Gold Coast – The Enigma of Rugby League

Since 1988 the Gold Coast has been perennial underachievers of Rugby League. The Seagulls, the Chargers, the Crushers, the Gladiators the Giants and now, the Titans.

For every attempt no matter what the constant name iterations just haven’t worked.

The Gold Coast is the sporting enigma of Australian sports. NRL, AFL, A League, NBL have all tried and failed over the years.

What is the reason? Why has no Gold Coast team in any sport been successful? Is it because it’s a transient city with locals coming and going not really supporting the team?

Or are all the attractions and activities more appealing to locals . The sun, surf and sex it is renowned for.

For well paid young fit men, it is a paradise with many attractions, temptations and vices. Particularly in the 80’s and 90’s.

An era where mobile phones and social media didn’t exist. Were those temptations became too much for some?

What started with excitement and hope in 1988 has turned to frustration and disappointment over the years. To understand the story of the Gold Coast, let’s go back to 1988.

The original Gold Coast team, the Giants, played out of Tweed Heads.

For such a colourful location, the jersey chosen was charcoal black, grey and white. So from the start, it didn’t exactly win the Gold Coast locals over.

At the same time, the Broncos also entered the NSWRL Winfield Cup for the first time loaded their team with Origin and Test players.

The biggest signing for the Giants was Ronnie ‘Rambo’ Gibbs, Manly’s second rower from the 1987 Premiership team.

From that first season, the team went through many changes. The Giants gave way to be the Seagulls owned and run by the large Seagulls Leagues Club. A one time mega club.

This was a time when poker machines were banned in clubs and pubs in Queensland. Bus loads would cross the border South to the Tweed and play the pokies at the Seagulls club.

Still located at Tweed Heads and now cashed up, the club was able to bulk up their playing roster. Enter the King Wally Lewis.

By then, his best playing days were over and he had just been dismissed by Wayne Bennett at the Broncos. However, he gave the struggling team credibility.

The club recruited well obtaining Canberra premiership-winning players including Brent Todd and Paul Martin.

They were starting to produce their own players like Wayne Bartrim who would later go on to have a great career with St George.

Why these teams failed is unclear. Their roster at times looked very promising and able to compete with most teams.

Yet they usually ended at the bottom of the ladder. As said, a different time without social media. Yet to become a fully professional game.

Eventually, with Pokies being legalised in Queensland and with declining crowd support, the Seagullls club could no longer financially support the club.

The licence was then bought by local entrepreneurs Jeff Muller in 1996.

Muller moved the club to Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast and renamed the team the Gladiators.

Despite off field issues including the hiring and firing of 5 coaches in the pre season alone, the Gladiators won the pre season 7’s tournament.

Prior to the 1996 season, the licence was revoked and placed into administration.

With the Super League War at its height, the ARL needed a team on the Gold Coast and quickly assembled the Gold Coast Chargers.

A time when players were being paid well above market value. Still before social media.

Now playing out of Carrara Stadium, the team over achieved in the split competition making the semi finals for the first time in 1997.

When the Super League war was over, the Super League aligned Hunter Mariners put an offer to merge with the Gold Coast Chargers. This offer was declined.

The nucleus of the players on offer in the merger went on to form the Melbourne Storm which won the Premiership in 1999.

The Gold Coast was one of the first teams sacrificed when the competing ARL and Super League combined to form the NRL.

What could had been with that merger. The NRL would be a very different game today had that merger happened.

Melbourne went on to unparalleled success while the Gold Coast has to wait until 2007 to redeem themselves.

Years went by with hope a team might relocate or the NRL might expand.

Thanks to South Sydney winning their way back into the NRL, it meant that NRL needed to even the number of teams competing to 16.

In 2007, the Gold Coast Titans were introduced into the NRL.

Could this iteration break the curse of the previous versions of the Gold Coast?

The buzz surrounding the new team was nothing like any of the other teams experienced.

The team was very competitive from the start and importantly, it was located on the Gold Coast at the brand new purpose built stadium in Robina.

However, for all of the good signings and home grown talent, great administration and coaches, success has still eluded the Gold Coast since 2007.

Over 30 years has passed since the Giants entered the NSWRL in 1988.

In that time, the Gold Coast has seen NBL and A League teams come and go. The AFL struggle on and off the field.

As a city, the Gold Coast itself has changed and matured. Yet sporting teams, no matter the code, struggle to be successful.

The same temptations are available to the young men that play but with the advent of mobile phones and social media it prevents most temptations being acted upon.

The Titans have recently been bought by a local consortium giving the team stability off the field, for now. Let us hope it continues.

With some astute signings and the development of some very exciting youngsters, perhaps the Gold Coast enigma will be cracked and the curse lifted in 2019.

Why has the Gold Coast failed to succeed? Let me know your thoughts. Please be respectful to all.

Pete Williams

From the Cheap Seats – Coaching Merry-Go-Round

The coaching Merry Go Round took another twist late last week with Wests Tigers head coach Ivan Cleary committing to the Penrith Panthers for 2021.

Phil Gould, Penrith’s Executive GM of Football must have a crystal ball or a flux capacitor (Back to the Future, kids)!

He obviously knows the club won’t win a Premiership in the next 2 seasons.

Cameron Ciraldo and the Penrith coaching staff must be filled with confidence knowing no matter what results he produces in the next 2 years, he will be punted in 2021 for Cleary.

At Manly, Trent Barrett looks like he will have to serve out his severance time of one year back dated to May 2018.

So Barrett will be head coach of a team and club he has no confidence in until May 2019.

In Brisbane, Wayne Bennett is committed to the 2019 season.

His last at Brisbane a club he has driven to countless success. However, his name has been mentioned as a potential Tigers coach should Cleary move on early.

Former South Sydney coach Michael Maguire has been mentioned as a potential Manly, Tigers and Broncos coach, depending on where the musical chairs stop.

South Sydney’s Anthony Seibold has been linked as Brisbane’s new long term Bennett replacement.

He is yet to commit to a new contract at the Rabbitohs so he may be on his way out.

In my time following Rugby League, I have never seen a time when coaches were the main commodity for off season signings.

Although, I am not shocked by anything in rugby league in the modern era.

Contracts do not amount to much. Clubs sack coaches, coaches have sought early releases in the past as with players.

My mind drifts to stories of Parramatta great Mick Cronin agreeing to a contract with a handshake only.

The potential switch by Cleary back to the Panthers is intriguing. Penrith sacked Cleary in 2015 and replaced him with Anthony Griffin.

After guiding the Panthers to the final series in 2017, Griffin signed a new 2 year contract despite rumours of a falling out with Phil Gould.

Safe with his new contract, Griffin endured a year of speculation about his future at the club.

Astonishingly, Griffin was sacked just prior to this years semi final series.

At the Tigers, Ivan Cleary was working wonders with a team who most expected to be a wooden spoon contender.

With a comment that Ivan would like to coach his very talented son Nathan at some point in their careers.

All hell seemed to break out about Ivan and Nathan.

With Ivan secured to the Tigers for 2019, most thought Cleary’s would commit to the Tigers long term.

Then the ridiculous started to happen. Rumours of an immediate release for Nathan to join the Tigers, rumours both father and son would sign for the Broncos.

The most unlikely was Ivan would go back to Penrith. Be serious; why would he go back to a club that showed little faith and sacked him. No chance.

At Manly, will he or won’t he was being played out. The vague press releases and Trent Barrett calling a press conference where he was unable to discuss his future due to legal reasons.

In my opinion, Manly management let Barrett down.

He was put out front to face the media on club matters generally left to the CEO to answer.

He asked for additional staff but was either denied or the process was very slow. What could go wrong did go wrong for the season.

It is obvious to everyone that Barrett wants out.

Management are not exactly showing they really want Barrett for next season but seem to be holding on to him to “honour” his contract.

Is this because they hold the high moral ground or are they doing it out of spite?

Either way, it frustrates the fans. It can’t be good for the playing group.

It’s not a great recruiting tool to entice a new coach. Seeing how Barrett is allegedly being treated.

The Tigers who were fighting for a semi final place late in the season seemed to fall away once rumours started to circulate that Cleary was on his way out of the club.

Most fans feel let down and shocked that Cleary would leave and go back to Penrith.

As a club, the Tigers may be disappointed with Cleary but they have their own history of sacking or moving coaches on to new roles.

Tim Sheens, Michael Potter and Jason Taylor have all fallen into that category.

Cleary’s son Nathan has just signed with the Panthers on a long term high paying contract.

This likely ensures that the Cleary’s will unite in 2021.

Here are a few of my predictions from the Cheap Seats:

  1. All is well that ends well. Cleary will unite with son Nathan for the 2019 season at Penrith where he was sacked in 2015.
  2. Not sure how the dynamics will work with Ivan, Gould and the Penrith players who would know he was recruited at the behest of Nathan.
  3. Bennett after playing all his cards leaves his beloved Broncos to join the Tigers.
  4. Robbie might try to return to Souths as that relationship will be very interesting to watch. Not sure Robbie or Benji will play much under Bennett.
  5. At Manly, John Cartwright will take over in 2019.

What are your thoughts on the coaching Merry go round and where will the coaches end up?

Thanks and be respectful to all who reply.

Why Michael Maguire is, and should be, the coach Wests Tigers want

New Zealand Kiwis coach Michael Maguire

The Wests Tigers head coaching drama (the current epic anyway) has been ongoing for several weeks ever since current coach Ivan Cleary was asked to return to the Penrith Panthers.

Cleary did deny he was leaving, albeit a few days after it dominated headlines, news stories and social media chat.

He said he was concentrating on getting the Wests Tigers into the 2018 semi finals.

Now, the playoff dream failed. The NRL season is finished.

Week by week, more and more Wests Tigers fans have been coming to terms with the fact that the man who famously stated the line “you’re either on the bus, or off it” when talking about former player Mitchell Moses wanting to sign with Parramatta, would he himself ‘get off the bus’ before his contract permitted him to.

Fans are fearing that without the bus driver, the wheels won’t turn. More and more fans and now board members are coming to the reality that Ivan wants to join his son Nathan.

Just last week, news outlets were running with that it was fact that Wayne Bennett was to hop on the coaching merry-go-round and arriving in Concord allowing Ivan would be released back to Gus’s kingdom up the M4.

But now, NRL News has learned the Wests Tigers board aren’t keen on bringing Mr Bennett from the Broncos. As much as the Broncos would love to wrap him in a bow and send him south of the border with a “thank you” card taped to it, Wests Tigers want former South Sydney Rabbitohs and premiership winning coach, Michael Maguire.

As a long (suffering) time Wests Tigers member myself, I have faith in chair Marina Go and the rest of the board to make the right call.

If they can recruit Maguire, it’s definitely a step in the right direction. Madge could well be what the board and us fans expected from Ivan. And then-some. Here’s why:

  • Maguire is available. The Wests Tigers wouldn’t try and “poach” a coach under contract from another club like some other franchises do/can. Even if they possessed the audacity, financial status and media power to be able to.
  • He has runs on the board.
  • Maguire took the helm at South Sydney and literally took them from the bottom to the top. Despite being let go from Redfern in 2017, you can’t dispute that what he did with that club in taking them to their first premiership broadcast on colour television.
  • He was known amongst the players as a strict, but likeable coach and his discipline when it came to fitness and attitude was Craig Bellamy like.
  • Who he just happened to assist at the Storm during their “golden” era the record books no longer show. Bookkeeping aside, four years as an apprentice to Bellyache can’t hurt. Oh and for the record, there are no premiership rings on Ivan Cleary’s fingers.
  • The Kiwi connection. This was one of the reasons Ivan gave much hope to Wests Tigers faithful, he was the Kiwi whisperer and led to marquee signings Ben Matulino and Russell Packer as well as the return of club legend Benji Marshall.
  • Maguire’s coaching job at the moment just happens to be the head coach of the New Zealand international team.
  • Player relationships are incredibly important, especially for a club in Wests Tigers who normally has to pay overs to recruit elite talent.
  • Beyond those with New Zealand passports, Maguire’s years of experience at other clubs is also an advantage when it comes to signing free agents.
  • For example, Origin hooker Damien Cook happens to be a free agent in 2020. Which happens to be Robbie Farah’s first year of enjoying retirement as well. Wests Tigers fans can only dream (most of the time that is literally true).
  • Youth. 44 is still young for a coach. Heck, he’s 24 years younger than Bennett. While the experience of Wayne is priceless and yes he may have a few kilometres left to rack up on the odometer yet.
  • Maguire can be the Wests Tigers’ next Tim Sheens. They don’t need someone to come in to live out of a suitcase for a couple of years and then fly off into the sunset. They need someone to take the keys to the franchise and have complete control of everything football and to look forward years ahead.
  • Ivan Cleary was given this privilege. Luckily, Maguire won’t have to turn the place and the roster completely upside down like Ivan had to. The hard yards have been done.
  • He’ll want the job. Maguire this week turned down the head coaching job at Manly. Can you blame him? The Sea Eagles are almost like looking at the the Tigers four or five years ago when they had little money, disgruntled players, poor management and flirted with the wooden spoon.
  • In 2018, Wests surprised everyone by winning 50% of their games and knocked off the Storm twice and other top 8 sides along the way.
  • Sprinkle a bit of discipline and a star player here or there, Wests Tigers can break their seven season finals drought with one good off season.
  • With players such as Esan Marsters, Moses Mbye, Luke Brooks and Ryan Matterson about to enter the peak of their careers over the coming seasons, a good smart rugby league coach can see them reach their peak.
  • While at the time of writing pen hadn’t been put to paper, Michael Maguire and the Wests Tigers is a match made in heaven and very likely to happen.
  • We’re ready to let Ivan take his bus out west. Mr Maguire, please take your seat of the Concorde of Concord. It’s cleared for take off.

Macdonald heads closer to home with move to the Cowboys

St George Illawarra Dragons winger Nene Macdonald

Nene Macdonald’s time at the St George Illawarra Dragons will come to an end, with the hulking winger signing with the North Queensland Cowboys.

McDonald was released by the Dragons from the final year of his contract on compassionate grounds.

Since joining at the start of the 2017 season, McDonald played in 46 games for the Red V and they wished him well.

“Nene has been an important player over the last two seasons at our club,” said Dragons Director of Rugby League Pathways Ian Millward.

“Although he has one year left on his contract, his management and himself approached the club on compassionate reasons for a release.”

“We thought it was in the best interests welfare-wise for Nene to grant him the release, so unfortunately he won’t be with us in 2019.”

Although they have lost McDonald, the Dragons have signed wingers Mikaele Ravalawa and Jonus Pearson.

The move back to the NQ region puts McDonald closer to home with his Papua New Guinean roots.

“He’s a North Queensland kid and we like North Queenslanders representing this region,” said North Queensland Cowboys coach Paul Green.

“Nene is going to offer plenty of depth to our backline and had a fantastic year for the Dragons.

“I know him on a personal level after coaching him in the under 20s at the Roosters and am confident he will be a good cultural fit for our club as well.”

Looking for a big winger to replace the retired Antonio Winterstein, Cowboys Director of Football Peter Parr believes the club has found their man.

“He’s a very talented athlete and with the retirement of Antonio Winterstein we were keen to add to our outside backs and in particular the wing position,” Parr said.

“Nene fits the criteria we were looking for and he indicated to us that he had a desire to return home to North Queensland.

“So, we made some inquiries with the Dragons and they have been very cooperative in helping us bring him back to North Queensland.”

From the Cheap Seats – The Sydney Roosters and the reasons for their success

Sydney Roosters fullback James Tedesco

Congratulations to the 2018 NRL Premiership winners, the Sydney Roosters!
Jeez, as a Tigers fanatic, that was hard to write!

From the cheap seats, I hear all sorts of rumour, innuendo and theories about the Roosters their salary sombrero and Uncle Nick.

For all the hate, innuendo and accusations, the Roosters won because they were the best team. Coached brilliantly by Trent Robinson and his staff.

It is easy to accuse them of cheating the salary cap. I understand the frustration.

However, what ever the Roosters are doing with the management of their squad, they are doing a great job compliant to the rules and are obviously better at list management than all other clubs.

The NRL are extremely thorough in their auditing of all clubs including the Roosters.

After Melbourne were stripped of their premierships and Canterbury were stripped of all points for seasons past for breaking salary cap rules, all clubs know the punishment for any wrongdoing.

I admit, I look at the strength of the Roosters roster and wonder how they fit all players under the cap.

Their team reminds me of the amazing teams of the Brisbane Broncos and Canberra Raiders of the early 90’s full of Test and Origin players.

“The Roosters cheat the Salary Cap because Ian Schubert, an ex Rooster, is the head auditor of the Salary Cap for the NRL. ”

That is something I hear often. Ian Schubert is not an NRL salary cap auditor. He hasn’t been for many years.

The punishment is far too harsh to intentionally break salary cap rules.

Not only are the players penalised or stripped of their achievements, but the fans feel the pain more.

Clubs also lose as it tarnishes their brand and potentially reduces revenue.

If any team has the capability of going back to back, it is this Roosters Team. They have bought well for next season to improve on their perfection.

Angus Crichton, Brett Morris, Ryan Hall will all join the club in 2019.

“Hang on! How do they fit them in under the cap?” I hear many fans shout in frustration! “What a joke! They must be cheating the salary cap.”

Many fans are unaware that a player can earn money outside of the salary cap through third party agreements.

Teams like the Roosters, Brisbane and Melbourne easily attract third party sponsors due to the clubs brand and corporate connections.

Third party agreements are met with skepticism from opposing fans.

Most get a vision of a brown paper bag full of cash. Truth is, they have to be approved by the NRL before a contract can be ratified.

Players should be able to earn as much as they can. They only have a short playing life which could end at anytime.

Third party agreements enable players to earn their market value and for clubs to obtain good players over the preference of other clubs.

“So, how do we assure fans, players, clubs and officials that clubs are adhering to the Salary Cap? ”

Transparency! The NRL should release all club players salary and third party deals. This is something they can adopt from most American sports.

In American sports, players contract money is made public.

I understand this is invading the players privacy but I feel it is necessary for many reasons.

The first and most importantly to alleviate any suspicions from fans.

If the contracts of the Roosters roster were to be made public, the fans and officials would be able to see the team financials to understand and appreciate rather than accuse and be disrespectful of the teams achievements.

On the other hand, fans and officials would be able to see contract money for a player they feel is suspiciously under valued.

Particularly officials of other teams who offered far more than what the player has settled for at another club. This would act as a deterrent for any club attempting to break the rules.

“If the Roosters can obtain better third party deals than other clubs, is the salary cap equal for all? ”

All clubs have the ability to obtain sponsors. It is up to the clubs to build its brand so external sponsors want to invest in them.

Players themselves need to be accountable if they want to earn top dollar. They also need to understand their contract.

Too often, I hear players state they are not aware of the details of their contract.

“My manager deals with that” can not be an excuse.

A player should be aware of what their entitlements are and what aren’t.

If players and player managers were to be individually harshly penalised for receiving goods or cash outside of their contract this would also act as a deterrent.

It would also be a tax declaration issue and potential crime.

Recent Mad Monday exploits and bad publicity will not help clubs to maintain existing sponsorship and attract potential sponsors.

Every bad action off and on the field has a bearing on all clubs. Australia has so many sports for Sponsors to choose from.

From the view from the cheap seats, my opinion is that the Roosters should be congratulated on a great season and are deserved premiership winners for 2018.

Let me know your thoughts. Be respectful to all. Go the Tigers!!!

Pete Williams

Storm look to the future with retention of five players

Melbourne Storm prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona

Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Jahrome Hughes, Kayleb Milne, Scott Drinkwater and Justin Olam have all re-signed for the Melbourne Storm, who have moved quickly to secure talent for the future.

Although Asofa-Solomona still had a further year to run on his existing deal, a new four-year extension will see him stay in purple until 2023.

Enjoying one of his best seasons to date in 2018, the man nicknamed NAS impressed many and backed it up with career best stats across numerous categories.

“We are proud of how far Nelson has come as a player and as a person over the last 18 months,” said the Storm’s General Manager of Football Frank Ponissi.

“What he can achieve over the next five years in the purple jersey is incredibly exciting.

“We have no doubt he will continue to work hard to ensure he makes the most of his exciting potential.”

Also re-signing is Jahrome Hughes, whose utility value has been handy when deputising at both fullback and in the halves in 2018.

“Jahrome took his NRL opportunity with both hands in 2018 which should give him a great deal of confidence heading into next year and we are excited to see him push for a regular spot in the 17,” continued Ponissi.

Melbourne Storm utility back Jahrome Hughes

Scott Drinkwater and Justin Olam have both signed new 2-year deals, and both were praised by Ponissi.

“The same goes for Scott and Justin who, while being limited with their NRL chance this year, showed terrific signs at feeder level which makes us excited with what they can both achieve at this Club over the next two years,” said the Storm GM of Football.

The club also retained Milne until the end of 2020, yet another player they value highly.

“Kayleb is also a player we see as part of the future of Melbourne Storm who is working hard to take the next step in his development,” said Ponissi.

Melbourne Storm centre Justin Olam

Hastings to remain with Salford for a further year

Salford Red Devils utility Jackson Hastings

After impressing the club and its fans, Jackson Hastings has opted for a further year with Super League side, the Salford Red Devils.

Arriving in July, his solid performances helped Salford finish first in the qualifiers and the club wanted to see more over a full season.

The decision was an easy one for Hastings, who lauded the fans and the club for how they have welcomed him.

“In the end, it was a pretty easy decision to be honest,” said Hastings.

“When I laid in bed at night weighing up my options, I really couldn’t see myself playing anywhere else over here.

“The amount of support the Club gave me through a tough time in my life, the love that I’ve got from the fans.”

Hastings also praised his team-mates who embraced his arrival.

“The respect I’ve got from the playing group is something that if I’d walked away from it I know I wouldn’t have been happy with,” the utility continued.

“I’m happy with my decision and hopefully we can kick on and have a good season next year.”

Just as pleased are the club, who know how valuable the former NRL player is to the club and their ambitions.

“Signing Jackson for the 2019 season is a great piece of business by the Club and a great piece of business for Super League as a whole,” said Salford head coach Ian Watson.

“His energy and enthusiasm around the Club and the boys is infectious and you can see in the games he’s played how it lifts people around him.”

Fitting in well with team dynamics, Watson continued to praise Hastings for his approach to the team and their play.

“We have always had effort and commitment from our team but Jackson has lifted the pressure and allowed others to just play and enjoy the game,” continued the Salford coach.

“Jackson wants to lead a team and be the dominant half and that fits perfectly within our team dynamics.

“I hope Jackson can continue to enjoy his football and show everyone over the next twelve months how good a signing he is.”

Luke to remain in New Zealand after new 1-year deal with Warriors

New Zealand Warriors hooker Issac Luke

Slated to leave at one point, Issac Luke will instead remain across the ditch, re-signing with the New Zealand Warriors.

The 31-year-old’s new deal is for just 1 year but Luke is just pleased to have something sorted.

“It’s good to have the contract all sorted out,” said Luke.

“We always wanted to stay in New Zealand, my wife and the kids.

“I’m really happy here at the club and I’m pleased I have another season with the boys.”

The club were always keen on retaining the crafty hooker, who has played 66 games for the club and 250 overall.

“We wanted Issac to stay,” said Warriors coach Stephen Kearney.

“It was just a matter of sorting out the details.

“Now we look forward to him making a big contribution to the side next season.”

Coote makes the move to England signing with St Helens

North Queensland Cowboys Lachlan Coote

In what has essentially been a trade, Lachlan Coote will join St Helens after Ben Barba joined the North Queensland Cowboys. 

Signing a 3-year deal with the English club, Coote says he and his family are excited with the opportunity.

“My family and I are really excited to be moving to England,” Lachlan said. “

It is a great opportunity to play for such a proud and successful club and I’m really looking forward to settling in and kicking off the 2019 season.”

With 166 NRL games to his name for the Penrith Panthers and Cowboys, Coote brings experience and versatility to the Saints side.

The club are pleased to have the Scottish international on board for three years.

“I’m really excited to have such a quality player coming to our club,” Saints Head Coach Justin Holbrook said.

“He is an exciting player with a good kicking game and vision.

“He will suit our club perfectly.”

Jazz Tevaga turns down rival clubs to re-sign with the New Zealand Warriors

New Zealand Warriors utility Jazz Tevaga

Fresh off winning the Dally M Interchange Player of the Year, Jazz Tevaga has now re-signed with the New Zealand Warriors.

The new 1-year deal with an option for a second caps off a great week for Tevaga and the Warriors, who also re-signed Bunty Afoa.

Warriors coach Stephen Kearney is pleased with his development and how far Tevaga has come in 2018.

“We’ve been really pleased with the way Jazz has developed his game this year and were thrilled when he won the Dally M interchange award this week,” said Kearney.

“He was important to our success, the way he came off the bench to bring energy and toughness playing big minutes.”

In the end, the progress the club has made and his love for them, was enough for Tevaga to stay.

“There were other offers but I love it here and always wanted to stay,” said Tevaga.

“We made progress this year. We have something to build on and I want to be part of our success next year and after that.”

 

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