As the saying goes, your only as good as your last performance. Results-wise, for the hulking beast affectionately nicknamed Marty, that would be very disappointing after his side suffered a 20 point loss at the hands of the Warriors and currently reside in 13th position. While for the big man Woods, his side had a much more close loss going down 18-16 to the Dragons in what was quite a controversial affair.
However, the result won't change and his side is second from the bottom. Both their sides would need a minor miracle to feature in the finals and a slightly bigger one to keep them beyond this season. Both Manly and Canterbury are facing a major cap crisis and more than likely won't be able to afford these two superstar props beyond this season. But it's the combination of both players playing for bad, cash-strapped teams as well as their individual efforts out on the field that make their potential suitors most interested. Let's dive into everything related to the Kiwi and Kangaroo internationals.
He has been sensational for the struggling Northern Beaches side this season featuring prominently in all 14 games for them so far. Among his highlights have been his tackle success of 94% (416/444). While he is top five in the League in run meters with a total of 2,301 at an average of 164.4 per game. While he is also in the top 25 in the League for tackles with 29.7 per game. And his total for the current campaign is 416 and counting. He also has solid attacking instincts for someone who weighs 112kg as he is getting away 3.3 offloads per match.
Woods is playing for a Canterbury side that has quite a different gameplan to that of his Tigers sides of years past. Whereas in the past Woods would be playing for Wests sides with a real intent to attack, things down in Belmore are more 'boring' and more defensively orientated. So with everything going on around him, it's been quite the change. But despite all of this he's still made his impact felt within the side. He has completed an amazing 95% of his tackle attempts (336/352), while he's getting 138m per game from only 13 hitups. And for someone not renowned for his speed, from the 11 kick returns he's faced this campaign, he's still getting an average of 10m from each of them.
The rumours and where they'd best fit
Constant reports and rumours going around have both of these men linked to the Sydney Roosters. The same Roosters that feature the likes of Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Boyd Cordner and Dylan Napa in their side want to supposedly add at least one these players to their roster. Salary-cap wise you'd think they'd probably have to shed a little-bit to afford one of Taupau or Woods, however, team-wise it's perfect, especially with big Marty. Imagine him linking up on a Cooper Cronk pass through the middle. It's a match made in heaven. While what he could do with the combination of Waerea-Hargreaves and Napa absolutely battering the opposition and wearing them down would arguably give Trent Robinson the best and most feared forward-pack in the competition.
This option is a bit left-field however the Parramatta Eels would work well for either player and absolutely add to the team itself. Taupau would work well because he would add a name to the Eels forward pack and if he were to hypothetically be Parramatta's major signing for the next season, that would give their fan-base something genuine to be excited about given their so far dismal season. However, given the areas the Eels have struggled in this season, they don't need another attacking-minded player, even if it is in the body of a forward. They already have a plethora of options in that regard in the likes of Corey Norman, Mitchell Moses, Jarryd Hayne and Clint Gutherson. Woods works better due to him being a no-nonsense forward and someone who can give them easy meters through the middle and help them progress up the field. He has also made only 10 errors this season, something that would greatly benefit the Blue & Gold. While to put that into comparison, over their last two matches alone, the Bulldogs as a whole has committed 25 errors.
Their current sides
Both Manly and Canterbury need Taupau and Woods to stay right where they are, salary-cap be damned! For the Sea Eagles Taupau is arguably the best and strongest member of their forward-pack and he has played exceptionally well for them this season. If he were to leave there would be a massive gap needing to be filled, one that Manly might not initially be able to replace. He's adored down at Brookvale and would be sorely missed if he were to go.
While for Woods if he leaves it would almost be like the club admitting that they failed by signing him. This given that this is his first season with the Bulldogs. He has admittedly struggled during the season at some points, but given what's happened around the club and that he's not the only one, it's understandable. Similar to that of Taupau, if Woods were to leave, his side would struggle to fill the void left by his departure.
And there you have it, everything you need to know about the on-going speculation regarding two world-beater players and their individual statistics for the season. It very may well end up ugly for them at their current clubs. However, where ever they end up, you know their presence will be felt in a big, big way. Both literally and figuratively.
Where do you think Aaron Woods or Martin Taupau will be playing in 2019? Let us know in the comments below.