General Chase weaves his magic after rocky start

Skinny_Ravs82

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xtra.co.nz

Five years after leaving New Zealand to pursue a dream, Rangi Chase returns to face the Warriors as the talk of Sydney league. MARK GEENTY of NZPA reports.

The Wollongong shopkeeper didn't miss a beat when Rangi Chase from Dannevirke strolled in on Monday morning.

"Aren't you the bloke on the front page of the paper?," he asked.

Chase picked up a copy of the Daily Telegraph, a bit bemused.

"Yep, that's me," he said.

The photo showed Chase in full flight, football tucked under his arm. The previous day his St George-Illawarra Dragons had thrashed Canberra 58-16, Chase scoring two tries and wreaking havoc with his halves partner Jamie Soward.

Just six weeks after his National Rugby League (NRL) run-on debut, when he marked Kangaroos captain Darren Lockyer and the Dragons upset the defending champions Brisbane, he's getting used to being noticed in a place where league stars are revered.

Rewind a few years and young Rangi was being noticed all right. By the Dannevirke police.

A self-confessed hellraiser in the Hawke's Bay town, Chase, only just out of primary school, found solace in alcohol and marijuana more than an oval ball.

Two of his childhood friends provide a stark reminder.

"One is a drug addict, the other's in a gang," he recently told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"I snapped out of it, my two mates are pretty stuffed. If I didn't move from where I was I could be in jail."

Chase opened his heart in the Herald, recalling a torrid childhood dominated by alcohol and domestic violence; of his father leaving his teenage mother before Rangi was born; of being sent to live with his grandparents then having to deal with their deaths; and wandering the streets around Dannevirke High School aware he had no real prospects.

"It was sort of weird reading it in the paper. I didn't want people to think I was trying to be a hero," he told NZPA.

"I don't like talking about it all the time but the main idea was, for young kids that are struggling, there's always someone out there who's doing it tougher than you. Maybe I can be a bit of an inspiration for someone."

He's just 21 but Chase wants to return to New Zealand when his career ends, to work with underprivileged kids.

Of course, Chase could always play footy. It's in the genes. Dragons teammate Chase Stanley, another rising Kiwi star and nephew of All Black Joe Stanley, is a distant relative.

Chase got his big break when he and a mate Weller Hauraki, now with the Parramatta Eels, turned up drunk to an under-18 trial in Palmerston North. He somehow made the Manawatu team, then played his way into the New Zealand under-16s at the national tournament.

"When you look back it's pretty funny. We had a big night and we just rocked up and had a crack. " He sobered up, and made a late-season debut for the Central Falcons in the Bartercard Cup at age 16. He recalls scoring a try with his first touch against Canterbury.

"I got the ball and braced to get smashed, but the guy went the wrong way."

In 2002 he followed the path of Kiwis star Benji Marshall on a scholarship to Keebra Park High School on the Gold Coast, sharing a dormitory with Marshall and three other compatriots. There was no hi-jinks as Chase vowed to work hard and not waste his big chance.

A contract with Wests Tigers followed, he played Premier League in 2006 and was hooker for New Zealand A when they hammered Australia A in Melbourne last October.

Then the Dragons came calling, and as the horror injury toll mounted this year, Chase's name started being called by coach Nathan Brown.

The past month he's traded No 9 for No 6 and made the jersey his own, inspired by Marshall's deeds. The pair keep in regular touch.

"I can't believe it. It's all happened pretty fast but I've fitted in pretty well, I guess. Nathan Brown's been really good for me. He's given me every chance, it's up to me what I do with it. "

Like his first game for the Falcons, things happen when Chase is around. He's already tasted wins over the Broncos and previous frontrunners Manly in a magic month, and attracted the attention of respected analyst Phil Gould.

"He's got potential, this kid. When the ball is in his hands, you feel something is about to happen," Gould wrote.

"He fades across the park showing the ball and feigning dummies to supports. He carefully examines the reactions from opposition defenders and explores the possibilities. I like him. "

Chase is comfortable in Wollongong, an hour south of Sydney, where the Dragons train. He shares an apartment with his childhood sweetheart, Zara Brighouse. Being from a small town, they prefer it there to the big city.

Now it's off to Auckland to face the Warriors on Sunday, a team Chase always wanted to play for as a kid. He idolised their departed star Stacey Jones.

"Stacey was the man. I watched him growing up and always wanted to play like him. " The Dragons were wooden spoon favourites but they've won their last two and climbed to 13th on the NRL ladder, just two points behind the 11th-placed Warriors.

"We're starting to get confident and getting some good attack together. But we'll have to be on top of our game to beat them," Chase said.
 

Esoj_old

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there is our future 6. seriously warriors should find out when he comes off contract and sign him. It will proabbly be a couple years away yet but that doesn't matter as he will be even better by then.
 

MarkW_old

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Good to see a promising Kiwi playmaker on the rise. The number 6 jersey has been a difficult one to fill when Marshall is out injured (ie. quite often).

I hope he plays well against the Warriors... but not too well!
I haven't had a chance to see him play yet... should be very interesting.
 

commonsense_old

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yeh ive always rated this guy. he plays well in hooker as well.

speaking about benji marshall apparently he is doing a jonathon thurston switching from 6 to 7. that provides the kiwis some depth in the halves now.
halfback - benji, jeremy smith
5/8th - chase, roberts
 

garyhobson_old

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I've been saying this all along, he was a good talent, the warriors should have signed him last season, where he left the tigers because he couldnt find a 1st grade opportunity with the depth in halves/hookers at the tigers and the signing of john morris. Warriors should have got his hands on him then but instead choose to go with michael witt....fantastic! Good to see a young guy take his opportunity.

As for Mix - i guess those comments you made about him last week......you'll just have to bite your tounge yet again....your credibility on here has gone out the window i reakon along with tony martin and michael crockett. You call me the number 1 dribbler on here!!! You clearly stated - "who says he wants to come here" "he has hardly set the world on fire" and that this guy has only played 6 nrl games and that you doubt his future in the game.
 

MiXmasterreece_old

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As for Mix - i guess those comments you made about him last week......you'll just have to bite your tounge yet again....your credibility on here has gone out the window i reakon along with tony martin and michael crockett. You call me the number 1 dribbler on here!!! You clearly stated - "who says he wants to come here" "he has hardly set the world on fire" and that this guy has only played 6 nrl games and that you doubt his future in the game.

a. Who says he wants to be here?
b. Yip, I still doubt his future in the game. For every supporter he has there is an equal amount of detractors. He is no #6 and by next season he certainly wont have that jersey.

michael crockett has gone out the window has he? Okkkkkaaaayyyyyy. I
can understand you having a problem with Martin, he doesnt set the world on fire, but as i said he is solid, a tradesman in the centres. But what exactly is it that crockett has done wrong?

Now I see your getting stuck into Witt.

And all this coming from a guy calling for us to sign Joe Galuvau ! Is it just the signing of australians you have a problem with mate?

And yes you are still #1 dribbler on this site.
 
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JustinKings_old

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a. Who says he wants to be here?
b. Yip, I still doubt his future in the game. For every supporter he has there is an equal amount of detractors. He is no #6 and by next season he certainly wont have that jersey.

michael crockett has gone out the window has he? Okkkkkaaaayyyyyy. I
can understand you having a problem with Martin, he doesnt set the world on fire, but as i said he is solid, a tradesman in the centres. But what exactly is it that crockett has done wrong?

Now I see your getting stuck into Witt.

And yes you are still #1 dribbler on this site.

The article says he wants to play for the Warriors.

Crockett has done plenty of things wrong. I mean, if you were to point out what he does wrong, I'm sure you'll be able to state plenty of things. Bottom line is, Crockett doesn't deserve to be in first grade and will not be in the NRL in 2yrs time.
 

MiXmasterreece_old

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The article says he wants to play for the Warriors.
my bad, apologies - but doesnt it say he WANTED to play for the warriors as a kid ?
Crockett has done plenty of things wrong. I mean, if you were to point out what he does wrong, I'm sure you'll be able to state plenty of things. Bottom line is, Crockett doesn't deserve to be in first grade and will not be in the NRL in 2yrs time.

Well go ahead and state plenty of things.

He doesnt deserve to be in the NRL? we f@#k me if he doesnt deserve to be there then neither does a f@#kload of players. If Crockett was a kiwi I would wager you wouldnt be calling for his head.

And he wont be in the NRL in 2 years? Ok thanks for that nostradamus
 
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garyhobson_old

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a. Who says he wants to be here?
b. Yip, I still doubt his future in the game. For every supporter he has there is an equal amount of detractors. He is no #6 and by next season he certainly wont have that jersey.

michael crockett has gone out the window has he? Okkkkkaaaayyyyyy. I
can understand you having a problem with Martin, he doesnt set the world on fire, but as i said he is solid, a tradesman in the centres. But what exactly is it that crockett has done wrong?

Now I see your getting stuck into Witt.

And all this coming from a guy calling for us to sign Joe Galuvau ! Is it just the signing of australians you have a problem with mate?

And yes you are still #1 dribbler on this site.

Justify how i am the number 1 dribbler on this site -

So you go from claiming me as the number 1 dribbler on this site, to saying i am an educated league person then to go back to saying im in the number 1 dibbler on this site again all in the space of 1 week!!!! Cool!

Im not going to go through the michael crockett issue again, because im sick of it, ive been through it more than enough of here in previous threads, obviously you dont remember.

What is your problem???? for weeks now ive been naming alternative australian players to cometo the warriors, dont you read??????? Why do you constantly label me with the tag of "non australian players" Ive named heaps.

No im not getting stuck into witt, that ship has sailed long ago, i think hes an excellent goal kicker, but thats all i can say.

Tony Martin isnt a solid first grade centre. Quinn from the storm is a solid centre, luke pattern is a solid fullback, amos roberts is a solid player, craig stapelton is a solid front rower, see where i am going with this????

I think you could be right in saying that rangi chase might not be wearing the number 6 jumper next season for the dragons, but he'll be in there somewhere in the 17, if not, by the time his contract expires there will be more than 1 club chasing him...excuse the pun.

If you doubt his future in the game, what gives you more confidence in ian henderson??? Who you also dont know much about. Justify that.
 

MiXmasterreece_old

Guest
Justify how i am the number 1 dribbler on this site -

So you go from claiming me as the number 1 dribbler on this site, to saying i am an educated league person then to go back to saying im in the number 1 dibbler on this site again all in the space of 1 week!!!! Cool!

Im not going to go through the michael crockett issue again, because im sick of it, ive been through it more than enough of here in previous threads, obviously you dont remember.

What is your problem???? for weeks now ive been naming alternative australian players to cometo the warriors, dont you read??????? Why do you constantly label me with the tag of "non australian players" Ive named heaps.

No im not getting stuck into witt, that ship has sailed long ago, i think hes an excellent goal kicker, but thats all i can say.

Tony Martin isnt a solid first grade centre. Quinn from the storm is a solid centre, luke pattern is a solid fullback, amos roberts is a solid player, craig stapelton is a solid front rower, see where i am going with this????

I think you could be right in saying that rangi chase might not be wearing the number 6 jumper next season for the dragons, but he'll be in there somewhere in the 17, if not, by the time his contract expires there will be more than 1 club chasing him...excuse the pun.

If you doubt his future in the game, what gives you more confidence in ian henderson??? Who you also dont know much about. Justify that.

I apologise for the dribbler comment, it was uncalled for, but was in relation to your first post this afternoon which was a little hostile. But just for the record somebody can be an educated league supporter and a dribbler at the same time.

I tire over debating the merits of crockett, martin and how you would manage the club.

And yes thank you I can read.
 

MiXmasterreece_old

Guest
If you doubt his future in the game, what gives you more confidence in ian henderson??? Who you also dont know much about. Justify that.

Just for the record I have watched Henderson play on many occassions, Im no expert on him but I've seen him play more games probably that Rangi.
 

garyhobson_old

Guest
No need to swear on the forums.

As for Joe Galuvau....dont you admit that the warriors have a shortage for next season in the second row??? He wouldnt be my number 1 pick obviously, because like you said we cant be signing every marque player out there....i think he could be decent back up, he'll work hard, and he'll come cheap at bargin price. Former kiwi international player, so he'll also bring experience and "solidity" hes looking for an opportunity. But if we dont get him, than that doesnt matter, there is still plenty of players out there.
 

garyhobson_old

Guest
Just for the record I have watched Henderson play on many occassions, Im no expert on him but I've seen him play more games probably that Rangi.

Yeah okay true...you can still be a dribbler and be an educated league brain etc.

So what do you like about Henderson's game in particular?

and what dont you like about rangi's game? I cant comment on henderson's game, i can only predict it will be a bad signing, but ill admit that theres things i dont like about rangi's game, but theres still plenty to like.
 

MiXmasterreece_old

Guest
Yeah okay true...you can still be a dribbler and be an educated league brain etc.

So what do you like about Henderson's game in particular?

and what dont you like about rangi's game? I cant comment on henderson's game, i can only predict it will be a bad signing, but ill admit that theres things i dont like about rangi's game, but theres still plenty to like.

Rangi - I dont rate as a number 6, to be honest i dont think he's got the skill set. He is a descent #9 but i feel that he isnt dominant enough to cement a long term FG spot.

Henderson I think has good speed out of dummy half, a crisp pass on both sides and a hell of a lot of ticker. He doesn't 'go down' often and seems to lift those around him with his energy when he comes on. Perfect guy to be coming off the bench for the warriors.
 

MiXmasterreece_old

Guest
No need to swear on the forums.

As for Joe Galuvau....dont you admit that the warriors have a shortage for next season in the second row??? He wouldnt be my number 1 pick obviously, because like you said we cant be signing every marque player out there....i think he could be decent back up, he'll work hard, and he'll come cheap at bargin price. Former kiwi international player, so he'll also bring experience and "solidity" hes looking for an opportunity. But if we dont get him, than that doesnt matter, there is still plenty of players out there.

I like to swear like a pirate, so ill continue to do so, but thank you for your concern.

I admit that the 2nd row stocks are bare. I dont rate him as a hard worker, and thats my main problem with him. He goes missing on the field at times for extended periods and from all accounts he is not a good trainer. Not the sort of experience I would want to bring to the club when we have guys like Sonny Fai who APPARENTLY have slight attitude problems.
 

Joe 90_old

Guest
No need to swear on the forums.

As for Joe Galuvau....dont you admit that the warriors have a shortage for next season in the second row??? He wouldnt be my number 1 pick obviously, because like you said we cant be signing every marque player out there....i think he could be decent back up, he'll work hard, and he'll come cheap at bargin price. Former kiwi international player, so he'll also bring experience and "solidity" hes looking for an opportunity. But if we dont get him, than that doesnt matter, there is still plenty of players out there.
I'd pass on Galuvao. He was one of my favourite's when he was at the Panthers but since he left (and cut his hair) he hasn't been the force he once was.
Like you say, he's now just another experienced, solid 2nd rower and quite frankly with Luck,Koopu,Swann we have enough of these. It's been recognised by just about everybody we need something different in the mix and i'd rather go with the continuing development of Lauaki and Fai.

I dont know why you'd think he'd be cheap though. He's on 350k a season with the rabbits. TBH 200k would be too much imo.
 

Skinny_Ravs82

Guest
Considering the injury toll the Dragons had they didn't have a choice to but dog deep and use guys like Chase anyway. Besides with Gaz coming back he'll be taking over #6 again as he was meant to this year before the injury struck
 

Skinny_Ravs82

Guest
The whole things of
'We shouldn't have bought..so and so. or 'this dude is crap etc..' is just getting too old. Those who love to find fault with our guys, that's fine it's your opinion but it's just getting to tiresome to read.

'Crockett is this or that, 'Martin is so..and so'. Seriously, its the same argument every single time.
 

commonsense_old

Guest
Considering the injury toll the Dragons had they didn't have a choice to but dog deep and use guys like Chase anyway. Besides with Gaz coming back he'll be taking over #6 again as he was meant to this year before the injury struck

nah i dont think thats gonna be the case. i read an article about gasnier's speedy recovery and that when he comes back it will most likely to be in the centres since rangi chase has been playing so well at no 6.