The Manu Vatuvei Tribute Thread

Discussion in 'The Cesspit: Rugby League Discussion' started by Fiery, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. Fiery GR Smith

    About time we all appreciated the big guy's contribution to the sport of rugby league. He is on track to become one of the greatest try-scorers in the history of the NRL, and set records that may never be broken. Another try today in the first half of the Eels game sees him inch closer.

    His ongoing ability to convert opportunities into points is quite remarkable.

    Still only 28 years old he has now racked up 138 tries since his debut in 2004. That's more than Greg Inglis, Brett Morris, Michael Jennings and the recently departed Jarryd Hayne. Vatuvei has also surpassed luminaries such as Matt Bowen, Wendell Sailor, Brett Mullins and Darren Lockyer.

    He is behind only Billy Slater (170 tries) and Brett Stewart (149) among active players and by the end of this season is likely to achieve something neither of that duo has managed.

    Vatuvei is odds on to become the first player in NRL history to score 10 tries or more across 10 consecutive seasons, a testament to his durability.

    It's extraordinary stuff, especially as Vatuvei has often been in middle-of-the-road sides at Mt Smart. Players such as Slater and Stewart have benefited from brilliant set plays at clubs like Melbourne and Manly, where they are experts at creating space for their outside runners.

    The Warriors have improved their set moves over the past year but historically Vatuvei has created a lot of his own opportunities through sheer power and determination. He has become adept at scoring tries that few others could, grounding the ball millimetres from the sideline with multiple defenders hanging off him or soaring to claim a bomb. But while he loves scoring tries, he doesn't like taking praise.

    "It's an awesome feeling and you want it more and more," he says of scoring. "[But] I can't take all the credit ... It is a team effort and I am lucky enough to be on the end of it.

    "There are some tries that I almost do myself but most of them - about 90 per cent - were a team effort. The boys do the hard work and I just do the easy work crossing the line."

    In the next few weeks he is likely to surpass Nigel Vagana (140) as the leading New Zealand try scorer in the NRL.

    It's quite a story, especially as Vatuvei wasn't always prolific as a youngster at the Otara Scorpions.

    "In my age grade I was usually one of the big boys so I got pretty tired," laughed Vatuvei. "I didn't do a lot of work, didn't make the long runs."

    Vatuvei made his Warriors debut in 2004 but his first try for the club came the following season, in his seventh NRL game.

    "It was against the Rabbitohs," said Vatuvei. "They put a bomb up to me and I caught it in the corner. That's something I'll never forget."

    He scored three tries in his next two appearances and a legend had begun. He has been a constant on the left flank for more than a decade but remains highly effective, scoring 33 tries in the past two seasons. His strike rate is phenomenal.

    The good news is the "Beast" feels better than ever; his training load is closely managed now, taking pressure off his troublesome knees and hamstrings. He's deceptively quick, especially over a long distance, and has lost none of his power. Crossing the line gets more difficult with every season but Vatuvei has maintained the knack.

    "It gets harder, the defences are getting better," said Vatuvei. "[I used to] have a bit more time to get some speed up and beat my player. Now they come and cover you straight away. You need to find ways to get through. And when they kick across, they tend to escort me off the ball but that gives an opportunity for the guys inside to go for it."

    Top NRL tryscorers

    Billy Slater 170 tries, 272 games, 0.63 tries per game
    Brett Stewart 149, 202, 0.74
    Manu Vatuvei 136, 196, 0.69
    Greg Inglis 126, 203, 0.62
    Brett Morris 115, 171, 0.67
    Jamie Lyon 114, 262, 0.44
    Michael Jennings 107, 171, 0.63
    * Ken Irvine leads the all-time tally with 212 tries between 1958-1973 and Steve Menzies (180) is the best of the modern generation.

    Written by Michael Burgess

    Last edited: Mar 21, 2015
  2. Reagan Wheelson RDP Wheelson

    10/10 would bang Manu Vatuvei
  3. Mr Fourex MR Fourex

    Quite amazing really when you consider how many times he's dropped the ball with his brick hands and bombed many, many certain tries.
  4. Boobidy BJ Gemmell

    Average player.
  5. Wilson SB Wilson

    If he was white and had good hands, best back to walk the earth.
  6. Fiery GR Smith

    He has good enough hands to catch, run over a few people and score...plenty of times from bombs.
  7. Athlai JJD Heads

    Did you write up that post during the cricket? WAC
  8. Fiery GR Smith

    Copy and paste job. As it says.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2015
  9. Benny BS Read

    hes no ken irvine
  10. Hunter AD Hunt

    Poor man's Lesley Vainikolo.
  11. Wilson SB Wilson

    George Carmont.
  12. jazman84 JM Eightyfour

    Manu is all brawn, no brains or dexterity.
  13. Fiery GR Smith

    Another barn-storming performance from the big guy in the weekend. A game high >200 metres gained. Also a game high 19 runs. He led a dominant left edge display. No coincidence that 4 of our 5 five tries on Saturday came down the left.

    Last edited: Mar 23, 2015
  14. Boobidy BJ Gemmell

    No coincidence that 4 of our 5 five tries on Saturday came down the left.

  15. Fiery GR Smith

    The Eels were all marking big Manu, the man of the match, you see.
  16. Julian BJ Taylor

  17. Julian BJ Taylor

    Fav band:

  18. Fiery GR Smith

    Big Manu's 200th game this weekend.

  19. Jabba HJ Bots

    Was probably our best player on the weekend
  20. Fiery GR Smith

    Indeed. He usually is.

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