1 - Mathew Ridge - Dally M fullback 1995; Proven match winner (71% win record over 7 years at Manly). 80.22% kicking.
2 – Tony ‘T Rex’ Williams - wrecking ball
3 - Dean Bell (c) - man of steel 1992 - 7 x challenge cup winner including 3 as captain - proven winner. 360 first grade games
4 - Nigel Vagana - Dally M centre 2001, 02
5 – Manu ‘the beast’ Vatuvei - international winger of the year 2008; 152 tries
6 - Benji Marshall - Dally m five eights 2011, golden boot 2010; 324 nrl games
7 - Cooper Cronk - Daly M half 2006, 11, 12, 13, 16, Daly M overall player 2013, 16. A proven winner (70.97% win ratio); 372 nrl games
8 - Rubin Wiki - 55 tests (18 as captain) for NZ ; 311 nrl games
9 - Isaac ‘bully’ luke - international hooker of the year 2013
10 – Ian roberts - Dally M prop 1987, 93, 94
11- Sam Thaiday - Dally M second rower 2010,11; 304 games
12- Steven ‘beaver’ Menzies - 4 time Dally award winner 1994, 95, 98, 2002 - Australian hall of fame. 180nrl tries - Menzies is a noted defender, but is best known as the most prolific try scoring forward
in rugby league.
13 - Jason Taumalolo - Dally M lock 2015, 16, 18, over all Dally M 2016
Coach - W Bennett - super coach
Home Ground - Rotorua international stadium
Wizards Warriors - Beauty and the beast
The beast, T-Rex, bully - there’s a reason for those nicknames. Add in Taumalolo, Thaiday, Roberts - and a third of your team are 112kgs+ monsters - 10-30kgs over there opposition in some cases. Big men always beat little men. And defence! All these guys are power runners and all can put a defensive hit on. Wikis right shoulder, bully‘s ‘smash em bro’ attitude and Ridge at the back, putting his body on the line like no one before or since.
And the Beauty... while it’s a team of big men it’s also a team of ball players. Taumalolo - offloading freak. Vagana and Bell, elite and skilful centres. Menzies - try a scoring freak. And the halves. Copper Cronk - 5 times Dally M half and a proven winner (70.97% win ratio) not fully appreciated because he made those around him look better, beating them through structure, consistency and with the brains to pick the opposition apart. Meanwhile Benji Marshall’s blistering speed, deceptive step and uncanny ball skills will just carve the best defenders apart. Ridge with an 81% kicking average puts the ball over from everywhere.
Beauty and the beast
Attack and defence:
A typical set will be Manu or T-Rex smashing it up with the first carry; Roberts, Wiki, Taumalolo or Thaiday carrying on the carnage with perhaps a sniping run from Luke. Then Cronk takes over and has a field day with any of the big men (Manu, Taumalolo, T-Rex, Roberts, Thaiday or Wiki) hitting holes - that’s half the team and options across the field!
Simply put. Carnage. Make no mistake, Cronk is perfect with this cattle at his disposal.
If we can’t smash through, the plays get set up for any of Menzies (0.48), Vagana (0.58), Manu (0.59) as 3 of the all time greatest try scorers in the game to find a way through. Unbelievable attacking stats. Benji will be in has element later in the game as the defence is pulverised by our massive ball runners and weaves his magic. Bennett will have the game plan set and make sure it’s implemented. Quite simply I believe our attack is the best statistically and even more effective due to the combinations. 502 tries in the backs; a record 180 tries just to beaver.
Defensive structure of the backs: Bell and Vagana are elite defensive centres. Footy brains. Graham Lowe rates Bell as the best centre ever and Vagana is a multiple Dally M centre of the year. They can cover for ‘the beast’ and ‘T-Rex’ who can be slow to turn - Slow turners but if either of those two line you up, you won’t be running at them again in a hurry! If the opposition gets through, Ridge is a defensive legend who always puts his body on the line. Passion and belief personified. One of the best defensive fullbacks ever. The forwards - Roberts, Wiki, Thaiday, Menzies, Taumalolo and Luke are all noted defenders. No gaps here.
So there you have it - the best attacking team based on statistics, who would be even better due to the combinations and game plan - The sum is even greater than the parts. Defensively we have a team of noted defenders in the forward pack and the giant wingers are covered by elite defensive centres and fullback. There is just no way through. The opposition will struggle to score and we will massively outscore you!
24 Dally M’s. 6 x 300+ game players. 5 x NZ captains. Winners. Beauty and the beast. Wizards Warriors