Official Braden Hamlin-Uele

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My concern is he has had a contract offer from us in front of him for 3-4 months. Obviously isn’t happy with it so my thoughts are he’s chasing more money and won’t be here next season.
 

BurgoShark

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I can’t see BHU making our best 17 this year, his lateral defence was horrendous in parts last year and coming back from injury I can’t see him being any better this year.

He pulls of a few highlight hit ups and crunching tackles but that’s it.

Has the ability just can’t see his body ever getting him and keeping him there long enough, shame is a great bloke
I think he plays his role. Just gets hurt so much that he can’t build momentum through a season.

Got any examples of his poor lateral defence? Im
keen to re-watch.

FWIW I think BHU and Kaufusi are the only genuine “props” in this team. I reckon they anre under different instructions. Even Tom and Royce (similar size/weight) will chase hard from A like jackrabbits or cover an edge for a set if needed. Those two don’t. They are “stay in the middle channel and conserve energy” props.
 

bort

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You have all season to keep bringing it up if u want.
Are you right if he is a healthy scratch once? Or does making the 17 when there are other healthy props just once sink your theory?

I appreciate (what I perceive to be) how bold it is!
And actually putting some explanation to why you believe it
Happy to see other bold predictions (with an explanation) and big credit if it comes off
 

BurgoShark

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Are you right if he is a healthy scratch once? Or does making the 17 when there are other healthy props just once sink your theory?

I appreciate (what I perceive to be) how bold it is!
And actually putting some explanation to why you believe it
Happy to see other bold predictions (with an explanation) and big credit if it comes off
Is there such a thing as an unhealthy scratch?
 

Sparkles

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I think he plays his role. Just gets hurt so much that he can’t build momentum through a season.

Got any examples of his poor lateral defence? Im
keen to re-watch.

FWIW I think BHU and Kaufusi are the only genuine “props” in this team. I reckon they anre under different instructions. Even Tom and Royce (similar size/weight) will chase hard from A like jackrabbits or cover an edge for a set if needed. Those two don’t. They are “stay in the middle channel and conserve energy” props.
I'd agree. It seems the role is going out of fashion though so maybe Fitz doesn't mind mixing the role up. I do see why we would want to keep BHU even with AFB coming, but I can also see us being happy enough to lose him and adjust as needed.

The prop is a funny role these days... I mean, we rarely even use all of our subs, so carrying a big guy that's blowing after 10 minutes and needing to conserve energy must not look too attractive anymore. Is there a benefit you can see from a big body impact player who probably bends the line more but has a slower PTB and low optimal minutes, or a smaller body with a faster PTB and able to keep the intensity longer (generalising of course)? The right answers probably whatever suits the particular team the best.

Some of that is directly relevant to your comment :) Thought it was an interesting line of conversation to throw out there.
 
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mmm this is NOT good news, one step forward with AFB, half step back here.
No, more like one giant step forward with AFB and one teeny tiny step back with BHU going

I personally never thought we'd keep BHU once we signed AFB. Think it was foolish to think we could afford both, particularly with what BHU could command given lack of good props around.
 

BurgoShark

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I'd agree. It seems the role is going out of fashion though so maybe Fitz doesn't mind mixing the role up. I do see why we would want to keep BHU even with AFB coming, but I can also see us being happy enough to lose him and adjust as needed.

The prop is a funny role these days... I mean, we rarely even use all of our subs, so carrying a big guy that's blowing after 10 minutes and needing to conserve energy must not look too attractive anymore. Is there a benefit you can see from a big body impact player who probably bends the line more but has a slower PTB and low optimal minutes, or a smaller body with a faster PTB and able to keep the intensity longer (generalising of course)? The right answers probably whatever suits the particular team the best.
I'd say the Sharks in particular value more mobile guys at different stages of the game. That's probably in-part why Fitz likes playing McInnes and Williams from the bench even though many would say that they are "better" players than guys who have started plenty of games (it's hard to catch out a tired player with footspeed and a quick ptb in the 5th minute). Cowboys have been bringing Cotter off the bench for a similar reason imho.

I don't think the Sharks have any big lumbering players who get slow ptbs, but that's more down to either good work by Brailey or good interchange of passing and push support among the forwards. It's the way the Sharks play that creates the quick ptb's back-to-back-to-back. I think some of the bigger guys like Tom and Oregon might not be as effective in a different style or with different hooker/lock feeding them the ball.

Imo the biggest differentiators stylistically between BHU/Kaufusi and the rest of the forwards are defensive work-rate and how often they run inside their own 20. That's what I mean when I say that those guys will conserve energy.

E.g. Kaufusi actually takes almost as many runs as Williams overall, but takes less than half as many runs inside his own 20.

I'd guess that they do less East-West running in attack during a game too, but I haven't measured that.

Some of that is directly relevant to your comment :) Thought it was an interesting line of conversation to throw out there.
Yeah - always fun to look in to the middles from different angles.
 

Sparkles

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I'd say the Sharks in particular value more mobile guys at different stages of the game. That's probably in-part why Fitz likes playing McInnes and Williams from the bench even though many would say that they are "better" players than guys who have started plenty of games (it's hard to catch out a tired player with footspeed and a quick ptb in the 5th minute). Cowboys have been bringing Cotter off the bench for a similar reason imho.
That's definitely something the forum battles with - are your 'best' players better coming off the bench or starting?
Talakai and Toby are pretty solid starters, but geez they were beasts off the bench. Same with Hunt. It's often seemed we've had a team of impact bench forwards but not true starters.

I don't think the Sharks have any big lumbering players who get slow ptbs, but that's more down to either good work by Brailey or good interchange of passing and push support among the forwards. It's the way the Sharks play that creates the quick ptb's back-to-back-to-back. I think some of the bigger guys like Tom and Oregon might not be as effective in a different style or with different hooker/lock feeding them the ball.

That's true. You see teams like Penrith (and I think Melbourne from memory, at their best at least) playing like they've perfected the art of who needs to take the next hit up... it's more like a rolling ruck with players pounding the space between marker and defender quickly and constantly. I don't think we're quite there, but with Nicho we also play a different style I suppose.

Imo the biggest differentiators stylistically between BHU/Kaufusi and the rest of the forwards are defensive work-rate and how often they run inside their own 20. That's what I mean when I say that those guys will conserve energy.

E.g. Kaufusi actually takes almost as many runs as Williams overall, but takes less than half as many runs inside his own 20.

I'd guess that they do less East-West running in attack during a game too, but I haven't measured that.
Big middle of the field anchors

Yeah - always fun to look in to the middles from different angles.
Perve.
 

BurgoShark

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Carrying on from a discussion around Toby's performance pre and post his injury, I thought I'd look at similar data for some other players.

The graph below maps the amount of minutes the player spent on attack against the amount of total metres they ran. For all middles, metres doesn't measure a player's performance, but it's a very reliable indicator of how much attacking opportunity the player saw (how often his team had the ball when he was on the field). The trendline here shows up what we should expect that player to do if he is playing consistently week to week. Anything a long way below the line is less than expected so calls for further investigation.

While we can't really see evidence of Toby's injury in the data, we certainly can for BHU's.

1706570996725.png

For BHU
- Nearly all of the games before the Nani hip drop are above what is expected in terms of involvement (rounds 1-9).
- After returning from that injury (rounds 12-17) he didn't have any huge games but his involvement was still comparable to his early season output (close enough to the line to say he was doing his job as expected)
- When he got hurt on the opening kick-off of round 18 his output dropped and it never came back up to his earlier level except when he played really low minutes.

This is a really clear example of a player had an injury and then ran for less metres than expected after returning - so either he was underdone or still injured (or both). Interestingly though, it also gives show us that BHU is capable of coming back from an injury and quickly getting back very close to his normal level of involvement (though he did get lucky with the team having a bye in round 13).
 

Blue_Eyes84

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Rudolph, AFB, Uele and Hazelton would be a good prop rotation. Hynes would work great behind that pack. It would be a shame to see him go.
 
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No coincidence I reckon that these boys are abstaining from the beers. Everyone is on their toes now they know AFB is coming.

I'm looking forward to seeing some major improvements in our pack in 2024 with our without AFB. The pressure and competition of performing week in week out can only be good for us.

If our pack does fire, it will make it so much easier for Nicho and BT to do their stuff.
 

Sparkles

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No coincidence I reckon that these boys are abstaining from the beers. Everyone is on their toes now they know AFB is coming.

I'm looking forward to seeing some major improvements in our pack in 2024 with our without AFB. The pressure and competition of performing week in week out can only be good for us.

If our pack does fire, it will make it so much easier for Nicho and BT to do their stuff.
Would love Trindall to get the chance to earn a flat track bully tag. He, Hynes and Kennedy have a lot of attacking flair given the opportunity
 

bort

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No coincidence I reckon that these boys are abstaining from the beers. Everyone is on their toes now they know AFB is coming.

I'm looking forward to seeing some major improvements in our pack in 2024 with our without AFB. The pressure and competition of performing week in week out can only be good for us.

If our pack does fire, it will make it so much easier for Nicho and BT to do their stuff.
Good competition, hopefully a very hot burning fire after fumbling out of two finals series consecutively and few guys really settling in as long term NRL players now too

Williams (99), BHU (99), Oregon (90) and Rudolf (81) all raise their bat this season.
Given experience levels this year and next year should all be good years for them also.
BHU and Williams definitely already shown some really good footy but particularly for BHU, concerns are well documented.
Rudolf has played well plenty of times but certainly not someone other teams would be concerned by or chasing - I'd like to see him go to another level and obviously Oregon looks more of a grinder/worker type at the moment but would be good to see him take that up a notch, if not expand his game also.

Jack turns 28 end of year
BHU just turned 29
Oregon only 25 late this season
Toby just turned 28

Otherwise in the middle we have
Finucane 33 late this season, 248 games
McInnes 30 tomorrow, 178 games
Hunt 29 late in season, 56 games
Hazelton 25 tomorrow, 19 games
Colquhoun 23 after season ends, 10 games
Tuks 23 after season ends, 3 games
Bradbury 21 after season ends, 0 games

Oregon must be doing something right to have more games at 25 than Hunt, Hazelton, Colquhoun and Tuks (and Bradbury I guess) combined.

Hopefully pack can stay largely fit this season and that will increase the competition for spots pressure as we have more than 7 middles capable of playing NRL this season.

editing in for reference: AFB 29 after this season finishes, 159 games currently - so if he came right now he'd be our most experienced prop by like 60%, at just one year older than BHU
 
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