MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 16: Brodie Croft of the Storm stands for the national anthem during the World Club Challenge match between the Melbourne Storm and the Leeds Rhinos at AAMI Park on February 16, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

The 2018 season has brought with it plenty of player movement, which has led to some big holes being left in some lineups. These five players all have to replace key figures their club has lost.

5. Tuimoala Lolohea

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – SEPTEMBER 03: Tuimoala Lolohea of the Tigers makes a break during the round 26 NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the New Zealand Warriors at Leichhardt Oval on September 3, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

With Josh Reynolds joining Luke Brooks in the halves for the Wests Tigers, Tuimoala Lolohea will most likely start the season at fullback.

James Tedesco was the man that formerly held the position, and was one of the Tigers best even when the team was struggling. It will be difficult for Lolohea to outperform Tedesco, but he offers different skills that could have huge benefits for the team.

Tedesco shines in his strength whereas Lolohea has serious skill as a ballplayer. Despite some inconsistencies in his game in 2017, Lolohea could shine in 2018 if he is allowed to be creative at the back.

4. Aaron Woods

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 24: Aaron Woods of the Kangaroos looks on during the 2017 Rugby League World Cup Semi Final match between the Australian Kangaroos and Fiji at Suncorp Stadium on November 24, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Aaron Woods will take over James Graham’s position in the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldog’s front row in 2018. Graham was a fan favourite at the Bulldogs, where he constantly inspired the team as captain.

Though Woods is an Australian and New South Wales representative, taking Graham’s position will be no easy task.

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Graham always put in a huge effort for the Bulldogs and Woods must do the same if he is to make the same impact as the Englishman.

3. Matt Moylan

PENRITH, AUSTRALIA – SEPTEMBER 24: Matt Moylan arrives for a Penrith Panthers NRL training session at Centrebet Stadium on September 24, 2014 in Penrith, Australia. (Photo by Renee McKay/Getty Images)

Matt Moylan will replace James Maloney as the Cronulla Sharks five-eighth in 2018. Maloney was a huge part of the Sharks 2016 premiership and is a proven match winner in the halves.

Like Maloney, Moylan has played representative level football and led teams to victory, but is fairly inexperienced in the halves, especially compared to Maloney.

Though he is a good player, the Sharks have taken a gamble on Moylan and will be hoping he performs strongly. The former Panthers captain could make or break his career at his new club, so it is vital for him to match Maloney’s level of play.

2. Josh Hoffman

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 02: Josh Hoffman and Tepai Moeroa of the Eels celebrate with Kirisome Auva’a of the Eels after he scored a try during the round 13 NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the New Zealand Warriors at ANZ Stadium on June 2, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The loss of Semi Radradra means that the Parramatta Eels will need a new left winger. At this stage, it appears most likely that Josh Hoffman will take over the role, but it could also be Jarryd Hayne, Will Smith or others.

Whoever ends up with Radradra’s former spot will be replacing one of the best modern wingers and as such will be under pressure to perform.

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The Eels will be hoping that their new winger is not only an excellent finisher but has the strength to break the line and is acrobatic. Hoffman could certainly be this player for the Eels but will need to play at 100% each and every week.

1. Brodie Croft

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JULY 08: Brodie Croft of the Storm runs with the ball during the round 18 NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Parramatta Eels at AAMI Park on July 8, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Brodie Croft has been assigned the incredibly difficult task of replacing Cooper Cronk in 2018. With only six NRL games to his name, Croft will need to adapt to the top level quickly.

Croft is undeniably talented and has performed well in his few chances; however, this will not make his job any less daunting. Cronk played over 300 games with the Melbourne Storm and was twice named the Dally M player of the year.

Croft will no doubt be feeling the pressure as he tries to take over the role of one of the Storm’s greatest ever players. However, Croft can succeed if he plays to his own strengths, rather than attempting to replicate Cronk.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Bevan French over Josh Hoffman,
    1. Gutho
    2. French
    3. Jennings
    4. Hayne
    5. Auva
    6. Norman
    7. Moses

    Would have Taka on bench as can play backs and halves and second row.

    Back ups
    1. Smith
    2. Hoffman
    3.
    4. Jennings
    5. Davis

  2. Hoffman is garbage. The worst thing we could do is put him on the wing to replace Semi.
    We should leave Taka at centre and play the bum on the wing.
    He only gets involved a couple of times per game so the wing would suit the hack perfectly.

  3. Can anyone replace Semi Radradra on the wing at the Eels? They could have signed just about anyone & it would still feel like there’s a hole out wide in comparison.

Comments are closed.