General Most Important Position In A Rugby League Team

In your opinion What is the most important position in a League team.


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fanrrior

fanrrior

More to spark a conversation than anything.

Remember back to the Bulldogs Vs Rabbits game when the commentaters were talking about how the fullback was the most important player in the modern game, in reference to Inglis and Barba and the effect both had on their respective sides chances of winning. Then Souths' half-back, Reynolds, got injured and we saw how hard Souths went without him. This sparked off a mini debate about which position is in fact the most important.

In your opinion, what is the most important position in a typical Rugby League team?
 
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Up the guttz

Up the guttz

Got to be half, fullback is getting close tho. Really does depend on team dynamics and how good the player is at there position. e.g - I think Cam Smith is the most important Storm player....
 

facefacts

More to spark a conversation than anything.

Remember back to the Bulldogs Vs Rabbits game when the commentaters were talking about how the fullback was the most important player in the modern game, in reference to Inglis and Barba and the effect both had on their respective sides chances of winning. Then Souths' half-back, Reynolds, got injured and we saw how hard Souths went without him. This sparked off a mini debate about which position is in fact the most important.

In your opinion, what is the most important position in a typical Rugby League team?


It has always been the halfback or 5/8 without question, but in the last few years fullback has become so important to a teams attacking and defensive structures that i couldn't separate the two positions importance....that said, we see how teams can excel with adequate halves but with a brilliant fullback in the Dogs, and to a lesser extent the Storm...i say the Storm because i wouldn't class Cronk as a amazingly talented half, but i would class him as amazingly consistent. So i would say in those two teams who just happened to be last seasons grand finalists.....their respective fullbacks were the most important players in either team.
 
tajhay

tajhay

🏉
Whilst the theory is that the halfback is the person that leads the team around akin to a quarterback in NFL, i believe the most important position is hooker. The hooker touches the ball more often than any other player, a smart hooker is able to direct the team more ala Cameron Smith, and can influence the game more if he has good visionary skills.
 
ToiletDuck

ToiletDuck

Administrator
The traditional answer is obviously a half (or halfback more specifically). Though I think it's a difficult one to answer, and as facey has stated, the changing game means it's probably a question that has a different multi-faceted answer every year. It also probably prompts a look at teams individually. Without a doubt the fullback role has evolved in recent times, with fullbacks often being central to attacking plays. Storm and Dogs being the obvious examples of teams that have FB's that are of equal importance to any other position in the side. It's difficult to separate who is the 'most' important of Smith, Slater, Cronk - and the overall answer is they're probably just as important as eachother to their setup. Certainly that setup is geared towards utilising all 3 together rather than any 1 of them as the be all end all. Barba and the Dogs is a little more clear cut, though their style is quite different. I think the Dogs are probably more the exception rather than the rule however.

Dummy half is another position that has become just as important as the halves in some teams. Deviating from the Storm example, I'd argue that Robbie Farah is on Marshall's level in terms of importance to the Tigpies structure. He and Smith are probably out on their own in terms of out and out influence, but there's no doubt that an influential dummy half will go a long way to success - especially if they're able to develop a combination with the halves/fullback.

I've had a couple discussions with people re this topic, and I think overall, the answer is probably still that at least 1 'dominant' half is paramount for NRL success. Below is a list of NRL winners since the year 2000, tagged with who I consider their dominant half for that particular season. There would be an argument for a couple of those teams, certainly Lockyer (as a fullback) in the Broncos side of 2000, and then Cameron Smith in those Storm teams. However I think as a snapshot of the past 10 or so years - a dominant half seems to be the most consistent factor behind success.

2000 - Brisbane - Kevin Walters
2001 - Knights - Andrew Johns
2002 - Roosters - Brad Fittler
2003 - Panthers - Craig Gower
2004 - Bulldogs - Brent Sherwin (Could make an argument for Braith Anasta)
2005 - Tigers - Benji Marshall
2006 - Brisbane - Darren Lockyer
2007 - Storm - Cooper Cronk
2008 - Manly - Matt Orford
2009 - Storm - Cooper Cronk
2010 - Dragons - Jamie Soward
2011 - Manly - Cherry Evans
2012 - Storm - Cooper Cronk
 
Inruin

Inruin

Contributor
Whilst the theory is that the halfback is the person that leads the team around akin to a quarterback in NFL, i believe the most important position is hooker. The hooker touches the ball more often than any other player, a smart hooker is able to direct the team more ala Cameron Smith, and can influence the game more if he has good visionary skills.

2000 - Brisbane - Kevin Walters
2001 - Knights - Andrew Johns
2002 - Roosters - Brad Fittler
2003 - Panthers - Craig Gower
2004 - Bulldogs - Brent Sherwin (Could make an argument for Braith Anasta)
2005 - Tigers - Benji Marshall scott prince probably more valuable than a young benji
2006 - Brisbane - Darren Lockyer
2007 - Storm - Cooper Cronk
2008 - Manly - Matt Orford
2009 - Storm - Cooper Cronk
2010 - Dragons - Jamie Soward
2011 - Manly - Cherry Evans
2012 - Storm - Cooper Cronk
2000 - Brisbane - Luke Priddis
2001 - Knights - Danny Buderis
2002 - Roosters - Simon Bonetti
2003 - Panthers - Luke Priddis
2004 - Bulldogs - Adam Perry (probably the weakest oof the list)
2005 - Tigers - Robbie Farrah
2006 - Brisbane - Shaun Berrigan
2007 - Storm - Cam Smith
2008 - Manly - Matt Ballin - Cam Smith missed this game and the Storm got hammered
2009 - Storm - Cam Smith
2010 - Dragons - Dean Young (nathan fien)
2011 - Manly - Matt Ballin
2012 - Storm - Cam Smith

I also think Hooker is probably the most important player on the field now. That is not to say that without a good/great hooker your team isn't going to go well. However, as Tajhay says a good hooker will get your team going forward, which without this go forward the halves really struggle to do much. The winning teams for the last 12 odd years have predominantly had good hookers to do this. They also had good halves who could take advantage of the ground work the Hookers have laid. (no pun intended) forwards lay the platform, the backs ice the cake. As it has always been and so it shall always be so.
 
fanrrior

fanrrior

I also think Hooker is probably the most important player on the field now. That is not to say that without a good/great hooker your team isn't going to go well. However, as Tajhay says a good hooker will get your team going forward, which without this go forward the halves really struggle to do much. The winning teams for the last 12 odd years have predominantly had good hookers to do this. They also had good halves who could take advantage of the ground work the Hookers have laid. (no pun intended) forwards lay the platform, the backs ice the cake. As it has always been and so it shall always be so.
Good point. The (good) Hookers are the players that decide the tempo of the match. Smith is just amazing at not only getting his own forwards moving at rate their natural talent shouldn't allow, but he slows down the other team as he gets into the niggy niggle. But as in the case of the Tigers, if your forwards are too soft, you ain't going no where.
 
Sup42

Sup42

Halves , either position depending on the player individual ability. kicking for territory cannot be under estimated , repeat sets in the in goal , chips to wingers , grubbers , cut out balls , forty twenties......Smith is the best hooker ever but can he do all those rudimentary Half Skills
 
OMG

OMG

Halves , either position depending on the player individual ability. kicking for territory cannot be under estimated , repeat sets in the in goal , chips to wingers , grubbers , cut out balls , forty twenties......Smith is the best hooker ever but can he do all those rudimentary Half Skills

lol, yes he does all that regularly, in all reality he is probably the best standoff playing the game even though he is hooker.
 

pleatedpantspete

it's the halves, through and through. I know people think of the doggies and ben barba and their average halves but the doggies forwards had a lot to do with that too.
cameron smith is a bad example i reckon... he is just too good
 

facefacts

it's the halves, through and through. I know people think of the doggies and ben barba and their average halves but the doggies forwards had a lot to do with that too.
cameron smith is a bad example i reckon... he is just too good

Cameron Smith just happened to have the greatest fullback in living memory running off his shoulder for his entire career, at both club and rep level, which would make any distributor look good.....and we saw this past season what a pile of crap the Storm turned into when Slater was out injured. Smith is a great player, and probably the most intelligent in the game, but the likes of Slater and Barba will be brilliant players no matter how good or bad their teams are, whereas Smith is more of a general who makes the right calls to get the best out of the crazy talent around him.......so basically, as good as Smith is, his ability is heavily reliant on the caliber of talent around him, which fortunately for him has been amazing throughout his career at all levels of competition.
 
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Miket12

Miket12

Cameron Smith just happened to have the greatest fullback in living memory running off his shoulder for his entire career, at both club and rep level, which would make any distributor look good.....and we saw this past season what a pile of crap the Storm turned into when Slater was out injured. Smith is a great player, and probably the most intelligent in the game, but the likes of Slater and Barba will be brilliant players no matter how good or bad their teams are, whereas Smith is more of a general who makes the right calls to get the best out of the crazy talent around him.......so basically, as good as Smith is, his ability is heavily reliant on the caliber of talent around him, which fortunately for him has been amazing throughout his career at all levels of competition.

Funny thing is that two seasons ago, Doggies supporters were calling for Barba's blood because of defensive and positioning problems with his game. Moore then, more importantly, Hasler presisted with him till now he's rated by many as the second best fullback in the NRL.
 
ajofbrisbane

ajofbrisbane

I went with prop.....you can have the worlds greatest halfback but he can't do jack if he doesn't have the time and space afforded to him by a dominant forward pack...prime example is thurston...plays great for QLD & Australia but struggled for the Cowboys upto last year....he went better last year as he had 2 current Origin/International props doing their job allowing him to do his.
 
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lolcaeks

lolcaeks

I voted for hooker

in a nutshell

pretty much controls the direction of the play
Links the fowards to the backs
has an important role in controlling the ruck both offensively and defensively

probably more but i cbf
 
Inruin

Inruin

Contributor
Everyonee seems to have fairly valid arguements to back up thier decisions, however a number of you are overlooking the obvious reason as to why you are wrong. It is impossible for Tajhay, lolcaeks and myself to all be wrong on any given subject. So, hooker it is. ok. case closed. done.

Friend
 
fanrrior

fanrrior

Everyonee seems to have fairly valid arguements to back up thier decisions, however a number of you are overlooking the obvious reason as to why you are wrong. It is impossible for Tajhay, lolcaeks and myself to all be wrong on any given subject. So, hooker it is. ok. case closed. done.

View attachment 638
Let me give you a friendly post. Hookers are usually great at doing what they are paid to do. The good ones give you more value for money as they know how to control the tempo. They can quicken the delivery and slow it down for the other party. They have to be great defenders as they are usually put down on their ass by the bigger, and often stronger man. Every week they go through this just to make a living.

But outside the very good ones like Cameron, Robbie and the one who gives particular good services as a Friend. But as we saw in the Jnrs. You could find someone easily enough in Auckland, give them enough money and bam, you got yourself a hooker who passes in the under 20's. And only gets better with experience.
 
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Inruin

Inruin

Contributor
Let me give you a friendly post. Hookers are usually great at doing what they are paid to do. The good ones give you more value for money as they know how to control the tempo. They can quicken the delivery and slow it down for the other party. They have to be great defenders as they are usually put down on their ass by the bigger, and often stronger man. Every week they go through this just to make a living.

But outside the very good ones like Cameron, Robbie and the one who gives particular good services as a Friend. But as we saw in the Jnrs. You could find someone easily enough in Auckland, give them enough money and bam, you got yourself a hooker who passes in the under 20's. And only gets better with experience.
The very best are well worth the money, they will give you the result you want, and usually a lot better and faster than most cheaper versions. And yes, you can find someone to fill in ;) and you might be happy with that the first, second or third time but you will struggle to maintain any sort of consistancy results wise. The best ones know how to get it done, and have been doing it for longer.
 
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Dexter M

Dexter M

Halfback, but they need to be behind a quality front row to work there magic. Fullback, with the exception of broken play requires the other 2 to do there job more so than the others.Its the skill sets of fullbacks these days that have made it such a more important position than it was in the past.
 

KPWarrior

Very good poll and could probably make a valid case for all positions mentioned, but IMO it's called a 'spine' for a reason and that instantly narrows it down to four for me, all kudos to the interchangeable Props but the 1,6,7 and 9 has to be where the answer lies and I'm going with the HB. It's easy to look at the likes of Cam Smith and what he does for the Storm/Qld/Aus' he's a consistent week in week out 80min performer but as others have stated, he's surrounded by talent in all those teams, it wasn't long ago Smith and Friend were spoke of in the same breath!

FB is fast becoming the glamour position in the NRL, almost plays like another half, but at the end of the day he's still the last line of defence for mine and when the shit hits the fan thats where I expect to see him! but again as others have stated it depends on the team dynamics. I just think the HB has to be the most creative and adaptable at any stage of the game.
 
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a.c.e

a.c.e

For me its hooker, dudes the important link between the the forward and the back. Without that link theres a disconnect in the backs and forwards. The hooker will lay a platform for the backs after getting the forwards rolling towards a single direction. If the forwards ant going forward the hooker takes it upon himself to run it from dummy to spark something. Hookers have to had a educated foot as they are called upon in all kicking rolls. Hookers all so have their hand on the ball most of the time during a game so they have to be on to it with their ball distribution and decision making with the markers only a few feet away. Hookers all so play that important roll as a back up when a forward does make the odd break, hookers are usually the first or second man on the seen.

Hookers are important, and they get paid well for their corner position on the field. :)
 
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