Eagles face battle to keep Ropati and Yere
Published Date: 01 July 2009
By Jim Collins
SHEFFIELD Eagles are preparing for a battle to keep their star centres Tangi Ropati and Menzie Yere.
Super League clubs have been alerted by the players' defence-busting style of try-scoring.
The two, in their first season in the British game, provide a devastating mix of styles - Yere raw power and Ropati silky-smooth breaks. Against Doncaster on the weekend the pair shared six touchdowns - Yere four and Ropati two - to bring their combined total to 19 tries.
Their play prompted Dons' coach Tony Miller to comment: "There are worst centres in Super League".
Eagles coach Mark Aston admits keeping the pair he signed at the start of the season may be hard.
"Both have the potential to play Super League," he said. "When we played Hull Kingston Rovers Menzie had it all over Jake Webster so they can do it at that level.
"We're worried about keeping them at the club - but it's nice to hear that people respected them because they are getting better."
Samoan Ropati is the Eagles' top try scorer with 10 but Papua New Guinean Yere is only one behind.
Aston added: "They are both quality players with different personalities and skills. Tangi has the footwork and the silky skills. Menzie is more grunt and force - he's strong and takes some stopping."
Ropati is the nephew of Iva Ropai who played for the Eagles in 1991-92 scoring 30 tries in only 27 games.
They will be aiming to boost their try count when the Eagles face Batley Bulldogs at Don Valley, on Friday (8pm).