Nice one! Always good to get something over the slimeys Geez they must be confident he will rise to the occasion though cause that’s a very big contract for someone who hasn’t yet played the grade.
If he’s 60% as good as Haas, that contract will be seen as a bargain.
Wests Tigers snare teen tyro Utoikamanu from Eels’ grasp
The Wests Tigers have snuck under the guard of Parramatta to steal one of the hottest young talents in the game on a three-year deal.
The Tigers have secured the services of hulking prop Stefano Utoikamanu from 2021 with one of the largest contracts for a player yet to make his NRL debut, understood to be worth around $800,000.
Parramatta were desperate to retain the 192cm, 115kg teenage sensation, who has drawn comparisons to Broncos sensation Payne Haas.
On the back of Ryan Matterson’s defection to the Eels, the Tigers have managed to land the major coup and are also expected to sign Dragons forward Luciano Leilua in the coming days.
It is understood the Tigers, who are also the frontrunners for Latrell Mitchell, want the Australian Schoolboys representative to join the club immediately to play for them in the NRL in 2020.
However, the Eels earmarked Utoikamanu, who grew up playing against the likes of Haas and David Fifita, to make his debut in 2020 and now have a decision to make whether to keep him at the club or let him link with the Tigers immediately.
NRL.com understands Utoikamanu, who is on a development contract with the Eels and is no guarantee of being bumped up into the NRL squad, stands to earn almost triple the original offer the Eels put to him midway through the year.
Stefano Utoikamanu in training with NSW under 20s in 2019.
Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos
The Eels raised their offer in recent weeks – and again on Thursday night in a desperate bid to hold on to him – however Utoikamanu had already reached a decision.
The strength of the Eels pack, with Junior Paulo and Reagan Campbell-Gillard starting up front, was also a factor – especially considering there are far fewer obstacles in front of him at the Tigers.
The Eels also have no shortage of depth in the front row, with NSW under 18s Origin front-rower Dave Hollis on their roster, as well as Sam Hughes, who was picked but missed the game due to suspension.
Tigers coach Michael Maguire is desperate to add some size and starch to his pack, and the signing of Utoikamanu, who represented the NSW under 20s last season, is sure to do that whenever he arrives at Concord.
Utoikamanu scored the match-winning try for NSW in a man-of-the-match performance in the under 18s Origin game last year, backing that up with 149 metres from 11 hit-ups for the Blues in the under 20s victory this year.
I think a lot of the baggage with Mbye is not only that he is being paid overs but that he was brought to the club as a bit of a saviour at a time when we needed not only a name but a strike attacking weapon. Mbye isnt really either. Ironically I think he was suffering the same thing at Bulldogs.
If…massive IF…we managed to jag Latrell, well Mbye is no longer that guy. Sure he is still getting paid ridiculous money but less expectation. I think if Mbye could be left to just do a job, he could do it well.
Personally I was very pleasantly surprised with his performance in the centres. Defensively he was the best in the comp and i think there is a bit of upside there.
Overall I was pleased with the way Madge read him and used him last year. Massive difference from previous coaches in that when something wasnt working, we didnt just keep banging away it it for a whole season (think Rankin etc).
This is the problem with Mbye. He’s a great player, just not worth his price tag. His price is where all the issues stem from (and his inability to catch the ball @ fullback too). If he’s on 500k and playing centre, no problem there. His form at centre was really good.
Do we have any updates of Packer and whether or not he will be playing for us in 2020 or will he be offloaded ?
Apparently he was quoted as saying he is motivated to do well this year and make up for last year. He ain’t going anywhere
So he should be. And we should hope he has rehabilitated both his injuries and attitude. We need him to play well to be a force in 2020. If he plays the majority of the season like he did for the first 5 games of 2018 he’s worth his price tag. Sadly, we’ve only got those 5 games of worth from him. He’s mostly been a dud the remainder of the time.
@Chaos I wouldn’t read too much from the Roosters forum. They are probably the stupidest supporters out there. They have no idea what loyalty means and I have a feeling their little rein on the top has come to an end and they know it .
It takes more than 10 supporters to form a forum.
Chookpen = 99% russian hackers confirmed
That Matterson video on NRL.com was embarrassing. He really sounds like he’s struggling to put his words together. Everything he said sounds fake and semi-scripted. Nothing he said sounded genuine, and he definitely had no belief in it. He knows he screwed up.
Did he mention something about how he likes how the Eels deal with player welfare? Couldn’t make it out, but sounded like he was having a dig at the Tigers.
Interviewer: “What is it about the club that drew you back here?”
RM: “I really like the wellbeing that the…Parramatta…like I…uh…really trying to involve themselves in and…yeah the boys and-and the squad so far are looking unbelievable, so I just can’t wait to play with the good quality of boys at this team.”