Michael Jennings was released to the Roosters from the Penrith Panthers prior to the start of the season, with the Panthers claiming they simply weren’t getting value for money from their one remaining superstar.
The release followed a down year on the field in which he was dropped to the Windsor Wolves and following recent seasons with off-field dramas that — in light of what Blake Ferguson’s been up to — were mild to say the least.
But more than any other strike centre in the NRL he’s reliant on his halves to provide great ball to him to get him to excel. With Luke Walsh, Blake Austin and Lachlan Coote acting as his service men in 2012, Jenko struggled to 10 tries, 12 line breaks and five try assists in 17 games last year for a five-win team. He also missed 1.8 tackles a match. In all, it’s not a horrible season statistically but not great from a centre making $650k per year.
But this year it’s been a vastly different story. He’s scored 17 tries with 15 line breaks and six try assists for [currently] the second-best team in the competition. But more importantly his defence has been first rate, with just 17 misses in 21 matches this year and 36 one-on-one tackles, almost epitomising himself the defensive structure that is in place for the competition’s best defensive team.
It’s fair to say the Roosters are getting bang for their buck from the classy three-quarter this year, and he’s been a refreshing addition to a team that has lacked speed in recent years out wide.
But why let simple facts tell the story?
Youtube VeeJay Inala69 — who you may remember did this video package of SBW earlier in the year — has put together an eight-minute masterpiece dedicated to Jennings’ year so far. Grab a soft drink and a sandwich, sit down and enjoy Jenko’s incredible year with a sweet hihglights package. Boom.