Hitchin’ a ride outta Bondi: an off-season summary

To see an update on the Roosters signings, click here.

We at 26 Rounds wouldn’t call it a mass exodus; really, none of the players who have been released by the Roosters during the offseason were any shot of nailing a top grade spot unless injury really hit next year. And with players from the NYC team getting promoted to the Jets, many players had to make way. Regardless, the Roosters and Jets are losing some talent.

But with these losses come opportunities, especially with regards to the salary cap — surely the Roosters have enough space now to sign Luke O’Donnell and Anthony Minichiello, even if on reduced deals?

(Many thanks to reader Casey Esposito for keeping me informed of the comings and goings: he’s been like a pitbull on a poodle with this stuff — moreso than the staff here, who if they don’t pick up their game will get laid off just prior to Christmas. Consider this a warning, you lazy shits.)

Tinirau Arona, signed with the Cronulla Sharks

The former Brian Smith favourite will join the Cronulla Sharks – and might even get a run if the peptide scandal ends up claiming some scalps at the Shire. Whatever your thoughts were on Arona, he busted his arse every game and was a coach’s favourite because of it. After captaining the Jets last year, he’ll look to snag a spot on the Cronulla bench.

John Asiata, signed with the North Queensland Cowboys

The NYC lock of the year signed a two-year deal with the Cows and may actually have a shot at snagging a spot on their bench with the retirement of Dallas Johnson. He joins new coach and former Roosters assistant Paul Green up in the tropics and has reportedly already begun training with the first grade squad.

He’s a talent the Roosters would probably have liked to have kept, but they can only give so many young back-rowers a start. With Dylan Napa, future lock Samisoni Langi, Isaac Liu, Aidan Guerra, Mitch Aubusson and Boyd Cordner well ahead in the pecking order, Asiata would have struggled for a game let alone a regular berth. It’s a move he had to make, and no doubt he’ll get a run next year at some stage up at 1300 SMILES stadium.

Jack Bosden, signed with Wests Illawarra

How this guy never made it this writer will never know, but after being injured for the majority of 2013 he’ll head south to join up with Jason Ryles in an effort to get some game time. He’s in the Lama Tasi class in this writer’s humble opinion i.e. players who for some reason haven’t had the right opportunity to get some runs on the board on a consistent basis in the top grade. There are clearly worse players playing in the NRL than Bosden and Tasi – one only has to look at Parramatta’s roster and even the Tigers, who could use either or both of these guys.

What, Lama Tasi isn’t better than Matt Groat?

Kurt Capewell, signed with the Ipswich Jets

The cousin of Luke Capewell, he hails from Queensland and had been heavily chased by the Broncos in the past. He probably didn’t see much of a chance at the Roosters in light of the signings of Jonathon Reuben and Sio Siua Taukeiaho.

The kid has talent; whether he can get an opportunity up north for, say, the Broncos with their surplus of backs, only time will tell.

Ryley Jacks, signed with the Easts Tigers (Queensland Cup)

Some Chooks fans saw Jacks as a long-term solution in the halves, but the talented playmaker never got an opportunity in the top grade, and with Samisoni Langi now graduating to NSW Cup had become expendable at the Jets.

He has taken his talents to the North East to play alongside Joel Romelo in the Queensland Cup.

Michael Oldfield, signed with the Catalans Dragons

There was some conjecture about whether Oldie had actually left the club; after all, he’s been training with the club this offseason: http://www.roosters.com.au/photogallerydisplay/Pre-Season-Training-(Week-4)/6355

This is from week four of pre-season training. Source: Roosters.

However, he had this to say in response to a tweet from a Manly fan:


So unless these guys are playing a massive prank on me, it looks likely the speedster is off to enjoy weird food like snails and croissants in France, where he should be able to shred much weaker and slower defences than those he faced in 25 games of NRL.

Nafe Seluini and Henare Wells, signed with the Burleigh Bears

The Jets announced the loss in an email to supporters, stating that:

The Newtown RLFC also extends good wishes to former players Nafe Seluini and Henare Wells who have accepted offers with the Burleigh Bears RLFC in the Queensland Cup competition. They both made huge impacts at Henson Park and we wish them good luck for the future.

A lot of people loved Wells but realistically he was never going to get a shot with the Roosters stocking up left, right and centre in the backs. And many were also high on Seluini but with Daniel Mortimer in the way was never truly going to get a decent run in the top grade.




11 responses to “Hitchin’ a ride outta Bondi: an off-season summary

  1. I liked Wells.

    I’m not sure about the meat grinder policy big clubs employ whereby they turn-over guys like Henare, never having had the chance to step-up into the top-grade.

    I mean he was a gun in 20’s, went up to Newton where he needed to bulk-up and continue his form – which he duly did – and then we sign more outside backs and ship him off to obscurity, because Mini, RTS and Toups didn’t crack all year. I guess in 2 season’s time it’ll happen again, this time with Rueben or Rokolati or Moga.

    Such is the NRL, I s’pose.


    • Yeah its too bad, unfortunately the Roosters are full at the back. And you’re right, what happens with those other guys in two years? But that’s the nature of the beast, sadly.


    • Hey mate, cheers and thanks for reading!! Not entirely sure, I believe he is but let me talk to the resident Newtown expert and get back to you on that!


    • Yep, especially at a club as deep as the Roosters. They deserve an opportunity to prove their abilities and unfortunately that wouldn’t have happened at the Roosters.


  2. How about A. Toupu and Mick Crocker? I know Toupu wasn’t in the best form at the time and that Crocker was a bit on the nose, but they both went on to play great footy at their respective clubs.


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