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Cofi

What makes a stand-off stand out?

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I've been trying to understand the role of the stand-off a bit better.

In a previous thread, I've learnt that the loose forward and, very often, the fullback is utilised by the hooker and the scrum-half in attacking plays. In the games I've watched thus far, I've seen some fullbacks throw some excellent long cut-out passes, a skill that is traditionally (unless I'm mistaken) associated with the stand-off.

Is the stand-off still a part of that trinity of 'pivotal' playmakers constantly involved in the thick of the game throughout or is there a trend developing where his carefully-timed running, his kicking, and accurate passing are being used towards the end of the tackle count and/or when the play is usually out wide and where he can best interlink with the centres and wingers? (Of course, this may not be a trend, it's just that I haven't been watching the game long enough to know instinctively.)

If this is a stupid question, I apologise in advance!

Cheers.

Edited by Cofi

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I hate these questions when i'm at work, i don't have time to give this thought or contribute properly.

However, i think that the defensive structure of a team has a say in the standoffs role. Playing 1-10 accross the line, the 6 will defend in the same channel as the 13, usually 3 or 4 in from the touchline dependant on the second rower / centre. Because of this, i think that the 6 has to be an effective defender rather than a playmaker.

Teams tend to play both sides of the ruck with the 7 one and 6 the other. However, i'd see the 6 and 13 split with the seven going both sides with the 1. Then you'd have a 7 who can control with the options of another ball player and runner in the 6 or 13. The one would follow the 7 as Slater does Cronk.

Gone a bit off tangent but hopefully i can skive and contribute more as we go.

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As with most of these position-specific questions, much of it can depend on the personnel available and the coach in charge.

I know I often bring Briers up on these threads, but he is probably one of the few remaining quality 'traditional' stand-offs playing in SL.

In basic terms, often they will be 2nd receiver on attacking plays and will link with the wider players (usually centres, fullbacks and 2nd rowers). They will often have plenty of assists as they will be responsible for putting players through the gaps (watch Briers' pass to Atkins on Sunday for a perfect example of why I like watching Briers).

Defensively I disagree with Matt slightly in that often we see halves (6 or 7) defending in either the wing or centre position, often due to their lack of size and to protect them for their offensive play.

As you mentioned in your opening post though Cofi, often teams will use their 13 or 1 as a playmaker and he will do things which often get thought of as a 6's job. Mathers has been linking into the Wire line a lot recently and using the cut-out pass to the winger. For me, this is a bonus play and simply increases your options. Wigan on the other hand use O'Loughlin as their ball handling 2nd receiver (his number of assists this year is very impressive), and the reason I think he is 13 rather than 6 is due to the lack of pace. When it comes to the running plays etc. then Tomkins will step in.

I know this is a rambling post, but I think it highlights the difficulties in stereotyping the modern RL player, and is a reason why it can be difficult to compare like for like.

Pryce, Briers and Tomkins for example are three quite different stand offs.

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As with most of these position-specific questions, much of it can depend on the personnel available and the coach in charge.

I know I often bring Briers up on these threads, but he is probably one of the few remaining quality 'traditional' stand-offs playing in SL.

In basic terms, often they will be 2nd receiver on attacking plays and will link with the wider players (usually centres, fullbacks and 2nd rowers). They will often have plenty of assists as they will be responsible for putting players through the gaps (watch Briers' pass to Atkins on Sunday for a perfect example of why I like watching Briers).

Defensively I disagree with Matt slightly in that often we see halves (6 or 7) defending in either the wing or centre position, often due to their lack of size and to protect them for their offensive play.

As you mentioned in your opening post though Cofi, often teams will use their 13 or 1 as a playmaker and he will do things which often get thought of as a 6's job. Mathers has been linking into the Wire line a lot recently and using the cut-out pass to the winger. For me, this is a bonus play and simply increases your options. Wigan on the other hand use O'Loughlin as their ball handling 2nd receiver (his number of assists this year is very impressive), and the reason I think he is 13 rather than 6 is due to the lack of pace. When it comes to the running plays etc. then Tomkins will step in.

I know this is a rambling post, but I think it highlights the difficulties in stereotyping the modern RL player, and is a reason why it can be difficult to compare like for like.

Pryce, Briers and Tomkins for example are three quite different stand offs.

Pryce, Briers and Tomkins are different players with the same number on their back. However, the teams all have the same method in mind as do all teams currently. Work the middle third and try and get a numbers mismatch on the fringe for a leader runner / sweeping second man play.

Pryce has Wellens has a full back so he can be the second option.

Briers and Tomkins have quicker full backs so they do the pass.

Essentially the number on a players back is irrelevant, it's the jobs they are asked to play that are important and how that job fits in with the next guys job. Where we can beat Australia is our 'ability' to play away from the gameplan. This is however, our downfall, too.

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I've been trying to understand the role of the stand-off a bit better.

Easy. The stand-off if the player the defending backrow forward hits as hard as possible as often as possible. (at least it was in my day :dry: )

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Wish my lot could clone Tony Myler.

Best thing you've said for months. B)

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Vision, Good distribution and pace are sought after commodities of a quality stand off. Chuck in mean defence and then youve got a Henry Paul and a world class player.

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I hate these questions when i'm at work, i don't have time to give this thought or contribute properly.

However, i think that the defensive structure of a team has a say in the standoffs role. Playing 1-10 accross the line, the 6 will defend in the same channel as the 13, usually 3 or 4 in from the touchline dependant on the second rower / centre. Because of this, i think that the 6 has to be an effective defender rather than a playmaker.

Teams tend to play both sides of the ruck with the 7 one and 6 the other. However, i'd see the 6 and 13 split with the seven going both sides with the 1. Then you'd have a 7 who can control with the options of another ball player and runner in the 6 or 13. The one would follow the 7 as Slater does Cronk.

Gone a bit off tangent but hopefully i can skive and contribute more as we go.

Thanks for this MS. I've watched all the Storm games broadcast on Sky this year and this strategy is one you definitely see. Do most SL teams split the 7 and 6, positioning them either side of the ruck? Is splitting the stand-off and the loose-forward in the way you explain primarily associated with the NRL or does it feature in our game as well?

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If you want to see the traditional role of the stand-off - see a game of Union (but with less kicking).

Otherwise, I will echo the poster that says there are a number of tasks to be completed throughout the team and the collection of players each get the jobs that match their own strengths.

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As with most of these position-specific questions, much of it can depend on the personnel available and the coach in charge.

I know I often bring Briers up on these threads, but he is probably one of the few remaining quality 'traditional' stand-offs playing in SL.

In basic terms, often they will be 2nd receiver on attacking plays and will link with the wider players (usually centres, fullbacks and 2nd rowers). They will often have plenty of assists as they will be responsible for putting players through the gaps (watch Briers' pass to Atkins on Sunday for a perfect example of why I like watching Briers).

Defensively I disagree with Matt slightly in that often we see halves (6 or 7) defending in either the wing or centre position, often due to their lack of size and to protect them for their offensive play.

As you mentioned in your opening post though Cofi, often teams will use their 13 or 1 as a playmaker and he will do things which often get thought of as a 6's job. Mathers has been linking into the Wire line a lot recently and using the cut-out pass to the winger. For me, this is a bonus play and simply increases your options. Wigan on the other hand use O'Loughlin as their ball handling 2nd receiver (his number of assists this year is very impressive), and the reason I think he is 13 rather than 6 is due to the lack of pace. When it comes to the running plays etc. then Tomkins will step in.

I know this is a rambling post, but I think it highlights the difficulties in stereotyping the modern RL player, and is a reason why it can be difficult to compare like for like.

Pryce, Briers and Tomkins for example are three quite different stand offs.

Cheers Dave T. I love watching Briers play and as soon as the game finished on Sunday, I posted on the Bradford v Wires thread to praise that very pass.

I suppose that having other players i.e. fullback being able to do some of the skills normally attributed to the 6 just increases the team's options in attack rather than diminishing the 6's role.

Interesting point about the difference between 6 and 13: speed.

The stand-off is a clever, clever player for me. He just seems to appear out of nowhere on that last tackle to produce a killer pass, kick or run. It is then that you notice him and more often than not, it's too late for the opposition.

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Thanks for this MS. I've watched all the Storm games broadcast on Sky this year and this strategy is one you definitely see. Do most SL teams split the 7 and 6, positioning them either side of the ruck? Is splitting the stand-off and the loose-forward in the way you explain primarily associated with the NRL or does it feature in our game as well?

I'll be honest, i don't see enough of SL week to week to judge them fairly, whereas i can watch an NRL team each week. However, i posted on the England squad that i'd love to see 1. Eastmond, 6. Tomkins, 7. Myler, 13. O'Loughlin. Options galore baby!

My favourite method would be to follow the Goldcost model. Prince goes either side with either Bird or Rogers. Answering your question, the 'standoff' can run or pass. Having both attributes allows a full back to roam in the middle or behind a lead runner. Campbell does this magnificently.

Does this help?

Again, it's hard to judge what a position is exactly these days as it's all about where one's job fits in with the team and the game-plan rather than the number on his back.

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Similar to when we discussed the hooker thread a stand off will play the way a coach sets up his team.

Most teams in SL will have 6 and 7 taking charge of a side of the field each. the 13 will most often occupy part of the middle unit even if they have ball playing qualities.

Therefor eId say the most common description for a modern stand-off would be the same role as a scrum half. Both are interchangable with a good one being able to attack the line, kick, pick a pass etc.

Som coaches may want their 7 to dictate play and 6 be 2nd receiver but this means attacking from wide which is not where most teams aim to attack from.

You may rarely get the situation whereby a stand off is simply a support runner pushing around the ruck and wide but this role is largely taken up by a full back these days.

Most teams play 2 halves with the same role on either side of the field. Lockyer/Thurston are a good example. Perceived differences are usually down to the players strengths and playing style.

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I think that 2 Saints stand-offs have contrasting styles that highlight the points.

The guy that Saints didn't want, Lee Briers, is team boss, organiser, watch as he dictates what play the ball is going to be shifted on (often a hand signal), and he can pick which blade of grass a kick will land on for the planned kick plays.

Current incumbent at Saints, Pryce, is a former centre, and I feel, along with others that he'd possibly be better at full back.

He does distribute the ball, does some kicking, but is often very direct and attacks the defence with ball in hand (he can shift) a lot more. He doesn't seem to be the organisational brains of the team, though he could be less obvious about it than Lee.

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I'll be honest, i don't see enough of SL week to week to judge them fairly, whereas i can watch an NRL team each week. However, i posted on the England squad that i'd love to see 1. Eastmond, 6. Tomkins, 7. Myler, 13. O'Loughlin. Options galore baby!

My favourite method would be to follow the Goldcost model. Prince goes either side with either Bird or Rogers. Answering your question, the 'standoff' can run or pass. Having both attributes allows a full back to roam in the middle or behind a lead runner. Campbell does this magnificently.

Does this help?

Again, it's hard to judge what a position is exactly these days as it's all about where one's job fits in with the team and the game-plan rather than the number on his back.

Helpful thanks.

I notice that Greg Bird can also play at 13. I take it that for him to play the other side of the ruck with Scott Prince, then he's got to be quick, which he is right?

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Vision, Good distribution and pace are sought after commodities of a quality stand off. Chuck in mean defence and then youve got a Henry Paul and a world class player.

His white boots helped as well.

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Similar to when we discussed the hooker thread a stand off will play the way a coach sets up his team.

Most teams in SL will have 6 and 7 taking charge of a side of the field each. the 13 will most often occupy part of the middle unit even if they have ball playing qualities.

Therefor eId say the most common description for a modern stand-off would be the same role as a scrum half. Both are interchangable with a good one being able to attack the line, kick, pick a pass etc.

Som coaches may want their 7 to dictate play and 6 be 2nd receiver but this means attacking from wide which is not where most teams aim to attack from.

You may rarely get the situation whereby a stand off is simply a support runner pushing around the ruck and wide but this role is largely taken up by a full back these days.

Most teams play 2 halves with the same role on either side of the field. Lockyer/Thurston are a good example. Perceived differences are usually down to the players strengths and playing style.

Sorry Tex, you're going to have to help me out here because I don't understand this point. It would seem to me - who's only seen a handful of games I know! - that it's when the 6 is out wide that he's at his most dangerous and most undpredictable in attack.

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Sorry Tex, you're going to have to help me out here because I don't understand this point. It would seem to me - who's only seen a handful of games I know! - that it's when the 6 is out wide that he's at his most dangerous and most undpredictable in attack.

In the traditional model you'd attack one side of the pitch then t'other. The ball would go 9-7-6. This way reduces the options either side of the ruck, and any numbers over are defended easily with a slide defence.

Teams split the 6 and 7 either side and attack the middle hoping to get a numbers advantage with the full back. It's easier to score 5-4 than 9-8.

Again, it's the teams structure that is the most important rather than the player.

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In the traditional model you'd attack one side of the pitch then t'other. The ball would go 9-7-6. This way reduces the options either side of the ruck, and any numbers over are defended easily with a slide defence.

Teams split the 6 and 7 either side and attack the middle hoping to get a numbers advantage with the full back. It's easier to score 5-4 than 9-8.

Again, it's the teams structure that is the most important rather than the player.

I get it now.

Cheers MS.

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no pro teams play 7 and 6 as first receiver second receiver anymore. rather left pivot and right pivot. Basically the stand off and scrum half are exactly the same in the modern game

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nobody seems to have touched on the (relativley) modern aspect of playing a large 13 or 3/4 who defends well playing in the 6 position often done to negate the other sides attacking options.

Edited by Marv Woodburn

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Wish my lot could clone Tony Myler.

I think there in a montage clip of him on the video site we all know

Poetry in motion when ever Stand off gets mentioned i think of Tony Myler

Or his nickname in Widnes GOD

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no pro teams play 7 and 6 as first receiver second receiver anymore. rather left pivot and right pivot. Basically the stand off and scrum half are exactly the same in the modern game

I understand and the more I watch games the more this is coming obvious to me. However, when you have an attacking scrum, similar to the one we saw in the Wigan/Saints game when Pryce, I think, attacked immediately on the first play and scored, the defending 6 would normally defend against the first receiver and his position on the field would reflect that, right?

nobody seems to have touched on the (relativley) modern aspect of playing a large 13 or 3/4 who defends well playing in the 6 position often done to negate the other sides attacking options.

Is defence, therefore, an overlooked aspect of the 6's game? Although the 6 and the 7 are, to all intents and purposes, very similar-type players, when it comes to defending from a scrum, the 6's defensive attributes would have to come to the fore surely. If there is a difference between these two almost-exact-type players, would it be fair to say that the 6 is usually a better defender? Or is this wrong and unfair to scrum-halfs! It's just that I've noticed that the scrum-half tends to tackle less than the stand-off during a game. Is this a general trend or have I got it wrong?

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Great post/ topic/ discussion point.

Many teams play a Left+Right policy whereby 6 and 7 hold either the left or right side of the field and and hence are first or second reciever dependent upon the side of the field the ball is being moved from. It also means that they are nearer their "home" in the defensive line.

Its made for the traditional 6/7 roles to become a tad diluted.

The post about Briers is a good one- he's as near to an old school 6 as we've got- in that he floats across the field, looking for an opening or a tired/ out of position opposition player to exploit with a good attacking option.

Lockyer plays in a similar way as a 6. Andy Farrell did it too from 13/6 and Prop! Stay Jones played in a similar way as 7- which complicates matters.

The thinker/ schemer/ plotter should be accomodated regardless of whether he is 6/7/13 and allowed to hold the reins as the main man IMO. The players in the team will recognise that too and allow them to.

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no pro teams play 7 and 6 as first receiver second receiver anymore. rather left pivot and right pivot. Basically the stand off and scrum half are exactly the same in the modern game
Whilst there is a lot of interchange (mainly IMHO due to the pace of the game and the size of pitches simply not making it practical for halves to have to keep swapping sides when you are moving the ball from one side of the pitch to another), I do believe the 7 is first receiver for quite a few clubs.

Certainly at Warrington Myler will control the short passing game close to the ruck, and Briers will generally come in at 2nd receiver on the wide plays.

At Wigan, you often see Tomkins (or O'Loughlin) as the 2nd receiver out wide.

During the England game when Tomkins was playing 7, it was much more obvious that he was taking the ball first up and he was more involved in controlling the play than he sometimes is at Wigan.

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