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Homogenisation of the back row.

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    Homogenisation of the back row.

    I believe the 3 positions are becoming harder to separate and define as individual. All great contemporary back rowers seem to have the same attributes, defensive perfection, good ruck game, good hands, can carry and can jump in the lineout.

    Tipuric, Dusatoir, hooper are three that i would think are slightly outside the norm now but that's mainly because they are 3 tackling oriented back rows.
    I am the million man.

    #2
    Tipuric has good gas and can carry in space. I think Lydiate is more of an exception on that front.

    I think there's definitely been a realistion that with more collisions, more rucks and the importance of the breakdown it's a bit of a luxury having specialist back rows that at best are only going to be available for two rucks in three - probably in four.

    So all have to be able to fetch, carry, tackle, slow ball down etc.

    Certainly less and less difference between sixes (who are skilled up) and 8s.

    Still the odd out and out open side, but I think they're a huge luxury. You build your game around a guy that, by definition, is out of play half the time.
    "We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men" Edward R Murrow

    "Little by little, we have been brought into the present condition in which we are able neither to tolerate the evils from which we suffer, nor the remedies we need to cure them." - Livy


    "I think that progress has been made by two flames that have always been burning in the human heart. The flame of anger against injustice and the flame of hope that you can build a better world" - Tony Benn

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      #3
      Originally posted by Cowboy View Post
      I believe the 3 positions are becoming harder to separate and define as individual. All great contemporary back rowers seem to have the same attributes, defensive perfection, good ruck game, good hands, can carry and can jump in the lineout.

      Tipuric, Dusatoir, hooper are three that i would think are slightly outside the norm now but that's mainly because they are 3 tackling oriented back rows.
      I Disagree! They certainly would be expected to have them base charateristics but they are still quite individual positions. When they are played out of position they usually come up short on the subtle facets to each positions game.. there are exceptions where some players can do a heck of a good job at all 3 positions but would never be world class at them all!

      There may be a trend to play a 'closer to a 6' kinda player at 7 but is usually because of either lack of talent in 7 position players or lack of imagination of the coaches! both detrimental to the team in the longer run.

      The best teams play with proper balanced backrow i.e. All blacks, aussie...
      "I can't say, I'm the referee, I'm not your coach" - Romain Poite

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        #4
        Lydiate is a bit of a spent force I would suggest. I agree with what you say though Balla. Looking at the average back rows for this weekend, Leinster is 3 guys the same, we've two outta three very similar, Cardiff has two identikits in Navidi and Warbs.

        Its two athletic lumps at six and eight, and if you've an open side you choose him or else another athletic lump.

        Doc2 Pom TOD CJ Copeland.

        Ruddock Seanie Ryan Locky.

        Williams Diack Wilson Hendo.

        All much of a muchness type players
        I am the million man.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Cowboy View Post
          Lydiate is a bit of a spent force I would suggest. I agree with what you say though Balla. Looking at the average back rows for this weekend, Leinster is 3 guys the same, we've two outta three very similar, Cardiff has two identikits in Navidi and Warbs.

          Its two athletic lumps at six and eight, and if you've an open side you choose him or else another athletic lump.

          Doc2 Pom TOD CJ Copeland.

          Ruddock Seanie Ryan Locky.

          Williams Diack Wilson Hendo.

          All much of a muchness type players
          Shame if that's true re: Lydiate. He was a fierce hard ****er for a few years. I like to see tacklers going low and leveling people - it's the old man in me.

          I think it's really just an concentration of what's happening across the park. Specialism is relative now. Wingers can play full back or 13, most centres can play in or out, 10s can tackle, props can carry and pass.

          You just can't have a team of specialists strung across the park eight phases in with three stuck on the floor at the last breakdown.
          "We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men" Edward R Murrow

          "Little by little, we have been brought into the present condition in which we are able neither to tolerate the evils from which we suffer, nor the remedies we need to cure them." - Livy


          "I think that progress has been made by two flames that have always been burning in the human heart. The flame of anger against injustice and the flame of hope that you can build a better world" - Tony Benn

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Bash View Post
            I Disagree! They certainly would be expected to have them base charateristics but they are still quite individual positions. When they are played out of position they usually come up short on the subtle facets to each positions game.. there are exceptions where some players can do a heck of a good job at all 3 positions but would never be world class at them all!

            There may be a trend to play a 'closer to a 6' kinda player at 7 but is usually because of either lack of talent in 7 position players or lack of imagination of the coaches! both detrimental to the team in the longer run.

            The best teams play with proper balanced backrow i.e. All blacks, aussie...
            Not to obfuscate nor hijack this thread, but you could put bam bam or hooper into the Munster team that played Edinburgh recently and they'd struggle for 1 turnover with hodges holding the whistle. He, and many others are poor at officiating the breakdown.

            Glasgow another side superb at using their tight five to seal off the ball which appears to deny the effectiveness of true open sides
            I am the million man.

            Comment


              #7
              Ireland's strongest back row? Seanie Pom Heaslip, 3 very very alike 6/8's.
              I am the million man.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Bash View Post
                I Disagree! They certainly would be expected to have them base charateristics but they are still quite individual positions. When they are played out of position they usually come up short on the subtle facets to each positions game.. there are exceptions where some players can do a heck of a good job at all 3 positions but would never be world class at them all!

                There may be a trend to play a 'closer to a 6' kinda player at 7 but is usually because of either lack of talent in 7 position players or lack of imagination of the coaches! both detrimental to the team in the longer run.

                The best teams play with proper balanced backrow i.e. All blacks, aussie...
                Hmm...I'd disagree with that. McCaw is, on one level, the best ever specialist open side. At the same time, though, he'll do anything required of the other two.

                There's still variation, but it's not what it was. Toulon now have the best 7 in France packing down at 8 in scrums. That wouldn't have happened ten years ago even.

                It's been true for a while though with top players. Wallace was the best 7 ireland ever had. He could equally have been our best six or eight if he'd fancied.

                Possibly 12 as well
                "We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men" Edward R Murrow

                "Little by little, we have been brought into the present condition in which we are able neither to tolerate the evils from which we suffer, nor the remedies we need to cure them." - Livy


                "I think that progress has been made by two flames that have always been burning in the human heart. The flame of anger against injustice and the flame of hope that you can build a better world" - Tony Benn

                Comment


                  #9
                  Ah you had to go and mention David Wallace, God i miss that man!!
                  "Everything good about Ireland can be found in County Cork"....Lonely Planet Guide 2012

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Balla Boy View Post
                    Hmm...I'd disagree with that. McCaw is, on one level, the best ever specialist open side. At the same time, though, he'll do anything required of the other two.

                    There's still variation, but it's not what it was. Toulon now have the best 7 in France packing down at 8 in scrums. That wouldn't have happened ten years ago even.

                    It's been true for a while though with top players. Wallace was the best 7 ireland ever had. He could equally have been our best six or eight if he'd fancied.

                    Possibly 12 as well
                    9 often appears to be going the same route same as 13, throw in a decent ruck resourcer or three and all that's left are fatties, giraffes and a fancy dan at 10.
                    Gwan Joe!!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I'm looking forward to seeing how we go with a backrow of POM, Dougall, CJ at some point. Three different style players with a more old-school balance to it.

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