Five of the NRL’s worst career moves

54 Have your say

Popular article! 5,701 reads

    There’s nothing more painful as a rugby league supporter than watching one of your team’s best players set sail for fresh waters. But sometimes in life, changing colours doesn’t work out, and fans are left saying, “I’m glad we let him go.”

    The following is the top five players who moved clubs as a hero and arrived and performed as a zero.

    5. Benji Marshall to St George Illawarra Dragons, 2014
    Once one of the NRL’s most exciting and impersonated players, Benji Marshall decided to leave his beloved Wests Tigers at the end of the 2013 season, to pursue a career in union.

    His time in Auckland was short-lived, and he returned to the NRL for the Red V, half the player he once was.

    He is only at five on this list due to the fact that his form towards the end of his time with the Tigers was slumping, and if he stayed there he wouldn’t be much better.

    The Dragons’ attack in 2016 has been less than impressive, and with Marshall having a reputation of being one of the most lethal attacking weapons in the competition, you wonder where it all went wrong.

    4. Trent Hodkinson to Newcastle Knights, 2016
    The general behind a mighty Bulldogs forward pack for most of his career, he helped get Canterbury to two grand finals in five years, and rarely missed a finals series. His decision to move to Newcastle was mostly based off Des Hasler’s choice to use Moses Mbye and Josh Reynolds in the halves for 2016.

    Nevertheless, Hodkinson went from one of the best organising halves in the NRL, to just another player contributing to the Knights’ horror 2016 season.

    He’ll be watching his former teammates in September, sitting in his living room with the wooden spoon in hand.

    3. Adam Blair to Wests Tigers 2012
    It seemed Tim Sheens had snagged one of the best forwards in the game when Adam Blair put pen to paper for the Wests Tigers back in 2012. If this was a list of let downs, Blair would be number one.

    As it stands, it may be unfair to put him on this list, considering Wayne Bennett saved his career in Brisbane, but when you go from one of the best in the business, to an overpaid, over-rated marshmallow, you deserve to be here.

    As a Tigers supporter, he is the biggest waste of money the club has ever invested in.

    2. Chris Sandow to Parramatta Eels, 2012
    Leaving the South Sydney Rabbitohs as a cult hero, Sandow arrived in Parramatta with high expectations. But the only thing bigger than his paycheque was the disappointment of the Eels faithful.

    He couldn’t fit into Parramatta’s structure, and failed to fire when games were on the line.

    Sandow now resides in the Super League, where his ability seems to be more suited.

    From South Sydney star, to Parramatta reserve grader. Career killed? I think so.

    1. Anthony Watmough to Parramatta Eels, 2015
    Parramatta have made some great recruitments in the past, with Corey Norman and Beau Scott proving their worth at the club. But Watmough has been completely forgotten since leaving fortress Brookvale, playing just 17 games for the Eels.

    Now retired thanks to salary cap issues forcing him out of the club, Watmough would not have wanted to end his successful career in such a way.

    Former teammate Kieran Foran may have joined him on this list, but he still has a chance to be saved. And yes, I know, “Why is Adam Blair on here if he got saved?” Look, I’m still salty about the whole situation, just let me have my rant.