Making the Leap: Esan Marsters

Making the Leap: Esan Marsters

Dan Talintyre (Twitter: @dantalintyre)

Fri 4th November, 04:30PM

Esan Marsters is under no illusion of what lies ahead of him in pre-season.

One of seven Wests Tigers players to make the transition from Holden Cup to the extended full-time NRL squad in 2017, the quietly spoken 20-year-old says he knows that this year counts more than any other year so far in his short but successful career.

So much so that while many were enjoying their off-season break, Marsters — who played with Wests Tigers Holden Cup side through to the Elimination Finals — was training away, twice or more a week, to get himself ready for a gruelling pre-season.

Not so he would be better than anyone else, necessarily.

Just so he would be ready.

“It feels good to almost be back into it completely,” he said ahead of Monday’s return.

“I did a bit of training in the off-season and it’s helped me get back in and find my feet.

“It was in the back of mind the whole time in the break that I was going into the NRL squad, so I really wanted to train hard in the off-season and come back in here strong.

“I have no idea how tough it’ll be to earn my stripes in my position,” he conceded. “You can’t know until you’re there, but I’m expecting it to be really difficult.”

“But at the same time, it’s exciting to be able to prove yourself against the best. All I’m trying to do is learn from all the older players and make my way through the ranks.”

On the surface, many would see Marsters’ 2016 season as a success — debuting for the Junior Kiwis in May and establishing himself as one of the most dangerous young forwards around with 10 tries, 14 linebreaks and seven try-assists in 17 games.

Averaging over 125 metres per game for the year, Marsters also spent time in the Club’s Intrust Super Premiership side as he prepared for his transition to the extended NRL squad in 2017, but said he knows his game still requires plenty of improvements.

“I was pretty happy with how the year started,” he said, “but I wasn’t happy with how I finished, so I just want to come into the NRL squad feeling strong and earn my stripes.

“I think I’m in a good place in my head of what I need to do to help that happen.

“I definitely want to take my footy to the next level. That’s the focus for this year, and I’m really looking to learn off the older players and the coaching staff to help me do that.”

In particular, Marsters says he’s looking to two players at very different ends of the spectrum in terms of their rugby league careers — Chris Lawrence and Josh Aloiai.

“I guess you always look to the senior players in your position for an example, and I think Chris Lawrence is the perfect example of someone who does it all and just keeps producing what the team needs every single week,” he said.

“You see the professionalism they have in what he does, and the desire to keep improving, which is something I really want to have in my game next season.

“I think one of the younger guys too, Josh Aloiai, is someone I look to.

“He played first-grade all of last season in his first year out of the U/20’s program and that’s the goal for me, so I want to learn off him and see how he could achieve that.

“Given I’m making that transition out of the U/20’s and into the extended NRL squad, Josh has been there and done that and also had a similar past to me in playing Junior Kiwis, so I’m looking forward to learning off him and the experienced players here.”

“I think the biggest thing that I see in them is the effort that’s required in the NRL.

“You can’t back off at any time — not just in the games but also during the week as well.

“The effort they have, and the continued efforts, is the main thing that stands out to me. All the guys here train really well and are professional in what they do — whether it’s just doing the running sessions or the opposed contact. You see they make everything count, and that’s where I want to get to with being consistent in my actions this year.”

So of the 7 players who are Making the Leap 6 of them are forwards. Would of been nice if we could of had that forward pack playing in the final series.
The question to be asked is was it a good year for forwards or a bad year for backs? I’m hoping 2 or three making the jump to first grade next year and make positions their own and the rest gradually worked onto the bench. I really want to see Paseka succeed as he is the big body we need but then again i thought Lamar Liolevave was going to make the transition. So hard for the youngsters making the change from the 20’s.

This guy, of all the “leapers”, is the most interesting. Could be anything, potentially the best or flat out worst of the promoted NYCers.

My gut says he’s not going to make it, I see lots of BMM in him, but hope he proves me wrong.

He definitely has all the “rockstar” attributes. His skill level is amazing and is a big body. Unfortunately I tend to agree with you in as much that I don’t think he has the workrate to really rip in and come looking for the ball, and may join a long list of guys who did it too easy when they were young. I definitely hope I’m wrong though as he could be our Papalli in a few years if he develops

As long as he puts in the hard work this guy will be something special

@Tiger Tim:

So of the 7 players who are Making the Leap 6 of them are forwards.

This is the issue for me. We are already light on for depth in the backs and have practically none coming through the ranks in the short term. Why is there such an inbalance in the quality of our junior forwards and backs?

Papenhuyzen and Suli (if he’s even still with us) are the only ones of note coming through the ranks. Jacobs being the only one to step up, and he’s been quite erratic even at junior level. The fact Karwhin isn’t in this list doesn’t bode well for his retainment either.

On Esan, early days but i think he’ll be another bust. Players that don’t have the work rate in juniors will likely struggle playing at a higher pace. But maybe, just maybe, he’s one of the few who can kick it up a notch.

@Balmain Boy:

@Tiger Tim:

So of the 7 players who are Making the Leap 6 of them are forwards.

This is the issue for me. We are already light on for depth in the backs and have practically none coming through the ranks in the short term. Why is there such an inbalance in the quality of our junior forwards and backs?

Papenhuyzen and Suli (if he’s even still with us) are the only ones of note coming through the ranks. Jacobs being the only one to step up, and he’s been quite erratic even at junior level. The fact Karwhin isn’t in this list doesn’t bode well for his retainment either.

On Esan, early days but i think he’ll be another bust. Players that don’t have the work rate in juniors will likely struggle playing at a higher pace. But maybe, just maybe, he’s one of the few who can kick it up a notch.

We still have Suli on the books.

@willow:

@Balmain Boy:

@Tiger Tim:

So of the 7 players who are Making the Leap 6 of them are forwards.

This is the issue for me. We are already light on for depth in the backs and have practically none coming through the ranks in the short term. Why is there such an inbalance in the quality of our junior forwards and backs?

Papenhuyzen and Suli (if he’s even still with us) are the only ones of note coming through the ranks. Jacobs being the only one to step up, and he’s been quite erratic even at junior level. The fact Karwhin isn’t in this list doesn’t bode well for his retainment either.

On Esan, early days but i think he’ll be another bust. Players that don’t have the work rate in juniors will likely struggle playing at a higher pace. But maybe, just maybe, he’s one of the few who can kick it up a notch.

We still have Suli on the books.

Well that’s good to hear! Hadn’t heard anything, anywhere about him for a long time. With other clubs sniffing around you always get worried. He’s exactly the type of young back we need at the club. I’d presume he’s at pre-season training with first grade too, if he’s fully recovered from his injury that is.

A solid pre-season and this kid could be in for a massive year! Can’t remember the last back we had like him, at any level. Big, strong and fast.

I too worry about Esan - To me he’s a similar build to Lamar, Which I just don’t think is big enough when you hit seniors…
I like (and rate) him a bit better than Lamar though -

Kelipi Tanginoa is falling further and further down the pecking order at Parra - He’s a back rower that we should be chasing hard!!

@batboy:

I too worry about Esan - To me he’s a similar build to Lamar, Which I just don’t think is big enough when you hit seniors…
I like (and rate) him a bit better than Lamar though -

Kelipi Tanginoa is falling further and further down the pecking order at Parra - He’s a back rower that we should be chasing hard!!

Problem is Tanginoa re-signed with Parra for 2017 a few weeks ago…

@Balmain Boy:

@batboy:

I too worry about Esan - To me he’s a similar build to Lamar, Which I just don’t think is big enough when you hit seniors…
I like (and rate) him a bit better than Lamar though -

Kelipi Tanginoa is falling further and further down the pecking order at Parra - He’s a back rower that we should be chasing hard!!

Problem is Tanginoa re-signed with Parra for 2017 a few weeks ago…

I know that… But he’s on 2nd tier, There’d be 6 back ups in front of him, He’s not gonna get a game…
He’s best mates with Aloaia and he (Was) playing great footy before injury this season.

@batboy:

@Balmain Boy:

@batboy:

I too worry about Esan - To me he’s a similar build to Lamar, Which I just don’t think is big enough when you hit seniors…
I like (and rate) him a bit better than Lamar though -

Kelipi Tanginoa is falling further and further down the pecking order at Parra - He’s a back rower that we should be chasing hard!!

Problem is Tanginoa re-signed with Parra for 2017 a few weeks ago…

I know that… But he’s on 2nd tier, There’d be 6 back ups in front of him, He’s not gonna get a game…
He’s best mates with Aloaia and he (Was) playing great footy before injury this season.

He re-signed knowing his position in the club. He’s not going anywhere before maybe June next year.

Probably - He also signed before Matagi and Pritchard… Although with Wicks now leaving that may free up a spot.
I have it on good authority he has been told he can explore other options, As has Gower and a few others…
Word is there was 44 at Parra training the other day, With a few more to come…

@batboy:

Probably - He also signed before Matagi and Pritchard… Although with Wicks now leaving that may free up a spot.
I have it on good authority he has been told he can explore other options, As has Gower and a few others…
Word is there was 44 at Parra training the other day, With a few more to come…

Makes sense with 3 Salary Caps…

Be a few train and trial in there, A few extra boys from ressies and their best 20’s I’d say… But yeah, There’s at least 6-8 more than I would think would be at most teams for this time of year…

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