Five of the NRL’s worst career moves

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    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.

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    The Crowd Says (54)

    • Roar Guru

      August 24th 2016 @ 10:13am
      Dogs Of War said | August 24th 2016 @ 10:13am | ! Report

      How about the countless players who leave the Storm never to play well again ever. Case in point, Dane Neilson.

      • August 24th 2016 @ 12:37pm
        spruce moose said | August 24th 2016 @ 12:37pm | ! Report

        Another example: Gareth Widdop.

      • August 24th 2016 @ 12:58pm
        Wilson said | August 24th 2016 @ 12:58pm | ! Report

        Nothing wrong with how Blair is going at the moment.

      • August 24th 2016 @ 9:26pm
        bob johnson said | August 24th 2016 @ 9:26pm | ! Report

        How right. I wonder why?

      • August 25th 2016 @ 10:14pm
        Bugs said | August 25th 2016 @ 10:14pm | ! Report

        Antonio Kaufusi
        Ben Cross
        Matt King
        Ryan Tandy
        Brett White
        Jeff Lima
        Luke Kelly
        Rory Kostjasyn
        Todd Lowrie
        Maurice Blair
        Kurt Mann

        I’m sure there’s more too

        • August 25th 2016 @ 11:47pm
          Griffo said | August 25th 2016 @ 11:47pm | ! Report

          You know that Rory Kostjasyn is premiership player now, don’t you?

          • August 26th 2016 @ 1:01pm
            Bugs said | August 26th 2016 @ 1:01pm | ! Report

            Yep – as a bit part bench player.

            But he was purchased by the Cowboys in the hope he would partner JT in the halves, and failed dismally. He looked good playing for Storm when required to fill in for missing 1st choice players, but couldn’t cut the mustard at the Cowboys. The Storm team made him look better than he really is, ala Dane Nielsen.

            I think you’ll find that there’s plenty of guys who are premiership players who aren’t anything flash (compared to the cream of the NRL, not to you and me!). Look at the Rabbitohs 2014 premiership side. Had some out and out stars, some middling players and some fillers, who got carried along for the ride, and were made to look better than they really are. Happens all the time. Just happens at the Storm more than anywhere else.

    • August 24th 2016 @ 10:13am
      craig said | August 24th 2016 @ 10:13am | ! Report

      “5. Benji Marshall to St George Illawarra Dragons, 2014”

      what about benji marshall to Rugby?

    • August 24th 2016 @ 10:16am
      fazed said | August 24th 2016 @ 10:16am | ! Report

      Not totally correct with either Sandow or Watmough.

      • August 24th 2016 @ 12:03pm
        Albo said | August 24th 2016 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

        Agreed. Sandow played some good games & some poor games for the Eels. Just as he did at Souths. That’s why they let him go in the first place. As for Watmough, his legs were dodgy when he left Manly and it was a terrible risk ( yet again) for Parramatta to buy him. Both these players just cashed in via their moves to the Eels. Just another example of poor Parramatta management, but great financial moves for these two players at their stages of their careers.

        • Roar Rookie

          August 24th 2016 @ 3:07pm
          Hard Yards said | August 24th 2016 @ 3:07pm | ! Report

          Dead right about Watmough. He did a great job at Brookie for years but we all get older and the body doesn’t forget the knocks. Good move by his manager to squeeze some dough out of Parra at a time when, really, probably most other clubs would have told him to call it a day and reflect on his glory years.

    • August 24th 2016 @ 10:46am
      P. Marlowe said | August 24th 2016 @ 10:46am | ! Report

      Joel Clinton to the Broncos comes to mind…

      • August 24th 2016 @ 2:59pm
        Jara W said | August 24th 2016 @ 2:59pm | ! Report

        I remember Joel doing at least a few decent things in a Broncos jersey.

        The Broncos list would read as:

        1. Martin Kennedy
        2. Martin Kennedy
        3. Martin Kennedy
        4. Martin Kennedy
        5. Greg Eden

        Surprised Kennedy didn’t make the article to be honest.

        • August 24th 2016 @ 3:55pm
          P. Marlowe said | August 24th 2016 @ 3:55pm | ! Report

          I think I purged Martin Kennedy from my memory

        • August 25th 2016 @ 10:01pm
          Bugs said | August 25th 2016 @ 10:01pm | ! Report

          Ha! Quite true.

          Although, Ashton Sims would be up there for me too, as well as Scott Anderson and Lagi Setu.

        • August 25th 2016 @ 10:31pm
          G-man said | August 25th 2016 @ 10:31pm | ! Report

          Anthony Mundine played for the Broncos once :/

          Gavet played one game where he made three errors, then got suspended, then got injured for the rest of the season. #unlucky

          (I’m a Broncos fan)

      • Roar Rookie

        August 24th 2016 @ 3:19pm
        Don said | August 24th 2016 @ 3:19pm | ! Report

        Ahh, Joel Clinton…
        Can’t hope for much out of a prop once they start putting streaks in their hair.

        That said, if people recall the Clinton signing it was a package deal with Peter Wallace, as their partners were sisters. The Broncos signed Clinton to plenty of hope and fanfare and the Wallace signing was low key.

        They got great value out of Wallace though and he wouldn’t have been there if not for Clinton being signed.

    • August 24th 2016 @ 11:18am
      rock said | August 24th 2016 @ 11:18am | ! Report

      Hodkinson only played in 1 gf and not 2 as stated. Kris Keating was the half back during the 2012 season with Hodkinson out for the entire season.

      • August 24th 2016 @ 12:56pm
        rod pombart said | August 24th 2016 @ 12:56pm | ! Report

        to be fair,a half, especially an organising half, needs a forward pack making ground

    • August 24th 2016 @ 11:21am
      Alex L said | August 24th 2016 @ 11:21am | ! Report

      Darius Boyd to the Knights in 2012.

      1 mediocre season, 1 decent season, and 1 season to forget, followed by an early exit.

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