s most explosive front-rowers, but Wests Tigers captain-in-waiting Aaron Woods reckons management doesn’t need to look far to find the next one.

Void of any big-name signings over the summer, coach Jason Taylor has a gaping hole in his forward pack following the shock exit of Martin Taupau to Manly.

But Woods already knows who will be the man to feature on highlight reels with the same ferocious power as the Kiwi international next season.

“Sauaso Sue’s been one of our most consistent footballers of the past couple of years, so yeah, it’s a big year for him to step up,” Woods told AAP.

Woods said the previously softly-spoken Sue, who has played 58 games since making his debut in 2013, hasn’t quite been as shy in the opening weeks of the pre-season and appears the man most likely to fill Taupau’s role.

The 23-year-old has followed a similar path to his corn-rowed predecessor, having started his NRL career as a back-rower but has since blossomed into a modern-day prop with a low centre of gravity.

“He just senses that it’s time for him to step up. He’s really coming out of his shell,” Woods said.

“He was a back-rower, but he’s getting massive. The way that he’s been training and the attitude he’s brought to the pre-season … he’s ready for it.”

Taupau isn’t the only big man to have left the club at the end of last season, with the experienced Keith Galloway moving to England and talented youngster Matt Lodge sacked for off-field troubles.

The joint-venture club has signed a number of fringe forwards in Joel Edwards, Rod Griffin and Billy McConnachie, and have a handful of promising kids in Dallas Graham and Junior Tatola.

However Woods, who is most likely to be handed the captaincy that was dramatically given up by Robbie Farah at start of pre-season, has warned against pitting them in the NRL too early.

“We have got some good boys there, but you don’t want to throw them in the thick of things, especially if things go bad,” he said.

“That’s where myself, Ava (Seumanufagai) and Sue, we have to really step up early on in the start of the year.”


I can’t help but think it really should be Big Ava -

He’s such a big lump of lad. It’s almost as if someone needs to constantly remind him he’s as big as he is.

Either that, or get him on the angry pills.

Taupau is different to both Sue and Ava in that he is much more explosive. Ava especially though really knows how to belt it up. I don’t know about Sue. I prefer him at prop but he needs to step up and show that he has something more than what he has shown so far.

Yeh Sue will never be a Taupau, he’s more like a Ruben Wiki, which is better and what we need.

Our pack next year will have a hardness about it that it’s never had before. I don’t think the opposition was ever scared of running at Marty Taupau, yes he put fear into them with the ball which we will miss, no doubt, but in 2016 we will have an bunch of just plain hard guys that the will wear opposition down by being plain heavy handed in everything they do. Sue will lead that hardness.

Did Taupau ever touch the ball in our 30 when we need a dirty hit up ??

Their the players you want , the Brad Clyde’s and Ben Kennedy’s who were always back for the 2nd hit up of the set who knew they were going to get flogged but did it anyway

@happy tiger:

Did Taupau ever touch the ball in our 30 when we need a dirty hit up ??

Their the players you want , the Brad Clyde’s and Ben Kennedy’s who were always back for the 2nd hit up of the set who knew they were going to get flogged but did it anyway

Ben Kennedy, now that was a player.

Sue is a much better defender than Taupau……He hits hard and sticks…He stepped up in the absence of both Woods and Galloway last season…Expecting another breakout year as a starter from Jesse…

I think Ava is gonna be fantastic this season. Really came on last year, at least in attack. The more minutes he got, the better he did. It was a one year extension right? Contract year w a huge salary cap/pay increase next year should see him and Sue really bring it.

We’re still short some heavy hitters though unless some of the new recruits turn out to be steals. I think Woodsy is completely right about the rookies too. Can’t expect much. Whatever they bring should be a bonus, nothing more.

Yeah, Marty is highlight reel, for sure. Like Ben Te’o, with bigger biceps.

Everything else has been said before - he is the guy you add to a good and consistent team, he isn’t the cornerstone of a new-look side.

Woods is spot on. Sue had an outstanding year last season and is of more value to the team than taupau. I’m glad we didn’t pay massive money for taupau, we could buy 3 Jesse sue"s for that money. Sirro will be another to step up again this year.

Sue might not be as explosive or strong as Taupau, but he’s no mug and has a better motor and is a better defender. I think he’ll be one player to keep an eye on next season.

Its all true - about Sue of course. But Marty could have been there as well, but wont be.

At the end of the day I cant blame management for letting Marty walk. But our forward strength is the weakest I can recall. One or two injuries to key forwards and we are looking at conceding cricket scores next year I reckon.

If Woods is captain they get the spoon - Lawrence for me.

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