The Dummy’s Half analyses the Issac Luke v Nathan Peats situation now the hooker makes his return to a side who is sitting better than before he left………
It’s Dream Team madness ahead of Round 23, with changes, injuries and suspensions affecting pretty much every owner amongst us.
Firstly I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Señor Winning for putting salt in my already sore and infected wounds by taking us through the emotional rollercoaster that is Corey Parker and James Maloney – check the article out here...
Secondly, Issac Luke, what a conundrum this bloke is. If you’ve been on the site before you’ll know I’ve written quite a bit on the Kiwi Cannonball, and now that he’s back I guess it’s time to revisit the situation.
So let’s look at the obvious first, Luke, probably my favourite hooker behind Cameron Smith is now sitting on the BENCH!!!! That’s right Dreamteamers, after his suspension layoff the hooker is back for the first week of finals, but coming off the bench and sharing time with Nathan Peats (60, 70, 40 since Luke’s suspension) is by no means an ideal situation.
Geez I’m glad I traded him, but if you held on, it’s not all doom and gloom.
If you cast your mind back to Round 2, Luke actually played his first game of the year off the bench after missing the first game due to the demolition of David Shillington’s lower legs in the Four Nations. The result was still quite good for ol’ Issac playing 53 minutes (only one minute less than Peats who moved to the back row) and scoring 46 DT Points.
Another thing to look at, was the fact that before his suspension, Luke was not playing 80 minutes anyway. In his last five games, the Rabbitohs’ rake averaged just 59.4 minutes per game in his time-share with Peats and still managed to score over 50 on all but one occasion.
So what to do??
Well, I for one, am not worried about his production. I think Luke, whether he be on the bench or starting, will remain the primary hooker for the club and his results should typify that.
However, what does bother me is how much time he gives away to Peats, who has been great in his absence. He needs to average at least 60 minutes per game to make him worth your time, and while I think he will get that, it pretty much eliminates the chances of the odd 65-70 game that he can produce when playing 80 minutes.
The bottom line.
If you hung onto Issac Luke, all is not lost. He will continue to produce solid numbers without setting the world on fire. He will eventually get the starting role back which will help, and he remains the best running hooker in the game. However, if you have some trades up your sleeve and maybe a bit of cash, an upgrade to Cameron Smith, Robbie Farah or even Andrew McCullough could be a better option..
The choice is yours, either way you’ll be fine, because after all…….
“Life is like a box of chocolates… you never know how statistically well your hooker will produce under certain situations whilst battling for minutes in a side currently ranked second in the competition”, (Gump, 1994).