NRL 3 years ago

Between A Lock And A Hard Place

  • Between A Lock And A Hard Place

There's a number of promising young rugby league players at the foot of the mountains in 2015, the district seems to churn them out without effort, but Bryce Cartwright is stuck in the limbo of being a 'jack of all trades' and it could be hurting his career.

As we get ever closer to the business end of the season it's becoming time for players to step up and affirm their claim for a position in their respective teams; there's no doubt that Bryce Cartwright has done that in the last month and he's arguably in the best form of any Panther but his ideal position remains a mystery as he floats around in the backrow.


His strength is clearly his offload. It's been a long time (probably since Frank 'the Tank' Pritchard) that we've seen someone so proficient at jettisoning the Steeden in increasingly impossible positions and it's these proponents of second phase play that have been nearly the sole source of points for Penrith recently. 

A solid running game and a mean pass make him handy anywhere on the field, and he won an Under-20's premiership while playing a fair deal in the halves but to play in the halves in NRL is a whole new beast. 

There's certainly no room in the halves for him in the current situation either, with Jamie Soward and Peter Wallace seemingly assured of positions regardless of form and Matt Moylan being tipped for a Lockyer-esque switch to five-eighth. 


The next logical place is at lock, where he can enjoy the freedom to perform his magic tricks all over the field. Unfortunately, that's taken too. While lock is where we think he'd be best suited for the moment (and in the future after bulking up a little - wow!) there can be no conjecture about Elijah Taylor's contribution to the team from the #13.

Taylor cannot be moved, it's really that simple. Without him making 50+ tackles a game up the middle the Penrith wall will crumble and not even Cartwright can score enough points to make up for that.

It seems then that Bryce Cartwright is set to wallow in the the right edge, touching the ball half as often as he should. Whether or not there will ever be a position where he can reach his full potential at Penrith remains to be seen, we certainly hope there is, but such is the nature of the NRL that it may not.

What number do you think Bryce Cartwright should be wearing moving forward, given he's proven to us that he's our best chance at scoring points?

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