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Number 16

What became of Loose Forward

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Now don't get me wrong, there are some superb players running around in the #13 jersey (or whichever number passes for #13 in SL squads), but few are your traditional ball-playing type of LF. 

For me Jake Trbojovic and, latterly, Cameron McInnes, are reasonable throwbacks in the NRL,but mostly in that competition and SL the LF is just a 'middle forward' with a bigger engine. 

Who else is close to a traditional LF, and has the role as we knew it pretty much gone for good? 

 

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I don't think it's hard to work out why the traditional ball-playing loose forward has gradually disappeared. The modern game is much faster and based more on winning collisions than was the case thirty or forty years ago, and you can't really carry somebody defensively as your third middle.  If they are going to play for 80 minutes, that's a massive ask because they will probably need to be making 40+ tackles as well as being heavily involved in the attacking play. And if they are going to be spelled, you'd really need another loose-forward type on the bench or you're going to have your attacking moves affected.

That said, there are still players around who can fulfil this role. Cameron Smith at Leeds is a very good example, and from what little I saw of Leigh last season Danny Addy seemed to be effectively playing the old-fashioned loose forward role, will be interesting to see if he gets the chance to do that at Salford.

 

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2 minutes ago, ELBOWSEYE said:

SOL was a top quality loose forward who would stack upto any era. 

Yeah I think SOL, Sinfield and Sculthorpe were the last real top 13s we've had here. 

There's a few floating around but coaches seem less inclined to use them. Westerman I think it is at Wakefield. Coaches seem to prefer having a 3rd prop or "middle" on these days, considering most props can pass the ball too these days anyway.

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There is one of the best playing right now, may be his last season but he is one of the best ball playing 13's you'll see. SO'L

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Alot of the game has changed namely since SL started. My club had a 6ft 4 stand off in Graeme Bradley. A former second rower. The hooking role changed too. Under Northern we had Pendlebury, Pinner and Russell Stewart however even under Peter Fox the LF position was changing. Under him namely another back rower. Fairbank Medley and Dixon.


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3 hours ago, Dunbar said:

Sonny Bill Williams

WAS,

Nothing he has done since his return to RL indicates he is anywhere near what he could offer, and unfortunately time is not on his side for a resurgence.

Edited by Harry Stottle
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30 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

WAS,

Nothing he has done since his return to RL indicates he is anywhere near what he could offer, and unfortunately time is not on his side for a resurgence.

I think the OP just asked who still plays like a loose and not opinon on if a player isnt as good as he used to be.

 

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Sonny Bill Williams was a second row in his early days as a Rugby League player and very much used his size and offload to excel on the edge so he was never a 13.

But on his few games for the Roosters so far there is no doubt he is being used as a ball handling middle forward (filling the boots of Victor Radley in that regard)... the closest thing we have to the old fashioned 13 in the modern game.

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I think the role of the modern  fullback has taken away the need for a traditional 13. 

7, 6 and 13 used to be the players to spread the ball now it's 7, 6 and 1

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1 hour ago, Harry Stottle said:

WAS,

Nothing he has done since his return to RL indicates he is anywhere near what he could offer, and unfortunately time is not on his side for a resurgence.

You haven’t watched the Roosters last 2 games then.

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Surprised by the lack of mention of Morgan Knowles in this thread. If anything, ballplaying loose forwards have made a resurgence the last couple of years with the likes of Victor Radley, Jake Trbojevic and Cam Murray 

 

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every 2 weeks.

Knocker Norton was the last one and there will never be another like him. Just like this comment, close the thread and ban anyone who utters the words 'ball handling loose forward' for life.

Him from Penrith is good...


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Some great Loose Forwards here from the past who played in the British game to stir the memories of older posters: Vince Karalius, Derek Turner, Ray Batten, Kel Coslett, Malcolm Reilly, Dougie Laughton, Steve Norton, Peter Smith, Gavin Miller and Harry Pinner. I am sure you can add many more.

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9 hours ago, Saint 1 said:

Surprised by the lack of mention of Morgan Knowles in this thread. If anything, ballplaying loose forwards have made a resurgence the last couple of years with the likes of Victor Radley, Jake Trbojevic and Cam Murray 

 

Only Trbojevic qualifies. All the others are brilliant play 2 ball runners, not 'ball handling loose forwards'. You shouldnt be surprised at the lack of Morgan Knowles mentions because most people who arent Saints fans and even those that are realise that he is a bog standard work a day middle bloke, great player but its delusional to pretend hes anything else. You dont have to shoe horn your own loose forward into a non-sensical conversation about a role that no longer exists for likes on the internet

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53 minutes ago, JohnM said:

LF? Albert Blan. Will we ever see his like again? 

 A magician with the Rugby Ball.Three players tackling him and he would still manage a back flip out of the tackle to a supporting team mate.Harry Pinner was good he had a wide variation of passes.Going back 60 years Johnny Whiteley was probably the best as Great Britain picked him at 13 forceing Derek ROCKY Turner and Vince Karalius to play in the second row when they were world class at loose forward.

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2 hours ago, Tex Evans Thigh said:

Only Trbojevic qualifies. All the others are brilliant play 2 ball runners, not 'ball handling loose forwards'. You shouldnt be surprised at the lack of Morgan Knowles mentions because most people who arent Saints fans and even those that are realise that he is a bog standard work a day middle bloke, great player but its delusional to pretend hes anything else. You dont have to shoe horn your own loose forward into a non-sensical conversation about a role that no longer exists for likes on the internet

What an embarrassing post, have I offended you in a past life or something? Go watch a game for any of those teams and look at who plays in a first receiver role in the middle of the pitch and try to actually pay attention to what you are looking at. It's no coincidence that Sydney Roosters had to change their playing style when Radley got injured. Maybe the issue is the lack of depth of your understanding.

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16 hours ago, Padge said:

There is one of the best playing right now, may be his last season but he is one of the best ball playing 13's you'll see. SO'L

I also thought Snfield an excellent loose forward.  O'Loughlin is another.  Farrell (A) was another.  None of 'em in the Karalius/Whitely/Turner mould.


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There are plenty of 13's (and front rowers) in the modern game with very good passing games and as Saint 1 points out, the likes of Radley (now SBW), Murray and Trbojevic often play first reciever on shift plays in order for the halves to attack the edges. All good modern teams have players who can do this.

I guess the difference today is that these are quite structured plays while the old school 13's we remember were more off the cuff and creative in their style.

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7 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

There are plenty of 13's (and front rowers) in the modern game with very good passing games and as Saint 1 points out, the likes of Radley (now SBW), Murray and Trbojevic often play first reciever on shift plays in order for the halves to attack the edges. All good modern teams have players who can do this.

I guess the difference today is that these are quite structured plays while the old school 13's we remember were more off the cuff and creative in their style.

I am not at all sure that I go along with all is stuctured v. "off the cuff" stuff.  Generally a "play" starts as structured, but as it develops it might well need off the cuff action.  But nothing can go off the cuff or part of any structured play without support play. Nothing can happen without intelligence.

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Tyrone Peachy (centre) has been playing at 13 for Gold Coast as a running off the cuff player. Cameron McInnes (hooker) same for St George - play what you see. The smaller versatile 13 is coming back who can play with the ball and off load. This is a shift in mindset IMO and is very welcome.

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