Pictures often tell a thousand words, and two is better than one. Unless you’re talking cold sores.
26 Rounds favourite Lama Tasi may be the replacement for the suspended Jared Waerea-Hargreaves after he posted this photo on Instagram en route to North Queensland:
And Sonny Bill Williams also posted a photo, confirming Dylan Napa is also on his way to the Far North:
It’s widely assumed that Napa will be 18th man and Tasi is expected to come onto the bench, with Frank-Paul Nu’uasala to start in the number 8 jumper.
Or will Tasi come directly into the starting squad?
In 19 games for the Roosters last year in first grade, Tasi ran for over 100 metres five times, and averaged 67 metres a game with 27 tackle busts in total during a season in which then-coach Brian Smith jerked him around like a rag doll.
He hasn’t had much of a passing game in the past, and had just four offloads all of last season. But he revealed during the offseason that he’d been working hard on his passing game.
Defensively he’s solid. He missed 22 tackles last year for just over one a game, but completed 319. He’d made a name for himself as a massive hitter too, and should rattle some cages should he get a run.
This season he’s coming off knee surgery and has yet to play a game of top flight footy, but Manly have long been pissed that Tasi slipped through their fingers.
Here’s some footage to show why that’s the case:
Chalk up another tick for the Peter O’Sullivan recruitment regime.
Tasi has been a favourite around these here parts since his debut in 2011, and 26 Rounds was of the belief he’d have been able to cement a top-grade spot off the bench at some point.
But the addition of Sam Moa combined with his pre-season recovery from a knee injury has so far thwarted that belief.
At any rate, the underwhelming #freeLama movement, led by this writer and Twitter connoisseur Sam Anderson (@ando4285) alone, has been a thumping success.
(Thanks for the phenomenal word “thumping”, @ChristinaMBooth, and the heads up about the images.)