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Martin Devlin: Crowing about SBW


By Martin Devlin

Published: 8:05AM Friday November 16, 2012 Source: ONE Sport

The Sydney Roosters should be crowing. Signing Sonny Bill Williams for 2013 is the best news the Chooks have had since Willie Mason last walked out.

Yet instead of universally celebrating the arrival of the headline-hogging RWC winner, (and if we are to believe some of the stories being written), half the club seems obviously and quite publicly opposed to the idea.

Poor old SBW, always the centre of attention and always polarising popular opinion. Which is also why he's such easy pickings for us media hacks to write and rave about.

Admittedly there are one or two peculiarities in the details given about how he came to end up back playing the 13-man code in Sydney - the same game he abandoned 5 years ago, walking out on the Bulldogs one year into a five year deal.

Sonny says he "made a handshake agreement with Roosters Chairman Nick Politis three years ago".

So it must've been while he was still playing rugby in France, and well before the whole NZ Rugby-Canterbury-ABs-Crusaders-World Cup-Chiefs-ABs-Japan experience.

A handshake agreement though? His career now takes an almighty diversion, although actually only 9 months worth from February to the end of October, all because of a handshake? Because on hearing that story, you'd have to say there's nothing more honourable than a man keeping his word like that - the irony I'm sure not lost on still-tender Bulldogs fans.

One thing he definitely won't be doing during his one year stint at league (which because it's only one season automatically sparks its own speculation about where 2014 might see him end up) is continuing his pro-boxing career.

After his fight against the South African brute in February, that'll all then be on hold 'til the NRL season ends - the irony I'm sure not lost on the still-tender NZRU who could never manage to secure the same guarantee when the bloke was playing for the Crusaders, Chiefs and All Blacks.

But all of the the above over-analysis aside, in pure league terms, can one guy/any guy make that much of a significant difference to a team/any team in a single season?

And if anyone can, is it this man? Next question is what position will he play, back into the second-row or out in the centres like he did in rugby? Me, I'd be inclined to play him up front with free range to move wider out like he used to.

Let's be honest, the guy on form is one devastating crash-banging tackle-busting off-loading mo'fo'.

So the equation is quite simple you Roosters: Are you better off with him or without him in your squad for next season?

Perhaps I should answer that question for you: Either stop moaning or hand him over to us here in Auckland.

Sonny Bill Warrior. Tell me that doesn't have a nice ring to it then!