• OK I realise I’m probably going to cop it from quite a few on here but I don’t care, I just want to say that this isn’t a knee jerk reaction or an assessment based on today’s game, I told myself I’d give him a decent look before I pass judgement and I think i’ve now seen enough so here goes.
    I don’t think we can be a successful side with Liddle at 9, he’s too small to defend in the middle, he certainly doesn’t shirk his task and he throws his shoulders around but he’s just too slight a frame and I think our middle is weak with him there.
    He doesn’t offer much around the ruck, scooting when there’s only one marker a few times a game might impress some fans but not me.
    I could continue to point out all the reasons why I don’t think he’s our answer at 9 but I’ll just say that like 3/4 of our team he’s just not good enough overall to compete for 80mins week in week out at NRL level.

    Like I said I’m sure most will disagree but there were plenty that disagreed with me about Benji too and they all ended up changing their tune, I just don’t think we can afford to spend too much time finding out whether he’s capable of providing what we need there, especially after the team we are building.

    Convince me he’s our future long term 9, what are his strong points? I’m all ears

  • He is not first grade material at this stage. We cannot afford to blood these players in losing teams.

  • Hes a kid, literally. A few seasons in and he will be ok. You can tell he is something just a little above average. Keep MMcI to guide along and he will blossom well.

    They cant all be Cameron Smith, but this guy reads the game just as well at the same age. Maybe he will fizzle to nothing, but certainly worth bringing on, especially with some quality around him next year.

  • I think at this stage of his career it would be far more beneficial for him to spend a bit of time as the starting hooker in ISP. He’s wasting a bench spot at the moment that could be better utilised.
    I still think he will eventually be a very good player but he’s a long way off that at the moment.

  • First comment is that I think Benji is a better option than any of our halves at the moment.

    As for Liddle he has a good running game. He can make a bust and we need that. At this point he definitely isn’t a quality first grade player though and although he can do the job on occasions we couldn’t have him as an consistent 80 minute hooker.

    I’m not sure what to do with him but at this point he is getting a go because McIlwrick doesn’t offer enough in attack for us either.

  • Disagree with the OP.

    Had a bad game (although didnt help that we were terrible as a team the whole time he was on) but will be a very good player.

  • He’s still developing… It’s called junior development… All players have to go through this, he’s 20 odd… Had one off season, still growing.

    Developing juniors and our team though is a totally different topic

  • ForumSupporter

    No problems with Liddle at all…

  • This position is critical if we want to be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years, we can buy all the players we like but if our 9 hasn’t got the goods we’re not going to be contenders.

  • @:

    Disagree with the OP.

    Had a bad game (although didnt help that we were terrible as a team the whole time he was on) but will be a very good player.

    Did you miss the part where I mentioned my opinion isn’t based on today’s game?
    What are his strengths because he looks like Cherrington no2 to me, I’m not seeing anything other than him recognising a quick ruck a few times a game and running at a marker that is offside.
    I can see the grind of the NRL chewing his small frame up, I understand he’s developing but I’m just failing to see him developing into a quality 9.
    I may be jumping the gun and only time will tell, but I feel I’ve seen enough now to make a call.

  • The kid is only 20 just give him a break. When he has full pre season training with Ivan Cleary, he will probably be bulked up and fully trained as our starting hooker.

  • Banned

    From this guy who knows very little I stated the same a few weeks ago. BUT hopefully he will bulk up.

  • I agree. Last season I was really impressed with him but I have to say currently he is not a good option taking up a bench spot.
    I had high hopes for him this season and granted he isn’t getting 80 minutes a game, but I’m not seeing much progress from him. Development player or not - if you’re playing top grade you should be top grade, or very near.
    He should be in ISP learning the ropes and proving he deserves an nrl spot.

  • He just seems to be the type of player that it’s easy to make excuses for, he’s young, he’s developing, he’s a likeable kid he has a go etc I’m not questioning his attitude or willingness to have a go but my questions are, is he going to be at the level we need him to be at when all our new recruit’s hit the ground running next year?
    Can we afford to wait for him to physically develop and also develop the game that’s required to be a top no 9 in the NRL?
    Teams with substandard hookers don’t tend to be contenders so if our goal is to be a contender and I assume it is just like every other team then I’m just questioning whether he’s the man for the job and so far I’m not seeing much or getting much positive reinforcement from his supporters to convince me he is.

  • He’s a 20 year old - you won’t get any arguments re: whether he’s cut out for 80 mins of middle defence work. Not yet anyway. The attitude is there though.

    As for his strengths - he has a good kicking game from dummy half, he’s very sharp with his service, engages the markers and reads the ruck defence well, pretty quick over short distances. His defence is fine, and will only get better as he strengthens and his body hardens up.

    There’s no such thing as a sure thing with 20 year olds, but he’s got a very good chance of being a top hooker in due course.

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