Pauli Pauli to Salford Red Devils
Former Parramatta Eels and Newcastle Knights powerhouse Pauli Pauli is a real enigma of a player.
Possibly the biggest man in English rugby league, weighing around 129 kilos, Pauli’s big strength as a player is charging onto short balls and drop offs near the opposition’s try-line; the former Samoa international can be an absolutely devastating attacking strike weapon.
However, in truth he was a disappointment for Wakefield in 2019. He enjoyed a very good second half of 2018 but just didn’t kick on the following season. His tackling technique is questionable at times and his defensive work rate can be very poor. He didn’t quite have the same level of desire and hunger in 2019 and as a result just wasn’t as destructive with ball in hand as he was the previous season, not quite applying his explosive power as much as he could have done.
Ian Watson is a terrific coach and could well give him the motivation to maintain fitness and supply the attacking drills to get the best out of Pauli. But nevertheless, in order to improve his performances on a consistent basis Pauli needs to improve his work rate and tackling technique.
Performances ultimately matter more than attributes and the juggernaut will hopefully apply his ferocious power to games on a weekly basis in 2020.
He could quite easily either prove a flop or a match winner for the Red Devils.