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I can't really put my finger on who were the last players of this ilk..

Graham - played in the middle obviously and had a few years at Canterbury where he was a ball player, but too much of a prop

Sinfield - Too much of a 6

Burgess - No ball playing

Wilkin and O'Loughlin - Probably the best British ones recently. 

NRL..

Gallen - In his pomp possibly. 

Tamololololol - No ball playing

Cam Murray - Too work horsy as was Parker et al

Tom T recently is a very good example reckon.

 

No point really - just bored on the way to work

 

 

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8 hours ago, MattSantos said:

I can't really put my finger on who were the last players of this ilk..

Graham - played in the middle obviously and had a few years at Canterbury where he was a ball player, but too much of a prop

Sinfield - Too much of a 6

Burgess - No ball playing

Wilkin and O'Loughlin - Probably the best British ones recently. 

NRL..

Gallen - In his pomp possibly. 

Tamololololol - No ball playing

Cam Murray - Too work horsy as was Parker et al

Tom T recently is a very good example reckon.

 

No point really - just bored on the way to work

 

 

Only ever been 2.

Mick Crane and Steve Norton.

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8 hours ago, MattSantos said:

I can't really put my finger on who were the last players of this ilk..

Graham - played in the middle obviously and had a few years at Canterbury where he was a ball player, but too much of a prop

Sinfield - Too much of a 6

Burgess - No ball playing

Wilkin and O'Loughlin - Probably the best British ones recently. 

NRL..

Gallen - In his pomp possibly. 

Tamololololol - No ball playing

Cam Murray - Too work horsy as was Parker et al

Tom T recently is a very good example reckon.

 

No point really - just bored on the way to work

 

 

I liked the role Westerman played at Wire, often interchangeable with the 6 not unlike O'Loughlin's role. 

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8 hours ago, MattSantos said:

I can't really put my finger on who were the last players of this ilk..

Graham - played in the middle obviously and had a few years at Canterbury where he was a ball player, but too much of a prop

Sinfield - Too much of a 6

Burgess - No ball playing

Wilkin and O'Loughlin - Probably the best British ones recently. 

NRL..

Gallen - In his pomp possibly. 

Tamololololol - No ball playing

Cam Murray - Too work horsy as was Parker et al

Tom T recently is a very good example reckon.

 

No point really - just bored on the way to work

 

 

Often thought Whitehead could've been a great one but his defence is so good on the edge that he's never really played much at loose. 

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31 minutes ago, Lowdesert said:

Only ever been 2.

Mick Crane and Steve Norton.

Yes.  Harry Pinner.  Doug Laughton. 

But the game today is predicated on a 11 yard line. Tactics are different. The game is worse for it.

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Keith Bell at Featherstone was very much a ball-playing 13, in fact his contributions running with the ball or tackling were negligible but everything revolved around him in attack during the many years he played for Fev. Jack Bussey today is probably as close as you'd see to an old-fashioned ball playing 13 though he nominally plays any position from prop to half back. Scott Murell again reminds me of some of the old-fashioned ball-playing 13s though again nominally he plays half back.

Nowadays it's hard to actually identify any difference in role between most players who play 8, 10 and 13 so you might as well change the terminology to "ball-playing middle". Maybe Adam Cuthbertson would qualify under that criteria?

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Best young up and coming in the SL is Cam Smith at Leeds.

Spent most of his youth playing stand off, he is quite an accomplished ball handler and reader of the game. If he can push through and establish himself he could grow into one of the best young back rowers around.

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As said it doesn't seem to be a feature of the game today but as I have previously said John Asiata would be ideally suited to the role. Jake T is the one who comes to mind at present.

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1 hour ago, Rupert Prince said:

Yes.  Harry Pinner.  Doug Laughton. 

But the game today is predicated on a 11 yard line. Tactics are different. The game is worse for it.

 I would put Mike Gregory up there with them

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The 13 as a third prop is a bit of a disaster from the spectator's point of view.  Even the wide running second row seems rarer.  And offloading props.

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In the SL era the likes of Sculthorpe & Farrell were probably the finest examples of ball playing LF's. Both had the handling, kicking & vision of a 6 with the steel of a forward.

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Lets Get Brexit Done !!!!!

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Ball-playing 13s are yet another victim of our determination in this country to copy the style of RL from down-under. British RL used to be about throwing the ball about and allowing players to do things "off the cuff". However, we have now become obsessed in beating the Aussies rather than providing entertainment for those who actually support the game over here and, as such, the open-play style of ball-playing 13s has vanished.

Although we just might beat the Aussies once every so often (and we then always think "this is the turning point"), we will never constantly be up to their level - it is their major sport in the areas RL is played and they have far too many players to maintain their production line of talent at the highest level.

So if we want to return to ball-playing 13s (as well as the ball getting to the wingers for them to score the majority of tries following a good passing movement) then let's return to playing GB-style rugby and make it more open ... and more entertaining.

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1 hour ago, welshmagpie said:

Victor Radley?

Good shout - my only concern for him is that he did so well filling in at 9 for Jake Friend last year, his long term future may end up there when Friend retires. 

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1 hour ago, fairfolly said:

Why has nobody mentioned the best 13 for years,still nobody near him in this day and age, Mal Reilly at Cas.

Or as dear Uncle Eddie said, "Is that aah Mal Rrreely, or is it reeely Rrrilley?"

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Bring back Harry Pinner. To confound and bewilder the opposition defenders, with ........his hands. A master ball player. 

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7 hours ago, Dave T said:

I liked the role Westerman played at Wire, often interchangeable with the 6 not unlike O'Loughlin's role. 

He’s more of a ball joint player now.  

 

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