This may be Luke's last season as a Warrior.

Discussion in 'New Zealand Warriors and NZRL' started by Rich102, Jun 10, 2018.

  1. Rich102

    Rich102 Moderator Staff Member

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    Issac Luke is set to part ways with the Warriors, with this season expected to be his last in Auckland.

    Although the former Kiwis hooker has been one of the club's best in 2018 - a major part of their unexpected revival - the Herald on Sunday understands it's unlikely he will be at Mt Smart next season.

    There could still be a change in circumstances that see Luke remain in Auckland beyond 2018 but that prospect is at long odds.

    The primary issue is the salary cap and the lack of space the club have to work with. Unlike other clubs, who seem to have a bottomless pit, aided by third party payments, the Warriors have to work within strict confines.

    The landscape has changed significantly since Luke and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck were signed on big deals ahead of the 2016 season.

    Although the Warriors have offloaded some players who were taking up a decent portion of the cap, such as Ryan Hoffman, Manu Vatuvei and Ben Matulino, the club have also invested heavily.

    Shaun Johnson's new deal was worth more than $1 million a year, and Tuivasa-Sheck signed an upgraded contract in March. Tohu Harris was lured from Melbourne, with the club trumping a large Storm offer, Adam Blair and Blake Green command significant salaries and Gerard Beale and Peta Hiku are Kiwi internationals.

    It means there is a reasonable disparity between what the club forked out to prise Luke from the Rabbitohs and what they are able to offer now.

    At times, Luke seems ageless, but at 31, the Taranaki product also needs to make his next contract count.

    He may not want to leave the Warriors, especially given the team's progress, but might feel he has little choice.


    The other factor is the hooking stocks at the club. Despite his wretched run with injuries, there is great faith in the potential of Nathaniel Roache. The 22-year-old has played only nine games since the start of the 2017 season but is seen as the long-term No9. Karl Lawton has also impressed in his limited opportunities.

    It's a tricky decision, as the dummy half role has become one of the most important in the game. Luke, with his remarkable strength (kilo for kilo, one of the strongest in the NRL) and speed, has been key to several Warriors wins this year, and was at his brilliant best again last night in Christchurch. His form has been in stark contrast to his first two seasons at the club, when he mixed rocks and diamonds.

    "I've just got to let my game do the talking," said Luke, when asked about his future. "I just want to perform on the field. I don't really want to think too much about my future, it's something I will let my manager sort out with the club."

    Warriors coach Stephen Kearney admitted it was a conundrum.

    "It's a difficult one," Kearney told the Herald on Sunday. "It's a process we are working through. We have got a couple of other guys, too, so it's a situation where there are other pieces in the puzzle that we have to shuffle into place first.

    "It will be a decision that will probably crystallise for both parties in a couple of weeks or so."

    Kearney also confirmed the club's war chest is far from overflowing.

    "[The offer] will be different ... different to what he is on. The decision might be taken out of my hands. The reality is, his expectation is one thing, and our position is another. A lot of times they don't match at the best of times."


    www.nzherald.co.nz/league/news/article.cfm?c_id=79&objectid=12067707
     
  2. playdaball

    playdaball Bench

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    It is a shame that he'll depart, but that is life under the cap.

    Surely a 3rd part deal could be struck via the likes of Autex, Vodafone etc? A one year extension would be ideal however Luke could probably get better elsewhere, NRL or ESL.

    For the Warriors perspective, they really need Roache to come back firing on all cylinders, as he'd be the #1 hooker ahead of Lawton.

    Worse case for the Warriors
    Luke departs
    Roache comes back from injury but is never the same player as what he was end of 2017
    Lawton, Cooke and Tevaga fighting it out to be the top hooker at the Warriors and none of the 3 are really up to it
    Then the Warriors have to reinvest Luke's salary cap saving to find a suitable replacement

    A lot of this revolves around Nate Roache.
     
  3. Leber

    Leber Juniors

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    If mannering goes, surely theres enough dollars to keep him?
     
  4. playdaball

    playdaball Bench

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    Has that already been spent on Ah Mau?
     
  5. sup42

    sup42 Juniors

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    Had Luke not stuffed the club around for two years he would have been re signed as a priority...that is the first point to remember.

    Luke is only in this position because the club is merciless in its payback of slackers.

    Sponsors like Vodafone cannot be used for Third party agreements....Third party sponsors are not allowed to be club sponsors...e,g Queensland Bananas sponsor Billy Slater.

    Only really dogey billionaires can rort the cap with third party agreements and the hiring of cap auditors to work for their club sides.

    The Warriors present day stacked side with all the New Zealand internationals will not likely be repeated.

    That team is the creation of Jim Doyle former Cap Auditors advisor and policy maker for the Salary Cap.

    No one in the NRL knows the cap like Doyle from a legal point of veiw...and he is gone now...so enjoy this stacked Warriors side while it lasts this year.
     
  6. Philip_Smith007

    Philip_Smith007 First Grade

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    Does the Mad Butcher have any rich friends to help out?

    Agree that Luke seems to be playing a lot better when a contract seems on the line.

    1 more year would be about right before he probably has a super league run.

    He has been very integral to the teams success this year.
     
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  7. Penrose Warrior

    Penrose Warrior First Grade

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    It's a fair point...contract year and he's pulling out the big guns. I like to pretend that's a co-incidence.

    When he's on he makes this side SO much better though. His service from dummy half is so far ahead of anyone else's, his running game is superior as well, and seems like he's stepped us as a leader.

    It'd be a disappointment if he went, Roache is incredibly injury prone, Cherrington hasn't had a sniff (is he even still here?), Lawton is a utility, Cook isn't a bona fide 9 etc...there's just nothing else behind him.
     
  8. SpaceMonkey

    SpaceMonkey Coach

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    Isaac doesn’t really strike me as the kind of guy that’s going to walk into a media or coaching/admin role after footy either so that probably limits the options of what the club can set up for him for life after footy.
    Strikes me as the sort of bloke who’ll probably rely on getting set up with a decent blue collar post footy job like the couple of ex-players I work with.
     
  9. vvvrulz

    vvvrulz Coach

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    This.

    However outstanding he has been this year those first two seasons were simply pathetic.
     
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  10. Rich102

    Rich102 Moderator Staff Member

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    I think we have to cut him a bit of slack over the illness to his son.
     
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  11. JJ

    JJ Referee

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    1 out of 3 ain't bad, ain't good either though,
     
  12. WellsNZ

    WellsNZ Juniors

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    Maybe Blair can offer some of the money he has been stealing?
     
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  13. Penrose Warrior

    Penrose Warrior First Grade

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    I think they need to find a way. Luke goes, we're really poked for options. Even if you think Roache is the future, he's a) injury prone b) will be coming off a full year off c) he's never strung together more than 4-5 games. Then there's really nothing else on our books.
     
  14. jaseg

    jaseg Juniors

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    Roache had taken the starting jersey for mine until injuries hit (again). I'm not worried about his ability to be the guy in terms of performance... but your best ability is your availability, and until he gets through a season without significant issues we'll always need quality #2 and #3 hookers if he's the #1. Lawton is a good #2 - but has a similar issue (not as bad as Roache's history, but not pretty reading), but Tevaga isn't really a #3 - there are other options around the NSW/QLD cup comps, but who knows if they'd come (thinking specifically of Billy Gilbert... doesn't give the early impression as the type to cross the ditch, even for a first grade opportunity - but maybe I'm totally wrong).

    Ideally we could keep Luke for another year or two... but if the money isn't there I'd rather not put the club into a bad position when it comes to retaining/bringing in middle forwards..
     
  15. SpaceMonkey

    SpaceMonkey Coach

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    Hopefully the club can use that to their advantage. Impress on him that he needs one more good season to really cement his legacy with the club, and as a player. And if this season turns out the way it is tracking (vastly improved and likely in the playoffs, but still a work in progress, hopefully he might see next year as the opportunity too put everything together and go out on a high. Remember he still doesn’t actually have a premiership ring due to being suspended when Souths won. If we’re in a position to give him a shot that’s got to help.
     
  16. Penrose Warrior

    Penrose Warrior First Grade

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    I like Bully but I don't think he'd care about that stuff too much. His words were always pretty hot air about how much he wanted to give for the club etc (until this year).

    And he's a family man, fair enough that's his No.1 priority. I don't think loyalty, rings or anything else than that will dictate his terms.
     
  17. SpaceMonkey

    SpaceMonkey Coach

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    The family thing works in our favour too. Does he really want to uproot a young fanily for what is likely to only be 2-3 years overseas?
     

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