Dual Playmakers - Bluster or Essential?

Discussion in 'General Rugby Union' started by The Alpha Bro, Nov 2, 2019.

  1. The Alpha Bro

    The Alpha Bro Fat Boi

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    Messages:
    12,543
    Location:
    Concussed or something...
    Country Flag:

    Ireland

    Club or Nation:

    Leinster

    It's been all the rage in the past 12 months. Hansen employed it and Jones reverted to it. Schmidt ignored it and his team didn't fire a shot, but the two most successful teams of the year by my metric of trophies alone didn't really go near it, bruising 12s and ball playing fullbacks (in theory SA) won a slam, the RC and the big one. You also have France who have three, 9, 10 and 15 but lord knows they're the analysts enemy.

    So my question is, over the next four years how does back play develop?

    Personally, I hope the trend set by NZ and England continues for the entertainment factor but can it consistently be more effective than an assured 10, a battering ram 12, a strike running 13 and at least one form wing ready to pounce on all of the few opportunities that come their way? That's the formula that won the 2019 world cup and rugby championship, the 2019 and 2018 grand slams and presumably the 2019 and 2018 team of the year awards.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Forum Ad Advertisement

  3. TobyBeastTeague

    TobyBeastTeague First XV

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2015
    Messages:
    4,206
    Location:
    Tavistock, Devon
    Country Flag:

    England

    Club or Nation:

    Exeter

    Personally think that it makes much more sense to have your second ball player at 15 than 12. A 10 will always be under pressure if they don’t have the get out of jail free card in the 12 shirt.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  4. Leinster Fan

    Leinster Fan First XV

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2017
    Messages:
    2,559
    Location:
    Dublin
    Country Flag:

    Ireland

    Club or Nation:

    Leinster

    I don't think it's some great revolution or even particularly surprising that having a player with decent passing game in your backline helps your attack in all honestly. Not sure NZ actually did anything really impressive, Barrett played a pretty traditional role at fullback I thought (albeit very well).

    As I say, I don't think there's anything particularly new or inventive going on here. Ireland struggled badly and lacked creativity, but that wasn't down to a failure to squeeze an extra outhalf in.

    All in all, it's pretty important to have more than one guy in your backline who can offer a bit of creativity but I don't think that's new.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. duncanb

    duncanb Academy Player

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Messages:
    493
    Location:
    Northants
    Country Flag:

    England

    Club or Nation:

    Northampton

    Coaches have their plans they live or die by them.
    Personally its coaches choice fans like or hate it.
    Sometimes it works others it doesn't.
    Same with a 6 2 bench split.
    For me a 3 5 split would be radical a maybe a forward thinking coach.
    Hard to think of a back five who survive injuries or a 5 backs on bench who could cover back 5 given that you must have ability to change front 3 although some could say you split 2 6 if you had a Brits starting in back row and a multi purpose prop.
    So 2 playmakers yes 3 even better bit only they deserve a place.
    Good question though.
     
  6. Umaga's Witness

    Umaga's Witness First XV

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
    Messages:
    1,114
    Country Flag:

    New Zealand

    Club or Nation:

    Hurricanes

    I guess, in terms of styles, accurate rush defence and physicality have won out. Therefore we could see player selections prioritising who is better at these facets. But the other styles could have won, on a different day. It’s just more difficult to have that day in a pressure situation when your style relies on creativity, and that pressure magnifies when you are behind. I wouldn’t be surprised if a team with resources, like England, throws masses of resource into the psychological side of things. At the end of the day if every team played the same style some teams would have serious advantages Based on the players they have available. Think if everyone tried playing springbok style rugby. I can see england and New Zealand being able to compete if they focused hard on that style but the springboks would still be odds on favourites.

    Some teams will have more playmaking than others, but all teams will at least have some. And I would think it’s always been the case that you can’t rely on one person making all your plays. But there are a range of options to increase overall playmaking. To me it makes sense to base your style on the players you have got.

    On attack you will continue to need, as examples,, hard runners (players who can make it over the advantage line on their own), linebreakers (players who can get through the line), finishers (people who are fast and or agile enough to take overlap opportunities and win one on ones), and playmakers

    Where you get your playmaking from depends on where you are getting the other attributes you need.

    England has Farrell because Tuilagi offers little, and Daly because their wingers are no more than finishers and kick chasers.

    South Africa have faf making more play than your average 9, and willie Le roux.

    wales have Williams and rely on Adams getting involved plus Gareth’s running game to keep the defence guessing, Keeping the defence from being able to focus in on and shut down the playMakers. But yeah they are hardly a playmaking team.

    Ireland at top form have Murray making a lot of play and rely on being incredibly accurate with their plans. They have been less effective when Not firing on all cylinders or not at full strength, so I’d think they will be looking for playmakers in the future, probably giving ringrose a bigger role.

    New Zealand like to make play; they will always have plenty Of natural playmakers throughout the backline, but I could definitely see more focus on big ball runners with new coaches. Gatland would probably start Laumape.

    something like that anyway.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  7. Kapa O Pango

    Kapa O Pango Bench Player

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2012
    Messages:
    501
    Country Flag:

    New Zealand

    Club or Nation:

    New Zealand

    The AB backline has lacked a physical back players this RWC. The only big ball runner we have had was SBW. Look at last RWC 2015 we had players like Nonu, Fekitoa, Julian Savea and SBW players that could go direct challenge the defence and give front foot ball.

    Sometimes you just need a big ball carrier to go direct, I am not saying skilled playmakers are not needed, but players to complement each other styles when one attacking style doesn't work the other player offers the different attacking option.

    I really do see Laumape playing a part in the All Blacks backline in the future as an direct hard running 12, in the mould of Nonu with developed playmaking ability too.
     
  8. Bruce_ma_goose

    Bruce_ma_goose First XV

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2016
    Messages:
    3,835
    Country Flag:

    Scotland

    Club or Nation:

    Italy

    How much creativity you need all depends on the strength of your pack from my perspective. The weaker the pack, the more creativity you need (including in the pack). It doesn't matter if it is a 10/12 or something else, but World Rugby want tries in open play to be the determining factor to in matches, so I think you need to have that as your objective to be successful. Even the Boks showed this in the final, as they ran from deep a couple of times and selected (and actually utilised) wingers with pure x-factor to counter-balance the defensive orientated centres.


    A couple of examples from my perspective of sides without dominant packs:

    Wales - not enough creativity / attacking threat with Biggar and Halfpenny in the semi-final and likely would have lost comfortably had the Boks adopted the tactics they used in the final. The Welsh selection left only Adams, Garerh Davies and Tipuric as real attack orientated threats. Three players isn't enough. Add in Anscombe/Patchell OR Liam Williams and they'd have had the absolute minimum creativity to compete heavily in the tournament (including in the semi). If Gatland could have kept Anscombe AND Liam I think they would have made the final.

    NZ - Mo'unga, ALB, Goodhue/Crotty are all solid players, but are not as creative as the players they have replaced in those positions. They could all be very good AB players, but not when all together in the same combination. BB was not enough of a compensation at FB because he wasnt getting enough touches and had unproven players alongside him on the backline. I think DMac or Jordie at 15 (both goal kickers) and BB at 10 would have meant the creative limitations at centre and the wings would have been overcome.


    And a couple examples with (what most of is thought had) fairly dominant packs:

    England - did not have enough creativity / passing ability with Teo and JJ. Spent years going down an evolutionary dead end with both of them. I was convinced that Slade OR Ford would give enough panache to match the athleticism in the rest of the side. I still believe this despite their performance in the final, which I think had to do with factors other than team selection.

    France - their 9, 10, 12, 13 & 14 is possibly the most explosive in world rugby at this RWC. Vakatawa was a revelation to me at centre and he and Fickou both have physicality and flair. Is there almost too much flair there, which may explain some inconsistency? I dont have them figured out, but can't wait to see them in the 6N because there is so much potential in the above combination and you could have very safe / reliable picks at 11 & 15 and in the pack and still have enough in hand to unlock top defences. Their big issue is that they need a goal kicker, but cannot afford any more flair (like Ramos) in their backs or they will become even more unpredictable or weak defensively.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. The Alpha Bro

    The Alpha Bro Fat Boi

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    Messages:
    12,543
    Location:
    Concussed or something...
    Country Flag:

    Ireland

    Club or Nation:

    Leinster

    Think you're right here. The best back play I saw from any Irish team this cycle was when Leinster had Sexton/Byrne, Henshaw and Carbery on the pitch together, and I reckon NZ against us when their backs were firing, and our defence passive enough to let ALB be an effective crash ball, was the most effective back play we saw this world cup in my opinion.

    Whereas with England Ford-Farrell works with Manu on form but I've never been totally convinced otherwise.

    Ultimately the answer is there's no one way to do things but I think it's going to be interesting to see where Ireland, England, NZ and Wales go from here.

    I think Ireland should go to the second playmaker with Carbery at 15 but I could see us opting to wait and have Lowe as that option from the wing, which of course would be a typical one dimensional oversight which will cost us late in the cycle, both options should be explored, Larmour is a good 15 but not a creative player.

    England will probably stick with Ford and Farrell for the first half of the cycle at least, I'd be skeptical that a 32 year old Farrell can cut it at inside centre with his defensive style. There's no 15 option screaming at me to fill the void but Slade at 13 and a few of the 2nd 5/8ths in the prem will be looked at for sure.

    NZ - Barrett and McKenzie seems to be the best option right now, they need a good midfield to set them truly apart rather than just being one of the best though.

    Wales - I honestly don't know. Its hard to rate any Welsh players before they're established internationals because prior to that all I see of them is getting dicked by provinces!
     
  10. ragerancher

    ragerancher International

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2011
    Messages:
    5,095
    Country Flag:

    England

    Club or Nation:

    Bath

    Dual playmakers works fine if you play to that strength. If you look at the games England have lost recently for example, we've played 2 playmakers but then kept doing 1 off passing to a sole forward often not even running at pace off 9. Such a plan makes the 2nd playmaker essentially a complete waste. Also playmakers are more like multipliers for a side, if you have a side that can present multiple attacking options, having extra playmakers can help you take advantage of that. If there are few options then the 2nd playmaker is again rendered useless as they are forced to either shovel the ball on, kick or take contact. It's quite rare for the 2nd playmaker to also be a strong running threat themselves so it becomes easy to defend.

    The bruising 12 option is more an earlier Warrenball option with Roberts. It can work but often become a go-to option. England were the same with Tuilagi in the early days. Defences know if the ball is being shipped to the centre, it will be on a crashball line and it easy to read. A crashball 12 now needs to offer extra options like the threat of popped passes or even kicks. They don't have to be as good as a playmaker option but they need to at least keep a defence guessing.

    Lastly it doesn't matter what option you choose if your gameplan doesn't fit it. 2 playmakers will not work well in a boshing game plan except for their kicking and a boshing 12 will not work if you try to play an expansive game. As with most things it's horses for courses, pick the players in all positions who suit the game plan and then build adaptability on that if plan A fails.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Umaga's Witness

    Umaga's Witness First XV

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
    Messages:
    1,114
    Country Flag:

    New Zealand

    Club or Nation:

    Hurricanes

    Some thought provoking insights.
    @Bruce_ma_goose

    I have to say I have a fan crush on penaud, disappointed with his qf performance though. I love his passing game. When France brings him in as a pass left option with his long beautiful silky pass, on top of his core wing excellence, it’s just great to see.

    regarding nz, some inretesting synopses I don’t think I agree entirely with. I presume the “players they have teplaced” you refer to are carter, Nonu, and smith? Yes Nonu and smith are a creative combination. Saying some other combo is not as good is not saying much, I mean who is? On carter v mounga, mounga is a lot more creative than carter was. Don’t get me wrong, I think carter was the best ever ( I have seen) 10 but, ironically for a 10, wasn’t the most creative. He had the luxury for his whole all black career if having an incredibly creative midfield. For the crusaders most of t he time too. He was really shown up when this wasn’t the case. He was still the best ten ever (that I have seen) but more because of his all round ability being so good that even if you didn’t have superstars outside him you still would have played him, choosing creative players outside to make up for his lack of creativity even if those players were far less than stars. Like when the crusaders were forced to pick a below average ten as their 12 to make up for them being bereft if options with carter at ten.

    THere is similarity there between carter and goodhue, goodhue too is highly skilled but not particularly creative. Alb is very creative. The main issue with the all blacks was the same of issue of creativity not suiting knockout rugby. Neuropsychology says creativity can’t really exist under pressure, different brainwaves are produced. Stress creates tunnel vision too, hardly appropriate for creative rugby. The all blacks turned out to have too little experience in their creative players to overcome the pressure. Maybe pressure handling will become the focus of top sides that Need creativity to overcome weaker packs. The other factor that made alb look not so good against England was Tuilagi and Farrells defence, which allowed alb to make plenty of ground as long as he couldn’t get an offload away, and of course curry undies would be at the next ruck. England deserves a lot of kudos.
     
  12. Woldog

    Woldog First XV

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Messages:
    1,617
    Country Flag:

    Australia

    Club or Nation:

    Reds

    The Queensland Reds used to run this option with Berrick Barnes and Quade Cooper changing from 10 and 12 when they felt like it with mixed success. I much prefer the 10 and 15 play maker combination. Hell if I had been in charge of the Reds I'd have trialed Quade Cooper as a full back simply for the counter attacking opportunity. It comes down to how well your playmakers can mesh though. The Barnes Cooper combo didn't work because they were such different style of players.
    Barnes was boring and consistent, Quade was exciting and unpredictable. It's like using a musket and a modern sniper rifle, One is consistent and you know what it'll do 98% of the time, the other is unpredictable but when it hits oh boyyyy
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. TRF_heineken

    TRF_heineken RIP #J9

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Messages:
    11,185
    Location:
    Polokwane, South Africa
    Country Flag:

    South Africa

    Club or Nation:

    South Africa

    I guess that depends on the players you have. The role of playmaker is a vague concept, as there are various ways in how a person is being designated as the playmaker.

    If we look at SA, in 2007 and now, we had only 1 playmaker, and that was our fly half. But what we had was a general, at scrumhalf. Fourie Du Preez and Faf de Klerk. They decide on the tempo and tactics. Our flyhalf behind them tells them if we should kick or run, and dictates the game from there, sometimes by not even handling the ball.

    While our 12 is the defense organiser. and the general and the playmaker joins him in organising the rest of the team when we don't have the ball.

    Willie isn't our playmaker, he never has been our playmaker. He has freedom, and can do whatever he wants (as long as he catches the ball).
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Bruce_ma_goose

    Bruce_ma_goose First XV

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2016
    Messages:
    3,835
    Country Flag:

    Scotland

    Club or Nation:

    Italy

    Apologies, I could have been more precise, but it was already an essay! I was thinking the following are changes that bring less attacking threat (which isn't necessarily to say they are worse players).

    Mounga replacing BB (agree on Carter and same with Cruden, more flair does not equal better player)
    ALB replacing SBW / Nonu
    Goodhue / Crotty replacing Conrad Smith

    I know the ALB opinion is contentious and I didn't see any of the RC games, or much of the Chiefs this year live - so maybe was looking great. He did look handy in the opening RWC match. I just think ALB was absolutely incredible along with DMac in Rennie's last year at the Chiefs, but hasn't kicked on since then (I can't remember if he got an injury or if my perception is based on the Chiefs post-Rennie slump). I'd still pick ALB way ahead of SBW this year, but from what I have seen he hasn't yet become the player that can turn the tide of an international match.
     
  15. big ginger 8

    big ginger 8 International

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2011
    Messages:
    8,839
    Country Flag:

    Ireland

    Club or Nation:

    Leinster

    Australia having 4 lads with experience at 10 at the start of this decade is where everyone should strive to be.

    Dual playmakers isn't exactly a new trend and I feel it's only being talked about because of Barrett being moved to 15. It's one of the more effective ways of dealing with the rugby league blitz defence which is used by most teams even if it's not 100% successful and I imagine it won't ever fully go away but will fade when a defensive system regularly stops it.
     
  16. Umaga's Witness

    Umaga's Witness First XV

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
    Messages:
    1,114
    Country Flag:

    New Zealand

    Club or Nation:

    Hurricanes

    I see.

    Keep watching alb. I’m biased because he’s been my favourite player since before he could make the starting team at the chiefs, but I’m fairly sure he will soon be a renowned superstar. He does a hell of a lot of unseen things. I’m a particular fan of players who bring extra elements on top of the core skills for their position, as it really can make a massive difference having those bonus skills. Think Umaga, who got more turnovers when playing centre than most sevens, during the heyday of the fetcher.
     
  17. Derpus

    Derpus Bench Player

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2017
    Messages:
    684
    Country Flag:

    Australia

    Club or Nation:

    Waratahs

    It surely depends on your approach to any particular game. South Africa basically played a style in that final that required 0.5 playmakers (unless you consider Faf a playmaker). Where as England went for 1 against a running Australian side and then 2 against the All Blacks.

    Straya had two for the majority of the previous world cup and persisted with two for a few years after with mixed/poor results.
     
Enjoyed this thread? Register to post your reply - click here!

Share This Page

-->