JOSH ADDO-CARR SHOULD LOOK AT THE EXPERIENCES OF ADAM DOUEIHI WHEN CONSIDERING HIS SWITCH TO THE WESTS TIGERS
The Daily Telegraph (Sydney), Australia 10 Sep 2020 32
IT was a tough decision for South Sydney letting Adam Doueihi go, and at the time it created a lot of hurt. But even with Latrell Mitchell now out for the season, no one can deny the Rabbitohs made the right call for the club signing Latrell to play fullback. Wayne Bennett always said Doueihi could have stayed and they had the salary cap space to accommodate him.
It’s just that Doueihi was also told that his best chance of nailing down a regular spot this season would have been as a utility playing off the bench. So Wests Tigers snapped up Doueihi on big money and the promise that he would get first crack at owning the No.1 jumper.
And here we are 18 rounds into the season and it’s all changed at the Tigers yet again.
Now they have set a target on Josh Addo-Carr with a reported multi-million dollar four-year offer for the world’s best winger to be fullback next year. Let’s not forget Addo-Carr was once in their system and they could have kept him for a fraction of the price. Regardless of the money, I’d be as nervous as hell if I was Addo-Carr.
It seems every time the Tigers make a decision about recruitment it is odds-on to explode in the club’s face. And this endless search for a fullback just continues on as another season goes down the drain.
They had James Tedesco and couldn’t keep him. At the time they also had Ryan Papenhuyzen playing lower grades and they let him go to Melbourne.
Imagine being a Tigers fan last Friday night when Papenhuyzen and Addo-Carr were tearing up ANZ Stadium down the Storm’s left edge and giving the Rabbitohs a cold sweat. It might work out that Addo-Carr will be a sensation at fullback, who knows.
But that’s the issue, it’s hard to trust the Tigers’ judgment given their recruitment strike rate. The Tigers have made so many stuff-ups it’s become a major embarrassment. What would they also give to have Marty Taupau right now, or Andrew Fifita in recent seasons?
Meanwhile, Doueihi will run out against his former club on Thursday night in the centres, with Moses Mbye now filling the fullback spot until someone better comes along. Mbye himself has been pushed from pillar to post since his arrival from Canterbury — and no one still seems to have worked out what his best position is.
Last year Ryan Matterson was the great hope before he fell out with Michael Maguire. Yes, money played a big part in it, but if Matterson was truly happy would he have left? And on that, why does everyone at the Tigers seem to be so unhappy? Surely it goes beyond Maguire’s so-called hard-edge, because it’s been going on since before Tim Sheens was railroaded out of the joint. After Sheens it was Michael Potter’s fault.
Then Jason Taylor. At least Ivan Cleary had them all on the bus until he jumped off. But over the weekend this other story exploded about Russell Packer and Josh Reynolds skipping out early during the Tigers’ comeback win over Manly. While Packer and Reynolds were painted as the villains, what it again highlighted to me was this worrying disconnect between the playing group and the administration. I also found it really poor that the day after the story broke Luke Brooks and Luke Garner were put up to face the media instead of someone in power taking charge. Brooks and Garner should be commended for looking after their teammates with words of support. But while they said it wasn’t an issue, it is a massive issue that Packer and Reynolds have been treated with such a lack of respect for so long that they have now obviously reached the point where they appear to have all but given up.
You put yourself in their shoes. Imagine being in a workplace where the boss who employed you left, and now the new boss doesn’t rate you?
And you have no way out unless you lose the money that had been promised to you. It is hard to comprehend how hurt Packer and Reynolds must be at the way their reputations have been stained. These players have been treated appallingly because, for mine, it is not their fault Cleary signed them on big contracts — and the club went into these deals with eyes wide open.
But it is almost like the club has sat back and watched while this has festered, hoping that the embarrassment would force the players out. It shows no leadership. If the club wants to get rid of Packer and Reynolds then surely it should be done with a certain degree of dignity, and the players’ welfare should be paramount. Both have another year to run on their deals — and unless the Tigers cover a substantial amount of their salaries for next year, no club will take them on.
So will the Tigers still be blaming Ivan’s salary cap mess again next year? Or will they finally own up to the problems they helped create? This is the club with the NRL’s longest finals drought who are currently sitting ninth on the ladder and, being four points behind eighth spot with three games to play, look like missing out on the play-offs for the ninth straight year.
Meanwhile, club icon Benji Marshall has also been told he is not wanted next season. Again, it is not so much that the Tigers have made a salary cap decision not to keep Benji, but more to do with the way he found out — through the papers. Surely the joint venture’s greatest ever player has earned more respect.
Which is why it came as no real surprise Benji then sought out Bennett for some advice. Bennett is now 70 and a lot of people would have you believe he is too old to even hold a conversation, let alone a connection with the modern player.
Yet the relationships he has built up with his players since arriving at Souths would surely make Tigers’ fans even more frustrated with what is going on at their club.