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Team balance

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Rex, May 8, 2009.

  1. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

    +2,292 / 60
    Any thoughts on team balance?  i.e. the roles filled and how team balance is affected. More focused on strategy than overall good/bad ratings of individual players.


    Here's one view:

    Proposition: The distinction between halfback and five-eighth now is pretty academic.  What teams need to be balanced is a dummy-half playmaker and at least two first/second receiver playmakers, who get the ball early.  Halves, five-eighths and fullbacks fill these roles.

    Give Thurston a lack of supporting playmakers and even he looks ordinary.

    Top of the list for first/second receiver playmakers is vision and ability to read the game and identify opportunities.  Second: expertise in kicking.  Third: deception and timing in passing to create gaps.  Fourth: defending (teams might carry one mediocre defender).  Fifth: individual ability to make breaks.

    How Manly fits: Whilst Bailey is a strong runner and promising offloader, he doesn't currently tick the top two, maybe three, boxes.  Neither does Robbo.  So we have one dummy half playmaker and one first receiver playmaker.  Plus we don't have a free-floating fullback target for the big plays.  

  2. Chip and Chase

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

    +6,271 / 44
    They bang on about 1, 6, 7 & 9 all the time.......but these are the players that handle the ball 90% of the time so of course they need to offer something. If you are a one man show than there is very little doubt in the defence's mind as to where the ball is going, so they will just pressure you out of the game by cutting down your thinking time. Options create doubt.

    How many of those boxes does Orford tick ?

    There is a good case to get the ball into Lyon's hands more often and earlier to provide that extra option. One of my criticisms of Bailey is that he probably takes the line on too often, but I guess that is just his fallback play. Maybe his fallback play should be pass to Jamie straight away.

    No doubt we are missing the option that Brett provides as a second receiver.

    You can probably get away with having 2 out of the 4 key positions populated by average/adequate players if the other 2 are well above average. I don't know where we sit with that at the moment.......Robbo = average fullback, Bailey = average 5/8, do Orford and Ballin make up the difference ?? 2 from 8 would suggest not.
  3. Ian Martin tragic

    Ian Martin tragic Well-Known Member

    +137 / 0
    Good post, Rex.
    enough is enough (maybe even for dessie after this weekend): lyon to 5/8. somebody else at centre, bailey as running backrower a la g stewart.

    just watching beaver slot in over there at bradford, playing on edge of the ruck, a little playmaking, a little hole running. If eagles management are watching the tapes they must be doing a huge D'OH!!!! now. give yourselves an uppercut for me fellas....
  4. Cletus

    Cletus Active Member

    +11 / 0
    We've got a stack of playmakers, G Stewart, B Stewart, Lyon. Yes Bailey needs is a quality halfback who can handle the pressure. Orford isn't it, he isn't worth the stack of money we're paying him to be like he's one of the top three halfbacks in the comp and we're expecting Bailey to be a halfback as well because of Orfords deficiencies. Have a look at Kimmorely and Roberts, Roberts plays the same sort of role as Bailey.
  5. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

    +2,292 / 60
    Hi Cletus.  

    Think of quaterbacks in gridiron versus running backs.  Glenn Stewart and Lyon are positioned to play as running backs, not quarterbacks.  And Brett Stewart is out so what help is he?  And Lyon essentially only receives the ball one in from the wing so never has the opportunity to use his quality vision and kicking game.

    Agree there are some similarities between Roberts and Bailey, but the Dogs have a top class fullback playing, Manly don't.  They have one genuine playmaker up on us (50% more). They're balanced.  And would be improved with another playmaker in place of Roberts.

    I hear you're gunning for Ox.  Have no interest in defending him, except to say it's pretty difficult assessing him when essentially he's the only non-dummy half playmaker in the team.  

    Cronk looked very poor this year until Storm bought Finch, who is no world-beater but fills this role.
  6. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

    +2,292 / 60
    Watched Matt Toomua, age 19, play flyhalf for the Brumbies tonight.  Great game.  Won't happen but would love to see him cross codes and play for Manly. Vision, kicking game, poise, cool head, reads the game, plays above his weight.  Wouldn't surprise to see him as a bolter for a Wallabies jumper at a very young age.

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