Trigger-happy Eels splurge on Norman

Curtis Woodward Roar Guru

51 Have your say

    After recently losing out on the signature of exciting backrower Josh Papalii, the Parramatta Eels have hit the panic button and forked out on young Brisbane Broncos utility Corey Norman.

    The three-year deal reportedly worth up to $1.5 million is a ludicrous amount for a kid who has been scratchy at best for the Broncos.

    When will Parramatta ever learn?

    Norman has been moved to fullback by current coach Anthony Griffin in an attempt to spark Brisbane’s misfiring backline. But a move to the Eels will ensure the youngster returns to his preferred position at five-eighth.

    Even prior to new coach Ricky Stuart’s arrival, Parramatta have been mediocre at best when it comes to their recruitment and retention. When will the people involved in these decisions be held accountable?

    Buying players for the sake of buying players is a gross misuse of funds and Norman’s signing is yet another example of how desperate this club has become.

    Is Norman’s acquisition a good move? Sure.

    Is he worth over $1.2 million? No way.

    Chris Sandow is already on a deal worth around $550,000 a season and fans are yet to see the little halfback live up to his price tag. Now Norman will join the side from 2014.

    You can’t knock a club for wanting to attract big name players and if it means spending some money, then by all means, go for it.

    But when those players are Sandow and Norman, questions need to be asked.

    How many other players will they lose over the next 12 months because so much of the salary cap is taken up by these men?

    In 2011 the Eels headed to retirement homes across the land and picked up Chris Hicks, Paul Whatuira, Chris Walker and Carl Webb. They played a combined total of 21 games that season.

    All the while losing Feleti Mateo, Krisnan Inu, Kris Keating and Jonathon Wright.

    They followed that up last season by grabbing Ben Roberts, Taulima Tautai, Sandow and the Tonga brothers, Willie and Esi.

    Who has been making these decisions?

    “Corey has all the attributes to have a successful career in the NRL,” coach Stuart said at a press conference on Monday afternoon.

    “He is big and confident, has all the skills and has served a good apprenticeship under some pretty decent playmakers up in Brisbane.

    “We can’t wait to get him down here and make him a part of our team and culture.”

    The Eels were right to chase Papalii. The destructive forward is the kind of player that can help create the right kind of culture at a club.

    It is yet to be seen whether Norman is even capable of performing on a weekly basis.

    Now that Norman has turned his back on the Broncos, you have to wonder how many more games he will get under Griffin at Brisbane.

    With the side struggling and in the mix for free agent Josh Dugan, the Broncos are well within their rights to send Norman back to the Queensland Cup for the rest of the season.

    If the losses continue to pile up and Dugan is lured north, Norman may find himself playing lower grades for the remainder of 2013.

    Even if Dugan doesn’t sign with the Broncos, coach Griffin still may decide to banish the utility.

    Veteran Scott Prince is no certainty to see out 2013, after a slow start to the season at number six. But whether Griffin wants to play the Parramatta-bound Norman is up to Griffin and Griffin alone.

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    The Crowd Says (51)

    • March 26th 2013 @ 5:26am
      Richardn said | March 26th 2013 @ 5:26am | ! Report

      Norman has rarely produced for the Broncs. Good luck to him for getting that kind of money, but totally overpriced.

    • Roar Guru

      March 26th 2013 @ 6:09am
      SuperEel22 said | March 26th 2013 @ 6:09am | ! Report

      I am an Eels supporter and I have discussed this at length with fellow supporters. We all agree and we all know we pay overs for players. Our Board is a laughing stock and basket case. We know that. The reason we have bought Norman is to replace Ben Roberts. He was a wasted experiment. Luke Kelly will probably hold his place and we’ll probably see Norman used off the bench. Ricky Stuart is a coach who likes to think outside the box. Sandow’s starting to earn his keep at the Eels, he’s put in 3 consistent performances this season and if he continues in that vein he will show why we spent the money that we did on him. He’s not in the QLD development squad for no reason.

      • March 26th 2013 @ 9:03am
        Will Sinclair said | March 26th 2013 @ 9:03am | ! Report

        SuperEel – you must be concerned at how effectively the Tigers targeted Sandow in defence though?

        I don’t think the other NRL coaches will have missed that.

        • March 26th 2013 @ 9:12am
          B.A Sports said | March 26th 2013 @ 9:12am | ! Report

          Sandow’s defence is an obvious problem, but the Eels did make a grand final in 2001 with the then worst defender in the competition (Jason Taylor).

          Still firmly planted in my mind the decision of Taylor in the GF, standing 55 cm from his own try line and deciding to tackle Bill Peden around the bootlaces, as Peden’s 175cm frame promplty toppled forward and over the try line by a considerable margin…

          • March 26th 2013 @ 10:17am
            Coasty said | March 26th 2013 @ 10:17am | ! Report

            The current two poorest defenders in the NRL play for St. George and Canterbury. Both are moved out of position when the other team has possession from a scrum so that they can’t be run at.However the Saints’ fella goes to outside centre and he does tackle front-on effectively

            • March 26th 2013 @ 12:46pm
              B.A Sports said | March 26th 2013 @ 12:46pm | ! Report

              I buy that Soward isn’t a good defender, but I will raise you a Scott Prince. Not only is Prince’s tackling ability poor, but his reading of the attack is awful as well. And this is a guy who has been playing the game professionally for over a decade and he still hasn’t worked it out!

          • March 26th 2013 @ 11:06am
            Coasty said | March 26th 2013 @ 11:06am | ! Report

    • March 26th 2013 @ 8:23am
      oikee said | March 26th 2013 @ 8:23am | ! Report

      The Broncos are changing their game day song from Bonaza theme to, Freddie Mercury’s “another one bites the dust”.
      What a rabble, what a complete mess this coach and club has got itself into. Losing Beale Teo and Robinson and now our future half, Norman, the fall of the powerhouse club is nearly complete.
      Gallop had his hand all over this, while other clubs seemed to have a never ending salary cap, Brisbane lost player after player after player.
      The end result is now a club that has to go out and buy players, all their juniors are now gone, nice work NRL.
      Queensland, and Brisbane are on their knees. After all these years, no local derby, no juniors left, a coach who has run the club into the ground.
      Another one gone, another gone, another one bites the dust,
      Brisbane will get their soon, another bites the dust,,,,, hey hey hey.

      • March 26th 2013 @ 9:04am
        Will Sinclair said | March 26th 2013 @ 9:04am | ! Report

        “…while other clubs seemed to have a never ending salary cap, Brisbane lost player after player after player.”


        • March 26th 2013 @ 9:06am
          eagleJack said | March 26th 2013 @ 9:06am | ! Report

          His delusions know no bounds, Will.

          • March 26th 2013 @ 10:15am
            Cockburn said | March 26th 2013 @ 10:15am | ! Report

            Well said

      • March 26th 2013 @ 10:36am
        Coasty said | March 26th 2013 @ 10:36am | ! Report

        The Broncoes young players come from all over Queensland including the Torres Straits. Many are young junior players from other regional/group/town rugby league competitions. They are not all players from the junior competition in Brisbane that surely the Broncoes administer as their geographical junior league. Anyway they couldn’t be any worse than Parramatta’s performance over 50 odd years in their own junior league. The neighbours,Western Suburbs once offered to provide sets of jerseys to juniors in the Parramatta junior league instead of town teams raising funds through pub raffles. Gallen and Klemmer are Parramatta area juniors and they didn’t call them up to Grade football..terrible. I believe that Penrith are in better shape than Parramatta for future seasons.

        • Roar Guru

          March 26th 2013 @ 10:50am
          Curtis Woodward said | March 26th 2013 @ 10:50am | ! Report

          Amazing Parramatta and Penrith are not juggernauts of the competition.

      • March 26th 2013 @ 12:36pm
        rl said | March 26th 2013 @ 12:36pm | ! Report

        Oiks, Norman is not worth that much. I applaud the Brocs for not paying over the odds to keep him.

        Sadly, I think Justin Hodges and the recently returned Scotty Prince are the last reminders of the impact that Cyril Connell (Bennett’s legendary talent scout) had on the club, and the days when there seemed to be an endless line of young talent. But pretty mindless to blame Griffin, unlike Parra, he’s trying to be prudent with his dollars – Stuart may think he’s copying the Melbourne Storm model, but Corey Norman is no Billy Slater. I’d rather the Broncos use Norman’s dollars to top up the contracts of the proven talents like Hoffman, Gillett, and either secure some up-and-coming local talent or target a potential recruit.

      • Roar Guru

        March 26th 2013 @ 12:39pm
        peeeko said | March 26th 2013 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

        this is the club that has made 18 finals series in a row with a salary cap that keeps the talent spread – not really on their knees
        they still have a stack of rep players

      • March 26th 2013 @ 11:10pm
        Jeff Cook said | March 26th 2013 @ 11:10pm | ! Report

        Mr Oikee
        I have to point out the Broncos have the whole of Brisbane junior league to choose from.
        ” all their juniors are now gone ” And i may also ask who are the GC , if not local derby ?

    • March 26th 2013 @ 9:10am
      Collo from Blacktown, probably heard of me.. said | March 26th 2013 @ 9:10am | ! Report

      Another Parra bashing on ‘The Roar’. Its geting boring…
      Lets talk about the brilliant $650K investment in Tony Williams by the Dogs…
      The superlative purchase of Braith Anasta from the Tiges….
      Cronulla forking $450K for 5 years on Tupou a few year ago..
      The wonderful $350K purchase of Inu by the Warriors..
      Souths $400K plus purchase of Asotasi a few year ago..
      The Broncos with Joel Clinton..
      Every team does it… Always will….
      I’d be dirtier on Tony Williams as a purchase based on this years efforts than the potential of Corey Norman, but thats just me.
      Lockyer has endorsed him as the player to take the Broncos forward in that 5/8th position, but what would he know that Curtis Woodward doesn’t???

      • Roar Guru

        March 26th 2013 @ 10:50am
        Curtis Woodward said | March 26th 2013 @ 10:50am | ! Report

        Its hardly Parra bashing. They’re a joke.

        • March 26th 2013 @ 11:42am
          Collo from Blacktown, probably heard of me.. said | March 26th 2013 @ 11:42am | ! Report

          Who’s your team Curtis, just out of curiosity??

          • Roar Guru

            March 26th 2013 @ 11:48am
            Curtis Woodward said | March 26th 2013 @ 11:48am | ! Report

            I go for the mighty Magpies 🙁

            • March 26th 2013 @ 12:07pm
              Collo from Blacktown, probably heard of me.. said | March 26th 2013 @ 12:07pm | ! Report

              Of course you do…

              • Roar Guru

                March 26th 2013 @ 1:10pm
                Curtis Woodward said | March 26th 2013 @ 1:10pm | ! Report

                Not getting what your insinuating?

      • March 26th 2013 @ 11:21am
        Renegade said | March 26th 2013 @ 11:21am | ! Report

        Difference is that all the players you named are internationals……Corey Norman is barely a first grader!!

        • March 26th 2013 @ 11:41am
          Collo from Blacktown, probably heard of me.. said | March 26th 2013 @ 11:41am | ! Report

          Its supply and demand mate…
          Have they paid too much? Possibly.
          I guess somebody is only worth what a club is willing to pay for them…

      • March 26th 2013 @ 11:39am
        planko said | March 26th 2013 @ 11:39am | ! Report

        Tony Williams not looking good but too early to call.
        Braith Anasta well I dont think they had to pay much.
        Inu well was a good purchase but timing bad ask the dogs they think he is fabulous.

        Parramatta bashing is easy if they announce signing Hayne and paying 800k per year for a winger. That will be the crowning moment. Hayne great player but is not a Fullback.

        • March 26th 2013 @ 12:13pm
          Collo from Blacktown, probably heard of me.. said | March 26th 2013 @ 12:13pm | ! Report

          Not a fullback??
          What position should Parra play him planko? Wing??
          Because he’s played it at SOO level??

          • March 26th 2013 @ 12:16pm
            planko said | March 26th 2013 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

            Shock horror he is not a fullback he is awful in this role. He would not be in the top 10 fullbacks in NRL. Most teams have a player in the 20’s that plays full back better than Hayne.

            • Roar Guru

              March 26th 2013 @ 1:11pm
              Curtis Woodward said | March 26th 2013 @ 1:11pm | ! Report

              Have to agree. Plenty of good fullbacks ahead of him. But where else can you play him?

              • March 26th 2013 @ 1:24pm
                planko said | March 26th 2013 @ 1:24pm | ! Report

                I not sure but I would like to see them try him at centre and five eight. I know they have tried him there before ?

            • March 26th 2013 @ 1:18pm
              Collo from Blacktown, probably heard of me.. said | March 26th 2013 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

              He won the Dally M..
              Played a GF..
              Played for NSW as a fullback..
              Gimme 9 fullbacks from the 20’s that are better than Hayne at fullback?
              Just out of curiosity?
              And the bloke from 20’s at parra can’t count, because he’d be in FG if that were the case…

              • March 26th 2013 @ 1:22pm
                planko said | March 26th 2013 @ 1:22pm | ! Report

                Firstly 2009 is 4 years ago.

                I said he is not in the TOP 10 NRL Fullbacks. I was exaggerating for effect about the 20’s however EASTS have a guy playing on the wing who is better than Hayne at FB and Lowe the guy who will be back in the 20’s for Canterbury this week is better than Hayne. I think you will find that it is the Parramatta board who can’t count. For 800k they should have said “See ya”.

            • Roar Guru

              March 27th 2013 @ 7:15pm
              SuperEel22 said | March 27th 2013 @ 7:15pm | ! Report

              The Contribution Value Ratings placed him 6th last season out of the entire competition. He’s more than inside the Top 10 fullbacks in the competition. Not only that he is the only player in the competition to have appeared 4 times in the Top 18 performances using the CVR. All of those games were from fullback with each score being over 1,000.

              • March 27th 2013 @ 11:06pm
                planko said | March 27th 2013 @ 11:06pm | ! Report

                He is all yours mate….Nobody else would pay that kinda dough for great winger.

        • March 26th 2013 @ 1:39pm
          Collo from Blacktown, probably heard of me.. said | March 26th 2013 @ 1:39pm | ! Report

          No worries Planko, sorry about the miinterpretation of your exaggeration, I actually thought you meant what you were saying..

    • March 26th 2013 @ 9:15am
      B.A Sports said | March 26th 2013 @ 9:15am | ! Report

      Griffin isn’t going to send Norman to Q-Cup when his own job is on the line already.

      As for Parra’s recruitment. No doubt it has stunk for a long time, but is Norman going to be over paid? Yes, but put in perspective many players will be over paid with the new salary cap.

      • Roar Guru

        March 26th 2013 @ 10:51am
        Curtis Woodward said | March 26th 2013 @ 10:51am | ! Report

        Where does Norman fit if they get Dugan then?

        • March 26th 2013 @ 12:50pm
          B.A Sports said | March 26th 2013 @ 12:50pm | ! Report

          Well Norman starts ahead of Dugan to start with. Dugan has to earn his spot. He is along way from just walking into any team in the comp right now.

          And assuming he gets his form back, and Norman and Prince keep projecting at the same rate, you can make a case for Norman starting ahead of Prince.

          • Roar Guru

            March 26th 2013 @ 1:12pm
            Curtis Woodward said | March 26th 2013 @ 1:12pm | ! Report

            I dont think the Broncos are going to sign Dugan and not play him.

    • March 26th 2013 @ 11:25am
      Renegade said | March 26th 2013 @ 11:25am | ! Report

      This makes the purchase of Sandow at $550k seem like a bargain!!

      $475k for Corey Norman has to be the most ridiculous purchase in history, the kid is not even a proven performer yet his salary is probably more than some of the best in the game.

      You know you’re a struggling club when you have to pay overs….Parramatta and are going through the same motions.

      • March 26th 2013 @ 11:34am
        planko said | March 26th 2013 @ 11:34am | ! Report

        That is the bottom line renegade overs has been paid. Brisbane were right not to keep him IMO. It is funny that this TV money has got to go somewhere ? HAHA But are Brisbane in the same boat. Not yet but one or 2 more seasons and maybe.

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