Fringe Players Impact

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Re: Fringe Players Impact

Postby mildlyinterested » July 20th, 2017, 9:17 pm

wixfjord wrote:Gotta convert em all!


nope just gotta develop someone at the position.. something leinster have struggled to do, simple as that.

i notice you ignore the fact leinster are actively moving players from other positions to hooker at underage in order to try and develop some players there.
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Re: Fringe Players Impact

Postby ronk » July 20th, 2017, 9:57 pm

mildlyinterested wrote:instead they struggle to develop players there, i wonder why?

maybe if we tried to convert more players to that position it wouldnt be a gaping hole for leinster in terms of developing talent there.

leinster are doing it this year at u20 level with 3 of the 4 u20 hookers former LH props at schools level.


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Re: Fringe Players Impact

Postby mildlyinterested » July 21st, 2017, 5:50 am

Yup and they should do it more often.

David Doyle(1991) - converted backrow, retired due to injury.
James Tracy(1991) - converted prop
Bryan Byrne(1993) - hooker
Sean McNulty(1995) - converted backrow
Tadgh McElroy(1996) - converted backrow
Ronan Kelleher(1997) - converted prop
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Re: Fringe Players Impact

Postby mildlyinterested » July 21st, 2017, 8:12 am

jimbobjoe wrote:
Hasn't held back many other hookers


Well it's held back Byrne whose throwing can be downright awful.

If he was a consistent thrower he'd have progressed faster.
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Re: Fringe Players Impact

Postby paddyor » July 21st, 2017, 10:10 am

Maybe Reggie Corrigan was right, maybe the best place for SOB was Hooker.
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Re: Fringe Players Impact

Postby wixfjord » July 22nd, 2017, 12:06 pm

mildlyinterested wrote:
wixfjord wrote:Gotta convert em all!


nope just gotta develop someone at the position.. something leinster have struggled to do, simple as that.

i notice you ignore the fact leinster are actively moving players from other positions to hooker at underage in order to try and develop some players there.


I'm not ignoring anything GG, nor am I saying it's a bad idea, I do find it funny that it's your latest drum to incessantly beat though!
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Re: Fringe Players Impact

Postby hugonaut » July 22nd, 2017, 9:35 pm

mildlyinterested wrote:Yup and they should do it more often.

David Doyle(1991) - converted backrow, retired due to injury.
James Tracy(1991) - converted prop
Bryan Byrne(1993) - hooker
Sean McNulty(1995) - converted backrow
Tadgh McElroy(1996) - converted backrow
Ronan Kelleher(1997) - converted prop


I reckon that you could add Jason Harris Wright to that list as well, GG.

I'd make the point that it's not all about funnelling players to hooker because Leinster are looking for hookers, but it's also that some players who play a position at age-grade level aren't suitable to play the same position at senior professional level.

Sometimes there also exist circumstances where the squad has sufficient resources at one position [for example, loosehead prop or openside flanker at the moment] and you're looking to find a new position for a talented player so that you can keep him on board.

James Tracy is a good all-round rugby player, and if it wasn't a massive stretch/practically impossible for him to make [say] 115kg, maybe he would still be playing prop. Similarly Ronan Kelleher to me looks like a guy who is never going to be big enough to play prop as a professional, but already has the skills to make a good hooker.

Sometimes guys get put into a position by a teacher in school when they're 12 or 13 years old, and they end up playing there. It doesn't mean that's always the right position for them. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't.
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Re: Fringe Players Impact

Postby neiliog93 » July 23rd, 2017, 12:19 am

mildlyinterested wrote:
jimbobjoe wrote:
Hasn't held back many other hookers


Well it's held back Byrne whose throwing can be downright awful.

If he was a consistent thrower he'd have progressed faster.


Byrne has always been a hooker though.
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Re: Fringe Players Impact

Postby johng » July 23rd, 2017, 12:47 am

I'm sure I've said this before but I always thought that having a hooker and loose head who have been together since conception should be a great thing in the scrum because of the nature of how those positions work together against the opposing tight head. (One shoulder each)
I don't think they have been capped together at senior level too much. Mainly because Ed was injured for most of Bryan's breakthrough season.

They have both been retained this season though so someone sees something in there.
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Re: Fringe Players Impact

Postby LeRouxIsPHat » July 23rd, 2017, 1:39 am

hugonaut wrote:
Sometimes guys get put into a position by a teacher in school when they're 12 or 13 years old, and they end up playing there. It doesn't mean that's always the right position for them. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't.


Is that a polite way of saying that overweight kids are always picked as props?
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Re: Fringe Players Impact

Postby hugonaut » July 23rd, 2017, 1:22 pm

LeRouxIsPHat wrote:
hugonaut wrote:
Sometimes guys get put into a position by a teacher in school when they're 12 or 13 years old, and they end up playing there. It doesn't mean that's always the right position for them. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't.


Is that a polite way of saying that overweight kids are always picked as props?


Well, it's an example. Another example would be the influence Keith Wood had – loads of kids wanted to play hooker when he was Ireland's best player [and one of the best players in the world]. Then Drico came along, and loads of coaches put their best back at No13 [rather than No10 or No15, for example].

I know that Gerry Murphy saw Peter Dooley playing at No8 in an early Leinster age-grade camp and basically told him that he was a cracking player, but that he was going to be a cracking prop and not a cracking No8.
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Re: Fringe Players Impact

Postby ronk » July 23rd, 2017, 3:51 pm

Underage rugby is like that, if you have one overdeveloped athletic monster will ball skills, you put him at 8.

The best and fittest players are usually backrows. If they're fast they get converted to backs, if they're very strong, love contact and a little bit shorter they become looseheads or hookers.

Tightheads are more usually guys with less athletic body shapes who pick up good training habits later.

Natural props usually have to get in shape to become good. Converted props were always lean but have to add heft.

Natural props who start looking after themselves early can stand out at lower levels and either kick on or be caught up on. We're starting to see a little more of that.

Tracking progress of young prospects should factor the different arcs of different types of props.
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Re: Fringe Players Impact

Postby simonokeeffe » July 23rd, 2017, 8:04 pm

also the prevalent reverse Matt Banahaning

growth spurts/development can happen at varying stages too
Eric Miller played outhalf in a Junior Cup final for Wesley but then filled out that summer and into the back row it was with him
When he spreads his legs like that youd need dynamite or the Highland Light Infantry to shift him.
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Re: Fringe Players Impact

Postby hugonaut » July 23rd, 2017, 8:42 pm

ronk wrote:Underage rugby is like that, if you have one overdeveloped athletic monster will ball skills, you put him at 8.

The best and fittest players are usually backrows. If they're fast they get converted to backs, if they're very strong, love contact and a little bit shorter they become looseheads or hookers.

Tightheads are more usually guys with less athletic body shapes who pick up good training habits later.

Natural props usually have to get in shape to become good. Converted props were always lean but have to add heft.

Natural props who start looking after themselves early can stand out at lower levels and either kick on or be caught up on. We're starting to see a little more of that.

Tracking progress of young prospects should factor the different arcs of different types of props.


I think hooker is as interesting a position there is to analyse, because there are a lot of different prototypes.

John Smit was physically a massive man, a guy bigger than most props at 188cm [6'2"] and 122-123kg [19st2-5lbs]. He was the best set-piece hooker I've ever seen ... a good enough scrummager to play tighthead in a Lions series, as reliable a thrower as I've seen [and part of the best lineout of the pro era] and a guy who had remarkable composure and leadership abilities.

Then you have Bismarck du Plessis, who in my opinion is the most physically impressive athlete to play the position in recent times ... and not just a physical freak, but a guy who was incredibly destructive on the pitch, especially at the breakdown. He was able to make other international forwards look like schoolboys pretty often when it came to taking the ball away from them or bossing collisions. He could play too. In boxing terms, he was like Roberto Duran ... a naturally aggressive brawler who could box. He was a really accomplished thrower off the touchline – who looked like he was throwing a size 4 ball, because his mitts were so big – but he could pretty much do it all [like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5dllIZt2nQ ]. He couldn't match Smit as a leader, but was an inspirational player in his own right.

Steve Thompson [IRB nominee in 2003] was a sort of hybrid of Smit and du Plessis – a physically massive man, very strong, not as good a set piece player as Smit or as destructive as Bismarck, but a guy who had a huge edge as a ball carrier, extremely quick off the mark for such a big man and an attitude that was happy for confrontation for 80 minutes+.

Dane Coles is a very different player to any of them, a much smaller guy, but a hooker cut from the same mould as Keith Wood – a guy who can handle the tight stuff at the highest level of test rugby, but who has made his mark as a superb footballer in open play and excels with the ball in hand. He can handle with the same ability as a competent test centre, he's got excellent pace off the mark, a big side step and understands how to use space. Agustin Creevy isn't as pacy as Coles, but combines some of his open game with the physical aggression and the ferocious breakdown abilities of Bismarck.

Keven Mealamu started his career a little like that, but became more and more nuggety and Rory Best-like as his career progressed. Best is not a massive man like Thompson or Smit, he's not a broken play superstar like Schalk Brits, he's not an aggressive, dominant physical specimen like Bismarck, but he's a guy who gets through a huge amount of work in really physical engagements, who can handle the ball well, and who is mentally indomitable and incredibly tough. I'd say the same thing about Raphael Ibanez.

Those guys [and Ledesma] are the best hookers of the last decade – in my opinion – and there's a lot of variance there. Mealamu was a New Zealand Schools flanker before switching to hooker, Thompson was a No8 before McGeechan convinced him to switch to the front row, Creevy played test rugby as an openside and Smit was a prop at U21 level. So converting guys to play at hooker isn't a new thing, and it doesn't mean that guys who convert from other positions aren't good enough because they didn't make it in their 'chosen' position ... you could easily make the argument that they were playing the wrong position in the first place.
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Re: Fringe Players Impact

Postby ronk » July 23rd, 2017, 10:12 pm

You left out Sean Cronins winger speed. Strauss played openside professionally before (decisively) switching to hooker.

Ollie Le Roux played across the front row, it's a South African thing.

As a tighthead I played with all sorts of hookers. Some were wider than me, others narrower and lighter than the backs. Scrummaging wasn't a problem because the thinner lighter ones resulted in a much more compact front row and we could bind tighter. There was no splitting us.
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Re: Fringe Players Impact

Postby LeRouxIsPHat » July 24th, 2017, 12:40 am

ronk wrote:Ollie Le Roux played across the front row, it's a South African thing.



So could Harry Vermaas :lol:
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Re: Fringe Players Impact

Postby Laighin Break » July 24th, 2017, 7:42 am

paddyor wrote:Maybe Reggie Corrigan was right, maybe the best place for SOB was Hooker.


He's a six and a half
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Re: Fringe Players Impact

Postby simonokeeffe » July 24th, 2017, 11:54 am

Woody wanted Leamy to be converted to hooker too. Seem to remember that being a familiar refrain of his. Has Tom Youngs been mentioned yet?
When he spreads his legs like that youd need dynamite or the Highland Light Infantry to shift him.
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Re: Fringe Players Impact

Postby mildlyinterested » July 24th, 2017, 12:53 pm

hugonaut wrote:
ronk wrote:Underage rugby is like that, if you have one overdeveloped athletic monster will ball skills, you put him at 8.

The best and fittest players are usually backrows. If they're fast they get converted to backs, if they're very strong, love contact and a little bit shorter they become looseheads or hookers.

Tightheads are more usually guys with less athletic body shapes who pick up good training habits later.

Natural props usually have to get in shape to become good. Converted props were always lean but have to add heft.

Natural props who start looking after themselves early can stand out at lower levels and either kick on or be caught up on. We're starting to see a little more of that.

Tracking progress of young prospects should factor the different arcs of different types of props.


I think hooker is as interesting a position there is to analyse, because there are a lot of different prototypes.

John Smit was physically a massive man, a guy bigger than most props at 188cm [6'2"] and 122-123kg [19st2-5lbs]. He was the best set-piece hooker I've ever seen ... a good enough scrummager to play tighthead in a Lions series, as reliable a thrower as I've seen [and part of the best lineout of the pro era] and a guy who had remarkable composure and leadership abilities.

Then you have Bismarck du Plessis, who in my opinion is the most physically impressive athlete to play the position in recent times ... and not just a physical freak, but a guy who was incredibly destructive on the pitch, especially at the breakdown. He was able to make other international forwards look like schoolboys pretty often when it came to taking the ball away from them or bossing collisions. He could play too. In boxing terms, he was like Roberto Duran ... a naturally aggressive brawler who could box. He was a really accomplished thrower off the touchline – who looked like he was throwing a size 4 ball, because his mitts were so big – but he could pretty much do it all [like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5dllIZt2nQ ]. He couldn't match Smit as a leader, but was an inspirational player in his own right.

Steve Thompson [IRB nominee in 2003] was a sort of hybrid of Smit and du Plessis – a physically massive man, very strong, not as good a set piece player as Smit or as destructive as Bismarck, but a guy who had a huge edge as a ball carrier, extremely quick off the mark for such a big man and an attitude that was happy for confrontation for 80 minutes+.

Dane Coles is a very different player to any of them, a much smaller guy, but a hooker cut from the same mould as Keith Wood – a guy who can handle the tight stuff at the highest level of test rugby, but who has made his mark as a superb footballer in open play and excels with the ball in hand. He can handle with the same ability as a competent test centre, he's got excellent pace off the mark, a big side step and understands how to use space. Agustin Creevy isn't as pacy as Coles, but combines some of his open game with the physical aggression and the ferocious breakdown abilities of Bismarck.

Keven Mealamu started his career a little like that, but became more and more nuggety and Rory Best-like as his career progressed. Best is not a massive man like Thompson or Smit, he's not a broken play superstar like Schalk Brits, he's not an aggressive, dominant physical specimen like Bismarck, but he's a guy who gets through a huge amount of work in really physical engagements, who can handle the ball well, and who is mentally indomitable and incredibly tough. I'd say the same thing about Raphael Ibanez.

Those guys [and Ledesma] are the best hookers of the last decade – in my opinion – and there's a lot of variance there. Mealamu was a New Zealand Schools flanker before switching to hooker, Thompson was a No8 before McGeechan convinced him to switch to the front row, Creevy played test rugby as an openside and Smit was a prop at U21 level. So converting guys to play at hooker isn't a new thing, and it doesn't mean that guys who convert from other positions aren't good enough because they didn't make it in their 'chosen' position ... you could easily make the argument that they were playing the wrong position in the first place.



Excellent post :happy clapper: :happy clapper: :happy clapper:
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Re: Fringe Players Impact

Postby riocard911 » July 24th, 2017, 1:55 pm

mildlyinterested wrote:
hugonaut wrote:
ronk wrote:Underage rugby is like that, if you have one overdeveloped athletic monster will ball skills, you put him at 8.

The best and fittest players are usually backrows. If they're fast they get converted to backs, if they're very strong, love contact and a little bit shorter they become looseheads or hookers.

Tightheads are more usually guys with less athletic body shapes who pick up good training habits later.

Natural props usually have to get in shape to become good. Converted props were always lean but have to add heft.

Natural props who start looking after themselves early can stand out at lower levels and either kick on or be caught up on. We're starting to see a little more of that.

Tracking progress of young prospects should factor the different arcs of different types of props.


I think hooker is as interesting a position there is to analyse, because there are a lot of different prototypes.

John Smit was physically a massive man, a guy bigger than most props at 188cm [6'2"] and 122-123kg [19st2-5lbs]. He was the best set-piece hooker I've ever seen ... a good enough scrummager to play tighthead in a Lions series, as reliable a thrower as I've seen [and part of the best lineout of the pro era] and a guy who had remarkable composure and leadership abilities.

Then you have Bismarck du Plessis, who in my opinion is the most physically impressive athlete to play the position in recent times ... and not just a physical freak, but a guy who was incredibly destructive on the pitch, especially at the breakdown. He was able to make other international forwards look like schoolboys pretty often when it came to taking the ball away from them or bossing collisions. He could play too. In boxing terms, he was like Roberto Duran ... a naturally aggressive brawler who could box. He was a really accomplished thrower off the touchline – who looked like he was throwing a size 4 ball, because his mitts were so big – but he could pretty much do it all [like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5dllIZt2nQ ]. He couldn't match Smit as a leader, but was an inspirational player in his own right.

Steve Thompson [IRB nominee in 2003] was a sort of hybrid of Smit and du Plessis – a physically massive man, very strong, not as good a set piece player as Smit or as destructive as Bismarck, but a guy who had a huge edge as a ball carrier, extremely quick off the mark for such a big man and an attitude that was happy for confrontation for 80 minutes+.

Dane Coles is a very different player to any of them, a much smaller guy, but a hooker cut from the same mould as Keith Wood – a guy who can handle the tight stuff at the highest level of test rugby, but who has made his mark as a superb footballer in open play and excels with the ball in hand. He can handle with the same ability as a competent test centre, he's got excellent pace off the mark, a big side step and understands how to use space. Agustin Creevy isn't as pacy as Coles, but combines some of his open game with the physical aggression and the ferocious breakdown abilities of Bismarck.

Keven Mealamu started his career a little like that, but became more and more nuggety and Rory Best-like as his career progressed. Best is not a massive man like Thompson or Smit, he's not a broken play superstar like Schalk Brits, he's not an aggressive, dominant physical specimen like Bismarck, but he's a guy who gets through a huge amount of work in really physical engagements, who can handle the ball well, and who is mentally indomitable and incredibly tough. I'd say the same thing about Raphael Ibanez.

Those guys [and Ledesma] are the best hookers of the last decade – in my opinion – and there's a lot of variance there. Mealamu was a New Zealand Schools flanker before switching to hooker, Thompson was a No8 before McGeechan convinced him to switch to the front row, Creevy played test rugby as an openside and Smit was a prop at U21 level. So converting guys to play at hooker isn't a new thing, and it doesn't mean that guys who convert from other positions aren't good enough because they didn't make it in their 'chosen' position ... you could easily make the argument that they were playing the wrong position in the first place.



Excellent post :happy clapper: :happy clapper: :happy clapper:


+1. As a former hooker all I can say is "Chapeau!!"
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