The Raiders have missed out on every single big name player they’ve gone for. They’re now after a player who has missed more footy than most in the past two years.
According to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald:
Cashed-up Canberra have turned their attention to Roosters wunderkind Tautau Moga after missing out on James Tedesco Penrith flyer Josh Mansour.
The Raiders have money to spend under their salary cap and continue to aggressively scour the player market. They came close to snaring Mansour, a contender for a NSW wing spot, who ultimately decided to remain at the foot of the mountains.
The Green Machine are now targeting Moga, the prodigiously talented Roosters three-quarter who has been compared to Sonny Bill Williams and Israel Folau.
Moga is off contract at the end of the season and the Roosters are keen to retain his services. However, he would need to take a big pay cut to remain at Bondi Junction after suffering two season-ending knee injuries. The 20-year-old recently returned to the field with feeder team Newtown but the setbacks have limited him to just 14 NRL appearances since storming onto the scene in 2012.
The Roosters have also signed Blake Ferguson to an off-field role with a view to registering the troubled star for next season, a move which could hasten Moga’s exit.
Tautau is a freakishly talented player, with size and strength that would be the envy of most wingers in the game. When healthy, he has blistering pace and can bust out of most tackles. He has been touted as one of the great young players to come through the ranks. The hype around him was greater than around Roger Tuivasa-Sheck at the same age when both were coming up.
But he has played just 14 games since debuting in 2012. He has had two knee surgeries, and with Ferguson on board and Nene Macdonald proving himself capable of first grade just two weeks ago, the chances of Tautau getting a start this year are very limited. The future is tough to predict because he’s had two horrific injuries at such a young age, and while you can always back players to bounce back at this age, it’s a lot to overcome.
If the Roosters were to re-sign him, it would — as the article above suggests — likely be at a reduced rate. And the Raiders have already shown a proclivity to pay overs for players despite their clear lack of success in getting a signature confirmed.
But jeez, don’t do it Tautau.
You will leave a comfortable environment, and world-class sports medicos. You have pals here, and you live and train near the beach.
But more important: there’s no pressure here. Those injuries need time to heal, but if you go to the Raiders you are instantly their star signing — despite your injuries holding you back from being that for at least the past two years.
The Roosters and their fans still believe in you, and they are willing to wait. Ricky Stuart will not have the rope to allow for patience. You could be driven into the ground before you’ve even gotten fully healthy as the pressure for him to win to save his career becomes suffocating.
Money is hard to turn down, especially considering the injuries you’ve sustained. Security is huge, and no-one would begrudge the move.
But patience could be the best way to you realising your enormous potential.
You won’t find patience down in Canberra.