Imagine Hame spending a full season with someone like Billy Johnstone, identifying and getting him to his correct playing size. Hame with stamina and a bit lighter on his feet could be anything really. I think he needs a change of scenery to achieve his potential.
Ideally, I'd like to see both of them signed. Epalahame was in good form early in the season before his injury.
However, if it comes down to one or the other, (and I suspect that it will), I'd pick Guttenbeil by a country mile. He is experienced, is a leader, is in sizzling form, and, unlike Lauaki...he isn't injured.
Yeah as i said i would defintley have guttenbiel signed ahead of lauki. But as jesbass said lauki was in good form and a good player and he is stillyoung and has plenty of years left in him.
My vote still goes to awen though!
guttenbiel. been dynamic off the bench last few weeks. also very experinced which is what we need next year. also because he will be a 10 year player get 100,000 off his contract that doesn't count towards the cap.
lauaki unfortuantely looks like he will be gone from the warriors. hopefully he can find a home somewhere and get in good shape and have better luck with injuries
Hame, Im a huge fan of Guttenbeil however I think the best choice for the long term future of the warriors is Lauki.
He has hue potentail, more potentail than any warriors player that I have seen on our team apart from, Rovelli and Manu.
f we keep Guttenbeil, the average age of our forward pack will be to high.
Sione, Koopu, Luck are all in there mid twentys which isn't always that young league wise and then we have some freaks in Price and Wiki who are at the very end of there careers.
I won't really mind either way, but Gutts will end up taking less off our cap than Hame(if Hame gets more than 100,000). So the logical answer is Awen Guttenbiel. He has been on fire lately as well, that certianly won't help Hame's cause. Also if Wiki's going till 2008 why can't Gutts go on for 2 years more??
If youth dictates everything, an argument could be found that Stacey Jones should have been moved on years ago for Thomas Leuluai and they should never have signed Steve Price in the hope of retaining Matt Jobson!
Young players come, some don't make it, and then more young players come along. The bloke reminds me a lot of Clinton Toopi really, hella frustrating because you can see its there but just doesn't know how to produce it consistently at NRL level. Awen on the other hand, is busting defences, popping offloads, and making young players around him look good.
Definitely Guttenbeil, infact not just by the length of the Manawatu Gorge but by the sheer size of the Sahara Desert.
Matt Jobsons potentail is alot further from what Lauki's is, I don't think that is at all a fair comparison.
If youth dictated everything the warriors would be knocking at my door not, Gutts or Hame's im younger than both of them.
There is more risk in taking Hame for sure but Preirships are not won without them.
Sione I believe is developing into a leader, and im sure luck will along with Koopu will be able to help fill the void left by Awen.
We need more variation in our backrowers at the moment if we are to have a crisp attack, Luck Louis Koopu Awen are all very similar.
I understand where you're coming from JonB, but second row we tend to develop strongly from anyway.
We've still got young Sonny Fai coming through, and a list of players in the development squad also to bring on. They'll all gain more being around Awen Guttenbeil, a proven performer at club and international level who's been around for 11 first grade seasons, than from the knowledge and experience Hame Lauaki has acquired. Awen knows how to win, he knows how to get through a game, Hame doesn't.
So, in my opinion, its better for the youth of the Warriors to be around Price, Wiki, Guttenbeil than not to be around them. They don't hinder them, they inspire them, they educate them, they motivate them. While Hame showed talent at the beginning of his career he did not sustain it or grow on from it. It's a cut throat business and you can't hold passengers - there'll be more second rowers coming through in due course.
Vinnie: That was apparently obvious to all except Warriors management and their lack of ethics
Hape: Again, a big shame, but reportedly offered massive money by Bradford and at that stage coming off an horrific injury, got to stay within the salary cap restraints
Whatuira: Always looked a consistent player who did his job well
Ali: Debateable as to whether he's really improved a great deal since 2004, be interested to see how he'd go back in the NRL where defences tend to be a bit more solid
Latu: His career is now over, so its pointless debating it
Paleaaesina: I've watched him a bit at Wigan, he has struggled a bit in my eyes. The thing with Paleaaesina is he'll never reach his potential unless he learns to play a lot of minutes, and he was never going to get that opportunity here behind Price and Wiki. Unfortunately, its not happening at Wigan either.
There's also the obvious counter arguments of the likes of Thomas Leuluai, Cliff Beverley, Zane Clarke, Kane Ferris, Peter Lewis, Jason Mackie and co who the club did not perservere with and who really have not turned out to be anything more of what the club expected of them when they were allowed to leave. In regards to Hame, he's played 24 first grade games, and I have not been overly impressed by what I have seen - woeful lateral D, for a big bloke he has no sting in defence either and gets bumped off more than a guy his size should, takes a long time to build up a head of steam, seemingly only lasts a short while, and never really delivered on all the ball playing propaganda we were spoon fed by Daniel Anderson. He might come good - in my eyes, it's more of a risk to lose a proven performer and inspiration to younger players in Awen Guttenbeil than to lose a one in ten chance of turning their career around in Hame Lauaki.