I'm with you. He may not have scored a try yet, but he has already saved a couple. I fact the tackle he made on Keary in the Rorters game probably cemented the win for us that night.This might not be a popular opinion, but I don’t understand all the hate for Shibasaki.
Granted, he didn’t look good on the wing, but I’ve thought he’s been solid at centre, takes strong carries and plays with ticker and determination. I also don’t think he’s the biggest problem we have but seems to be the next in line whipping boy behind Boyd and McCullough (who, at 10 year plus veterans, deserve all the criticism they’re getting).
Sure, he’s bombed some tries and shown some bad cases of the dropsies, but I honestly think that’s probably par for the course at present. He’s probably trying too hard and putting too much pressure on himself. But I know I’d also rather that than what Roberts was dishing up.
Is he going to be the reincarnation of Justin Hodges? Probably not. But he could be the modern version of Mick De Vere too. Don’t we at least owe him and the club the chance to prove it? (As an aside, I do believe the balance of this team needs a Hodges more than a De Vere, but that’s a symptom of a far wider problem).
I just think a lot of us are perhaps being too harsh on him so early. Just because we’ve seen players like Fifita and Haas come in and look like world beaters straight away, doesn’t mean every player will be a ready made star before they’ve played more than a handful of games.
I think we need to at least give him a chance to prove what he does, or doesn’t for that matter, have.
The last thing we should be doing is treating our players like the 90’s Australian cricket team where players were under so much pressure when they got their chance, knowing they’d be dropped after one bad game, that they often crumbled and looked far worse than they actually were.
Anyway, just my two cents.
A couple of regular posters have written that they have followed his progress in the lower grades and are a bit bemused that he has yet to kick on in first grade.
So I'm happy to be patient with him. You also have to consider who is mentoring him in first grade too. I'm not sure Mr Bean at FB is setting the best example in terms of how to compete, but it's all he's got to refer to at present - poor bastard.