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Rothfield's best-ever Indigenous team

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by ManlyBacker, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

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    Here is something to send our thoughts back to the great indigenous players of the past. I agree with most of Phil's thoughts but I am sure others have strong feelings on the greats.

    ANTHONY Mundine once claimed he was the best rugby league five-eighth of his era before retiring to make a career out of bashing up stiffs in a boxing ring.

    If his self-assessment was correct, he would be an automatic selection in this best-ever Indigenous team we've chosen to mark tomorrow's clash with the NRL All Stars on the Gold Coast.

    When you can't even find room in the five-eighth jersey for the great Cliffy Lyons, who played six Origin matches for NSW, six Tests and 332 club games, what hope does Mundine have - and this time he can't play the racism card.

    Eventually I went for former Canberra Raiders, NSW and Test five-eighth Laurie Daley in the No. 6 jersey for the best indigenous team over the past 40 years - but it was a photo-finish and developed print ahead of Lyons.

    So these are the players I considered in each position before settling on the final 17.

    A team of breathtaking attacking qualities, spectacular skills and some of the hardest men to lace a footy boot.

    A group of players that you could guarantee would keep the crowd on their feet for 80 minutes.

    Fullback

    KEVIN Longbottom, David Peachey, Eric Simms, Colin Scott and Andrew Walker were all worthy contenders.

    Simms played in the great South Sydney teams of the 1960s and '70s and was one of the best goalkickers of all time. He was so good at kicking field goals they changed the rules, reducing them to one point instead of two because he kicked so many of them.

    Eventually we went for Dale Shearer. He played most of his career in the three-quarters, but he did play for Manly and in Test sides from fullback. He was also an explosive Origin player for Queensland.

    Wingers

    GEORGE Ambrum, Nathan Blacklock, Larry Corowa, John Ferguson, Ken Nagas, Wendell Sailor, Dale Shearer and Matty Sing were considered.

    Strictly speaking, Sailor is not Aboriginal. I ended up going with two sensational players, Balmain's Larry Corowa - probably still the fastest man I've ever seen on a football field - and John Ferguson, the chain smoking old Canberra Raiders and Newtown star.

    St George's Nathan Blacklock was unlucky to miss out. Three years in a row he topped the NRL's try-scoring. But Ferguson and Corowa are two of the greatest personality players the game has ever seen.

    Centres

    MAL Meninga has been included in some indigenous teams, but like Sailor he is not Aboriginal.

    So I left him out and considered Tony Currie, Steve Ella, Justin Hodges, Greg Inglis, Steve Renouf and Ron Saddler.

    Even in this group, Inglis is a standout and I gave Renouf the nod ahead of the mercurial Steve Ella for the other spot.

    Five-eighth

    PRESTON Campbell, Laurie Daley, Cliff Lyons and Anthony Mundine are the best from my time covering the game.

    It was really a toss of the coin to give Daley the spot over Lyons.

    Halfback

    SCOTT Gale, Ewan McGrady, Scott Prince and Johnathan Thurston were probably the best I've seen.

    If anyone needs reminding how good the late and great Scott Gale was, get a copy of the top 100 tries DVD that was produced for the centenary year. He scored a couple of screamers.

    But no one could argue with Thurston's inclusion, although he's not that far ahead of Scotty Prince .

    Back-rowers

    GREG Bird, Ron Gibbs, Gorden Tallis, Sam Thaiday, Carl Webb, Paul Roberts, Chris McKenna, Ian Russell, Jeff Hardy were all considered.

    Raging Bull Tallis was the first picked for obvious reasons. Then Thaiday and the crash-tackling Ronnie Gibbs.

    Has there ever been a more fearsome back-row than this trio?

    Props

    SAM Backo, Arthur Beetson, David Grant and Craig Salvatori are probably the best I have seen.

    Beetson, one of rugby league's seven Immortals, would make any greatest line-up and Backo got the nod over Grant and Salvatori.

    Hooker

    IT is probably one position where there haven't been a lot of Aborigines to stand out, but Manly's Mal Cochrane won a Rothmans Medal, was a top goalkicker, and would hold his own in any era.

    Interchange

    I settled for Lyons, Bird, Ella and Hodges on the bench.

    If tomorrow's Indigenous All Stars are the Dreamtime - then this is rugby league's dream team.

    Phil Rothfield The Daily Telegraph
     
  2. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

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    The wingers I would also have gone for Corowa, then Chicka, with Sing unlucky to miss out.
    The centres for mine would be Inglis and Pearl. If Mal was eligible he would trump both of these.
    Five-eigth it would have to be Cliffy over Snoz
    Backrow: Gordy and Rambo are the standouts.
    Props: agree with Artie and Backo
     
  3. Chip and Chase

    Chip and Chase True Supporter Staff Member Administrator Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    LOL at some of the names on his short list. Tony Currie and Colin Scott....two very ordinary footballers.

    Unbelievable that Mundine missed out. The guy was the best 5/8 by a country mile in his time, and probably the best ever. Should be one of the immortals except they won't nominate him because he is aboriginal................well that's Mundine's spin on his career ;)
     
  4. Crusher_Cleal

    Crusher_Cleal Well-Known Member

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    Mal is not aboriginal? Where's his family from?
     
  5. DailyTerrorgraphHater

    DailyTerrorgraphHater Member

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    Rothfield is a loser.
    Why spend 1/4 article focused on Mundine, with a vendetta?
    Surely he could have focused on the ++ of all these great players without courting contraversy?

    DT is lame.
     
  6. Chip and Chase

    Chip and Chase True Supporter Staff Member Administrator Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    His heritage is an islander of some description, but not Torres Strait AFAIK.
     
  7. Guest

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    A crap team with no Phil Duke or Joe Kilroy. 
     

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