[TRF World XV] Fullback - Round 1

Discussion in 'General Rugby Union' started by TRF Mr Fish, Mar 31, 2014.

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World XV Fullback

Poll closed Apr 2, 2014.
  1. Mike Brown (ENG)

    5 vote(s)
    16.1%
  2. Leigh Halfpenny (WAL)

    2 vote(s)
    6.5%
  3. Rob Kearney (IRE)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Brice Dulin (FRA)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Stuart Hogg (SCO)

    1 vote(s)
    3.2%
  6. Israel Folau (AUS)

    17 vote(s)
    54.8%
  7. Ben Smith (NZL)

    6 vote(s)
    19.4%
  8. Israel Dagg (NZL)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. Willie le Roux (RSA)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  10. Gio Aplon (RSA)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. TRF Mr Fish

    TRF Mr Fish Your Piscine Overlord

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    Obviously we've had a torrent of recent threads discussing who are the top players in a number of different positions, but I'd like to see a bit of order here and help us come up with a World XV, picked by the great minds of The Rugby Forum. It's a pretty easy process - there'll be a number of candidates in each position, and a simple vote will decide which two players go through to the second round, where the winner will be placed into the World XV.

    This is based on who you would pick in the team right now, assuming the player was fit. That means take into consideration current form (but for players like Israel Dagg, you may want to consider that he steps up when playing internationally), but don't forget that class is permanent. Players such as Sam Warburton and Dan Carter are still in contention, providing you think they are good enough to make the team normally!

    First up is fullback.
     
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  3. TRF Mr Fish

    TRF Mr Fish Your Piscine Overlord

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    For me you can't go past Ben Smith. He hasn't spent a lot of time at fullback for the All Blacks (which is criminal!), but given how well he performs there for the Highlanders, as well as his general international form at wing, I think he justifies the selection. He's consistently one of the top three performers in every match he plays at Super Rugby level, and makes very few mistakes whilst also having a great eye for the gap. His defence is good, and his ability under the high ball is becoming a real skill of his lately.

    Second for me would probably be Israel Folau. He's such a major threat with ball in hand due to his speed and power and he's probably the best player in the world under the high ball. The only thing holding him back for me is that his defence is a bit suspect, positionally more so than physically.

    It was tough to pick between the two, but in the end I went for Smith.
     
  4. big ginger 8

    big ginger 8 International

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    It's really tough to pick one as the standard of fullbacks is really high.

    Going through the list: Mike Brown is a really good runner of the ball decent amount of pace and squirmy as ****. Has a great ability to breaks the first tackle and once you do that when counterattacking the odds are you'll beat another few. Decent strike runner, good under the high ball and has a raking punt.

    Leigh Halfpenny, so ignoring his goalkicking which is obviously class but the aim of course is to judge him as a fullback. In my mind very very solid with the odd sprinkling of class. Has a huge boot, excellent positioning, dependale under a highball, superb one on one tackler and every now and then come up with a nice counter attack. Can also playmake from 10 if needed.

    Rob Kearney, when at his best nearly unplayable. Was unparallelled under the high ball until Folau came along. Huge boot and can kick decently off his right. Very powerful runner has boshed numerous props so make a very good strike runner. A bit blinkered on the counterattack or any time he has the ball but does have a decent pass. Not the best tackler in the world though not as bad as some suggest. Has a booming drop goal in him if required.

    Brice Dulin, excellent counter attacker. Really good at linking with his back three and is a threat with ball in hand due to bags of pace and a good step. Nice enough boot on him and pretty good under the high ball. A smart defender.

    Stuart Hogg, complete livewire in attack. So much pace and really agile. Needs to be a bit more of a team player. Good boot, not the best defender.

    One word comes to mind when I think of Folau: freak. He is a complete and utter freak of nature. There are questions over his postioning and defense but his attack is unbelievable. Probably the most dangerous player in the world in the air, is a strong and fast runner with an incredible ability to offload. In the end he got my vote.

    Ben Smith is someone I find hard to judge as a fullback on this list due to a lack of time there at international level. He is a really smart player with a fantastic eye for a gap and an intuitive counter attacker.

    Israel Dagg, at international level generally pretty good. I'm not as big a fan of him as others but he is good under the highball, has a big boot, is a good runner with nice distribution and solid defensively.

    Willie le Roux, a proper flair player. Great playmaking game, a silky runner with a wide array of kicks to his name. Does make a decent amount of errors becasue he tries so much. Top class.

    I haven't seen enough of Aplon at fullback fullstop to comment on him there.
     
  5. ImScotty

    ImScotty First XV

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    i would say israel folau, clearly playing really well even though it could be mike brown too
     
  6. Big Ewis

    Big Ewis BANNED!!!

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    Folau gets my vote. But I must admit, I'm biased by having only seen him internationally (though I've seen many SR clips too), being shell shocked by his flash tbh (and sexy hairdo...) and if he's got flaws in the detail of his game I don't know them...but I go with Folau.
     
  7. TRF_stormer2010

    TRF_stormer2010 Super Moderator

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    He has got some minor issues with his game ITO positioning on defense and he hasn't been tested so much but part of the reason opposition aren't testing him is because you just don't want him to have the ball and he will have the ball if it goes near him. It's like the ball favors him. Those minor issues don't matter though if you're scoring two tries a game as standard.
     
  8. TheSaffycen

    TheSaffycen First XV

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    4 games 8 tries.....nuff said watch this against the Brumbies
     
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  9. ragerancher

    ragerancher International

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    I went for Folau as I have seen him play brilliantly from FB. However I do think Brown is a similar class and may displace Folau but he really needs to be tested vs SH sides before I'd be confident in saying that.
     
  10. Big Ewis

    Big Ewis BANNED!!!

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    yeah sure I saw that try Saffycen. I mean, an Aussie ex-league guy, what else do you want...

    stormer
    : well that's why I voted for him. Haven't seen enough flaw that I would hesitate to reward his quality. But I know a guy like Dulin more because I see him more often so maybe if I followed him more frequently I'd find little things that would lower my idea of him, so that's why I say my vote for him is biased...but in all common sense, from what I've seen, yeah he's the best 15.
     
  11. nzlizard

    nzlizard Bench Player

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    Voted for Folau, just over Ben Smith.

    I think Smith has better defensive positional play but Folau is a beast and just an awesome attacking weapon.
     
  12. lynam1104

    lynam1104 First XV

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    For every try Folua lets in he seems to have score 2 more to make up for it, hes been sensational with the Tahs this year.
     
  13. DuncTheDoodle

    DuncTheDoodle First XV

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    Halfpenny is the best kicker and best defender.

    Kearney is the best under the high ball.

    Folau is the best counter-attacker.

    No, le Roux is the best counter-attacker.

    No, Smith is the best counter-attacker.

    Dagg is the best attacker, counter or otherwise.

    Brown is the most well-rounded.

    Dulin and Hogg are both bloody brilliant players.

    I do not know who to vote for. I'm leaning towards Leigh Halfpenny, because when the field is as close, national bias is the only thing left to sort it out.

    *Votes for Ben Smith*
     
  14. Big Ewis

    Big Ewis BANNED!!!

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    This is such a brilliant try. No SH from the 6N would make such a play, free up so much space from a dummy like that, we'd just have ourselves a nice ruck right after the quick-play kick. And the kick going right, what an unorthodox attacking idea. Brilliant. This is really about Genia lol, sorry, but was looking at nice Folau tries and this came up:

     
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  15. Big Ewis

    Big Ewis BANNED!!!

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    just look at that one through a congested Puma defensive traffic *shakes head*:



    He looks like Brad Pitt in Troy in pure war mode, fending off with his shield, crouches low, gets up avoids hit, moves sideways, writhes through attack, back up again, hop right...
     
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  16. TRF Mr Fish

    TRF Mr Fish Your Piscine Overlord

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    I don't think a second round is necessary, given how comfortably Folau won this one...
     
  17. goodNumber10

    goodNumber10 International

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    Indeed.

    It would be really easy to dismiss the guy as living off other peoples skills and vision - but he gets himself in try scoring positions and then has the skill to finsih them. The second try 1st test against the lions, he just turns everyone inside out.

    The try against Italy, the double miss from cooper, his swerve and step is just fantastic, he's already picked a line drifting off the pass and it just perfect how he and cooper clicked - the pass is perfect and Folau just waits until he's in the space before plucking it out of the air.
     
  18. TRF_stormer2010

    TRF_stormer2010 Super Moderator

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    I think Folau has- in a very short time which only adds to the achievement IMO- gone beyond the hype around him and it's not just the ability he has shown to avoid being taken down but I have yet to see him falter under 1 single up-and-under. His positioning and defense is not poor at all. Certainly not the best but far from poor, Le Roux's defense is far, far more suspect (and I'd still include him in a Bok XV) and Folau will only get better ITO positional play.
     
  19. goodNumber10

    goodNumber10 International

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    How does that work then? :)
     
  20. Big Ewis

    Big Ewis BANNED!!!

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    ah. Busted.
     
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