Two Sundays ago I had the pleasure of interviewing Scott Sattler for rugby league site NothingButLeague.com.
The first part of the two part series talked about how Scott became involved in the game, the 2003 Grand Final and THAT tackle. Click here for the story
In part 2 Scott talks to use about the Panthers chances, Anthony Griffin and Matt Moylan as captain.
We hope to see Scott at one of our events in the near future.
Question 1: Scott, how do you think Penrith will go this year with a new coach (Anthony Griffin) and new captain (Matt Moylan)?
They’ve got a lot of really good young exciting players that Penrith’s has always had. A good balance of experience as well, but I just think if they can get in that 6th, 7th, or 8th, position, I think it’s a real pass mark for the season.
And then when you get to the finals, well it’s a brand new competition. It’s a new game in the finals and anyone can win it from that position.
I like Anthony Griffin. I like him as a guy, I like how he has a black and white approach to his coaching.
Matty Moylan, I think he’s a really good selection as a captain. Lot of people think he’s maybe too young for the role. But everyone seems to forget he’s 24 years of age. He’s not 21 or 20 anymore.
I remember when Craig Gower was announced as captain in 2002 for us. And we all looked at each other and went, Craig Gower, really?
He’s never been a big talker. He was always one of those players that just gave everything for the club and did whatever he could to lead the team, even if he wasn’t the captain. But we all looked at each other and thought, really, Craig Gower?
Matt Moylan’s probably the same sort of response. Really, Matt Moylan? Because even though he’s a fantastic player, one of my favorite players, but he doesn’t come across as a real extroverted sort of personality, which you don’t need to be as a leader.
But when you look back on it now that they’ve made the decision I think it’s a really logical choice. One he’s a local junior. Two he bleeds for the club. Three, he looks like he’s going be a player who will stay there his whole career. You need to start building clubs around those sort of players, so it’s a logical choice. Whether he plays one or six, it doesn’t matter. I still think it won’t change his game at all.
But I like the chances of the Panthers making the finals, and when they do, I think they’re a team because they’ve got young exciting players, like Te Maire Martin and Moylan and Trent Merrin who’s an experienced player.
I think they’ve got enough experience there and youth as well to make an impact. They just have to get there first.
Question 2: So you mentioned Trent Merrin signed with Penrith way back on March 2, 2015. What can Merrin bring to the Panthers side?
He brings variety. He’s a different sort of front rower, where he’s got subtle skills. He’s got beautiful footwork and speed for a big man as well.
But he’s been exposed to big match football experience with Origin. I know he’s gone through a period where New South Wales haven’t won a lot of Origin games but he’s still been involved in some really big matches.
Penrith have always had this really good tough forward pack. They really get into the battle and get into the grind but he offers up that little subtle difference that a lot of forwards don’t have and it’s what Penrith need.
You got the speed, you got the skill in the back line. But in the forwards you need that guy who has someone different. He’s the guy that difference between a lot of forward picks. So he’ll be the difference between Penrith making the finals or not.
Question 3: A talking point during the off-season was Jamie Soward and Peter Wallace’s future. Do you think Anthony Griffin will inject Te Maire Martin and Moylan into the halves any time soon?
Well it’s interesting seeing Te Maire Martin come out and saying he wouldn’t mind starting the season in NSW Cup, which is really refreshing to see from a young player.
There’s so many young players that are in a real rush to play NRL now. But to see a young player say hey, I never really played against men before so how about you let me play the New South Wales Cup first, get me used to playing that high degree, that high contact, and then when I’m ready go to the next level.
Really refreshing to see and I think that’s going to be even better for his future. I think you’ve got to have two halves that aren’t the same. You’ve got to have one that can control and you need to have one that is a little bit more spontaneous, a little bit more reactionary and another guy who can also play off the cuff. Te Maire Martin offers that type of player that plays off the cuff. Matty Moylan offers that ability to be a bit of both.
So I think, I think initially obviously Molyan at one and maybe Soward and Wallace at six and seven.
I think as the season progresses we might see Wallace at seven, Moylan at six and Te Maire Martin come in on some stage, maybe on the interchange bench.
I see Jamie moving towards more of a coaching and mentoring role among the group, which I think will be really, really important for the club, with the young players that are coming through.
So, but I think initially to start the season you need stability, and I think stability initially is Wallace and Soward.
Question 4: Which players will have a breakthrough year at Penrith in 2016?
Dallin Watene Zelezniak. I think he’ll go to another level.
Matty Moylan with the captaincy. I think we haven’t seen the full capacity of Matty Moylan.
And I think you’ll see James Segeyaro will be a player that will go from a really good NRL player to an outstanding NRL player and probably being the leading hooker in the competition halfway through the season.
Reagan Campbell-Gillard. He’s a player that I think will come under the scope for representative honors around the Origin period, as well. I think he’ll be highly mentioned.