Internationals Vagana....

  • Thread starter Kiwi League_old
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Kiwi League_old

....not a stand-off.
weaknesses: no kicking game whatsoever, doesn't create any play.
strengths: feeds off others breaks, strong D.
What do you look for in a stand-off?:
A kicking game.
The ability to create.
So his selection was a failure.
Jones controlled everything last year, which covered up for our lack of a stand-off. This time, with poor kick options & a couple of youngsters in Marshall and Thomas, the Vagana selection was exposed.
And that's the problem with elite team sports. With a senior player, as a coach you can't drop or shift Vagana because of the backlash both from the team & fans. You have to be 'loyal' to the player even though the selection is not in the best interests of the team. A specialist stand-off like Jeremy Smith could have taken dome of the pressue off Thomas and Marshall.


I agree, his play was fairly meek and no Stacey to make him look good. I think all the injuries he has had recently have taken away from his game, and he doesn't look like the same player we saw last year in the Tri-Nations. He is another player that has to buck up and improve his game or face non-selection later on this year. He has the ability to succeed at stand-off, he just has to find some form.

Kiwi League_old

I don't understand: if you don't kick & you are not a playmaker, how do you have the ability to succeed at stand-off?
You CAN'T succeed at stand-off if you don't have the stand-off skill set.


You don't exactly have to play like a stereotypical stand-off to be a success there. As long as you have other players that can kick and set plays up and do the other stand-off then you could still be a success. Nigel Vagana was a roaring success in the Tri-Nations last year at stand-off, although he didn't possess the right attributes, and guys like Jerome Ropati and Sione Faumuina don't need to kick to be a successful stand-off.

Over the off-season Sione collected a bunch of tapes with league games that featured stand-offs like Laurie Daley and Darren Lockyer, so he could try and mould himself into the same type of number 6 that they are. When Ivan Cleary heard about this he stopped it straightaway, as he wanted Sione to play at stand-off like he thought he should play.

You don't have to conform to the stereotypical stand-off to be successful, as long as you can play well and help your team win.


Nigel should not play at stand off unless JONES is inside of him ... infact Vagana should only be in the centres - bye bye Toopi.

Kiwi League_old

If you have a stand-off who doesn't kick or create play, you then don't have a halves combo at all.
Plus the workload then falls to the fullback to create more play, and to the fullback and hooker to do more kicking. If they are not particularly adept in those areas, you have big problems.
We had big problems.


KL, it probably depends on your halfback, and the gameplan you are trying to employ.

The likes of Timmins etc have served a purpose effectively at various levels with no apparent kicking game.

You are heavily reliant on the halfback, with the hooker and fullback as your option kickers. The downside is, when for instance your fullback hoicks one across field 15 metres with no distance behind halfway, and your hooker is a makeshift attraction from lock looking to bulk the defence up. Another downside is when the halfback's kicking is so poor, you'd hate to be his dog.

If for instance you had Wing at hooker, Lockyer at fullback, Johns at halfback, it'd be no dramas at all to have either a solid hard running back rower at five eighth, or a quick man to back up second phase play or broken field play at five eighth.

The NZRL, IMO, has to work very hard now at grass roots junior development level to identify, and harness under good tutelage (Freeman springs to mind) potential halfbacks, be they first grade quality, international quality, Bartercard quality, NJC quality. When we turn to all those competitions, the structure should not be reliant on big blokes trampling over smaller blokes, which doesn't work at international level when those differences are disinsentuated, but rather see little men working well with big men in constructing play.


If Stacey is available around Tri Nation time and Lance is fit then Nigel could be in trouble trying to find a spot in the team

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