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James Graham does he run the ball enough


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#1 Allan Marsden

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 11:26 AM

The best prop in SL and props need to keep teams on their toes by mixing up taking the ball into contact and/or turning to pass and set up play. However, in some games I find Graham opts for the latter too much to the point his ability to take the ball into contact is lost. Last night showed just how gifted and clever he is taking the ball into contact for his try. A fantastic effort.

#2 bewareshadows

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 12:06 PM

QUOTE (Allan Marsden @ Sep 11 2010, 12:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The best prop in SL and props need to keep teams on their toes by mixing up taking the ball into contact and/or turning to pass and set up play. However, in some games I find Graham opts for the latter too much to the point his ability to take the ball into contact is lost. Last night showed just how gifted and clever he is taking the ball into contact for his try. A fantastic effort.



I can understand where you are coming from, however if you look at game theory, just because you have a strong element to your game does not mean you should be predominate in using it. I too get frustrated sometimes when he gives his short offloads, but now it's got to the case where team are expecting it and so his runs become even better. Game theory means the opposition will adapt to your strengths so better not to use your biggest strengths too often as it can become nuilfied, if you use a lesser strength more often then the opposition will tend to adapt to that strength instead.

Not sure if graham is a studier of higher mathematics and statistics, it may simply be by chance but either way it works well for him. That and his natural ability.
Super League the only place in the world where people still believe that less competitors and a closed market to new competition will improve the quality of the product.

Even the Chinese and the Cubans gave up on these marxist principles years ago.


SL with a reduced number of competitors and a closed market = North Korea.

#3 Allan Marsden

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 02:15 PM

QUOTE (bewareshadows @ Sep 11 2010, 01:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I can understand where you are coming from, however if you look at game theory, just because you have a strong element to your game does not mean you should be predominate in using it. I too get frustrated sometimes when he gives his short offloads, but now it's got to the case where team are expecting it and so his runs become even better. Game theory means the opposition will adapt to your strengths so better not to use your biggest strengths too often as it can become nuilfied, if you use a lesser strength more often then the opposition will tend to adapt to that strength instead.

Not sure if graham is a studier of higher mathematics and statistics, it may simply be by chance but either way it works well for him. That and his natural ability.


Very true but at times he is 9 passes to 1 run which as you say is a shock but if that 1 run is close to the line does that not become predictable then. Prefer him to mix and match far more personally. Still the best prop in SL though.

#4 Rubber Schnib

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 02:21 PM

QUOTE (bewareshadows @ Sep 11 2010, 12:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I can understand where you are coming from, however if you look at game theory


If you're going to invoke game theory, you should be showing your calculations at this point.

People expect Cunningham to barrel over at close range - he's been doing it for years, and people are well aware of it. Nontheless, he still does it. There seems to be an assumption in your post that the opposition are unaware of Graham's strengths, and are somehow not trying to negate them in the first place. It also seems to assume that Graham will not adapt in tandem with the opposition.

Bandying around terms like "game theory" may add a sheen of technicality to the post, but it's not helpful unless you're actually doing the maths and rigorously showing why he should not play to his strengths. It's like saying a winger shouldn't run fast, because doing so make the opposition try to shut them down - as if they weren't trying to do so in the first place.

Extra attention on a single player can be a good thing in a team sport, as it creates more space for other people in the team.
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#5 Saint Billinge

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 02:50 PM

QUOTE (Allan Marsden @ Sep 11 2010, 12:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The best prop in SL and props need to keep teams on their toes by mixing up taking the ball into contact and/or turning to pass and set up play. However, in some games I find Graham opts for the latter too much to the point his ability to take the ball into contact is lost. Last night showed just how gifted and clever he is taking the ball into contact for his try. A fantastic effort.


I'm sure Graham was top on metres gained last season, if so has his role changed in the team!

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#6 Hannibal

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 04:56 PM

QUOTE (Saint Billinge @ Sep 11 2010, 03:50 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm sure Graham was top on metres gained last season, if so has his role changed in the team!

He's top this year as well, so it's a stupid argument.

#7 giwildgo

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 05:11 PM

QUOTE (Hannibal @ Sep 11 2010, 05:56 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
He's top this year as well, so it's a stupid argument.

Made worse by the fact that he also had the most carries of any prop in SL. Graham's greatest asset is his immense workload which is far superior to any other prop in the league and given the number of carries he is bound to have to mix the play up a bit to avoid being predictable.

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#8 bendyas

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 05:33 PM

QUOTE (giwildgo @ Sep 11 2010, 06:11 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Made worse by the fact that he also had the most carries of any prop in SL. Graham's greatest asset is his immense workload which is far superior to any other prop in the league and given the number of carries he is bound to have to mix the play up a bit to avoid being predictable.


Which if he doesn't great a proper break / pre-season soon will be the cause of his demise ala Fielden.



#9 carlos

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 06:09 PM

am sure the stats back up the work he does. the plays you refer to are set moves, we use them in my tea,, call it 21s. two props run hit half back who hits the next half. its quality play and skill

#10 Northern Sol

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 07:14 PM

QUOTE (giwildgo @ Sep 11 2010, 06:11 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Made worse by the fact that he also had the most carries of any prop in SL. Graham's greatest asset is his immense workload which is far superior to any other prop in the league and given the number of carries he is bound to have to mix the play up a bit to avoid being predictable.


That and the fact that if he carried the ball more often, he would probably have to be "interchanged" more often. I suspect that he is more valuable on the field than off even if he rations his hit-ups.

#11 Northern Sol

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 07:16 PM

QUOTE (Rubber Schnib @ Sep 11 2010, 03:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If you're going to invoke game theory, you should be showing your calculations at this point.

People expect Cunningham to barrel over at close range - he's been doing it for years, and people are well aware of it. Nontheless, he still does it. There seems to be an assumption in your post that the opposition are unaware of Graham's strengths, and are somehow not trying to negate them in the first place. It also seems to assume that Graham will not adapt in tandem with the opposition.

Bandying around terms like "game theory" may add a sheen of technicality to the post, but it's not helpful unless you're actually doing the maths and rigorously showing why he should not play to his strengths. It's like saying a winger shouldn't run fast, because doing so make the opposition try to shut them down - as if they weren't trying to do so in the first place.

Extra attention on a single player can be a good thing in a team sport, as it creates more space for other people in the team.


I suspect that the issue here is that everyone suspects that Cunningham will "barrel over" but nobody can do much about it and hence the two situations are quite different.

#12 bewareshadows

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 07:34 PM

QUOTE (Rubber Schnib @ Sep 11 2010, 03:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If you're going to invoke game theory, you should be showing your calculations at this point.

People expect Cunningham to barrel over at close range - he's been doing it for years, and people are well aware of it. Nontheless, he still does it. There seems to be an assumption in your post that the opposition are unaware of Graham's strengths, and are somehow not trying to negate them in the first place. It also seems to assume that Graham will not adapt in tandem with the opposition.

Bandying around terms like "game theory" may add a sheen of technicality to the post, but it's not helpful unless you're actually doing the maths and rigorously showing why he should not play to his strengths. It's like saying a winger shouldn't run fast, because doing so make the opposition try to shut them down - as if they weren't trying to do so in the first place.

Extra attention on a single player can be a good thing in a team sport, as it creates more space for other people in the team.



Right I wrote quite a bit and then lost it due to not having logged in so I'm just going to take on each point.

If you're going to invoke game theory, you should be showing your calculations at this point.

Why? Firstly where would you get the figures for the defenders options that they take when defending Graham? I could get numbers for how many times Graham runs and how many he passes but the defenders options are not recorded and would be tricky for the statistions to read.

People expect Cunningham to barrel over at close range - he's been doing it for years, and people are well aware of it. Nontheless, he still does it. There seems to be an assumption in your post that the opposition are unaware of Graham's strengths, and are somehow not trying to negate them in the first place. It also seems to assume that Graham will not adapt in tandem with the opposition.

Wrong? In my post I make the point of saying that teams start to expect Graham to offload which makes his running even more effective. My point is that with game theory the more elements to your game the more the opposition may have to anticipate which can make your strongest elements such as running even more effective.

For example, if a defender has only to anticipate a strong run, they can counter this, with Graham adding more of a passing game to his own game. These means the defender has to cover more than one option when he gets the ball so if Graham runs the ball and the defender has anticipated the short pass as he does it quite often, then the results can be even greater than if graham just used his biggest strength of running the ball each time.


Bandying around terms like "game theory" may add a sheen of technicality to the post, but it's not helpful unless you're actually doing the maths and rigorously showing why he should not play to his strengths. It's like saying a winger shouldn't run fast, because doing so make the opposition try to shut them down - as if they weren't trying to do so in the first place.

I take it from this comment I've done something to offend you, don't know what as I don't think I've even responded to one of your posts before. But you want rigorous maths which game theory does not rely on. Game theory runs perfectly well with assigned figures or letters. And your example of the winger is also wrong, the comparision would be for the winger to run fast to try and beat his man or cut inside.

A good example of this is Ade Gardner a winger who predominatly cuts inside on nearly every occasion. This makes him easier to defend as the opposition can pretty much garauntee that he will cut inside on his runs and so not have to overly worry about him running around them.

Where as someone like Darren Albert could do both equally well which means the opposition needed to cover both and IMHO made him more effective.

If you want the maths I'll try.

Forward runs the ball

Defender marks value of say 6-7
man for a good forward


F runs ball F passes the ball

D marks 7 5
man


D anticipates 9 2
pass


So by adding more to the forwards game even though it's not as effective as his simple strong running can make his running actually more effective.

If you want to prove this then you would have to compare meters made before and after this was added to his game. However how much you assign to his extra dimension and how much to more strength is a choice only each individual can make from themselves.


If you want more solid proof or solid numbers you need to go elsewhere, but the theory is still sound.

Meters per match

2003 25 meters
2004 34.2 meters
2005 64.5
2006 102.2
2007 108.2
2008 157.2
2009 190.9
2010 155.2

So the question is when did graham add the short passing to his game was it in 2006 or 2008 when his average run per game jumped and was that down to adding the extra dimension or was it simply more strength in and work in the gym.

Thats not my call but game theory is an explanation.

Super League the only place in the world where people still believe that less competitors and a closed market to new competition will improve the quality of the product.

Even the Chinese and the Cubans gave up on these marxist principles years ago.


SL with a reduced number of competitors and a closed market = North Korea.

#13 bewareshadows

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 07:41 PM

Sorry about the tables but they did not work.

But if you compare to a forward who is put on the pitch simply just to run like Feka

2006 109m
2007 110m
2008 115m
2009 93m
2010 65m


Would his running become more effective if he had another dimension such as passing.
Super League the only place in the world where people still believe that less competitors and a closed market to new competition will improve the quality of the product.

Even the Chinese and the Cubans gave up on these marxist principles years ago.


SL with a reduced number of competitors and a closed market = North Korea.

#14 Allan Marsden

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 08:00 PM

I don't buy into this Graham will burn out argument. He has a classic prop build and an amazing engine for one of such size. The reason I created this thread is yes I know they are set moves but in some recent games they must have been running the set move ad infinitum because that is all he seemed to do but as last night showed he is such a good carrier into contact that he should run it in at least 50% of his carries.

Fantastic player and one I hope will go to the NRL before he is past his peak and test himself in the ultimate competition.

#15 Northern Sol

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 08:49 PM

QUOTE (Allan Marsden @ Sep 11 2010, 09:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't buy into this Graham will burn out argument. He has a classic prop build and an amazing engine for one of such size.


We're talking about the modern game here, props don't usually play 80 minutes.

#16 steef

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 09:06 PM

Why does a prop who makes more carries than every other prop and every other player bar Rangi Chase need to make more carries? He does need to spend a little less time on the pitch though or he'll be cooked a good few years before he should be.
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#17 MrFussy

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 09:47 PM

QUOTE (steef @ Sep 11 2010, 10:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Why does a prop who makes more carries than every other prop and every other player bar Rangi Chase need to make more carries? He does need to spend a little less time on the pitch though or he'll be cooked a good few years before he should be.


If Fa'asavalu and Fozzard hadn't been out for extended periods this year then I think that would have been the case. Hopefully the recruitment of Josh Perry and LMS will allow for it a bit more next season.

#18 giwildgo

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 08:59 AM

QUOTE (bendyas @ Sep 11 2010, 06:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Which if he doesn't great a proper break / pre-season soon will be the cause of his demise ala Fielden.

Accept your point and I've been saying that about Graham for a couple of years - however statements about Fielden's demise appear to be wide of the mark on this season's form. A couple of underpar seasons yes and clearly he is no longer the 80 minute workhorse that played for Bradford, but in my view he has regained his status as one of the top 5 British props in SL (alongside Morley, Peacock, Lynch and Graham).

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#19 giwildgo

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 09:07 AM

QUOTE (bewareshadows @ Sep 11 2010, 08:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Sorry about the tables but they did not work.

But if you compare to a forward who is put on the pitch simply just to run like Feka

2006 109m
2007 110m
2008 115m
2009 93m
2010 65m


Would his running become more effective if he had another dimension such as passing.

Its arguable that Feka is an incomparable case - the drop off from 2008 onwards also coincides with efforts to improve his fitness and drop his weight - the reason being that lack of fitness was leaving him exposed in marker defence and allowing easy scoot yardage due to his repeated inability to make it back the 10. Wigan in 2008 appeared to settle for a compromise, acknowledging that improved fitness from reduced weight would help his defence but slightly reduce his attacking impact. Unfortunately the defensive improvement was not enough for Maguire in 2010 and often saw Feka subbed after a single spell of 5-10m and not returning for the rest of the game, hence the big dropoff in average yardage this season.

Edited by giwildgo, 12 September 2010 - 09:07 AM.

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#20 bendyas

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 09:45 AM

QUOTE (giwildgo @ Sep 12 2010, 09:59 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Accept your point and I've been saying that about Graham for a couple of years - however statements about Fielden's demise appear to be wide of the mark on this season's form. A couple of underpar seasons yes and clearly he is no longer the 80 minute workhorse that played for Bradford, but in my view he has regained his status as one of the top 5 British props in SL (alongside Morley, Peacock, Lynch and Graham).


Yep.

Should have put the word temporary in there in regards to Fielden. Great prop.






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