Thank the heavens that Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is signed through to 2016, because he is attracting the headlines now including commentary on his ability by Panthers GM Phil Gould, who has attempted to buy everyone this season.
According to his column in the Sydney Morning Herald this morning:
[Roger’s] footwork is extraordinary, he is outstanding under the high ball and he is one of the toughest young footballers in the game.
This is common knowledge among Roosters fans, and Gus has consistently praised the kid since he made his debut last year.
But fans across the board are now only starting to see what all the fuss is about.
For the most part, I agree with everything Gus said except for one small item. He is great at catching high-balls, but only once they reach his hands. At this stage of his development he is being outleapt by players such as Steve Matai — but this will come with his physical growth and continued training.
After all, he’s been playing Rugby League for all of two years.
But it was the break down the middle against the Eagles — from nothing — which perfectly encapsulates why Roosters fans have been pining for his shift to the back full-time since the start of the season.
It literally came from a standing stop, with a combination of speed off the mark, incredible footwork and upper body strength which served to bump off everyone except for Brenton Lawrence just short of the line.
One can only imagine what he can do when receiving an offload from SBW with daylight in front of him.
It is this break that highlights why he must play fullback sooner than 2014 — as it is merely a taste of what many Roosters fans know he could do on a regular basis.
26 Rounds stated his cause in this article a while back, and everything he’s done since then has only pushed his claims. Against the Eagles he ran it 13 times for 153 metres with six tackle busts and a line break.
He almost has it all: great hands, a tough fend, speed and swerve, he’s a solid passer, and that footwork is positively mesmerising.
Again, thank God he’s locked in until 2016.
From The Herald:
Sydney Roosters and New Zealand have a very special talent in young Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. This kid is about to set the rugby league world alight. Tuivasa-Sheck has just turned 20 and is in only his second year of professional rugby league. He has cemented a position on the Roosters’ right wing, but it is only a matter of time before he moves to his natural position of fullback. The line break he made in the fourth minute of the Roosters’ Monday night clash with Manly was simply breathtaking, given it came virtually from a standing start. His footwork is extraordinary, he is outstanding under the high ball and he is one of the toughest young footballers in the game. I’m sure he’ll play a prominent part in the Kiwis World Cup defence later this year.