Six of the best NRL signings for 2013

shane Roar Guru

By shane, shane is a Roar Guru

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    James Maloney spent more than a year at the Warriors after signing with the Roosters. (AAP Image/Action Photographics/Grant Trouville)

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    They say change is as good as a holiday and with only a bit over a month until the 2013 NRL season kicks off, I take a close look at six potential signings that could help carry your club to glory in September.

    1. James Segeyaro

    Cowboys football manager Peter Parr said the club had done “all they could” to extend James Segeyaro’s stint in North Queensland. However, Segeyaro had a “burning desire” to live in Sydney, which was the catalyst for him to instead sign a three-year deal with the Penrith Panthers.

    Second-last finish in 2012, salary cap pressure, and no guarantee of a starting spot. Those were the circumstances Panthers recruit Segeyaro knows full well as the club continues to completely restructure how it operates.

    The livewire No.9 said he believed both he and the western Sydney club had a “bright future.”

    An energetic young player with a great deal of potential, Segeyaro, who has had his off-field issues, will need to focus on the job at hand if he is going to make the most of this opportunity. Coach Ivan Cleary and CEO Phil Gould have stamped their authority on a club that seemingly lacked the discipline needed to take their football to the next level.

    Dangerous from dummy-half and strong in defence, Segeyaro will add another dimension to the Panthers attack in 2013.

    2. James Maloney

    The Sydney Roosters beat off six other clubs to sign red-hot Warriors playmaker James Maloney on a three-year-deal.

    Maloney replaces Braith Anasta at five eighth for the tricolours with Anasta joining the Wests Tigers and one can’t help but feel the club’s decision to recruit Maloney is a masterstroke.

    An established playmaker in the prime of his career at 26 years of age, it has been a case of being out of sight and out of mind at the Warriors as the reason why he hasn’t yet had a taste of State of Origin.

    Instrumental in the Warriors’ 2011 charge to the grand final, in which proved to be a breakthrough year for Maloney, I have him taking his game to the next level at the Roosters, forming a strong, long-term partnership in the halves with Mitchell Pearce.

    3 and 4. Jeff Lima (Wigan) Ben Te’o (Broncos)

    With just 26 players used in 2012, South Sydney enjoyed a pretty decent run when it came to injuries, although it wasn’t always smooth sailing for the Rabbitohs in 2013.

    Suffering up front for a large chunk of the season, both Roy Asotasi (missed 15 games) and Scott Geddes (played only 12 games – now retired) left the Rabbitohs short of troops. Add a lack of finals experience and the Rabbitohs season came to a disappointing end.

    Welcome Jeff Lima and Ben Te’o.

    The club has taken some big strides forward in recent years and these two signings will only enhance that.

    Lima will return to the NRL following a successful stint with English Super League giants Wigan where he won the 2011 Challenge Cup under the guidance of now Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire. Te’o, previously from West Tigers and Brisbane will replace departing second-rower David Taylor.

    Although Taylor left his mark, Te’o is the disciplined type of player coach Maguire is looking for.

    Lima in particular has been a very consistent performer right throughout his career and will bring a wealth of experience to the club next season, while Te’o will add a running game on the fringes of the Rabbitohs pack already boasting some talented juniors.

    5. Braith Anasta

    Clubs buy players for various players. The decision from the Roosters to not re-sign Anasta and the Tigers decision to recruit him is a shrewd one from both parties.

    Having tried nine different halves pairings and four different fullbacks on the way to missing the finals last season, the signing of Anasta will alleviate some of the pressure that is continually thrust upon Marshall and Farah whenever the Tigers aren’t performing.

    Having authority, a good kicking game and as an added ball player, Anasta will bring experience to the spine.

    Anasta is held in very high regard for his leadership at the Roosters – both on and off the field. After the horror 2009 season in which the Rooters were constantly in the headlines for the wrong reasons, he took it upon himself to restore the reputation of the club by setting standards for player behaviour.

    His leadership, professionalism and knowledge of the game will be invaluable to the West Tigers in 2013.

    6. Scott Prince

    The Broncos confirmed the signing of former Gold Coast skipper Scott Prince on a two-year contract late last year, ensuring the 32-year-old halfback will end his NRL career in Queensland.

    Surprised? Not at all. A good buy from a club who lacked leadership and direction throughout the 2012 season.

    Peter Wallace, the current no. 7 and Corey Norman, who played most of the 2012 season at five-eighth struggled to lead an inconsistent Broncos outfit at times.

    Arriving at Red Hill earlier this month knowing he’d have to earn a place in coach Anthony Griffin’s squad next season, Prince is looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead.

    “Who would have thought? I’m very happy to be given this opportunity by the Broncos. I’m looking forward to getting back on the horse and proving myself again,” Prince said.

    Despite Prince’s eagerness to impress, coach Anthony Griffin wasted no time in reminding him that he would have to work hard to secure a starting spot in the Broncos halves this season.

    “(To get a start) Scott will have to be better than the guys we’ve got here.”

    “My job is to make our club a bit stronger, and I think, by bringing Scott Prince here, that will help,” he said.

    Whilst Griffin has guaranteed nothing for the former international, I expect to see Prince running out for the Broncos come round one.

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    The Crowd Says (31)

    • Roar Guru

      January 31st 2013 @ 5:28am
      Hoy said | January 31st 2013 @ 5:28am | ! Report

      I thought last year that the Broncs issue was not getting to the end of the field, but once they got there, they just didn’t know how to get over the line. Wallace close to the line was next to useless. Perhaps Prince can fix this issue.

    • Roar Guru

      January 31st 2013 @ 5:44am
      peeeko said | January 31st 2013 @ 5:44am | ! Report

      i really like segeyaro but it is a strange signing with Kingston being generally an 80 min toiler. i also wonder how you could have kept Luke Lewis off the list, surely he is a much better player than Braith Anasta

      • Roar Guru

        January 31st 2013 @ 7:35am
        shane said | January 31st 2013 @ 7:35am | ! Report

        Luke Lewis is a great player. Sharks weren’t exactly lacking class or experience in the forward pack last season though.

        Don’t get me wrong, he will do a job but Anasta heads to a club that had nine different halves pairings and four different fullbacks. Their halves issues created problems in other positions too. All this equals greater impact than Luke Lewis at the Sharks.

        • Roar Guru

          January 31st 2013 @ 10:34am
          peeeko said | January 31st 2013 @ 10:34am | ! Report

          i think anasta will play in the backrow, i think lewis could be the player that takes the sharks to the next level and is twice the player braith is

    • January 31st 2013 @ 6:13am
      AndyMack said | January 31st 2013 @ 6:13am | ! Report

      Michael Gordon…???

      • Roar Guru

        January 31st 2013 @ 7:40am
        shane said | January 31st 2013 @ 7:40am | ! Report

        Gordon is a former Origin player, albeit only one game.

        I would like him to get a full season under his belt before he is brought up in any conversation. I hope that this is the year.

    • January 31st 2013 @ 7:50am
      Don Marl said | January 31st 2013 @ 7:50am | ! Report

      I think that is a very good list. Very good buys every one of them.

      These are clubs spending their money wisely.

      I would also have considered Brett Finch, often overlooked and even despised by some, he is a good solid if ageing player who always gives of his best. Put him in and I think you have all the great signings for the year there.

      • January 31st 2013 @ 10:07am
        Jake said | January 31st 2013 @ 10:07am | ! Report

        Brett Finch will be lucky to get off the bench for the Storm. Only injuries and SOO will allow him some game time thus he won’t have as much impact as these other players.

        • January 31st 2013 @ 10:25am
          Morfs said | January 31st 2013 @ 10:25am | ! Report

          Finch was signed not just for his playing ability, but also as a mentor for Widdop and Storm’s other young halves. There has been a bit of talk from the club, and Finch himself, that he may end up in an off-field role in the near future. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t get much game time, as he is still a canny signing for the impact he will have on the future halves of the club.

        • January 31st 2013 @ 11:00am
          rl said | January 31st 2013 @ 11:00am | ! Report

          I reckon Finch was brought in for exactly that purpose – aging but proven performer who knows the system and most of the players, and can provide cover during SOO time. Anything more from him is a bonus.

          • January 31st 2013 @ 12:25pm
            Pot Stirrer said | January 31st 2013 @ 12:25pm | ! Report

            Finch is hopeless. He was cut by both the roosters and eels. He played well at the roosters when he had Fitler in the team. He went ok at the storm becuase of Cronk and Smith being the main play makers. If your looking to him to mentor young players your looking in the wrong place.

    • January 31st 2013 @ 8:25am
      Rugby Realist said | January 31st 2013 @ 8:25am | ! Report

      Maloneys open door policy on defence and his high penalty rate are other reasons why he hasnt made origin. Although i grant you it is considerably harder for anyone to do so from NZ.

      And i agree he is a great buy, best of the lot in my opinion. And having the SBW show overshadow him can only help

    • January 31st 2013 @ 8:32am
      oikee said | January 31st 2013 @ 8:32am | ! Report

      The guy who replaced Segeyaro, Scott Moore the pom, he could turn out to be the buy of the season, the Cowboys lost a good one and might have gained a goodun.

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