Williams and Taylor’s final backhander
Dave Taylor is tackled by Gareth Ellis during the Round 21 (AAP Image/Action Photographics, Renee McKay)
The Manly Sea Eagles and South Sydney Rabbitohs are out of the running for the 2012 NRL Premiership after respective losses on the weekend. Is it any wonder when you see how Tony Williams and Dave Taylor performed?
Both men are giants and can win any game of football that they set their minds to.
With State of Origin and Australian jumpers sitting in their wardrobes, you wonder just what happened to these monsters over the weekend.
Where were the big hits? Where were the devastating runs?
Who cares if they didn’t perform? They have big guaranteed contracts for rival clubs in 2013 you see. This is the damning dark side of professional rugby league. What was their mindset when their sides’ fortunes took a nosedive?
Williams and Taylor left the fans scratching their heads after shockers in the biggest games of their season last week. There was nothing.
Taylor was a passenger against the Melbourne Storm in week one of the playoffs and continually hurt his side – whether giving away silly penalties or coughing up possession.
Coach Michael Maguire rightfully hooked him after 20 minutes and didn’t use him again until the 65th minute.
The Queenslander was hooked again after 20 minutes against the Canterbury Bulldogs when he missed a tackle on Greg Eastwood. You sense Maguire knew something too.
Sea Eagles’ Williams (or is he now a Bulldog?) was equally shocking in Melbourne on Friday. After arguing he was an 80 minute player a few weeks back, ‘T-Rex’ failed to show he was even a first grader against the Storm.
“Personally I reckon I can play a good 80 minutes. I don’t care what anyone says,” Williams told reporters prior to the week two clash against North Queensland.
“They say Toovey doesn’t use me well. It’s not Toovey’s fault.
“It’s all up to me. Only I can change that and I know I can do a good job there this weekend (against the Cowboys).”
In a preliminary final bout against the Storm, Williams proved his mind was elsewhere. There was no respect for the club that paid massive overs to lure him away from Parramatta. The same guys that made him a superstar.
The backrower dropped the pill cold with his first touch, which directly led to Cooper Cronk’s try.
Williams was then at first marker minutes later with the Storm pressing for points. The alarm bells should have been ringing when Billy Slater went into dummy half.
Instead of getting low and preparing for the inevitable Slater ambush, big Tony stood tall and never had a chance against the legendary fullback. It is a little thing, but it’s obvious when you think about it.
Later in the match and with Melbourne surging once more, Williams went for a shoulder charge on Will Chambers, despite the centre being only metres from the tryline. You don’t shoulder charge that close to your own line. Chambers bounced away and continued the attack.
Neither Williams and Taylor seemed to care. Were their hearts in it?