I agree, but I also think that too much of the current side has had their game steralised. Matulino and Packer loved to offload, Packer shows glimpses of his ball playing ability with his little shovle on passes which I love. I honestly think if we can get some second phase ball play going from our front rowers, Mateos game will come to life as well and then we can spread the ball to Hurrell and Vatuvei one on one.Problem with 2002 style vs 2013 style... we do not have the team to pull it off.
Look in awe at our '02 Grand Final team:
1 Ivan Cleary (in his prime, ace goal kick, defensive genius) - Locke is a kid.
2 Justin Murphy (tradesman with speed, well-utilised)
3 John Carlaw (tradesman who will never let you down)
4 Clinton Toopi (in his prime, electric attacker, aggressive though dodgy defender) - Do we even have two centres today!?
5 Francis Meli (in his prime, smashes everyone, scores 5-try hauls)
6 Motu Tony (youngster but good compliment to Jones) - Leuluai probably better.
7 Stacey Jones (GOD in his prime, scored the best solo GF try ever) - Johnson is a kid.
8 Jerry Seu Seu (in his prime, aggressive hard running prop) - Rapira in a couple of years.
9 PJ Marsh (our best ever hooker by a long shot) - Friend looks boring by comparison.
10 Mark Tookey (big, bends the line) - Packer on a good day.
11 Ali Lauiti'iti (offload king, big hitter) - Mateo wishes he was this guy.
12 Awen Guttenbeil (Big angry hard running hard hitting) - Mannering the PG version.
13 Kevin Campion (our best ever lock) - Lowrie wishes he was this guy.
14 Lance Hohaia (super sub at his young, electric best) - Godinet not even close.
15 Logan Swann (at his best again, big, hard running offloader) - Lillyman's a prop.
16 Wairangi Koopu (mobile, ran great lines, defensive workhorse) - Taylor a smaller, weaker version.
17 Richard Villasanti (at his best, big, angry prop who can offload) - Matulino if he took crack would be this.
That team had everything we lack, and still couldn't win the damn comp.
We need one more big guy that loves to offload, even if he is a prop. Kasiano and Fifita would be at the top of my list. I think we need one of those two more than we need Tomkins, but Tomkins plus one of those two, and a 'back yourself in the appropriate situations' mentality and we can turn this ship around.