This post is in relation to a post by my friend Luke on his blog Litres of Ink
It is virtually a team of players who you may say have "sold out" on the Green Machine. Some of these may really have been sold on by the Raiders, but they still make the team too. All of the players are currently active in the NRL, and probably ready to score a try against the Green Machine.
This is a starting lineup of former Raiders players currently running around in other teams colours in the NRL. Some of them walked away from the Green Machine, others were shown the door and went on to improve incredibly.
William Zillman- Gold Coast
Was touted as the “next big thing”, but then spent two years getting his knee reconstructed. Moved back to Queensland to play for the Titans. As yet, he hasn't really cracked the top flight squad. He has his opportunity now while Scott Prince is out injured. Still a chance for big things in the future.
Michael Robertson- Manly
The captain of the Raiders SG Ball squad many moons ago, Robertson never did all that much during his time in green. He did however, score three tries in Manly's 40-0 grand final thrashing of Melbourne. I had him for first try, he got the second, third and fourth. Bastard.
Adrian Purtell- Penrith
He proved his worth to this team of sellouts by channelling Ryan Girdler in round one, scoring a massive intercept try against the Raiders. He has scored a number of match winning tries already. Think back to the finals in 2008, a ridiculously undermanned Green Machine against the Sharks, Purtell goes for the intercept a few metres from the try line. He drops it.
Phil Graham- Roosters
Phil was a great player in his prime. He was starting to get back there last year, but after spending two seasons out with knee problems, his confidence was always going to take a while to return. He still has not shown his best form for the Roosters, but he has been a good addition to their squad.
Colin Best- Souths
Won a Dally M award in 2008 and was a key member in the charge to the finals that year. His early season form that year was fairly subpar, and Souths signed him up at the right time, just like they did with Dave Taylor last year.
Todd Carney- Roosters
The prodigal son is surely unlikely to return. There's only so many chances one person can be given. With all the incidences that were reported, it's hard to imagine all the ones that weren't. Soon enough he will come unstuck living the big city life. The club basically planned their future around Carney, which is why there were so many second chances, as he is a very good player.
Brett Finch (c) – Roosters, Parramatta, Melbourne
Finch gets to be the captain of the sellout squad. A long time ago he was a rising star at the Raiders. So much so, Ricky Stuart and Brad Clyde had to go look for new contracts at the Bulldogs. Not all that long after, Stuart was the coach and Finch the new signing at the Roosters. Went out of favour and moved to Parramatta before being shafted and being picked up on the cheap by the Storm.
Michael Weyman- Dragons
“Horse” has improved vastly since moving to the Dragons. He is looking in a lot better shape, running harder. At the Raiders he had mongrel, but he didn't have controlled aggression like he does now. This meant he was suspended a lot of the time. He had numerous injury troubles and simply didn't get enough time on the field. Moving on looks to have turned out best for both parties.
Luke Priddis- Brisbane, Penrith, Dragons
I am honestly surprised that Priddis is still going around. Quite some time ago, there were two young hookers coming through the ranks. Boxhead Walters was finishing up, and Priddis and Simon Woolford were in a battle to be the next in line. Priddis moved away, played Origin and for Australia. The Germ stayed and became club captain. Interestingly enough, Priddis was picked up as a replacement at the Dragons for Woolford.
Nigel Plum- Penrith
A hard hitter, there was simply not enough room at the Raiders for Plum. Hasn't exactly set the world on fire at his new club either.
Neville Costigan- Dragons
Showed how thankful he was to the Raiders for a second chance by poking Terry Campese in the eye. Don't come back.
Ryan Hinchcliffe- Melbourne
At the end of 2008 he was battling Glen Buttriss for the hooking role. Taking the offer from Melbourne was a good decision for him, as he may have been battling it out still at Souths Logan. Has been playing as a utility forward. Would be handy to still have around.
Nathan Smith- Penrith
A back for the Raiders, Smith has spent his time with the Panthers in the backrow. Matthew Elliot once said he didn't have the “cattle” to win a premiership, interesting just how many Raiders have gone to join him at the foot of the Blue Mountains.