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Best fullback of his generation?

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Up there with the best in ANY generation.

If an RL generation is ten years I have seen a few qenerations and he is certainly outstanding.

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It's a fair comment, he's had the odd brain explosion, most notably the 2008 World Cup Final but I would say that has been fat out weighed by the good things he's done.

I'm with Bearman, up there with the best in any generation. I might think of some more later but currently the only one that I can think off that I've seen that I would rate higher is Darren Lockyer.

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The best I've ever seen and certainly up there with the best of all time although older Aussie posters might put Churchill and Langlands above him.

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My opinion is that Slater is a terrific fullback who has been fortunate to play great sides .

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There are only two other fullbacks I can think of who have matched his impact - Darren Lockyer and Brett Mullins over 94-95. Slater has them both covered for longevity at fullback, because Lockyer changed positions once he slowed down and Mullins couldn't sustain that level of performance. Slater's ability to retain his speed, overcome injuries and improve his game has been incredible over such a long career at fullback. Lockyer was classier and probably more of a match winner in big games, but Slater's positional play and consistency is just phenomenal, added to his longevity. 

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Outstanding player , as others have said the best all round fullback I have seen, which is all you can comment on . His positional play in defence - he always seems to be there ! - and his lightening threat , elusiveness and link up play with his half are all top notch and he just seems the whole package and over a lengthy period . And it’s no coincidence top players like him play in successful sides - they make them 

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43 minutes ago, RabbitRhinoovOZ said:

My opinion is that Slater is a terrific fullback who has been fortunate to play great sides .

Few great players ever play in poor sides in my opinion.

Slater’s best I have ever seen.

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I certainly wouldn't crab that description of Billy Slater.

What I would say is that he is playing in a different era than when I started watching. In both codes, in most teams, it was the fullback who was most likely to do the goalkicking and linekicking. These days, it's almost always the halfbacks.

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Slater has been great and deserves to be spoken about as the best of all time in his position and almost certainly the best full back of the last 15 years.

Playing devil's advocate, his game is fairly limited however when compared to other 'greats'. His passing game is pretty weak, he does have an error in him and obviously does little to no kicking. 

Compare him to my favourite full back Jonathan Davies he doesn't have the all round game. That's not to say he hasn't been more effective but I would take Davies in his prime over Slater. 

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28 minutes ago, Tex Evans Thigh said:

Slater has been great and deserves to be spoken about as the best of all time in his position and almost certainly the best full back of the last 15 years.

Playing devil's advocate, his game is fairly limited however when compared to other 'greats'. His passing game is pretty weak, he does have an error in him and obviously does little to no kicking. 

Compare him to my favourite full back Jonathan Davies he doesn't have the all round game. That's not to say he hasn't been more effective but I would take Davies in his prime over Slater. 

How much did Davies play fullback?

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27 minutes ago, Dave T said:

How much did Davies play fullback?

Haven't got the exact number Dave and I take your point that he played centre and stand-off pretty effectively too. I think his best position was FB though. The try for GB v Aus in 94 was pure class, add in his ball playing and kicking and he was such a great all round RL player. I actually think he would be an even better FB today with how the position has grown.

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33 minutes ago, Dave T said:

How much did Davies play fullback?

Not enough to put him in the same league as Slater.

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The term "of his generation" taken into account, is there any other current Australian/Kiwi FB whose presence in the #1 shirt makes our Pommie hearts sink as much? I think not.

As for his all-time credentials, he's a pure FB, not a half-back marking time 'til he gets promoted to 6 or 7. He's a contender against pretty much anyone from the past too. You can pick out players who best him in certain areas, but as a package, he's deadly.

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2 hours ago, RoverBear said:

He's no Greg Eden.

Another positive.

Sorry, Greg, but you'd be the first to admit it.

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Imo THE BEST of all time!

I cannot think of any full back who is better than Slater, Lockyer nowhere near as good at Full Back. I’ve seen Brentnal, Mullins, Belcher, Lydon, Charlton, Round, Connolly, Minichello etc and none of them have brought what Slater has for anywhere near the length of time he has.

Id also propose that Cameron Smith is THE BEST Hooker I’ve ever seen too. Theres been flashier hookers, tougher hookers and even proper hookers in the days when it was still about getting the ball out of a scrum. There hasn’t been a better all rounder than Smith who does everything to the utmost standards. 

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9 hours ago, RabbitRhinoovOZ said:

My opinion is that Slater is a terrific fullback who has been fortunate to play great sides .

Perhaps the fact that Slater played in those great sides helped made them great sides.

An all time great for me.

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Easily the best of his and other Generations for me. Its not just what he does in one area, but all areas and so consistantly over many years. His Communication is well known and his ability to read the game and be often in the right place at the right time is also know. Maybe not so much is his preperation and his Coaching on and off the field.

Listening to Luke Lewis on NRL360 this week, he mentioned how well prepared Slater is and how he talks in Training to the Wingers, Centres and Halfbacks what he wants and expects of them and what to look out for from the opposition. Everybody knows what they have to do and what to look out for from Billy. Lewis also mentioned he seems to know even the opposition Calls beforehand and how he tells teammates of them.

Yes he may make the odd mistake but often the things he does come off. Somebody said he cant pass very well. I disagree and look at how many tries he sets up. The Fullback role has changed a hell of a lot and thats largely down to Slater who has helped trnsform that role. A Fullback is now often taking on a role of a Halfback and the ability to read the game and make changes in attack and defence is largely down to Billy. He has a fierce determination to win that at times has overstepped the mark. He is also a large reason why many youngsters have come to sign for the Storm as he freely gives up his time to meet, greet and show youngsters around and take an interest in them as people. Thats not forgetting his fantastic work with Kids through Billys Buddies.

He has played in great teams is much down to him and his attitude in the above. You dont get to be a great player over such a long time by luck or chance. It takes extreme effort. We are lucky to have seen Slater weekly. Its a shame that this was not really much of an option where the likes of Langlands and Churchill played and is very hard to see how they played and to what degree they changed how the game was played like Billy has.

 

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34 minutes ago, OMEGA said:

Imo THE BEST of all time!

I cannot think of any full back who is better than Slater, Lockyer nowhere near as good at Full Back. I’ve seen Brentnal, Mullins, Belcher, Lydon, Charlton, Round, Connolly, Minichello etc and none of them have brought what Slater has for anywhere near the length of time he has.

Id also propose that Cameron Smith is THE BEST Hooker I’ve ever seen too. Theres been flashier hookers, tougher hookers and even proper hookers in the days when it was still about getting the ball out of a scrum. There hasn’t been a better all rounder than Smith who does everything to the utmost standards. 

I think Smith is the best modern hooker. 

Its not fair to compare him with old school hookers as the role has changed so much. The hookers job in days of yore was to win the ball in the scrum. A lost art these days. 

Of course there was more to it than that but winning the ball against the head was a key measure in a hookers game.

Edited by Bearman

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6 hours ago, Jim Prendle said:

Not a patch on George Fairbarn.

Who himself was a mere shadow of Jimmy Ledgard.

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34 minutes ago, Bearman said:

I think Smith is the best modern hooker. 

Its not fair to compare him with old school hookers as the role has changed so much. The hookers job in days of yore was to win the ball in the scrum. A lost art these days. 

Of course there was more to it than that but winning the ball against the head was a key measure in a hookers game.

I agree, he is, without doubt, the best of the new generation of Hooker Referees.

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Slater is probably the best of all time. I was trying to think of great full backs in the super league era and Wellens and Radlinski were awesome but never reached the level Slater has. 

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Nowadays, fullbacks are strike attackers. I'm not crabbing Billy Slater in any way, but it'sdifficult to agree that he's the best of all time. I'd fancy Gary Connolly, Graham Eadie,  Keith Mumby and George Fairbairn to be better than him at one-on-one tackles.  Eadie was terrific for Halifax when well into his thirties.

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