Bunty Afoa

  1. Sup42
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    Sup42 "Dave"

    Kept a keen eye on him after you put his name out there bro.
    He's focused in games.
    Even when he's sucking in the big ones he still does the Job.
    You can tell he pushes himself. The tempo of the game doesn't really affect his own level of effort. A lot of the young boys clock off and cut corners or lower their standards when the opposition allows them to get away with it.

    Might seem an odd thing to say but I'm glad he didn't feature in the attacking side of the game on debut. As such his first game was a perfect start imo.

    You want to see debutante forwards focus on a defensive foundation at the Warriors. We are not a defensive club, the mentality seems loaded towards trying to pop an offload on debut to get noticed.

    Poignant reminder was Agnatius playing for the other mob, he popped and offload on debut against the Broncos and pretty much never got another shot here.

    I know there is more to it than that, but there's a really good reason why our noob forwards get crucified if they try stuff like that on debut.

    For one thing I'm pretty sure no Warriors coach says 'if you get the chance to pop a ball inside our half have a go'....add to that the reality that none of their team mates are anticipating the offload, and it paints a picture of someone who just doesn't get it, or someone who is prone to adrenaline brain snaps.

    As everyone knows the NRL is a lot quicker than reserve grade. Everything happens at twice the speed, and it doesn't let up. Most think about the fitness demand (and we do see lots of players blowing hard in minutes) but we often forget the speed that basic skills like playing the ball and passing are unfolding at. It's not hard to understand why players feel rushed and thereby make mistakes doing very simple tasks.

    Surely the coaches tell these debutante players to keep it simple. Stay in the game defensively. Pace yourself on attack, focus on executing accurately don't worry about busting the line or creating opportunities, focus on holding onto the ball, take the tackle, get to your feet fast, clean play the ball, rinse and repeat.

    Too often you see a noob have a power run, make some headway, then screw up the play the ball.

    If you compare Afoa's debut defensively, it's quite outstanding. John Palavi by comparison came into fg with a rep for good tackling numbers but absolutely struggled to pace himself.

    Excuse the rant but I want to see new forwards aim for consistency and reliability as their bread and butter before thinking about the attacking side of first grade. Attacking forward play when you have a hooker like Luke and a backline with so much strike, should be left to one or two elite's like Matulino/ Bromwich/Burgess/Taumalolo/Tapau.....the rest should be trying to excel in tackle stats and runs.

    Do your apprenticeship.
     
  2. Boats n Hoes
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    Boats n Hoes 1st Grade Fringe

    Yeah was a surprise seeing his name on the team sheet. Didn't disgrace himself tho, didnt look out of place and seemed to be able to take the jump in pace and intensity in his stride.
    Didn't really get much opportunity ball in hand but I was more watching and pleased with what he was doing off the ball.....namely shifting in defence, plugging holes, following the play, and doing so with urgency.

    Wether he makes it or not in this grade still too early to tell, but if he has those basic fundamentals ingrained in him then he's at least giving himself an oppertinity at an NRL career.
     
  3. mt.wellington
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    mt.wellington TRUST THE PROCESS? Contributor

    Always a fan of Bunty Afoa. Never shied away from the hit ups. Same mould as Sam Lisone in that regard. Doesnt have the same fire or aggro but the kid can tackle. Loved the combo he had with Paul Tuli but not sure what happened to that guy. He seemed to have more of a physical presence about him but heard he wasnt the best trainer so that may have had something to do with it...
     
  4. Trugoy
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    Trugoy 1st Grade Fringe

    Someone in the game day thread today mentioned how Bunty is like our Frizell.
    Well spotted.
    Noticed the similarity in play the more the game went on.
    We've got another good'n here and only 19, exciting talent.
    Looking forward to watching him develop.
     
  5. facefacts
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    facefacts 1st Grade Fringe

    I just hope they bring him along slowly, he's still very young for a forward...he definitely has the head for first grade, but I think he could do with more time to develop physically.
     
  6. BeastMode
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    BeastMode Warriors 1st Grader

    Call him Bounty Hunter Afoa.

    The guys has all the guts and mana you've expect from a true Warrior. And only 19.

    What a talent.
     
  7. Afakasi247
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    Afakasi247 1st Grade Fringe

    Once Hoff moves on Bunty should cement his role in the back row in the future.

    Having two attacking threats in Bunty and Bodene with Manners locking up the middle - that's exciting.

    Just need Bunty to develop a little more Physically - times on his side at only 19 years old - but man, he hasn't looked out of place at all.

    One of the better debutants from the recent crop of Juniors we've been developing.
     
  8. j2004
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    j2004 U20's Player

    So proud of bunty and so suprised my thread was correct so quick I didn't expect to see bunty in isp or nrl until next year.
    He's performances are still the same very little errors doing the simple things right not over playing and forcing errors.
     
  9. Freddie Futler
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    Freddie Futler 1st Grade Fringe

    Bunty Afoa arrives out of the blue
    Thu 28 Jul, 2016, 7:26am
    By Corey Rosser‌, New Zealand Correspondent , NRL.com


    Media has been hidden. Please Register to view.
    Warriors rookie Bunty Afoa in action against the Raiders. Credit: Robb Cox. Copyright: NRL Photos.
    Take a trip out to a grassroots rugby league club in New Zealand and it won't be long before a future NRL back-rower pops up in front of you.

    That is a popular theory shared by many in Kiwi footy circles, and while exaggerated, it's one which the numbers suggest has some substance behind it.

    This weekend a third of the starting second-rowers and locks in the NRL Telstra Premiership are New Zealand born or raised players.

    But the latest addition to that group, 19-year-old Warrior Bunty Afoa, is one who has emerged almost out of nowhere, stepping up to become coach Andrew McFadden's first choice to fill the void left by Bodene Thompson's ankle injury.

    This week club captain Ryan Hoffman spoke about Afoa's impressive start to his NRL career.

    "He has been great, to come in in this situation… after not really training with us, and to not look out of place is an outstanding effort from a young bloke," Hoffman said.

    "I just love his attitude, he is not resting on his laurels and he is always looking to improve for the next week.

    "I have been spending a bit of time with him – obviously playing similar positions – he is not really in a position that he is used to, but his willingness to learn and wanting to get better at his role is really pleasing to see.

    "Bunty has done a great job in [Thompson's] absence."



    In three games this season Afoa has averaged 9.3 carriers per game and 85.6 metres, while on the other side of the pill he has made at least 24 tackles in each match.

    The St Paul's College graduate heads into Saturday's clash against the Panthers at Mt Smart Stadium off the back of a strong showing in Canberra last week, which featured 133 metres and 34 tackles in 70 minutes on the park.

    Through his time with the Junior Warriors and the club's reserve-grade side Afoa played almost exclusively as a front-rower, a point which makes his step up to the top grade as an edge player all the more impressive.

    "I am a front-row kind of guy, but I will take whatever opportunity I can get," Afoa said.

    "I always said that I was a front-rower and all I did was just run straight, no footwork no nothing.

    "[But] I think that mindset of running holes is making my game a little bit more interesting and [creating] more options in me.

    "[I am developing] ball skills wise, passing it, running those holes, timing, that is a big one for me because I have got to hold my width.

    "Mentality wise I am getting there, improving, and physically I am still developing strength wise and in terms or fitness.

    "There are a lot of boys here that deserve that spot too and I have to make sure I am up there with the older boys and maintaining my standards on and off the field."

    Afoa is again named to start against the eighth-placed Panthers in Round 21, although McFadden hinted mid-week that Thompson was a strong chance of returning from injury, which could cause a late reshuffle.
     
  10. BeastMode
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    BeastMode Warriors 1st Grader

    Anyone know how this kid is going?

    Only 20. Still growing no doubt.
     
  11. Leaguegod
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    Leaguegod 1st Grade Fringe Contributor

    Feel sorry for Bunty, just not getting a go, after losing those 4 clutch games last year it was SK's chance to sweep those deadbeats under the carpet and release our young lions and develop them.
     
  12. rugged
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    rugged 1st Grade Fringe

    Don't know why Bunty has consistently been the fall guy this season. He has had the odd quiet game, but I haven't seen the mistakes in his game that have been in others. He always seems to be the first one dropped. At first, I thought they were just giving him a one week spell to make sure he wasn't over-worked. Think we are placing too much value on "experience".
    I don't know that Bunty is the answer to our problems, but he has shown enough to be in our 17.
     
  13. mt.wellington
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    mt.wellington TRUST THE PROCESS? Contributor

    I dont think he's been made the fall guy. Simply standard procedure for players who are fringe 1st graders. You'll see Bunty, Toafofoa, Gubb, Vete and Ligi all rotated in that bench spot. Keeps them fit, interested and learning. Wayne Bennett does it regularly at the Broncos and its probably where Mooks get that from...
     
  14. rugged
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    rugged 1st Grade Fringe

    I get that it can be wise to rest / rotate younger players who are adapting to first grade.. But as I said above we could have given him two or three one week spells rather than missing 6 games so far this year. Given how rubbish our back row has been I would have given Bunty slightly longer runs I first grade and shorter rests in reserves.
     
  15. Swanley
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    Swanley 1st Grade Fringe

    Bump .. Or Bunt!

    I just have to say I've been a bit underwhelmed by Bunty and what he offers but on Saturday I was really impressed and can see only a positive future for him.

    I'm gladly eating humble pie!
     
  16. ForTheLoveOfGod
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    ForTheLoveOfGod 1st Grade Fringe

    I have been one of Buntys biggest critics but that display last saturday! every NRL club would want him if that is his new standard of play, dam he went well!
     
  17. WarriorBall
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    WarriorBall 1st Grade Fringe

    I’ve been in the same camp, I was never a fan of Bunty as an edge player because he’d tend to die with the ball on attack and he’s his lateral movement on defence was questionable, no doubt he’s better suited as a middle forward which is where he’s played his junior rugby league.

    I suppose the other knock I had on him was his size, he’s small for a prop but his energy off the bench was terrific last week and it showed in his post contact meters averaging 4.8 meters per carry which was better than Taumalolo’s average of 4.56 per carry last season.
     
  18. eudebrito
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    eudebrito Warriors 1st Grader

    He was the big surprise in week 1 you compare his output to that old dog Lillyman trundling along and its night and day

    Media has been hidden. Please Register to view.

    Club appears to have a good call on that one.
     
  19. Viking
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    Viking 1st Grade Fringe

    4.8m is huge and it was noticeable in the game. The Bunnies struggled to stop him.
     
  20. WarriorBall
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    WarriorBall 1st Grade Fringe

    They did. You probably wouldn’t start with Bunty but he could be a handful off the bench this season against tiring defenders if he brings that same energy, I noticed Corvo on the sideline with the bench players so the incentive is there to put in ;)