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Six of the Best: Rampaging Rugby League wingers


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#1 Total Rugby League

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 11:39 AM

<p>After Ryan Hall’s incredible performance in the Tetley’s Challenge Cup final against Castleford Tigers on Saturday, we’ve taken inspiration from the man dubbed ‘World’s Best Winger’ for this week’s Six of the Best.</p>
<p>Hall is well known for his incredible feats of strength close to the line – as we saw with his superb brace of tries at the weekend. So we’ve been asking you to give us six more incredibly strong, robust wingers that are just too hard to handle for opposition wingers. Whether it’s past or present, or Super League or NRL, there are plenty to choose from – and here are the six you picked more than any other!</p>
<p><strong>Manu Vatuvei<br /></strong>A one-club man for the New Zealand Warriors since 2004, Vatuvei still remains one of the biggest, strongest wingers in world rugby. Vatuvei was top scorer for the Warriors last season, and was the first man to score 100 tries for the club. He’s scored some ridiculous tries during his career, including some incredibly freakish scores that many wingers wouldn’t dream of attempting. Still a New Zealand international to this day, will Vatuvei ever sign up to play in Super League?</p>
<p><strong>Jason Robinson<a href="http://www.totalrl.c...inson-Jason.jpg"><img class="alignright wp-image-2738181" src="http://www.totalrl.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Robinson-Jason-300x150.jpg" alt="Robinson-Jason" width="218" height="109" /></a><br /></strong>Far from the biggest winger ever to step foot on a Rugby League pitch, Jason Robinson was still one of the most powerful wingers the early years of Super League ever saw. He was also blessed with blistering pace and an incredible ability to beat defenders – all of which made him one of the most popular wingers in Wigan’s history. Even in rugby union Robinson continued his incredible reputation, winning the World Cup with England in 2003.</p>
<p><strong>Lesley Vainikolo<br /></strong>By far the most popular nomination for this week’s Six of the Best was former Bradford Bulls legend Lesley Vainikolo. As Super League defences all across the country quickly found out, Vainikolo was a real once in a lifetime winger, and had a fearsome reputation for being one of the most destructive wingers in Bradford’s all-conquering side of the early-2000′s. A quick YouTube search would produce some memorable moments – including <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQOLtsfn678" target="_blank">one that Martin Aspinwall would probably want to forget</a>!</p>
<p><strong>Ryan Hall<a href="http://www.totalrl.c...-Warrington.jpg"><img class="alignright wp-image-2741259" src="http://www.totalrl.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Ryan-Hall-Leeds-Warrington-300x150.jpg" alt="Ryan-Hall-Leeds-Warrington" width="218" height="109" /></a><br /></strong>Hall himself couldn’t be left out of a list of this type – with his performance on Saturday one of the greatest from a winger in Wembley history. The England international simply loves scoring at Wembley, and Rob Burrow described him after the game as a “prop playing on the wing”! That may not be strictly true, but with a physique most forwards would be proud of, there’s little doubting Hall’s stature as one of the finest wingers in world rugby at this moment in time.</p>
<p><strong>Pat Richards<br /></strong>Richards left a huge hole on the wing when he departed Wigan last year to head back to the NRL with Wests Tigers – but most Super League defences will have been glad to see the back of him. Standing at over six feet tall, Richards was a real presence throughout his years in England, and gained a real reputation for being incredibly tough to handle. A goal-kicking phenomenon too, Richards is one of the greatest wingers to grace the English game in recent years.</p>
<p><strong>Fereti (Freddie) Tuilagi<br /></strong>Tuilagi didn’t get as many nominations as plenty of other wingers on this list – but he was such a cult favourite amongst Halifax and St Helens fans, we couldn’t leave him out! He signed for Fax after the 1995 World Cup, scoring 29 tries in two seasons with the West Yorkshire club. A move to St Helens came around, and he played a number of positions for the Saints – including in the back-row, which is no mean feat for a man who made his name on the wing! Tuilagi was a real monster in the early years of Super League, and has to be regarded as one of the strongest wingers to grace the modern game.</p>
<p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.totalrl.c...league-wingers/">Six of the Best: Rampaging Rugby League wingers</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.totalrl.com">Rugby League news and Super League scores | Total Rugby League</a>.</p>

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#2 OMEGA

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 01:07 PM

Billy Boston - Wigan
Joe Ropati - Manly Sea Eagles
Tevita Vaikona - Hull FC
Eric Grothe - Parramatta
Green Vigo - Wigan
Josh Bostock - Wakefield

#3 Futtocks

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 01:13 PM

Wot no Paul Carige? :P 


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#4 Amber Avenger

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 02:48 PM

If we are only going for one winger from the Bulls, then I’d be an idiot to suggest anyone but big Lesley. However an honourable mention must go to Tavita Vaikona – who was basically Lesley before Lesley hit Super League. His hit rate might not have been as good as the Volcano (not many wingers are) but it was still very decent. I remember his strength was utterly immense and he was pretty pacey too. He was always pretty instrumental in our success, certainly one of the best wingers in the league around the turn of the century even if history has seen him a tad overshadowed by Vainikolo


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#5 Konkrete

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 12:32 PM

If we are only going for one winger from the Bulls, then I’d be an idiot to suggest anyone but big Lesley. However an honourable mention must go to Tavita Vaikona – who was basically Lesley before Lesley hit Super League. His hit rate might not have been as good as the Volcano (not many wingers are) but it was still very decent. I remember his strength was utterly immense and he was pretty pacey too. He was always pretty instrumental in our success, certainly one of the best wingers in the league around the turn of the century even if history has seen him a tad overshadowed by Vainikolo

 

I'd go further than that.  I'd say that TV was a much more skilful winger than Les. Nothing wrong with raw power and speed at all, but I'd say that TV had better hands and certainly a superior side-step (not that Les really needed one).

 

Quick mention for ex Knights winger Cooper Vuna as well.  Would have liked to have seen him at Odsal during his career.


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#6 johnh1

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 05:26 PM

Keith Fielding for me. I'd have loved to see him in a foot race with Martin Offiah.

#7 boxhead

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 08:03 PM

Eric Grothe senior is the best I have seen.



#8 dkw

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 08:30 PM

Ike Southward for town was apparently a hell of a winger, before my time though. Had the pleasure of seeing Des Drummond at town in his twilight years, but saw plenty of him on tv and he played massively above his stature.

#9 back to the future

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 09:07 PM

Eric Grothe senior is the best I have seen.

Agree

Back further Roy Mathias could and would run through a brick wall



#10 northamptoncougar

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 09:22 PM

John Wasyliw - try scoring and goal kicking machine

#11 northernrob

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 11:14 AM

Cordle at Northern was pretty good, though did tend to drop the ball a bit from what I remember.

I wouldn't have included Jason Robinson, as I don't think he ever rampaged !



#12 Tonka

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 11:19 AM

Inga Tuigamala



#13 Futtocks

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 11:21 AM

Inga Tuigamala

Inga was only a winga (sorry!) in RU. He played at centa (sorry again!) in RL.

 

Definitely rampaging, though. Definitely!


A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it isn’t open. Frank Zappa (1940 - 1993)


#14 Eldujo

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 12:44 PM

Big Manu for me. Not necessarily the best winger but I doubt there's anyone defenders like playing against less.

 

Never saw Grothe play so might have a little dabble at youtube instead of working to check him out.



#15 Futtocks

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 01:13 PM

Big Manu for me. Not necessarily the best winger but I doubt there's anyone defenders like playing against less.

 

Never saw Grothe play so might have a little dabble at youtube instead of working to check him out.

Here you go. Picture quality's not great and the aspect ratio's out, but some good action.

 


A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it isn’t open. Frank Zappa (1940 - 1993)


#16 Eldujo

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 02:44 PM

Here you go. Picture quality's not great and the aspect ratio's out, but some good action.

 

Pretty good, like the intent he runs the ball back with, always nice to see a winger who's not too afraid of the touchline also. Better feet than Vatuvei for sure, Manu's more of a run through you type while Eric seems to have twigged that sometimes it's better to run around the defender.



#17 Futtocks

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 02:56 PM

Pretty good, like the intent he runs the ball back with, always nice to see a winger who's not too afraid of the touchline also. Better feet than Vatuvei for sure, Manu's more of a run through you type while Eric seems to have twigged that sometimes it's better to run around the defender.

Manu doesn't care how he steamrollers tacklers, but you look at Grothe and if he can't get a clear gap, he often still steps enough so the other player has to move sideways so he's harder to hit solidly. He makes them make a grab with their arms instead of hammering into him with all the weight of their bodies. Good hand-off, too, and pace. A superb winger, and rightly lauded by those who were lucky enough to see him in his prime.


A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it isn’t open. Frank Zappa (1940 - 1993)


#18 Railway End

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 03:02 PM

Not necessarily better than the wingers already mentioned but here's a few more "blockbuster" types that spring to mind:

David Plange (Cas)
Norman Francis (Leeds)
Gerald Cordle (Bradford)
Wilf George (Halifax)

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#19 Railway End

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 03:09 PM

Manu doesn't care how he steamrollers tacklers, but you look at Grothe and if he can't get a clear gap, he often still steps enough so the other player has to move sideways so he's harder to hit solidly. He makes them make a grab with their arms instead of hammering into him with all the weight of their bodies. Good hand-off, too, and pace. A superb winger, and rightly lauded by those who were lucky enough to see him in his prime.


Remember him during his off season stint with Leeds in 84/85?. Whilst I don't think he ever got out of third gear over here, he was still a scary sight at a time when most wingers were 11 stone wet through!

"Rugby League is rugby in the simplest form in the sense that it's about great defence, great tackling technique, good handling, good passing, catching and great kicking."

 

 Stuart Lancaster - England Rugby Union Head Coach - October 2013


#20 Futtocks

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 03:37 PM

Remember him during his off season stint with Leeds in 84/85?. Whilst I don't think he ever got out of third gear over here, he was still a scary sight at a time when most wingers were 11 stone wet through!

Very much a 21st-century winger ahead of his time. I occasionally felt sorry for Eric Junior - a very good player indeed, but with his dad's name, legend and record hanging over him all the time.


A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it isn’t open. Frank Zappa (1940 - 1993)





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