Agree re: Fui. Personally I don't understand the level of criticism that got thrown at him in the second half of the season. The level of aggression and power in his tackling was one of the main reasons we started the season so well. Yes he made a couple of errors and his tackling style got caught out by the ridiculous mid season change in interpretation of high and dangerous tackles, but I reckon these things can be coached into him off season (Hopefully same for Rava).That seems to be a popular perception about Kerr and Fui but if you look back at their games this year and the inexplicable changes Hook started making after round 5 when were winning and more after our round 7 loss to the rorters it paints a different picture.
Rounds 1-5 Kerr started in the 2nd row playing 70-80 minutes and Fui starting lock and we had 4 wins and were competing really well.
Rounds 6,7,8 Hooks cuts Kerr's minutes back and even benches him - we lose all 3 games. About round 6-7 we lose Merrin, sign B.Burns and throw him straight into 2nd row or on the bench but big minutes and Hook makes weird changes to our pack. So Suddenly from round 6 Kerr's getting less minutes and from rnd 8 Fui's on the bench or playing at centre. I couldn't understand Hook's logic at the time and still don't get it. It had a big effect on our season.
Kerr ended up playing 11 games in the 2nd row at 70-80minute and we win 7 of those games. His other games are a mix of 2nd row, prop or bench and all much less time on the park.
Compare that to B.Burns - 9 starts in the 2nd row, most between 60-80 minutes ( 1 x 33 mns ) for 0 wins, zero.
6 games off the bench for 3 wins - I think a few were at Centre.
I know Fui and Kerr made some errors but so did all our players, overall though they played well when we showed confidence and some faith in them. Changing their positions and minutes didn't improve the teams fortunes, quite the opposite. And for all the Burns fans, Kerr's better all round.
Tackle efficiency ; Kerr 92.6% / Fui 91.8& / B.Burns 89% / Sims 92.8% in case you were wondering.
I'm not saying we can't do better, we'll see how the new guys go, I'm just saying they did their job, quite well and Hook pulled the rug from under them. I want Kerr to get another shot at least, telling him he needs to play like he did against Storm in round 10 this year, 171 mtrs, 28 tackles no misses, 5 off-loads, 3 tackle breaks, 1 try assist, really fast play the balls and smashed Solomona a couple of times.
You just can't train that kind of intensity and natural strength. It reminded me a bit of Neville Costigan in 2010. A long way from being the biggest bloke in the team, but hit opposition forwards so hard they just didn't fancy it anymore. I was really pleased when he got his extension. He's a young bloke with a good future, and I would love it if they find a place for him in the 17.